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This section was last updated on June 13th, 2024.

Below are some commentaries I have been posting on these pages since September of 2008, just about four years after I first designed, developed and implemented this website. The views and assessments of the different topics and circumstances that I post here are influenced by the variety of countries and cultures I have been exposed to. Thus far, I have been to 54 countries and have lived in some 19 of them. To see a list of the countries I've been to, please click here. As you may see, I pay special attention to the alarming, polarized sociopolitical situation we presently have in the United States. I vote Democrat for lack of a better choice, as not in a million years would I ever affiliate myself with the disgraceful, near-traitorous stance the Republican party has adopted over the past 10 years or so. In my view, many, or perhaps most, elected Democrats are just moderate right wingers in disguise, meaning, many of them are just compromised hypocrites. This makes it that there is no real pro-worker, pro-middle class political party in America, which is the main reason that so many disenchanted Americans keep falling under the dark spell of Republican demagoguery. As the situation stands today, I blame almost as many elected Democrats as most elected Republicans for the dire path the United States is presently embarked upon. In spite of my growing disappointment, however, I still think the United States is a country worthy of plenty of admiration. Thank you for visiting my website and I hope you enjoy reading my commentaries.

To access additional info on most of the commentaries please click on the colored title.

ArrowHead.jpg Sadly, the Democratic Party Continues to Betray the American Working Classes. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 13th, 2024. I’m not a Democrat. I cannot concur with that party’s usual center-right, hypocritical, lukewarm policies. I vote Democrat for the traditional lack of a better choice we have in America’s two-party system. I don’t totally go for the well-intentioned politics of Bernie Sanders either, the Independent Senator from Vermont, although I appreciate some of the pro-worker policies he advocates. AOC is a young, smart, very-talented Congresswoman who deserves the attention of every American who believes that, as stated in the Declaration of Independence, all men and women are created equal and that, therefore, all Americans deserve to enjoy the same rights under the law. But those two individuals, as well-known, well-intentioned, and relatively influential as they may be, don’t have any determining say in the politics of the Democratic Party. As it stands today, the Democratic Party is a self-feeding political beast interested only in acquiring power and, given the highly-biased, private-contribution-dependent, campaign-finance system we have in America, either the Democrats cater to the wishes of the American moneyed classes or they’re doomed. Guys like Barack Obama are extraordinary exceptions to that sort of rule, as his electoral campaign managed to garner enough financial resources directly from the people to get elected twice even as, in the end, he had no choice but to toe the moderate, center-right, conservative line. Joe Biden, on the other hand, is no exception to anything. Joe Biden is a product of the American political system with an added touch of centrist tendencies. There is nothing particularly remarkable about him. Probably like millions of other Americans, I voted for Biden in 2020 and will do it again in 2024 because there is NO way in a million years that I could vote for that corrupt, amoral, anti-American leader of the GOP. No doubt the Republican Party has lost its way, but the Democratic Party lost it long before the Republicans did. Hillary Clinton lost the Electoral College vote in 2016 because she didn’t have much to offer to all those American workers who had lost their jobs because of the Democratic Party’s Neo-Liberal policies, which were enacted by her husband, President Bill Clinton, a little over a decade earlier. That’s why those millions of workers voted for Trump. The Democratic Party is supposed to watch over the interests and the wellbeing of the American Workers and over those of the American middle and lower classes too, but it doesn’t. The Democratic Party is supposed to be a political party of the left, but it is only a moderate center-right political institution. In order to thrive, a stable political environment needs a certain equilibrium between leftist and rightist forces. When one of those poles is missing, weak, or wanting, the electorate necessarily gravitates toward the opposite extreme, particularly when misguided in that direction by able agitators, as it is the case in America today. In the absence of a true-left political institution, right-wing demagogues will keep gaining the upper hand, meaning that, as long as we don’t have a real left-wing, pro-workers, pro-middle and lower classes political party in America, we will always be at the mercy of Fascist tendencies. No wonder the United States is today in such sociopolitical mess.

Too Much Greatness to Handle It. Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 11th, 2024. The history of the United States is in itself amazing. Its sociopolitical accomplishments incredible, the beauty of its land astounding, its virtually unlimited natural resources unbelievable, its scientific achievements unequaled, the beauty of its art in all modern forms a source of inspiration to the rest of the world, an inexhaustible well of new ideas and modes of communication like the world has never seen ever before, the moving beauty of its people, a marvel of a country… yet… yet so much greatness has proven to be way too much to handle to a large portion of Americans. Do those MAGAmericans really know what they’re willing to throw out the window in the name of their perverted pied piper? Are they really aware of the beauty of a country that they stand to lose in the name of their deceiving false messiah?

The Disgraceful, Dangerous Moral Decay Afflicting the United States Today. Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 10th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) A convicted felon is leading in the polls for the 2024 Presidential elections. Do I need to say more to describe the moral decay afflicting the American people these days? Not really, but I will. For that very same leading candidate keeps insulting and delegitimizing the American Democratic and Judicial Systems and the American people not only praise his offensive kind of talk, but have also accepted it and taken it for the truth and, for many, such demagoguery is the reason that they want him back in power. Shouldn’t this be enough to illustrate the American moral decay in question? It should, but it isn’t. For such moral degeneration wouldn’t have reached the menacing proportions it has reached today had it not been for the unconditional support that such convicted-felon-candidate gets from one of the two major political parties in the country. One thing is to have the masses of uninformed or misinformed people fall for the inflammatory rhetoric of a devious, seditious, venomous pied piper, a totally different thing is to have the whole apparatus of a political institution vested across time with such traditional and influential power as the “Grand Old Party”, backing wholeheartedly such insidious anti-American individual. Shouldn’t this be enough to prove the moral decay I’m talking about? It should, but it isn’t. In a dire sociopolitical situation like the one I’m describing, we could at least find solace and comfort knowing that the highest judicial authority in the land still stood for American Democracy and the rule of law. Yes, we could, but we actually cannot, as the Supreme Court of the United States has already shown a couple of glaring signs that at least some of the influential justices that constitute it (i.e., Alito and Thomas) are in favor of delegitimizing our Democratic System. In so doing, those justices are delegitimizing their own judicial authority and, by extension, delegitimizing the whole American Judicial System. How did it all come to this? Have you stopped for a moment and asked yourselves such simple question? Obviously, Donald Trump didn’t by himself generate this ominous situation. Trump didn’t plant the seeds of sedition that have been germinating lately. He just nurtured them with the sewage gunk spilling out of his foul mouth that he has conceived in his putrid, amoral mind. The anti-Democracy seeds that are germinating today were already deeply rooted in the minds of those ill-willed Americans that have always belonged to noxious institutions like the Federalist Society, the Heritage Foundation and the like. As the situation stands today, the American right-wing intelligentsia has already joined the ranks of the MAGA forces. All it would take now is to have a few Generals joining them and we would have the propitious, perfect scenario for a typical Banana-Republic power grab in the United States of America. A farfetched idea? Maybe. But still conceivable. There’s no telling where the present situation will lead to when large numbers of Americans have already lost their moral compass.

D-Day. Could November 5th 2024 Resemble June 6th 1944 in Any Way? Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 6th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) D-Day was the beginning of the end for Fascism in Europe. Fascism reigned in Italy for over 20 years, from the 1920s to the 1940s, and Nazism, the German version of Fascism, reigned in Germany for 12 years, from 1933 to 1945. D-Day, the beginning of the allied invasion of Europe led by the United States on June 6th, 1944, marked the beginning of the end for those hideous, criminal ideologies and regimes. Today, we have in America the growing sociopolitical version of the same self-defeating Fascist trend. Obviously, millions of Americans haven’t learnt the lessons that the mid-20th-century years have taught us: That the one and only destination Fascist regimes can and will lead any country to is disaster. Hopefully, the defeat of Fascism in America won’t have to be as bloody and deadly as D-Day and its aftermath were in Europe. According to some counts, there was a total of approximately 20,000 casualties of war on D-Day alone, including Allied and German soldiers. I don’t see the need to have anywhere close to such number of deaths caused by any armed clashes between the MAGA Fascist forces and the True-American forces of Democracy, but if it ever came to that, would you be ready for it? (In total, there were some 50-55 million casualties in WWII) January 6th 2021 was a semi-dress rehearsal for what may come to pass any time after Donald Trump is defeated once again at the ballot box on November 5th. At that point in time, the American D-Day might involve efforts by the American Pro-Democracy forces to take back from the MAGA Fascist forces the American Government’s Centers of power such as the White House, the Capitol Building, the Pentagon, Langley, and others. A farfetched idea? Maybe. But still conceivable. I remain cautiously reluctant to accept that any such post-Nov. 5th outcome is inevitable but if, like you, I were living in the United States, I would probably have some contingent plans in place. Just in case. D-Day, June 6 1944, was a fateful day when thousands of American soldiers paid the ultimate price in defense of Democracy, human rights, the rule of law, and general human decency. We cannot allow any number of confused, mistaken, irresponsible Americans turn those soldiers’ sacrifice into a useless, meaningless, mockery. We can in no way and at no point in time let Fascism take the reins of power in America. Please use your vote to keep all possible Republican candidates out of all possible government positions for as long as they continue to embrace any kind of ultra-right-wing, Fascist ideologies.

No Matter Who Wins in November, the US Is No Longer What It Used to Be. Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 4th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) One thing is to be optimistic and another is to be a self-deceived, wishful thinker. Let’s face it. The evidence shown after the guilty verdict in newspaper photos and articles, news channels, and the words of support for the convicted-felon expressed by some of the highest Republican officials in government, not to mention the arrogant, unrepentant stance of the newly-convicted ex-President, all of it points to a protracted, slow-burning insurrection that will continue to poison the sociopolitical life of the country for a long, undetermined time to come. Joe Biden will win in November, but his win will not heal the nation’s deep sociopolitical fissures. This is in no way US politics as usual. The country is no longer divided as it used to along conflicting legislations, unpopular supreme-court decisions, questions of higher or lower taxes, or any other matters of that sort. Today, the issues at stake are much more fundamental than that, as they pertain to whether the pillars of the Republic, such as our Democratic and Judicial Systems, should stay in place or should be taken down. Think about it for a moment. When half the population of the country overtly prefers to reject and denigrate our Judicial System rather than admit that their sectarian leader is guilty of ANY crime, what hope can there be for the future of the rule of law in the US? When the American judicial system becomes illegitimate and invalid in the eyes of half the population, what options are there left regarding the administration of justice in the country? The only logical answer to the last question is: Authoritarianism, Autocracy, Dictatorship. When the rule of law as written in the constitution and other judicial guidelines is no longer respected and obeyed by half the population, the only possible remaining authority in the nation can only be the will of a dictator (think of Russia’s Vladimir Putin) or the edicts of a “junta” formed by arbitrarily-selected party members (think of China’s Politbureau). Seriously, please think about it again. If MAGA people categorically reject the results of the 2020 elections, thereby negating the legitimacy of the American Democratic System, and they categorically reject their false-messiah’s guilty verdict, thereby negating the legitimacy of the American Judicial System, what other viable means for selecting leaders and administering justice are there left for the United States? Autocracy, Dictatorship, Despotism, Authoritarianism, those are the only possible alternatives to American Democracy and the American Judiciary. The time to wake up is about to expire. This is no longer US politics as usual in any meaningful way. I remain cautiously optimistic and still refuse to accept the idea that we already lost the country to the MAGA anti-American forces, but the 2024 elections will no doubt bring us all to the brink of disaster. Casting your anti-Republican vote on or before November 5th can end up meaning whether the United States as we know it survives to live a few more years as a Democracy or accelerates its descent straight down the road to autocracy.

Hats Off to New York's Justice System. Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 3rd, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) NOTE: Please be aware that I don’t usually watch Fox News or any other of those insidious instruments of right-wing propaganda. --- In scouring American cable news over the past couple of days, I have come across a few descriptions of the overall way in which Donald Trump’s “Hush-Money” trial unfolded. All the show-hosts and guests that I watched as they gave their opinions on the matter had, at one point or another during the 6-week trial, been present in the courtroom and had carefully watched, listened, and taken relevant notes on the proceedings. Topping the general impression that most, if not all, the speakers expressed, was Judge Merchan’s cool, calm, and collected performance. Some of them did mention that Judge Merchan lost his cool a couple of times, but they also said such fleeting moments of anger were justifiable, given the disrespect for the court involved in such few instances. Overall, the picture that all those trial witnesses painted was one of order and respect for everyone present. They said that, even as they waited in line to get into the courtroom and as they went through the two security checkpoints, the law-enforcement agents in charge were respectful and courteous and never at any point raised their voice, even as there were some attempts by some attendants to disrupt the process. Even outside the courtroom, they said, people were allowed to loudly express their opinions on the matter while a considerable number of law-enforcement agents stood by and just watched them do it. In short, it was heartening to look and listen as those witnesses described a courtroom situation that corresponds to the idea of a country that abides by the rule of law in an orderly manner. This means that not everything is lost yet in America. Trump and his Republican agents of chaos, resentment, and hatred haven’t yet managed to hold the upper hand over the spirit of the nation. There is still hope for the future of the American Judicial System and for that of our Democratic System too. There are still some judicial aberrations in other states, like Judge Eileen Cannon’s blind, pro-MAGA performance in Florida but, for the moment, we should all rejoice that the rule of law is still alive and well in the United States. Hats off to New Yorks’ Justice system. To watch a recent cable-news show that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The GOP 2024 Campaign Strategy: To Delegitimize the American Judicial System. Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 2nd, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) There are no two ways for the GOP to get out of their current precarious predicament. There is only one option left to them. We all know that they cannot publicly admit that the 34-count conviction of their presidential candidate is legitimate, so, from now on, you will hear them argue by all possible farfetched means that the American Judicial System is rigged and invalid and that, therefore, Trump’s conviction was only a sham and just the direct consequence of the Democrats’ illegal, biased, anti-Trump maneuvering. In their twisted view, Trump has not been convicted because he is guilty. He was convicted because the whole American legal apparatus is rigged against him. Not just some judges and some prosecutors, but all those day-to-day, common American citizens that serve as jurors too. The Republicans’ hypnotic, irrational, cult-like fealty to Trump is such that they are willing to delegitimize in the deepest sense possible the 248-year-old legal system that, as imperfect as it may be, has kept the United States together and our domestic sociopolitical environment in relative harmony for long periods of time. All or nothing. That is their motto. Either they put their pernicious, indecent, convicted-felon false-messiah in power again, or the whole country can go to hell. Trump will not win in November but, for the Republicans, that is only going to be one more reason to stand firm by his side and affirm that the whole American Democratic System is rigged against him. Nothing that may ever happen in the American political landscape that does not praise and exalt their false-messiah can ever be acceptable for the MAGA hordes. And if standing firm, at all cost, for Trump entails the destruction of the United States as we know it, well, so be it. All or nothing. That is their motto. January 6, 2021, was just a rehearsal. Just check out how some leading characters of the extreme-right-wing militias go around on the Internet recruiting and organizing MAGA fellow-travelers for the next insurrection, which quite likely will be an armed one. So, let’s please not fool ourselves anymore. These are no longer the Reagan years. The days when the Republican Party supposedly stood for law and order in America are long dead and gone. Finished. For the rest of the year, expect the Republican campaign strategy to be to delegitimize by all possible means the American Judicial and Democratic Systems. Regarding the days following the November 5th elections, the whole situation is a toss, but it would be dumb not get ready for those days. Trump will most surely be defeated at the ballot box and, as a result, all hell might just break loose in a number of hotspots in the country. Whatever comes our way, however, let’s remain optimistic, but quite aware, cautious, and ready too.

Conviction... The Day After. Siem Reap, Cambodia, June 1st, 2024. In the wake of Trump’s conviction, the way things appear over the Internet on my computer screen doesn’t look much promising. Most surely, Trump will lose again in November and, quite predictably, some paramilitary extreme-right-wing lunatics are already getting ready for J6 2.0. They are already recruiting/organizing fellow gung-ho crazies on the Internet, so that this time the insurrection will be armed. Could you have imagined barely 10 years ago that the sociopolitical situation of the United States would ever come to this? Not me. As it is, however, things could get ugly, to the point where it is no longer farfetched to consider it wise to have a sawed-off shotgun and a couple of dozen extra cartridges stashed somewhere in your home. Defending yourself well with a .45 or a .38 caliber handgun requires shooting skills; defending yourself with a sawed-off shotgun doesn’t. As usual, Biden’s public reaction to the Republican barrage of lies, misinformation, and blatant attacks on the US Judicial System, was too toned-down, too meek. That guy is in no way up to the serious challenges of the moment, but he’s still a million times a better human being than the vermin-candidate on the GOP side. No choice but to remain somewhat optimistic and hope for the best.

There is Still Hope for the American Judicial System. Siem Reap, Cambodia, May 31st, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) The most undeserving, corrupt, indecent ex-President of the United States, Donald Trump, has been found guilty of 34 felony counts by a jury of 12 American citizens from the now-convicted felon’s same State of New York. There is Still hope for the American Judicial System. The American Rule of Law still stands. The big, crucial remaining questions are, 1) will that crook end up serving any kind of sentence imposed on him? And, most importantly, 2) will this conviction straighten in any way the warped sense of decency and morality that has plagued the hearts of millions of deluded MAGAmericans? Will they begin to see the light of truth? Will this conviction finally open their eyes to the fact that their false-messiah is just a criminal demagogue parading as a savior who will rescue them from the dangers of… from the dangers of what? The dangers of American Democracy? Ha. I wouldn't bet a penny on the majority of them waking up. Deranged idiots like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and confused otherwise-savvy political pundits like Fareed Zakariah, go around decrying that the trial was politically motivated. Really? Do they mean that the 12 New-Yorker jurors that convicted Trump were politically motivated? Nah! Kennedy and Zakariah are just part of a group of shameless crybabies. Boo-hoo-hoo! Poor little innocent, no-wrong-doing Donald Trump! “Those mean, Constitution-loving, Fascism-hating, pro-Democracy American bad boys and girls don’t like him!” Boo-hoo-hoo! That’s what those MAGA Crybabies are going around saying. Hypocrite ninnies. That’s what they are. It is a sad day for America when a criminal ex-President is found guilty by a jury of his peers and that crook’s blind followers still refuse to admit the facts. First, they stupidly refused to accept that their false-messiah lost the 2020 elections, thereby negating the legitimacy of the American Democratic System, and now, they will stubbornly refuse to accept that their crooked-messiah is a convicted felon, therby negating the legitimacy of the American Judicial System. That, ladies and gentlemen, is what deserves to be called a massive display of willful delusion. It is indeed a sad day for America when we realize that close to half the population of the country have lost their grasp on reality and have thrown away their faith in their own Democracy and their own Judiciary. But there is still a silver lining behind the thick, ominous MAGA clouds polluting the American future, and that silver lining is the hope that the American Judicial System still stands a good chance to survive. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

You Know it, I know it, But It Needs to Be Said Again, and Again, and Again… Da Nang, Vietnam, May 25th, 2024. You know it, I know it, everybody knows it. The actor Robert DeNiro knows it too. He knows that Donald Trump is a dangerous lunatic, wannabe-dictator, who unfortunately has captured the imagination of millions of confused, resentful Americans. We all know that Trump’s thought processes are so warped and his mind is so out of control that he is not even capable of sitting at the witness stand to testify in his own defense in the “hush-money” trial. A perfectly incompetent aberration of a human being whose only appeal to the masses is his open white-supremacism and his absolute contempt for the American Constitution and the American Democratic and Judicial Systems. You know it, I know it and, most importantly, the MAGA people know it. But all those MAGAmericans are so blinded by their socio-racial and financial resentment that they are willing to throw the whole country down the toilet in their misguided, perverted desire for revenge. Any America-loving individual, any Democracy-loving citizen, any decency-loving human being, should stand up and loudly denounce Donald Trump as the most corrupt, amoral President the United States has ever had and should warn everybody of the danger that he and his religious followers represent to the sociopolitical stability of the world. The United States cannot afford to have such human aberration in the White House ever again. A catastrophic phenomenon of such magnitude would only signal the beginning of the end for American Democracy. For the survival of our Democracy, or even just for lack of a better choice, we should all vote Democrat in November. To listen to Robert DeNiro denouncing Trump, please click here.

Transition Day. Da Nang, Vietnam, May 23rd, 2024. I have practiced Jnana Yoga since the late 1980s. Back then I got immersed in a deep, self-guided, daily practice that caught my mind as if it were a prey caught in the strong jaws of a powerful tiger. I spent a little over 3 years working every day almost solely on my practice and by the end of that period I was fortunate enough to attain the goal prescribed in that discipline. From that day on, the consciousness I acquired as a result of my efforts, has never left my mind. Today, I may sit down and write about politics on my computer, or go out, take some pictures and put together a photo album, or sit down for hours writing and producing music on my computer too but, while I am engaged in those activities, there is always that particular, universal consciousness present in the back of my mind. The term “transcendental”, as it pertains to the discipline of Jnana Yoga, refers to the “after-life” nature of the objective of the discipline. Yes, in the course of the practice you have to submit yourself to certain regimes that generate considerably high levels of mental and physical harmony but, unlike other Yoga disciplines, Jnana is geared toward specific transcendental purposes and final goals. The writing “Transition Day” elaborates on the moment in which we all transcend this existence and enter the next one, which is where we all originally came from and where we all belong. I wrote “Transition Day” back in January of 2012, while I was living for a few months in the city/country of Djibouti, Northeast Africa. The version you are about to read is a very-slightly edited version of the original one I wrote 12 years ago. To read “Transition Day”, please click here.

--- There is a new Original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (May 20th, 2024)

Was America the Rock-Solid Fortress Always Just a Fragile House of Cards? Da Nang, Vietnam, May 18th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) The longest-standing Democracy in the world, the One Nation with Constitutional equal rights for all, a country where reason stands proudly over basic passions and lower instincts, a society generally optimistic about the future, a system of government of the people, by the people, and for the people, the land of the free and the home of the brave. In other words: The United States of America. And then there is the laudable will of its citizens, always thriving to achieve a more perfect Union… wait… What am I talking about here? Am I talking about the United States as it was or about the United States as it is right now? Or, am I only talking about the United States as it was ideally conceived? Has America ever lived up to its ideals? No, it has not. Sociopolitical progress in America always seems to take two steps forward and one step backward, or one step forward and two steps backward but, in the long run, it has always seemed to be moving ahead. On January 20th, 2009, when Barack Obama was initially inaugurated as the first African-American President of the United States, the nation seemed indeed poised to take long strides toward achieving a more perfect Union. On that day, in the eyes of millions of Americans and in the eyes of the world, American ideals seemed quite within reach. On that day, the promise of equality of races and genders embedded in the American Democratic experiment was self-evident. Or so, many of us thought. Alas! Such hopeful vision was not shared by many influential Americans up in the circles of power. Quite the opposite. From that moment on, many Americans have stood on a war footing against the structures of government that facilitated Barack Obama’s advent to the White House. Obama shattered their perverted dream of an unwavering, constant, everlasting white-supremacist dominance over the American sociopolitical landscape and they saw the American Democratic and Judicial Systems as the direct culprits for such injurious offense. Ultimately, they thought it was the Constitution of the United States that had betrayed them. Something drastic had to be done about it. And if rigging the Democratic and Judicial systems and blatantly disregarding any Constitutional mandates didn’t do the job, those systems and documents would have to be disabled or eliminated. In other words, the United States would have to cease to be a Democracy and the rule of law, along with the American Constitution, would have to be replaced by the will of a strongman ruling over a one-party system of government. And those are the circumstances in which we find ourselves today. Most of us always thought of the United States as a rock-solid fortress that no sociopolitical or economic storm could bring down, but now it seems we may have been quite naïve in thinking that way. We never took into consideration that a domestic foe as powerful as the Republican Party could ever manage to undermine the foundations of the nation as much as they have, and we were utterly wrong on this count. America the rock-solid fortress is turning out to have been only a mirage all along. To the detriment of the whole world, the ominous way in which things are going, America may end up showing it was always just a fragile, vulnerable House of Cards.  

And the American Judicial System Be Damned!! Da Nang, Vietnam, May 17th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) Has the American Judicial System always been just? Has justice always been applied equally to all Americans regardless of social, political, or financial status? Definitely not. The system may have often been impartial, but not always and the same could be said about any other country’s judicial system. In America, however, there has often been at least an attempt to present the resemblance that everyone is equal under the law, but those days are now waning away rather fast. Just think about the House of Representatives’ Judiciary Committee, who keeps fabricating false cases against some of the Biden Administration’s functionaries, all of it as mere revenge for the criminal cases brought against Donald Trump. Or think about Aileen Cannon, the shameless judge doing everything in her judicial power to stall the case against Donald Trump’s indictment for criminally taking with him national security documents when he left the Presidency. Or think about Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife actively advocated to illegally, unlawfully invalidate the results of the 2020 presidential elections. And these are only a few examples of a larger number of similar cases. But things are not getting any better. Things are only getting worse, particularly because the stakes are getting much higher too. Now, there is clear evidence showing that rightwing Supreme Court Justice Samuel Alito displayed an inverted Star-Spangled Banner in the front yard of his home in Alexandria, Virginia, during the days immediately following the J6 Republican insurrection. In case you didn’t know, an upside-down American flag is a sign of distress warning that the country has been taken by hostile forces and needs to be rescued. This is a sign that has been used a few times in the history of the country, most recently during the “Stop the Steal” insurrectionist movement. And now picture this: Samuel Alito, a Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States openly taking sides on the crucial, existential case pertaining to whether ex-Presidents of the United States have total immunity from prosecution. Just picture one or more ultra-prejudiced, rightwing anti-American-Democracy Justices deciding what the future of the American Democratic System will be and ask yourself, what kind of justice can be expected from the Supreme legal authority of the nation? Does anybody still have any doubts as to the crucial, serious, existential threat American Democracy is under? Is anybody still as blind as not to see that the November elections could end up being the last democratic elections ever held in the United States? Justices Alito, Thomas, Cannon and perhaps all the other rightwing Justices of the Supreme Court, already have decided that the American sociopolitical system should NOT be based on any Democratic values. They have already decided that the United States should have an autocratic, dictatorial system of government in place. And the American Judicial System be Damned!! To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

 Nobody’s Right if Everybody’s Wrong. Da Nang, Vietnam, May 14th, 2024. Can anybody find any justification for the ongoing war in Gaza? The Palestinians, as embodied in Hamas, were outrageously wrong in committing their heinous, abhorrent, October 7 crimes against Israel, but the Israelis, as embodied in the person of Benjamin Netanyahu, are utterly and hideously wrong in their excessive retaliatory thrust which has already killed over 30,000 Palestinians and counting, including thousands of innocent women and children. In view of such intractable situation, many people just come back to square one and say: Let it be? Meaning, what use is there in looking for any glimmer of righteousness in a conflict where we have already determined that everybody’s wrong? The historical plight of the Israeli people is one of the strong reasons that I, along with many other Americans, stand firm on the side of Israel but, have you taken a look at the map of the region as it was in 1940 and the map of the region as it is today? Do we have to keep pretending to be blind in the face of Israel’s decades-long, blatant, illegal, massive, land grab? Or is it the American argument that, hey, we took the land from those inferior “Amerindians” a few centuries ago, why not let the Israelis do the same to those “inferior” Palestinians today? I stand firmly with Israel, but true friends have to tell the truth to their friends, otherwise we become accomplices of whatever it is our friends are doing wrong, which could easily make us guilty of willful, criminal amorality.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (May 13th, 2024)

The Sinking Feeling that Everything Might Just Go Catastrophically Off the Rails. Da Nang, Vietnam, May 11th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) How do you feel when you know that Trump-appointed Judge Eileen Cannon, the judge presiding over Trump’s Florida documents criminal case, recently postponed that trial indefinitely for no obvious, acceptable, legal reasons and you see how impotent the American Judicial System is in not being able to demand that a trial of such historical consequence be allowed to follow its normal, expected course of action? What else can we possibly glean from such serious Judicial anomaly but that the whole American legal System may just be rigged in favor of that Jan. 6 insurrection’s mastermind, Donald Trump? That demagogue fool is perfectly right in insisting that the American judicial system is rigged, but where he fails miserably is in not saying that the system is rigged in his favor. Just consider this: Two Impeachment trials where he was easily let off the hook, a Supreme Court that continues to hesitate as to whether ex-US Presidents are entitled to total royal immunity from prosecution, and an American Judicial System that continues to dither as to whether a convicted former Us-President should be thrown in jail. And that shameless, consummated liar, authoritarian demagogue still goes around saying that he’s the victim of a witch hunt? That he’s the target of political persecution from the part of the Biden administration? That guy has been the beneficiary of a level of leniency from the part of the American Judicial System that probably no other American citizen ever has. But that’s nowhere near enough for his MAGA religious devotees who demand total immunity for him. They want him invested with unlimited royal powers. They simply want him to be proclaimed the indisputable first-ever dictator of the United States. Trouble is, it is not only the MAGA rabble that demands such travesty. It is virtually the whole Republican Party, including powerful, influential Judges such as Eileen Cannon, and chief Justices of the Supreme Court such as Clarence Thomas and some of his colleagues. Given all these ominous Judicial anomalies, would you be surprised if the Jurors in the “Hush-Money” case found Trump not guilty of tampering with the 2016 elections? Would you be surprised if even just one rogue juror declined to find him guilty, thereby producing a hung jury, triggering a mistrial, and delaying the case indefinitely? I wouldn’t. That seditious, traitorous, anti-American aberration named Donald Trump has managed to sow an insidious seed of insurgency within the American Judicial and Democratic Systems that, if it doesn’t succeed sometime soon in reaping a harvest of deep, sociopolitical chaos in the country, it might take decades to uproot, if ever. We are living in a deep and consequential inflection point in the history of the United States. That is why it seems only natural to get a sinking feeling that the whole damn thing might just go catastrophically off the rails.

The Sixth. Da Nang, Vietnam, May 8th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) In watching “The Sixth”, a documentary recently released that shows footage and commentaries illustrating and narrating the insurgency that took place at the Capitol on January 6th, 2021, I was impressed by the astounding level of irrationality guiding the thousands of misguided Americans who stormed that building that day. Can you picture thousands of Americans shouting "USA, USA" while violently assaulting the Capitol Police and vandalizing the Capitol Building itself? It is something virtually unbelievable to watch. But, most of all, I was appalled to witness in a chronological order how then-President Donald Trump stood-by and, for 187 minutes, did nothing to stop the insurgency he himself had instigated. Dereliction of duty is NOT what that ex-President is guilty of for his criminal inaction on January 6th. What he is guilty of is treason. In not doing anything to stop the political violence that day, he not only betrayed his oath of office, he betrayed one of the foundational tenets of American Democracy: The peaceful transfer of power. And in so doing, Donald Trump turned the United States into a Banana-Republic, meaning, one of those countries where coup d’états and other illegal, unlawful, and/or violent means to overthrow governments were and still are common political means to achieve power. Since the end of the Civil War, the United States had elevated itself above such treacherous political maneuvering and had cast itself as an eminent defender of Democratic principles (barring a couple of Electoral College anti-Democratic interventions). Those pro-Democracy days are dead and gone. Today, a powerful, numerous and influential sector of the American population no longer believes that Democracy is the best system of government for the United States. To wholeheartedly accept that a Democratic System, as imperfect as it may be, is the best possible way to choose the country’s leaders requires clear thinking. It requires a mature level of rationality that allows people to understand that all other possible systems, be it a monarchy, a dictatorship, anarchy, or any other system of that sort, are highly flawed and not conducive to the wellbeing and the progress of nations. But when half the population regresses and reverts to religiosity and sheer devotion and adoration for one single demagogue individual, thereby eschewing the ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence and in the Constitution of the United States, the future of the country becomes very uncertain at best and highly ominous at worst. And that is precisely the situation in which we find ourselves today. Have you seriously thought about the high, very realistic possibility that the United States may soon cease to be a Democracy? Even if Donald Trump loses in November, which I think he will, what if he succeeds in inciting the hordes of his adepts to arm themselves to their teeth and take the White House by storm? And even if he doesn’t succeed in staging another coup, what will happen when a better-looking Marjorie Taylor-Greene or a more charismatic Matt Getz runs for President in 2028 on a Trumpian platform and with Trump’s total blessings? In case you haven’t noticed, Donald Trump is no longer the problem. Donald Trump has now become a sacred symbol for the masses of anti-Democracy, pro-White Supremacy, pro-Fascism Americans, which means that the real danger now resides at the heart of those millions of irrational, misguided Americans who cherish him and follow him. Well at the bottom, this is not, nor has it ever been, a purely partisan issue. This is a matter that pertains to all Americans, regardless of political or religious persuasion. Sadly, however, the documentary “The Sixth” may turn out being not only an explicit recounting of violent events past, but also a clear presage of violent events to come.

The GOP's Seditious, Criminal, Spoiled-Rotten, Child-Messiah. (Graphic) Da Nang, Vietnam, May 5th, 2024. I designed these collages to illustrate the GOP's Spolied-Rotten, perverted Child Messiah's obvious criminality. That avowed traitor suffers from moral gangrene of the infectious kind. To see the collages, please click here.

I Stand in Defense of the Palestinians. That Does NOT Make me Anti-Semitic. Da Nang, Vietnam, May 2nd, 2024. I stand against the indiscriminate killing of Palestinians in Gaza in the hands of the Israeli Army, but that does IN NO WAY make me an antisemitic individual. In very significant ways, I respect and admire Israel, to the point that since I have any memories of anything, I remember having always wished the Israelis all the blessings that they so rightfully deserve. Along the same lines, I have repeatedly condemned as forcefully as possible Hamas’ October 7 heinous crimes on Israeli soil. But in spite of all of my goodwill toward the Israeli people, I still stand against the Israeli Army's ongoing indiscriminate killing of Palestinians in Gaza. And I do so in full consciousness of the controversy attached to this serious issue, which makes me state that I in NO way agree with the acts of vandalism that some pro-Palestinian student protesters have been committing in some American Universities lately, nor with any of the extremist anti-Israeli statements that have been voiced there either. In spite of all that, however, if anybody for any reason whatsoever came to tell me that either I hate the Palestinians or I am anti-Semitic, I would have to give them my long two middle fingers and kindly ask them to go F--- themselves. I will not allow anyone to box me into any flagrant false dichotomy of that sort. I am 100% pro-Israel and it is precisely for that reason that I stand in defense of the Palestinians, so that the Israelis will not continue to soil their hearts and souls in such excessive, unnecessary manner that often borders on the criminal. Israel, don’t go into Rafah in full force. Such attack will quite likely cause yet more unnecessary casualties among the Palestinians. Hunt the remaining of Hamas’ criminals any other way you can, but stop the killing of inocent Gazans. Meanwhile, on my part, I don’t see any conflict of principles in being 100% pro-Israel and at the same time be standing against Israel’s indiscriminate killing of Palestinians. And if anyone ever disagrees with me on this specific point, well, I would just kindly tell them to go fly a kite.

Which Founding Fathers Do the Supreme Morons of the Supreme Court Have in Mind? (Political Cartoon) Da Nang, Vietnam, April 30th, 2024. If the Presidential immunity Hearings weren’t so serious and consequential, the pseudo-legal musings and hesitations of the Supreme “Conservative” Morons of the Supreme Court would be totally laughable. To see the cartoon, please click here.

I Didn’t Vote for Joe Biden in 2020. I voted Against Trump. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 29th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) The reason I voted Democrat in 2020 is NOT because I consider that Democrats are the best leaders the country deserves. I voted Democrat in 2020 and will do it again this year because, in the limited American political landscape, there is no better choice. There is no chance in a million years that I may ever vote Republican. No way! I love America and to be a Republican these days means to hate America. The United States is the most successful, longest-lasting sociopolitical experiment ever undertaken by any nation in the history of the world, yet, those Republicans, particularly those of the blind, MAGA, hardline persuasion, refuse to admit it. Their arrogance stultifies them to the point of being willing to throw it all in the garbage can if they don’t realize their narrow, Darwinist, proto-Fascist, Authoritarian misconception of the country. Yes, the sociopolitical waters that we Americans navigate in the United States are not as clean and clear as they could be, but American society still hovers among the top most progressive societies in the world. But those stupid Republicans don’t appreciate what they have in their hands, they don’t value as highly as they should the blessings that entail being a citizen of such exemplary nation. Or maybe some influential guys among them do actually value what they have, but they over-value it to the point of thinking that the United States is indestructible and immune to domestic forces that may ultimately cause it to disintegrate. And the Democrats are in no way off the hook in this situation. It is largely the Democrats’ fault that millions of disenchanted Americans fall prey to that pernicious MAGA demagoguery. It is the Democrats who abandoned the working and lower-classes of Americans, so that they now feel that hardly anybody in the US Government stands for their rights and their wellbeing. And the present situation also points to a certain failure in the primary and secondary school system in America where children were obviously not convincingly shown the reasons and the facts why the American Democratic and Judicial Systems are worthy of defending at all cost. For example, the moral values represented in the Declaration of Independence were obviously not instilled deep enough in the hearts and minds of those American children who, when they became adults, were easily persuaded to discard them as soon as a crooked, maliciously-talented demagogue asked them to. The bottom line is that it takes two to Tango, and the Democrats share in the responsibility for the dire situation America is presently going through almost as much as the Republicans do. As I said. I didn’t vote for Joe Biden in the 2020 elections, I voted against Trump. And the fact is that if Mickey Mouse had been running against Donald Trump in 2020, I would have voted for Mickey Mouse, as I would surely do it again in November, 2024.

Trumpers Desperately Need a Self-Imposed, Self-Administered, Morality-Rehabilitation Program. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 27th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) Picture you are a citizen of another country and in reading the international news on a daily basis you corroborate day after day, time after the time, that one of the two major candidates for the presidency of the United States is a raving lunatic who only keeps vomiting insults and threats against anyone who stands for the American Democratic and Judicial Systems. What would be your opinion of the people who support such ultra-unqualified candidate? What would you think about the United States if you knew that the presumptive nominee for the Republican Party, one of the two traditional American political institutions, is a cry-baby ninny drowning in his own self-pitying narcissism who still lacks the “cojones” to accept that he lost the 2020 elections by over 7 million votes and the Electoral College for 74 votes? A Putin-loving fool who promises in public to turn all of his political rivals into Alexei Navalnys if he’s ever sent to the White House again? What would you think of those American voters who consider such “cojones-less”, Putin-wannabe guy their hero and think that such sociopath proto-Fascist lunatic is the best-possible choice for President of the United States? Wouldn’t you be appalled to witness how such large number of Americans manage to put their intelligence in hibernation and allow their most basic, mistaken, hardline, rightwing instincts override their sound judgement? I am American, but over the past 20 years I have been contemplating from abroad how the dire sociopolitical situation in America keeps deteriorating to the point of being today on the brink of a political meltdown. From my informed perspective, therefore, all I can say is that any American who at this point in time still supports Donald Trump for President needs to undergo a self-imposed, self-administered, morality-rehabilitation program. For, if they don’t, the country may well already be headed down the road to perdition.

Nixon’s Republicans Were Still Patriots. Trump’s Are Anti-American Conspirators. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 25th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) Do you know why it took four years (FOUR YEARS!) for an Arizona Grand Jury to indict Rudy Juliani, Mark Meadows, John Eastman, Jenna Ellis and others for conspiracy to deprive the Arizonan electorate of their right to vote? Because until 2022, Arizona’s District Attorney was a Trump-nominated guy named Michael G. Bailey, who happens to be just another MAGA anti-American conspirator. Under Bailey’s supervision, the “Fake Electors” case, as it is known, was left to linger in limbo in the hope that it might eventually be forgotten. But in November of 2022, Kris Mayes, a Democrat, was elected Arizona’s Attorney General, and in 2023 she took it as her official duty to pursue the case according to Arizona State Laws. Just picture that if Mayes’ opponent, the Republican Abraham Hamadeh, had won that election, the case might have never been brought to this point, as he would have most likely stalled it indefinitely. Todays’ Republicans don’t seem to have the slightest respect for the country’s Judicial System. All they usually do is stand against any and all laws that may stand against their pseudo-messiah Donald Trump. “The Deep State”, they call it, by which they mean the Constitution of the United States and the American Judicial and Democratic Systems. Recall that, on Aug. 7, 1974, a small delegation of Republicans headed by Sen. Barry Goldwater (R-AZ) came to Nixon’s office and, in the name of preserving the sociopolitical cohesion of the country, basically asked him to resign as he would most surely be impeached by the Senate. The following day, Nixon resigned. In Contrast, Trump’s Republicans have, time and again, circled the wagons around him shielding him from every well-deserved punishment prescribed against him by US Law. No doubt the Republicans’ moral values have decayed and degenerated considerably since the times of Nixon, but that isn’t in itself the main problem facing the country. The United States has experienced powerful domestic threats against its integrity in the past, namely the Civil War, but never has that domestic foe been as pernicious and insidious as it is today. The Confederate separatists presented a head-on, armed challenge against our Constitutional Democracy, but the MAGA threat is internal, subversive. It is like a deadly political leukemia that runs through the nation’s vital Democratic bloodstream. An advanced gangrene constantly putrefying one of the nation’s two political legs, the Republican Party, whose only cure may be total amputation. Ronald Reagan wanted to minimize the power of the Federal Government in the affairs of the nation, but he wanted to do it within the law, through Democratic and Legislative means, not by destroying our Judicial and Democratic Systems like today's Republicans want. A Conservative Party is essential for the political balance of the nation, but the GOP is no longer a conservative institution. It is now a proto-Fascist, pro-Autocracy, authoritarian national organization. No one who consider themselves true Americans should stay passive in the face of such deadly threat as the one the Republican Party presents to our nation today. If you stand for the survival and the wellbeing of the Democratic and Judicial Systems of the United States, you have to vote against Trump in November. To read an article that elaborates on the Fake Electors indictment, please click here here.

The Reason I Can in no WayTrust China. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 23rd, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) Southeast and Northeast Asia don’t feel like a foreign environment to me. The only country I haven’t been to in that area of the world is Laos. Among the SE and NE Asian countries that I've been to, the ones that have the most affinity between them in terms of similar ethnicity, traditions and religious beliefs are China, South Korea, Japan, and Vietnam and among them, the friendliest people toward Westerners are the South Koreans, closely followed by the Vietnamese. The Japanese tend to be a bit distant and it is not easy to establish meaningful communication with them, while the Chinese are a mixture of characters. Some Chinese are easily approachable and responsive, some couldn’t care less about relating to foreigners, and some others can even be a bit hostile toward English-speaking visitors. But there is one very important trait that the Chinese have that most other Asians don’t. Once you have established a certain minimal trust with them, most Chinese end up telling you that one day China will tell the rest of the world what to do. Chinese civilization is one of the oldest in the world, dating from before the year 2,000 B.C. They used to call themselves “The Middle Kingdom”, or Center of the Earth, as their civilization was preponderant over the minor civilizations in their vicinity. But then, around the 1630s, the English started coming to China and in a matter of decades showed the Chinese that English civilization was much more advanced than theirs. Meanwhile, the Japanese, with their superior military capabilities, prevailed over the Chinese in the first Sino-Japanese war of 1894-95 and then took control of the Chinese Northeastern Region of Manchuria in 1931. By that time, the German Second Reich (1871-1918) had already established some minor enclaves in mainland China, as had the French and the US too. Those near-colonialist situations made the Chinese feel utterly disrespected, even insulted culturally. For that reason, the Chinese still carry today a large chip on their shoulders. Now, China is the 2nd economy in the world and their technological and military capabilities only keep growing as time unfolds. Overall, Sino-American relations are not clouded with much hostility, but don’t involve much trust either. And we all know of the very thin separation, if any, between the Chinese State and the general population. While teaching at the University of Nanning, Guanxi province, a few years ago, I witnessed how the young Chinese are indoctrinated into the so-called “Communist Party” ideology, which basically consists of instilling in them a blind obedience to the Party.* The US State Department is quite aware of that too, which explains why since July 2021, Chinese individuals studying at Yale, Harvard and other major US universities have been subjected to interrogations, searches, and even deportation whenever they come back to America from China. There is very meaningful scientific and technological research conducted by the students in those Universities, including in the field of AI, and it is imperative to know how deep and collaborative is the relationship between those Chinese students and their government back home. Recall that the one thing that the Chinese excel in, is in stealing and copying ideas and technology from wherever they can, particularly from the United States, so, all these precautionary measures appear perfectly appropriate to guys like me, who have lived in China long enough to have experienced first-hand the tight control the Chinese government exerts over all activities that take place within their borders. Enough already of all that legal and illegal transfer of information and knowledge to the Chinese so that they can end up using it against us and against the Western world at large. So, what's the reason I cannot in any way trust China? That the Chinese still carry a huge cultural chip on their shoulders and that they intend to someday prove to the world that they have always been “The Middle Kingdom”, meaning, the center of the world (Fat Chance) To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.
* NOTE: Quite contrary to popular mythology, China is not a "Communist" Country. China is a Capitalist country (2nd economy in the world) governed under a non-democratic, one-party, authoritarian system quite similar to the system of government MAGA Republicans would love to put in place in the United States.

One Rotten Apple Can Spoil the Whole Bunch Of. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 21st, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) In these uncertain days, when it comes to American politics, all bets are off. Sociopolitical possibilities that were absolutely off the table just barely 20 years ago, are now quite within reach of becoming our country’s reality. Just to disabuse those fellow Americans who still seem to live in the 20th century, allow me to emphasize that American-style neo-Fascist demagoguery is now an accepted part of American mainstream political discourse. Unfortunately, however, that is not a stand-alone mere simple fact. There are wide and deep ramifications and consequences to it. For one, the leaders of the Jan. 6 insurrection have not yet capitulated. Quite to the contrary, they seem to have adopted a “do-or-die” attitude regarding their obsession with turning our 248-year-old Humanist, Democratic Experiment into an authoritarian, autocratic, Darwinist sociopolitical aberration of government. And their nefarious efforts include whatever kind of pseudo-legal political treachery they can imagine. That is why it would be naïve not to envision what kind of mischief the Republicans might have in mind in order to derail or at least manipulate all of the criminal trials already lined up against Trump. This pertains particularly to the so-called “Hush-Money” case, which is in fact a 34-count indictment for falsifying business records with the criminal intention of hiding evidence that may have derailed Donald Trump’s bid for the Presidency of the United States in 2016. And it is at this point that John Grisham’s novel “The Runaway Jury” comes to mind. You might have read that book, which was first published in 1996, but most likely you saw the movie-adaptation of the novel, featuring Dustin Hoffman, Gene Hackman, John Cusack, and Rachel Weiz, which was released in 2003. The heart of the novel’s plot is that some of the jurors in a case against a gun manufacturer, are being illegally manipulated by an outside consultant for the defense. Does this sound like something that might actually happen during the Hush-Money case against Donald Trump? Of course it can happen. To think otherwise would be unforgivably naïve. Just keep in mind that, in dealing with Donald Trump, we are dealing with an individual with a near-total absence of morals, a near-zero love of country and an immeasurable, narcissistic love for himself. And now picture that you are a lawyer of considerable standing, like Todd Blanche and Susan Necheles, the current lawyers for Trump’s defense are, and you know that Donald Trump will go along with any of the most farfetched pseudo-legal plots and arguments you can imagine in order to try to save his skin, wouldn’t you propose to find ways to bribe, threaten, or coerce in any possible way any of the jurors in the Hush-Money case? Of course you would. Just keep in mind that all it takes for the Hush-Money case to be declared a mistrial is one single juror stubbornly standing for Donald Trump, meaning that just one single MAGA rotten apple juror can spoil the whole jury bunch of. This imaginary scenario should be of concern to the prosecution and to Judge Merchan, the judge presiding over the trial, for if it ever came true, the case would be declared a mistrial and would be seriously discredited and, although it wouldn’t be thrown out, it would be delayed, which is exactly what that perverted, totally-undeserving ex-President of the United States, Donald Trump, would like. And the beat goes on.

I am 100% Pro-Israel, but I also Know it Was Israel Who Attacked Iran First. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 19th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) On April 3rd, barely two days after Israel attacked the Iranian Embassy Complex in Damascus, Syria, killing 16 people and, most importantly, killing Iranian Brigadier General Mohammad Reza Zahedi and a few other IRGC officers, I, among other observers, clearly saw Benjamin Netanyahu’s nefarious fingerprints all over the place and openly denounced his self-preserving desire to escalate the war so as to ensure his position as commander of the Israeli armed forces. Now, as perfectly expected, Iran has retaliated against Israel with a volley of drones and rockets that, fortunately, were intercepted by American-made anti-ballistic defenses aided by the Jordanian Airforce and some additional logistics participation from neighboring countries. And what is it that we all read and hear all over the western media? That Iran just made a terrible mistake in retaliating against Israel! Excuse me!? Didn’t Israel openly provoke such retaliation by first bombing the Iranian Embassy in Damascus on April 1st? Shouldn’t Israel be the one to blame for making such irresponsible blunder? And now some Israeli officials are openly claiming that the Embassy attack was a miscalculation from their part and that at the moment they didn’t consider it as a provocation!? (See here) Excuse me again!? I am pro-Israel for my own deep-rooted personal reasons but, c’mon!! You don’t go poke the eye of an alligator and expect it not to snap its jaws back at you. Yet, the whole Western world seems to be reacting in the same lopsided way against Iran. The European Union, for one, just announced they will impose new sanctions on Iranian Drones and Rockets, but what about the fact that it was Israel who initiated this armed tit for tat with Iran? No responsibility on the part of Israel? I don’t sympathize at all with Iran’s oppressive theocratic regime, so, I am more than glad that Iran’s retaliatory attack did not cause the intended damage on Israel, but what is Israel going to do now? Retaliate against Iran so that, with their superior US-supplied weaponry they can inflict heavy infrastructure damage and human losses on Iran just like they already did in Gaza? And what can Iran be expected to do after that? Re-Retaliate? In short, a never-ending story. A lose-lose situation. The sole beneficiary in this escalating conflict is clearly Benjamin Netanyahu. For him, to succeed in escalating the war means to succeed in deflecting attention away from the impending trials for corruption that await him as soon as the war is over. But let’s no be confused by the one-sided version of events that are often broadcast through the mainstream Media these days. I am 100% pro-Israel, but that doesn't keep me from knowing that it was Israel who initiated the ongoing head-on hostilities with the Iranians. I am a longtime friend of Israel, but I also fervently believe that true friends have to tell the truth to their friends, particularly when our friends are in error. So, in the name of peace in the region and with a view to keeping Israel from further soiling its heart and soul, I strongly suggest to them not to retaliate against Iran or, if they have to do it, do it in a minor, mostly symbolic way, so as to avoid Iranian casualties at all cost. Otherwise, the chances of all hell breaking loose in the Middle East might only be greatly increased. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Are You a Pro-Justice American Feeling Like You’re Swimming Against the Tide? I am. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 17th, 2024. (To read this Commentary in the form of a Newspaper article, please click here) Let’s just tell it like it is. Even as the jury selection process is already underway for the first of Donald Trump’s four criminal trials, the American Judicial System has already proven not to be ready to deal with insurrectionist ex-Presidents like him. Obviously, the Founding Fathers never envisioned that the American voters would someday elect such corrupt individual to the presidency of the United States. They never imagined that the American people would someday be so blind as to fall for such an individual’s anti-American demagoguery. For that reason, they never thought it was necessary to inscribe in our Constitution any clear, easily-discernible guardrails against such kind of highly-pernicious domestic enemies. Nowhere in our Constitutional and Judicial Systems are there any specific guidelines as to how to deal with any ex-Head of State that shows such contempt for those very same Constitutional and Judicial Systems as much as Donald Trump has. Then came the Civil War of the 1860s, which showed us how naïve the founding fathers had been regarding their mistaken idealization of American patriotism. But we didn’t learn our lesson. After the war, in the name of reconciliation and clearly under the influence of pro-rebel, pro-cessation sympathizers, there were still no clear guardrails added to our founding documents against any similar future attempts to destroy our Democratic experiment. Aside from a vague, timid, Section 3 of the 14th Amendment, which is highly subject to interpretations of all kinds, there is nothing anywhere that provides our Judicial System with clear guidelines as to how to deal with high treason of the kind Donald Trump and his acolytes have committed against the United States. No clear mandates of any kind anywhere. Then there is the childish, ridiculous, soap-opera-like sentimentality displayed by even some of the salient anti-Trump personalities who say: “Oh, no, no, we cannot jail an Ex-president of the United States. That would divide the country even further”. Excuse me!? Where is those people’s sense of justice?! Where is their love of country!? Makes you wonder: Have Americans already elevated their presidents to the status of kings? But even if that were the case, recall that both King Charles I of England and Louis the XVI of France were beheaded on behalf of the people. So, what is happening in America? Elevating ex-Presidents to the levels of Royalty goes totally against the principles upon which our nation was founded. There is no valid excuse for allowing a four-time criminally indicted individual like Donald Trump to make such mockery of the American Judicial System as much as he has. No valid reason for showing such levels of leniency to someone accused of committing such serious crimes against the American Government either. Yet, here we are, still at the preliminary stages of judging crimes against the State that were allegedly committed sometime between four and eight years ago! No doubt about it. The American Judicial System has been showing the world some deep cracks in its foundations. The system has somehow managed to keep chugging along, but only in fits and starts and it is not clear at all whether the Supreme Court will ever come to the rescue of our Democratic System. We used to hold the American justice system as one of our badges of honor, but being a pro-Justice American these days feels like swimming against the strongest tide of authoritarianism in our history, while our entire Judicial System may just be teetering on the brink of a catastrophic failure. May the Universal Forces protect the United States of America.

Senator J.D. Vance (R-Ohio) and the Coward Republican Surrender Monkeys. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 15th, 2024. All those MAGA Republicans seem to be shaped with the same Trumpian characteristics, meaning, they are all a bunch of resentful, cry-babies, America-haters, character-weaklings, in desperate need of guts to be able to accept the adverse partisan reality facing them. Starting with their false messiah Donald Trump who, just like the little gutless, unmanly, chickenshit that he is, has not yet been able to accept that he lost the election in 2020, all his MAGA followers seem to be in the same cowardly boat, so deeply immersed in their hatred and resentment against their fellow countrymen of the pro-Democracy persuasion that, either they succeed in putting in place a proto-Fascist autocratic regime in America, or they are willing to throw the whole, exceptional American Democratic experiment down the toilet. Destroy, destroy, destroy. That seems to be their motto, which brings me to talk about Sen. J.D. Vance (R-Ohio). What a surrender monkey that poor guy is. And I mean “poor” in terms of moral values and knowledge of history. In an opinion piece he recently wrote for the New York Times, Vance proposes to allow Vladimir Putin to take whatever portions of Ukraine he wishes, arguing that the West, including the US, don’t have the necessary military resources to push Putin’s invasion back. Hey Vance! Have you ever read anything about Neville Chamberlain and Édouard Daladier? What they did in Munich, Germany, back in September of 1938? They basically handed carte-blanche to Adolf Hitler so that he could freely take the Sudetenland, an important part of what was then known as Czechoslovakia. And what did Hitler do? He took the whole country. But that was only the beginning as, when Hitler saw how craven and irresolute the leaders of the other major European powers, England and France, were, almost a year to that date he took Poland as well, there by initiating WWII. Hey Vance! You Moron! Has the blind faith that you profess for your false-messiah Trump lobotomized you to the point of rendering you totally unable to think? Can you not see the similarities between the Munich case and the Ukrainian one? On the other hand, it seems a bit difficult to buy that Vance can be as stupid as he appears to be in his article. His intentions in proposing to appease Putin have to be more Trumpian than that, meaning, much more nefarious. In proposing to allow Putin to annex Ukraine, Vance’s intentions are to further empower Putin, thereby increasing the possibilities that someday soon we may have a similar autocratic regime right here on American soil. No doubt about it. As shameful as our present sociopolitical reality may be, to succeed as a politician within the Republican Party in this day and age, you have to toe Donald Trump’s authoritarian line and that line leads only to the destruction of our Democratic and Judicial systems. So, what choice does J.D. Vance have but to play the role of surrender monkey before Putin? After all, it is none other than Donald Trump, Vance’s revered false messiah, who is always the first traitorous, shameless coward to kiss Putin’s ring. To read Vance’s opinion piece, please click here.

A Trump Acquittal in the Hush-Money Trial May Send the US Down the Drain. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 13th, 2024. Going scot-free in the Hush-money trial would make Donald Trump look invincible in the eyes of his adoring religious fans and his “messianic” stature would only grow in the delusional perception of all those mistaken Christo-Fascist fellow Americans (Sorry, Christian-Nationalists. It is imperative that you snap-out of your nightmarish Trumpian delusion) As things stand today, the chances of any of the other pending Trump trials to actually take place before election day will only grow dimmer as the year unfolds. Jury selection for the Hush-Money trial is slated to start on Monday, April 15th, in what will prove to be a difficult task for everyone involved. Does anybody in America NOT have an opinion about Donald Trump? Most importantly, does anybody in New York not have any preconceived notion about such notorious New Yorker, famous for his swindling and stiffing all kinds of people on his decades-long way to the White House? For that reason, many people in the know claim there is no way Trump can get a fair trial in New York, but I think those people’s reasoning is way upside-down. American justice provides for defendants to be judged by 12 of their peers, right?  And what better, legitimate, qualified peers can there be for a New Yorker like Trump to be judged by than his own fellow New Yorkers? Impartiality is a difficult trait to find when dealing with bombastic, insulting, loud-mouthed, highly-dislikeable-yet-messianic-like defendants like Trump. The best jurors the 42-question questionnaire can screen are people who already have an opinion about Trump, but are willing to be swayed one way or the other by the arguments presented by the defense and the prosecution (To read the Jurors' Questionnaire + Judge Merchan's Introduction, please click here). Jury selection may take up to six weeks to complete, which may take us into the week of April 22nd, when the Supreme Court will hear the case about Trump’s immunity from prosecution. If the Supreme Court eventually rules that American Presidents have total immunity from prosecution for whatever crimes they might have committed while in office, say goodbye to the United States as we know it for two obvious, catastrophic reasons: 1) All criminal charges against Donald Trump will immediately be dropped, which will greatly enhance his ability to sail directly back into the White House in November and, 2) Either him, or any other amoral, utterly-corrupt individual like him who gains the presidency, could easily become a Dictator, violating at will any and all Constitutional and Judicial provisions, jailing or executing all possible political rivals who stand against him, knowing that he will be perfectly untouchable whenever he leaves office. The Hush-Money case is a very important one, though not the most important of the four criminal cases against Trump. Let the jury selection begin on Monday, so that at least we know that the wheels of American Justice do inexorably grind-on. As for the future of the country, we can only hope that the Supreme Right-Wing Morons of the Supreme Court haven’t been rendered totally blind by their proto-Fascist, pro-Trump religiosity, and that they keep at least a vital modicum of love of country in their hearts, at least enough to make them rule in favor of Democracy in the United States of America.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (April 10th, 2024)

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (April 7th, 2024)

Trump’s Dark Plans Are Benign Compared to those of the Deep "Conservative" Cabal. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 6th, 2024. Since the end of the Civil War, there have always been Americans who are by no means willing to accept the evolutionary path the American Sociopolitical environment has taken up to the present day. They just refuse to recognize the universality of the human values expressed in the Declaration of Independence that are expounded as law in the Constitution of the United States. For them, Darwinism is the word. The difference between the tolerable anti-US dissidence they started showing during the Reagan years and the open straightforward insurrectionism they show today is that now they have come out of the closet, they have proudly unmasked themselves, they took the gloves off, they have thrown away any resemblance of political normalcy in America. To hell with all of it, they say. They no longer want to just throw the murky bathwater out the window, they want to throw the baby out the window too. Their pro-elite zeal and their deep contempt for the common American’s wellbeing has polluted their moral bloodstream and their thought processes so deep as to have them daydream they will someday revert our weak, barely-sufficient American Administrative State to a pre-New-Deal condition. A form of Darwinism basically seen in a characteristic, textbook way during feudal times. And the appalling thing is that they are plotting to do it right out in the open for everyone to see. There are at least three well-known American clusters of people whose plans for the future of America look like a plot written by fiction writers a la John Le Carré, except that there is nothing fictitious about it. Americans of the ultra-extreme right wing are in no way fantasizing when they write their Fascist manifestos. They write what they mean and they mean what they write. In their wicked designs, Donald Trump is basically a strategic pawn, a useful lunatic, someone they can help elevate to the presidency of the United States and once there manipulate him at will as the narcissist puppet that he is. The three main groups of anti-American schemers are not working in the dark on their nefarious projects any longer. They actually publish their clearly-defined plans so that the whole world can know about them. Among those seditionist associations there is: 1) The Federalist Society, 2) the cluster of hardline right-wing associations with offices located at the intersection of Third Street Southeast and Independence Avenue on Capitol Hill, better known as “Patriot’s Row”, and 3) The Heritage Foundation, the creators of Project 2025 (see here). The guys who work for those projects are not asleep at the wheel of their American Fascist enterprise. They saw that Trump’s first attempt at dismantling the Administrative State was proof enough that their Fascist enterprise is feasible and they realized that all they need to do to succeed the second time is to organize themselves much better, so that the 2024 elections may end up being the last Democratic elections in the United States. If you think this sounds like a conspiracy theory you are only half wrong, as this is not just a theory at all, but a full-blown complot already outlined in documents that are accessible to everyone. Whoever may be thinking that Donald Trump is the greatest menace facing American Democracy today, should perhaps look a bit deeper into the structures of power within the so-called “Conservative” movement in America for, when it comes to politics, things are very seldom only what they seem to be. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Netanyahu is Trying to Escalate the War so that He May Stay in Power. Da Nang, Vietnam, April 3rd, 2024. "You don’t change horses in midstream", goes the saying, meaning that you don’t make essential changes to your plans while already implementing them. This saying applies particularly when changing leaders in the middle of a political or military campaign, and that’s precisely what Benjamin Netanyahu would like the Israeli people to think if he escalates the war to levels that seriously threaten the general stability of their nation. In attacking Lebanon, Iran, and Syria, Netanyahu expects that, when those countries retaliate, the perceived threat to Israel’s existence will be so serious that the Israelis will have to put up with him as the wartime leader of their only choice. It is unwise to think of Netanyahu as a normal human being. We can only think of him as a wounded animal besieged by enemies of his own creation, his corrupt behavior of the past. It seems that his only choice for survival is to drown his legal/moral problems in the blood of his neighboring rivals so that his political standing may seem to be restored to its pre-indictment status. Don’t expect Netanyahu to have scruples of any kind when it comes to keeping himself free from the consequences that his pending trials for corruption can bring upon him. Morally-corrupt individuals of the Trump-Netanyahu kind will not stop at anything on their way to obtaining their criminal, perverted, self-serving purposes. We, pro-Israel people, can no longer be fooled into being sympathetic to Netanyahu simply because he is an Israeli of renown. Whether we like or not, Israeli people are only human beings too, just like the rest of us, and as such they are subject to corruption, particularly when they have held strong positions of power like Netanyahu has. Just recall that Israeli ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert ended up cleaning prison floors for 16 months as he served part of his sentence for corruption. There are no two ways about this. Israel has to change proverbial horses even in this proverbial midstream. Netanyahu has to go, or Israel may end up mired in a war against its neighbors for the foreseeable future. To read an article that addresses the subject, please click here.

I Stand 100% With the Israeli People Against Benjamin Netanyahu. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 31st, 2024. The Israeli people have taken to the streets of Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, Haifa, Be’er Sheva, Caesarea and other cities demanding that Benjamin Netanyahu leave power. How blind can we Americans on both sides of the isle be about our continuing stubborn support for such an alleged war criminal? Can we not see that Netanyahu no longer represents Israel, if he ever did? Netanyahu is not waging war against Hamas and the Palestinians for the sake of Israel. For desperate Bibi, the main, primordial thing at stake in that near-genocidal war is NOT the wellbeing and the security of Israel, but to give it an irrational, murderous try at salvaging whatever is left of his self-inflicted, botched political career. He is a corrupt guy who blew it while in power before the war and saw Hamas’ October 7 terrorist attack as a blessing for him, as a way to redeem himself before the eyes of the Israeli people by massacring innocent Palestinians in the name of a justifiable war of revenge. But he blew it again, for he has way overdone it. His lack of morals have come to the surface once again. The whole world can see that Benjamin Netanyahu is just a corrupt, politically-wounded animal quite conscious of his irredeemable, self-inflicted moral and legal wounds, desperately looking for a way out of his fateful predicament. He knows in all certainty that his chances for surviving politically are, at best, near zero, but he is willing to take down with him the lives of as many Palestinian children, women, and men as he can. Such is Benjamin Netanyahu’s amoral present quest, as is that of all those mini-Trumps of the world: Their way or the scorched-earth way. And it is just mind boggling to think that a good number of us Americans support both those corrupt, amoral guys. I have some fellow-American friends who are just wonderful people and I have Jewish friends who don’t cease to impress me with their kindness and friendliness. And in my travels over the past 20 years, I have also come across people of different nationalities and ethnic groups who have shown me in no uncertain ways a cross-cultural and cross-ethnical friendliness that has felt as natural as it has felt remarkable. But as far as the human race is concerned, I still cannot overcome my disappointment, as it often seems that our capacity for learning from our mistakes is perhaps the weakest of them all. In spite of that, however, I remain optimistic that, at least in my lifetime, we are not going to blow up the whole world to smithereens. To read an article that elaborates on the Israeli issue, please klick here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (March 30th, 2024)

Are MAGA Christians Arrogant Hypocrites, Insanely Delusional, or Just Plain Stupid? (Updated on March 31st) Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 29th, 2024. Disclosure: I am not a religious person. I am not Buddhist, Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, or Christian, nor anything else. I have my own transcendental philosophy. - As we all know, Donald Trump is now hawking bibles trying to fleece his blind, delusional, morally-lost believers out of their hard-earned money so that he can pay for his legal bills while making them believe he is a true Christian. Only in America can this kind of massive scam stand a chance to succeed. First of all, aside from the New Testament, there is not much else evidence that Christ ever existed but, if he did exist, he was one of the kindest and humblest men to have ever walked this earth, a true messenger of universal brotherhood and hope. Yet, millions of MAGA Christians somehow see Christ incarnated in their pessimist, arrogant, foul-mouthed, hatred-filled, scamming, conniving, consummated-liar, false messiah Donald Trump. "The imperfect vessel", they call him, "the Orange Jesus". Is this what Christian beliefs have finally degenerated down to? Is this the level of moral bankruptcy currently plaguing the Christian community in America? Shame on the American Christian pastors, priests, and preachers who don’t denounce and condemn the glaring hypocrisy of such corrupt, ill-willed individual. But we have to ask ourselves: What is it that MAGAmerican Evangelicals and their fellow MAGA Christian travelers think they are getting out of supporting Trump’s vile, seditious, anti-American agenda? The possibility of an eventual bible-based theocracy in the United States where their anachronistic view of the world will reign supreme over a totalitarian Taliban-like Christian regime? Evil alliances between Christianity and murderous regimes have occurred in the past and are very well documented. Popes Pius XI and Pius XII both acquiesced to Adolph Hitler’s systematic extermination of the Jewish people. And they did so for two main reasons: a) in an effort to spare as much as possible the German Catholics from Nazi persecution and b) as a means to exert revenge against the Jews for the fact that it was their ancestors who crucified Christ. Are today’s MAGA Christians willing to terminate the American experiment by throwing the American Democratic and Judicial Systems down the toilet? All of it in the slim hope that their dark, Fascist, false messiah Donald Trump may someday soon lead them to their chimeric, anachronistic “promised land”? Can MAGA Christians have lost their moral compass to the point of now being THAT delusional? As I say, I am not a religious person, but I do feel compelled to suggest to all MAGAmericans of the Christian persuasion that they pray with all their hearts to their god so that he may illuminate their weak, dangerously-confused minds and bring them back into the light of reason, for if they don’t wake up soon from the evil spell their false messiah, Donald Trump, has cast on them, there is a high chance the whole country could soon be dragged across the gates of hell. An Earthly hell. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Does NBC’s Top Leadership Have any Moral Principles? Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 27th, 2024. What were Carrie Budoff Brown, who oversees NBC News political coverage; Rebecca Blumenstein, the NBC News president; and Rashida Jones, the MSNBC president, thinking when they concurred that NBC should hire the rabid MAGA-lunatic Ronna McDaniel? And what kind of contorted, convoluted thoughts had Cesar Conde, chairman of NBCUniversal News Group, in mind when he approved those executives’ thoughtless, irresponsible recommendation? Are there any principles and moral values guiding those individuals’ professional decisions? Are they so arrogantly self-assured as to think that the American people and the rest of NBC’s personnel wouldn’t care about preserving one of the most essential pillars holding the United States together, our Democratic System? What kind of psychotic stupidity is plaguing the minds of those NBC executives that allows them to make such glaring blunders, particularly at the highly-uncertain political junction that the country is presently in? Hey stupid NBC Executives! You don’t reward with a US$300,000 a year job anybody like Ronna McDaniel who has openly stabbed American Democracy in the back. Fortunately, you were smart enough as to revert your asinine decision and had NBC break ties with that seditious MAGA snake and, for that, I have to thank you. But, still, you have to learn your lesson, so that you will avoid playing the role of unprincipled fools in the future. And hats off to journalists Chuck Todd, Rachel Maddow (thanks Rachel), Nicolle Wallace, and Joe Scarborough for standing up for the rest of us, but mainly for standing up for American Democracy. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Rewarding Seditious Republicans Who Stabbed American Democracy in the Back. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 26th, 2024. Have you heard the news? NBC, one of the most watched TV channels in the United States, is hiring Ronna McDaniel as a paid Contributor. In case you didn’t know, Ronna McDaniel was the Chair of the Republican National Committee from 2017 to early 2024 and has been for a few years one of the loudest election deniers of them all. According to NBC, the idea behind such asinine, almost-traitorous hiring is to air a diversity of political opinions during the crucial Presidential elections upcoming in November. Excuse me? Hiring an avowed election denier as “impartial” contributor during the 2024 elections? Hiring an individual who persistently mocked the legal decision of over 60 American courts of law that stated there was no relevant fraud in the 2020 elections? Hiring someone who loudly and constantly cried electoral foul after being repeatedly told by some of the highest American electoral authorities that the 2020 elections were the most scrutinized elections in American history and were, therefore, the most legitimate elections ever held in the country? And now, in order to secure this job, she appears before the TV cameras shamelessly backtracking on all those dangerously-seditious, anti-American statements she publicly and loudly embraced for over 6 years? And NBC now expects the American public to trust her and take their political comments as fact-based veracities based on her supposedly-unbiased electoral assessments? As RNC Chair, Ronna McDaniel held one of the most powerful positions within the Repubican Party and with full premeditation she used that power to try to overturn the 2020 elections in favor of the loser Donald Trump. And now, in what appears to be a reward for her traitorous actions, NBC is providing her with a wide national platform where she can express, perhaps even as innuendo, her perverse, insurrectionist, anti-American ideas? Is NBC becoming FOX-Light? Are they trying to hedge their bets just in case the Republicans’ Fascist Messiah wins in November? In hiring Ronna McDaniel NBC is rewarding an avowed proto-Fascist individual who has openly and vehemently tried to demolish the American Democratic System. It is in engaging in blind, illogical acts of this sort that American “Liberals” irresponsibly cross the line between Democratic ideals and just plain, unashamed stupidity. You don’t reward with praise and recognition anybody who has intentionally tried to stab the heart of one of your most vital and cherished national institutions: American Democracy. In hiring Ronna McDaniel, NBC is not only condoning her mendacious, seditious anti-American behavior, but rewarding her for it too. Shame on NBC. Shame on NBC News. In embracing Ronna McDaniel, NBC may not only be doing a great disservice to their viewers but, most importantly, they may be doing a grave and irreversible disservice to American Democracy. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Rabid Republican Jackals Obsessed with Terminating the American Experiment. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 24th, 2024. The Rabid Anti-American Jackal Marjorie Taylor-Greene’s unquenchable thirst for national confrontation, destruction, and violence is in full display again. Any elected Republican daring to show any desire to move the country forward, be it the Speaker of the House or whoever else it may be, is threatened to be thrown out of office by Taylor-Greene, Matt Gaetz, Jim Jordan, or any other member of that pack of seditious, rabid, MAGA Jackals. They are getting desperate. They know their Fascist Messiah is not going to be reelected in November and they are preparing the grounds for an armed uprising if necessary. They know their delusional, traitorous lunacy will never contaminate the minds of a significant majority of Americans, so they are getting ready for the inevitable post-November 5th confrontation. For the moment, they just keep trying to discredit our Democratic and Judicial systems, so as to sow as much distrust in the American Government as possible. And if they can manage to defund the entire US Government and bring the whole country to a halt they will do it. You better wake up, as the dark, nefarious plots they are concocting this time may probably make the Jan. 6 failed uprising look like a children’s game. Make no mistake, those MAGA jackals like Taylor-Greene et al., don’t love the same United States that you and I love. Many of those guys, starting with the dangerous lunatic at the top, long to put in place a dictatorship in America. Just listen to what they say and you will know what I mean. And most of their foot soldiers don’t even know what they are talking about. There is no possible discussion with them. Their arguments are acts of faith, not exercises in reasoning. Their statements are based on quasi-religious beliefs, not on facts, or statistics, or any other kind of reliable information. There is no possible rational, civilized discussion with them. They just ingest the proto-Fascist propaganda spewing out of FOX News on a daily basis and they take the word of the MAGA leaders, guests, and anchorpeople that appear there as the word of god. As far as I have understood it, those MAGA guys live in a delusional, faith-based world where an apocalyptic vision of America has become reality and hatred against anyone who disagrees with them is an essential part of their daily predisposition. And if you are a religious person, you better start praying to your god that that deeply deranged fascist Messiah doesn't gain the presidency ever again for, if he does, the America you and I have known all our lives will be gone for good. If he loses, as I expect he will, the resulting proto-Fascist backlash may produce dangerous unforseeable consequences, but at least we will have renewed the possibility that American Democracy may survive for a few more years. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Abusing Jewish History to Justify Atrocities Against the Palestinian People. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 21st, 2024. I am a pro-Israel individual. I stand on my two feet in defense of Israel’s right to exist as a sovereign nation in the Levante. I love Israel for my own personal reasons and I admire the Israeli people for their resolve and tenacity in the face of seemingly unsurmountable historical adversities. Let there be no doubt about it. I stand for Israel. But, in all honesty, I cannot condone what the Israeli armed forces have been doing in the Gaza Strip. It is way too much for me to keep quiet about it. It is an exaggeration. What the Israeli forces are doing there is no longer a justifiable retaliation for Hamas’ October 7th criminal, terrorist attack on Israeli soil. For the past few days, that situation has smelled more like a ruthless, murderous political maneuver from the part of the three-times-indicted Benjamin Netanyahu to gain the grace of the Zionists and other Israeli extreme-right war-mongers so that he may stand a chance to shore up his political career. And this is something that was clear to many of us long before Chuck Schummer, the US Senate Majority Leader, called Netanyahu an impediment to peace on March 14th and called for elections in Israel so that Netanyahu could be deposed. Something’s rotten in Jerusalem and the stench of it is coming right out of the Knesset. As Americans, we all know what it means to be seriously mistaken in the decisions we make at the International level. We know first-hand what it means to be blinded by a justifiable desire for revenge, like the one we all felt after 9/11, but at the same time we know what it is to be blatantly wrong for initiating uncalled-for, deadly, unnecessary wars like the one we staged in Iraq. I will not concur with the idea that Israel is right even when it’s wrong. If my friends or the members of my family are wrong in what they’re doing, I tell them so in the hope that they will be able to mend their ways. When it comes to Israel, I cannot acquiesce to what the Israeli Army is doing in Gaza. Chuck Schummer is the highest-ranking Jew in Congress and he’s right in calling for Netanyahu to go. We all have to ask Israel to stop committing atrocities against the Palestinian people. Go back home, Israel. You have already damaged Hamas beyond repair and you have already avenged the victims of the October 7th massacre. Stop tainting the heart and soul of your beloved nation with the blood of innocent Palestinians. Pack your bags, go back home, and start mending fences with your Arab neighbors in general and your Palestinian neighbors in particular. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Will America no Longer Be the Serene, Enviable Eye of the Storm? Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 20th, 2024. There is a famous French proverb dating from the early 1700s that says “God always helps fools, lovers and drunkards”. A little over 100 years later, the Portuguese Diplomat José Correia da Serra, better known as the Abbé Correa, who lived in America from 1812 to 1820, modified the proverb so that it said “There is a providence that protects drunkards, children, and the United States of America.” The modified proverb was later erroneously attributed to Otto von Bismarck, the leader/founder of Germany’s 2nd Reich (1871 to 1918) but the evidence against that ascription is rather convincing. While the whirlwinds of fate have whipped the world with international and domestic wars, famines and catastrophes, it has often seemed that America is anchored and immovable in the serene eye of the storm, where everything is relatively safe and calm. My question is, are those real or imaginary divinely-protected days finally coming to an end for our nation? The singer-songwriter Neil Diamond referred to America as the Eye of the Stom in his song “America”, which he performed live on July 3rd 1986, during the opening ceremonies for the 100th anniversary of the Statue of Liberty, with President Ronald Reagan presiding over it. Diamond’s song has lyrics that say: “On the boats and on the planes, They're coming to America, Never looking back again, They're coming to America, Got a dream they come to share, They’re coming to America”, which is clearly a hymn to the American Immigrant. But if things had been back then as they are right now, most elected Republicans of the moment would have probably stormed out of the ceremonies and jeered at Reagan as he listened with glee to Neil Diamond’s pro-immigrant song. Things have been going amok in America since those days. The time when the Republican Party still believed in American Democracy is long dead and gone. Reagan’s dream of a “shining city on a hill” has now degenerated into Trump’s nightmarish “We are a failing nation… We are a nation that lost its confidence, willpower, and strength. We are a nation that has lost its way”. Really? Does anyone really believe America is now in such lamentable shambles? A MAGAmerican guy from Wisconsin I met the other day at a sidewalk bar/restaurant here in Ho Chi Minh City was passionately telling me that “America is dying”, offering as proof that he saw some immigrants washing car windshields at traffic stops in Denver, Colorado. Before walking away from him I just told him to recall that the American economy is No. 1 in the world, and by quite a large margin too. That poor guy’s ignorant defeatism begged the question: Would MAGA people remain so enthralled with Trump’s fatalist, authoritarian demagoguery if they were better informed? Some of them probably wouldn’t, but a good majority of them would probably never recant the religious fervor they profess for their Fascist Messiah. This means that the shining beacon of hope, the serene and enviable eye of the storm that America has thus far been to the rest of the world, is in serious danger of being no more. All this leads to a very simple question and answer. You want to keep American Democracy alive? Don't vote Republican in November. To listen to Neil Diamond’s “America”, please click here. (There may be a couple of adverts at the begining)

An American Ex-President Predicts a National Bloodbath if He’s Not Reelected. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 18th, 2024. It may still sound unbelievable to some, but that’s exactly the state of political affairs we have in the United States today. One of the two candidates for President is a four-times criminally indicted, power-drunk, self-serving, wannabe-autocrat ex-President who is willing to lead his own country down the road to pandemonium if he doesn’t gain the presidency again. “If I don’t get reelected…it’s going to be a bloodbath for the country”. That’s literally what the current republican Standard Bearer said at a rally in Vandalia, Ohio, this past Saturday March 16 (see here). Outrageous? Alarming? Unamerican? Not anymore. By now, such failed-state-like rhetoric is all but part of the Republican Party’s general political discourse. Do you hear any of the McConnels, Johnsons, Cruzes, or Taylor-Greenes asking their presidential candidate to tone down his ill-willed, anti-Democracy, inflammatory tirades? Ha! Not in a million years. They may not cheer their Fascist messiah in public this time around, but in private they’re quite likely raising their champagne glasses in his honor. And don’t expect the Democrats to wrap themselves in the American flag to denounce in any significant manner Trump’s totally unamerican transgressions. They will just pretend nothing has happened. The country is sleepwalking toward a sociopolitical precipice in November and the consequences of such fall nobody has the slightest idea how serious or irreparable they will be. But the Democrats just keep making love to the Republicans while the latter are relentless in their efforts to finally establish a theocratic autocracy in the United States. And please don’t’ claim not to know that over the past four years MAGA Republicans have been openly concocting ways to disrupt and invalidate the November elections at the State level. By experience, they now know that Donald Trump will most likely lose the popular vote by at least 7 million votes, but they also know that the HIGHLY UNDEMOCRATIC Electoral College can be manipulated at least to the point of casting dark shadows over the validity of the elections, thereby wreaking havoc all over the country, which is the outcome their Fascist messiah longs for. As things stand today, the deeply troubling question is not what malevolent tricks the Republicans are getting ready to pull to try to steal the election again. The real, crucial question is, if the Democrats aren’t willing to stand up in full force against those proto-Fascist Maga Republicans, who will? To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (March 17th, 2024)

When Being Mr. Nice Means Being Mr. Wrong. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 13th, 2024. Corrupt people cannot be lead by example. Amoral, unprincipled people cannot be shamed back into civil, moral behavior. Friendliness can sometimes be the wrongest approach to solving intractable differences. Olive branches should only be offered to those willing to reconsider their position or, as a minimum, only to those willing to negotiate a middle ground. You are not a good guy if you keep smiling while being constantly spat on your face by your rivals. Only in total defeat can the depraved stand a chance to mend their ways. - Are any of these statements hard to comprehend? Why is it so difficult for some people to realize that there are some others who really wish to inflict serious, even deadly harm on them? Unwillingness to recognize the grave threat others represent to us usually happens when the threat comes from a well-known or even beloved individual or group of people. When an old friend or an old associate suddenly becomes our worst enemy, not everyone knows what to do about it. There is no natural behavioral formula guiding us out of such a challenging, unpleasant situation. Emotions and feelings crowd our minds and if, on top of that, we feel like the only way out implies having to somehow violate our principles, it becomes very difficult to take determinant, decisive action. But we cannot insist on being unconditional Mr. Niceguys when our rivals insist on being total Mr. Assholes and it is about time the Democrats came to that unavoidable conclusion. No more Mr. Niceguys, Democrats. Even Joe Biden's State of the Union this past March 7th was way too nice, as he even romanticized Lindsey Graham’s despicable MAGA behavior. Throughout his speech Biden was afraid to denounce the Republicans’ open support for proto-Dictator Donald Trump. He failed to point a finger at them for not condemning Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and in so doing he gave them an unintended pass. Joe Biden hasn’t yet learnt his lesson and neither have the rest of those ninny Democrats like A.G. Merrick Garland. The Democrats keep banking on the fact that tens of millions of Americans like me will never vote for a Fascist proto-Dictator like Trump, so they rest assured that Biden will most likely prevail in November. But even if and when we win in November, the Democrats will still be wrong in playing Mr. Niceguy to those morally-depraved Republicans who no longer wish to have a Democratic System of Government in America. It is not yet too late to wake up Democrats. Stop playing Mr. Niceguy to the Republicans’ Mr. Asshole, as in so doing you are only playing Mr. Wrong. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (March 10th, 2024)

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (March 7th, 2024)

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (March 6th, 2024)

WARNING! The Supreme Morons Keep Going Rogue. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 5th, 2024. The ongoing Supreme Court's drift toward autocracy has to be nipped in the bud before it is too late. The Supreme Morons keep deifying themselves and now they feel broadly entitled to go rogue. And the Constitution of the United States be damned. Supreme Court decisions have been disregarded or overturned a few times in the past and it appears to be high time to do it again. Those nine justices have to be held accountable in one legal way or another and, if necessary, by us, the American people, openly refusing to abide by their anti-Democratic dictates. As a first step, a group of judicial and/or Congressional authorities should demand a clear explanation as to why section 3 of the 14th Amendment cannot be applied to the traitor-citizen Trump. The question they need to be forced to answer is NOT whether the states have the authority to ban the insurrectionist traitor-Trump from their State ballots. The question they need to answer is why do they think the Constitution of the United States does NOT bar traitor-Trump from holding any elected government position at all. Nothing in Section 3 of the 14th Amendment says insurrectionist ex-presidents are an exception to the section’s provisions. As Americans, we cannot just sit back and allow those nine individuals’ clearly pro-Autocratic decisions to stand. I don’t think there is any single doubt in any American mind of sound judgement, that this Supreme Court is clearly tilted toward pro-Fascist, authoritarian ideas. We all know that particularly those six justices appointed by Republican presidents are in favor of a traitor-Trump return to the White House. We all know it. Are the Democrats just going to sit back and take it straight up the **tt? Somebody, either a political association, an association of judicial scholars, a well-formed group of concerned citizens, somebody has to stand up and challenge the Supreme Court’s latest decision that basically emasculates section 3 of the 14th Amendment. This is the Constitution of the United States they are irresponsibly messing with. These decisions have a strong bearing on the future of our Democracy. Are we all just supposed to sit back and watch how these heavily-mistaken MAGAmericans dismantle our Democracy? Wake up America. This is no longer, nor has it ever been, a joke. Those MAGA guys keep slowly but steadily undermining the foundations of our Democratic, Judicial, and Constitutional System of Government. Something has to be done about this and it has to be done sometime soon. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

I Didn’t Vote For Biden in 2020. I voted Against Trump. Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam, March 4th, 2024. And I will do the same in 2024. Biden is for sure a much, much better person than his Republican opponent will ever be, but that is, in my view, the strongest, commanding factor that makes me vote for Biden. Actually, as I have mentioned in the past, if Mickey Mouse were running for president against Trump, I would still vote for Mickey Mouse. I don’t think Biden’s age is the sole problem with him. His age in years is not really what is wanting in his performance as President. It is mostly his old, stiff, outmoded political way of thinking and his willing or unwilling inability to upgrade it to the present times. He still seems to think that deep down inside the Republicans love the same America that he has loved all his life, and there is where he falls almost completely out of the present reality. He just doesn’t appear to have grasped the gravity of the moment our country is presently going through. He still seems to view American domestic politics as a game between two football teams or, even more naively, between two Baseball teams, where the play is much slower. He still expects that, after playing the political electoral “game” everything will go back to “normal”. Except that business as usual is no longer usual at all. He probably thought that by playing the role of the cool, “wise”, contented grandpa to America, he would lower the political temperature, dial down the divisive Republican rhetoric and bring the country back together. But he was wrong. Such performance might have been OK before 9/11 or maybe even in 2016, right after the Obama administration, but certainly not today. The deeply divisive Trump factor has altered the American political landscape perhaps forever and Biden still seems unable to understand that. The same goes for that Meek Mouse Merrick Garland, the Attorney General of the United States. At last he seems to be waking up to reality, as he delivered his maybe-too-little-too-late speech at a Selma, Alabama church yesterday telling everyone the hard-earned voting rights for black people are in danger. Gee, really? Who do these old Democrat geriatric fools think they are fooling? Themselves? Actually, it is the whole Democratic leadership that seems to be behind the curve. Hey Democrats! Hunky-dory make-believe won’t work. You have to do something substantial, meaningful about it and you better do it soon, before it is too late. To read an article about the Selma speech, please click here.

The Supreme Morons of the Supreme Court Strike Again. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 29th, 2024. And those nine SCOTUS individuals are supposed to be the brightest legal minds in the United States? Isn’t those nine judges’ sacred duty to safeguard and ensure the best functioning of the American Judicial System? What in hell are they thinking when they agree to hear the case on Trump’s “presidential” immunity, which is one of the most important cases in the history of the United States, and schedule the arguments to start on April 22nd and not next week or the week after? Don’t they know that their chosen starting date may push the election interference trial possibly to the end of October, just days before the elections? Most importantly, why would they center their attention on the broad question of presidential immunity and not specifically on whether Trump is immune from prosecution for trying to subvert the results of the 2020 elections? There are only two possible explanations for those nine individuals’ illogical behavior, either they are a bunch or morons who don’t understand how crucial for the survival of our Democracy this case is, or they know exactly what they are doing and all they want is to delay the case as much as possible so as to deprive the American electorate of any hard evidence of Trump’s criminality before we all cast our vote on November 5th. In other words, either those nine guys are a gang of asinine idiots, or they are in wide-open cahoots with the rest of those declared neo-Fascist, pro-Autocracy MAGAmericans. What realistic hope can there be for the survival of the United States as we know it, when the highest legal authorities in the land are either in denial of the utmost seriousness of the moment or have already decided that the United States no longer needs to be a Democracy? But, let’s face it. Beyond and above the Supreme Court’s increasing imprudence, there is the undeniable stupidity of the Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland. Had that idiot appointed a Special Prosecutor during the first year of the Biden administration, the main two criminal cases against Trump would have by now already been resolved. But no, in a show of blatant meekness and cowardice, before performing his duties as guarantor of law and order in America, Merrick Garland had to wait to be under general pressure and criticism from the part of the American public and the media before taking any legal action on those two criminal cases. As I have mentioned in the past, it takes two to tango, and those wishy-washy Democrats have plenty to answer for regarding the dire path the United States is presently embarked upon. Meanwhile, brace well for the next few months, as the Supreme Morons of the Supreme Court keep steadily and decisively nudging the country toward the extreme right. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

And so It Is that My Hours in South Africa Are Already Numbered. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 28th, 2024. My Singapore Airlines flight to Ho Chi Minh City in Vietnam, is scheduled to take off from O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg at 22:30 this coming Friday, March 1st. This time I will have a layover in Singapore long enough to catch a bus or taxi ride to the city and hang around there for a short while. In Singapore, you can go out of the airport if you can prove that your layover-time allows for it. This will be my 3rd time in Singapore and my 5th time in Vietnam. As I approach the end of my 3-month stay here in Johannesburg, I can frankly say that the personal interactions I have had with the great majority of South Africans have been cordial and amicable. From the hosts of the two AirBnBs that I stayed at, to the shop attendants and waiters-waitresses, to the Uber drivers that a few times took me to the different places, all interactions I had with them unfolded rather smoothly. I mostly had the opportunity to meet and talk to Black South Africans, as their number amounts to 74.6% of Johannesburg’s population. I also met some people who identify themselves as “Coloured” (5.6%), saying they are a mixture of ethnic groups, and I have also had interaction with white South Africans, who form 12.3% of the population. South Africa seems to be adapting well to the new political model they adopted in1994 as a result of their first Democratic Presidential election. In fact, their Democracy looks today much more stable than ours back in the United States. There is talk of corruption at all levels of government, but there are no signs of any possible anti-government revolt or insurrection, not even of the kind we had in Washington D.C. back on January 6, 2021. South Africa is plagued by constant power blackouts, which often happen twice or even three times a day. They call these blackouts “Load Shedding”. In some areas of Johannesburg they also suffer from frequent interruptions in the water service, which can last up to a whole day or a whole night. Yet, in spite of those general inconveniences, South Africans are not whiners. In my short, 3-month experience, I didn’t hear any black or white South Africans sourly complaining about anything. They are all quite aware of their “third-worldish” power and water situation, but they just deal with it as it comes and keep moving forward. In a nutshell, there may be a lot to be improved in South Africa but, in spite of it, the South African people are doing just fine. Hats-off to them. So, to my South African friends I say: Thank you for your hospitality, for your friendliness, and for your kindness and best of luck in everything you do.

Project 2025: The Republican Blue Print for a Fascist America. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 25th, 2024. We all know that not all Americans abide by the Declaration of Independence. For many Americans, admitting that “all men are created equal” is anathema. Not all Americans believe the Republic should be a Democracy either, and these two basic anti-American facts are as clear today as they were back in the 1860s. Anti-Democracy thrusts seem to come in waves of different strength in America and we are today at a point where the first authoritarian wave of the 21st century is gaining momentum. 2024 will represent a defining chapter in the history of the country. Either we come out of the November elections as the (sort-of) unified nation that we presently are, or we come out embarked on the road to sociopolitical chaos. American conservatives are no longer the least interested in political stability. In their nefarious view, it is either their authoritarian way or nothing. And this is no longer a rhetorical exercise. They have been working for the past few years putting together a detailed plan basically on how to make the 2024 presidential election the last Democratic election in the United States. They have named it “Project 2025.” According to such project, the executive branch of Government should be all-powerful and totally immune from any scrutiny or prosecution, right along the lines of the long-touted “Unitary Executive Theory”. Project 2025 centers on replacing all federal civil service workers with party loyalists, underfunding the Department of Justice, largely dismantling the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, basically eliminating the Departments of Commerce and Education, disabling most climate-change and environmental regulations and invoking the “Insurrection Act of 1807” so that all law enforcement, including the US military, can be deployed to arrest any and all Americans that may disagree with them. You think this sounds like a conspiracy theory? Well, you better wakeup, because it certainly isn't.  Project 2025 contains a series of policies clearly outlined in a document called Mandate for Leadership: The Conservative Promise” (click red text to read about it) along with online courses and other resources. Project 2025 is not a hidden project. It is an existing series of well-crafted documents that present a clear view of the plans the American Conservative Movement has carefully put together to bring about the demise of the American Democratic and Judicial Systems. And please pay attention, for they intend to set Project 2025 in motion immediately after Donald Trump is declared the winner of the November 2024 elections. To read about Project 2025, please click here.

The United Theocratic States of America (And the 1st Amendment Be Damned). Johannesburg, South Africa, February 24, 2024. Some influential religious-fanatic MAGAmericans like Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene, Speaker of the House Mike Johnson, and other such deranged authoritarians, have been exposing themselves as avowed proponents of a Taliban-like theocracy in the United States. Please allow me to say it again: There are many influential fellow Americans who want to put in place a Taliban-like Christian theocracy in the United States. I have lived in countries where the majority of the people are Christian (Italy, Spain, US, Malta, and others), Buddhist (Myanmar), Muslim (Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Tajikistan, Morocco, and others), and Hindu (India). Among the 53 countries I have been to and the 19 of them that I have lived in, the Kingdon of Saudi Arabia (KSA) is the most religiously-oppressive. Things have been changing for the better over there since Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) became the de-facto ruler of the country (the Khashoggi situation notwithstanding). Saudi women are now allowed to drive and, after 72 years of official prohibition, they have recently opened the first authorized alcohol shop in the Diplomatic Quarter of the capital of Riyadh. In spite of those mild reforms, the KSA remains one of the strictest theocracies in the world, along with that of the country of Iran. But Western societies have their fair level of theocratic influence too. The decisive impact the Catholic church has on the Italian population is quite obvious, particularly in smaller cities in the southern region of Puglia, like Barletta, Ancona, or Maglie. Many cities in Spain are no exception either and the orthodox church has a determining influence on Greek culture as well. The same applies to Malta, where religious traditions and norms are, in one way or another, part of the law of the land. But, what about the United States? Is America a christian theocracy where the bible dictates the law of the land? Is christianity the official national religion just as much as the Star-Spangled Banner is the national anthem? Are christian beliefs supposed to be the only ones officially sanctioned by the United States Government? The 1st Amendment to the Constitution replies with a categorical “NO” to all those questions. Regarding religion, the 1st Amendment literally says: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...” thereby explicitly prohibiting Congress from interfering in the religious matters of the nation. Such explicit wording, however, may allow the 1st Amendment to be interpreted as giving the courts permission to do so, but basing court decisions on any christian scriptures would clearly violate the spirit of the 1st Amendment. From my strictly non-religious perspective, I suggest to all those confused MAGAmericans, and particularly to all those misguided MAGAmerican women, that before joining any efforts to put in place a Taliban-like, theocratic regime in the United States, they should go live at least for a couple of months in Saudi Arabia, so that they can have a first-hand understanding of the suffocating repression that all citizens and visitors, particularly those of the female gender, feel while living under any totalitarian, theocratic regimes. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Israel, Stop Damning Your Own Soul. Stop the Massacre and Destruction in Gaza. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 22nd, 2024. Hardly anybody in their right mind can condone Hamas’ hideous, atrocious, unforgivable terrorist attack of October 7th on Israeli soil. Nothing can justify such premeditated, unconscionable, inhuman horror. No doubt Israel’s resulting forceful retaliation was perfectly justifiable and totally predictable. We all knew Hamas had it coming to them but, most of all, Hamas knew exactly that in committing such atrocities with such evil intent against Israel they were signing the death sentence for thousands of their own fellow Palestinians. They knew that for a fact, yet they still went ahead with their evil designs. Hamas, therefore, is largely responsible for the massive loss of life and destruction that is presently taking place in Gaza. But such justifiable, forceful retaliation cannot be allowed to reach and exceed the levels of revulsion and disgust the world felt when learning about the October 7th hideous terrorist attack. It is high time for our Israeli friends to start seeing themselves mirrored in Hamas’ horrific, inhumane behavior. Israel is now approaching a point where there are no clear lines distinguishing their behavior from that of Hamas’. “An eye for an eye” is a famous biblical dictum found in the book of Exodus (21:23–27), which is also the second book of the Jewish Torah, but Israel’s retaliation does not exactly fit that dictum anymore. Israel is not exactly inflicting pain solely on Hamas. Israel keeps inflicting death and destruction on the whole population of the Gaza Strip. By some counts, thus far there have been over 22,000 Palestinian casualties of war in Gaza, along with over 60,000 injured people and billions of dollars-worth of destroyed buildings and infrastructure. Israel’s war on Gaza, therefore, can no longer be considered as “an eye for an eye” situation. For my own reasons, I love Israel and I will always stand in defense of the Israelis right to live peacefully in their own homeland in the Levant, but our Israeli friends are already overstepping the boundaries of a justifiable, legitimate retaliatory measure against Hamas and have already entered the grounds of a ruthless, all-out, murderous act of aggression against all of the people in Gaza. And that is something nobody in their right mind can condone. What’s more, with Benjamin Netanyahu at the helm, nobody can now be sure whether the Israeli forces are acting in the name of justice and on behalf of the people of Israel or just to keep Netanyahu away from the criminal prosecutions for corruption that await him in the Israeli courts once the war ends. For these reasons, my plea to my Israeli friends today is to call it quits as it is, negotiate the return of the remaining hostages in exchange for a cease fire and go back home. Then, sit back and learn from the failure of your intelligence services in detecting the imminence of the October 7th attack and start working intently on restoring and reaffirming your commitment to peace in the region based on a vigilant and cautious, yet respectful predisposition toward your Arab neighbors in general and your Palestinian next-door neighbors in particular. So, once again, Israel, please stop damning your own soul. Please Stop the massacre and destruction in Gaza.  

Hey Europeans: There Are no Two Ways About It. If You Want Peace, Prepare for War. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 19th, 2024. “Si vis pacem, para bellum”, is a Latin adage dating from the 4th-5th century AD that still seems quite applicable today. “If you want peace, prepare for war”. And what better example to corroborate the veracity of such adage than the present European predicament in the face of Valdimir Putin’s land-grab aggression in Ukraine? War has been the curse plaguing Europe since always and for that reason it is somewhat understandable that they be reluctant to develop offensive military capabilities, particularly since we all know the threat that a fully-armed Germany standing on a war footing could again pose to the rest of the world. The same could be said about a fully-armed, war-ready Japan, even as such offensive military stance could turn out to be inevitable in the face of China’s increasingly-aggressive posture in the Pacific. But the European rearmament seems increasingly unavoidable. No economic or diplomatic sanctions have deterred Putin in his expansionist designs and none of it will deter him in the future. He holds in his hands the largest nuclear-head stockpile in the world and he knows such stockpile is his main shield against any attack against him with any unconventional kind of weaponry. He, as well as all of us, know that nuking Putin means Armageddon. Short of any apocalyptic means, therefore, the only way to stop Putin is defeating him in the battlefield with modern conventional weaponry of the kind that has prevented him thus far from taking over whatever Ukrainian territories he wants. With that purpose in mind, the Europeans need to abandon their current “pacifist” stance and need to provide for their own defensive-offensive military capabilities. Those guys have the technological means and knowhow to develop weapons at least as powerful and sophisticated as those developed by the American Military Industrial Complex, but they haven’t done so in large part because thus far they have relied on America to babysit them in times of trouble. I disagree with the way that neo-Fascist, authoritarian, Putin-loving, Donald Trump addresses this issue, but I also disagree with the Europeans’ stance of basically sitting pretty under the protective umbrella of the American military. Get off your fat butts, Europeans. Valdimir Putin’s armies are basically at the gates and there may soon no longer be any Woodcutter coming to save Little Red Riding European Hood from the Russian wolf. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (February 18th, 2024)

The Slow and Winding Exceptional Road to American Justice. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 17th, 2024. As the whole world has been witnessing, the American judicial system grinds on rather slowly, but it surely grinds on. Letitia James, the New York State Attorney General, filed a lawsuit for fraud against the Trump family business back on September 21st, 2022 and yesterday, February 16th, 2024, Justice Arthur F. Engoron issued a decision ordering Trump to pay close to US$355 million plus interest, also barring him for 3 years from serving in any executive role in his company and barring his two older sons from serving in any similar position for 2 years too. It took 16 months for the whole judicial process to reach this resolution and we don’t know how long it will take for the Courts to resolve the appeal the Trump family is surely going to file for. But, however long the appeals process might take, one thing is for sure, the gears of the American Judicial System keep grinding on and whoever the wrongdoers might be that get caught in its gears’ teeth, they are surely bound to be crushed in one legal way or another. There may be cases in which the system fails for, after all, the system is designed and implemented by human beings and no human being will ever be perfect, but let’s just rejoice in the fact that in cases of this magnitude pertaining to an utterly corrupt ex-President of the United States, the system has thus far worked as it was intended to work. For the benefit of America, let’s just hope that the fraud case and the defamation case that Trump has already lost in court will be harbingers of the way the criminal cases against him will be resolved too, for nothing in this day and age would benefit our country and the world at large more than to have Donald Trump assigned to the place where he rightfully belongs: Behind Bars. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Frederick Douglass’ 1855 Fateful Vision of America May Well Be Applicable Again Today. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 12th 2024. Frederick Douglass (1818-1895) was a freed slave, abolitionist, journalist, writer, and statesman whose historic influence in ending the slave-holding culture that prevailed in America for close to a century was instrumental. In the November 16, 1855, edition of the Frederick Douglass’ Paper, he published a writing that turned out being a clear premonition of things to come. In reading that article, I found the wording of his ideas quite appropriate for defining the ominous ways in which the present situation in America is unfolding. The following is a verbatim extract of Douglass’ article where I have substituted Democracy for Liberty and Fascism for Slavery. --- “Democracy and Fascism cannot dwell together forever in the same country. There is not one iota of affinity existing between them. They hate each other, with a hatred which is unto Death. They ever have been, and they ever must remain, in a state of irreconcilable hostility. Before a union can be effected between them, the laws which govern the moral universe must be repealed. It is absurd in any one to expect to witness the spirit of Democracy being led, by the demon of Fascism, to the hymeneal altar. — As well expect the pains and sorrows of hell, to mingle, in happy unison, with the pleasures and the joys of heaven; the spirits of just men made perfect, with the spirits of the lost. It is useless, then, to attempt to effect a union between them. No compromise can effect it. No legislation can change the inflexible law of adaptation, the eternal fitness of things. No compact can make that Right, which is wrong from its first principles to its crowning assumptions. It is, then, perfectly apparent to every reflecting mind, that a crisis only comparable to the critical one the country suffered in the 1860s* is pending. This crisis cannot much longer be delayed. It must come to pass as the legitimate result of the past and the present struggle for the mastery in which we behold these deadly enemies engaged. We may attempt to bind up the wounds of the respective hostile parties, with mollifying ointment, but this will not avert the impending hour. It must come, as sure as the laws of God cannot be trampled upon with impunity. Then, as a nation, if we are wise, we will prepare for the last conflict, for that final struggle in which the enemies of Democracy must capitulate. Instead of indulging in delusive dreams of safety, the Forces of Fascism should prepare for the era of their disastrous doom; it will be wise and consider its latter end”. [*The original said: “more critical than any which has preceded it.”] To read the whole original text of the article, please click here.

The Late But Welcome Awakening of Some Influential Republicans. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 10th, 2024. “Sorry seems to be the hardest word”, sang Elton John back in 1976, and his song struck a raw string in the hearts of millions of us around the world. Yes, it is often very hard to admit we were wrong, particularly after we have arrogantly and repeatedly bashed others over their heads with our mistaken opinions and assertions. And yet, self-righteousness is such a widespread and common human trait that by now our initial reaction in the face of such erroneous attitude is often to condone it. When was the last time you recall having said to your spouse, family, friends, peers, or associates, “sorry, I was wrong?” Depending on the seriousness of our mistaken or erroneous doings, it can take a lot of courage and self-respect to openly admit to others that we were wrong. Above all, it takes a considerable level of introspective abilities to be able to transcend our own ego’s defense mechanisms and reach the unmistakable conclusion that we erred in our assessment of whatever our mistaken deeds or thoughts might have been. That is why it was somewhat comforting and somehow promising to read David Brooks' most recent opinion piece in The New York Times. Brooks is a moderate Conservative writer whose pieces I sometimes read, depending on the title. Usually, whenever I respond to his postings it is just to express my disapproval of his blind, stubborn, prejudiced “conservative” (meaning retrograde) approach to American politics, but that was not the case this time around. In his latest piece, entitled “Trump Came for Their Party but Took Over Their Souls”, Brooks expresses his disappointment in the way things have turn out to be within the Republican Party. In that piece, Brooks seems to have come to terms with his wrongful, blind, and mistaken assessment of the current lamentable predicament our nation finds itself in, and his awakening is something I found worthy of writing a commentary about. As usual. my response to him was correct and respectful but, nevertheless, direct and sincere. The following is my reply to David Brooks' latest opinion piece published in The New York Times. --- Dear Mr. Brooks: Your reckoning with our country’s sorrowful predicament is refreshing while also sad. Refreshing in that it gives hope that the longing for truth is not altogether lost in traditional, reputable “Conservative” minds like yours and sad in that it took you this long to see the glaring, warning signs on the wall many of us saw on that infamous day in June of 2015 when Trump descended on the Golden escalator of Trump Tower. Your awakening brings to mind the Parable of the Prodigal Son, where American Democratic principles in general and traditional Republican “Conservative” tenets in particular, would be the invaluable fortune you guys have been recklessly squandering for almost a decade and now you, Mr. Brooks, with a broken heart, are finally coming back to the fold. If only your awakening could be turned into a magic pill that could be given to all those other lost and mistaken Republican Prodigal Sons you mentioned, and many, many others too. Thank you for your attention. Salaroche” --- To read David Brooks’ opinion piece, please click here.

The United States Is not Like El Salvador (at least not yet). Johannesburg, South Africa, February 9th, 2024. This past Sunday, February 4th, they held presidential elections in the Central American country of El Salvador and, as expected, the incumbent president, Nayib Bukele, reportedly won a second and totally unconstituionall term by a landslide. I say “unconstitutional” because, in normal times, he wouldn’t have even been allowed to run, as that country’s constitution doesn’t officially allow for presidents to serve for more than one term. But this is the 1st quarter of the 21st century and authoritarian leaders now feel free to emulate Donald Trump’s shameful example in the United States so that, in following Trump’s lead, they feel entitled to run roughshod of as many Democratic, Judicial and Constitutional rules and laws as they can. To win reelection, the first thing El Salvador’s Bukele did is exactly what Donald Trump intends to do if he is ever reelected: Get rid of the Constitution. Bukele had previously stacked the Supreme Court with loyal judges and now he also has a majority of members of his party populating his country’s Legislative body. From now on, therefore, Bukele’s voice will be the law of the land in that country. But the one element that favored Bukele’s dictatorial ambitions is not the small size of his country (6.4 million), nor is it his country’s undemocratic traditions. It is that, in the span of 2 years, his draconian, authoritarian, undemocratic domestic policies have thrown over 75,000 Salvadoran citizens behind bars, most but not all of them violent gang members. I lived in El Salvador for a few years over 4 decades ago and the only good news I have gotten from that country since the last time I was there, always have something to do with the civil order that has begun to prevail there since Bukele came to power. Does this mean that I agree and support his ruthless, authoritarian methods? No. In principle, I don’t. But when I contemplate the positive, beneficial results Bukele’s policies have produced, I cannot help but admit that, sometimes, implementing such kind of draconian measures can be the only way out of a sociopolitical chaos like the one that prevailed in El Salvador since the end of the Civil War in January 1992. Has El Salvador’s case anything to teach us in terms of the kind of political future we can expect to get in the US? Well, the main common element between the US and El Salvador is the high level of authoritarianism embraced by Bukele and Trump. But the main difference is that in the US we don’t have crime rates at levels anywhere as high as the ones they had in El Salvador before Bukele came to power. This means that, in the United States, we DO NOT have the need to get rid of the Constitution, nor the need for any ruthless, draconian sociopolitical measures like the ones Trump would like to put in place in America. A strong, authoritarian hand may be the solution for small, deeply-troubled, violence-ridden countries like El Salvador used to be up to a couple of years ago. But in the United States we are perfectly (or close to perfectly) OK with our centuries-old Democratic System. NO need for dictators here. If any of those highly-confused MAGAmericans tells you they want to live under a Dictatorship (see posting labeled "FLASH!" below), just ask them to get out of the United States and go live in El Salvador or Nicaragua, or even Russia, for that matter. Just ask them to get out of here. Do you hear that, MAGA Republican fools? AMERICA, LOVE IT AS IT IS OR LEAVE IT!! To read an article pertaining to this subject, please click here.

--- There is a new Original piece in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (February 7th, 2024)

The Awesome Power of Swift. Johannesburg, South Africa, February 1st, 2024. Have you watched the video of Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour? I have. I watched about 20 minutes of it and it was enough for me to understand the power that woman exerts over the masses. Just to watch her impeccable performance at LA’s SoFi Stadium before a sold-out audience of over 70,000 people for six straight nights was enough for me to understand that she is a total natural. That lady was born to be the Taylor Swift we all know. She looks so comfortable under her own skin. Whether she is at a TV studio talking to the host at the Graham Norton show or before tens of thousands of spectators at a large stadium, she is just always the same cool, magnificent Taylor Swift. Not to mention that she is already a billionaire. Cannot help but to love that woman. Her music is not anything I would sit down to listen to for long, but I have no problem with that. She is over 40 years younger than me and the emotional heartbeat that her generation vibrates to is not mine. But I think I understand the depth of her musical simplicity. Taylor is indeed a clear symbol of our times. A powerful young woman who gained her #1 position in the world by her own artistic means, by clearly expressing her understanding of her generation’s aspirations, and by knowing how to make the music industry work in her favor. She is just an outstanding and unique example of success in all possible ways. Such shining feminine phenomenon, of course, could not go unnoticed by the so-called “conservative” political elites. In their view, no such massive popular appeal can be allowed to move freely and unharnessed. Taylor Swift’s popular power is a threat to their prospects for the future. To begin with, Taylor Swift is a woman and, in their view, no American woman can be allowed to gather so much power over the masses. She has to be brought to heel somehow. She has to be tamed and be shown what her rightful 2nd rate female status is. Fat chance. In September of 2023, on National Voter Registration Day, Taylor reminded her “Swifties” on Instagram of their duty to vote, and almost immediately there were over 35,000 first-time voters registering and another 50,000 people confirming they were already registered (see here). That is no longer just artistic power, that is political power already, which explains why the frightened Republicans are trying to intimidate her into staying out of the political fray. The elites at the Republican Party are afraid of Taylor Swift and they better be. She is already a billionaire, which means she already is financially independent and free for good. Should Taylor decide to endorse Biden and ask her Swifties to vote for him, the chances of ANY Republican candidate winning in November would be seriously diminished. You're great, Taylor, just follow your heart and don’t let those misogynist, racist, pro-Fascism Republican fools intimidate you. And, for whatever it’s worth, you can count me in as one of your Swifties.

The Neo-Confederates Are Relentless in their Ongoing Insurgency. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 31st, 2024. There is now a new but equally disgraceful meaning for the term Neocon. The Neocons of the G. W. Bush disastrous 8-year stint in the White House have now degenerated to become the Neocons of Donald Trump’s neo-Fascist movement and have switched ideological camps. Bush’s Neocons allegedly stood for an unapologetic promotion of Democracy in the world to the point of intervening in the domestic affairs of other nations with the purpose of imposing on them an American-style Democratic System. Those guys were Neo-Conservatives. Trump’s Neocons basically stand for the opposite principles. They stand against Democracy not only in America, but around the world as well. Their Führer-Messiah Donald Trump praises and admires world authoritarian and totalitarian leaders like Putin, Xi, and Kim, Jung-un, and his MAGA crowds openly advocate to put in place a dictatorship in the United States (see video referenced in the commentary below). At the same time, Trump’s Neocons stand against the American Judicial System. Their Führer constantly mocks the American Courts of Law and publicly insults Judges and Prosecutors, while a good majority of his followers refuse to accept the legal opinion of over 60 American Courts of Law stating that the 2020 elections were perfectly legitimate. Those guys are Neo-Confederates. Bush’s Neocons’ mantra of “either you are with us or against us” was indeed authoritarian and served the purpose of quieting domestic dissent against the Iraq war, but it was an authoritarianism mostly aimed at the International level, particularly against the Arab Middle East. Trump’s Neo-Confederates embrace a harsher and deeper kind of Authoritarianism. Just as the Confederates of the 19th century, the primary aim of Trump’s Neo-Confederates is to displace the existing Democratic and Judicial Systems of Government and install, by force if necessary, their own version of government with rules and laws that provide for the preservation of white supremacy over the land. Trump’s Neo-Confederates are intent on manipulating all possible existing Constitutional, Judicial, and Democratic levers to gain power, so that once they gain again the White House, and as many other influential positions of government as possible, they can go ahead and dismantle or neutralize all those very same Democratic and Judicial levers and put in place an Authoritarian or, if possible, an Autocratic Regime in the United States. For the moment, they just keep trying to disrupt as much as possible the well-functioning of the Biden Administration by, among other things, impeaching any Democrats they can, including Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and President Biden himself, even as there is absolutely no evidence of any impeachable offense from their part. My fellow Americans, haven't you already read the clear, ominous writings on the wall? Didn't you already wake up and smell the coffee? If you haven’t, you better start pinching yourselves repeatedly on a daily basis before it’s too late.

FLASH! Watch Americans Saying the US Needs Donald Trump as a Dictator (video). Johannesburg, South Africa, January 30th, 2024. It never was an exaggeration, it never was a “leftwing conspiracy theory”. It always was and is a resounding fact: MAGA Americans, perhaps millions of them, no longer want to have a Democratic System in our country. They want a dictatorship in the United States and they want Donald Trump to be the the first ever US Dictator. But don’t take my word for it. Please take a look at this short video I managed to extract from a longer one and witness it for yourself. To watch the video, please click here. NOTE: The question they’re asking the people interviewed in the video is incorrect and misleading. You cannot choose to have a Dictator for 4 years only. Dictators stay in power for as long as they want or until someone else deposes them in a coup d’état.

Not Normal, Unprecedented, Disturbing, and Other Such Lame “Liberal” Terminology. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 30th, 2024. I have been reading Maureen Dowd’s articles in the New York Times for years and I usually find her political commentaries quite witty, incisive and entertaining. But lately she seems to be losing her mojo. Her signature refined sarcasm no longer digs as deep into her subjects as it used to, particularly when dealing with Trump’s disgusting performances in court and on the campaign trail. But I really cannot blame her, as she is only one more member of the lame, subdued, meek-mouse, pseudo-politically-correct, often hypocritical American mainstream media. Most importantly, she’s a DC-born New Yorker obviously still enamored with the glittery aspects of New York politics of yore. For Maureen, as much as for a number of other “mainstream” American journalists and writers, romanticizing politicians and other celebrities and personalities, regardless of their notoriety, is still a seal of the traditional American “no-matter-what-happens-we-always-come-out-on-top-in-the-end” tradition. Maureen seems to be stuck in the ranks of old-school Americanism, sort of the kind of outmoded mentality incarnated so well in Joe Biden, the out-of-touch, misguided President of the United States. Those lame, so-called “liberals” still don’t know what they’re up against. Even “straight-shooters” like James Carville go on cable networks to criticize precisely what I’m criticizing in this commentary and then finish their intervention by saying that Trump’s speeches “are not normal”. Excuse me!!?? Is that all you have to say about it!!?? Maureen Dowd calls Trump an “Ogre” and compares him to Grendel, the mythical villain in the Beowulf epic, thereby first, elevating him to child-level literary fantasies and, second, clearly elevating him to the level of epic literary characters. What is the matter with these American “liberal” fools? Wake up, you idiots!!?? Joe Biden has lately been following the advice some of America’s most reputed historians have been giving him: stand up firmly against MAGA Fascism or go down in history as the guy who presided over the beginning of the end of American Democracy. So, he has been going around giving speeches pretending that he is angry and warning of the impending political disaster if his opponent were to defeat him in November. Good going, Joe. But we are only at the beginning of the 2024 election year, so, either you keep the ball rolling in that direction or the weak and tardy intervention of your administration may turn out being too little too late to save the nation from ruin. For starters, the lame mainstream media could start by discarding Not Normal, Unprecedented, Disturbing, and Other Such Lame “Liberal” Terminology as their terms of choice to describe Donald Trump’s disgusting overall performance. The basic terms to start defining Donald Trump are Asshole, SOB, or worse. Any term nicer than that entirely misses the point.

An International Event of Deep National Interest in South Africa. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 27th, 2024. Here in Johannesburg, there are groups of people glued to the TV screens in Bars and Restaurants attentively watching the proceedings at the International Court of Justice (ICJ). There are pro-Palestine demonstrations in the streets, people wear pro-Palestine T-shirts everywhere, and the topic is the subject of daily conversations. The charges of Genocide South Africa has brought before the ICJ against Israel’s war in Gaza are a matter of national interest for a few important reasons. South Africa’s support for the Palestinian plight dates back to the years when Nelson Mandela was still imprisoned. Mandela himself was a strong supporter of Yasser Arafat and the PLO and so was and still is his political Party the ANC, which still rules over South Africa. The basis for that support is South Africa’s stance against colonialism and in favor of the right of all peoples to self-determination, which were the root ideals propelling the Apartheid movement that brought Democracy to South Africa in 1994. Black South Africans see their case for freedom clearly reflected in the Palestinians' quest for a free, independent state of their own. Beyond the moral reasons for South Africa’s case against Israel, there is also the question of national and International politics. In bringing such charges before the ICJ, South Africa is basically challenging the US-led International order which, in their view, is heavily tilted in favor of Western interests to the clear detriment of the African Continent and other non-Western nations. South Africans are indeed attentive to the hearings unfolding at the ICJ as a matter of national pride. It feels as if their national football (soccer) team had made it to the semifinals in the World Cup and they are deeply proud of having their flag waving up high over the world stage. The ICJ has thus far agreed to hear the South African case, thereby accepting that the charges of genocide against Israel have enough legal merit as to look deeper into it, but has refrained from issuing a ceasefire order which, in any case, would have been perfectly unenforceable. I am a strong supporter of Israel and I condemn with the harshest possible terms Hamas’ inhumane terrorist attack of October 7th, but I also strongly and firmly stand against Israel’s indiscriminate massacre of Palestinians in the Gaza strip. Israel, you have already exerted a just revenge on Hamas, please don’t go any further in your indiscriminate killing of Palestinians for, if you do, you will only be validating the charges of genocide South Africa has brought against you before the ICJ. Long live Israel. Long live Palestine.

Will the Supreme Court Desecrate the Constitution and Betray America? Johannesburg, South Africa, January 26th, 2024. The Supreme Court is presently at its lowest approval rate in many years. One of the reasons for such low approval is that they recently overturned Roe v. Wade, thereby stating that the Constitution does not protect a woman’s right for an abortion. The Trump-appointed Justices, particularly Brett Kavanaugh, say they are “originalists” in their interpretation of the Constitution and that is why they overturned Roe v. Wade. Originalists are some sort of “fundamentalists” who claim to interpret the Constitution according to the way the framers intended it to be interpreted. That is, they apply an imaginary 18th century mentality to a 21st century sociopolitical situation which, to many of us, is just a plain retrograde attitude (but, then again, isn’t “retrograde” just the best synonym for “conservative?”) The thing is, if Kavanaugh et al are indeed “originalists”, how can they NOT interpret Section 3 of the 14th amendment the way it was intended to be interpreted back in 1866-68? Meaning, how can they NOT disqualify Trump from running for President when Trump swore to “the best of his ability, to preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” and then incited an insurrection on January 6, 2021? In inciting, promoting and abetting such insurrection, Trump is automatically disqualified from serving in any position of government in the United States. And this is not a opinion, this is a CONSTITUTIONAL MANDATE. Most Trumpers and many blind appeasers say that such mandate is undemocratic and that it should be the American people who decide who becomes president and who does not, but that is just a ludicrous cop out. Article II of the Constitution says you have to be born in the US, be at least 35 years of age, and have resided on American soil at least for the previous 14 years to be elected President. Would those Trumpers and appeasers say that Article II is undemocratic too? Would they say it should be the American people who decide whether the place of birth, age, and length of residence of a presidential candidate matter or not? No way! Article II is an uncontestable Constitutional Mandate just as much as Section 3 of the 14th Amendment is. If Justice Kavanaugh et al are indeed the “originalists” they claim to be, they have NO choice but to disqualify Trump. Period. They could, of course, display their present level of moral corruption and take the pro-Fascist side of the ex-President who basically gave them their positions as Justices but, will they do it? Will they let their right-wing fanaticism prevail over their love for America as we know it? Will the Supreme Court desecrate the Constitution and betray America? Only time will tell, but let’s just hope they don’t. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Without a Minimal National Consensus American Democracy Stands to Crumble. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 23rd, 2024. Consensus. Therein lies the rub. A nation that stands against its own foundational principles stands to fall. Shred the unifying sociopolitical fabric of a nation and watch as it consumes itself in endless, senseless internal squabbles and acrimony. When the essential tenets of a Democratic and Judicial System are discredited to the point of deep, widespread general distrust, the unifying forces of a shared national identity are fragmented and the country gravitates toward chaos. And we all know that “troubled waters, fishermen gain”. Just recall how Hitler gained the German Chancellorship on January 30th, 1933, using chaos as his most effective weapon of choice. President Von Hindenburg defeated Hitler in the 1932 elections but, as a premeditated political tactic, Hitler’s Nazi Party constantly sowed chaos in the Bundestag to the point of making the Weimar Republic’s government basically inoperable. In the face of such unmanageable situation, and as the only remaining solution to save his country’s budding Democracy, Von Hindenburg had to hand the reins of power, the Chancellorship, to Hitler, thereby unwittingly giving birth to the Third Reich. A similar outcome is in many ways what MAGA Republicans have in mind for the United States. They keep generating a chaotic situation whereby all governmental institutions are so discredited in the eyes of the American people that eventually the only leading, authoritative voice prevalent above the rest is the voice of their Führer Donald Trump. The real rub, however, lies in the fact that once such essential shared national identity is broken, it is an almost unsurmountable hurdle to put it back together again. That is, the damage inflicted on the nation by the MAGA forces of institutional chaos and distrust goes way beyond past one or two election cycles. Just consider that the divisive, pro-slavery spirit of the Confederacy is still well alive and active in the first quarter on the 21st century. It has never totally died and to prove it, we all saw the Confederate flag freely waiving in the open during the January 6 insurrection. With the ongoing disintegration of a shared trust on our institutions of government, American Democracy stands to crumble. Many Americans may still refuse to see it, but the deadly MAGA cancer presently tearing at the fabric of American unity is much more injurious than they think and it will require the unrelenting, dedicated resolve of the rest of us pro-Democracy Americans to save the nation from ruin.

Another Fool Bites the Dust. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 22nd, 2024. Hey DeSantis, not all MAGA zombies are as gullible as your utterly confused Floridian followers are. DeSantis thought his anti-WOKE racist pro-slavery brand of Fascism would bring large numbers of MAGAmericans to his camp, but failed miserably in his rotten quest. His hollow core was clear to see under the glaring light of national politics. MAGAnglosaxons at the national level are obviously keener on adopting broader Trumpian Fascist premises like mutilating the Constitution, disabling the Civil Rights Act, and restricting the voting rights of American minorities, all of it for the benefit of Autocracy. What meaty bone could DeSantis throw to them to make them bite his bait that Donald Trump has not already lured them with to his camp on a larger scale? As some of us saw from the beginning, DeSantis never held any valuable cards in his hands. His only chance would have been to appeal to the traditional republican Conservative stances and attack Trump with core issues like the Big Lie about the election results and denounce Trump’s J6 traitorous sedition against the United States Government. But that would have been an about-face that might have even cost him the Governorship, as Governors can be recalled in State referendums. DeSantis' sudden exit from the race is not surprising at all. Some of us always considered him just a mini-Trump clown vying for the vice-presidential slot. DeSantis' campaign was always just a hollow political pantomime devoid of any true mass appeal. That fake mini-Trump was always destined to bite the dust. As expected, however, his shameless sycophancy is of the diehard sort. What did he do as he bowed out of the race? He endorsed his true master and role model Donald Trump, which corroborates once more that American authoritarians don’t dare to go after their revered messiah’s throat, as doing so usually amounts to political suicide. It now remains to be seen whether the other mini-Trump, the American female version of Trumpist Fascism, Nikki Haley, survives to live another day after New Hampshire. If she doesn’t, the malodorous dust of American authoritarianism is just waiting for Nikki Haley to come dig her teeth in it.

--- There is a Remastered original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (January 20th, 2024)

A Short Personal Note to the Friends Who Read these Commentaries. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 20th, 2024. My name is George, although I’m also known as “Sal”. My signature “Salaroche” is an acronym for Sal Laroche. I have dual American – EU (French) citizenship, but I’m I also entitled to two other citizenships that I no longer care about. All of my citizenships are legal, as the Constitutions of those four countries allow for multiple citizenships. I have a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, city that I’ve come to consider my hometown. I speak four languages fluently, English, French, Spanish, and Italian. I have been travelling for the past 20 years and, thus far, I have been to 53 countries. I have also lived in some 18 of them. Please note that my travels don’t usually involve visiting countries like tourists usually do, meaning, just go sightseeing for a week, take some pictures and then go back home. No. In some of those 53 countries I’ve stayed for a year or two, in some others for 2 or 3 months, or for a week, or for just a couple of days. Countries where I’ve been only at the airport are not included in the 53. I’m presently visiting the city of Johannesburg, South Africa, but I’m about to leave by the beginning of February, which will conclude my second month of being here. Where will I go next? I don't know for sure, but I have a couple of options before me and I will let you know as soon as I upload anything new to this Website from my next destination. I’m an open-minded guy, ready to engage in honest discussions on most topics with anyone, as long as I’m facing arguments that are based on sensible, realistic, no-nonsense premises. If you are of the election-denier, Trumper sort, or of any other conspiracy-theorist kind, I would be glad to talk to you, but only if and when you come back to reality. Should you have any questions pertaining to my writings, my commentaries, my music, my photo albums, or anything else, kindly use the form available in the “Contact” section of this Website and I’ll be more than glad to reply to you rather quickly. Thank you for visiting my Website.

For Once I agree with Trump. Clowns DeSantis and Haley Should Drop Out of the Race. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 19th, 2024. Those two political clowns don’t stand a chance in a thousand to win the Republican nomination. That dye was cast a couple of years ago, as even those two pitiful parodies of a candidate had been openly endorsing Trump up to the moment they decided to give the candidacy a shot. And even after that, both of them have been brown-noising Trump until a couple of weeks ago, when they finally mustered enough guts to stop praising their dark messiah. But nothing they may do or say could be anything but futile, as Trump is not even going to throw any political crumbs at them. Poor fools! Their master already threw them under the bus and seems to be considering handing the vice-presidential slot to Elise Stefanik, the rabid MAGA attack-dog House Republican Conference Chair. Poor DeSantis and Haley. they have to cater to MAGA Republicans, but those guys are already sold-out to Trump’s brand of Fascism. Trouble is, if DeSantis and Haley were to openly and strongly attack Trump, for example, if they were to say that Article 3 of the 14th Amendment bars Trump from running for President, their MAGA and semi-MAGA constituency would immediately turn their back on them and they would be left gliding in the wind toward political oblivion. The New Hampshire primaries are next Tuesday the 23rd, and Trump is already enjoying a 16-point lead that neither DeSantis nor Haley can expect to surmount, except for a political miracle, which not many of us believe exist. Hail Mary passes succeed very rarely. In other words, those two abject, unfunny clowns should bow out of the circus after New Hampshire. But don’t expect anyone at the Republican Conference to ask them to exit that ongoing sorry spectacle, as those fools’ risible presence at least provides the GOP with a mock resemblance of a real primary race. But we all know what the predetermined outcome is: Trump is the uncontestable leader of the American Authoritarian Conservative movement, a.k.a., the Republican Party, and the great majority of Republicans cannot do anything but kneel at the feet of their revered, cherished Fascist Führer. To read an article that addresses the subject, please click here.

Hey Trumpers, Be Glad these Are Not the Dark Medieval Times of the Inquisition. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 18th, 2024. Thomas of Torquemada, the most famous and most murderous Spanish Inquisitor of them all, would have had a field day watching Trump, his older male children, and some of his most ardent followers burn at the stake. “Blasphemy!” He would have cried to their faces, quite unlike what most of those Evangelical Americans do or say when they watch Trump’s video claiming he is the chosen emissary of “God”, the dark messiah who will restore America as a Christian nation (see link below). No doubt about it, religions do often make people do dangerously nutty things, but, on this day and age? Yehp! Believe or not, this is all happening in the first quarter of the 21st century and it is happening right here, in the United States of America. And to think that many of us thought that the older human society would get, the wiser and more rational we would all become, particularly us Americans, who have for decades taken ourselves for the most rational, modern, civilized people on Earth. The Leaders of the Free World! That’s what we call ourselves. The Indispensable Nation! Ha! The way things are going, we might turn out being the tragic, most-disappointing laughing stock in history. To reach the 21st century as the most technologically-advanced, powerful nation in the world only to have millions of us revert back to the superstitious, obscurantist, medieval ways of thinking of the past? We have all seen the light of reason, the light of understanding, but millions of Americans reject that light because it shows them the high level of equality that exists between us all and they don’t like that. Contrary to what reality shows us, they insist on considering themselves superior to everyone else. Make America Great Again, they say, meaning that America is great only when the WASP ethnicity reigns indisputably over the rest. Make America WASP again, that’s what they really mean. Are we humans ever going to learn? We are basically on this Earth for a maximum of one hundred years or slightly more, yet we constantly fail to see how ephemeral our existence is and we blindly take ourselves for everlasting kings and emperors only to make our passage through this world a bit more miserable. And when we manage to make ourselves feel miserable we conveniently look for false prophets and fake saviors and follow their lead toward even more misery still. “The Orange Jesus”, they call Trump, “The Imperfect Vessel” and other such totally mistaken delusional allusions to Christ. Thomas Edsall calls it “The Deification of Trump” and for that reason alone, Thomas of Torquemada would have sent all those Trump-believers MAGA fools straight to the stake and would have burned them all alive, but that's not what American Evangelicals would do. Those guys just get in line in total reverence behind their dark messiah every time they can. America, the “rational” nation? Not anymore. To read Thomas Edsall’s article on the subject, please click here.

Spoiled Americans Trashing Freedoms Others Would Die to Keep. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 17th, 2024. The island-nation of Taiwan is a very young Democracy. They held their first ever direct presidential elections barely 28 years ago, in 1996. Before those elections, Taiwan was governed under a one-party authoritarian system that ruled by martial law for close to 40 years untill 1987. Taiwanese people know by experience what it is to live in a country where they hardly have any rights and they don’t want to go back to living under any such restrictive systems of government ever again. But the Authoritarian Republic of China claims Taiwan is just a runaway province that needs to be brought back under the control of the so-called CCP by any means, including military force. (NOTE: China is not a “communist” country. China is a capitalist country governed under an authoritarian one-party system, similar to what the Republicans want to put in place in America). Just a few days ago, Taiwan held their latest elections where the main contenders were the DPP, or nationalist independentist forces, and the KMT (Kuomintang), or those who want much closer political ties with China. The DPP won by a margin of 6% of the vote which means that, for the moment, a majority of the Taiwanese electorate refuses to get closer to China. They don’t want to make any pact with the devil. They know what it would mean to follow in the dire steps that Hong Kong has been taking these past few years whereby Hong Kong’s freedoms have been gradually vanishing while the Chinese central government suffocates any resemblance of democracy over Hong Kong's political landscape. In short, a majority of the Taiwanese people are standing up for freedom and Democracy even at the risk of having the powerful Chinese military forces come down on them with all their destructive might. Meanwhile, in the United States, millions of Americans are getting ready to cast their vote for a clearly authoritarian, if not outright Fascist, individual in the next presidential elections. So, while the Taiwanese people are doing their best to keep the authoritarian forces away from their shores, millions of Americans are inviting those very same kind of forces to take the reins of the country. In looking at such attitudinal contrast from afar, I can only see one crucial factor determining the difference between one country and the other: Ignorance. On the one hand, we have the Taiwanese people who are barely coming out of a dictatorial national situation that a majority of them refuses to go back to, and on the other, we have a considerable number of Americans who are blindly longing to put in place an authoritarian system of government in our country not having the slightest idea of what they are really getting into. In other words, in America, millions of us are willing to throw away some of the most precious blessings that we have while people like the Taiwanese are willing to risk even their own lives to preserve the relatively little they got. If you are a Trumper, please be aware that in voting for your dark messiah you are voting to set America on a dire path toward a dark destiny that there may be no return from.

My Belated Take on the Republican Iowa Primaries. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 16th, 2024. Trump won the Iowa primary caucuses, what else did you expect? Was anyone naïve enough as to think that Haley or DeSantis could come even one single digit close to their rotten master? Haley and DeSantis never stood a chance in Iowa. Those two guys have never been anything but political clowns staging a ludicrous pantomime designed to give the GOP primaries some resemblance of normalcy and legitimacy. The dye for the Republican nomination was cast on January 6, 2021, the day the MAGA hordes tried to behead American Democracy on the steps of the Capitol and unconditionally embraced the cause of a Trumpian autocracy. No Republican candidate can present any viable alternative to Trump’s brand of Fascism for the simple reason that today’s Republicanism can only exist within the confines of Trumpism. No thinking being can expect to defeat an adversary while constantly kneeling before him and those two servile Republican clowns, Haley and DeSantis, already kissed the ring of their pre-anointed Emperor while shamelessly facing the cameras during the debates. Mini-Trump-Haley and mini-Trump-DeSantis are now, and have been since the beginning of this election cycle, just a couple of risible, servile, hollowed-out parodies of their amoral master. Yet, there are some poor, ideologically-depleted, self-blinded American “conservatives” (meaning, Trump-worshipping authoritarians) like David Brooks who dare to write opinions in the New York Times claiming that “Nikki Haley, is one of the toughest politicians in America.” Excuse me?!! How deep within their hearts have American right-wingers managed to fool themselves blind? Nikki Haley is just another election-denier, Trump-worshipping, Democracy-hater individual who doesn’t even have the guts to admit that the Civil War was fought over slavery. No Republican in the 21st century is tougher than Liz Cheney. That lady really has guts! Hers is a real love for America! That’s patriotism! That’s toughness! The only Republican that comes close to Liz Cheney is Adam Kinsinger, another true patriot. But, Nikki Haley!? Nikki Haley is just another prideless, ideology-less, sold-out, pro-authoritarianism, anti-American, election-denier MAGA fool. In other words, just another poor mini-Trump, just another political clown like DeSantis, although, judging by the clear authoritarian turn the State of Florida has taken lately, DeSantis seems to have a deeper Fascist streak in his Trump-contaminated blood. If I had to define the Iowa Republican caucus in one single sentence, I would say that the whole GOP primaries spectacle is just an outrageously ludicrous, shameful political farce.

The Bright Light of Delusion vs. The Dim Light of Reason. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 15th, 2024. Donald Trump is being assailed from all kinds of criminal and civil fronts and a considerable amount of adverse domestic and international public opinion is quite vociferous against him too. Yet, whenever he faces the cameras or his supporters at his rallies, he comes out shouting, crying foul out loud, insulting his accusers, promising revenge and retribution and clearly reassuring his cult-followers that nothing in the Constitution or in our Judicial and Democratic systems is sacred anymore. If he becomes president again, he basically says, any domestic or International rules and laws that go against his designs will be suitable for discarding. He is not only saying that he wants to rule America with an iron fist, he wants to rule the whole world in the very same manner too. And that is exactly what his followers have come to love the most about him. They say Trump is a “strong man” and they say that that is precisely the kind of leader the country needs today. On the other side of the political spectrum, we have a meek, hesitant Biden administration that seems devoid of any conviction as to the vital, utmost importance of Democratic values. An administration that has passively allowed the national Fascist forces appropriate the American flag as their coat of arms. An administration that continues to fail miserably in making it clear to the American people the benefits that their policies have thus far bestowed on the nation. A President Biden whose reelection campaign seems rudderless and thinks that some occasional Biden appearances before the cameras and before the public to show some angry disapproval of his most-likely political opponent will be enough to fend off defeat come November. Fools. They still haven’t grasped the gravity of the situation. They are still hoping that a Trump conviction in any of the criminal cases against him will persuade an influential number of Republicans to vote against him. It won’t. Nothing will. Political convictions can be swayed one way or another, as there is a certain rationality to them, but not religious convictions, particularly not those of the Christian, Muslim or Hebrew persuasion, which can be highly dogmatic. Pro-Trumpian religiosity is intimately tied to Christian beliefs, hence part of the irrational strength behind Trump’s cult of personality. Adolph Hitler was imprisoned after his failed Beer Hall Putsch (coup d’état) in Munich in November of 1923. Donald Trump still hasn’t suffered any criminal consequences for his failed Capitol Putsch of January 6th. But both Hitler and Trump experienced an exponential growth in popularity after those events, except that barely 10 years later Hitler became Chancellor of Germany, thereby establishing the beginning of the 12-year-long murderous Third Reich. Will America follow the same regrettable and culpable steps that Germany took in 1933 and grant Trump the presidency of the country in 2024 thereby declaring the beginning of the American First Reich? Whether such ominous event ever comes to pass will depend largely and to a highly determinant degree on whether Joe Biden's meek and hesitant Administration finally grabs the Fascist bull by the horns and decides to fight tooth and nail in defense of American Democracy. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

A Short Note to Those Who Have Trumpian Family Members and Friends. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 13th, 2024. First of all, I empathize with you. It is a hard place to be. I have been there more than once and I leant the hard way about the complexities of such unpleasant predicament. At the obvious level, it’s all just a matter of high-stakes priorities and clarity of vision as to what kind of future you really want for yourself, your family, and your country. Ultimately, however, it is a matter of how hard you are willing to stand up for your priorities and vision and, at the bottom of it all, a question of how much you are willing to sacrifice in defense of your principles. Such conundrum is indeed a heart-rendering internal conflict, but national crunch time of the most vital importance keeps approaching and hard decisions of the unavoidable kind will soon be for us to make. In reading David French’s latest opinion in the New York Times, I noticed two things, first, how clearly he sees the threat that a second Trumpian presidency presents to America and, second, how confused David French’s reaction to that possibility is. A particular line he wrote illustrates the conundrum facing many Democracy-loving Americans today. French writes: “I have friends and family members who vote for Trump, and I love them dearly.” In response, I sent him an email (that he probably will never reply to) telling him the following: “Excuse me? You are perfectly aware of the level of destruction a 2nd Trumpian presidency would inflict on America, yet you love dearly those who will vote for him so that he may go wreak such havoc on us all from the White House? It doesn’t make any sense.” I also added this: “Just picture Abraham Lincoln saying that the Confederates were the deadliest enemies of the Republic, yet he “loved them dearly.” No way. I am ready to love my MAGA EXfriends again, but only if and when they come back to the Democratic fold. Not a single moment before.” Many Americans may find my stance a very hard position to adopt, but, what is the alternative? How can you express love for those who basically want to destroy our Democratic System and want to put in place an autocratic regime in the United States? The bottom line is this: To express love for those who love Trump is to condone their behavior and to love those MAGA guys who hate the United States as we know it is to betray the Declaration of Independence, which amounts to trampling on the Constitution and spitting on the face of the American Judicial and Democratic Systems. Period. A certain Matthew (Matthew 5:43–44) admonished us a couple of millennia ago that we should love our enemies, but to him I say, sorry Mr. Matthew, we cannot afford to love those MAGA enemies of Democracy, for to do so would be to sign a death sentence for the United States as we know it. To read David French’s opinion piece, please click here. To read the email I sent him, please click here.

If SCOTUS Decides to Demolish Our Democracy Stick It to Them. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 10th, 2024. The DC Court of Appeals hearing Trump’s request that he should be immune to prosecution seems poised to reject his demands. Trump, of course, will appeal to the Supreme Court, which has 6 heavily conservative Justices. Do you have any idea what it would mean if the six MAGA Justices of the Supreme Court decide that Donald Trump is immune to prosecution for any crimes he might have committed as president? Have you thought about the consequences such decision would have for the future of our Democracy? Deciding that US presidents are immune to any kind of prosecution equals to proclaiming that US Presidents are Emperors, which amounts to signing a death sentence for American Democracy. Invested with total presidential immunity, any president as deeply corrupt as Donald Trump would feel perfectly entitled to break any law and commit any crime to stay in power, knowing that even if he failed in his lawless attempts to usurp the presidency there would be no legal or criminal consequences waiting for him at the end of his term. Granting total immunity to US Presidents can only eventually lead to dictatorship. There’s still a glimmer of hope that Justices Roberts, Kavanaugh, and Coney Barrett might wake up to reality and rise to the occasion, but it is only just a glimmer. The only alternative to such dire situation would be an extreme one, meaning, to just tell the Supreme Court to go fly a kite. Stick it to them. Consider that the Executive has already given the finger to the Legislative in the past. In 1828, President Andrew Jackson completely disregarded the Supreme Court’s Decision in favor of the Cherokee people in Mississippi and in consequence the federal Indian Removal Act of 1830 was finally enacted, which mandated the relocation of the Cherokee people out of their ancestral lands where gold had been recently discovered (“The Trail of Tears”). A Supreme Court decision in favor of total presidential immunity would put us all between a rock and a hard place. If we go along with such decision quietly, American Democracy is guaranteed to go down the drain shortly thereafter, and if we tell the Supreme Court to go jump in the lake the pandemonium such confrontation would entail would be dangerously unpredictable and quite likely a violent one. A possible third alternative would be for the Senate and the President to demand that SCOTUS explain its decision in legal, practical, and historical terms, and that it allow for a televised appeal to their decision, although the MAGA-controlled House would certainly object to such demand, which would, again, set the stage for a confrontation of unpredictable consequences. Given such dark perspectives, were the Supreme Court to side with Trump in the presidential immunity case, I’d say: Stick it to them! If the Supreme Court takes the side of Fascism I’d say: Stick it to the Supreme Court! To hell with them! And may the Universal forces save the United States of America.

The Thriving America the World Sees that Republicans Don’t Want You to See. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 8th, 2024. Make America Great Again? Excuse me!? What the F*** are those delusional MAGA fools Talking about?!! Are MAGA people living in a Zombie-like dimension where reality is just another passing mirage? The GOP’s revered dark messiah, that nefarious prophet of doom who goes around badmouthing our Democratic and Judicial Systems while praising dictators like Vladimir Putin and Kim, Jung-un, Donald Trump, recently dared to insult our (his) own country once again saying that America is a failure of a country. Excuse me?! The United States of America a failure??!! What a despicable moron that guy is! In what kind of dark delusional reality does that America-hating, morally-degenerate SOB live? And what kind of gullible fools do those MAGA Americans have to be to swallow such false, reality-denying, ill-intentioned, misrepresentation of America? With all its faults and shortcomings, America is still the indisputable No. 1 country in the world and anyone who dares to deny such fact has to be irredeemably stupid, clinically delusional, or completely consumed in a fever of anti-American rabies. Or, they could just be Donald Trump, who is all of the above plus seriously handicapped perceptually and hideously corrupt all the way down to his rotten bone marrow. Make America Great AGAIN!!?? AGAIN!!?? What kind of dim-witted person would you have to be to accept the warped, unreal, negative notion that America is not a great nation right now, right at this very same moment, right as we speak? The United States is today the greatest nation the world has ever known, you gullible, racist, authoritarian, stupid MAGA fools!!! Snap out of your impossible delusional racist dreams!! But don’t just take my word for it, folks. Please check out these statistics as presented by Fareed Zakariah on his show GPS just a few hours ago. To watch Fareed’s video, please click here.

Double Shame on You MAGA Latino-Americans. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 7th, 2024. I have lived in and visited a small cluster of Latinamerican countries. I speak fluent Spanish too, as well as French and Italian. For those reasons, I was used to having a few South and Central-American friends. I say “I was used to” because the number of those friends has been dwindling down to close to zero. The reason for that friendship breakdown is, you guessed it, Donald Trump. I could never in my life embrace the ultra-deranged politics of such a madman, while some of my Latino ex-friends have actually fallen in a quasi-religious manner on their knees for that guy. Some of those ex-friends broke up with me in the typical Trumpian way, with insults and ill-wishes from their part and some of them actually raised treacherous false testimonies against me trying to harm me in any way they could. No problem. Such is the highly toxic venom that Donald Trump’s divisive lies have injected in the heart of many Americans and in the general American sociopolitical bloodstream. But there is some difference between MAGA Americans of European extraction and those whose ancestors immigrated from Central and South America. MAGA Americans of direct European descent follow Trump mostly for racist reasons. They somehow follow the xenophobic ideologies espoused by the Nazis in Germany and, to a lesser extent, by the Fascists in Italy. But, can you explain what makes Latino-American people side with Trump? Why, for example, would any Cuban individual, like those MAGA millions in Florida, support Trump when they know they fled Cuba running away from Batista’s and Castro’s dictatorships, which are like archetypes for Trump’s dictatorial designs? Or, what about those Nicaraguans who fled their country running away, first, from the Somoza family’s dictatorial dynasty and more recently from the Ortega dictatorship? Can’t they see that Trump is a Somoza-Ortega-like guy but at a much dangerous larger scale? Or, what about those Salvadorans who refuse to go back to their country because of the present authoritarian regime of president Bukele? Can’t they see that Bukele is just a tini-mini-Trump? It just doesn’t make any sense. They ran away from dictatorships in their countries of origin only to come and try to put a dictatorship in place in the Democratic country that welcomed them? When I read and hear about polls indicating that Latino voters are migrating to Trump’s Republican Party, I can only say, “what?!” How blind can those Latino-Americans be when they fail to see that, in voting for Trump, they would just be setting the United States on the road to exactly the same kind of dictatorial situations they so hardly endeavored to leave behind in their countries of origin? Go figure. It is widely accepted that we Humans learn much faster from our mistakes than any other living beings on Earth, but sometimes I seriously wonder whether we learn from our mistakes at all. P.S.: Can't those blind MAGA Latino-Americans see how Trump derides and spurns people of non-WASP ethnicities? Donald Trump is a declared white-supremacist, you poor, naïve, unwary, MAGA Latino-American, useful-idiot dupes.

Long Awaited Speech, Joe Biden - Now Make it the Central Theme of Your Campaign. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 6th, 2024. Three years, almost to the day, after Donald Trump’s failed, shameful insurrection, Joe Biden seems to have awakened to the critical reality presently facing the nation and described it in no uncertain terms: The fate of American Democracy will be on the ballot this coming November. Good job, Joe. For the first time I actually felt some pride in having voted for him. For the first time in many years, I felt like there was finally another Democrat who expressed himself using almost the exact words I wanted to hear. This time around, as I listened to Joe Biden speak I heard the voice of a true American who believes in Democracy and is willing to decisively stand for it against any and all its enemies, particularly the domestic ones. I heard Joe speak and I felt a growing glimmer of hope that the elected and appointed Democrats might finally step up to the plate and embrace wholeheartedly their sacred duty to defend the Constitution. For the first time since Jan. 6, 2021, I heard Joe Biden telling it like it is, not pulling any punches. Now, all that the Democrats need to do is keep loudly denouncing Donald Trump for what he really is: a sick, proto-dictator, narcissist, sociopath, fully bent on destroying our Democratic system and putting himself in power as the first American Dictator ever. Keep up the good work, Joe, the survival of the United States as we know it depends on you being reelected. To watch Joe Biden’s speech in its entirety, please click here.

The Liberal Dream Ingrained in the Nation’s Bones. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 5th, 2024. In my view, The Guardian Newspaper is much more incisive, objective, and straightforward than The New York Times. To wit, the guardian often publishes revealing reports and commentaries about crucial events taking place in the United States that the NYT doesn’t even care to mention. That situation I attribute to, A) the fact that the NYT depends much more on advertisement than The Guardian does, so they don’t want to rattle the national ideological hornet’s nest to the point where advertisers of the moderate-right-wing kind would flee to other publications and, B) The fact that American Mainstream media always tries to paint the national picture as much rosier than it really is, quite in accordance with that flawed, misguided and outmoded typical America sentiment that, in the end, everything is fine in America. But the one important aspect of the NYT that is mostly absent in The Guardian is the NYT’s bipartisanship, meaning that at the NYT you can regularly find opinions and articles written by rightwing guys like Ross Douthat, David Brooks, Brett Stephens, and others, while at The Guardian you seldom do. Among the rightwing writers at the NYT, David Brooks is the best known, perhaps because of his often-moderate approach to American Politics, so that his articles, books and appearances on national media usually appeal to a wider ideological spectrum within the population. It was after reading Brook’s latest piece at the NYT that I decided to write these words, as I found the subject of his article quite applicable to the national circumstances. He encourages Joe Biden to stand firm on two ongoing issues that, in so doing, Brooks thinks Biden would help himself win in 2024. Those issues are Law and Order and the Spirit of Enterprise, the latter being a salient aspect prevailing during Biden’s first term. Brooks also elaborates on the zero-sum-game MAGA Republicans are playing, but fails to warn Biden that if he fails to make it clear to all Americans that the fate of our Democracy is what’s really at stake in 2024, the worst outcome can still be expected after those elections. It is a duty of the utmost, vital importance for Joe Biden and the Democrats to make the survival of our Democracy the main central message of Biden’s campaign. Failing to do so may result in the catastrophic failure of our Democratic System. To read David Brooks’ article, please click here.

Believe It or Not 36% of Americans Still Think Biden’s Presidency is Illegitimate. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 3rd, 2024. By all counts, the 2020 presidential elections were the most scrutinized elections in American history. In addition to vote-recount after vote-recount in all battleground states, which didn’t change the already tallied outcome, the Trump legal team contested those very same electoral results in over 60 American courts of law and at least 60 of those courts rejected any and all evidence presented to them stating that Trump’s lawyers had not shown any legally valid proof demonstrating there was any major fraud in the elections. Yet, in a clear, continuous spitting on the face of the American Judicial System, Donald Trump and most leading Republicans in Congress, still go around claiming Trump didn’t lose the 2020 elections. It is understandable that many cowardly elected and appointed Republicans should toe Trump’s authoritarian line out of sheer fear of being the target of intimidating death threats and insults against their wives, husbands and children from the part of the MAGA lunatic masses. Obviously, most Republicans don’t have the guts and the love of country that Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger have clearly shown to have. But to also have 36% of Americans toeing Trump’s delusional authoritarian, proto-autocratic line means something much darker still, as it casts a very ominous shadow on the 2024 elections. Obviously, when it comes to electing our nation’s president, vote numbers and court decisions don’t count to those millions of Americans included in the 36% of the population. For them, presidential elections are just a matter of faith and beliefs. If they believe Donald Trump deserves to be the next president of the United States, it doesn’t matter to them whether the majority of Americans vote for someone else. In their warped view of the world, reality is only a dismissible obstacle on the way to their ultra-biased preconceived electoral results. In the MAGA crowds’ dark dogmatic minds, Donald Trump has already been anointed by god as the messiah who will lead the country to a promised earthly paradise where white supremacism is the law of the land and the nation’s leaders can only be chosen among a selected clique of Fascist individuals. 36% of American election deniers represent way too many 2024 direct votes to be discarded as unimportant. Either the cowardly Democrats grab the bull by the horns right now and start to loudly and constantly warn the American people about this, or we are for sure heading toward a dangerous, possibly violent sociopolitical pandemonium by the end of 2024. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

My Friend is Right: Americans Have Become Irresponsible Spoiled Brats. Johannesburg, South Africa, January 2nd, 2024. My friend Dale is a Minnesota-born American who moved to California a few decades ago. He is a retired Electronics Engineer who just spent a full year in Japan. I have lived in Japan for a few months too, so, talking on the phone to him a couple of days ago, we exchanged some of the impressions we both gathered while living in that country. And the main cultural trait we both noticed among common Japanese people is their desire to do things right, their sense of honor in being fair and just in what they do. I mentioned to him that there was a time when most common Americans would try hard to be somewhat like that too, a time when there was pride in being a righteous American. I added that, after having been to 53 countries and having lived in some 18 of them, I still thought that the benefits I have gotten from America out of the sheer fact of being an American citizen, I probably would have never gotten from any other country in the world. In response, my friend just said, “yeah, Americans are brats”, yes, I said, they’re spoiled, they don’t appreciate what they’ve got. And such shameful ingratitude is blatantly patent in those MAGA Americans whose religious addiction to Donald Trump’s brand of Fascism makes them disregard and forget the privileged condition they presently enjoy for the simple reason of being Americans. They no longer appreciate the unequaled socioeconomic and political evolution the country has thus far achieved and are blindly willing to throw it all in the gutter in pursuit of some racist, authoritarian, perverted notion of America. They have lost their moral compass. They have passionately embraced the politics of their authoritarian leader, but they don’t seem to have the slightest idea what it means to live under authoritarian rule. In authoritarian countries like China, Russia and Belarus you are not a free citizen in the same sense that you are free in America. In authoritarian countries you have to toe the official party line and kiss the anointed leader’s feet for, if you don’t, you will be persecuted and even prosecuted. But MAGA Americans refuse to even contemplate the possibility that they will ever regret getting rid of our Democratic System. They see putting in place an authoritarian regime on American soil as a game, as just a way to “stick it to the liberals” or something ridiculously thoughtless of that sort. What they blindly refuse to understand is that if they ever break our existing political system of Constitutional government, if they someday finally get rid of our Democratic and Judicial systems, we won’t be able to put the country back together ever again. My friend Dale is right. MAGA Americans are irresponsible spoiled brats, to which I would add “yeah, and many of them are actually plain ignorant fools who know not what they do”. Trouble is, the nefarious designs they pursue in their blind ignorance could easily end up upending the whole American Experiment, including our own personal private lives. And such dire fate could also await YOU, dear reader, so we should all better do something meaningful about it to keep it from happening.

Should US Presidents Be Handed Carte Blanche to Commit Crimes While in Office? Johannesburg, South Africa, December 31st, 2023. That’s basically what the question facing the Corrupt Supreme Court of the United States amounts to. Are US Presidents exempt from any kind of accountability for crimes they might have committed while they were in office? Can US Presidents have even tried to shred the US Constitution to pieces and still be eligible for reelection? Can they incite the masses to overthrow a duly elected president-in-waiting in a violent pre-emptive coup d’état and be immune to prosecution for it? What will the Corrupt Supreme Court say about this? I have no doubt in my mind that Justice Clarence Thomas will say “YES” to all those questions, as his emissary-wife Ginni Thomas has already shown the world what her true pro-autocratic instincts are, but I seriously doubt any of the three “liberal” Justices, Kagan, Sotomayor, and Brown-Jackson will go along with Thomas. Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, and Barret are probably already at least 60% inclined to say yes and Alito might be at 50%, while Roberts might be a toss. The thought that’s crowding the minds of some American jurists is that, “if autocracy is what millions of MAGA people want, then maybe that’s what they should get”. In so thinking, they’re actually just willfully getting onboard the train toward dictatorship. Once again, just picture where the country would be right now had Abraham Lincoln thought in such craven way, “well, if millions of Confederates want secession and slaveholding rights, maybe that’s what they should get.” Ha. Had Lincoln thought that way, we would probably still have large numbers of slaves working in the cotton fields in Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia today. Overturning Roe v. Wade was a glaring betrayal inflicted on the American people and some States are reacting promptly to minimize as much as possible the effects of such treacherous abuse of judicial power, but granting immunity to any kind of prosecution to Donald Trump will inflict a much deeper structural damage to our Democratic System, as it would mean exempting all future US presidents from any sort of accountability for whatever crimes they might commit while in office, which would inevitably set the country on a straight path down to dictatorship. I understand that a great majority of Americans don’t have such vital concerns in mind as they toil day to day to make ends meet. Keeping their American Dream alive has top priority over anything else. But that’s nothing short of unfortunate, as the possibility of attaining such dream rests largely on whether we have a functioning Democratic System in America or not. The United States is indeed at a crucial existential inflection point today. Many of us probably don’t realize it, but the consequences that these Supreme Court decisions will have on the future of the country can actually mean whether the American Democratic Experiment fails miserably or manages to survive another day.

This Supreme Court Cannot Be Trusted. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 30th, 2023. The whole world knows by now that Ginni Thomas, the wife of Justice Clarence Thomas, has widely, openly, and strongly advocated for reinstating an insurrectionist unelected traitor to the presidency of the United States. In so doing, she has openly stood against the American Democratic and Judicial Systems, as she didn’t only refuse to accept the legitimate results of the 2020 elections, but also refused to accept the decisions taken by over 60 American Courts stating that the elections were not fraudulent. And yet, that traitorous, conniving woman’s husband, Justice Thomas, has a decisive say on whether Sec. 3 of the 14th Amendment is applicable to Donald Trump, meaning that the destiny of American Democracy will depend 1/9th on that corrupt woman’s corrupt husband. What kind of warped justice can be expected from a court that doesn’t demand total recusal in this case from such a compromised individual? There were times when the Supreme Court would do its best to maintain at least a façade of moral, pro-Democracy rightfulness in its decisions, not anymore. Those days seem long gone by now. The American moral fabric is sadly revealing to the world how loosely and poorly woven it was all along. From afar, many of us can only foresee rebellion of a few kinds in the dark American horizon. Trouble is, what happens in America doesn’t stay in America. It spreads across the world. For one, we can no longer lecture any other country about the virtues of American Democracy. American Democracy is hanging to dear life by a thin thread of hope, and Supreme Court Justices like that traitorous Ginni Thomas’ husband hold a sharp knife in their hands that can cut that thread and send the whole American Experiment spiraling down the authoritarian abyss all the way down to a dictatorial bottom. Think I’m being a pessimist? Please think again, as it might be you who is blinded by outdated ideals of America the Indestructible. American Democracy is not cast in stone and the legitimacy of the American Judicial System depends to a very large extent on those Americans who interpret the Constitution and uphold the American rule of law. But what kind of justice can be expected from a Supreme Court that is so corrupt with partisanship and pro-authoritarian prejudice? Because of the abject moral standing of some of its rightwing members, the present Supreme Court of the United States cannot be trusted. To read an article that addresses the subject, please click here.

Applying Sec. 3 of the 14th Amendment to Donald Trump Doesn’t Require a Criminal Conviction. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 27th, 2023. Trump-worshipping Republicans of all walks of life and at different levels of government are going around loudly claiming that Trump cannot be banned from any State ballot without due process and that neither the Colorado Supreme Court, nor any other State Court for that matter, should have the authority to do so, adding that the only legitimate authority to decide whether Trump remains on the ballot rests on the American people and only through a democratic, electoral process. Sure, when it is convenient to their nefarious ends, they believe in Democracy, but when it comes to accepting the results of the 2020 presidential elections, it is all just an utterly rigged system. Hogwash, ladies and gentlemen. Republican arguments on this and many other subjects are pure cowdung. Section 3 of the 14th amendment was written with the specific intent to ensure that each and all the insurrectionists who participated in the armed rebellion against the United States Government during the Civil War were banned from holding public office ever again. According to the 14th amendment, no previous criminal conviction is required for anyone to be disqualified under section 3. Just the fact of having openly participated in, or having aided and abetted anyone who participated in, an insurrection is reason enough for any such individual to be disqualified. Sec. 3 of the 14th amendment is a Constitutional mandate, it is self-executing, meaning, it doesn’t need the approval of Congress or any other authority to be applied. To illustrate, according to the Constitution, all possible Presidents of the United States have first to be 1) born withing the confines of the nation, 2) be over 35 years of age and 3) have never participated in any way in any insurrection. Period. Congress could, if the case ever came to that, grant amnesty to such insurrectionist individuals, but that would be an ex-post-facto endeavor. Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederate Government, was never convicted of the crime of insurrection, yet, because of the 14th amendment, he, along all other Confederate officers, was banned to hold any public office for life. The Colorado Supreme Court found Donald Trump responsible for the insurrection of January 6th and from that very same moment Donald Trump falls under the provisions of the 14th amendment and is therefore ineligible to hold any office at any level in the United States Government, including the office of President of the United States. Should the Supreme Court punt again as it did on the presidential immunity case, or decide to declare Sec. 3 of the 14th Amendment inapplicable to Donald Trump, the legitimacy of that Branch of Government will forever be deeply tarnished and the destiny of American Democracy will be tossed up in the air, ominously subjected to the winds of chance. To read an article that elaborates on the subject with plenty of details, please click here.

The Sad and Ominous Corrupted Metamorphosis of American Morals. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 25th, 2023. So, what would you like me to do? Paint rosy skies and sing songs of praise for today’s American inauspicious sociopolitical predicament? You would like me to pretend everything is just hunky-dory in “the home of the brave and the land of the free”? You want me to pretend I’m blind? Bravery no longer seems to apply, as it might have applied in the past, to those Americans who stood for Democracy and egality between the different sectors of society. Today, the loudest, strongest, most-daring, “bravest” voices are those of the domestic authoritarian forces. These days, the pro-Fascist popular thrust is the one clearly gaining the upper hand in the nation’s sociopolitical theater and the nation’s judicial system seems totally emasculated, almost totally impotent to put a stop to it. The American Judicial System has already shown to be unprepared, perhaps even incapable, of dealing with the serious challenge the Fascist domestic forces are presenting to it. The unbelievable is today perfectly believable. American Democracy may soon crumble and fall. It seems we had only been self-deluding ourselves since the end of the Civil War believing our Judicial and Democratic Systems were from then on unbreakable. Alas! Those two vital systems are not cast in stone, quite to the contrary, they’re obviously very weak, as dangerously weak and corruptible as our own human nature is known to be. What promising sort of conclusion can we come to when the wife of one of the highest-placed judicial authorities in the land, Justice Clarence Thomas, openly endeavors to put an autocratic regime in place in the United States and the Supreme Court just shamelessly brushes the whole incident under the rug and does nothing about it? What kind of auspicious predictions can we make about the sociopolitical future of the United States when one of the two most traditional and powerful political institutions in the country, the Republican Party, stands up in loud and strong defense of a deranged authoritarian narcissist individual who, without a single tinge of a doubt, tried with all the might invested in him by the office of the Presidency, to stay in power in spite of the fact that we all know he lost the election for over 7 million votes? And, in the face of all this, you would still want me to think that “everything will be o’right in the end for the simple reason that this is America and ‘god is on our side’”? What kind of stupid fool would you want me to be expecting that I consider the whole ongoing situation as just a “passing” temporary phenomenon? If you want to fool yourselves, by all means, go ahead and fool yourselves and if the whole American Experiment is inevitably meant to go down in flames because of the blind stupidity of the majorities, well, so be it. As for me, I would watch America go down with sorrow, but with wide open eyes, not like a stupid fool who one day wakes up in shock realizing they could have avoided our Democracy’s demise but by then it is already too late to do anything about it.

The Real (T)Reason that Donald Trump Doesn’t Bow Out of the Race. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 23rd, 2023. The (t)reason that the American Mussolini, Donald Trump, doesn’t bow out of the presidential race is twofold. First and foremost, a) His humongous narcissism is well substantiated. By this I mean that, if his followers were to give up on him, if they stopped financing his defense in the multiple legal and criminal cases he’s involved in, if they stopped putting his outlandish defense arguments above, or at parity with the American Constitution, he would by force have to bow out of the race. If the Maga electorate were not so willing to cast their vote for him, all his bravado would be reduced to a ludicrous pantomime, and he would be left to face his fate by himself and go down in history as the most despicable president America has ever had. To expect any of that to happen, however, would just be outright wishful thinking, as the Maga cult has basically all the characteristics of a blind religious cult. The second (t)reason that America’s Mussolini doesn’t bow out of the presidential race is, b) His own survival as a free American citizen is at stake. The chances of that S.O.B. to be thrown in jail don’t only circulate in the minds of Democracy-loving, rule-of-law-loving Americans. It is actually a factual, legal high possibility. There is way too much at stake in 2024 for that despicable guy to simply bow out and call it quits. Nothing less than his so-called “business empire” and his personal freedom are hanging in the balance. You cannot expect a nefarious, rotten and perverted alpha guy like him to ever go down easily. If necessary, that guy is willing to take the whole American Experiment down the gutter with him. Remember how Hitler, when he saw that his total defeat was inevitable, ordered all his Generals to lay waste on everything around them (scorched-Earth policy) on their retreating path back to Berlin? That is precisely what the traitorous Maga Führer is willing to do. Undermine as much as possible our Democratic System, invalidate as much as possible our Judicial System and lay waste to all possible interpretations of the American Constitution that stand against him as possible. Still, in some way, we have to hand it to him. No one else in the history of the United States, except perhaps for Jefferson Davis back in the 1860s, has presented such a formidable challenge to our Democratic and Judicial Systems and to the unity of the nation, as much as that rotten S.O.B. Donald Trump has. Will the American Experiment survive such national survival-threat? May the universal forces take the side of a Democratic America once again. To read an article that addresses the subject, please click here.

Will SCOTUS Save US Democracy or Send the Country Spiraling Down Toward Dictatorship? Johannesburg, South Africa, December 21st, 2023. As expected, the pitiful, shameful, ludicrous, cowardly pro-Trump Republican primary candidates stood up in defense of their Führer and against the Colorado Supreme Court’s decision to ban Trump from the primary ballot in that state. What a pathetic gang of clowns! And those spineless individuals are the best the GOP can gather as potential contenders to Donald Trump? Ha! What a farce! What a dark mockery of American Democracy. What a sinister pantomime. But let’s face it. Such is the state of American politics in 2023. The whole myth of American political stability is hopelessly unraveling right before our own eyes and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. And that’s because the powerful forces tearing apart the very fabric of our Democracy do not reside outside our borders. Hatred against our Republic is festering right among us, right within the very heart of the nation. Such enmity is now an essential element within the political structure of the Republic and its representatives already hold high and determinant positions of power in the American Government. American Conservatism is no longer whatever anyone might have thought it was just a decade ago. Right now, as we speak, American Conservatism equals American Fascism. There has always been a proto-Fascist undercurrent in American politics, but now it is no longer hidden in the ideological undergrounds. Fascism already is a powerful force in American mainstream politics and it could easily become the overwhelmingly dominant one in just a matter of months. The Colorado 14th amendment decision against Trump is already in the hands of the Supreme Court, but we all know SCOTUS is no longer a reliable body whose decisions are based solely on objective interpretations of the Constitution. We all know this Supreme Court is highly biased in favor of conservatism, term which is now a synonym for Fascism. SCOTUS could take the easy way out and defer to the States the authority to interpret section 3 of the 14th amendment, or it could take the partisan path and say the 14th amendment doesn’t apply to Trump because US Presidents are not “officers” of government, thereby setting the country in an unstoppable slide toward dictatorship. This whole situation reminds me of “Rumble”, a piece I wrote and produced a couple of years ago while living on the island of Zanzibar, in the country of Tanzania, East Africa. In watching the events unfolding over these past few days, I thought the lyrics for “Rumble” are actually better applicable to America’s present situation than it was back in 2021. “USA you’ve lost your way, to Neofascism you fell prey - USA you’ve lost your cool, fell on your knees for a demagogue fool”. To listen to “Rumble” please click here. To read the Lyrics, please click here.

Hats Off to the Colorado Supreme Court. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 20th, 2023. Section 3 of the 14th Amendment clearly states than anyone who having previously taken an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution later engages in insurrection against the United States government should be banned from holding public office ever again. That’s basically a constitutional mandate. The Colorado Supreme Court’s decision is not of their own making. They’re simply upholding a Constitutional mandate that was ratified in July of 1868. This also means that the argument the 3 dissenting justices presented to dissent, that the Colorado Supreme Court does not have the authority to ban Trump from the Ballot, is totally bogus, because the authority to remove Trump from the ballot does not rest on the Colorado Supreme justices’ hands, it rests on the Constitution of the United States. The Supreme Judicial Authority in the land is the Constitution and it is that authority the one the 4 Colorado Justices apheld in their decision, not their own State's or personal one. But the decision had been Made, and now it will be up to the US Supreme Court to decide whether to go along with the Colorado decision or overrule it. But with ultra-Trumper guys like Justice Clarence Thomas, whose wife widely advocated to keep Trump in office regardless of the election results, being one of the nine votes involved in that decision, what are the chances that SCOTUS will take the Fascist side? Well, the chances are 6 to 3. In any case, the 4 Colorado justices who voted to remove Trump from the Colorado ballot are real true Americans willing to uphold the Constitution and the American rule of law above any partisan, pro-autocratic despicable impulses. Good job, Colorado Supreme Court. Enough of showing any leniency for that morally-degenerate, narcissist Fascist totally bent on destroying the American Democratic System. Let the Colorado Supreme Court decision be just the beginning of a Tsunami of justice that wipes out the MAGA scourge from the face of the United States and ends up throwing the American Mussolini, Donald Trump, in jail and incommunicado for the rest of his days. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (December 17th, 2023)

To Save American Democracy Behead the Venomous MAGA Snake. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 17th, 2023. Rudy Giuliani, the venomous MAGA Frog and Donald Trump’s servile henchman, has finally been held accountable for his vile anti-Democracy behavior. With a penalty of US$148 million for defaming two Georgia election workers, Rudy the Frog has had a big fall, thus far the noisiest of them all. But Rudy the vile Frog still has other pending indictments to face, particularly the Georgia election fraud case, in which he is charged as co-conspirator along with Donald Trump and others. All of these events point to a restoration of the trust the American Judicial System used to have that has been constantly eroded since the advent of Donald Trump to national politics. This is very encouraging news, but not anything near enough to guarantee the survival of our Democracy. You can sever parts of the MAGA Venomous Viper, but as long as the head remains intact and in place those severed parts can be replaced and grow again. There is only one sure way out of this MAGA madness: Donald Trump needs to be thrown in jail and barred from access to all media once and for all. As the present highly unforeseen circumstances clearly demonstrate, the 1st amendment can no longer be considered a universal right granted to every American. The Constitution needs to be amended to provide clearly defined guardrails against such domestic threats to our Democracy. That traitorous individual has already been the object of too much leniency from the part of our judicial system. Either America punishes Donald Trump to the fullest extent of the law and makes a clear example of him, or other authoritarian lunatics will follow in his steps and one of them might finally someday succeed in putting a dictatorship in place in the United States. You still have doubts as to the seriousness of the toxic venom spewing on a regular basis out of Donald Trump’s disgusting snout?  What do you think he means when he says he wants to “root out the communists, Marxists, fascists and the radical left thugs that live like vermin within the confines of our country that lie and steal and cheat on elections” And then ads that “They’re poisoning the blood of our country…” and continues saying “They poison mental institutions and prisons all over the world, not just in South America … but all over the world?”. That’s just clear and outright Fascist speech. And you still refuse to read the writings on the wall? Wake up America, full-fledged Fascism is already among us. It is already part of American mainstream politics. Donald Trump needs to be thrown in jail and barred from access to all media once and for all. Either the MAGA Snake is fully beheaded and disabled, or American Democracy will remain in peril for as long as that poisonous viper lives. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

100% Pro-Israel, 100% Against Hamas, 100% Pro-Palestine, What’s Wrong with That? Johannesburg, South Africa, December 15th, 2023. Can I have a deep feeling of love for America and still condemn the way we treated the continent’s indigenous people a few centuries ago? Can I celebrate the greatness of the most powerful nation in the world and still seriously criticize the cruel, ruthless way the colonizers displaced the local inhabitants and usurped their land? Can I applaud the exemplary social progress we presently have in the United States and still abhor the slavery of the past and condemn the dogged racism that in the present still plagues the nation? The answer to those questions is a resounding YES. Yes I can. Not only can I do that, I actually do. In a perfectly similar way, can I feel great admiration for the nation of Israel and still disagree with the Israeli governments’ behavior in Palestine since the inception of the country in 1948? YES, I can!  And yes I do. To experience real love for something or somebody doesn’t necessarily mean we have to whitewash all the small or serious imperfections the objects of our love may have. Inherent in human nature is the characteristic of imperfection. We cannot aspire to ever reach our ideals of human conduct if we just constantly accept that “well, that’s the way we are and so be it”. But even outside the realm of ideals, we still have the intimate, personal duty to expose that which is not right, that which is unfair, unjust, or even illegal according to the laws that we ourselves abide by. You don’t have to be antisemitic to voice your support for the Palestinian people’s right to live free as a nation in their own land. We can all passionately support Israel's right to exist and still support the Palestinians’ right to exist peacefully right beside Israel. In the same way, we can support Israel’s universal right to retaliate in full force against Hamas' October 7 barbaric terrorist massacre, while at the same time asking Israel to stop the ongoing indiscriminate killing of innocent Palestinians. Some could say with some justification that the Gaza Palestinian people had it coming simply for the fact of accepting and supporting a Hamas Government in their land, but Israel also has to take into serious consideration the consequences of their near-total destruction of Gaza and an important part of our love for Israel should be to tell them in very clear terms to stop the indiscriminate massacre. The violent loss of life in Palestine won’t bring back the lives violently lost in Israel on October 7. Yes, there is satisfaction in implementing the “eye for an eye” dictum and Israel is perfectly right in implementing it. Yes, there is a perceived sense of justice in retaliating forcefully for any serious wrong done to us. But there may come a time when retaliation crosses the border into abject criminality and that’s the border we don’t want our Israeli friends to cross, provided they haven’t crossed it already. Long live Israel. Long live Palestine.

The 2020s Are Looking like the Sequel to the Dark Authoritarian 1920s. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 14th, 2023. The forces of Soviet Communism, Italian Fascism and German Nationalism (later Nazism) were ignited and gained strength in Europe in the 1920s. And we all know the cataclysmic consequences those totalitarian movements had on the rest of the world. Italian and German totalitarianisms had a tremendous impact on Europe with serious repercussions on the United States, while the Russian Revolution had insidious consequences over the whole world that lasted for decades longer that the previous two. Italo-German movements began as nationalistic upheavals that eventually spilled over their borders into the neighboring countries and, in the Soviet case, across the world. Just as in the 1920s, today’s far-right movements also seek to enforce extreme nationalistic regimes, but are more numerous than back in those years. To name a few, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Robert Fico in Slovakia, Georgia Meloni in Italy, Victor Orban in Hungary, Jarosław Kaczynski in Poland and, of course, Donald Trump in the United States, all of them spouse or advocate authoritarian regimes of one kind or another, while Vladimir Putin is already all but a dictator in Russia. Then, there are those authoritarian leaders in Central and South America and those in Asia and elsewhere. There probably is plenty of communication between some, if not most, of those nefarious characters, but there doesn’t seem to be much coordination between them, at least not yet. The 1920s saw the gathering of dark forces that would later face the rest of the world in the battlefields during WWII. But the field where the 2020’s rival forces will resolve their differences won’t be the same. The dominos that fell under the boots of those far-right 1920s movements were the countries taken over by the Italy-Germany axis in Western Europe and Africa and by the Soviet Union in Eastern Europe. This time, the dominos that stand to fall won’t necessarily require standing armies to tilt them over. The world conflict that is presently brewing will also be at the international level, but it won’t be between countries. It will be between brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, province against province, state against state. It will be an international conflict in that it will be a domestic struggle taking place in many countries at the same time, just as it has already begun to happen, but invading other countries militarily won’t be the main thrust. This won’t be a quest for territorial conquest. The mission of those authoritarian lunatics already is and will continue to be to get rid of Democracy. The sequel to the 1920s authoritarian specter that resulted in WWII is the ideological clash between authoritarian and Democratic ideals that is presently brewing in the 2020s, except that we still don’t have any idea what will be the result of that clash this time around. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Concerned About Your Shifting Political Perspectives. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 13th, 2023. That is the subject- title of an email I sent about six days ago to comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actor, and television host, Bill Maher. I used to watch Bill's weekly HBO show quite often, but now I only watch it randomly, mostly whenever I don’t have much else to do. The email address I sent my email to is bill.maher@hbo.com. I know the guy is not going to reply to me because, who the heck am I? Compared to his fame and success as an entertainer and producer, I’m just a speck of dust drifting in the wind in the middle of nowhere. Still, it felt good to put my thoughts about his show in writing and, who knows? He might have even taken a peek at my words one of these past few days. You might be surprised to know that even some New York Times’ opinion writers sometimes respond to perfectly unknown people like me, as I have already gotten replies to my emails from a couple of them. No doubt there are good reasons for Bill Maher’s long and successful career, including some ups and downs. He’s definitely a talented man. A witty guy who has always leaned left in the American political spectrum but that now often seems to shift to the so-called center, which is the reason that I wrote to him. As you probably know, according to international political classifications, the American political “center” is really a moderate-right. When assessed by world political standards, there is NO real political left in America. The thing is that Bill Maher has recently been saying that Americans who “cancel” MAGA followers are wrong because MAGA people are also Americans and that, therefore, we should all try to accommodate their sociopolitical points of view. Ha! Really?! No way Bill. Consort with enemies of the United States? Me?! No way. Thanks but no thanks. I understand the guy is probably trying to attract as many viewers to his show as possible, so he's now trying to lure as many moderate MAGA people as he can, but from a mere spectator’s point of view, his mini-MAGA mask won’t ever disguise the stench of appeasement beginning to emanate from his attitude. Sorry Bill, you seem to have begun to show the sorry side of your political face. You have either somehow gotten confused or you’re already selling out. To read the email I sent to Bill Maher, please click here.

The Fate of American Democracy in the Hands of Six Conservative Justices. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 12th, 2023. Remember these words? “…when the president does it, it is not illegal.” It was the previous wannabe-emperor Richard Nixon who uttered those words in the Summer of 1977 during a series of interviews conducted by David Frost. Since then, the question of absolute presidential immunity has been contemplated and discussed in all kinds of circles, popular, political, and legal, but has never been resolved in any official, decisive, binding manner. Now it seems the time has come for the Supreme Court to finally make it clear whether the President of the United States has such imperial authority or not. Special Prosecutor Jack Smith, the guy who has already indicted Donald Trump twice, once for his efforts to overturn the 2020 elections and a second time for obstructing justice in the classified documents case, has asked the Supreme Court to officially rule on the matter and to please do it in an expeditious manner. The thing is Trump's lawyers are already appealing a decision against him on this issue at a Federal Court of Appeals known for the slow pace of their rulings, which could end up delaying the trial scheduled for March of 2024. In going directly to the supreme legal authority in the land, Jack Smith is smartly bypassing that laggard Court of Appeals, thereby probably putting the March trial back on track. As it stands today, the structure of the Supreme Court is 6 conservative Justices and 3 liberals, which makes you wonder whether that “conservative” majority will rule to protect American Democracy or set the country down the path to dictatorship. This is no joke. This is an extremely vital issue. Just picture what Donald Trump, or any other equally narcissistic, authoritarian individual, would do if they knew they could never be held accountable for anything they might do as presidents? Come to think of it, invested with such unlimited powers, Donald Trump might even go shoot someone in broad daylight on 5th Avenue and get away with it. Give the president of any country such deep and widespread levels of power and you’re basically anointing a dictator. The Supreme Court has already agreed to Smith’s request for expediency and has given Trump's legal team until December 20th to present their case for presidential immunity, which means we might hear a decision from the Court as early as January 2024. The crucial question now is whether the lethal MAGA virus has infected the hearts of the conservative justices to the point of blinding them to the dire consequences of any pro-Trump ruling in this case, or whether they will allow their love for the United States prevail over any destructive partisan decisions. Only time will tell. To read an article that elaborates in detail on the subject, please click here.

Are American Elite University Presidents Sleepwalking, Just Plain Stupid, or What? Johannesburg, South Africa, December 11th, 2023. Ivory tower is a term used to describe the private workplace of artists and intellectuals, a place isolated from the menial toils involved in day-to-day affairs, meaning, a realm that hovers above the spheres of practical matters. Is such fanciful world the habitat of the presidents of those three elite universities that just a few days ago faced a grilling from a Congressional Committee? Is that the kind of pseudo-reality where those University presidents live? Are they even slightly aware of the polarized political situation prevalent today in the United States? Don’t they know anything about the kind of devious characters that populate today’s ranks of the Republican party? Don’t they know that, by tradition, Republicans hate education, particularly of the universalist, progressive kind and that, by all means, they try to discredit and get rid of any institution that imparts such kind of education? How dare those three University presidents come to face a committee chaired by Republicans in such unprepared fashion? How could they not assume that the whole situation was going to be just a trap to make them look as reprehensible as possible? I tell you, a great number of Americans, particularly those of the Democratic persuasion, still haven’t come to grips with the seriousness of the present national reality. There are only two alternatives to those three University presidents’ embarrassing performance. The first one is hubris, sheer arrogance, which in practical terms comes down to blatant stupidity. You don’t go face a Congressional Committee that includes Elisa Stefanik unless you’re armed to your teeth with arguments against any questions intended to trip you, particularly when the issue at hand is as thorny as antisemitic speech on campus. Don’t they know who Stefanik is? Elisa Stefanik is one of the two most blood-thirsty, election-denier, MAGA, rabid attack-dogs roaming around Congress, the other one being Jim Jordan. Yet, the presidents of those three top-ranked American educational institutions walked into the hearing like unprepared freshmen facing a midterm exam. In what kind of foolish hands have our elite educational institutions fallen into? The second alternative is that those academics do indeed support antisemitic speech on Campus, so they didn’t bother much to appear like they didn’t, in which case they would only deserve to be dismissed as University presidents. In conclusion, no matter whether those top academics sleepwalked into a trap, were too arrogant to prepare for the questioning or are indeed antisemitic, they all disserve to be removed from their posts. One of those three disgraceful, incompetent individuals already resigned. What are the other two waiting for? Good riddance. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

A Man’s Magnetic Madness Prevailing Over a Reasonable Man’s Hesitant Weakness. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 10th, 2023. It’s still the same old story. We humans still don’t seem to have evolved much over the millennia. In times of turmoil the loudest voices still seem to be the ones people heed the most. Why is it that when, for whatever reason, moral compasses start going berserk the voices of hatred start gaining momentum? Why is it that, in uncertain circumstances, the voices of division are often those that take the lead? Why are extreme mass sentiments of sectarianism and hatred often those that prevail over most feelings of egalitarian humanhood? Just let the feeling of frustration because of any group of people’s perceived declining socioeconomic status become widespread and watch how the social fabric of societies begins to disintegrate. Let a concept of our country that for centuries has been considered unassailable and perpetual start to unravel and watch how the ugly face of elitism, favoritism, and racism comes to the surface. Just let a black man become President of the United States and watch how the majority of ethnic whites begins to cry foul and start demanding that the whole sociopolitical and economic structure of the country be redressed, to the point that their demands include abolishing or largely overhauling the most basic and foundational document that has held the country together since its inception, the Constitution of the United States. Not much seems to have changed and evolved regarding human nature. That’s a truism not difficult to accept. In very important ways, we’re still “cavemen in designer jeans”. But it is often also true that “it takes two to tango”, and the present situation is no exception. An important part of the cause that the voices of hatred are today so loud and dominant in America is that the voices of reason are correspondingly weak and hesitant. As Donald Trump dares to go on Cable TV and claim that he will be a dictator, if even for just the first day (yeah, right), if he is reelected president, Joe Biden is barely starting to openly criticize him. Mike Johnson, the Republican Speaker of the House, says publicly that the faces shown in the videos of the people who participated in the insurrection of January 6 must be blurred so that the DOJ cannot come after them, which basically amounts to aiding and abetting the insurrection, and the response from the Democrats is weak at best, if not totally absent. No doubt about it, the voices of division and hatred keep gaining such alarming intensity and acceptance in America because the voices of reason and national unity are still mostly acquiescent and weak. Did you check out the recent Wall Street Journal national poll showing Donald Trump ahead of Joe Biden by 4 percentage points 47% to 43%? And still, quite contrary to the ongoing reality, the advice Biden keeps getting from his campaign advisers is NOT to talk too much about Trump’s dictatorial threat. Nobody likes weakness of character. That’s why Donald Trump’s magnetic madness is prevailing over Joe Biden’s hesitant weakness. It is plain to see that if American Democracy ever goes down the toilet, both Republicans and Democrats will have an equal share of the blame for such lamentable outcome. To read an article that addresses the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (December 9th, 2023)

What the Framers of the Constitution Could Never Envision. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 8th, 2023. The minds of Adams, Franklin, Hamilton, Jay, Jefferson, Madison, and Washington were obviously never troubled by the possibility that a proto-dictator could ever reach the Presidency of the country. That’s why they never put in print any specific guardrails to prevent such disastrous event from ever taking place. Federalist #78 clearly states the supremacy of the Constitution over any other principles for governing and imparting justice across the land, but the responsibility for interpreting such foundational document falls on the individual judgement of those invested with the authority to do so, meaning, it all comes down to whether the morality, honesty, and love of country of the elected and appointed officials stands at levels of firmness high enough as to never allow the nation to fall down the path to dictatorship. The Framers never envisioned that any influential number of Americans would ever want to betray the foundational ideals they so carefully endeavored to ascribe in that document and, in a way, they were right. That is why, in order to justify and legalize their untenable unconstitutional position, the Confederate Rebels had to draft their own constitution, according to which the autonomy of the States was highlighted and the power of the Federal Government was seriously curtailed. But, most importantly, the Confederate constitution partially legalized slavery by denying the slaves the right to American citizenship, thereby automatically divesting them of any constitutional rights (i.e., “do with them as you wish”). You cannot be a true-American and at the same time trample all over the American Constitution. That is why the most un-American character of the present days, Donald J. Trump, has already basically called for terminating the US Constitution. On December 3rd, 2022, in promoting the lunatic fallacy that he won the 2020 elections, he posted on his social media platform “Truth Social” that “A Massive Fraud of this type and magnitude allows for the termination of all rules, regulations, and articles, even those found in the Constitution…” (see here) Anyone not paying attention to that guy’s pro-autocratic words has to be willfully blind. No doubt the US Constitution stands as a serious obstacle in the path of any wannabe dictators, but the Constitution is only a document that can be altered (amended) and it can also be terminated, discarded or replaced. The founding fathers never envisioned the possibility of an American Civil War in the middle of the 19th century, just as they never envisioned the advent of Fascism as a widespread powerful force in the mainstream of American Politics during the first quarter of the 21st. As the situation stands today, it will be up to the present and future generations of Americans to stand up in defense of the rule of law in the United States and to modify the Constitution so that it fits the imperative sociopolitical needs of the times or to simply let it all fall slowly into abject irrelevance, thereby submitting the country to the Fascist, undemocratic destiny that today’s Republicans are so adamantly bent on bringing about.

--- There is a new original piece in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (December 7th, 2023)

Be Sheepish with Wolves and Face the Deadly Consequences. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 5th, 2023. No time to be a foolish, well-meaning, naïve, bleeding-heart liberal. As Pete Seger used to sing a few decades ago, “there’s a time for every purpose under heaven… a time to kill…a time to heal…” This is no time to be kind to the utterly unkind among us. No time to condone intentions and actions that only seek to inflict deadly harm on our own wellbeing. No time to extend a hand to rabid dogs that will only bite it and tear it apart. This is a time to stand firm in the face of injurious forces hellbent on obliterating the foundations of our Democratic Systems. But the tentacles of those forces are not exclusively trying to strangle the American Democratic System, they extend wide across the whole world. Hungary, Hong Kong, Myanmar, The Philippines, Turkey, Bolivia, Colombia, El Salvador, and others, have become much more authoritarian than could have been imagined just a decade ago. Among the leaders of those countries, Victor Orban of Hungary is one of the most vociferous ones. Along with Donald Trump, Orban is also one of the best-positioned individuals to spread the gospel of hatred that all those authoritarian, Fascist, powerful lunatics are so keen on spreading. Give any of those guys even a modicum of compassion and you will only make them feel empowered to pursue their nefarious ends with much more zeal. No quarters should be given to those whose clear intentions are the destruction of Democracy across the world. They want our friendship and cooperation? Sure. Have them come back wholeheartedly into the Democratic fold and they will surely get it. They want to continue trying to install autocratic regimes across the world? Well, that’s their choice. But as long as that’s the case, they’re not even getting the shadow of a smile from me. Period. You cannot be friendly to your worst enemy. You can keep the channels of communication open with them, but you don’t have to show a single trace of sympathy for their cause. Along these lines, the European Commission seems about to make a catastrophic mistake. The move by Orban’s Hungarian Government a few years ago to undermine that country’s judicial system prompted the EU to freeze €27 billion (US$29 billion) in funds, but now the Commission is moving to release €10 billion (US$10.8 billion) of those frozen moneys, which can be considered a financial reward the Orban government hasn’t earned at all. The Commission’s move appears aimed at enticing Orban to approve pending funds earmarked to help Ukraine in their war against Russia but, surely, the EU must have other ways to avert falling into that blackmailing trap. Authoritarian governments should by no means be rewarded for being authoritarian. The EU must find a way to continue financing Ukraine’s war without having to succumb to the nefarious designs of that fascist lunatic, Victor Orban. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

South Africa- Country #53. Johannesburg, South Africa, December 3rd, 2023. Yehp, I’m back in Johannesburg, but this time I’m here to stay for a few weeks. The last time I was here it was only at the airport, as I was on my way to Swakopmund in Namibia, so that time didn’t count on my list of countries where I‘ve been. This time yes, this is officially the country No. 53 I will have been to. But before leaving Morocco I went back to Casablanca where, once again, I went back to Rick’s Café and I sang “As Time Goes By” one more time. This time I was able to get someone to use my phone to tape a video of the presentation, but the guy taping it was just a nervous busboy with no obvious skills for the task, so the result was not quite to my liking, although it wasn’t too bad either. In consequence, I already started looking for ways to work on it a bit so that, as soon as I have processed it to an acceptable level I will upload it to the Music section of this website. In the meantime, I’m hereby sharing with you some still frames I extracted from the video that can give you an idea of the ambience at Rick’s Café. Please note that I’m not using a microphone for singing and the reason for it is that the Jazz Trio that accompanied me doesn’t usually have a singer with them, so there’s no need for them to have a special sound system for the vocals. In the coming days, I intend to take some photos of my whereabouts and as soon as I have put together some photo albums I will upload them to the Photos section of this website. To view some still frames of my presentation at Rick’s Café in Casablanca, please click here.

American Presidents Are NOT Emperors. Essaouira, Morocco, November 28th, 2023. The American Judicial System is on the verge of failing miserably. The American sociopolitical reality of the 21st century requires much more outside-the-box thinking than judges, courts and the DOJ seem to be able to handle. The leader of the American Fascist Party (GOP) is presenting the American Judicial System with challenges they never thought they would someday have to face. The problem is that, in erring on the side of caution, they risk sending the whole American experiment sliding down toward chaos. Just try to picture the following: Section 3 of the 14th amendment (see here) clearly states that NOBODY who has taken an oath to protect the constitution of the United States and later engages in insurrection against the Government of the United States, can ever serve in any influential position at any level of government ever again. But State of Colorado District Judge Sarah B. Wallace has already officially ruled that, even though in her legal assessment Donald Trump clearly engaged in insurrection on Jan. 6, section 3 of the 14th amendment does to apply to presidents (see here). Excuse me? Is Judge Wallace saying that American Presidents can actually engage in insurrection against the United States Government and it is OK? Is Judge Wallace a Trumper, an anti-American covert agent, or just plain stupid? Then, we just recently find out that the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, which usually rules on cases in a span of 4 months, has taken almost a year to look into a case pertaining to Trump’s inciting violence on the Capitol on Jan. 6, and still nobody has heard anything about it since the case was first heard on December 2022? (see here). Excuse me? Wouldn’t you want to know what’s going on here? The bottom line is that those judges and functionaries don’t seem to really know what to do. The founding fathers never imagined that a fascist totalitarian like Donald Trump could ever reach the highest office in the land, so, there are no clear guidelines for this type of situation in the Constitution or anywhere else. As a result, most American judges don’t want to be the ones who, as they say, “divides the country further” or “inflicts irreparable damage on the office of the presidency,” arguments that only amount to hogwash, horse manure, buffalo chips. Let that traitor Donald Trump off the hook and you’ll be declaring that American Presidents are actually Emperors with unlimited levels of power and zero levels of accountability. What happened to the adage “you cannot shout ‘fire’ in a crowded theater?". No American official, elected or not, should have the license and authority to incite a rebellion against the State and get away with it unpunished. Give the 1st amendment such extreme interpretation and you’ll be signing the death sentence to American Democracy. American Presidents are, first and foremost, American citizens and, as such, they ultimately have to be as accountable for their actions as the rest of us. America may well be considered an empire by the rest of the world, but American Presidents are certainly no Emperors.

Israel, this Is the Right Moment to Stop the War. Essaouira, Morocco, November 26th, 2023. Israel, you have already inflicted serious damage on Hamas’ infrastructure. You have already gotten some of the hostages back home and you are poised to free them all sometime soon. This is the right moment to stop the invasion. Just create a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone) between you and the Gaza Strip and call it quits. Don’t waste your energies and resources anymore and, most importantly, don’t waste the precious goodwill toward you that you have thus far garnered from the rest of the world in pursuit of something you won’t very likely achieve. Obviously, Hamas cannot be erased from the face of the earth though military means. It is Hamas’ terrorist ideas that have to be eradicated from Palestinian minds. And that can only be achieved by example, your example, Israel. Once and for all, stop the illegal settlements and accept that the Palestinians have the same right as you do to live in peace, on their own land, right beside you. We love you, Israel. America loves you with a deep undying love. You already have the military, technical and financial power to bring peace and stability to the Levante. All you need to do is put to work that wisdom that has for so many centuries characterized your people and we will all soon witness peace and harmony grow forevermore between Israel and all her neighbors. Israel, this is the right moment to stop the war. Let all of you grieve for the loss of life on both sides of the conflict and let all of us start thinking of ways to rebuild, not only streets and houses, but that sense of brotherhood that continues to be so elusive in that area of the world.

A Request I Will Always Refuse to Accept. Essaouira, Morocco, November 24th, 2023. Not long ago, someone asked me how come I didn’t condone or accept the political views of extreme right-wing Americans? After all, they said, they are Americans too. I replied, “what would you like me to say? That, since those fascist guys are Americans, I’m obliged to accept their fascist ideas?” How can anyone expect me to even consider my fascist fellow-Americans’ designs when their ultimate goal is the destruction of the United States? The moment they started plotting to override the Constitution along with the rule of law and the Democratic principles that govern the nation, is the moment that they ceased to be Americans in the full sense of the word. It is the duty of the rest of us to try to have those authoritarian guys see their grave error through clear statements of disapproval, but we cannot acquiesce to their destructive words and actions, nor pretend in their presence that they may be right. To illustrate, try looking at it this way. Picture where would we all be today had Abraham Lincoln said: “Well, our southern brethren are Americans too, so we cannot take any decisive action against them to make them give up their slave-holding practices nor to stop them from seceding, for this is their country too, and they are Americans as much as we northerners are.” Or, what if Lincoln had said to Jefferson Davis, “Ok, Jeff, you are an American as much as I am, so, let’s make a deal. You guys promise to stay within the Union and we’ll let you keep half your slaves”. Can you picture that? Had Abraham Lincoln done that or anything similar, there’s a chance we would still have large pockets of slave-holding territories in the United States. As things stand today, there is no possible compromise with the MAGA crowds. They have to come back into the Democratic fold, or there will be an armed conflict an undetermined span of time down the line. We all know the United States is in NO way a perfect nation, but its founding ideas, principles and laws allow for the country to evolve forward and to correct course whenever we go astray. Even the Constitution can be amended whenever it’s necessary. But the Republicans want to destroy it all simply because the sociopolitical soul of the country has evolved way ahead of their stagnant, festering, outmoded ideas and they are ideologically incapable to adapt. And some people would still want me to compromise with people holding such morally-warped ideas simply because they too are Americans? No thank you very much. Either those guys come back to being full-fledged, pro-Democracy Americans or there is no compromise between us. If the Trumpian hordes want to follow their mad Führer like Lemmings down a fascist precipice, that’s their choice, but I’m in no way going to condone, acquiesce to, agree with, or participate in such self-destructive delusional insanity.

It Was 60 Years Ago Today. Essaouira, Morocco, November 22nd, 2023. - The 22nd of November, 1963, was a Friday. At around 02:00 in the afternoon that day, I was at home at my family house when the telephone rang. I picked it up. At the other end of the line there was my friend Roland, who instead of saying “Hi George” as he usually would, just said “They killed Kennedy”. His voice sounded concerned, but not alarmed, so, believing it was all just a prank I replied “yeah, right!”. He just said, “turn on the TV”, and then he just said “bye”. I hung up and went straight to the TV set and turned it on. And, darn it! Roland was right, John F. Kennedy had been shot at 12:30 and had officially been pronounced dead at 01:00 o’clock that very same afternoon. I felt a bit num. “They shot the President of the United States!”, I thought. On that day, that certain aura of fairytale the Kennedys had brought to the White House was violently terminated. As if it had all been just a daydream. Reality had hit back with a vengeance. But the trauma was only beginning. Just about a week after Kennedy’s death, President Lindon B. Johnson authorized the Warren Commission to investigate the assassination, only for the Commission to come to totally unsatisfactory conclusions 10 months later. They ludicrously concluded that Lee Harvey Oswald had acted alone and the case was then closed as far as the US Government was concerned. Malarkey! Boloney! BS! The fact is there actually were 3 shooters, 1) Oswald from the 6th floor of the Book Depository behind the motorcade, 2) the guy at the Grassy Knoll on the right-hand side facing Kennedy, and 3) the guy on the left-hand side in front of the motorcade. Conspiracy theories? My foot! It may well be that the Warren commission was handed a preconceived conclusion by the powers of the moment and all the Commission had to do was to manipulate and fabricate evidence that in the end would corroborate their preconceptions. The logical assumption is that some of the people implicated, either actively or passively, in the assassination, were probably too high up in the government ranks or too well-known in the American moneyed circles to be brought to justice. Obviously, you cannot expect a detective to find the assassin when the assassin himself is the detective’s employer and financer. Kennedy was a progressive President according to the political trends of the time, but today he would probably be considered just along the ideological lines of Barack Obama. Was Kennedy’s Bay of Pigs betrayal the reason for his assassination? Were the right-wing lunatics of the time so fearful of Kennedy’s left-leaning policies to concoct such crime? Could both those groups of violent lunatics have been in cahoots in the whole affair? Will we ever know for sure? Today’s situation is no consolation for anybody. American right-wing madness has not abated over the past 60 years. Actually, in a way it has gotten even worse. 60 years ago, they forever terminated the existence of an American President, today, 60 years after that assassination, they want to forever terminate the existence of the American Democratic System. In November of 1963 we said goodbye to John F. Kennedy. Will we say goodbye to American Democracy in November of 2024?

The Sad But Highly Expected Dreadful Consequences. Essaouira, Morocco, November 18th, 2023. The New York Times’ news says Gaza is now the graveyard for thousands of children, which creates a horrifying vision of those innocent little beings crushed under the rubble of houses and buildings that were once their home. I certainly feel for the Palestinian families who have suffered such heart-rending loss but, in reality, those families have no one else to blame but those organized Hamas terrorist beasts in their midst. There is NO way Hamas could have expected Israel to remain calm after the horrific massacre they perpetrated on Israeli soil. According to several reports, Hamas’ October 7 massacre was atrocious, barbaric, cruel and heartless and the only way they could have perpetrated such crime is by design. Such cruelty was not something they committed on the spur of the moment. They intentionally planned it that way. Cannot be sure whether they expected Israel to retaliate with such overwhelming, brutal force, but they knew that in performing their murderous attack they were signing the death sentence for thousands of their own Palestinian brethren. And what about the tunnels Hamas built under the hospitals and under the streets of Gaza city? Do you think day-to-day Gazans were not aware of what was going on underground, right under their own feet? It's not hard to imagine that many, if not most of them, knew about it. No doubt Gazans had enough reason to resent Israel’s domination over them and, most likely, many of them were quite willing to arm themselves against Israel. But there must have also been those who were only minding their own business and were too concerned about providing for the wellbeing of their own families to pay attention to much else. However, for exactly the same reasons, weren’t they supposed to be vigilant as to Hamas’ terrorist plans and the deadly consequences their designs would have on all Gazans? Hard to imagine that Gazans were not, in one way or another, somehow complicit to different degrees in Hamas’ doings. Perhaps not to the point of being aware of the horrific details of the attack Hamas planned to inflict on the Israelis, but at least to the point of knowing that something really bad was in the offing. In saying all this, however, I’m not condoning anything that could resemble the violent loss of innocent lives that the New Your Times’ report is talking about. I’m just commenting on the fact that all actions generate a reaction, and that no doubt Hamas knew with high levels of accuracy how the Israelis would retaliate against Gaza, particularly given the horrific way in which they perpetrated their dark, despicable, terrorist attack. No doubt they knew that in attacking Israel in such murderous manner they were condemning to death thousands of their own people. In a few words, the blame for the death of all those innocent Palestinian children falls squarely on no one else's shoulders but Hamas'. To read the New York Times’ article in question, please click here.

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Brace for a Convicted Felon Presidential Candidate and More... Essaouira, Morocco, November 12th, 2023. If you think that convicting Donald Trump in even just one of the three criminal trials he’ll be facing next year will keep him out of the 2024 ballot, you still haven’t understood what the term “cult of personality” really means. Cult of personality means that the followers see their leader as a unique, righteous, indispensable, absolute, even god-sent role model that everyone should follow. The deep love, admiration and respect the cult members feel for their leader is only comparable to the religious fervor religious zealots feel for their messiah, whoever that may be. Serious, widespread cults of personality even hover above the domains of dogmatic beliefs, meaning that once the number of cult members reaches critical mass, the cult itself commands loyalties that go way beyond reason. Cults of personality are irrational and, for that simple reason, whenever they gain preponderant, dominant political power, they usually end in catastrophe. The two main, historical examples of cults of personality are Benito Mussolini of Italy and Adolph Hitler of Germany. The main extant example of such execrable sociopolitical phenomenon is Donald Trump of the United States. Donald Trump was right when he literally said he “could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody and [he] wouldn't lose any voters”. And the fact may be that even if Trump ever shot a guy in broad daylight on 5th Avenue, his cult followers would blame the guy for not ducking the bullet in time or for having stood in Trump’s way in the first place. And they may even suggest that the guy must have been a “deep state” agent trying to stop Trump. Convicting Trump in any or all of the criminal trials that await him in 2024 will NOT stop the great majority of his followers from voting for him. The Democrats are banking heavily on the hope that a criminal conviction will mean the end of Trump’s political ambitions. Fat chance. A conviction will only inflame most of his cult followers and raise Trump's status to levels of martyrdom previously seen mostly in religious texts. The deep, widespread, relentless fervor the confederate rebels felt for their cause during the Civil War, as inhumane and deplorable as such fervor may have been, should serve as a clear, ominous warning of the gestating power the MAGA forces could someday soon unleash on the nation, except that this time the armed confrontation wouldn’t be between two regular armies, but between neighbor against neighbor, community against community, city against city, state against state. So, if you think that convicting Trump in any of the three criminal trials that await him will derail his presidential candidacy, think again, for you’re probably totally wrong on that count. And if you think the MAGA cult followers would hesitate for a moment in electing a convicted felon to the presidency of the United States, you better pinprick your hands a few times with a needle, as you surely need to wake up.

Why Do Republicans Hate the United States So Much? Essaouira, Morocco, November 11th, 2023. They hate the American Constitution, the American Democratic System, the American Judicial System, and anybody and anything that may stand up in defense of the nation’s foundational principles. Sure, they selectively use all existing constitutional, electoral and legal means whenever those are useful to them, but whenever any of it presents an obstacle to their nefarious designs, they discard it, insult it, delegitimize it and, ultimately, they stage coup d’états against the government in broad daylight. No doubt about it, those guys really hate the United States. The good thing is that they plot how to destroy America right out in the open, so that at least we know who and what we’re up against. But the bad thing is that they do so while there is very little the powers that be can do to stop them. Heck, it often seems to be primarily the voters, the American people themselves, who either support them or don’t want to do much about it. So, why is it that so many Republicans hate the United States so much? I am a fan of Occam’s Razor’s bottom-line philosophy, which states that, all things being equal, the simplest explanation to a problem is probably the right one. With that in mind, the reason that so many Republicans hate the United States is quite clear: Because the American sociopolitical evolution has gone so far ahead of the Republicans' stagnant ideas that the means they used to have to bring the majority of the electorate to their side are now seriously discredited and diminished. This has happened to them for a few reasons, namely, a) White voters are no longer the overwhelming majority of the electorate, b) although white supremacism is still an influential force in American politics, significant numbers among the remaining white majority no longer embrace it, c) the ideas proposed by minoritarian leaders have broadened their appeal to reach voters across the wide ethnic spectrum of the electorate, including considerable numbers of white Americans and, finally, d) support for the Republicans’ blatant favoritism for the moneyed classes and their almost complete disregard for the needs of the populace is much less tolerated today than it was just a few decades ago. In the face of those factors, exacerbated by the Republicans’ rigid, reactionary, recalcitrant ideological inability to evolve into a viable political party of the 21st century, they have opted for the only alternative still available to them: A Scorched-Earth Conspiracy. To abolish all existing Constitutional, Democratic and Legal systems that may stand in the way of their authoritarian designs so that they may sooner than later put in place an autocratic system of government in the United States. In short, the Republicans hate our country because the foundational systemic guardrails deeply embedded in the idea of America and implemented through the essential documents, principles and laws that give it shape haven’t thus far allowed for authoritarian demagoguery to prevail over the guiding tenets for Democracy and reason. They hate and want to destroy the United States as we know it, because the United States, as it exists today, stands in the way of their traitorous, insane, corrupt, anti-Democracy, Fascist, pro-Autocratic, Darwinistic, immoral designs.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (November 9th, 2023)

Those Demo-Fools Really Risk Losing the Country in 2024. Essaouira, Morocco, November 7th, 2023. Have you checked out the results of the recent polls conducted by The New York Times and Siena College showing that 22 percent of Black voters in some battleground states are planning on voting for Trump in 2024? (see here) Boy, when a twice-impeached, four times-indicted front-runner for the Republican Party keeps syphoning away voters from Joe Biden’s most reliable constituency, the time for sounding the alarm looks way overdue. But the Democrats don’t seem to care much about it. They just keep blindly playing their “everything’s cool” card, just like the proverbial guy who fell from a 50th floor and was heard saying “so far so good” when he was passing by the 25th. Many of us know perfectly well that the Republicans are heavily bent on forever erasing the United States from the list of Democratic countries of the world but, does the leadership of the Democratic Party share in that knowledge? Sadly, it doesn’t really look like they do. Meanwhile, the Republican Führer, his family, his lawyers and other henchmen keep making a mockery of the American Judicial System. The outright contempt in which they hold the criminal and civil trials the American “Duce” (as in Mussolini) is being subjected to is nothing short of an insult to the American rule of law. But the shame is not on them. It’s on the masses of Americans, particularly those of non-white ethnicities, who still support that notorious consummated cheat who doesn’t even try to hide the fact that he is a white-supremacist racist. But facts are facts and reality-based people like us have no choice but to live with them. So, where do we go from here? The abyss? Down the Fascist rabbit hole? I didn’t vote for Joe Biden in 2020. I voted against Donald Trump. Joe Biden might have been a good leader 30 or 40 years ago, but not today. In 2023 Joe Biden is an old man, not because of his physical age, but because his mind is set on the past. A past where Republicans at least pretended to accept and abide by the rules of American Democracy. Those days are long gone, yet Joe Biden still believes in bipartisanship while many other elected Democrats only believe in getting reelected and America be damned. Donald Trump is leading Joe Biden in the national polls so, you tell me, does this mean that the majority of Americans prefer autocracy to Democracy? Well, the way things are going, it may be rather sad for some of us to admit it, but that’s the way it increasingly seems.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (November 4th, 2023)

With No Real American Left-Wing Party to Protect Their Interests, Millions of Americans Embraced the Far Right. Essaouira, Morocco, November 3rd, 2023. By now it is just another basic but verifiable truism to affirm that the Republican Party has abandoned their conservative principles and has become a far-right, proto-Fascist, political organization. We all know that. But what can be said about the Democratic Party? What have those Democrat guys been doing all along? Basically nothing. In the face of our chaotic national predicament, Democrats have just been playing the “not my fault” card, hoping that in letting the GOP self-immolate and implode, they will gain the respect of the masses. No such thing. We all know it takes two to tango and we all know the Democrats have failed the American working classes in very consequential ways. Democrats have been betraying American workers almost at every possible turn since the 60s. For example, what have they done to protect the masses of workers whose jobs were outsourced overseas? What have they done to ensure higher education is clearly affordable to all Americans? What have they done to ensure that healthcare is a given right of all Americans across the board and not the most expensive healthcare system in the world? Democrats were supposed to be the party of the people, but they’re not. Democrats are not even a left-wing party, not by European or world standards. From an international perspective, the American Democratic Party is just a moderate center-right institution. The number of real “left-wingers” in the Democratic Party can be counted with one hand, namely, the so-called “Squad” in the House of Representatives and Bernie Sanders in the Senate. The rest of them are, at best, moderate center-right individuals, not to mention pseudo-Democratic Senators like Joe Manchin and Christen Sinema, who often are more conservative than most Republicans. When one of the two main political parties fails to fulfill its duties on the one side of the equation, the political balance of the nation is lost and the consequences can be unpredictable. The Republicans abandoned their traditional conservative principles over the past few years, but the Democrats abandoned the American masses a few decades ago and the whole country is now suffering the consequences for that failure. It is true that both the Electoral College and the structure of the Senate are fundamentally tilted in the conservatives’ favor, but not even on that count can the Democrats be let off the hook, for they have done absolutely nothing to even up the playing field. Democrats better not fool themselves, there won’t be any laurels waiting for them at the end of the dark episode our country is presently going through. The one thing they could surely do is learn their lesson well and give up their mistaken pro-elites agendas for good, so that they can really start legislating policies in clear favor of the American masses. No doubt about it, the Democrats’ failure to stand up for the American people is one of the main reasons that millions of them saw no alternative but to seek shelter in the ranks of the Republican far right.

The Desperate Republican Jihad Against America. Essaouira, Morocco, November 2nd, 2023. In Arabic, the original, basic, essential meaning of Jihad is something like “to exert strength and effort in order to accomplish a task”. In the religious context of Islam, Jihad means to fight by all means against the real or imaginary enemies of that religion, and it is in this context that the term is now inextricably associated with terrorism. In the perverted political context of the Republican Party, Jihad means to fight against the American Constitution, against the American Democratic and Judicial Systems, against social progress, against teaching fact-based truthful American history in schools, against equality of rights between men and women, against women’s reproductive freedom, against the freedom of LGBTQ+ people to be as they wish, against the rights of ethnic minorities, and against a few other groups of people and citizen’s rights. The Republican Political Jihad is a fight to uphold white supremacy in America, to promote the installation of Authoritarian regimes in the United States and to replace the American Rule of Law with a police state based on outright Darwinist fascist principles. The Mufti, or authority, of the Republican Jihad is non other than their Führer Donald Trump, a political terrorist whose only reason to exist is to destroy anyone or any institution or any system that may stand in his way to become the first ever American Dictator. Just as those terrorist suicide-bombers who are willing to blow themselves up in the name of their mistaken cause, Trump and the Republicans are willing to destroy America as we know it if that’s what it takes to attain their nefarious goals. In their view, it is either THEIR way or NO way. They are perfectly aware that their perverted ideology does NOT appeal to the great majority of Americans, so they have realized that their only available way to attain political power is to get rid of our Democratic and Judicial Systems and put in place a dictatorship. All or nothing. Power to them or power to nobody. Authoritarianism or chaos, and chaos as a means to eventually attain authoritarianism. And those Republican Jihadists are not joking. A good number of them already hold important positions of influence in the corridors of American Political power, while legions of others seem perfectly proud to profess a quasi-religious allegiance and obedience to their Führer. Together, they pose a very serious threat to the survival of the Republic. True Americans, therefore, meaning those of us who believe that the American Democratic and Judicial Systems are worth keeping at all cost and by all means, should remain vigilant. For the moment, we are still fortunate enough to hold a powerful pro-Democracy tool in our hands: Our vote. Let’s please not waste it on any Republican candidates, at least not until they come back into the pro-Democracy fold. As the situation stands today, the loudest voices chanting “death to America” are no longer coming to us from the country of Iran, like they used to. Now, those anti-American voices are coming straight from the Republican Party, right here at home. It is all just part of the ongoing desperate Republican Jihad against America.

Israel, Your War Is Increasingly Looking Like Genocide. Beware. Essaouira, Morocco, October 31st, 2023. Esrael’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been quoted in newspapers and Cable News Shows citing biblical passages pertaining to the atrocities the Amalekite tribe did to the Jewish people during the latter’s Exodus from Egypt (± 1220 BC). According to biblical mythology, after that attack there were calls and exhortations from the part of the leaders and Rabis of the time not to forget “what Amalek did to you on the road after you left Egypt, how he attacked you when you were tired, barely able to put one foot in front of another, mercilessly cut off your stragglers, and had no regard for God.” (Deuteronomy 25:17-19) According to the myths Netanyahu is referring to, in retaliation for the Amalekites’ attack, “god” instructed the prophet Samuel to order Saul, the first King of Israel, to “Now go and attack the Amalekites and completely destroy everything they have. Do not spare them. Kill men and women, infants and nursing babies, oxen and sheep, camels and donkeys.” (1 Samuel 15: 3) In other words, “god” literally authorized the Jewish people of the time to commit outright genocide and exterminate the entire Amalekite population, including their possessions such as livestock and beasts of burden (superstition had it that the Amalekites had magical powers that allowed them to transform themselves into animals). In asking the people of Israel not to forget what the Amalekites did to their ancestors, Netanyahu seems to be calling for the total extermination of the Palestinians or, as a minimum, to decimate them in numbers as large as possible, which is definitely NOT a promising thing to do. Israel’s anger and thirst for vengeance for Hamas’ October 7th massacre on Israeli soil may well be justified, but nothing, not even Hamas’ murderous terrorist attack will ever justify intentionally decimating the Palestinian population. Israel, your war in Palestine is increasingly looking like genocide. Stop the massive killings before it all becomes forever an execrable, indelible moral stain on your national soul. To read an article that appeared in The Times of India that addresses the subject, please click here.

Is There Much Difference Between Some Religious Beliefs and Superstition? Essaouira, Morocco, October 30th, 2023. In a nutshell, the answer to that question is a resounding NO! In the view of many of us, there is hardly any difference between some religious beliefs and some hallucinating self-deluding fantasies. Many religious beliefs, including some important biblical ones, are nothing else but clear and simple superstition, just basic beliefs in ghosts and farfetched outlandish diehard prophecies that have haunted, troubled, and pitted people against people for millennia but that, time and time again, have failed to materialize. I am NOT a religious person. For example, I support Israel in their retaliation against Hamas, but NOT for religious reasons. I respect the Israelis for their extraordinary tenacity in the face of seemingly unsurmountable adversity and for the genius of their people in the different fields of human endeavor, but I would never condone any intentional disregard for innocent Palestinian lives in the course of the present war, whereas millions of my fellow Americans cling in a steadfast existential manner to some worn-out prophetical fantasies that interpret the establishing of the nation of Israel on Palestinian territory in 1948 as the beginning of a process that will inevitably lead to a biblical Armageddon-like “end-of-days” situation. According to that superstitious belief, just a few years after a war involving the state of Israel begins, their messiah will return to Earth to deliver us all from all evil. Really? Actually, it appears that many of my fellow Americans believe the present Israeli retaliation against Hamas may well be the beginning of that final war they so religiously long to happen. Trouble is that, over 2,000 years after that superstition began, it still hasn’t materialized and, in the view of millions of us, it never will. It is worth noticing that such fantastic otherworldly return of their messiah is not a belief/superstition prevalent only among Christians. The Sunni branch of Islam, for example, proposes that the Mahdi, the last Muslim master who went into hiding centuries ago, will someday come back to public life to announce the return of Christ to Earth, except that in the Muslim view, after such advent it is their religion that will be instated across the world forever more. To each their own. However, it shouldn’t be any wonder to anybody that there are some fundamental similarities between the Muslim and the Christian religions, after all, they are both “religions of the book” (the bible) just as much as Judaism is (The Old Testament is basically the Jewish Torah). Anyway, to each their own. I for one, am not at all given to superstitions, which is the exact reason why I don’t profess or adhere to any institutionalized religious beliefs or practices. To read an article that elaborates on the subject of American Christian Evangelical organizations and their superstitious, religion-suffused support for Israel in the ongoing war in Palestine, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (October 29th, 2023)

Fear of Direct Democracy Engendered the Electoral College. Essaouira, Morocco, October 27th, 2023. The argument circulating among the founding fathers during the last quarter of the 18th century was that the general American population of the time was not knowledgeable and intelligent enough to discern correctly who among their peers would be best qualified to hold the office of the presidency. In the founding fathers’ understanding, the American populace could not be entrusted with such monumental responsibility. So, they contemplated some of the methods to select leaders that existed in some of the European countries of the time, but concluded that none of those would fit the idea of the brand-new nation they had in mind. Having Congress select the president was a choice also discarded on the grounds that it would be way too divisive among the members of that institution. Eventually, they came up with the idea of having the “notables” in each community, presently known as “electors”, vote in the name of those communities. In their view, the notables would be well-informed and wise enough to know whom to choose, so that they wouldn’t even need to be beholden to any political party and could be entrusted to cast their votes based solely on their own informed personal judgement. In time, however, the Electoral College became a partisan institution, particularly as the system of winner-takes-all was widely accepted. As of today, the Electoral College has sent four unelected presidents to the White House, not counting the 1824 elections when John Quincy Adams was selected by Congress when none of the four contenders got enough Electoral-College votes to be declared the winner. The four unelected individuals who have gained the presidency are, 1) Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876, 2) Benjamin Harrison in 1888, 3) George W. Bush in 2000 and, 4) Donald J. Trump in 2016. But, how many more times do we have to tolerate having unelected presidents in the White House? Particularly after we have witnessed how some of those unelected presidents end up putting in place highly catastrophic administrations of the sort George W. Bush and Donald Trump did? Enough is enough, right? Yeah, but don’t ask the Republicans to take part in any efforts to abolish the Electoral College, as all four of those unelected presidents were Republicans. --- By the way, if you’re interested in this subject, maybe you would also like to check out how undemocratic the structure of the US Senate is. The number of members of the Senate is 100, as each of the 50 states has 2 Senators. But the state of Wyoming, for example, has only approximately 578,803 inhabitants while the state of California has approximately 39,237,836. This means that, in the Senate, the voice of 289,401 Wyomingites has the same weight as the voice of 19,618,918 Californians, which is a ratio of 1 to 68 (the voice of 1 single Wyomingite is as strong as that of 68 Californians together). And such senatorial undemocratic disparity between states can be seen all across the board. Does this sound like the US Senate is a Democratic institution to you? Ha! No doubt about it, as a nation, we still have a long way to go on the road to becoming a more perfect union. May the Universal Forces always cast a benevolent eye on the United States of America.

To Reject the 2020 Election Results is to Reject the American Democratic System. Essaouira, Morocco, October 26th, 2023. What promising future can we expect for American Democracy when Rep. Mike Johnson, the guy who was sworn yesterday as the new Speaker of the House, doesn’t accept publicly that Joe Biden is the legitimate President of the United States? Johnson is a declared election denier, just as a good majority of Republican Congresspeople. What can we expect from a political party that rejects the results of the same national electoral system that brought them to power? But election denying is only half the problem, as in rejecting the 2020 election results those Republicans are also rejecting the legitimacy of our Judicial System. The Results of the 2020 elections were contested over 60 times by Trump’s lawyers in more than 60 American courts of Justice, and the American judges presiding over those cases dismissed over 60 of those cases for a glaring lack of evidence of electoral fraud. Yet, millions of MAGA Republicans still claim that the election was stolen. Anyone who doesn’t accept the legitimate legal decisions of over 60 American courts of law, is actually rejecting the legitimacy of the American Judicial System itself. There are some serious, dangerous incongruencies at the heart of the Republican Party that look increasingly insurmountable. No Democracy can withstand this kind of nonsense for too long. Something needs to be done to stop this constant sliding towards chaos and it needs to be done sometime soon. For one, we could start by jailing, in one legal way or another, the living venom of Fascism incarnated in the person of the Republican Führer. Then we should seriously consider abolishing that highly undemocratic Electoral College, which has already produced two catastrophic administrations since the beginning of the century, those of Bush and Trump. Finally, there has to be a serious national soul searching to explicate how such an incompetent, anti-Democracy individual like Trump could have ever gained the presidency in the first place and then figure out whether there can be any constitutional and legal guardrails put in place to keep it from happening again. The good thing in all this dangerous political circus is that Fani Willis’ RICO case is lighting up a spark of hope in many American hearts that our country can still be rescued from the lethal jaws of Fascist Trumpism although, unfortunately, it’s still only just a spark. Meanwhile, it is quite clear that to continue rejecting the 2020 election results amounts to continue rejecting our Democratic and Judicial Systems, which is to say that election deniers such as the new Speaker of the House are basically standing against the very foundations of the United States of America. Beware the enemy within.

--- My small tribute to the Father of Blue Grass in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (Oct. 25th, 2023)

Jenna Ellis Has Flipped. Essaouira, Morocco, October 24th, 2023. Another Trump lawyer bites the dust. Three lawyers down, a few more to go. As suspected in my Commentary of October 21st, Jenna Ellis has pleaded guilty as charged in the Georgia case against her for attempting to defraud the people of Georgia in the 2020 elections. If you listen to, or read the penalties imposed on her in exchange for her cooperation with the prosecutors, you will realize how mild those penalties are in relation to the punishment she might have gotten had she been found guilty in a jury trial (a minimum of 5 years prison sentence). Without a doubt, such mild penalties present the indicted individuals with a very tempting way out of the possibility of jail time. The domino effect is gathering momentum. It remains to be seen how far up the ladder of culpability such effect will go, but if I were Mark Meadows, or John Eastman, or particularly Rudy Juliani who is presently having considerable financial troubles, I would seriously consider joining Jenna in her rational decision to dump Trump. None of the remaining 14 criminal defendants should hesitate for a moment before throwing Donald Trump under the bus. The whole world knows for a fact that Donald Trump wouldn’t think twice before betraying even the members of his own family to save his own skin (he already betrayed his son Eric once), so, the rest of the indicted individuals should better stick it to him before he sticks it to them for, as soon as he sees it convenient to him, he will. Jenna Ellis has flipped. Another Trump lawyer bites the dust. The Domino effect is underway. Cheers and hats off to Fani Willis. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Real Threat to American Democracy is Not Donald Trump. It’s His Followers. Essaouira, Morocco, October 23rd, 2023. Republican ex-Congresswoman Liz Cheney has been doing the round of talkshows warning us that Donald Trump is "the single most dangerous threat" to America, which is something we should all commend her for doing. She has also stated her warnings in an article she recently published in The Guardian, which you can read here. I respect Liz Cheney for standing up for her Democratic principles and for denouncing her Party's shamless descent into Fascist Trumpism, but I don't entirely agree with the basics of her assertion. In my view, the real danger for America resides at the heart of Trump's followers, not explicitly on him. To illustrate my point, without the genius and determination of the German people, Adolf Hitler might have never been such a towering evil character in the history of the world. He would have probably been considered just a rabid lunatic raving in the streets of Munich and Berlin. A one-page curiosity in Germany’s history books. But with his nationalistic rhetoric and his personification of the widespread national resentment that was felt across all social strata in post-WWI Germany, he managed to lure the masses to his side and later managed to have them kneel at his feet. Ultimately, he managed to have them put together the most formidable war machine of the first half of the twentieth century, formidable to the point that, basically, the whole world had to gang up on him in order to stop him. Donald Trump’s case is similar to Hitler’s in very important ways, but different in some essential ones. Similar because of the Hitler-like hypnotizing magnetism he exerts on his followers, but different because he hasn’t managed to lure a determining majority of Americans to his side (and he never will). Trump’s case is essentially different from Hitler’s in that Trump will never be able to bring the US Armed Forces to his side, just as he will never be able to coerce, threaten, or cajole many powerful influential elected officials into submission to his “authority”. This means that Trump’s power doesn’t really rest in his hands, but in the hands of his powerful followers who, first, shamelessly exonerated him in two impeachment trials and now continue to defend and protect him, thereby shielding him from American justice. Trump’s coup d’état failed to culminate on January 6, but his followers have not given up in their anti-Democracy quest. Just picture that most of the Republican candidates to replace Kevin McCarthy as Speaker of the House are ELECTION DENIERS, meaning that they no longer believe in the American Democratic System (if they ever did). As the situation stands, the Republicans’ war against American Democracy will no longer be pursued by way of a coup. They already know that a coup is presently NOT a viable way to accomplish their nefarious ends. The war against Democracy the Republicans are presently waging is a war of attrition. Their ongoing aim is to undermine and discredit our Democratic System in every possible way and invalidate and smear our Judicial System at every possible turn too, so that when finally one of them gains the Presidency again, the American sociopolitical landscape will already be fertile ground to nurture and harvest the fruit of the seeds of dictatorship that Donald Trump has already planted in their feverish, self-serving, bigotry-laden, proto-Fascist, authoritarian minds. Democracies die in silence, they say. Don’t fall asleep, America. Beware of those traitorous MAGA Republicans, for they are the real enemy within. Don’t get your eyes off the ball, for if you do, it might be way too late to get your country back when you wake up.

Fani and the Flippers. Essaouira, Morocco, October 21st, 2023. No doubt about it, Fulton County DA Fani Willis is a tough cookie who knows exactly what she’s doing. By now it is well-known that she’s some kind of expert in RICO cases (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) and she has actually expressed her predilection for such cases in previous televised interventions. In her own words, "RICO is a tool that allows a prosecutor's office and law enforcement to tell the whole story. We use it as a tool so they can have all the information they need to make a wise decision…The reason that I am a fan of RICO is I think jurors are very, very intelligent." In other words, RICO cases allow Fani to weave a whole story for the jurors to see and understand the corrupt, illegal plot conceived and implemented by the indicted individuals. But in indicting 19 co-conspirators together in the Georgia election-fraud case, Fani had another ultra-valid reason in mind: Flippers. Given that the State of Georgia has a mandatory minimum sentence of 5 years for convicted criminals in such cases with NO possible appeal, and given that Fani probably has plenty of damning evidence against most of those indicted, she knew that eventually at least a couple of them would seek a plea deal with the prosecutors to avoid the risk of being convicted in a jury trial. She also knew that the prisoner’s dilemma is quite applicable among so many indicted individuals and that once one of them starts to sing, a domino effect is the most logical step that follows. “If flipper No.1 starts to sing against me”, they think, “I’d better start singing against them too”, and such kind of logical, self-protecting reasoning can easily unleash a snow-ball effect on the rest of them. In addition, the penalties imposed on the indicted who plead guilty are relatively very mild and not too difficult to comply with, which makes it much more palatable for the rest of them to opt for that alternative. Among the remaining 16 indicted who have not yet pleaded guilty, the one that looks most likely to flip next is Jenna Ellis, one of Trump’s campaign lawyers who has recently been disparaging Trump. If and when Jenna flips, watch out for a full-fledged domino effect to take place. The bottom line is that, once this flipper prisoners’ dilemma snowball hits Mark Meadows, Rudy Juliani, and John Eastman, the chances for Donald Trump to walk out of this one unscathed are reduced to zero. Come to think of it, Fani Willis may well be the true American who finally ends up getting the MotherF*****. Hats off to Fani.

The Serious Problem of Israel’s Illegal Settlements. Essaouira, Morocco, October 20th, 2023. As much as any of us Israel defenders may try to overlook and downplay the issue of Israel’s persistent illegal settlements in Palestinian territory, there is no way to keep it out of mind, even as all of us condemn Hamas’ recent murderous terrorist rampage across Israeli territory. Hamas’ massacre is in NO way forgivable, but what Israel has been doing for many years now is perfectly unacceptable too, as it is a plain and simple case of shameless land grab. I admire Israel for more than just one reason, but definitely NOT for stealing Palestinian land. Just take a look at the map included here and see the size of both those countries by the year 1946, just a couple of years before Israel’s inception as a nation in 1948, and see their size in 2023, after Israel’s constant and extensive Palestinian land grab. Israel MUST stop stealing land from the Palestinians, otherwise Israel will NEVER be fully accepted in the Middle Eastern neighborhood. Actually, Israel should perhaps even give some land back to the Palestinians, although this last proposition would be hardly possible for the Israelis to accept. Israel has a legitimate right to exist, but so does Palestine. And the way things have been going, it looks like Palestine could soon be erased from the map altogether. Hamas is a murderous terrorist organization that needs to be eradicated from the face of the Earth, but Israel has to stop the settlements for good too. As long as Israel does not recognize their mistake in continuing to steal land from the Palestinians and as long as Israel doesn’t STOP those illegal settlements, Israel cannot expect to exist in peace in the region. Get rid of Hamas, Israel, but once that is done you have to stop the settlements for good too.

Israel, Don’t Soil Your National Soul by Retaliating Criminally. Essaouira, Morocco, October 19th, 2023. Can’t stop thinking about how a nation as imperfect, yet clearly admirable, like the United States has been setting itself on the road to disaster by blindly embracing Trump’s ultra-destructive brand of Fascism. It’s an unfolding process of moral deterioration that has been, and continues to be, a real pity and even painful to watch. Israel, please learn from our regrettable example. Our nation’s moral fabric has been disintegrating in earnest since 9/11, but your moral deterioration could follow on our steps in just a matter of months, if not just weeks. Israel, your rage and desire for revenge are perfectly justifiable. You have the right to retaliate with overwhelming force, but you also have the technology and the experience in war to focus as much as possible on your target, which is Hamas. You have the means to spare the Palestinian people of unnecessary, undeserved, uncalled-for punishment, particularly since you can count on the American intelligence means to assist you. Your anger and your thirst for revenge are justified. Just don’t let yourself be carried away in your retaliatory thrust and end up wallowing in a mire of innocent Palestinian blood mixed with your irreparable loss of moral self-respect and national honor. Israel, don’t soil your national soul by retaliating criminally.

America’s Most Dangerous Foe Is Not a Foreign Power, It’s the Enemy Within. Essaouira, Morocco, October 17th, 2023. Please don’t pretend you’re not aware of it, American Democracy is right now in a perilous situation and along with it the American rule of law is in grave danger too. And please don’t pretend not to know who that dangerous enemy within is. As we speak, there are powerful American domestic sociopolitical forces standing against the American Government, against our Democratic System, against our Social Security System, against our Judicial System, against our foreign policy, against our allies, and against many other characteristics that have defined our country as a Republic virtually since its inception over two centuries ago. And the threat that all that virulent animosity presents to our country is not coming primarily from any Islamic forces that may see us as “the great Satan”, or from Russia’s so-called “anti-Western-imperialism” impulses, or from China’s ideological, economic and military rivalry. The most dangerous threat that such lethal forces present to our country resides at the heart of our own domestic environment. It resides at the heart of millions of our own fellow Americans of the Republican persuasion. The Republican Party is indeed the Enemy Within. Among the most lethal enemies anyone may ever have, the neighbors and the members of the same family are probably the most difficult to fight against. For one, they know all our weaknesses and faults and, second, for emotional reasons, they are the hardest for us to take arms against. The Republicans don’t love America anymore. Not the same America the rest of us Americans love. And by America I mean that imperfect, yet outstanding and admirable Democratic Republic whose imperfect yet strong abidance to the rule of law has propelled it to the top of the world, financially, militarily, technologically, and culturally. That land of opportunity where the son of a Kenyan immigrant can be elected president and hold that highest office for 8 years. That’s the America the Republicans don’t love anymore. That’s the America the Republicans want to destroy. That’s the America the Republicans have declared their enmity against. May the universal forces protect you, America, for your worst enemy is a pernicious virus circulating in your own blood stream and whose virulent nest is entrenched deep within your own political heart. The Republican Party is indeed America's Enemy Within.

A Rabid MAGA Lunatic as House Speaker? How much lower Can We Go? Essaouira, Morocco, October 16th, 2023. No, really, how ideologically bankrupt can the Republican Party be? Having rabid election-denier Jim Jordan holding the House of Representative’s Gavel is the only choice they have? Really? But what can we expect from such an irrational individual but further legislative chaos? Pandemonium? The guy suffers from a severe, critical case of Trumpian rabies. When that Jordan guy wakes up every morning, the first thoughts that seem to spring up in his mind are quite likely, “who can I hate today that is not pro-Trump? What US Governmental institution that stands for the Rule of Law and Democratic Principles can I try to dismantle today?” That guy Jordan is one of the top vociferous proponents and defenders of the Republican Party’s scorched-earth approach to American Politics. Meaning that, for him, the only choice for the American future is to either send Donald Trump back to the White house by any means possible, legitimate or not, or send the whole country down the toilet. All or nothing. For Jim Jordan and his co-religionaries, either we set the country down the path toward an autocratic regime or we destroy it for good. So, for those of you who may be Republicans or Republican-leaning individuals, let me ask you a clear question, is such a dark destiny the one you want for our beloved United States? For, if you don’t, don’t vote Republican in 2024. But, if you do, I would strongly suggest you go spend at least a couple of years in China, like I have done, so that you can learn firsthand what to live under an authoritarian regime feels like. Because something like that is what the Republicans want to install in the United States: A one-party authoritarian system where only those who toe the official line have the right to prosper. And all of those who don’t abide by the law, meaning the autocratic law dictated by Donald Trump, will be subjected to imprisonment and many other kinds of unjustifiable restrictions. A rabid MAGA guy as Speaker of the House? That would just be a further step towards the destruction of the United States as we know it.

A Short Explanation of the Unfolding Situation in the Middle East. Essaouira, Morocco, October 15th, 2023. Ian Bremmer is a well-known American Political Scientist specializing in global political risk. He is the founder and President of Eurasia Group, a consulting firm. He is also the founder of a digital media firm named GZERO. In this short video, Bremmer briefly explains where the situation in the middle east stands today, on the eve of the imminent Israeli invasion of Gaza. The video also contains the links to a longer version of it that includes interviews with other relevant characters. To view the video, please click here. To see a photo of the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin lit up with the Israeli Flag, pease click here.

I Have to Comment on Hamas’ Unforgivable Act of Murderous Terrorism. Essaouira, Morocco, October 14th, 2023. Regardless of the extent to which my pro-two-state sentiments may go, there is NO way I could condone what Hamas did in Israel a few days ago. According to the reports I’ve read and heard, that was a straightforward massacre. On top of that, Hamas has taken about 150 hostages whose fate is now clearly uncertain. What can be the motive behind such nonsensical act but to wreak havoc in the area and inflict death upon thousands of people, both in Israel and the Gaza Strip? This may look like sheer criminal nonsense to many of us, but there may actually be an ultimate reason for Hamas to act this way at this specific point in time. The reputable New York Times' columnist Thomas Friedman is quite versed on matters pertaining to the Middle East, and he has come up with a highly plausible explanation for Hamas' murderous behaviour. To read Friedman's take on this issue, please click here. For my part, I was prompted to write this comment troubled by the reports I read and hear about people in the United States and elsewhere who stand in defense of, or even celebrate Hamas’ massacre. Many of those people are probably just diehard antisemitic fanatics whose only wish is the destruction of Israel, but many others seem to be just highly confused individuals with a dangerously misplaced sense of justice. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, can justify massacring people indiscriminately the way Hamas recently did in Israel, based solely on the ethnicity, nationality, or geographical location of the victims, which include a few Americans and other Westerners who were visiting Israel at the time of the massacre. My only hope now is that Israel won’t go ahead and react with the same level of stupidity we, the US, reacted after 9/11, when we blindly and stupidly invaded Iraq, a country that wasn’t involved in the 9/11 attack and didn’t have any WMDs in their possession. And we invaded Afghanistan too, thereby inflicting millions of deaths upon the population of those two countries, including thousands of our own soldiers. I just hope that Israel won’t let their justifiable rage and desire for revenge override their sense of humaneness, so that they won’t go into the Gaza Strip and commit the same level of atrocities as Hamas has recently committed on Israeli soil. Yes, Israel, please hunt down every Hamas culprit and please destroy, or at least neutralize, that terrorist organization just as a Western coalition neutralized ISIS in the past. But please don’t massacre Palestinians indiscriminately, for if you did, you would be stooping to Hamas’ level of culpability. Long live Israel. Let there be a Palestinian State too, but not for as long as Palestinian organizations like Hamas resort to acts of murderous terrorism in their alleged quest for statehood. May peace soon come to the middle east.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (October 11th, 2023)

Explanation: Why Donald Trump is a True Fascist. Essaouira, Morocco, October 10th, 2023. Fascism is a word that is being thrown around rather easily nowadays. Come to think of it, even Democracy-loving Democrats are called fascists by some fascist Republicans these days. But, does everybody know what it really means to be a fascist? Many people use the examples of Mussolini and Hitler as means to define fascism and, in so doing, they are right, but does everybody know what are the defining characteristics of a fascist movement? I’m assuming many people do know, but I also suppose many people don’t. Understandably, given the uncertainty about the real meaning of fascism, many people are not sure as to whether Donald Trump is a fascist or not. I, for one, clearly identified him as a fascist just a couple of weeks or so after he launched his candidacy for president back in 2015. But I’m only one among the few hundreds of thousands of Americans who rather quickly realized the calamity that was soon coming to our country. Then there is the question pertaining to whether Authoritarianism and Fascism are synonymous, which they aren’t. But it won’t be me who today is going to define those two terms in detail to you. Instead, I will hand that task to a well-known individual who served under the Ford, Carter, and Clinton Administrations, a Democrat by the name of Robert Reich. Without further ado, to view and listen to a clear, no-nonsense, graphic explanation of the true meaning of fascism and why Donald Trump fits exactly well under such definition, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (October 9th, 2023)

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (October 7th, 2023)

The Fascist Clown Keeps Parading Himself as Victim. Casablanca, Morocco, October 3rd, 2023. The clown keeps pouting when facing American justice thereby showing the world what his deepest concerns are: He’s finally realizing his façade of unaccountability was only fake Teflon, just as fake as the rest of his public persona. You have seen photos of his mugshot, right? Have you seen the latest photos taken at his fraud trial? If you have, you already have a clear idea of how ridiculous that guy’s whole show really is, I mean, ridiculous to the millions of Americans like me who live in the 3rd dimensional reality, not for those compatriots who live in a nightmarish fantasy of racist, extreme-nationalist, quasi-religious social resentment, meaning, the MAGA crowds. After the undisputable, undeniable evidence that 4 indictments against Trump have only increased his popularity among his adoring base, it would take a deaf and blind person not to realize the obvious messianic garb the MAGA crowds have invested Donald Trump with. Without a doubt, the MAGA hordes see Trump as a messiah. And if to this we add the proven evidence that the overwhelming majority of those MAGA hordes are overly-zealous Christians, it isn’t at all farfetched to picture them imagining all kinds of convoluted equivalences between Christ and Trump. How can those millions of Americans find convincing similarities between a man who is supposed to have been one of the humblest, most humanitarian, honest people in the history of humanity, and a guy who has proven to be one of the most self-serving, racist and amoral individuals in the history of the United States? What kind of distorted reasoning can make those fellow Americans come to such ultra-contradictory conclusion? It is perfectly inexplicable, right? But, then again, so can be many religious dogmas regardless of their denomination. The American Fascist Clown keeps parading himself as the poor innocent victim of all those US Government elected or unelected functionaries that simply dislike him because he’s a successful conman (ha). The “Deep State is against Trump”, say his adoring adepts, and they’re right, except that the real Deep State that antagonizes Trump is the American Constitution aided by the American Judicial and Democratic Systems. The American Rule of Law, that is the formidable rival that Trump is finally facing, and it was about time he did. In the meantime, the pseudo-messianic fascist clown keeps parading himself as a victim and his enthralled religious followers keep falling for his ludicrous pantomime. That’s the American sociopolitical reality of the moment. Go figure.

Why Some of My Ex-Friends Support Donald Trump. Rabat, Morocco, October 1st, 2023. Yehp! Finally, someone has said it like it is. A group of guys have finally explained in a few words and images what the heart of the MAGA movement is, and what the essence of the cult-like, semireligious adoration Republican right-wingers profess to their “Pseudo-God-Anointed” messiah, Donald Trump really consists of. This is just a one-and-a-half minute-long video, but I suggest you watch all of it. To see the video, please click here.

Are the Idiot Democrats Finally Smartening Up? Rabat, Morocco, September 29th, 2023. Gee! An unusual and outstanding phenomenon just took place in Phoenix, Arizona. President Joe Biden addressed the nation to warn us all of the mortal threat the MAGA movement represents to our Democracy. Really!? Wonder where he got such unheard-of idea. And…Wow! The absence of passion and conviction in the tone of his voice fits perfectly well with the urgency of the moment, no? He was really inspiring, right? I suppose you already understood I’m being sarcastic here. The question I really want to pose is: Has Biden been hibernating over the past 3 years? Has he been in a coma? Has he been sleepwalking all along? Joe Biden and most of the Democrats often seem as delusional as the MAGA hordes, except that the Democrats’ delusion is that everything is normal in America. Just like Trump stupidly thought that ignoring the Covid virus would just make it “go away” like magic, thereby inflicting death on hundreds of thousand of Americans, Biden and the Democrats have thus far thought that by not denouncing out loud the deadly anti-Democracy threat Trump and his MAGA cult followers represent would be enough to make it disappear. Fat chance. Delusional Democrat fools. The clear and present danger the Republican Party represents to the Republic must and, from now on should, be the central focus in Biden’s reelection campaign. Yes, there are other important issues that concern the nation, like climate change, the UAW strikes, illegal immigration, gun control, and others, but all of those issues pale in comparison to the mortal threat facing our Democratic system. As usual, however, the ninny Democrats are cowering under their manufactured pretension of “business as usual”. Fools. If the Republicans ever succeed in sending American Democracy down the toilet, thereby wrecking for good the American experiment, the Democrats will be almost equally worthy of blame for it. To read an article the elaborates on the subject, please click here.

He Has Thus Far Wreaked the Worst Possible Damage on American Democracy. Rabat, Morocco, September 26th, 2023.

                                            RupertMurdoch.jpeg         

                                                                                                            Rupert Murdoch

Will the Government of the United States Be Intimidated by the MAGA Nuts? Rabat, Morocco, September 25th, 2023. The MAGA threats against government employees keep coming. The historical legacy of freedom of information so characteristic of Western Democracies is now being used by the MAGA fanatics as a dark tool to try to intimidate all government officials who, in one way or another, are, to no wish of their own, involved in any of the prosecutorial cases against the traitor Republican frontrunner to the 2024 presidential elections, Donald Trump. Thus far, there have not been any considerable number of threats of violence that have actually materialized as physical assaults on pro-Democracy, pro-Rule-of-Law, pro-US-Constitution individuals, but the number of verbal, email, and text threats keeps growing exponentially in proportion to the number of indictments against the aforementioned traitor. In the face of such dire situation, there are only two basic lines of action available to the US Government: a) the way of the coward and, b) the only other option. Abraham Lincoln must have faced a very similar duality of choices right before the Civil War and he chose the only option that, in the long run, could save the future of the country: To stand up and Fight for the Republic. The MAGA nuts keep forgetting or disregarding one basic fact prevalent in American society: That guns are not only in the hands of rightwing rabid dogs. There are many more firearms in America than there are people and MAGA fools are NOT in the majority. If MAGA fools keep going down the road to violence, there might soon come a day in which they will regret having done so, as once they unleash the specter of civil war on the streets of America, they won’t be able to harness it anymore and they won’t have the ability to put the genie back in the bottle ever again. The MAGA fools keep playing with fire and, in the end, it may well be them who are consumed to death in such pyrrhic flames. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Is Democracy in Peril in America as Much as It Is in Guatemala? Rabat, Morocco, September 20th, 2023. Yehp! Yes it is. Regarding Democratic Systems, the US and Guatemala are now on the same footing: Marching straightforward toward dictatorship. Guatemala is indeed a Banana Republic, as it is the largest exporter of bananas to the United States. This means that most of the bananas we consume in America come from Guatemala. And what is the most important and influential US-manufactured product we export to Guatemala? Coup d’États. Back in 1954, the Eisenhower administration orchestrated a coup that overthrew the popularly-elected president Jacobo Arbens. Then, in 1982, the Reagan administration backed the coup that put General Ríos Montt in power. Now, a group of frustrated, pro-Authoritarian Guatemalans are trying to invalidate the legitimate win of democratically-elected Bernardo Arévalo, and guess what those Guatemalans are doing to accomplish their nefarious aims? They’re almost literally following Donald Trump’s playbook to discredit the Guatemalan electoral system along with the Democratic process. America, the number one coup d’état exporter to the world. The American Democratic Model used to be the model all authoritarian and dictatorial regimes wanted to distance themselves from. Now it is the model they most try to emulate. “Hey, if a clearly authoritarian, proto-dictator character like Donald Trump can put American Democracy in quasi-checkmate, why can’t us”?, they say. And from their authoritarian point of view, they’re right. If such kind of coup d’état almost succeeded in the United States, why couldn’t it succeed all the way in their own third-world or second-world countries? You’ve come a long way, America. From leader of the free world to Banana Republic-like country. Should I ask the Republicans whether they’re not ashamed about this? Nah! That question wouldn’t even be worth the digital ink. The noun “Republican” is now synonym with “shameless” as much as it is with “Democracy-Hater”. To read an article that elaborates on the Guatemalan case, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (September 19th, 2023)

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (September 18th, 2023)

When Elected Leaders Legislate Out of Fear of Physical Violence. Rabat, Morocco, September 14th, 2023. Have you read Senator Mitt Romney’s recent exposé in The Atlantic? Romney has just announced he won’t be running for reelection in 2024 and in this article, he explains some of the reasons for his decision. In so doing, he exposes the depth of degeneration of principles that continues to corrupt the heart of the Republican Party and, by extension, the heart of the American Legislative, Democratic, and Judicial Systems. According to Romney’s first-hand testimony, many Republican Senators opted to exonerate Trump in the second impeachment process, the one for the J6 insurrection, out of sheer fear for their own security and that of their own wives/husbands and children. By now we all know about the insults, harassment, and death threats all government functionaries that stand up against Trump get from the MAGA crowds, so that the Senators’ fears are real and can be said to be well founded, even as such justification doesn’t relieve them of their sworn allegiance to the Constitution. Have you stopped to think a bit about this national situation recently? Have you already accepted and assimilated this dire new reality that pervades all aspects of the American sociopolitical environment? As Romney himself implies in the article: “How long can a democracy last when its elected leaders live in fear of physical violence from their constituents?” Something keeps going awfully wrong in America and an influential majority of us keeps pretending it will all soon go away, as if by magic. No such thing. You better wake up America! Before it’s too late. To read The Atlantic Article on Mitt Romney, please click here.

Jimmi Hendrix Live on Acoustic 12-String Guitar and on Acoustic 6-String Playing “Hound Dog”. Rabat, Morocco, September 11th, 2023. I always liked Jimmi Hendrix’s music. Back in the day I must have listened to the “Electric Ladyland” double  album at least a couple of dozen times. Other songs like “Dolly Dagger” and “Fire” were pieces I always enjoyed listening to, not to mention Jimmi’s version of Bob Dylan’s “All Along the Watch Tower”, which I actually used to play on my guitar and sing it too. I had watched the video of Jimmi playing the acoustic 12-string a couple of times before, but I had never watched him play his version of Elvis’s “Hound Dog”. The 12-string song was obviously recorded live in a studio, but “Hound Dog” appears to have been recorded live at a night club with Jimmi sitting at a table surrounded by guys and girls, some of which actually kept talking and laughing while Jimmi played. But Jimmi didn’t mind. He just kept playing. Amazingly so, in spite of the situation, the “Hound Dog” recording came up really good. To listen to Jimmi Hendrix playing acoustic guitars and singing, please click here.

Yesterday's 6.8 Earthquake in Morocco. Rabat, Morocco, September 9th, 2023. It’s been quite some time since I last experienced a 6.8 or above earthquake. The last time was in Palo Alto, California, during the month of October of 1989, earthquake that came to be remembered as “The Loma Prieta” earthquake. That earthquake knocked down a few buildings in San Francisco and unhinged a section of the Bay Bridge too. But even as that one was 6.9 in the Richter scale, meaning a tad stronger than the Morocco one, the death toll over there was minimal compared to the casualty count we have thus far over here: 63 to 1000 and counting. This is not schadenfreude, it’s just a statement of fact. The thing is, last night’s earthquake caught me completely by surprise. I was in the bathroom putting toothpaste on my toothbrush, when suddenly I felt like dizzy. So, I thought, “why am I feeling out of balance? I haven’t drunk anything that strong.” Then I heard the rattling noise of the toilet brush clanking inside the cylinder where it’s kept, so I thought, Darn it! This is an earthquake! I immediately thought I should stay put, right where I was, as bathrooms and walk-in closets can be some of the safest places to shelter in during earthquakes. Those two places are like boxes that because of their walls being so close to each other, resist longer from crumbling down. The same goes for the ceilings and roofs above them. They hold together longer than the ceilings and roofs above bedrooms and living rooms. Fortunately, no walls fell down in my building or in any of the buildings in my neighborhood and, as far as I know, the same goes for the whole city of Rabat. After all, the earthquake’s epicenter was located a few miles southwest of Marrakesh, city located 324.3 kms (201.5 miles) southeast of Rabat. It seems that many people slept in the streets and parks last night, fearing there might be some aftershocks, but fortunately, there were no further tremors of any intensity. As for myself, I just put my bag that contains my wallet and passport close to the door in case I needed to run out of the apartment, so that I could just grab it on my way out. But in the end, as good ol’ Willie Shakespeare would say, “all is well that ends well.”

Country No. 52. Rabat, Morocco, September 8th, 2023. I have been trying to come to Morocco for the past few years, but the opportunities to come here were always either difficult to find or fell through whenever there was one. During my days living in Kenya and later in Tanzania, I often looked for affordable AirBnBs and airfare so that I could go spend a few weeks in Marrakesh or Essaouira, or even Casablanca or Tangiers, but airfare prices always looked prohibitive, so I never boarded a Morocco-bound airplane. The situation this time was different, as some factors unexpectedly coincided to facilitate my coming here, so here I am. Thus far I’m glad to say that I’m positively impressed by the general feel I’m getting in the streets of Rabat, the capital city. For one, Rabat is much cleaner and well organized than I had expected. This is probably because my experiences in some EastAfrican and Southeast Asian countries had somehow conditioned me to expect more carelessness regarding city cleanliness and organization in African and Asian countries. The coastal city of Swakopmund in Namibia, Southwest Africa, had been an exception to that expectation, but now it turns out that Morocco also fits well in that category. For how long will I stay here? Frankly, one can never tell how things will work out in the long run, but I can honestly say that I’m beginning to feel fed-up with airports and planes, so I’ll do my best to hang around here for a year or so. For the moment, I’m about to move to a nice studio where I expect to live for the rest of my stay. As soon as I put together a photo album, I will upload it to this website and I’ll let you know. Welcome to Morocco.

OK for Enrique Tarrio’s 22-Year Sentence. But What About Trump, Meadows, etc.? Rabat, Morocco, September 6th, 2023. Nazi soldiers were not brought to trial after WWII because it was widely acknowledged they were only following orders. In contrast, J6 soldiers have been facing American justice for their participation in the insurrection because they are Americans who consciously or blindly attempted to prevent the legitimate, official workings of their own government, that is, because they committed acts of violence against their own State. They knew perfectly well what the Capitol is and what it represents, yet they still broke violently into it even with the intention to assassinate some congresspeople. In the Nazi case, capos and leaders were and keep been brought to justice, some of them as recently as April of 2023, when a 98-year-old former Nazi concentration camp guard was indicted in Berlin, Germany, for aiding and abetting the murder of thousands of people as part of the final solution. As leader of the white supremacist, insurrectionist Proud Boys, Enrique Tarrio deserves his 22-year prison sentence, just as Steward Rhodes, the leader of the rightwing, anti-government Oath Keepers deserves his 18-year sentence, but even es those two guys held or had held top positions of leadership during the J6 insurrection, they were not the masterminds and commanders of the widespread attempt to basically overthrow the United States government. Tarrio and Rhodes held positions of responsibility much higher than that of the 98-year-old Nazi soldier, but they were not at the Top. In the Nazi case, 19 top Nazi leaders, including Herman Göring, Albert Speer, Martin Bormann, Rudolf Hess, and others, were finally administered justice at the Nuremberg trials in 1945-46. Among the indicted 19, 12 were sentenced to death, 3 to life imprisonment, and 4 to terms between 10 and 20 years. Nobody is asking for death sentences for anyone involved in the J6 crimes, but Trump, Meadows and other members of the gang who masterminded the J6 insurrection certainly deserve the 5-year minimum sentence as prescribed by Georgia State Law. If Enrique Tarrio deserves his 22-year sentence, Trump, Meadows and the rest of their henchmen deserve a minimum of 5. Prosecute Trump and his henchmen to the fullest extent of the law. The survival of American Democracy depends on it.

Enemies of the United States Government. McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh, India, September 2nd, 2023. Anyone, be it an American national or a foreigner, who presents a clear and present threat to the security and stability of the United States Government is literally considered an Enemy of The State. Similarly, anyone who tries and nearly succeeds in bringing down the American Democratic System has to be by force also literally labeled an Enemy of the State. Under this widely-accepted definition, all of those individuals presently indicted by the office of Special Counsel Jack Smith and by the office of Georgia’s District Attorney Fani Willis can be labeled Enemies of the United States Government. Since all of those individuals are American citizens, either by birth or by naturalization, all of them can also be labeled as traitors. Thus, Donald Trump is an Enemy of the United States Government. He is an Enemy of the State and a traitor. The same goes for Mark Meadows, Rudy Juliani, John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, Jefrey Clark, and Sidney Powell. All of them enemies of the United States Government and traitors. Walt Nauta and Carlos de Oliveira also fit perfectly well within the definition of traitors or Enemies of the State, just as well as the other 12 individuals indicted in the Georgia case. You can say that none of those individuals has yet been convicted and that, therefore, they are presumed innocent until proven guilty, but I categorically refuse to be politically correct this time around, as in my eyes most of those indicted individuals are already guilty, by simple virtue of the evidence that has already been made available through the general media to all of us commoners. But, how just and respectable can our Judicial System be when two members of the Proud Boys who participated in the J6 insurrection, Ethan Nordean and Joe Biggs, get 18- and 17-year sentences respectively, while the leaders of the insurrection, Donald Trump, Mark Meadows and their henchmen are still freely hanging around their favorite places? An Enemy of the State is an Enemy of the State, regardless of their sociopolitical status. Prosecute Trump and his henchmen to the fullest extent of the law, come hell or highwater.

Unfit to Take the Witness Stand in His Own Defense but Fit to Be President? McLeod Ganj, Himachal Pradesh, India, September 1st, 2023. Have you read some of the published excerpts of Trump’s seven-hour deposition to New York’s District Attorney Letitia James? Check them out and then ask yourself whether any of those self-indulging rants is indicative of someone mentally fit to be President of the United States (read excerpts here) That guy isn’t even fit to take the witness stand to defend his own self. Marketing professional Donny Deutsch was probably right saying on Nicole Wallace’s show at MSNBC, that putting Trump on the witness stand would result in a self-incriminating deposition like the one performed by Jack Nicholson in the film A Few Good Men when he said the famous “you can’t handle the truth” sentence and then went ahead and accepted responsibility for his wrongdoings. In his deposition to Letitia James’ representatives' questioning, Donald Trump threw his son Eric under the bus and in one of those fits of arrogant stupidity he is so well known for, if he ever took the witness stand in any of his 4 criminal cases, he would surely end up confessing a la Jack Nicholson too. That guy Trump isn’t even fit to take the witness stand to defend his own self, yet millions of “conservative” Americans think he is fit to be President of the United States. No doubt about it, to leave the destiny of America in the hands of the Republican Party is to set the country on a dark road to irredeemable perdition. To watch the Nicole Wallace show in question, please click here. (P.S.: You might need to rewind the video.)

The Shameless Party that Kneels Before a Pseudo-Enraged Clown. Chennai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 26th, 2023. Who’s afraid of the Big Bad Clownish Wolf? Oh my Gosh! Poor crooked Donald Trump looks angry in his mugshot! Beware Democratic world! The evil clown is enraged! Ha! What a bad joke! Wonder how many hours that guy spent in front of a big mirror rehearsing such utterly ludicrous pantomime. “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who looks the angriest of them all”. Ha! And to think that millions of Americans of all walks of life would still like to have that nefarious clown as president again! What ever happened to the United States? We were supposed to be the level-headed guys in the global neighborhood, and look at us now: One third of the population has fallen on their knees for a demagogue fool. The Republican Party, one of the pillars of the American political system, has now abandoned their age-old traditional conservatism to fully embrace a cult-of-personality, quasi-religious, pro-fascism ideology. You can’t make this up. I always felt there was a widespread mini-fascist streak in the American sociopolitical main stream, but I never thought it would be as deep as it has revealed itself to be. Never thought there were such millions of Americans so predisposed and ready to dismantle our Democratic and Judicial systems. It had never crossed my mind that there would be so many Americans so ready and willing to install a dictatorship in the country. But I guess I was naïve. I was too much of an idealist in believing in the myth of America as the shining city on a hill, the country that, as imperfect as it may have always been, always represented a beacon of hope to the rest of the world. No, not everything is lost yet, but the road ahead will not be an easy one either, not as long as we have a powerful, influential political party willing to terminate our constitution (Donald Trump, Dec.3rd, 2022), dismantle our Democratic system and dismember our Judicial system too. A Party whose candidates for the 2024 presidential elections have all vowed in front of the cameras that they will support Donald Trump even if he were convicted of the 91 criminal charges that he will be facing next year. For the Republicans, the authority of the American Judicial System does not have any legitimacy, they do not ascribe any value to it. For the Republicans, the only valid authority in America are the fetid lies spewing out of Donald Trump’s mendacious mouth. USA, you’ve lost your way, to neofascism you fell prey. USA, you’ve lost your cool, you fell on your knees for a demagogue fool. To listen to a song I wrote in December of 2021 that addresses this subject, please click here.

No One Can Serve Two Masters (Mathew 6:24) Not Even the Republicans. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 22nd, 2023. For the record, I am not Christian, but in my younger years I did read the Bible rather well, and even if I don’t adhere to any of the doctrines, beliefs, or dogmas expounded in that book, I still think there is plenty of wisdom between those paragraphs, particularly but not exclusively in the Gospels and in the Ecclesiastes. Looking at some statistics that were shown on "Morning Joe", an MSNBC news show earlier today, I had no choice but to recall a passage in the Gospel according to Mathew that says “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other”. According to that recent CBS News/YouGov poll, among Trump’s Republican base, 71% of them trust Trump is telling them the truth, while only 63% of them think their friends and relatives are truthful. Only 56% of them think the Conservative Media figures can be trusted and only 42% of them trust that their religious leaders are telling them the truth. And what is the main truth that Trump is telling them that enthralls them with such devotion? That the Constitution of the United States should be abolished and that our Democratic and Judicial Systems are corrupt and worthless. In a nutshell, that the whole apparatus of the United States Government, i.e., “The Deep State”, is out to get “poor little ol’ him” and that, therefore, the whole governmental structure should be dismantled so that he can anoint himself the first ever American dictator. That is the Gospel according to Trump. He was impeached twice while he was President, has been found guilty of defamation and sexual abuse in a New York court of law, and is now facing 4 criminal indictments, 3 of them for crimes against the integrity of the United States. Yet, his followers’ blind devotion only keeps growing. Can anybody explain that? As I say, I am not Christian, but the great majority of Trumpers openly claim that they are and I frankly cannot see how anyone can reconcile Trump’s doctrine with that of Christ. No one can serve two masters, so, either you serve Trump or you serve Christ, but you cannot serve both. There are no two ways about it. The hatred that Donald Trump goes vomiting around and his open desire for revenge against his adversaries are in no way compatible with Christ’s “love unto others” and Christ's “Turn the other Cheek” doctrine. Obviously, MAGA people are not following Christ when they follow Trump. But those Trumper pseudo-Christians still have a clear choice before them, which happens to be like a modern version of the choice Pontius Pilates gave to the masses one day around two millennia ago when he asked them to choose between Jesus and the renowned thief Barrabas. This time, the clear choice presented to the American people is to either embrace a system of government based on truths and facts, which is the system that Jesus would most certainly have embraced as he only spoke the truth, or embrace a system of government based on the self-serving lies and criminal acts of a renown swindler called Donald Trump, who is like a modern personification of the thief Barrabas. So, hey Trumpers! Get it through your thick heads once and for all. You cannot serve two masters. Just as they couldn't free Barrabas and save Jesus at the same time, you cannot be an active, devoted member in Trump's Cult of Personality and at the same time be an active follower of Jesus' teachings. Jesus always spoke the truth, Trump hardly ever does. Either you follow Trump or you follow Jesus. You cannot follow both.

The State of the Union in 2023. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 20th, 2023. The first primary debate for the Republican Party is at hand. There are some six pseudo-candidates pretending to be vying for the nomination. Ha!  What a pack of fools! What a bundle of morons! What a herd of cowards! If only their spineless treasonous behavior were just part of a third-rate tragicomic play, but it isn’t. It is a real-life spoof performance barely reminiscent of the way the Republican Party once was. Half a dozen candidates pretending they are running for president when they are actually running for Vice-President or whatever Cabinet position Donald Trump might be willing to grant them if he wins. There is not a shred of dignity in those candidates. They are just a group of sold-out Trump worshippers. They fear him so deeply that they are willing to throw the country down the toilet in order to please him and avoid being the target of his wrath. Heil Trump! And what about the people who follow those candidates? Those millions of Americans who are now willing to put the rudders of the country in the hands of a pack of delusional fools? Have they just been mercilessly conned and duped by the nefarious charms of the American Pied Piper, or have they willingly and knowingly joined the aimless herd of lost souls of their own accord? Probably both. They say the fish rots from the head down and, in the American case, the Trump rot has really spread fast, deep, and wide across the American sociopolitical landscape. The Republican Party has always been one of the two political arms in the American body politics. But that arm is now deeply contaminated with the virus of fascism, an unstoppable ideological cancer of which there doesn’t seem to exist any cure. And history shows us the disastrous consequences of allowing such cancer to spread freely across the whole body of a nation. The stench of the ideological rot that has taken hold of the Republican Party is now permeating all spheres of our civic society and the only viable solution to eliminate such deadly threat is to extirpate such rotting limb. Uproot it, burn it to the ground, eradicate it once and for all. But getting rid of the Republican rot would entail an extremely painful process that might easily turn into an urban-guerrilla kind of civil war: Brother against brother, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, state against state. Thus, the medicine might easily turn out being worse than the disease. There is still a long-shot chance that the Republican leadership might come to its senses and make a 180° turn and go back to embracing its traditional conservative values, but that’s probably just wishful thinking. Unfortunately, there might soon come a time when we have to grab the bull by the horns. The way things are going, there doesn’t seem to be much ground for compromise between the Republican Party and the rest of us. I can imagine the few choices Abraham Lincoln had before him in April of 1861 when he called the state militias to duty in order to suppress the rebellion. He knew the dire consequences of such move, but he also knew that engaging in an armed conflict with the south represented the only hope to protect and save the integrity of the nation: A bold and tough choice that ultimately saved the United States from destruction. Unfortunately, we may soon come to face a similar crossroads, so, just in case, I suggest we start bracing for it.

--- There is a new Remastered piece in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (August 19th, 2023)

Using the Rules of the System to Dismantle the System. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 18th, 2023. The idea of checks and balances, term limits, age requirements, bicameral legislature, and others, were drawn by the framers of the US Constitution directly from Roman Law. In fact, the 4 basic principles of Roman Law that were first applied in ancient Rome two and a half millennia ago are still sine-qua-non essential practice in American courts today. Other fundamental concepts like that of Democracy were drawn directly from the work of Political Philosophers who lived in Athens, Greece, back in the 5th century BC. The Judicial and Democratic Systems we presently have in the United States, therefore, are highly evolved, patently much more mature versions of their initial installments. The American Judicial System is permeated with enough wisdom so as to even allow for ways to contest the applicability of the law under the different circumstances. For example, even when an accused individual has been found guilty by a jury, the accused can still appeal such verdict at a higher court. But the fundamental factor implied even in the first conceptual drafts of those institutions is the presumed willingness of the people on whose hands rests the legitimate handling of those systems to make those systems work in accordance with the best intentions implied therein, so that the beneficiary in the fair application of those rules and principles is the community as a whole and not just the interests of any particular individual or group over the wellbeing of the majorities. Such is the fundamental idea behind the concept of Democracy and such is the primary function of the American Rule of Law. But what happens when the essential human factor fails to handle the mechanisms of those systems with the wellbeing of the majorities in mind? What happens when the functionaries in charge of making those systems work for the benefit of the communities use the systems’ mechanisms in an effort to ultimately disable and dismantle the very system itself? The American Democratic and Judicial Systems are by no means perfect. They are both works in progress. They both allow for different interpretations and they both harbor withing themselves the means to undermine and even break their most basic rules. We human beings are highly corruptible. We all carry the seed of potential corruption embedded deep within our collective DNA. Corruption doesn’t have an ideology. It doesn’t discriminate according to social status, level of education, nationality, ethnicity, religion, philosophical practices, or political affiliation. What happens when individuals holding the highest, most respectable positions in government team up with some of the best educated people in the land in a plot to undermine our Democratic System and our Rule of Law? We have a J6 insurrection. What happens when some of the most reputable lawyers in the land, such as Rudy Giuliani, John Eastman, Kenneth Chesebro, Jenna Ellis, and others put to work their deep knowledge of American Law with the exact purpose of dismantling it? We get the failed Coup d’État of January 6th, 2021. Democracy can often be only as effective and beneficial to the communities as the people in charge of making it work want it to be. The same goes for our Judicial System. The American Democratic and Judicial Systems didn’t fail us during the J6 episode. That failure falls squarely on the shoulders of those corrupt Republican functionaries who acted then and continue to act today in bad faith against the wellbeing of the American people.

Just a Foot Note. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 16th, 2023. Did you know that, 1) the RICO (Racketeering Influenced Criminal Organization Act) for which Donald Trump and his criminal associates have been indicted in the State of Georgia has a mandatory minimum 5-year sentence if found guilty? And, 2), did you know that in Georgia there is no possible parole for RICO convictions? In other words: Did you know that, if convicted in the Georgia case, Donald Trump is irredeemably condemned to 5 years in the can? The question is, wiil he then be remanded to a special high security state prison if convicted? All ex-presidents of the United States have to be always surrounded and protected by the US Secret Service. Will Trump’s secret service detail have to live with him within the same prison facilities so that they can protect his physical integrity? For all practical reasons, would they also have to be jailed to protect Trump? Other countries have already prosecuted and/or jailed their ex-presidents, ex-prime ministers, etc. For one, just remember that Ehud Olmert, Isael’s ex-Prime Minister, served a 16-month prison sentence for coruption in 2016-2017. But the country of Peru might have put in place a solution that could be applicable in the US should Donald Trump be sentenced to a minimum of five years in Georgia. In Peru they have built special, utra-secured prison facilities where they have jailed convicted high-level functionaries such as ex-president Alberto Fujimori and, most recently, ex-president Pedro Castillo. Something similar could be done here in the US. After all, with a total GDP of 26.9 trillion thus far in 2023, the US could easily afford to build a compartmentalized, stern, ultra-spartan, ultra-secured prison where to house Trump and any other corrupt, convicted US leaders who have followed him. For the moment, Donald Trump and his criminal associates are presumed innocent but, in my view, they all already deserve to be put out of circulation for a few long years. Prosecute Trump and his henchmen to the fullest extent of the law. Long live Democracy in the United States of America.

Trump's 4th Indictment is No Reason to Celebrate. It’s Only a Clear Sign of Hope. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 15th, 2023. When I wrote the previous email early this morning, I didn’t know that just a few hours later I would be reading about the indictment the Georgia Grand Jury returned against Trump and his nefarious associates. But it was no big surprise either. That verdict has been two and a half years in the making, which is why it didn’t take them too much deliberation to charge the 19 defendants with 41 criminal counts. In the view of many of us, the Fulton County indictment is the slam-dunk case that basically guarantees a conviction against Trump. First, the smoking guns are unashamedly in your face and, second, even if Joe Biden were reelected and in a fit of stupidity decided to pardon Trump, he wouldn’t have the authority to do it, as US Presidents don’t have any say in state-level convictions. In fact, in stark contrast with the State of California and others, in Georgia not even the Governor has the authority to pardon convicted State criminals. This all means that, if convicted in Georgia, Donald Trump is toast, even if Ron DeSantis or any other Fascist i.e., Republican, candidate gained the presidency in 2024. The State of Georgia may easily turn out to be the graveyard where Donald Trump’s dreams of dictatorship will come to hear their requiem. Good riddance. Still, even if such symbolic funeral event came to pass, it wouldn’t be a reason to celebrate. There is nothing to be happy about in this whole unfortunate, shameful situation, particularly since even if Trump were finally put out of circulation, the pernicious, maleficent, anti-Democracy, anti-Judicial System seed he has planted deep in the collective American psyche will take years if not decades to eradicate. Trump’s indictments are no reason to party, but are clear signs that the rule of law is still prevalent across the nation. Not everything is lost. There’s still hope for America. Thus far, our Democratic system is coming out of this episode a little bit bruised, but still quite functional. The same can be said about our Judicial System, it got through the Trumpian multiple collision a bit dented, but still working well and moving forward. There’s still plenty of optimism for America but, even so, we still have to ponder seriously how it was that such criminally-inclined, corrupt, proto-fascist individual came to occupy the office of the presidency in our country. This is no laughing matter. We must ask ourselves how was it possible for our electoral system not to detect, prevent, and keep such morally-degenerate individual from reaching the pinnacle of political power in our nation? The commentary I posted early today addresses this question head-on but, still, the wonderment remains. Are 30% of our fellow Americans really in favor of installing an authoritarian regime in the United States? Or is it just that they’re so blinded by their ethnic resentment that they’re willing to believe the lies any skilled, consummated demagogue may come to tell them regardless of the consequences? Trump’s multiple indictments are no reason to rejoice, but the fact that this whole Trumpian episode has come to pass is indeed an imperative reason to do some serious, national deep soul-searching.

A Clear and Present Danger to the United States of America. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 15th, 2023. The unbelievable came to the brink of happening two and a half years ago. The sum of all American political fears came quite close to becoming reality on that occasion. The dark dream of dismembering the nation that was once shared mostly by Americans living in the southern states has now metamorphosed and metastasized into a nightmare increasingly shared by Americans residing in all fifty states. The crack in the national psyche is pervasive and is only growing deeper and wider. For the moment, the Republican Party’s anti-American, anti-Democracy, pro-Fascist threat is personified in their Führer Donald Trump, but the movement predates him and transcends him. The populist anti-Democracy forces now laboring hard to destroy our Democratic system have been gathering strength basically since the end of the civil war and began to crystalize and mobilize in earnest after the election of Barack Obama in 2008. Having a black man as President of the United States was a pill way too hard to swallow for millions of white Americans. In their view, non-white Americans are already snatching the reins of the country right off their hands. White America is poised to lose its ethnic-majority status in the next 25 years or so. Add this to the fact that Democratic systems hand political power to the majority of voters and you have the clear reason why they staged a failed coup d’état before, during, and after January 6. In their quest to maintain white supremacy, their worst enemy is clearly our electoral system, along with the laws that guarantee the proper functioning of that system. If they succeed in discrediting, invalidating, and ultimately eliminating such systems the threat to their white supremacy designs can be neutralized and disabled. Perpetuating the well-functioning of our Democratic and Judicial systems would only enforce the steady decline of white supremacy in America and that is something they cannot just stand by and allow. By now, they are engaged in a zero-sum quest: All or nothing. The only hope left for the survival of America as we know it is the question of electoral majorities. First, not all white Americans are supremacists and, second, not all non-white Americans are willing to let their pro-fascist compatriots destroy our country. The American Fascist Führer is running for president again hoping that, if reelected, he will be able to pardon himself. There is also the hope among the members of the American Fascist Party (GOP) that if any of the other Republican candidates gains the presidency, he or she will pardon their Führer. The trouble with such hope is that, if Trump is found guilty in Georgia, US Presidents cannot pardon State-level convictions and, in that State nobody, not even the Governor, can pardon a convicted criminal (in that State, convicted criminals have to first serve their whole sentence and then wait five years before they can be pardoned by the Georgia State Board of Pardons & Paroles). Still, nobody has a crystal ball, so nobody can tell what awaits for the country in the next year or so. But some decisive steps have already been taken to prevent a repeat of the 2020 elections, namely the prosecution and imprisonment of hundreds of those who participated in the J6 insurrection and the criminal indictments already handed to the traitorous ex-president. It remains to be seen who among those positioned at high levels of the insurrection plot will be brought to justice along Trump in Georgia. In my view, among those who deserve to be prosecuted are Mark Meadows, Rudy Juliani, John Eastman, Sidney Powell, David Shafer, Shawn Still, Cathy Latham and others. There can be no leniency granted to those who plotted to destroy our Democratic System. After all is said and done, there can be no doubt left in the minds of the American people that if you play hard against the American justice system you will lose and you will end up paying a well-deserved high price for your transgressions. Prosecute Trump and his henchmen to the fullest extent of the law. Doing so is the sole remaining hope for the survival of our Democratic and Judicial Systems.

The Cowardly, Nincompoop Republican Presidential Candidates. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 11th, 2023. How could “Zero”, the skilled Asian Martial Arts Assassin in John Wick 3, aspire to eliminate John Wick when he kept basically praising John Wick all along? Zero obviously respected and admired John Wick and would have probably loved to team up with him. But, with such submissive predisposition, how could he expect to defeat Wick? He didn’t stand a chance from the get go. The same goes for all those nincompoop Republican presidential candidates for the 2024 elections. How can they expect to defeat Trump when they all basically respect him, praise him, and admire him? To defeat Trump in the primaries they would need to bring out their raw, crude, merciless political killer instincts, meaning, they would need to aim at Trump’s political jugular vein. But all those fools are waging war against Trump with no political bullets in their AK47s. They’re all going to war against him with water guns filled with perfume. They are all just a pack of strawmen plus one strawwoman, Nikki Haley. What a bad joke. That is all just a bad-taste political pantomime. To defeat that proto-despot they would need to denounce him for what he is: An egomaniac wannabe-dictator that has been criminally indicted 3 times already, with a fourth one coming up soon. To put it in legal terms, the guy is a CRIMINAL DEFENDANT. What else do they need to know? The wannabe-emperor no longer has any clothes. What will it take for those nincompoops to say it out loud? I know, that’s a rhetorical question. We all know why just a handful of Republicans are willing to say the truth about Trump publicly. Because the great majority of them are just a bunch of self-serving cowards who fear that standing up against Trump means to suffer Liz Cheney’s fate: First ostracism and then defeat at the polls. I wonder what kind of farfetched, convoluted lies and pseudo arguments they tell themselves when they are alone to justify their cowardice and their betrayal of their own country. Spineless, corrupt, nincompoop traitors, willing to destroy their own country to remain in power. The thing is that, whether we like it or not, those traitors are Americans too and, as such, they have the right to concoct their traitorous plots and do the best they can to implement them. Such powerful, blind, massive anti-Democracy dark impulses already brought the country to the brink of destruction once, back in the 1860s. Fortunately those despicable efforts didn’t succeed back then although obviously, they didn’t disappear either. Given that, unlike me, the overwhelming majority of Trump followers are of the Christian persuasion, I will quote a passage from Luke 23:34 that says “…forgive them; for they do not know what they’re doing”. They are all enjoying the privileges of living in a rich, beautiful, prosperous, powerful country, but they don’t appreciate it. They really don’t know what they have in their hands and because of their pigheaded ignorance, you and me and the rest of the world might end up paying a heavy price. May the universal forces protect the United States from her enemies, foreign and domestic, but primarily from the domestic ones.

Once Upon a Time America Was a Democracy-Loving Country. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 7th, 2023. In my younger years, during the late 60s and early 70s, I used to criticize America for its wrongdoings abroad, particularly for our intervention in the Vietnam War, which I thought was totally uncalled for. Watergate was also an earth-shaking episode for me, but I was glad to see the nation overcoming that hurdle relatively unscathed. Later on, during my 30s (1980s) I was seriously concerned about our bellicose intervention in Nicaragua and, even though I could see the dangers in allowing any pro-communist regimes setting a foothold in Central America, I thought Ronald Reagan’s approach could have been a significant tad less militaristic. Despite those shortcomings, however, I never doubted that the American Democratic System, as imperfect as it has always been, was a system worth defending at home and abroad and quite worthy of international admiration. Our government could make serious blunders overseas, I thought, but when it came to our domestic environment the will of the people was usually respected and the country was always moving forward toward a more perfect union. For this reason, I always thought American Democracy was a solid institution that rightfully deserved to be considered the beacon of hope it represented to dozens of countries during the 20th century. But I was wrong. American Democracy is not as solid as I thought. Just like millions of my fellow Americans, I had overlooked the fact that institutions are only as good and effective as the people in charge of making them work are. Put any organization in the hands of incompetent or corrupt individuals and that organization will very likely fail. Put the mechanisms of American Democracy in the hands of proto-fascist individuals who only long for its destruction and the whole democratic edifice begins to crumble. But the perilous critical state of our Democracy is worse than any of us could have imagined. The serious anti-Democracy conviction presently plaguing the United States does not reside only in the confused hearts of massive hordes of disenchanted white Americans. It resides primarily in the hearts and minds of many of its influential leaders, particularly in the heart and mind of an ex-President of the United States. This is not an issue to be treated lightly. The deadly anti-Democracy virus has already reached the highest spheres of political power in America and we are already way past the wakeup moment. After three criminal indictments, two of them for serious violations against the integrity of the United States, many influential leaders and large numbers of common Americans, all or most of them of the Republican persuasion, keep expressing their unwavering support for their “Dear Leader”, i.e., their “Führer”, thereby clearly demonstrating their utter disdain for our Democratic System and their total contempt for our Judicial System. Those confused Americans no longer want to select our leaders by democratic means and they no longer want our Constitution and our Judicial System telling us what the law of the land should be. They want our country to be ruled forevermore under one single, all-powerful authority: The erratic, self-serving, deranged, autocratic, fascist whims of their Führer Donald Trump. But even if such American Führer were forever disqualified and barred from public office, the anti-Democracy, pro-authoritarian germ is already entrenched deep in the hearts of millions of Americans and to eradicate it may take heavily cathartic events of the kind the country has previously seen only once, back in the 1860s. May the Universal Forces cast a benevolent eye on the future of the United States of America. To read an article that addresses the subject, please click here.

For the Sake of the Country Trump’s J6 Trial MUST Be Televised. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 4th, 2023. Have you watched and listened to the way FOX News anchorpeople and reporters are interpreting the J6 indictment to their viewers? I just took a glimpse at it and it was laughably predictable. No question about it. Those Foxer guys and gals live in a parallel universe. Well, actually, NO. They really know what’s going on. They know the facts. They just want to keep feeding their lies to their deceived viewers so that their ratings stay up and their blind conservative advertisers keep buying those multimillion-dollar time slots. But I’m sure Fox News is not the only cable channel or blogger or podcaster that will continue to disseminate and amplify all kinds of blatant misinformation to score points in the court of public opinion, particularly on the ultra-looney wing of the American Fascist Party, meaning, the GOP. For this reason, it is imperative that Trump’s J6 trial be televised. If it is not, the barrage and the volume of misinterpretation and misinformation about the trial proceedings that all those deranged rightwing pseudo-news-outlets will feed to their blind, confused, reactionary audiences will be of deafening proportions. For pure ethical reasons, the prosecutors cannot relate to the press what it is that happens inside the courtroom every day of the trial, whereas the defense can talk to the press as much as they please. Under those circumstances, Trump’s defense team will have a loud and unrestrained megaphone to blast their mendacities down to the American people, while the prosecution will be basically gagged. And there is only one way to ensure that such disparity is considerably minimized and that way is to televise the entire trial. Let the public see how the arguments are presented, what evidence is said and shown, how the witnesses are interrogated, how the judge overrules, or sustains objections, etc. In a few words, the whole process must be TRANSPARENT, so that there are no doubts in the minds of the American people that whatever the verdict may be, the whole process was fair and just and 100% according to American Law. Trouble is that, for better or worse, there is only one man who can decide whether televising the J6 trial is good for the country or not, and that man is the current Chief Justice of the United States, John G. Roberts, Jr., a conservative judge nominated to the Supreme Court by George W. Bush in September of 2005. If the trial is televised, the country will have a high level of transparency in their perception of the whole process, but if Justice Roberts succumbs to the ideological pressure he will be the object of from the part of the Trump-enthralled GOP, the country will have to wallow in a mire of ill-intentioned misinformation and disinformation for the duration of the trial with the possibility of serious acts of street violence when Trump is found guilty, which, according to the evidence presented in the indictment, is the most likely verdict that the jury will reach. The time to hesitate is through. The destiny of American Democracy is at stake. The 2024 presidential elections represent a fork in the history of the country. More than a presidential election, the country will have a referendum in November of 2024 as to whether the American people want to keep living under a Democratic System or embrace an authoritarian system that will inexorably lead to a dictatorship. So, hey John Roberts, for the sake of the country, Trump’s J6 trial MUST be televised.

Trump’s J6 Indictment Is Not for What He said, Is for What He Did. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, August 3rd, 2023. The defense argument Trump’s lawyers and supporters think is going to get Trump exonerated in the J6 indictment is childishly based on the 1st Amendment. They are conveniently basing their defense arguments on freedom of speech, saying that, yes, Trump knew he was lying when he claimed he had won the 2020 election, but his lies are protected by the 1st Amendment, which means that Trump didn’t commit any crimes. That argument may sound like a valid one among the MAGA crowd, but it doesn’t hold any water in a court of law. That, to say the least, is quite a disingenuous argument, as Trump not only lied about having lost the election, he constantly acted on that lie. Among other things, he tried to coerce some government officials into “finding” extra votes for him and he also tried to keep Vice-president Pence (the President of the Senate) from certifying the Electoral Votes that gave Joe Biden’s the Presidency of the country. Those are criminal actions, not words, and criminal actions are NOT protected by the 1st Amendment. Then, Trump’s lawyers are going around saying the J6 indictment is politically motivated because Jack Smith’s intervention was intentionally timed to coincide with the 2024 presidential elections, so that Joe Biden’s reelection campaign might benefit from it. Again, that argument misses its mark by a mile. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether the DOJ’s intentions are politically motivated or not. What matters is whether Trump committed those crimes against the United States or not. In a few words, what Trump’s lawyers and other Trump defenders are trying to do is to gain points in the court of public opinion, thereby hoping to minimize the number of selected jurors that may judge Trump impartially. However, using such childish defense arguments makes it quite difficult for those lawyers to flip the unfavorable opinion D.C. people already have about Trump. Washington D.C. is NOT MAGA territory, which means that the Trumptanic is now inevitably embarked on a collision course straight toward Jack Smith’s colossal legal iceberg. Good riddance.

An Indictment for Four Criminal Counts That Amount to One: Treason. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, July 2nd, 2023. No president of the United States has ever conspired against his own country as much as Donald Trump has. Out of the 46 presidents the country has had along its existence as an independent nation, only one has ever refused to concede defeat and agree to a peaceful transition of power with as much criminal determination as the 45th. Have you read the entirety of the latest charges against Donald Trump? If you haven’t, you should (There are links to that document in this post). The shameless, blatant, absolute contempt for the American Democratic and Judicial Systems widely shown by Donald Trump before the wide-open eyes of the whole world is a case that will remain in the history books for the rest of eternity. This is not an indictment based solely on Trump’s repeated, wide-open instigation for his masses of followers to invade the Capitol on January 6 in a clear act of insurrection. This is a detailed recount of all the pseudo-legal maneuvers and acts of intimidation undertaken by Trump and his henchmen in their effort to subvert the results of the 2020 elections. There are 6 co-conspirators mentioned in Trump’s indictment, none of which is cited as co-defendant along Trump. This means that those six will be indicted, either individually or as a team of crooks in additional indictments. In reading the whole text you realize the amount of evidence Jack Smith has collected that will substantiate his charges. Evidence in the form of testimonies provided to him by first-hand recounts of conversations held either in the presence of the witnesses or by the witnesses themselves. Evidence in the form of documents, text messages, and emails exchanged between the parties involved, including Donald Trump himself. I would like to see and hear what defense arguments will Trump’s lawyers present to the jury when all those witnesses testify and all those documents and messages are shown on large screens in the room. In my view, the only question that remains open is whether Smith will be able to find 12 impartial jurors who will contemplate the evidence with an open, impartial mind. However, given that this is a federal case to be tried in Washington D.C., and given that the D.C. is not MAGA land, the chances of finding 12 unbiased not-pro-Trump jurors is rather high. In all honesty, the 45 pages of the indictment didn’t contain any surprises for me. All the evidence presented there has been part of the general discourse surrounding Trump’s criminal intentions and activities since before the election. Still, to read a document containing such clear and detailed recount of all that treasonous activity is something definitely worth doing. I do highly recommend you take a few minutes of your time to take a good read of it. To read the full text of the indictment, please click here.

The Screen Where All Religions Are Projected. Tiruvannamalai, August 1st, 2023. I have been interested in transcendental matters for a few decades now. I first started reading about Transcendental Yoga back in the late 60s and early 70s and kept that interest mildly alive all the way up to the late 80s when, through some books, I came across the transcendental philosophy expounded by Sri Ramana Maharshi. Ramana is one of the only two philosophers contemplated within the branch of Yoga known as Jnana Yoga, the other one is Shankaracharya, also known as Shankara. The main factor that attracted me to Ramana’s transcendental method is the fact that it is NON-devotional. By this I mean there is no need to prostrate oneself in reverence or adoration before any guru, saint, teacher, or prophet. There is only one essential devotion required to practice Ramana’s method with success: An unconditional, constant, relentless devotion to the practice itself. The thing is, my encounter with Ramana’s philosophy back in the fall of 1989 was a pivotal event in my existence. I am in no way exaggerating when I say such encounter represented a 360° turn in my life. It has basically been 34 years since then and by now I have assimilated to a very good extent the full scope of the transcendental experience I had in 1992, which was the coronation of my 3 years of intensive practice. Since that moment, I have sat down a few times before my computer to put in words some of the findings I have come across. The document I am referring to in this post I wrote in October of 2014 while living for a few months in the coastal town of Sihanoukville, Cambodia. I somehow discovered it again yesterday while browsing through some old folders in my hard drive, so this morning I just lightly edited a couple of paragraphs and decided to upload it to my website. To read The Screen Where All Religions Are Projected, please click here.

Netanyahu is Willing to Erode the Liberty of His People to Insure His Own*. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, July 29th, 2023. As much as I am a pro-Israel individual, I also stand for stopping the illegal settlements in Palestinian territories. Along those lines, I am also a solid pro-two-state solution to the question of Palestine. I'm all in for Israel’s right to exist in the Levant and for Israel’s right to defend itself against any foes who might seek its destruction. Above all, I have the highest regard for the Israeli people. For these simple reasons, I stand firmly with the thousands of Israelis presently protesting in the streets of Israel against Benjamin Netanyahu and his acolytes’ efforts to diminish the powers of their Supreme Court, disgraceful move aimed primarily, but not solely, at eventually keeping Netanyahu from facing the trial for corruption waiting for him in the very near future. After that, their idea is to put in place an authoritarian, undemocratic regime where the rule of law is replaced by the Rule of Netanyahu (Israel has no written Constitution). As the saying is going around these days, Netanyahu is turning out to be more Trumpian than Trump. Both of them consummated demagogues so thirsty for power that they’re more than willing to set their countries decades backwards just to stay in power. Actually, those two morally-degenerate individuals are quite willing to set their countries aflame just to avoid the guilty verdicts the juries would probably hand to them if they were tried in court. You think the current situation in Israel is troubling? Just wait and see what happens in our beloved United States if Trump is reelected. Actually, just wait and see what happens to our country if ANY Republican is sent to the White House in 2024. Israel’s democracy is at a serious crossroads and the Israeli people are quite aware of it. But taking to the streets by the tens of thousands, as exemplary a show of pro-democracy resolve as it may be, is not going to be enough to keep the country from backsliding down to dictatorship. The Israeli people’s resolve has to be constant, perseverant and, if necessary, decisive enough as to stop all business activity across the country in an effort to make Netanyahu’s coalition partners in the Knesset come to their senses and once again put love of country above love for the proto-despot Netanyahu. No easy way out of this mess, but we Americans cannot stand aside and not care about it. The future of our very own Democratic System is similarly at stake in our very own homeland. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here (*Title quoted from an article by David Remnick, Editor of The New Yorker)

Two Cobras Mating on My Doormat. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, July 27th, 2023. I think there is only a small minority of people who enjoy the company of snakes and I am not one of them. In fact, even when visiting zoos, where snakes are kept inside well protected cages, I just take a quick look at them and move on. I’m certainly not a fan of snakes. So, it was a unique experience for me to find myself just less than a meter away from a couple of Cobras slowly slithering around, wrapped around each other, biting each other. It all happened like this. I came “home” yesterday to find the property guardian and two of the cleaning ladies sort of excited, standing by the side of the walkway, signaling me not to walk straight into my studio, but to walk toward them, so I did. Holding a long cane-like tree branch was the property guardian, pointing to and angle of the building telling me “Snake... Cobra... Two”. So I looked in that direction and saw a snake-like form partially hidden on the grass. “Cobra?” I asked “Yes” he replied. The path to my studio’s door was in a diagonal direction in relation to the angle of the building where the Cobras were, so, the guardian said “You can go”, so I did. I carefully walked toward my place, opened the mosquito-net section of the door, opened the lock to the wooden door and got into my studio, quickly closing the mosquito net door behind me. The mosquito net is metallic, so I felt it was safe to keep the wooden door open. A couple of minutes later I saw the Cobras slowly slithering onto the doormat at my doorstep, less than a meter away from me. And they stayed there for about a minute or two while I watched them in complete awe. They were wrapped around each other, but the head of one of them was on top of the other. The one on top kept biting the one below, while the one below had her head stretched wide just like Cobras do. Also, the “neck” (the section below the head) of the Cobra on top seemed to be slightly bleeding, but that didn’t stop her from digging her teeth on the other one. At that point, the cleaning ladies started throwing old coconut shells and pieces of wood to the Cobras, so they separated and went away in opposite directions. Having never seen anything of that sort, I wasn't sure whether the Cobras were fighting or mating, but some local people have told me they were most likely mating. I’ve read that Cobras not only bite their prey or anything that may threaten them, but that they also spit a milder venom on their attackers. Apparently, the venom they spit is not paralyzing or as harmful as the venom they inoculate on their victims when they bite them. Cobras usually spit on the eyes of their attackers in order to blind them, but the spit can also produce troublesome irritation on the skin if it falls on the naked arms or legs of their human victims. I’ve mentioned the Cobra incident to a few Indian people I’ve encountered and some of them have told me that local Cobras don’t spit. Whether that is true or not, now I know better and I will steer as far away as I can from any Cobra if I see any of them again. The one thing I regret in this small episode is not having taken any photos of the Cobras. I was so fascinated by their being so close to me that I just couldn’t think of anything else but the snakes. I did, however, Google the kind of snakes we have here in the State of Tamil Nadu, of which Tiruvannamalai is a part of, and I think I have identified the kind of Cobras that came to mate on my doormat. To see pictures of the Cobras in question, please click here.

The Most Powerful Passports. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, July 23rd, 2023. Up to a few years ago, I used to carry four legal, valid passports with me, not because I intended to use them all, but simply because I am legally entitled to have them. Eventually, when it came to renewing two of them, I just decided not to do it and I let them expire. I could still apply at their respective embassies and request to get them again, but I just don’t see the need to do that. In consequence, now I only travel with two passports, the American and the French. Of the two, the one I use the most is the American one, as I consider myself to be primarily an American citizen. The French one I use mostly when I go to Europe and intend to stay there for more than three months, as my French citizenship grants me visa-free passage into 27 EU countries and basically allows me to stay in any of those countries indefinitely. The thing is, I always thought my American passport was No. 1 when it came to granting me visa-free entry to the largest number of countries and, up to a few years ago, I was right. Not anymore. Now there are other countries whose passports rank higher than my American one. The institution that regularly keeps track of such ranking is the IATA (International Air Transport Association) and the company that seems to have been publishing that list for the past 18 years is the Henley Passport Index. According to Henley’s, US Passports now rank at No. 8 out of 199 listed countries. The ranking also pertains to 277 travel destinations. At the top of the list now there is Singapore, whose passports grant its citizens entry to 192 destinations with no previous visa required. In the No.2 position there are Germany, Italy, and Spain (190 countries). At No.3 there are Austria, Finland, France, Japan, Luxembourg, South Korea, and Sweden (189 countries). At No.4 there are Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, and the UK (188 countries). At No.5, Belgium, Czechia, Malta, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, and Switzerland (187 countries). At No.6, Australia, Hungary, and Poland (186 countries). At No.7, Canada, and Greece (185 countries). And, finally, at No.8, Lithuania, and the United States (184 countries). When I went to Namibia a few weeks ago, I was entitled to a 3-month-long visa on arrival, but to come to India I first had to get an online visa (valid for 365 days, 180-consecutive-days stay, multiple entry). By the way, the Henley Passport Index also contains rankings and information about citizenships, residence, real estate and others. To see the full Henley Passport Index, please click here.

Thank You for the Songs, Tony. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, July 21st, 2023. It was in 1962 that Tony Bennet’s voice was first broadcast internationally over the airwaves. He was singing “I Left my Heart in San Francisco”, his signature song. Seven decades had to go by before Tony finally bowed out of the world stage. Tony Bennet has left us. Goodbye, Tony, thank you for shinning the light of your unique voice and style over the Great American Song Book. To listen to Tony’s original version of “I Left my Heart in San Francisco”, please click here. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

On the Republican Road to Dictatorship. Tiruvannamalai, Tamil Nadu, India, July 18th, 2023. While sitting waiting for the call to board my plane at Kochi Airport in Kerala, I engaged in conversation with a Russian woman travelling around India visiting spiritual centers and related matters. We talked briefly about Yoga practices and eventually fell on the question of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. She said she wasn’t totally on the side of Putin, but had some condoning feelings about the validity of his motives, meaning, somehow she agreed with the invasion, even as she didn’t have any clear justification for it. As usual, the conversation then drifted down to the political situation in the US, as she asked me whether I liked Biden as president. I told her I didn’t particularly like him, but I had voted for him because there was no sane alternative to him. To make my position clear, I told her that if Mickey Mouse had been running against Trump I would have voted for Mickey Mouse. To this she replied in three very clear words, saying “I like Trump”. So, I just told her: “then, you are a fascist”. We just sat there, silently, side by side, for about a minute or so and then I calmly stood up and went to sit somewhere else. She either doesn’t know what’s really going on in the United States or she knows and she is indeed a fascist that supports authoritarian leaders such as Putin and Trump. The thing is, there are probably many Americans that don’t know what they’re getting into by supporting Trump. They don’t know what it means to live under authoritarian rule. Trump’s demagoguery has been quite efficient in luring the masses down the road to perdition. And the baffling thing is that Trump and his Republican acolytes’ brash, shameless intentions to dismantle American Democracy and put in place a dictatorship are displayed out in the open for everyone to see. As we speak, Trump and his entourage of sycophants are already drafting a plan to enforce the hardline version of the Unitary Executive Theory, which would give the president sweeping powers over all branches of the executive with very limited oversight from the part of Congress. Can you picture what that would mean? The entire Department of Justice no longer at the service of the people, but subjected to the whims and preferences of the president. In addition, the Departments of Defense, State, Homeland Security, Treasury, the Interior, Education, Transportation, Energy and others, all of them serving at the pleasure of the president with little or no possible oversight from the part of Congress. In other words, if Trump were to win in 2024, in the span of a year we would basically have a one-party authoritarian regime at the helm of the American government. And that would only be the beginning, as once that power-grab gains momentum, the next step would be to abolish presidential elections and grant Trump the status of “President for Life”. But what if it were a Republican other than Trump who won in 2024? Well, in that case, expect a similar but smaller-in-scope power grab anyway, as these ideas are already deeply entrenched in the corrupted, anti-Democracy soul of the Republican Party. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (July 18th, 2023)

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (July 11th, 2023)

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (July 5th, 2023)

Brazil is Teaching a Moral Sociopolitical Lesson to the United States. Swakopmund, Eragon Region, Namibia, Southeast Africa, June 30th, 2023. By geographical area, Brazil is the largest country in Latin America and the 5th largest country in the world, right below the United States, which is No. 4. Brazil is also known for a few other things, namely for its unique genre of music and the beauty of its beaches. But it is known as well for having had one of the longest military dictatorships in Latin America, from 1964 to 1985. Most recently, Brazil was all over the news because of its proto-fascist ex-president Jair Bolsonaro, who served his four-year term as president from 2018 to 2022. Bolsonaro was sort of known as the “Brazilian Trump”, not only for the similarity between their extreme rightwing policies, but also for their shameless, inflammatory mendacity and their constant vilifying of their own countries’ Democratic institutions. But quite unlike the American Republican Party in general and the Republican-controlled House of Representatives in particular, four of the seven judges that form the Brazilian Electoral Court, just voted to ban Bolsonaro from running for office for the next eight years, citing as reason the “immoral” and “appalling lies” Bolsonaro kept repeating “during last year’s acrimonious election”. Can you picture that? The Brazilian people holding their leaders to levels of moral standards way above the moral standards we hold our own leaders in the United States? Bolsonaro did incite the masses of his followers to stage an assault against the Brazilian Legislative body, the supreme court, and the presidential palace. In a way quite similar to Trump’s, Bolsonaro did try to stage a coup d’état in his favor. Yet, Bolsonaro is now banned from running from office while our own native Donald Trump is the presidential front runner for the Republican Party, one of the two most traditional and institutionalized political parties in the United States. Don’t you think something is terribly wrong here? Weren’t the Latinamericans the ones supposed to love having demagogue, fascist leaders? Weren’t we Americans the ones supposed to love having Democracy-loving leaders? Something is indeed terribly wrong in this situation. The roles seem to have been inverted. As a nation, we Americans keep losing our moral compass while other countries that we used to look down upon morally, are now giving us moral sociopolitical lessons. Kudos to the Brazilian people and shame on the Republican Party. In fact, shame on anyone who still claims the 2020 elections were not legitimate and shame on anyone who still refuses to indict Donald Trump for his traitorous crimes against the United States of America. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Ongoing Constant Corrosion of the American Judicial and Democratic Systems. Swakopmund, Namibia, Southwest Africa, June 29th, 2023. As most of us know, the deadly Trumpian cancer afflicting the American sociopolitical system is still as much alive today as it ever was and it’s still as corrosive right now as it proved to be back in 2016. The quasi-religious tones that characterize the loyal fervor his followers show in the face of Trump’s constant spewing of lies and insults against any of the prosecutors’ filing indictments against him, only tells us that American society is wallowing in much deeper swamps of moral mud than we may have imagined. If only the elected officials of the Republican Party were not as corrupt as they have proven to be, the Democratic ideals that barely keep holding the country together would have already served as some sort of political Chemotherapy against such insidious and immoral Trumpian cancer, so that such anti-Democracy threat would have probably been already eradicated from the American mainstream. But, alas! No such luck. Not thus far. Each time the Trumpian masses express support for the belief that the 2020 elections were stolen represents one more harmful blow against the American Democratic System. And each time any American supports the idea that any and all legal accusations against Trump are only part of a “Witch Hunt”, represents one more damaging blow against the American Judicial System. The thing is there aren’t many ways out of this mess. There is basically only one option left to choose from but, in the long run, not even that option is guaranteed to heal the nation for good. We have all seen how the example of 277 people now behind bars and 113 people now in home detention after being found guilty for the J6 insurrection, has kept large masses of Trump sympathizers from protesting violently in the streets whenever Trump has exhorted them to do so. As much as Trump has thus far been able to dodge accountability for all his criminal behavior, his followers are now quite aware that such is not their luck. Now they know the long arm of US law is still capable of reaching down to them not only to hold them accountable, but also to punish them with the severity their seditious transgressions deserve. With this example in mind, the only conceivable way left to put a stop to the ongoing maddening pro-fascist wave our nation is presently suffering from, is to put that highly amoral narcissist Donald Trump either behind bars or in home confinement with a GPS bracelet tightly tied around one of his ankles. There seems to be enough evidence in at least three of the four major indictments Trump will probably be facing before the end of this year to convict him. That is, of course, provided there can still be found 12 American jurors in each of those jurisdictions who have not already sold their souls to Donald Trump, the American god of pro-Fascism. This situation is no piece of cake. No solution will come about with no costs attached to one or another sector of the population. But we must grab the bull by the horns. After all, at the end of the day, the only thing at play in this situation is nothing less than the future of the American Democratic System. May the Universal Forces protect the United States of America from its sworn enemies, foreign and domestic. But mostly from its domestic ones.

--- There is a new original piece in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (June 24th, 2023)

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (June 19th, 2023)

The Monkey-Wrench Judge and the Farfetched Scenario. Swakopmund, Eragon Region, Namibia, Southwest Africa, June 11th, 2023. You cannot make this up. Jack Smith, the Special Counsel assigned by the DoJ to investigate Donald Trump’s mishandling of classified documents, spent some 7 months doing a detailed job finding evidence of Trump’s misdoings and, this past June 8th, he finally came up with a damning 38-count indictment against the ex-President. Smith had the choice of filing his case in Washington DC or filing it in the US District Court of Southern Florida, the District where Trump’s residence is located and the place where the crimes where allegedly committed. Smith chose Florida to go as much by the book as possible, thereby avoiding to have the case delayed or dismissed if filed in Washington DC. But in acting in such seemingly wise manner, he might have derailed his case even more than if filing it in Washington. Turns out that the judge assigned to preside over the case is none other than District Judge Aileen Cannon, the Trump-appointed judge who, back in September of 2022, appointed a Special Master in an effort to delay the Mar-a-Lago documents-probe conducted by the FBI at the time. Fortunately, Cannon’s Special Master order was later overruled by the Atlanta-based 11th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals saying Cannon did not have jurisdiction over the case, at which point we all thought Judge Cannon would be relegated back to obscurity. Fat chance. Judge Cannon is back at the frontline and wielding even more power than before in her hands to protect her crooked benefactor, Donald Trump. Trump is expected to be arraigned this coming Tuesday, June 13th, at Judge Cannon’s court. What will Judge Cannon do this time around? We all know Cannon is an ultra-Trumper conservative with ties to the Federalist Society and we have all already seen how she is much willing to put her judicial credentials on the line in defense of her amoral benefactor. Did she learn her lesson after being chastised by he DoJ and a Court of Appeals? Meaning, would she now preside over Jack Smith’s case in an evenhanded nonpartisan manner? Will she recuse herself? Or, will she just go around throwing monkey wrenches on the judicial process so that the case is delayed past the 2024 presidential elections? In my opinion, she should recuse herself, but that may just be wishful thinking. The bottom-line question is, will Colombian-born Aileen Cannon put her gratitude to Trump above her gratitude to the United States, the country that welcomed her and gave her the opportunity to reach and hold the respectable high office of District Court Judge? “The answer, my friend, is blowing in the wind…” Meaning, your bet is as good as mine or anyone else's. You can’t make this up. This is like a drama plot for a fictional political movie. Does Jack Smith have a contingency plan for this situation? Did he ever contemplate the possibility that his case could fall on Judge Cannon’s hands if he filed it in the Southern District of Florida? Does he have a plan B? The way all Trump-related things have been unfolding thus far, I doubt that Smith has a plan B, but I’m willing to give the guy the benefit of the doubt. May the Universal Forces protect the United States of America from its enemies, foreign and domestic, but particularly from its domestic ones.

Two Down, Two to Go. Swakopmund, Erongo Region, Namibia, Southwest Africa, June 10th, 2023. The arrogant, utterly mendacious, proudly-corrupt, anti-American Ex president of the United States has now been indicted twice for two different categories of crimes, one for failing to declare as campaign contribution the hush money he paid to a porn star to keep her quiet and, two, for obstruction of a law-enforcement procedure and breaking anti-espionage laws when refusing to hand back highly classified intelligence documents. But this is just half the legal load that in the end will have fallen on the corrupt shoulders of that crooked, amoral individual. By the end of 2023 he will also be facing indictments for openly seeking to overturn the electoral results in the State of Georgia and for conspiring and masterminding a whole host of anti-Democracy maneuvers that culminated in the failed coup d’état of January 6th. The time for accountability is nearing and will continue getting nearer as 2023 unfolds. For once in close to a decade, I can see a glimmer of light at the end of the proto-fascist tunnel the Republican Party has embarked the country in. Maybe, and just maybe, there is still hope for the country’s Democratic System. Maybe, and just maybe, the rule of law will still prevail over the forces of chaos unleashed over the country during the previous administration. The Republicans are still enthralled by the prospect of establishing a single-party authoritarian system of government in the United States, but there are still some influential, powerful real Americans willing to go all the way in defending the Constitution and the ideals enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, both of which gave birth and have continued to infuse life into the workings of the greatest nation the world has ever seen. Yes, two indictments down and two to go, but even if that corrupt ex-president were found guilty in all, or at least in some, of the four trials he will soon be subjected to, the damage the Republicans have already inflicted on our Democratic and Judicial Systems will take decades to repair. And maybe I am being overly optimistic in hoping those systems can still be restored but, in line with a true American spirit, I remain hopeful. Good job, Jack Smith. Thank you for loving the United States as much as millions of us still do. Now, the ball is on your court, Fani Willis (District Attorney for Fulton County in Georgia). Go ahead and indict that corrupt ex-President for shamelessly trying to overturn the election results in the State of Georgia. Show the world that not everything is lost in America, that the rule of law is still pretty much alive across the land, despite the Republican Party’s dogged efforts to get rid of it. May the Universal Forces protect the United States of America from its enemies, foreign and domestic, but mostly from its domestic ones.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (June 7th, 2023)

Bring the War Home to the Russians. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, June 2nd, 2023. I can safely say that, over the past 40 years or so, I have made good friends with some Russian people, be it in California, Cambodia, or Croatia. For that reason, I can claim to have often witnessed and understood some of the good traits that characterize Russian culture and a few of the not-so-palatable ones too. With this I mean I sympathize to a good extent with the Russian people. Furthermore, just a few years back I had a Russian girlfriend from Saint Petersburg with whom I travelled to a few different countries and with whom I discussed more than once the idea of getting married. In the end that idea didn’t bear fruit, but our separation didn’t end in acrimony either, as we both placed the blame of our failed plans on our own differing personal preferences rather than on any cultural particularities or traits. In a nutshell, I basically like Russian people as much as I may like people from other countries. But one thing is to talk about person-to-person relationships and another one is to contemplate issues pertaining to governments and their domestic or international politics. As the situation stands today, if I were to meet an English-speaking Russian who expressed their support for Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, I would simply wish them a good day and keep walking. Russian people who support the Ukraine invasion do so from the comfort of their homes believing that their towns and cities will never be under any Ukrainian attack (anti-Putin Russians have recently launched drone attacks on Moscow and Belgorod) And Vladimir Putin will not think of any reason to stop invading Ukraine as long as 75% of the Russian population keeps giving him their unconditional support. The body bags keep going back to Russia from the Ukrainian battle fields, but not in numbers large enough to turn the population’s opinion against the war. In addition, the Russian government has been doing a good disinformation job praising those dead soldiers as heroes, which means that the war is probably going to be a long one unless some dramatic changes take place somewhere. The key element in this war is its one-sidedness. The people whose lives have been upended are the Ukrainians, not the Russians. The Russians have thus far managed to live a somewhat normal life, with some deprivations, but still feeling safe at home. The day the homes of the people in Moscow or Saint Petersburg start crumbling under Ukrainian shells will be the day when the Russian people will start asking themselves “what the hell are we fighting for?” and then, and perhaps only then, they will stand up against Putin and demand an end to that totally unjustifiable invasion. Sorry to have to admit this, my dear Russian friends, but the war needs to come to your doorsteps so that you may have a first-hand taste of the pain your government has been inflicting upon the Ukrainian people for over a year now. To say it clearly, the sooner they bring the war to Russian soil, the sooner the war will end.

As Individuals We Can Be Very Intelligent – As a Race We Can Be Very Stupid. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, May 29th, 2023. History shows quite clearly that human beings hardly ever learn much from history. The mistakes other people made yesterday do not represent a lesson for most of us to learn so that we may avoid making those same mistakes today. For example, we all know the disastrous consequences that fanatic nationalism can produce on the peoples that embrace it. To verify this, just please check out the nationalistic movements that defined the Italian sociopolitical environment in the 1920s, 30s, and early 40s. Or check out those very same decades in Germany, or in Japan since, and before, the beginning of the 20th century up to 1945. Those countries suffered greatly as a result of their extreme and fanatic misguided love of their own national history and their bloated pride on the particular characteristics of their own race. In the end they suffered destruction and defeat at the hands of forces embracing more universalistic principles such as those upheld in democratic institutions. But, as clear as those catastrophic examples may be, humanity does not seem to have learnt much from them. It always comes to the same thing, “they” may have fallen down a dark pit in the middle of the road, but that can never happen to “us”, even though we may be walking exactly down the same road and we may be blindfolded in the very same manner as “they” were. This I say specifically with the United States in mind, although there obviously are other minor cases of similar nationalistic blindness springing up here and there in different parts of the world, namely Hungary, Brazil, and Turkey, not to mention Russia. Also, in a category of its own, we can now place the UK among the countries whose people have been blinded by the same kind of misguided nationalism and have inflicted upon themselves the growing pain they are experiencing right now because of their stupidity in effectuating Brexit. But the case that runs the most dangerous risk of self-imploding, thereby exerting the direst consequences on the rest of the world, is that of the United States. The quasi-religious, no-matter-what devotion influential numbers of Americans, largely of the Republican persuasion, still profess to their “Dear Leader” is in no way a matter to be taken lightly. Donald Trump is the incarnation of those very same nationalistic mistakes made in the past by the people of Italy and Germany in Europe and by other people elsewhere. In America, we obviously have not learnt much from the serious and destructive mistakes other nations have made in the past. There surely are many very intelligent people in America but, as a nation, we surely look quite stupid walking blindfolded down the same road toward the same dark pit where other nations have fallen in the past. May the universal forces protect the United States of America from itself.

--- There is a new original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (May 18th, 2023)

The Politics of Outrage and the Stupid Producers at CNN. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, May 11th, 2023. Why is it so difficult for non-Maga Americans to understand that the ex-president and presumed GOP presidential candidate is not a normal, civilized human being? What will it take for them to accept that deeply-corrupt individuals like Donald Trump cannot be expected to behave according to hitherto-prevalent American standards of decency? Donald Trump does not have any moral codes of conduct. He is just a festering bundle of narcissistic, self-aggrandizing, shameless, egotistic, power-hungry instincts willing to lay waste everything that may stand in his egomaniacal path, be it the American Democratic system, our Judicial System, or whatever else. Yet, even as he has time and again clearly displayed out in the open his immoral personal characteristics, the “ultra-smart” producers and anchorpeople at CNN still thought they could shame him before the TV cameras and make him express mea-culpas for his disgraceful performances of the past. Ha!!! Stupid naïve CNN fools!!! Donald Trump cannot be shamed!! You cannot shame a shameless individual!! The feeling of shame does not exist within the structure of Trump’s self-perception and personality. He is simply incapable of experiencing shame or remorse for anything he may have done wrong in the past, regardless of the personal, social, or political damage he might inflict on any individual, group of people or country, including the United States. But the guys at CNN, just as thousands of other people holding positions of influence in government and in the media, just keep pretending they are dealing with a “normal” human being who, in their distorted view, at the bottom of his heart still loves America just as much as the rest of us do. Wrong!! The only America Donald Trump loves is the one that kneels at his feet in total submission to his would-be-dictator whims!! Hey stupid CNN people, you just gave that ultra-narcissist egomaniacal human vermin a very influential chance to show to the entire world his absolute contempt for American Democracy and his deep disdain for the American Judicial System. Just check out the loud cheers, applause, and laughter the GOP audience showered Trump with at every lie he repeated and every insult he hurled against anyone he dislikes. And yet Chris Licht, CNN’s chairman, has the guts to publish in the New York Times a defense of his utterly stupid decision to produce such asinine, backfiring Town Hall? I’ll tell you something in all honesty, if America ever goes down in flames as a result of the growing pro-fascism movement permeating all sectors of our sociopolitical environment, all those influential, yet stupid, liberal pro-democracy individuals will be as much to blame as the shameless pro-fascism individuals in the Republican Party. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Enough of this Debt-Limit Farce. Enforce Section 4 of the 14th Amendment! Barletta, Puglia, Italy, May 7th, 2023. The customary pigheaded congressional Republicans are at it again. Once more, they are waging class warfare against the American majorities trying to reduce the American masses' well-earned essential social benefits and other vital programs, so as to impoverish them to the point where they will be increasingly at the mercy of cutthroat ultra-capitalist forces. That is what the whole debate concerning the national debt limit is all about. Two years ago, Congress set the debt limit at $31.4 trillion. In so doing, Congress fulfilled its Constitutional duty to set the national debt limit. But such limit becomes unconstitutional the moment it forces the US Government to default on its debt obligations, which is what Congressional Republicans are threatening to do if Joe Biden refuses to give in to their pigheaded irrational demands. Section 4 of the 14th Amendment states that “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law… shall not be questioned” (see here). And that “shall not be questioned”means “NOT EVER”.This means that the landmark debt limit Congress imposed on the government in 1917 was in breach of that constitutional clause, therefore it was unconstitutional, which means that any debt limit that Congress may impose on the government that forces the government to default on its debt obligations is unconstitutional too. If Joe Biden doesn’t give in to the egregious Republican demands and fails to enforce section 4 of the 14th Amendment anytime soon, the US Government will have to default on its debt obligations on June 1st. Do you have any idea what the consequences would be if that were to happen? 18 million veterans would lose benefits, 65 million seniors would stop getting Social Security benefits, $10 trillion would be eliminated in household wealth and other catastrophic unnecessary results such as workers losing $20,000 in retirement savings, new home owners paying an extra $55,000 and others. No doubt Congressional Republicans are waging a blatant class warfare against the American majorities. When it comes to cutting billions of dollars in taxes for the super wealthy and the super-rich, Republicans don’t hesitate for a minute to rally behind such policies, which amounts to sheer class favoritism. Similarly, just give the Republicans a chance to oppress the masses and they will pull all the possible tricks at their disposal to achieve their nefarious ends. Hey Joe Biden, don’t you dare to give in to the Republican threats to force the US into default. Don’t you ever dare to adopt such cowardly stance. Enforce section 4 of the 14th Amendment as soon as you can, as not even the corrupt Supreme Republican Morons of the Supreme Court would have the authority to stand against you. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

“I Don’t Have to Make Sense! I’m Italian!” Barletta, Puglia, Italy, April 30th, 2023. The refreshing charms of Italian culture. It was in the 1961 movie “Come September” that the character Lisa Helena Fellini said the quoted line to the character Robert L. Talbot, when the latter told her she wasn’t making any sense. In reality, though, that line makes plenty of sense when contemplating Italian culture first hand. Incidentally, the character Lisa Helena Fellini was played by Gina Lollobrigida, one of Italy’s most beautiful and famous actresses of all time and the Talbot character was played by Rock Hudson, an American movie superstar of the 60s. To complete the cast, there were Sandra Dee and Bobby Daring, two secondary but well-known icons of the 60’s. The thing is that, for many foreigners like me who have been to Italy for longer than just a couple of months, Lollobrigida’s line is right on the mark, as many of the idiosyncratic characteristics that define the Italians' daily life don’t make much sense to us. What I mean by that is that, for a good number of non-Italians, the Italian way of being and interacting with others is somehow outside the cultural patterns we have been shaped by. For example, why do they close all shops at 01:00 pm and reopen them at 05:00 pm? What do they do during those 4 idling hours? Watch TV? Sleep? Why do so many shops not open on Mondays? Are they simply not interested in doing business on the first day of the week? Why are Italians so reluctant to stand in line when buying tickets to a show or when ordering an expresso at the café? Can’t they see the advantages conferred on everyone when doing things in an orderly manner? But these are not questions the Italians ask themselves on a regular basis. My questions are those of a foreigner whose eyes are not accustomed to watching these things every day. For my Italian brethren this is just the way things have been from the beginning, since the day they were born. Meaning, this is just the way their culture has always instructed them to be and, within the confines of their country’s borders, they don’t have any other alternative to choose from. But please don’t get me wrong. In writing these observations I’m not trying to demean or put down Italian culture. In my view, no culture that can produce such delicious food and wine along with such refined artistic expressions as their paintings, their literature, and their music and architecture, could ever be demeaned by any comments anyone may make. I like Italy and I like Italian culture and, in all truth, aside from their habit of closing down all shops at 01:00 pm and opening them again four hours later, none of the other “nonsensical” cultural characteristics I am presently exposed to bothers me much. Lollobrigida’s character was right in saying she didn’t have to make sense because she was Italian. Italy, having the culture that it has, has an enduring Democracy, is one of the top 7 most industrialized countries in the world and the history written on the walls of its many historic buildings and marble streets is testimony to one of the richest and most inspiring cultures of them all. With this in mind, who would I have be to cast a pale of doubt on Italian culture? After all, having travelled across 39 countries over the past 19 years (50 in total) and having lived in some 18 of those countries, my life probably doesn’t make much sense to many people either. In other words, I may not be Italian, but I don’t have to make much sense either, I live in Italy!

The Festering Den of Pro-Fascism Vipers Consumes One of Their Own. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, April 25th, 2023. Vipers are different from other snakes in that vipers are venomous, some of them quite deadly so. Vipers are known to cannibalize each other too, particularly King Cobras. Human vipers of the kind that have nested at FOX News and have been biting and poisoning the American Democratic System for almost a decade are quite like their snake counterparts, except that their poison does not take effect instantly. The kind of pro-fascism vipers we have at FOX News kill Democracies at a slow pace, with small but constant and divisive doses of authoritarian venom injected into the bloodstream of American society on a daily basis. Not surprisingly, the FOX News kind of vipers cannibalize each other too, as they did in the past when they first consumed Glenn Beck and later Bill O’Reilly. Now, their vicious self-preservation instincts have brought them to consume once again one of their own, this time the highly venomous Tucker Carlson, who thus far has perhaps been the most vile and pernicious anti-American-Democracy voice of the 21st century. Unfortunately, Carlson has not been the only insidious voice blaring venom from that den of vipers. A few other vipers of a slightly less caliber remain in place, namely, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Jeanine Pirro and Maria Bartiromo. Will the den consume them too? Will Ruppert Murdoch, the King Cobra of the den, allow those vipers to keep vomiting hatred, racism, and anti-Democracy sentiments from his den’s loudspeakers? Will he force them to tone down their pro-fascist rhetorics? Only time will tell. But, for the moment, let’s all breath an air of relief knowing that the FOX News den of pro-fascism vipers has silenced one of its most venomous voices: That of viper Tucker Carlson. Good riddance. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

While Dominion Wins Hundreds of Millions of Dollars American Democracy Keeps Losing. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, April 20th, 2023. For a company valued at $16.4 billion that usually has over 4 billion in cash, having to pay a $787.5m settlement in a defamation lawsuit must hurt a little, but only just a little. Fox owners, the Murdochs, feel by now perfectly at home settling lawsuits and disputes worth millions of dollars. Just settling sexual harassment cases at Fox News has already cost them over $200 million, not including cases involving anti-trust laws and corporate mismanagement. $787.5m is not a trifle, but it is not even half the $1.6 billion Dominion was initially suing for. The thing is, even as Dominion seems intent on pursuing other related defamation lawsuits against Rudy Juliani, Sidney Powell, Mike Lindell and others, Fox News has not yet been ordered to make a clear, open apology to the world in general. This means that, in the eyes of “normal” people like you and me who get our news from reputable, mainstream media, Fox News has at least been humiliated, but in the eyes of the millions of Fox News viewer-addicts who syntonize that channel on a daily basis and perhaps hardly ever syntonize any other channel, the settlement has barely been a small blimp in their radar. As we speak, most Fox viewers probably still think the Fox channel is a truthful, reliable source of information, which it absolutely is not. According to the information we have been getting from the mainstream media, nothing has come out of this settlement intended to force Fox News to stop disseminating lies and conspiracy theories. Dominion Voting Systems sued Fox for defamation, meaning, for slandering the company’s name with blatant lies and conspiracy theories. Dominion did not sue Fox for undermining the American Democratic System, or for taking millions of Americans for the ride of the century. So, once Dominion got those hundreds of millions of dollars in their pocket, they called it quits, they called it mission accomplished. Dominion has won their case, but the American Democratic System is still walking down very dire straits, as Fox News will quite likely keep playing its highly deceptive game in elections to come, including in 2024 where there is still a high chance that corrupt, amoral, anti-Democracy Trump will run for president. Thus far we have not seen any signs that Fox News has learned its lesson. Within the Fox News tribe, no direct harm has fallen on the reputation of highly deceitful individuals like Maria Bartiromo, Tucker Carlson, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, Jeanine Pirro and others, so, they are still quite free to continue lying and deceiving as they wish. Sure, now they will probably have to be more careful about spreading lies and conspiracy theories against particular companies or institutions, but they can still keep undermining our Democratic System by sowing doubts and conspiracies against the Federal and State governments or directly against the Democratic Party. In this sense, Fox News appears to have won. In their post-settlement statement, they said they were “pleased to have reached a settlement of our dispute with Dominion Voting Systems”, adding they “acknowledge the Court’s rulings finding certain claims about Dominion to be false”. And to seal that fallacious sarcastic statement with a shameless mockery of truth, they added that “This settlement reflects FOX’s continued commitment to the highest journalistic standards”. Ha! Does that sound like an apology to you? Certainly not to me. That is just lawyer talk disguising a clear “we don’t give a damn about this”. Dominion has certainly won a lot of money, but their reputation remains quite tarnished. The clear winner in this defamation lawsuit is Fox News, who has not even been required to apologize to its viewers or to the American public in general. The clear loser in this settlement is American Democracy, as it remains clearly vulnerable to the ill-intentioned yet highly influential fallacies spewing out of Fox News’ so-called news programs.

Should Attorney General Merrick Garland Resign? Barletta, Puglia, Italy, April 16th, 2023. In not wanting to politicize the work of the Department of Justice, Attorney General Merrick Garland has actually politicized it. It has been over two years since the January 6 insurrection and the masterminds of that failed coup d’état are still going around unpunished. And what has Merrick Garland done about it? Other than appointing a special prosecutor, he has done nothing. In appointing Jack Smith, however, Garland has only deflected responsibility, thereby saving face, as he was already the object of innuendo from the part of some Democrats suggesting dereliction of duty from Garland’s part. Now that we have a case of possible blatant corruption falling on the shoulders of Justice Clarence Thomas, will meek and frightened Merrick Garland refuse to authorize the DoJ to conduct investigations on it? Will he again refrain from performing his duties fearful of appearing to be partisan in the eyes of Republican attack dogs such as Jim Jordan or Ted Cruz? Corruption seems to be metastasizing over all branches of government, yet not many people know exactly what kind of law enforcement actions is the DoJ engaged in under Merrick Garland. Thus far the only anti-Democracy criminals that have been caught in the DoJ’s net are the small fishes that foolishly followed Trump’s orders to invade the Capitol building on Jan. 6. Will this be Merrick Garland’s MO for the rest of his tenure? Will he continue being so fearful of Republican public opinion as to neglect or disregard his solemn duty to be the top guarantor of justice in the United States? In indicting Donald Trump, Manhattan DA Alvin Bragg basically gave Merrick Garland a symbolic but resounding professional slap in the face. Take that, you Garland petty little fool, that is the kind of work you should be doing at the federal level: Standing up for American Law and Order come hell or high water! Frankly, it is the cowardice and wishy-washiness of Democrats of Garland’s caliber that makes many Americans like me blame the Democratic Party for the uncertain state of affairs permeating the present American sociopolitical reality. Still, I have a kind suggestion for Merrick Garland: Why don’t you just go buy a farm somewhere in the Illinois country side and retire from public life for good, so that somebody much more competent than you can take the helm of the Department of Justice? If you did exactly that, you would be doing your country a great favor and doubly so if you did it as soon as possible.

Of Talking to my Russian Friend Nadya. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, April 10th, 2023. Nadya is doing fine over there in the beautiful city of Saint Petersburg (SPb), Russia. She was born there and has lived there most of her life except that, by the time of her birth, SPb was called “Leningrad” and it was part of the Soviet Union. I haven’t seen Nadya in person for some time, but we always keep in touch. I sometimes call her just to check out how she’s doing and we talk about anything that comes to mind, which usually includes the war in Ukraine. Overall, Nadya is living her life as if there were no military conflict just a thousand miles southeast of her city. Recently, we had to cut our conversation short because she was at the theater and the show was about to start. A couple of days later we picked up the conversation where we had left it and everything was fine. The thing is, according to Nadya, daily life hasn’t changed much in SPb since the war started a year ago. Prices have indeed gone up, but everything is still affordable. The political situation, on the other hand, has taken a turn for the worse. A great majority of Russians support the war and such widespread prowar stance puts Nadya in the minority, which means she has to be careful what she says and who she says it to. But she doesn’t intend to move. She loves her city and loves her country and no war is going to make her go settle anywhere else, even as she could actually move out whenever she wished. Every time we talk on the phone she sounds normal, meaning rather upbeat and kind, but that’s not surprising. I have always perceived her as a strong, intelligent woman, which is one of the reasons I have always liked her, but this time I’m sure that deep inside she harbors some fears and uncertainties about the future (who wouldn’t?) As for the rest of her fellow Russians, many of them seem to have fallen under the spell of misconceived patriotism and the widespread censorship pervading the Russian media only helps to keep them blind in their misguided patriotic fervor. In contemplating the Russian situation as I have perceived it, I was reminded of a similar situation we lived in the United States in the few months prior to the war in Iraq. At that point in time (2002-2003), the American media were all disseminating pro-war analyses and views and the general stance among the population was to demonize anyone or anything that may stand in the country’s path to war. There was no government-sanctioned official censorship, but Ari Fleischer, then-president George W. Bush’s Press secretary, actually warned the whole country that “Americans need to watch what they say, watch what they do”. Unfortunately, many Americans took that message to heart, including the national press which, forgetting their solemn duty to speak truth to power, embraced a near-total self-impossed censorship on the matter, thereby marking one of the most shameful periods in the history of American Journalism. Patriotism can sometimes make people do extraordinary things, but it can also make people do some utterly foolish ones. Just picture what’s going on in America today, where one of the two most influential political parties has renounced all allegiance to democratic principles and has embraced the delusional cause of an amoral, corrupt, criminally-accused lunatic demagogue. How can those deluded Americans be as blind as to think that their deranged propositions can be labelled as “Patriotism”? Well, if the masses in Russia can justify their misguided prowar fervor by calling it patriotism, so can millions of Americans justify their misguided anti-democracy fervor by calling it the same way too. And the beat goes on...

A Promising Preamble for an Upcoming Day of Reckoning. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, April 5th, 2023. I don’t buy the ongoing general impression many people accept that the more anyone tries to prosecute Donald Trump the stronger he gets. Some people even claim that the recent indictment only increases his chances of clinching the nomination for the Republican Party. To me, all that sounds like sheer nonsense. To my eyes, that rotten crook looks considerable diminished, even to the point of ridicule. Did you have a chance to watch his speech from Mar a Lago after his arraignment? He looked and sounded like a spoiled child who broke the Chinaware at home and was insulting and blaming ayone holding him accountable for it . He looked and sounded tormented, perturbed, discomposed. This time he clearly knows his day of reckoning is fast approaching and it’s inevitable. His arraignment on April 4th was a loud and clear shot across the bow that his free-roaming, loud-mouthing, law-breaking days are coming to an end. Even if he were to get only a relatively mild slap in the hand in the Stormy Daniels hush-money case, the gates of the dam are already open and a flood of much more serious legal cases will soon drown that rotten crook’s amoral arrogance under their weight. The approaching Georgia indictment looks to some of us like the slam-dunk case that will forever terminate that rotten crook’s political ambitions and Special Prosecutor Jack Smith’s cases may come to represent the shovels that will finally bury that neofascist fool’s cynical and currupt public persona under 6 feet of dirt. Am I glad Donald Trump is finally on the road to soon be dumped out of the American political theater? You bet I am, but I’m not enjoying my gladness in a blind foolish way. I know the moral cancer that such corrupt individual has disseminated across the country won’t disappear overnight, but taking such decisive first step on the way to healing the nation is definitely a good reason to celebrate. Congratulations America! In beginning to contain the spread of moral decay emanating from the depths of that crooked individual’s heart, you are giving yourself a chance to preserve the uniqueness of your founding principles. Down with Trump, Neofascism, White-supremacism and Authoritarianism. Up with Democracy, the Rule of Law and the US Constitution.

There is Still Hope for America. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, March 31st, 2023. In indicting Donald Trump, Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg just lit a spark of hope in the hearts of Democracy-loving Americans. Not everything is lost, at least not yet. American Judiciary is still pretty much alive and moving forward according to the rule of law. There is still a chance that the much-needed national restoration from the disastrous Trumpian years is still possible. Indicting Trump for the Stormy Daniels hush money payment and related crimes is not the ideal place to start restoring some level of trust in government, but it is a start anyway. The real hope for national restoration lies in the Georgia case and, ultimately, in the case the DOJ Special Prosecutor Jack Smith might soon bring against that ultra-corrupt ex-president. The harmful effects of the deadly anti-Democracy anti-Judiciary Trumpian virus disseminated mostly through the perverted voices at Fox News will only be minimized when their dark messiah is brought to justice for trying to subvert the election results in Georgia and for masterminding the attempted coup d’État on January 6. The Stormy Daniels case is a small, rather weak, start but it sets the nation on a path toward healing. Will the Republicans’ Trump-induced hate of their own country make them exacerbate the problems with riots and other violent demonstrations? I certainly hope not. But if they do, I am confident that, as long as the American Judiciary stands firm on the side of law and order, the country stands a very good chance of coming through in fairly good shape. Keep up the good work, America, you can still pull yourself up by your own judicial boot straps. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (March 28th, 2023)

Republicans Might Still Succeed in Their Efforts to Destroy American Democracy. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, March 25th, 2023. The essential pillars that allow Democratic Systems to stand firm are the people who believe in the institutions and mechanisms designed to make it work. The heart of any Democratic System is the elected, appointed and hired people in charge of keeping the engines of government working efficiently along Democratic precepts. But such system was never supposed to be made of steel or any other hard, non-perishable material. Democracies are fragile and fluid just as much as human nature can be. When the functionaries in charge of protecting and defending any Democratic system start casting doubts on it, the foundations of said system begin to erode and such erosion can eventually lead to its crumbling and ultimately to its demise. American Democracy is presently at the stage where many of the powerful and influential individuals whose support for the system is essential for its survival, no longer believe that upholding a Democratic System is in the best interest of the country, so they just keep trying to undermine it in every which way they can. Many Americans seem to be asking themselves whether our Democracy is worth fighting for all the way to preserve it. I strongly believe it is. Why do I believe so? Is American Democracy primus inter pares? E pluribus unum? The best among them all? No, it is not. Not by a long shot. For one, in America we still have that ultra-undemocratic Electoral College often dictating the outcome of presidential elections in blatant disregard for the will of the people, remember? So, if American Democracy is in no way the best Democratic System in the world, why not just let it disintegrate? Why not just let the Republicans get away with their designs to destroy it? To answer that question just please ask yourself, if not through a Democratic process, how will we choose our leaders? Will we do it like they do it in China? Where a clique of like-minded, ultra-indoctrinated individuals choose the best-suited leader among themselves? Will we do it the way they do it in North Korea? Where leadership is hereditary? Will we do it the way they do it in Russia? Where leadership is gained by cunning and mercilessly jailing and eliminating opponents? There aren’t many palatable alternatives to a Democratic System, so, have you ever asked yourself what system of government do Republicans want to replace our Democratic System with when they so shamelessly try to discredit our electoral system and undermine the authority of our judiciary? In my view, the only possible viable alternative Republicans could have in mind is to put in place a one-party, undemocratic, authoritarian system along the Chinese lines. Otherwise, the only option left would be an outright totalitarian, dictatorial system a la North Korea. Nice choices, no? Trouble is, this is not funny at all. This is not a joke. The steady erosion of the American Democratic and Judiciary Systems is an ongoing event that keeps moving forward by the day, if not by the hour. And, as usual, elected Democrats aren’t doing much about it. Most of them are just sitting back enjoying the perks their positions in government grant them fooling themselves into believing that American Democracy will prevail forever come hell or high water. There are no bigger fools than those who willfully fool their own selves. Meanwhile, the Republicans might still succeed in their efforts to destroy American Democracy.

A One Hundred Trillion Dollar Bill. Barletta, Puglia, Italy, March 19th, 2023. Can you picture yourself walking around the streets of your town or city carrying trillions of dollars in your wallet or purse? Sounds crazy, right? Well, believe it or not, such thing is not just a farfetched fantasy, it can actually be a palpable reality. So, what’s the catch? You might ask, and the catch is you would have to live in Zimbabwe, a country in southwest Africa, where a Zimbabwean dollar is worth only US$0.00276319. Talk about a hyper-high rate of inflation. Zimbabwean people use the dollar as national currency, but their dollar doesn’t have much to do with the American dollar. The only thing those two currencies have in common is the name. There are some countries whose national currency is called “dollar”, but the value of their currency is independent of that of the US dollar. Among those countries there is Antigua and Barbuda (Eastern Caribbean dollar), Australia (Australian dollar), Bahamas  (Bahamian dollar), Barbados (Barbadian dollar), Canada (Canadian dollar), Fiji (Fijian dollar), Guyana (Guyanese dollar), Jamaica (Jamaican dollar), Liberia (Liberian dollar), New Zealand (New Zealand dollar), Singapore (Singapore dollar), Trinidad and Tobago (Trinidad and Tobago dollar) and Zimbabwe (Zimbabwean dollar). Then there are those countries that have adopted the US dollar as their national currency, meaning that the value of their dollar is exactly the value of the US dollar. Some of those countries are Ecuador, Somalia, Panama, Puerto Rico, El Salvador, Guam, Turks and Caicos Islands, U.S. Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Timor-Leste, Marshall Islands, Bonaire, Caribbean Netherlands, Northern Mariana Islands and The Federated States of Micronesia. Among the listed countries, however, the only one that prints currency in the amount of billions and trillions of dollars is Zimbabwe. Wanna be an instant billionaire or trillionaire? Go settle in Harare, the capital of Zimbabwe, and your dream might easily come true. To see a couple of billion-trillion dollar bills, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (March 11th, 2023)

Barletta Seems OK to Me. Barletta, Italy, March 4th, 2023. Thus far, the most noticeable difference between Promajna/Makarska, the area of Dalmatia, Croatia, where I spent these past January and February, and the town of Barletta, Puglia, in Italy, where I am presently writing these words, is the much larger number of cars and people moving around in this city, which tells me that, unlike Promajna/Makarska, Barletta’s economy doesn’t depend mostly on tourism. Many of the buildings in Barletta are also different from those of Dalmatia, although Old Town Split and Old Town Barletta look very similar, particularly in their narrow streets and the white marble stones that pave them. I came to Barletta about a week ago with the intention of staying for a few months, but given the way I’ve recently changed my mind about the length of my stays, I’d say a couple of weeks would be OK. I’ve already taken a few pictures of my new whereabouts, but not enough in terms of numbers and quality to put together an album, so I’ll probably go wander around the streets this weekend and take a few more shots of whatever views may call my attention. There is plenty of history in this town and, even though the same can be said of many other towns in Italy and elsewhere in Europe, I am sure that, from that point of view, my stay around here will be worthwhile. In the meantime, welcome to Barletta, Italy.

American Christo-Fascism on the Rise. Promajna, Croatia, February 23rd, 2023. For some time in my younger years, I was a bible-carrying Christian. It came to a point where, on occasions, I could even quote appropriately from that book according to the theme of my conversations. Then, sometime around 50 years ago, I woke up from that slumber and began living in what, in my view, is a refreshing, much more fact-based reality. There is certainly some wisdom in that famous black book, but the transcendental doctrines most people draw from it are, to me, often misguided and sometimes even puerile. I still have some Christian friends, though, but they’re of the kind who is not constantly trying to shove their religious beliefs down everybody else’s throats. The few Christian friends I still have don’t go around arrogantly claiming they’re blessed and saved and, therefore, better than anyone else on account of their religious convictions. We can have mostly normal conversations, my Christian friends and I, even as we have to put religious matters off limits to our conversations. But the number of such kind of civilized, non-fanatic Christians keeps dwindling in the United States, and maybe around the world too. What we have today in America is a growing Christian sociopolitical movement whose proto-totalitarian aims don’t differ much from those of the Taliban in Afghanistan. Their gung-ho, Trumpian delusions may be best encapsulated in the term “Christian Nationalism”, or the idea that America is a country blessed by god whose guiding principles have to be based on what they call “Christian Values”, meaning some kind of extreme-rightwing, Darwinist, misogynist misinterpretation of the bible. To define it in one single word, what those guys aim to put in place in the United States is a Theocracy where inconvenient historical facts are banned from schools and the “god-given” supremacy of the white man is upheld at any cost. My reaction to the aims of such movement is very simple and is best phrased in a question that attempts to reach deep into the foundations of American Christianity. Assuming that the character Jesus really existed, how could the teachings of such a humble man come to generate such arrogance and intolerance in the hearts of so many Americans? Jesus, a man who, while allegedly having supernatural powers, allowed his detractors to spit on him, beat him badly and finally crucify him, how can the example of such self-effacing man be interpreted by millions of Americans as a call for arrogance, intolerance and hatred? Something is not right in that picture. The tales and stories about that man, as told in that black book, don’t correspond to the stories we read about his American followers in the 21st century. Something is awfully amiss in that dyad. Jesus himself allegedly said that his kingdom was not of this world, yet, the kingdom those American Christo-fascists go around loudly advocating for is an American Theocracy, meaning a Taliban-like kingdom on Earth. How did it all come to this? we may ask. Well, the fact is the religious fascism millions of American Christians strongly propose today is actually very benign when compared to the genocidal Crusades of the 11th to 13th centuries or when compared to the murderous Spanish Inquisition of the 15th to early 19th century. From a historical perspective, therefore, Christianity has come a long way. But, should such relative progress be a consolation for everyone else? No way. This only comes to show the even longer way American Christianity still has to go. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new Photo Album and Video in the Photos section of this Website. To view them, please click here. --- (February 20th, 2023)

Sī Vīs Pācem, Parā Bellum. Promajna, Croatia, February 19th, 2023. That Latin saying may be best translated into English as “if you want peace, prepare for war”. It was Publius Flavius Vegetius Renatus, a fourth or fifth century AD Roman General, who is credited for having said that first. Earlier versions of that saying, however, can be found in Plato’s “Nomoi” and in some earlier Chinese writings too. These days, it is Josep Borrell, the EU’s Foreign Minister, who, in many more words, is reviving that axiom believing it clearly applies to Europe’s present circumstances. Actually, Borrell is warning that either the EU starts quickening its delivery of military aid to Ukraine or Putin’s war will soon come to an end with Putin as the victor. But embedded in Borrell’s message is a much far-sighted critique of the EU’s overall military readiness, which has always been lagging behind that of the United States. According to Borrell, “It currently takes almost 10 months for the European army to buy a bullet, for the caliber of 155mm, almost one year, and almost three years to buy an air-to-air missile. This is not in accordance with the war situation in which we live.” Everyone knows that for over seven decades since the end of WWII, the Europeans have been feeling quite safe, lazily and comfortably shielded behind the American protective umbrella, but the situation has dramatically changed over the past year or so. Russia is now on a war footing engaged in a daily three-shift production of ammunition. The world in general and the Europeans in particular can no longer pretend we’re still living in times of peace. Those days have been gone for a little over a year now. In Borrell’s view, German Leopard 2 tanks need to be delivered to Ukraine much sooner than later and the Ukrainian personnel needed to man them has to be trained as soon as possible too or it will be Putin’s tanks that may soon be entering Kyiv. You think the fear of an escalation of that conflict should be reason enough no to follow Borrell’s call? If you do, just consider the alternative. What do you think will happen next if the West allows Putin to take the Ukraine? Remember Munich in 1938? Do the names Chamberlain and Daladier tell you anything? Do you think the country of Georgia would be safe from Putin’s mad territorial ambitions? What about Moldova and Romania? Would they feel safe too? How about Armenia or Bulgaria? No doubt appeasement is totally out of the question. On the other hand, the Russian people are mostly brainwashed by state propaganda to do anything, so, no one should expect them to stage a coup d’état against Putin anytime soon. The only remaining alternative, therefore, is to defeat the invading Russian armies and to achieve that goal there only exists one obvious way, to increase the flow of weaponry toward Zelensky’ army. In a few words, if the Europeans want to preserve whatever level of peace they may have today, they will have to get much more ready for war. Sī vīs pācem, parā bellum. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

“Let justice be done, though the heavens fall”. Promajna, Croatia, February 15th, 2023. That quotation encapsulates the idea that justice should be administered equally to everyone regardless of the sociopolitical consequences such administration of justice may have in its wake. Under this light, the argument that Donald Trump shouldn’t be prosecuted because it would only divide the country further is totally invalid. No American prosecutor should ever take that kind of concern into consideration when deciding whether to indict or not anyone, not to mention someone like Donald Trump who intentionally posed such a threat to the American Government and the American Democratic System. This rationale is particularly applicable to the case District Attorney Fanny Willis has in her hands pertaining to the ex-president’s blatant, shameless attempt to bully and coerce Brad Raffensperger, the State of Georgia’s Secretary of State. During a now-famous phone call, Trump wanted Raffensperger to “find” the 11,780 votes that would overturn the State's election in his favor, which was a clear “criminal solicitation to commit election fraud”. Fortunately for the country, Raffensperger refused to follow Trump’s entreaties and threats, but his refusal doesn't exonorate Trump. According to Georgia law, the solicitation doesn’t have to come to fruition to be a crime. Such solicitation automatically becomes a crime “when the conspiracy or agreement is effected and an overt act in furtherance thereof has been committed, regardless of whether the violation of this chapter is consummated.” Under such clear statutory definition of the crime, Georgia’s DA Fanny Willis doesn’t have any legal reasoning not to indict the ex-president as, in this particular case, not even the Rule of Lenity would help Donald Trump duck the indictment. “The rule of lenity is a principle used in criminal law, also called rule of strict construction, stating that when a law is unclear or ambiguous, the court should apply it in the way that is most favorable to the defendant, or to construe the statute against the state”. The Rule of Lenity may be applicable in the case the Manhattan DA may present against Trump in the Stormy Daniels hush money litigation, as there may be some ambiguity as to the criminality involved there, but NOT in the Georgia case. The crime Donald Trump committed in Georgia is absolutely clear and such clarity demands that he be held accountable and brought to justice for it. I have the strong impression that Fanny Willis will indict Trump and, possibly, some of his henchmen too but, if she doesn’t, this whole circus, this entire legal pantomime may only foreshadow the demise of the American Rule of Law and, consequently, the demise of the country’s Democratic System. There are no two ways about this. Let justice be done, though the heavens fall, or the whole country is eventually bound to go straight down the toilet. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a just-remastered song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (February 13th, 2023)

--- There is a new Collage in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (February 12th, 2023)

--- There is a just-remastered song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (February 11th, 2023)

Burt Bacharach, a Musician-Friend I would Have Loved to Have. Promajna, Croatia, February 10th, 2023. The suave, Oscar-winner songwriter, pianist, composer has left us. You did a great job, Burt, and we should all celebrate your life. This is a partial list of some of the beautiful songs he wrote or co-wrote: The Look of Love, Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head, I'll Never Fall in Love Again, Arthur's Theme, On my Own, Close to You, I Say a Little Player, Walk on By. Dionne Warwick, Cristopher Cross, The Carpenters, Patty LaBelle & Michael McDonald are among the large group of well-known artists who sang his songs. No doubt Burt has a high place in the Pantheon of American songwriters. Thank you, Burt Bacharach, for that lovely music. To read about Burt’s passing, please click here. To see different pictures of Burt with other celebrities, please click here.

I Reluctantly Watched Joe Biden’s SOTU but Was Finally Glad I did It. Promajna, Croatia, February 9th, 2023. I thought this year’s SOTU (State Of The Union) speech was going to be just another rehash of the same old, worn-out platitudes about the American state of affairs, so I refused to watch it when it aired live. But after reading some opinions and commentaries about it in some of my favorite news outlets, like The New York Times, The Guardian and Politico.com, I thought it was probably worth watching it, so I did it. Turns out “Sleepy Joe” wasn’t at all sleepy last Tuesday evening. He was quite awake and he was right on the money enumerating some of the things I’ve been repeatedly talking about in this page, namely that the reason many white Americans got sick with the Trumpian mental illness is that they feel abandoned by their government, so they had no choice but to bite the poisonous bait spoon-fed to them in Trump’s blatant, insidious demagoguery. Joe hit the nail right in the head. He understands what it is that the country needs to set itself free from the Republican anti-Democracy grip that has been strangling it for the past few years. Jobs, education, reducing healthcare costs, among others. Just let 2/3rds of Joe’s massive projects come true and the country will soon be really back on top of the world, the last 3rd being bringing back the Republican Party into the pro-Democracy fold, which seems to be the most difficult thing to do. Why do you think Kevin McCarthy, the new Republican Speaker of the House, sat still with a stony expression in his face when Joe Biden mentioned Democracy twice by the end of the speech? Why do you think the Republican side of Congress didn’t rise to their feet when Joe praised our Democratic System? Why? Obviously, because they don’t stand up for anything they don’t believe in, so they don’t stand up for Democracy. See it with your own eyes. Check out the last couple of minutes of the speech and you’ll see. I was initially reluctant to watch the SOTU speech, but in the end I thought it was worth watching it. It may be very hard for Joe to accomplish all that he proposes, as the Republicans’ plans for the country are obviously not centered on improving the wellbeing of the American masses, but the speech was a refreshing opportunity to know that at least someone up there at the top of our government is a clear-headed, real America-loving adult.

--- There is a just-remastered song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (February 8th, 2023)

It’s Been 53 Years Since This Many Americans Had Jobs. Promajna, Croatia, February 5th, 2023. Yehp, it’s a fact. The unemployment rate in the United States is now at 3.4% and it hasn’t been this low since 1969. This hasn’t happened under any US president since Lyndon B. Johnson handed the keys to the White House to Richard Nixon. There have been 10 US presidents after LBJ, but none of the 9 that preceded Biden managed to generate as many jobs as the Biden administration thus far has. Just picture that the US economy added 517,000 jobs over this past month of January alone. Yehp, a little over half a million Americans got hired over the past 30 days. Take that, you Reaganites and you Bushists and, yes, take that you loudmouth delusional Trumpers. And yes, let’s say it as loud as possible, take that you mass-swindlers, pro-elite, anti-US workers hypocritical Republicans. Count your blessings, America and, at least for the time being, count having Joe Biden at the White House at the top of your good fortunes.

Thank You Dalmatia. Promajna, Croatia, February 2nd, 2023. I’m not a stranger to the Balkans. I have lived for a few months in Montenegro, have spent a whole week in Kosovo, have been for a few days in Serbia and Albania and this is my second time in Croatia. I’m yet to visit Slovenia, Bosnia-Hercegovina and North Macedonia, but I might just visit a couple of those countries sometime this month. Some people say that Bulgaria and Romania should also be counted as part of the Balkans and, if that were the case, I can also count them among the countries that I’ve been to, particularly Bulgaria, where I lived for over three months just a few years ago. The thing is thus far I may claim to know the post-Yugoslavia Balkan people to a relatively good extent, particularly Montenegrins and Croatians, although I also have a good grasp of a few salient Albanian, Kosovar and Serbian idiosyncrasies. Dalmatia, the area of Croatia where I live right now, runs mostly along the Adriatic coast, from the island of Rab, not far from the border with Slovenia, down to the bay of Kotor in Montenegro, passing by the beautiful historic city of Dubrovnik, on the Croatian coast. And even though I can claim to have had mostly a good time in all the Balkan countries that I’ve been to, I have to make it clear that Dalmatians have the most amiable predisposition to meeting others, be it their own fellow citizens or foreigners. For the most part, Croatians don’t hesitate to engage in conversation in English with others and they are quite willing to help you with directions or any other kind of information they may have that you might need. In contrast, I have recently established conversation with people from Bosnia-Hercegovina, who have lived in Croatia for a few years, who have told me they don’t intend to go back to their country because the approach to life over there is not similar to the positive, rather optimistic way in which Croatians view their existence. From that perspective, and according to my own personal experience, I could also say that the Serb, Kosovar, Montenegrin and Albanian approach to life is much more similar to that of the Bosnians than to that of the Croatians, that is, those other guys don’t seem to be as happy with themselves and with the situation in their countries as much as Croatians do. That is the reason that my commentary today I wrote explicitly to praise the Croatian people’s amiable, rather-happy general predisposition and to sincerely thank them for their friendliness and hospitality. Thank you, Dalmatia.

The Conservatives Political Strategy of Victimhood and Resentment. Promajna, Croatia, January 27th, 2023. Conservatism is basically an approach to life in general that is reluctant to accept change which, in the long run, results in being reluctant to embrace progress, mostly of the social and political kind. Conservatism can be simply a pro-status quo way of thinking or, in its hardline strands, it can be a backward-looking movement refusing even to accept any possibility of sociopolitical evolution. Conservatism thrives mostly in relatively closed environments where freedom of thought is at least limited, if not outright demonized. From the moment there is a constant influx of ideas that may prompt the population to question the status quo, conservatism starts to crack open, thereby allowing keen observers to see where sociopolitical or economic changes are needed. To say it differently, freedom of speech paired with a Democratic system can end up posing an existential threat to conservatism. The United States is no exception to these observations. Actually, conservatism, as briefly defined here, is the root cause of the serious sociopolitical problems we have been having in America over the last decade or so. The more the majorities of the population refuse to embrace conservative premises, the more the conservatives feel isolated and resentful against the non-conservative masses. And when such feeling of victimhood becomes too widespread and unbearable the only way out is the way of radicalization, which can easily be transformed into the way of violence. The 2020 elections showed that a majority of Americans refuse to join the kind of conservatism now embraced by the Republican Party and the results of the 2022 midterm elections show that a considerable number of us won’t go along with the delusional rhetoric of the Trumpian worshippers. But such rational reaction against Republican extremism didn’t happen because of the alternatives presented to the electorate by the Democratic Party, but because an influential number of Americans haven’t yet lost sight of the promise of a better future embedded in the founding ideals of the country. The Democratic Party is actually failing the American masses with its so-called centrist approach to politics, which is just a thinly-disguised moderate rightwing version of conservatism. Rural America feels abandoned, even betrayed, by the politicians in Washington and the blame for that feeling of victimhood falls mainly on the shoulders of the Democratic Party, for it is the Democrats who are supposed to stand up on behalf of the masses. We all know the Republican Party’s main job is to protect the interests of the rich and the big corporations, regardless of the pain their policies might inflict on the American workers, but when demagogue Republican leaders manage to appropriate and exploit for their own political benefit the feeling of victimhood afflicting the masses, the electorate’s exodus is toward the Republican Party. And, indeed, the Democrat’s neglect of rural America is actually worse than sheer neglect. As Hilary Clinton’s Electoral-College defeat in 2016 shows, rural America and American workers in general resent the contempt they are the object of from the part of the Democrats, which is to say that the threat the Republican’s conservative politics of victimhood and resentment present to American Democracy today is in very important ways the result of the Democratic Party’s failure to do their job as defenders of the American masses. In the meantime, November of 2024 keeps approaching and there don’t seem to be any specific guardrails put in place to avoid another disastrous electoral outcome of the January 6 kind. Good luck America. You're going to need a lot of it.

Hey Fani Willis, Just Go Ahead and Indict the Mother****er! Promajna, Croatia, January 24th, 2023. The whole world heard the recording of the phone conversation Donald Trump had with Georgia State AG Brad Raffensperger back on January 2nd, 2021. "What I want to do is this. I just want to find, uh, 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have, because we won the state." (the margin of defeat was 11,779 votes) The whole world heard that recording, so, hey Fani Willis, what else do you need in order to indict that crook? What more of a smoking gun do you need? Georgia law clearly states that “solicitation to commit election fraud” is a crime, and that is exactly what that amoral lunatic did during that conversation, he committed a crime. In addition, there is also a federal law that makes it illegal to “deprive or defraud” the American people of a “fair and impartially conducted election process”, which is exactly what that degenerate was trying to do. What more proof do you need? To top it all, the Special Grand Jury investigating Trump’s efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 elections already recommended multiple indictments against him and his henchmen, what else is there to consider? Hey Fani, this is no joke. You fail to put that SOB on trial and you will go down in history as the most foolish and cowardly District Attorney the United States ever had. (Fani Willis is the present Fulton County District Attorney in the State of Georgia)

The Consequences of Vladimir Putin’s Murderous Madness. Promajna, Croatia, January 22nd, 2023. To avoid all possibility that you take me for a biased anti-Russian American, let me first put some cards on the table. I’m no expert on Russian matters, but I’m certainly no stranger to Russian history and culture either. I actually even know by heart in Russian the first verse of the song “Moscow Nights”, which in Russia is known as “Podmoskovnye Vechera” (Подмоскопвне Вечера) I have been to the beautiful Russian city of Saint Petersburg and have spent a few days in the city of Moscow too and I consider walking around the streets and sitting at the restaurants and cafés of both those cities a unique cultural experience, similar to taking the subway in St. Petersburg and walking around in some of those impressively artistic Metro stations. While living in the California Bay Area during the 1980’s and early 90’s, I became close friends with some Russian men and women who, in their majority, showed me how warm and friendly Russian people can be. Then, most recently, I had the pleasant experience of travelling to a few countries in the company of an engaging Russian woman with whom I’m glad to still have some regular friendly correspondence. Finally, just last year (2022), during my stays in some Southeast Asian countries, I had a chance to meet some Russian people with whom I had some pleasant exchanges, sometimes even over a Margarita or two. In a nutshell, what I mean to say is that I don’t have any problem with Russian people, just as I don’t have much problem with any of the peoples of the world, provided their prejudices don’t blindly pit them against me beforehand. And that’s the reason why it strikes me as disheartening that the great majority of a people with such potential for empathy and sympathy toward others be capable of supporting such uncalled-for murderous military attack against an unthreatening neighboring country. We Americans did something similar back in 2003, when 74% of us gave their unconditional support to the Iraq invasion, although we could say that such unjustifiable act of war was just a misdirected act of revenge after 9/11. But before launching the invasion of Ukraine, Russia had not been the object of any military aggression at all, so, there is no real or imaginary excuse for invading that country other than to satisfy Vladimir Putin’s egomaniac desire for historical grandeur. Basically, in Putin’s power-drunk ultra-distorted vision, he would go down in the history books as the man who restored the Soviet Union to its rightful place as the Feared Big Bad Wolf of the world. Taking Crimea was just the beginning, taking the whole of Ukraine was step #2. UK Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain and French Prime Minister Edouard Daladier handed then-Czechoslovakia’s Sudetenland on a silver platter to Hitler in September of 1938, so that he wouldn’t invade it, but he just saw such gesture as a green light to take whatever other country he wanted. In consequence, by September of 1939 World War II had already started. Let Vladimir Putin take Ukraine and a few months later he may try to take Georgia, Romania, Azerbaijan or Bulgaria, or maybe all of them in one single military move. Vladimir Putin’s unjustifiable invasion of Ukraine can only be taken as a clear warning sign. Let murderous egomaniac lunatics of Putin’s caliber get away with their nefarious expansionist designs and, before you know it, the whole world will be at war again.

MAGA Americans Have the Right to Embrace Trumpist Madness. Promajna, Croatia, January 20th, 2023. I consider myself much more of a true American than millions of those others that whole-heartedly embrace MAGA Madness, but I cannot contest or deny that they’re Americans too. In being pro-Democracy, I am much more in line with the Declaration of Independence and the general statutes outlined in the Constitution than most of them seem to be, hence my well-grounded claim to be much more of an American than they are. America was founded on the idea that all men and women are created equal and that liberty and justice should be the universal natural right of all. When a massive section of the population unites with the specific purpose of eventually abolishing those founding principles, America is no longer the one single nation the founding fathers intended it to be (if it ever was), and that is exactly the situation unfolding in our country today. There are now two fundamentally different concepts as to what it means to be an American, but that difference is not much new, it has existed in the American psyche probably since the inception of the nation. Those differing concepts are indeed deep and there already was a massive deadly clash between them during the early 1860’s, during the Civil War, the bloodiest armed conflict America has ever been involved in. Confederate Americans were wrong in trying to abolish forever some essential tenets in the Declaration of independence but, in so doing, they made it forever clear that not all Americans long to achieve the same patriotic ideals. There has always been a proto-Fascist undercurrent in American politics and MAGA Americanism is just the revamped version of Confederate Americanism, with some added few important features, namely the Führer “Dear Leader” element. America is basically an idea, or, better still, it is a deeply inspiring ideal that brought its proponents and defendants to found, nurture and, across over two centuries, firmly establish the greatest nation the world has ever known. But, alas! Not all Americans believe our country has turned out to be the nation they wanted. As evidenced in the aftermath of the 2020 presidential elections, around 74 million of us would rather get rid of our Democratic System and replace it with an autocratic, semi-religious, authoritarian, cult-like, white-supremacist, fascist regime with narcissistic, power-hungry lunatic Donald Trump at the helm. The thing is that, regardless of how wrong they may be, MAGA Americans have the right to choose the path they see most fit for the country, just as all human beings have the right to buy a gun, go into their bedrooms and put a bullet in their heads. Trouble is, even as contagious and pernicious as the MAGA virus may be, it hasn’t infected the great majority of us and I’m willing to bet it never will.

Twitter is a Recent Clear Example of How to Stop Pro-Fascist Chaos. Promajna, Croatia, January 18th, 2023. Twitter’s revenue is down by 40% year on year. More than 500 advertisers have paused placing advertisements on that platform since rightwing lunatic Elon Musk bought it for a trifle of US$ 44 billion back in late October of last year. Way to go America! Those Americans who want to destroy our country are indeed quite numerous and powerful but, thanks to the Universal forces, they’re not in the majority. At least not yet. Some honest, clear-minded people who love our country and love our Democratic System are still prevailing over the deranged quasi-religious pro-Trump fanatics and election deniers. Most of today’s politically-motivated hate speech is the expression of white America’s fear and resentment for their soon-to-come fallen status as the country’s privileged ethnic majority. Poor little whities! Boo-hoo-hoo! That’s precisely the deep sentiment Donald Trump awoke among the hordes of white-supremacists populating the Republican Party: The feeling of Victimhood! The poor little saintly guys! They say they’re treated so unfairly by the mainstream media. Boo-hoo-hoo! Those bad boys and girls at ABC, CBS, NBC, MSNBC and the rest of those mean bad liberals refuse to believe all those blatant, shameless lies that all those Republican elected officials go around spreading whenever they face the TV cameras. Ha! But we all know the song. Hatred is the sentiment of choice among fascist movements. Spread hatred against women, minorities, foreigners, gays and lesbians, freedom of speech and Democracy and combine it with a cult-like adoration of a “Dear Leader” and you have a living Fascist movement, meaning, you have today's Republican Party. On the other hand, put a lid on politically-motivated hate speech and you’re on your way to neutralizing the forces of fascism. As simple as that. And that’s what those 500+ advertisers are trying to do when they put their Twitter advertising accounts on hold. Hats off to Audi, Pfizer and the rest of those companies who have a clear-enough vision of the future as to interfere as promptly and efficiently as they did. Elon Musk’s “Free Speech Absolutism” was just a thinly masked disguise for “rampant unbridled pro-ultra-rightwing hate speech”. But, right from the start, Musk’s unclever ploy was a pill a bit too hard to swallow. Ever wondered whether something similar could someday happen at that well-known anti-American, anti-Democracy outlet of sociopolitical venom called FOX News? Well, I wouldn’t dare to ever be that naïve. The American anti-Democracy forces are as real as they are powerful and I seriously doubt whether they would someday come back into the Democracy-loving fold, that is, if they ever were. Count your blessings, America, as there aren't too many foreseeable ones. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Democratically Blasé Americanism: “Aww! Please stop talking about Democracy”. Promajna, Croatia, January 16th, 2023. Not much matters anymore. That seems to be the general motto in the lives of most Americans these days. Actually, that seems to be the prevailing approach to world affairs in most countries I have recently been to. “I just want as much food as possible on my table and as much gas as possible available at the gas station and the rest of it be damned”. That’s what it all seems to have come down to. And the future? “Tomorrow never comes”, they say, “it’s always today that matters” and, you know what? They’re right, except that tomorrow is only 24 hours away, which means that “yesterday” may often come too soon for us to correct any mistakes we might have made today. None of this, of course, is anything new. Just a brief double-checking on the history books will tell you this is the way it has always been. This is just the way we humans basically are, and it would be perfectly useless to contemplate any other ways we could, should or would be, given any different collective frames of mind. To do that would clearly be the equivalent of Monday morning quarterbacking, meaning, simply to fantasize. But not all of us are prone to let our imaginations run that wild. There are enough “alternative facts” floating around in the general media for us to be as foolish as to come up with our own set of those. And I’m sure you’re aware of how infested the overall media is with “alternative facts” of the conspiracy type. Take the best-known American conspiracy theory of them all, that Donald Trump won the 2020 elections (NOTE: 62 American courts threw away an equal number of legal suits claiming those elections were fraudulent) Did you read about the vote recount that took place in Lycoming County, Pennsylvania, just this past January 9 to January 11, 2023? (NOTE: Trump won in that county in 2020) At the request of election deniers, 28 county employees took three days to manually recount the 69,000 ballots that were cast in that county in November of 2020 (see here). And, guess what? The results showed that Donald Trump had 8 votes less than previously counted and Biden had 15 votes less than previously counted, all of it easily attributable to human error in the recount. Wow! Big fraud! NO? Bottom line, did such recount make those election deniers change their minds about the 2020 elections? Not a bit. They still claim Trump won the presidency, which is an exemplary case of blatant, willful blindness, often known as prejudice. For those guys, facts don’t matter. Only belief does. But the thing is such malady of perception doesn’t only plague those rightwing lunatics; it afflicts the rest of the population too, as those on the liberal camp are also willfully blind to the dire consequences of their blasé approach to the present circumstances. In other words, they’re still asleep in the comfort of their cabin or still partying on the deck of the Titanic while the ship has already been taking water for some time. The time to wake up already came to us some time ago. Wake up, America, better late than never.

--- There is a new photo album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (January 13th, 2023)

America’s Sociopolitical Future looks Dim. Blame the Democrats for It. Promajna, Croatia, January 13th, 2023. Why am I criticizing the Democrats so much? Have I deserted the progressive camp? Have I become a Republican? Not on your life! I haven’t lost my mind either, nor have I gone senile, at least not yet. But I categorically refuse to be labeled “a Democrat”. These days, to belong to the Democratic Party is practically to belong to the party of wimps, Actually, no, since most elected Democrat are, in one way or another, basically Republicans in disguise, to call yourself a Democrat equals calling yourself a hypocrite. Either that or naïve, or even, in some cases, a coward. And this I say not only in reference to those elected Democrats in Congress, but to many of those appointed individuals who hold relevant, crucial positions in government too. It’s been over two years since we had the first ever near-successful attempted coup d’état in our country, yet, the masterminds of that insurrection remain free of blame and the supreme Führer of them all is even running for president again. And whose Department of Justice has procrastinated this much thus far? Is it a Republican DoJ? NO. It is the Democrats’ DoJ! And the longer it takes for them to indict the culprits, the harder it will get to prosecute them. The way things are going, either we stop Trump’s electoral ambition on its tracks ASAP, or just the fact the he gets his name on the 2024 presidential ballot will represent a defeat for the American justice system. Worse still, it will represent a total mockery of American Democracy and, in consequence, the beginning of its end. There’s no free lunch in this situation. There’s a high price to pay if we fail to do what’s right. Let the masterminds of the failed Jan. 6 coup d’état go scot-free, and they will try to do it again in 2024 and beyond, and next time they may well succeed. Time is of the essence. Wake up stupid Democrats! We all know the Republicans no longer want to have a Democratic System in our country (I they ever did) so we cannot expect them to correct course anytime soon, or never ever for that matter. The future of American Democracy is essentially in the hands of the Democratic Party. Make no mistake, if our Democracy eventually goes down the toilet the country will have no one else to blame but the Democrats. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Bleak Big Biden Blunder. Promajna, Croatia, January 10th, 2023. Hey Joe! You just made prosecuting Trump a much more difficult thing to do. It’s unbelievable. When you left the Vice Presidency, you illegally took some 10 classified documents with you and later stored them in your private office at the Penn Biden Center for Diplomacy and Global Engagement in Washington DC!!?? Really!? And you forgot about it!? Even as the FBI raided Mar a Lago to find illegally-taken classified documents there!? And then you told your lawyers to keep quiet about the discovery of your documents for two months? Wow! None of that looks like a smart move, Joe. What do you think Trump and the MAGA Republicans in Congress are going to do now? They will use the case of your classified-documents blunder to invalidate any indictments Special Prosecutor Jack Smith may bring against Trump for taking classified documents to Mar a Lago!! The most likely scenario if Smith indicts Trump is that the Republicans will DEMAND that YOU be indicted too, Joe, or at least that you be impeached. It’s almost like throwing the case for prosecuting Trump down the toilet. You just muddied the ongoing legal waters, Joe, and in so doing you may well have given Trump a free pass out of prosecution. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Are the Times Really A-Changing that Much? Promajna, Croatia, January 8th, 2023. “Come gather 'round people wherever you roam - And admit that the waters around you have grown - And accept it that soon you'll be drenched to the bone - If your time to you is worth saving - Well you better start swimming or you'll sink like a stone - For the times they are a-changing”. Remember that tune? One could easily say Bobby D. actually wrote that piece for the ages, those past and present and those yet to come too. Just think about it. Would it have even crossed your mind just a decade ago that American Democracy would one day during the first quarter of the 21st century come to the brink of disaster as it did on January 6th, 2021? Most likely not. And yet, today, millions of Americans have already chosen to place some strand of autocratic authoritarianism at the top of their list of governments of choice. And what about our British friends? Are they faring any better than us? Ha! Brexit was a blunder of historical proportions and no doubt “they’re gonna carry that weight a long time”. But that’s not the end of that story for, according to some perceptions, the British Monarchy is about to enter a serious period of instability, possibly worse. Actually, some English voices are already claiming that Harry’s books, videos and interviews may be signaling the end of the monarchy. Worse still, they’re actually saying Harry’s confessions are indeed propitiating the fall of the whole monarchical structure. Does that scenario sound plausible to you? Could the times really be a-changing that much? Nobody can know for sure. But the way things are going, not much seems impossible anymore either. In any case, in the view of some of us, one thing is increasingly clear: In messing with Harry, the Monarchy seems to have messed with the wrong guy. To read an article that elaborates on the subject of the monarchy, please click here.

--- There is a new photo album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (January 6th, 2023)

The Unamazing Rudderless Un-Grand Ole Party. Promajna, Croatia, January 4th, 2023. Are you surprised by the circus in a zoo the Republicans are staging at the US House of Representatives up on Capitol Hill? Not me. There’s no way those guys can amaze me or shock me anymore with anything they may say or do. You want principles? Or morals? Or shame? Or dignity? Or love of country? Or decency? Look somewhere else, as you’re never going to find any of that among elected Republicans. It’s not even a sad thing to watch anymore. It’s all just one more example of how low can human beings go in their lowly, basic-tendency, selfish, shameless quest for power. From now on and into the unforeseeable immediate future, the Republican Freedom Caucus has the reins of power in the House of Representatives. In other words, expect congressional pandemonium on a random basis in the months to come. But don’t get confused. The ones who will end up footing the bill are not those elected Republicans who long to shred American Democracy to pieces. The one who will end up suffering the dire consequences is none other than the United States of America, meaning you and me. And to think that there are still millions of Americans who put their wholehearted trust in a party of unfunny clowns otherwise known as the GOP. Only in America. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new photo album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (January 3rd, 2023)

--- There is a new photo album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (December 31st, 2022)

Will Merrick Garland Go Down as the Most Pernicious AG in US History? Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 28th, 2022. To answer that question in a very concise manner, he just might. He might just let Trump and his henchmen off the hook claiming all possible excuses as valid reasons not to indict. He might even claim that the Congressional Committee’s Report has tampered with the evidence and that now it is no longer worth it to prosecute anyone. He might just do that. He might just be as cowardly as that. Would I like him to behave in such a lowly manner? NO! As millions of my fellow Americans wish, Merrick Garland should do right by our country and indict and prosecute anyone actively involved in the January 6 coup d’état against the American Government. Gosh! How did it all come to this? Do you get the whole picture? The destiny of our country’s Democratic System in the hands of an old-fashion judge whose performance thus far hasn't shown to be in sync with the grave circumstances of the moment. Yehp! Only in America. So, let’s just see what lady luck has in store for our country in the next few days. Meanwhile, I got to go ‘cause I’ll soon have to catch a plane up to the Dalmatian coast of Croatia. Vidimo se uskoro!

--- There is a new photo album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (December 26th, 2022)

AG Merrick Garland, Are You Totally Blind, Utterly Cowardly, or Outright Complicit? Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 25th, 2022. It’s been almost two years since the Republican failed Coup d’État on January 6th, 2021, and thus far it's been mostly the “foot soldiers” who have been sent to jail for their seditious attempt. What about the masterminds who plotted that coup? Have they been indicted or prosecuted? Ha! Not a single one of them. They all remain basically untouched. In contrast, in Peru (yes, Peru, that “third world” nation) they quickly found their ex-president Castillo responsible for an attempted coup d’état he staged just a few weeks ago. And in Germany (yes, that country where Nazism flourished seven decades ago) it only took them a few days to indict the rightwing leaders of an attempted coup d’état they staged just a few days ago. Yes, just as in the United States, those coup d’états failed, but in both those countries the leaders of those attempts were quickly held responsible for it and are now being held accountable for their seditious actions. In contrast, in the United States, where a violent storming of the Capitol on Jan. 6 was just the tip of the iceberg of Trump’s attempted coup, it’s already been two years and still not a single mastermind of that insurrectionist attempt has been indicted or prosecuted. Two years of investigations on a blatant attempt to basically overthrow the American government and the Department of Justice is still dithering about it. Two years. In the mind of some of us, there can only be three possible reasons for the DoJ’s hesitant performance: 1) Attorney General Merrick Garland is totally blind to the facts in this case, 2) He knows exactly what went on and who masterminded that plot but he’s afraid of whatever may befall him or the country if he indicts Trump, or 3) He knows about it but he sympathizes with the coup planners. Of the three possibilities, I’m personally inclined to believe Garland is mostly a cowardly institutionalist with a totally misplaced sense of patriotism. In my view, Garland probably still believes in an America that the great majority of Republicans ceased to believe in decades ago, if they ever did. A mostly well-intentioned man who may end up inflicting an irreparable damage to the American Democratic institutions. The time to hesitate is through, Merrick Garland, either you stand for law and order in America or justice will never again stand a chance of being administered equally to all Americans, regardless of their social, political or economic status. You fail to indict Trump, Meadows, Juliani and the others, and it will be the American Democratic system that will have failed, quite likely in a permanent way. To watch a video that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Will Meek Mouse AG Merrick Garland Finally Stand Up for Law and Order in America? Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 20th, 2022. What else does that timid, fragile-backbone Attorney General of the United States, Merrick Garland, need to finally execute his duties as the top defender of law and order in America? Will he finally gather enough guts to prosecute the top leaders of the Jan.6 insurrection to the fullest possible extent of the law? What excuse will he give us this time around? The January 6 Congressional Committee just concluded there is more than enough evidence to prosecute ex-president Donald Trump and some of his henchmen for four counts of criminal conduct, what will Merrick Garland do about it? Will he again discard the referrals the way he did when he inexplicably failed to indict Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino for Contempt of Congress back in June of this year? Will saving face prevail again over Garland’s sworn commitment to uphold the rule of law across the nation? Will he pull another Robert Mueller-style trick and cowardly hide behind another obscure memo or “traditional” unofficial procedure? Will he assign another "Special Counsel" to conduct more useless investigations? The time has come for Merrick Garland to show he deserves to serve as Attorney General of the United States. Either he prosecutes Donald Trump and the others, as the Congressional Committee strongly recommends, or he will surely set the country down the path to assured disaster.

The Ludicrous “Super Hero” Comic-Book-Like American Political Theater. Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 17th, 2022. America the stupid, that’s what it’s all coming down to. The enshrining of stupidity as the patriotic ideal that, in the mind of millions of Americans, will someday soon make America great again. The ex-president and political leader of millions of Americans is now selling NFT (Digital) cards of himself in the ludicrous guise of superheroes. What a bad joke! Who could have thought it would all someday come to this? A pathetic narcissist clown disguising himself as a comic book superhero while guiding masses of Americans toward a lawless authoritarian white-supremacist cliff! And masses of Americans blindly following him as hypnotized children following a dark Pied Piper of Hamelin. Only in America. Yes, this is all part of that well-known American exceptionalism, except that this time our country looks exceptionally stupid. And don’t blame me for being so blunt. This is all part of the same ridiculous, preposterous situation that has been unfolding in our country for the past seven years or so. And, yes, it would all be utterly laughable if it all weren’t so dangerously serious. If only the fate of our Democratic System weren’t at stake (but it is) it would all be a very funny and entertaining show, but it isn’t. The great majority of members of one of America’s two major political organizations are enthralled in the delusional exploits of a buffoon narcissist conman to the point that they’re willing to follow him all the way down to the bottom of a dark and disastrous anti-Democracy pit. Frankly, we’re reaching a point in our history where Irving Berlin would have very likely refused to write his piece “God Bless America”, for if the destiny of the United States depended solely on the wishes of the Republican Party, the whole country would have already gone straight to hell.  

For How Long Will I Stay in Malaysia This Third Time Around? Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, December 2nd, 2022. Recently I’ve been sort of revolving around a well-trodden Southeast Asian loop. I’m not saying this as a complaint. I’m just stating a fact. In Early May, I flew out of Bologna, Italy, via Frankfurt, Germany, down to Phuket, Thailand, where I stayed until the beginning of September when I hopped on a plane that took me to Hanoi, Vietnam. Three months later, after spending one month in Chau Doc, by the Cambodian border, and two more on the island of Phu Quoc, I flew across the Gulf of Thailand all the way to the eastern shores of the strait of Malacca, on the Malaysian peninsula, and landed at Kuala Lumpur International on November 28th. This time around, it was all prearranged, particularly my accommodations. Some three days before flying out of Phu Quoc I had already booked a nice apartment located about a 5-minute walk from the famous Petronas Towers, better known locally as KLCC. Not being a big-city kind of guy, this will be the first time I ever live in an apartment on the 30th floor of any building, specially one situated at the heart of an 8 million-people city. I’m hereby glad to report that everything has thus far been working well. Up to now, most Malaysians have been rather kind in their response to my greetings, as they all seem to have accepted Kuala Lumpur as a multinational environment. Such multiculturalism, of course, has been taking shape across a few centuries. First, the Chinese (Mongolians) communities began settling here around the beginning of the 13th century. Then the Portuguese settled in Malacca in 1511. Next, the Dutch snatched control of that city from the Portuguese around 1641, and, finally, after taking hold of the nearby island of Penang in 1786, the British East India Company began bringing labor from India. All this makes it that, by now, most Malaysians are already accustomed to sharing their sidewalks with people from a few other ethnicities and cultures. For my part, this time I came to Malaysia as if by mystic design. My 3-month Visa in Vietnam was set to expire on December 6th and by the last week of November I still didn’t have any idea where to go next. Suddenly, some friendly voices from Malaysia began luring me over there and I bit the bait. The question now is, should I stay here for the full 3 months that my Visa is valid for? Will I decide to extend it when it is about to expire? I frankly don’t know, so, let’s just see how it all goes. Meanwhile, things in China have been unfolding rather peacefully, as the government has begun lifting Covid restrictions in some of the largest cities there, even as they have also been raising the level of censorship. On the “home” front, an Appeals Court in Atlanta, Georgia, just shut down Trump-acolyte Judge Aileen M. Cannon’s decision to impede the DOJ investigations on Trump’s illegal hiding of classified documents in his Florida home. This means that, as of next Thursday the 8th, the DOJ will again have full access to the large trove of documents Trump basically stole from the White House, which also means that that highly amoral weasel ex-president will probably be indicted sooner than later. Go for it, Jack Smith! Indict that rotten SOB! The whole world knows he’s got it coming.

Trump Showed Lack of Judgement in Dining with Fuentes? My Foot!! Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 27th, 2022. When will American politicians, pundits and the news media stop giving a free pass to obviously-declared fascist, white-supremacist Donald Trump? Why do millions of Americans keep thinking Trump is just a naïve, ego-distracted scoundrel with no evil intentions at heart and no nefarious designs in mind? For some unusual reason, Trump’s wanna-be dictator traits are somehow not perceivable in the eyes of millions of Americans. Or maybe it’s just the opposite: Maybe they do perceive his white-supremacist dictatorial traits and that’s the reason that they like him. Chris Christie is blind, if not outright wrong, in affirming Trump showed a “lack of judgement” in dining with antisemitic, white-supremacist Nick Fuentes this past Tuesday the 22nd at Mar-a-Lago. There was no lack of judgement in Trump hosting that dinner, quite to the contrary. In breaking bread with Fuentes, Trump was sending a clear message to his base that his fascist agenda hasn’t been toned-down in the least. Trump knew that “Ye”, his notorious dining partner, wouldn’t keep his mouth shut about that dinner event so, there was absolutely no lack of judgement in Trump’s move. He knew exactly what he was doing. The question is, why was Christie so restrained in addressing Trump’s validating again in public any American white-supremacist elements? Why didn’t Christie denounce Trump for what he really is? A fascist, wannabe-dictator American? For the same reason that no Republican denounced Trump when he obviously condoned the extreme right-wing people marching in the “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August of 2017: Because, either they all agree with Trump or they are so afraid of the backlash from his fascist MAGA followers to the point of being soft in their criticism or not saying anything about it. It’s all just the same story that has been going on over the past seven years or so. Trump declares his candidacy for the presidency in 2024 and AG Merrick Garland bites the bait and passes the buck down to Special Counsel Jack Smith. Trump dines with a declared antisemite white supremacist leader and Chris Christie says that, in so doing, Trump just showed “a lack of judgement”. Lack of judgment my foot!! It couldn’t get any clearer in the eyes of those of us Americans who have eyes to see and ears to hear. The American fascist movement no longer needs to look for a leader. They have already had one since June of 2015. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Near-Total Government Paralysis and Vengeance Legislations. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 25th, 2022. The odds are against even the resemblance of political stability in America over the next two years. The midterm elections’ lukewarm results shouldn’t blind anyone to the near-chaos that lies ahead now that rabid MAGA attack dogs like Jim Jordan have been handed legislative power in the House of Representatives. Block, impede, refuse, discard, smear, those are some of the items listed in the menu of responses Joe Biden should expect to get from the Republican-led House to any of his policies. And what is it that will keep those MAGA Representatives busy for the next two years? Impeaching all possible Democrat functionaries and investigating all possible ongoing investigations on Donald Trump and, yes, even investigating Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton at nauseum. That’s what will keep them busy. And the business of working for the betterment of the American people? Who cares! Since when have the interests of the majorities been the main interest on the Republican Party anyway? It hasn’t even been the interest of influential numbers of Democrats. But things appear poised to get much worse now that MAGA fascist nuts will be in control of the House. Add to that the fact that there are well-positioned Republican Trojan horses already embedded in the razor-thin Democrat majority in the Senate and we have the perfect recipe for legislative impasse and a near-total paralysis of the whole governmental apparatus. Disrupt, disrupt, disrupt and generate as much sociopolitical chaos as possible, that’s what the Republicans intend to do, which is a well-known tactic of fascist movements. Remember when the Nazi Party kept sowing pandemonium in the Bundestag in 1932 to the point of paralyzing the Weimar Republic’s government so that recently-reelected President von Hindenburg had no choice but to offer the Chancellorship to notorious authoritarian Adolf Hitler, thereby initiating the Third Reich? Something of that sort is what MAGA Republicans have in mind. They want to disable the Federal Government down to the point that it’s virtually paralyzed, so that a Republican authoritarian leader can come out in 2024 (if he hasn't come out already) and claim to be the only viable way to restore stability in the country. We have all been here before. It’s just a matter of keeping your eyes open wide. And don’t fool yourselves. We didn’t defeat fascism this past November 8. We just momentarily held it back. Its dark specter is still looming over the American horizon and it may easily descend on all of us anytime soon. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

If I'm in No Way a Republican, Why Am I Often so Hard on the Democrats? Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 24th, 2022. I criticize the Democratic Party almost as much as I criticize the Republican Party. It is obvious that lately the Republicans have gone way out of line with the clear proto-fascist direction they have taken, but the Democrats are no innocent bystanders in the whole situation. The fact that over the past few years many blue-collar workers have joined the ranks of MAGA Republicanism shows to what extent the American labor force feels letdown by the Democratic Party. Who in government has been fending for them over the past two decades or so? Certainly not the Democrats. We all know what the Republican Party stands for: Tax breaks for the rich and as little as possible social programs for the rest. America needs a rightwing party to keep leftwingers in check, except that now most Republicans have gone totally rogue. They have basically embraced Donald Trump’s brand of fascism, which is no good news for anybody. And the Democrats? What do they stand for? Are they really the leftwing party of America? Ha! What a joke. The Democrats are no leftwing anything. At best, as a political entity, they form a pack of moderate center-right individuals. There is NO real leftwing party in America and that is the plain reason that hundreds of thousands of American workers have decided to follow the false promises of a conman demagogue who at least pretends to be on their side. While the Democrats keep centering their attention on rather superficial “woke” stuff, American workers are getting ready to forsake Democracy in the name of the authoritarian one-party system of government the Republicans keep proposing to them. Why is that? Because they have nowhere else to turn to. The Republican Party is the party of the rich, by the rich and for the rich and they don’t let anybody forget what they are. The Democrats were supposed to be the party of the people, by the people and for the people, but they’re not. The purported American ideal of “rogue individualism” still roams freely in the elected Democrats’ mind and many of them still think that social programs benefit mostly those “lazy” minority groups who just want to live off the state, which amounts to racism pure and simple. Trouble is, the relatively meager social programs and safety net the US government provides to the American workers of all possible ethnicities includes white American “beneficiaries” and those guys have come to embrace the belief that only a one-party white-supremacist government can rescue them from their sad predicament. So, why do I often criticize the Democrats almost as much as I criticize the Republicans? Because the Democrats have abandoned the American workers, thereby generating the fertile sociopolitical environment where the seeds of fascism keep taking root. It takes two to Tango, they say, and the Republicans would have never been able to accumulate such levels of destructive power had the Democrats not been asleep at the wheel, acquiesced to it, or perhaps even agreed with them as much as they have.

Special Counsel Jack Smith: Wimp Robert Mueller 2.0? Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 19th, 2022. Meek Yellow Mouse AG Merrick Garland is at it again. Saving face first and saving America be damned. He’s so afraid of public opinion that he’s willing to risk the future of American Democracy in an effort to avoid getting mired in controversy over his personal and professional integrity. Is that guy a ninny or what? Hey stupid Garland! What fantasy island have you been living on? Haven’t you yet realized that the situation with MAGA Republicans is damned if you do damned if you don’t? The only outcome those guys will ever be happy with is one where the rule of law is thrown out the window and their fascist designs finally come to fruition. It is perfectly irrelevant to them whatever it is that you may do. In their view, you will always be wrong as long as you keep trying to bring their Führer Trump to justice. You think assigning a special counsel will soften the Republicans’ rabid authoritarian ambitions? You’ve got to be kidding! How much more blind and cowardly can you get, Merrick? In assigning a Special Counsel you’re just renouncing your responsibilities as Attorney General of the United States. You’re just trying to dodge blame for whatever conclusion Jack Smith might come up with at the end of his investigations, except that such dodging won’t ever be possible. If Smith pulls a Robert Mueller 2.0 stunt and declines to indict Trump citing some obscure memo allegedly granting legal immunity to presidential candidates, it’s not going to be Smith who will bear the blame for such cowardly act. It will be you! There’s only one Attorney General of the United States and that AG is you! But if Smith concludes to indict Trump, you’re thinking you’ll be able to wash your hands in the eyes of the Republicans by pointing your finger at Smith, which might work to a certain extent, but you’re dreaming if you think you won’t still be the target of the Republicans’ orchestrated loud hatred. You found yourself caught between a rock and a hard place and you chose to hide behind Jack Smith's back instead of tackling the situation head-on yourself. Is that a cowardly move or what? As I say, saving face first and American Democracy be damned. Hey Merrick Garland, you’re just the poster boy of the Democratic Party, the party of (with a few outstanding exceptions) turncoats, wishy-washy wimps and assorted cowards. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

No Doubt About It, Conman Trump Already Knows He Blew It. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 19th, 2022. He knows it. It shows in his facial expressions almost every time he appears on TV. He’s worried. He’s no longer the devil-may-care loudmouth riding on the biggest wave looking down on everybody else. He knows he lost, not only the 2020 election, but most of his political steam too. He knows for sure his legal problems are here to stay and he knows there’s a legal noose waiting for him at the end of the trail. His only consolation is that there are still enough fascist white-supremacist Americans supporting him no matter what he says or does. But he also knows such support won’t keep him out of reach of the long arm of the law. He now realizes he went in way over his head in 2016 when he (sort of) won that election. He just wasn’t able to foresee back then how the high level of corruption in his own moral fabric would eventually crack his conman façade to the point of exposing all that perverted, self-adoring rot that constantly feeds his thought processes. It took him seven years to realize his con was way above his capabilities to deceive all of the people all of the time. Unfortunately, however, the harm that guy has done to America is far from over, as the words and deeds generated by his demagoguery have garnered enough echo in the minds of millions of our fellow Americans and those people aren’t going anywhere, even if Trump were to disappear completely from the political scene. Yes, the greatest conman of the 21st century is probably finished, but his destructive work is by no means done yet. His fascist white supremacist dreams still have wings in the minds of the Kevin McCarthys, the Jim Jordans, the Josh Hawleys and the Marjorie Taylor-Greenes in our midst. And those pro-autocracy Americans won’t stop in their nefarious anti-Democracy efforts until they’re held fully accountable for their misdeeds and until the whole Republican Party atones for their shameful pro-authoritarian behavior of this past decade or so. Whether that accountability and atonement will ever come to happen is another question. Meanwhile, the wannabe emperor is shedding the clothes he never wore in the first place and, for the first time in his deluded life, he’s beginning to realize that this time around he bit off much more than he could ever chew. He knows it and he knows there’s not much he can do about it. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Greatest Demagogue of the 21st Century is Officially Back on Stage. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 16th, 2022. Frankly, it all looked like an SNL parody of a demagogue. Donald Trump claiming the United States was becoming great again during his administration. To believe such lie you would have to be, either utterly deluded and disconnected from reality, or believe America’s greatness resides solely in restoring almost-total power in the hands of our soon-to-be white minorities. In that demagogue’s view, everything about the US government is wrong: The FBI, the DoJ, the American electoral system, our immigration policies, everything… except his presidency. In his deluded perception, the whole government, i.e., “the Deep State”, is conspiring against him and to conspire against him equals conspiring against America. And, of course, he is the victim of those conspiracies, the poor misunderstood liar, narcissist, sociopath demagogue. It is a sad day for our country when such blatant shameless demagoguery finds echo and support in the minds of tens of millions of Americans. Actually, that guy’s stance would be utterly ludicrous, if only it weren’t for the fact that he’s still fooling millions of people most of the time, if by “fooling” we understand to acquiesce to, or pledge full support to his ultimate fascist agenda. Still, my reaction when watching his speech on my computer was in no way intense. I only saw a man presenting a caricature of himself, as when actors present parodies of themselves in shows like SNL. It was like watching a reprise of the hyperbolic nonsense he spewed around during his first presidential bid, except that this time it was much more shameless, as by now he knows for sure that we all know 90% to 95% of what he says are usually lies. And please notice the way Melania yanks her hand off Trump's grip when leaving the stage at the end of the video, leaving him there frowning. No happy camper, that lady. In a nutshell, watching Donald Trump declare his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election was like watching the trailer for the remake of a worn-out tragicomic movie. Trouble is, there may be a high price to pay for America if that criminal clown gets again anywhere near the Oval Office. To watch a video of Trump’s ludicrous speech launching his third candidacy for president, please click here.

Senate Power Remains in the Hands of 2 Republicans Thinly Disguised as Democrats: Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 13th, 2022. There just doesn’t seem to be a way out of the present predicament, does it? Understandably, Democracy-loving Americans cannot help but to celebrate the barely-accomplished meager victories the Democratic Party can poorly boast about after the midterm elections. Truth is that, after seven years of being flooded by Republican ill-intended anti-Democracy misinformation and disinformation, the American forces of reason and accountability are still struggling to stay afloat in a sea of delusional political rightwing nonsense so, the Democrats try to count their blessings, even when there’s barely any. And there still doesn’t seem to be any visible end on the horizon to this nefarious Republican saga. Raphael Warnock’s victory in Georgia’s runoff election in December would minimize further the power of those two pseudo-Democrat fifth columnists mentioned above, but perhaps not enough to alter for much the ongoing wishy-washy Democrat balance of power in the Senate. Come to think of it, can you picture what kind of deluded blindness you would have to be suffering from in order to vote for an incoherent clown like Herschel Walker in Georgia? Would you vote for him simply because he was a football star and disregard his total hypocrisy on abortion rights and the complete nonsense he talks about in his rallies? Frankly, the more this Georgia-style mindboggling sociopolitical situation is manifested, the more our fellow Americans’ ability to have a true grasp on reality falls under serious doubt. Something is better than nothing, the Democrats say, but, under the present circumstances, such saying makes for poor consolation. And watch out, for the true scourge of America is still alive and kicking and, to the dire detriment of the United States, he may soon reenter the political fray in a much more active way. Ding-dong, the MotherF***** isn’t gone! And he may any day declare his candidacy for the 2024 presidential election if, for any reason, just to divert attention from his deep legal troubles and try to get as much immunity protection as possible as a candidate. Nope. These aren’t times for rejoicing. America is nowhere out of the deep and dark sociopolitical troubles the Republicans have thrown us all into. It’s going to take a lot of love of country, courage, truth-telling and accountability to pull the nation out of this one. To seek respite believing the authoritarian forces are losing ground simply because they didn’t wipe out the Democrats in these past midterm elections would be utterly foolish and irresponsible. And the fortunes of Democratic America would be exponentially diminished if and when the Republicans take hold of the House of Representatives. Near-total Government paralysis is the least we should expect out of such outcome. There’s still a very slim chance that the Democrats may retain that chamber, so, let’s just hope for the best. For the moment, however, all I can say is may the Universal Forces save our beloved America.

On the Road to Perdition? American Democracy in Its Last Throes? Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 10th, 2022. According to the midterm elections results, American Democracy is still clinging to dear life hanging by a thin thread. It is true that the expected Red Wave didn’t materialize but, should that be any consolation? The House is sure to fall in Republican hands and will have a shameless, amoral, unprincipled Kevin McCarthy as Speaker, is that any reason for the Democrats to celebrate? What else can you expect but a stream of chaotic initiatives oozing out of that guy’s Trumpist mind? Venting the now-typical, Trump-like, self-victimizing Republican social resentment in the form of revenge legislations, that’s what the country will most surely get from McCarthy. McCarthyism 2.0. We all know our MAGA fellow Americans have decided that the fate of the United States should rest primarily, or even exclusively, in the hands of the white supremacist majority, which is actually a minority. In their view, Democratic elections are, for the moment, an acceptable way to select our leaders, but only as long as they win for, if they lose, they cry foul. Those guys will keep using our Democratic system only until they have finally filled enough key positions in government to disable our Democratic System. And the ominous factor in this saga is the contagious nature of the malicious authoritarian virus they keep spreading. Just picture that, of the 234,925 votes cast in the 14th Congressional district in the state of Georgia, 155,908 (66.4%) went to MAGA loudmouth Marjorie Taylor-Greene, a staunch election-denier who goes around dispersing all kinds of lies and other thinly-coated pro-violence insinuations. Or, what about Ron DeSantis, another MAGA guy who was just reelected Governor in Florida? What does it tell you about perhaps the most technologically advanced nation in the world when a little over half of its people elects a pack of shameless, consummated liars to serve in some of the highest offices in government? I don’t see how that should be reason enough for the Democrats to rejoice. And what does it tell you when one of the only two major political parties in the United States has gone largely pro-fascist while the other doesn’t have any idea what to do about it? Does this look like a rosy picture to you? At this point no one can predict what America will look like just five years from now but, the way things are going, there are no visible signs for any possible national healing anytime soon. Quite to the contrary, the lunatics keep gaining control of the asylum. Could you have ever imagined that the American Dream would someday become such a nightmare? The present situation brings to mind an old Pete Seeger song, “Where Have All the Flowers Gone”, except that, applied to the present state of affairs, the lyrics would say, “where have all the American Ideals gone…long time passing… where have all the American Ideals gone… gone to graveyards everyone… when will we ever learn”. No doubt about it. Even the light of Ronald Reagan’s “shinning city on a hill” is dimming down fast and keeps darkening further by the day. When will we ever learn…

Our Brazilian Neighbors Teaching Us Americans a Serious Lesson in Political Maturity. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 6th, 2022. Yes, those “little brown ones” as George H.W. Bush used to refer to all peoples south of the border, just taught us Americans a serious lesson on civility and political maturity. Brazil, a country that since its independence from Portugal in September of 1822, has been ruled largely by military dictatorships, just had a peaceful transition of power from the authoritarian administration of Jair Bolsonaro to that of left-wing ex-president Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva. Take that, my fellow Americans. No more lecturing our southern brethren, or any other of our brethren for that matter, on issues pertaining to Democratic norms, civility or political maturity. Attempts were made by Bolsonaro’s authoritarian allies to sow civil unrest of the kind we have seen in the US since Donald Trump’s electoral defeat, but the higher authorities in the Judicial and Legislative branches of the Brazilian government stood firm in defense of their democratic system and were quick to certify Lula’s victory in clear accordance to their electoral rules. And what about us? Well, it’s been two years since the American Bolsonaro, Donald Trump, lost the election with a margin of over 7 million votes and, still today, there are Republican functionaries in our Judicial and Legislative bodies that refuse to accept defeat. Worse still, there are Republicans running for office in these midterm elections whose platforms involve denying the legitimacy of our current president and threatening that they will make sure only Republican candidates will win elections ever again. Something has gone sourly wrong in America. Or maybe nothing was ever as bright as we had thought it was. Maybe the happy, success story implied in “the American dream” was just something superficial, just a thin, rose-colored veneer covering the dark, white supremacist, authoritarian beast lurking patiently in the underground corridors of society and of government. The American white supremacist hordes waiting only for the advent of their dark fascist messiah for them to spring to the surface. And, alas! The American fascist messiah has arrived and the beast has already started devouring our Democratic system. Hello Trump, goodbye American Democracy. In Brazil, Bolsonaro hasn’t yet explicitly accepted defeat, but he has already allowed for the transition of government to proceed, quite unlike his shameful American counterpart, who, quite aware of his electoral loss, ordered his outgoing administration not to cooperate with the incoming one. Even in Colombia, a country marred in a civil war for over 52 years, the mogul candidate for the presidency didn’t have much problem congratulating his winning rival this past June 2022. Isn’t that the way it used to be in America? Could you have ever imagined it would all come to this? Not me. In my case, it has taken me 7 years to come to grips with this new, sad American reality. Hats off to our Brazilian friends, but not much hope that our MAGA fellow Americans will learn any lesson from their example. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Will the Midterm Elections Mark the Point of No Return for American Democracy? Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 5th, 2022. Damned if you do, damned if you don’t. That seems to be the only outcome of the midterm elections. Just please consider these two points: 1) If the Republicans win big in the coming midterms, once in office they will do their ultra-best to make sure that Republicans stay in power forever, and American Democracy be damned. Tim Michels, the Republican candidate for Governor in Wisconsin couldn’t have articulated it better when he said that “Republicans will never lose another election in Wisconsin after I'm elected governor" (see here) 2) If Republicans don’t win the key elections they would love to win, they will cry “fraud” as loud as possible and will fight teeth and nails in every possible way to disrupt the well-functioning of government at every possible level in every possible state. In a few words, American Democracy appears to be damned if the Republicans win and damned if they don’t. That’s the alarming state of affairs in the United States of America today. As sad and difficult as it may be to accept it, we Americans have lost our common sense. The thin cultural ties that used to bind us together have been broken. Or maybe those ties were never as strong as many of us had thought, and all they needed to break down was the almost-comic input of a delusional, deranged, self-centered demagogue. Sorry, my fellow Americans, but, as a nation, on this very particular and serious issue, thus far we’re not qualifying anywhere near the top on the intelligence score. And let’s just hope that guy Musk won’t decide to open the gates of Twitter to a flood of lies, misinformation and disinformation, as in allowing all those MAGA lunatics to post their farfetched conspiracy theories and rehabilitating Trump’s account too, for, if he does, the downfall of American Democracy will occur faster than any of us could have ever imagined. Best of luck to you, my dear American Democratic System, as, the way things are going, you’re going to need every single bit of it. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (November 3rd, 2022)

Biden’s Lack of Conviction in His Speech Shows Why Americans Are Abandoning His Party. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 3rd, 2022. Not much else to add. Biden’s tone of voice in his speech was that of a defeated individual. The image he presented to the nation was that of a hesitant dilettante rookie not fully aware of the crucial, dire circumstances the United States is facing today. Just imagine what would have happened to England had Winston Churchill pleaded to the Nazis the way Biden pleaded to the Republicans in his speech? England would have probably surrendered to Hitler and they would now be speaking German in London. It’s sad having to admit it, but Biden is definitely not up to the challenge of the moment, and it’s sad because he’s the top leader the country has today, his is the most powerful voice against the dark authoritarian specter seriously threatening the American Democratic System. Yet, that voice is not inspiring. It’s like the tired voice of someone who has probably given up before even starting to fight. The only hope for America now rests entirely in the hands of a pro-Democracy electorate that, on their own, by the force of their own personal conviction, despite the absence of leadership from the White House, hasn’t yet given up on the United States as we know it. Americans, do you really love your country? If you do, VOTE! And please vote ANTI REPUBLICAN across the board. Your vote may well decide whether your children will grow up as free individuals or just as numbers under the authoritarian, undemocratic, one-party system the Republicans want to put in place in the United States. To watch Joe Biden's speech in full, please click here.

The Wimp Rudderless Democrats Will Bear Full Responsibility for any Disastrous Loss in the Midterms. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, November 2nd, 2022. The MAGA Republican neofascists are loud, adamant, in-your-face, anti-Democracy bullies willing to risk it all in the name of their amoral Führer. In contrast, the Democrats… the Democrats? Oops! Can anybody please explain what is it exactly that the Democrats really stand for? The economy? Abortion rights? In defense of American Democracy? All of the above? None of it? What?! Truth is they just don’t have any single cohesive people-unifying message. None! Barack Obama has recently joined the fray only to teach the rest of those Demo-wimps what it means to be a real pro-Democracy “liberal” who actually cares about his country and recognizes the dangerous, high stakes involved in the midterm elections. The rest of those Democrats seem to have been intimidated by the prospect of MAGA violence against them and just aim to keep a low profile, thereby avoiding to make the necessary waves the country needs to salvage our Democratic System. Could we at this crucial point in time label the Democratic Party leadership as the Party of Cowards? Maybe we should start calling them the Democowards Party or the Demowimps Party. Trouble is, we don’t have any other choice. The only socio-econo-political alternative we have in the United States today is between Republican neofascism and Democrat self-serving neo-wimpism. A disgraceful choice indeed, no? The Democrats should be the ones rallying around behind the American flag, carrying ultra-large ones to their political campaigns, shouting out loud their full support for American Democracy, but no, they’re not. They’re the submissive ones, the shy, the intimidated ones. The great majority of Republicans no longer love the same America that you and I Iove, if they ever did. Forcefully standing up to them wouldn’t divide the nation any further, it would only make it clear to the fascist side that the rest of us won’t submit to their authoritarian designs anytime soon. But the Democrats just won't do it. No doubt about it, the wimp, rudderless Democrats will bear full responsibility for any disastrous loss in these midterm elections. To read an article that describes in detail how the Democratic Party has been betraying the American working classes, thereby pushig millions of them into the neofascist jaws of MAGA Republicanism, please click here.

A Small but Highly Meaningful Spark of Hope. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 31st, 2022. Lula prevailed over Bolsonaro in Brazil. Hats off to our musical Brazilian friends. The margin for Lula’s victory was thin (50.9% - rd49.1%), hence the adjective “small” in the title of this commentary, but the fact that the forces of reason came out on top over there is highly significant to all other existing Democratic systems. With a population of approximately 217 million and 156 million eligible voters, Brazil is the 9th economy of the world and is the largest economy in Latin America. For guys like me, who have visited that country and are lifetime lovers of Brazilian music, it was rather sad to see the discredit their society was taking under Jair Bolsonaro’s authoritarian leadership. Now, it is comforting to see that the Brazilian people are capable of correcting their electoral errors, even if the number of those who chose to throw Bolsonaro out of office is only slightly larger that the number of those who wanted to keep him in power. Lula’s victory is proportionally small, but it’s worthy of much celebration. FYI, Lula served 580 days in prison for corruption and was released, along with 5,000 other prisoners, 2 years ago, on the grounds that the judge who found him guilty had colluded with the prosecutors in his case. Petrobras, the Brazilian oil industry, also seems to have been involved in bribing judges and prosecutors to ensure Lula’s conviction. However, as corrupt as the Brazilian judiciary may prove to have been in Lula's case, it still holds an example the American judicial system should follow, that in Brazil, as much as in Israel and in France, even ex-presidents can be brought to justice. But Lula’s job up ahead is not going to be easy. As the small margin for his victory show, right now Brazil is a deeply divide nation and we don’t know what destructive path Bolsonaro might yet decide to take. He could easily pull a Trumpian trick and refuse to accept defeat, which may prove disastrous for Brazil. For the moment, however, Lula’s victory over that right-wing lunatic is a clear occasion for celebration. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Some Alarming Similarities Between the 1850s and the 2020s. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 30th, 2022. Please consider this commentary as a short addendum to the one below --- Is it really true that history always repeats itself? There may be plenty of truth to that saying, but if history does indeed keep repeating itself, it never does it exactly in the same way, nor are there always exactly the same causes triggering it. The main cause for the violence unleashed in the 1850s, that led to the American Civil War of the 1860s, was slavery. One of the causes for the growing threat of violence we have today is racism, the openly embedded element in white supremacism. Trouble is, the warning signs of political violence that are now evident for many of us to see, still haven’t been given the serious attention they deserve by many or most leaders in the Democratic Party. The question is, are most elected Democrats plain stupid, playing dead for self-serving purposes, or outright secretly in cahoots with MAGA Republicans on this issue? The recent attack on House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s residence should be a loud wakeup call for all Democracy-loving Americans to stand up and get active in defending the country they love, for if we take too long to open our eyes, we might end up waking up too late and only to face a total nightmare. To read an article that draws some similarities between the 1850s and the 2020s, please click here.

Do Democrat Elected Officials Live in This Reality or In a Fantasy One?  Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 29th, 2022. Enough of this! Enough of this looking the other way pretending everything is OK in America. The writings are not only spread all over the walls, they’re actually written all over the sky: America the Beautiful is no more! (If it actually ever was) Can you picture this? All it takes for a criminal intruder to break into the residence of the Speaker of the House of the United States is to break a patio glass door! Yes, all it takes for any crook to break into the residence of the elected official standing second in line to the presidency of the United States is to break a patio glass door and they can freely walk around inside the house, find a hammer and use it to try to kill anybody inside! Can you picture that? Where were the alarms ringing? Where were the outside cameras projecting live images of Pelosi’s residence perimeters to the security details on guard? Nowhere! Doesn’t the Secret Service remember how the insurrectionists staging a coup d’état at the US Capitol on January 6, 2021, were going around looking for Nancy chanting “where are you Nancy”? Didn’t Nancy take any of that seriously and make sure her house would be ultra-secured from top to bottom and all around it? Obviously, she didn’t. Is Nancy still living in a technicolor fantasy dreamland? JFK’s assassination rang a loud warning that no President of the United States could any longer feel safe travelling in an open convertible, or standing anywhere in any open space. America lost its innocence the day JFK was assassinated. But there’s still a high level of resistance to accept that America has also lost its beauty, that the ugly, ominous specter of MAGA violence now permeates almost all spheres of human interaction in our country. But the saddest thing in all of this, is that we’re only witnessing the beginning of it all: We're already in the middle of a Cold Civil War that is only bound to heat up, and do so sometime soon. Wake up America! The enemy within is your most deadly foe. To read an article that describes the attempt on Nancy Pelosi, please click here.

Elon Musk: The Ukraine-Taiwan Surrender Monkey. Has He Surrendered to Trump Too? Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 28th, 2022. The Tesla-Space X uber-rich innovator may be some kind of super-gifted, ultra-successful entrepreneur, but when it comes to his ideas regarding geopolitics, he seems to lean heavily on the side of the surrender monkeys. According to some of the statements he's made over the past few weeks, his concept of national sovereignty appears seriously warped at best, if not outright authoritarian at worst. For one, to end the totally uncalled-for war Russia has unleashed on Ukraine, Musk proposes to cede Crimea for good to Russia on the basis that, in 1954, that peninsula was given to Ukraine by the Supreme Soviet of the then-Soviet Union and that, therefore, Crimea rightfully belongs to Russia. Musk’s second surrender-monkey step is to hold UN-sponsored referenda in the Ukrainian zones of Luhansk, Donetsk, Zaporizhzhia and Kherson, which Russia has invaded and wants to annex, as if the people of those regions had of their own volition requested such referenda (they didn’t). In Elon Musk’s view, all it takes to contest the legitimate possession of another country’s territories is to first invade it and then set a referendum asking the invaded people whether they accept to be ruled by the invader or keep their allegiance to the sovereign state they used to belong to. Obviously, in Musk’s view, might makes right. The same applies to the Taiwan case, where Surrender-Monkey-Musk’s solution to avert an eventual armed confrontation between China and the US, is to officially designate the archipelago as a special administrative zone under China's control, along the lines of Hong Kong, which is usually known as the “one country two systems” entente. Hasn’t Musk been reading the news about the way Xi Jin-ping has been gradually getting rid of as many democratic norms as possible in Hong Kong? Is it too difficult for Musk to infer that the same would eventually happen in Taiwan if China were to get a similar kind of control over it? The question is whether Musk’s clear entrepreneurial vision for business and advanced technologies somehow gets seriously blurry when it comes to geopolitical affairs or whether his vision on the Ukraine and the Taiwan situations is not blurry at all and he’s quite consciously advocating the use of force as means for powerful countries to annex territories that belong to smaller sovereign nations. In other words, maybe Elon Musk is indeed just another pro-Authoritarian individual bent on further stirring the troubled waters that the Democracies of the world are presently navigating on. Along these lines, will surrender-monkey Elon Musk surrender also to the pro-fascist forces Donald Trump has let loose in the United States and allow the MAGA Führer to openly voice again his seditious insurrectionist rants over Twitter? There’s no way that Musk cannot be aware of the dire consequences that such move would have on our country. Just as much as any conscious responsible American would know, Elon Musk must surely be able to foresee the sociopolitical chaos Trump would again start sowing if he’s again allowed to disseminate his self-serving anti-Democracy lies over Twitter. Musk has to be perfectly aware of that. No doubt about it. The final question would have to be, does South African-born Elon Musk really love America, the country whose laws and business environment have allowed him to become the richest man in the world? Or does he want the United States to fall down the rabbit hole of authoritarianism and sociopolitical chaos? I guess the answer to that question will be revealed to the world sooner than later. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Uselessly Longing for a “Glorious” Past: The Usual Pitfall that Fuels Fascism. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 24th, 2022. The concept of fascism as a sociopolitical construct directly applicable to the United States may be something new for millions of Americans, but it is nothing new to the rest of world. History has already recorded two major cases that revealed exactly what the roots, the process and the consequences of fascism are. And one of fascism’s fundamental components rests on the perception that the national past was always much better than the present one, as implied in the adverb “Again” of the proto-fascist slogan “Make America Great Again”. In the Italian case, even as at the end of WWI Italy could claim a certain level of victory over Austria, by the end of that conflict the country was deeply divided and under constant danger of chaos. Enters Benito Mussolini. As early as 1919, the future Italian dictator was already weaving a unifying thread between the glories of the Roman Empire and what he saw was the rightful imperial destiny of Italy, a vision that proved to be a hypnotic and electrifying lure to the disenchanted Italian masses, with the disastrous consequences we all know about. In the German case, after Germany’s WWI defeat in 1918, the devastating sanctions imposed on Germany by the Versailles Treaty were perfectly unbearable to the German people and eventually formed the basic reason that Germany provoked WWII. But Hitler’s initial claims to national greatness did not go as far back in history as Mussolini’s. At the beginning of his dictatorial career, he just wanted to reclaim the territories Germany had lost to the Treaty of Versailles. However, after January 1933, after then-president of Germany Paul von Hindenburg handed him the chancellorship, Hitler began to embrace Arthur Moeller van den Bruck’s theory that Germany was destined to reclaim the mantle of “Third Reich”, which in English means third realm, third kingdom or third empire. According to Bruck’s theory, the first empire had been The Holy Roman Empire and the second had started with Bismarck’s unification of Germany and Prussia, right after the defeat of Napoleon III in 1870. From Hitler’s ascension to the chancellery, therefore, Germany became the 12 year-long totalitarian fascist state we have all come to know as “The Third Reich”. The Italian and the German examples of fascism show us that when the masses of people are deeply disenchanted with their financial situation, when they no longer feel they have practical representation in their government, when they somehow feel like taken advantage-of by domestic or international forces, when they are no longer as proud of their country as they used to be, they will turn to demagogues that promise them a national return to some real or imaginary glorious times when they all felt well at home and they all felt their government was always working on their behalf. And that is exactly the situation we have in the United States today. The seeds for fascism have been with us for a few years now, and the MAGA movement is just the latest prototype for an eventual full-blown fascist movement in the United States. White America feels left behind by the forces of progress and they perceive, quite realistically so, that their decline will only increase as the masses of non-white Americans increase and their white numbers decrease, not only in relative terms, but in real terms too. America is presently facing a very serious, deep-rooted problem but, if history has anything to show us, the Republican solution of choice, fascism, would only lead to catastrophe. In the view of some us, the obvious way to solve America’s problems is to have a much more active participation of government in the social, economic and political life of the country, something along the lines of the governments we have in Germany, France or even England, that are certainly capitalist, but not of the cutthroat kind we have in the United States. I have taken the liberty of borrowing from the New York Times a very detailed, factual description of the situation presently fueling the pro-fascist movement in America, which you can read here in PDF format. To read that article, please click here.

Trump’s Criminal Accountability Begins in November but the DOJ is the Final Arbiter. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 22nd, 2022. Does the arc of the moral universe really ultimately bend toward justice? Can anybody assert in all certainty that MLK’s statement is true in all circumstances where it is applicable? I would sincerely hope that was always the case, but when it comes to Donald Trump, I have come to harbor serious doubts about it. The January 6 Select Committee has now officially subpoenaed him but, will that subpoena really amount to anything? How many Eileen Cannon-like judges are there lurking behind the bench in the Federal Courts willing to pervert the law in favor of their proto-fascist Führer? When push comes to shove, how many of the Trump-appointed Supreme Justices will be willing to put their pro-authoritarian idolatry of Trump above the interests of our Democratic System? The American justice system will work well (or relatively well) only for as long as the judges that safeguard it are willing to uphold the rule of law but, as the situation stands today, we can no longer take for granted that all American judges, specially those of the Republican persuasion, will administer justice equally across the board, particularly not if the subject in question is Donald Trump or any of his top henchmen. Sure, guys like Steve Bannon already got sentenced to 4 months in jail, but that’s basically like a slap in the hands when compared to the magnitude of the crimes he attempted to commit, which include nothing less than helping Trump to mastermind a coup d’état against the American Government. Assuming the appeals court Bannon will recur to upholds the sentence, when he is finally released from jail just a few months from now, he will wear the time he served as a badge of honor and will be celebrated by millions of MAGA Republicans as a brave, loyal soldier. Will Bannon’s sentencing really help put an end to the feverish anti-Democracy passion fueling the Republican masses? I frankly doubt it. The January 6 Select Committee has done a good job in flooding the American media with incontestable evidence substantiating the full responsibility Donald Trump bears on his shoulders for his leadership in masterminding the multi-pronged attempt to subvert in his favor the results of the 2020 elections, which culminated in the deadly insurrection of January 6, but the committee will not have the authority to enforce that subpoena when Trump once again snubs it and asserts all kinds of bogus privileges designed to thumb his nose at the Committee. In other words, the ultimate arbiter as to whether the arc of the moral universe will really bend toward justice this time around will be the Department of Justice. Putting it bluntly, the future of the American Democratic System will soon be in the hands of one single man: The Attorney General of the United States. Trouble is, not many of us, including me, trust that AG Merrick Garland will do good by American Democracy. He might easily pull a Robert Mueller trick out of his hat and refuse to indict Trump on the grounds that Trump is a former president of the United States or any other ninny, cowardly reason of that sort, thereby turning the whole January 6 episode into the noisiest political and legal fiasco of the 21st century. On the other hand, the arc of the moral universe might in this case finally bend toward justice, thereby allowing the Department of Justice to administer to that corrupt, amoral ex-president the punishment he so rightly deserves. To read the full text of the Subpoena issued to Trump, please click here.

The Drifting Rudderless HMS United Kingdom. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 21st, 2022. It’s been barely 2 years since the day the United Kingdom blindly pulled out of the European Union. Have you heard of any good results stemming from such a thoughtless, arrogant, perfectly unnecessary self-inflicted socio-econo-political wound? Thus far basically none. Some of those nearsighted, ultra-nationalist, isolationist, mostly-English people may go around claiming that the UK is now free from the alleged shackles of Brussels and that that’s reason enough to justify the troubled waters the HMS United Kingdom is presently sailing on, but that’s just sheer false pride. Clear chauvinism in the purest sense of the word. And those Brit friends that aren’t so vocal about it just corroborate Pink Floyd’s lyrics stating that “Hanging on in quiet desperation is the English way” ("Time") It all comes down to the notion that, ever since the empire “where the sun never sets” ceased to exist, our English friends just keep sort-of desperately looking for meaning in their lives. What does it mean to be British in general, or even English in particular when the likes of them no longer rule the world? Well, when the meaning for their existence is blurry at best, our British fiends retrench back to their basic stoicism and singalong with Simon and Garfunkel’s “I am a Rock, I am an Island… and a rock feels no pain… and an Island never cries”. False pride, my friends, meaning hubris, arrogance, is a fault we all humans carry within us and many of us often fall prey to it. Where was the loudly touted Tory political wisdom when 57% of them selected Liz Truss for Prime Minister? Did anyone vet what her economic agenda would be once she was selected? To try to implement cutthroat Trickle Down economics in the middle of an energy crisis with an out-of-control rate of inflation while cutting social services to finance such unnecessary gift to the 1%? In what far-away, ultra-disconnected universe has that lady been living in for the past few years? Blind, worn-out, ideological, knee-jerk, reflexive conservative instincts perfectly out of sync from the reality of the Kingdom. And please don’t get me wrong. I’m not here acting like some of those fellow-Americans who still go around saying “let me take the speck out of your eye, when all the time there is a plank in their own”. No, in my words there’s no holier than thou-ism intended. In ousting Liz Truss, the Torys at least showed they’re still capable of deep and decisive self-criticism and are still capable of recognizing and correcting their thoughtless errors, thereby demonstrating they can still put country well above partisanship, whereas in the United States the Republican Party has shamelessly thrown away all pretension of true love of country in the name of sheer partisan authoritarianism and a proto-fascist cult of personality. Still, two wrongs don’t make a right, and the Torys have better learnt a lesson from the Truss episode and begin to steer the HMS United Kingdom in a much more realistic, rational, pro-majorities socio-econo-political direction. Could rejoining the EU still be an option? To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The GOP Lies Are Just a Deliberate Effort to Dismantle the American Democratic System. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 17th, 2022. There’s no way the Republican leadership cannot know for sure that Trump lost the 2020 election. They know it and they’re absolutely certain of it. They just refuse to accept it in public as part of their fraudulent elections strategy. Many among the Republican masses may actually believe the lies the leadership tells them, but McConnell, McCarthy, Greene, and all the other GOP senators and congresspeople, along with most or all of those Republicans running for office in the midterm elections, are perfectly aware that they’re just trying to take the American electorate for the ride of the century when they embrace “the big lie”. It’s all part of the GOP’s grand scheme to use our Democratic system for as long as it serves their purpose of acquiring political power, thereby hoping that amassing enough of it will eventually allow them to unilaterally dismantle the American Democratic institutions. As simple as that. Using our own Democratic means to destroy our own Democratic system. It’s all out in the open for everyone to see. Yes, it can sometimes be exasperating to be in the presence of some of those loud election-deniers, but to fall into that emotional trap is only to play their immoral game. For all practical purposes, there is only one sure way to invalidate the GOP’s anti-Democracy project: Vote as many Republicans out of office in November and elect as many Democrats and Independents as possible. Vote. Vote. Vote. There are corrupt politicians in the Democratic Party too, but we can deal with their corruption once they’re in office. For the moment, however, what matters is that most Democrats and Independents are not trying to overthrow the American Government, nor openly trying to get rid of our Democratic system, and keeping those two vital elements of our Republic in place should be our commanding priority in November. Please vote in November and please vote anti-Republican. The life of our very own Democratic System is at stake.

The Real Longterm Threat to the US and the West Is not Russia. It’s China. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 14th, 2022. Russia’s economy is rated at #11 by the World Bank. China’s is rated at #2, second only to that of the United States. What percentage of products manufactured in Russia do you think are sold in the world markets today? Practically zero when compared to China, whose products are sold basically in every single corner of the planet. Russia’s website hackers are well-known for their criminal dexterity in manipulating data and information wherever they want, but when it comes to producing electronic goods, their advance is negligeable when compared to that of China, not to mention that of South Korea or Taiwan. Russia’s threat to the world in general and to the West in particular is certainly a serious one, but it can easily be considered a 19th or 20th-century-style type of threat, i.e. geopolitics. The Russian army may still be a force to reckon with, no longer as much for their conventional war capabilities, but for the enormous stockpile of nuclear warheads in their possession. Still, short of Vladimir Putin and the Russian top military brass going completely insane, the nuclear option doesn’t stand much chance of being deployed, as its use would only bring about a mutually assured destruction, otherwise known as Armageddon. Russia’s longterm plan looks centered on territorial expansion, which is quite an old-fashion move. China also has irredentist ambitions regarding Taiwan and the South China seas, but such territorial expansion is not their ultimate goal, it’s only a means to a much larger and nefarious end, which is world domination. The Chinese know that the reins for world dominance will be in the hands of those who manage to control computer-related nanotechnologies along with cyberspace and they know that, as the situation stands today, the leadership in research and applied developments in those fields is spearheaded by a coalition of countries that does not include China. China’s R&D has increased considerably over the past few years, but they still rely on stealing intellectual property from other countries for their technological advancement. In fact, one of the main reasons China would like to get hold of the Taiwan archipelago is the main island’s advanced technological development. The US government is already quite aware of the longterm threat China's technologial ambitions present to “the free world” and the Biden administration doesn’t seem to be asleep at the wheel in this respect. Hats off to them on that count. In the commentaries I’ve been posting on this page across the past few years, I have repeatedly expressed the impression I got from the general sociopolitical environment I was exposed to while living in seven different provinces in that country: If there is a common emotional thread unifying the great majority of Chinese people with their government, is their shared desire to show the world that their culture and their system of government are superior to those of any other country on the planet. In other words, those guys have a big chip on their shoulders. Let China take the lead in semiconductors development and innovation in cyberspace and other related fields, and the future of the world will become much more uncertain than it may have ever seemed before. Given that the NYT has a paywall, I have taken the liberty to borrow an opinion piece that elaborates on the subject and made it available to you here in PDF format. To read that opinion piece, please click here. (NOTE: Donald Trump was subpoenaed by the January 6 Select Committee. With a ninni DOJ like the one we presently have, does anybody care?)

--- There is a new photo album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (October 12th, 2022)

Do We have a Timorous, Emasculated, Pro-Elite Rule of Law in the US? Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 10th, 2022. Starting in February of 2016, Israel’s ex-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spent 16 months in jail for corruption (see here) and, while serving his time, he had to wash the prison floors just like any other inmate. In March of 2021, Nicolas Sarkozy, ex-President of France, was sentenced to 3 years in prison also for corruption (see here), but two of those 3 years were suspended and he may end up serving the third under house arrest. Now he’s appealing the sentence in court, so, the whole case is presently on hold. In those two countries, therefore, the rule of law really seems to apply equally to everybody, even to people who have served in the highest positions in government. But, what about the United States? Is the rule of law in our country applicable indiscriminately and equally to everybody regardless of their present or previous sociopolitical status? The answer to this last question is highly debatable at this point in time. In all fairness, we must admit that the crimes involved in those two countries and those involved in their American counterpart are not exactly of an equal nature. Olmert and Sarkozy were convicted for corruption, which are crimes easier to prove than Obstruction of Justice and/or Sedition Against the State, two of the crimes Donald Trump may end up being charged with. But, most importantly, a crucial difference between, on the one hand, the Israeli and the French cases and, on the other, that of the United States, is that in the former two, the great majority of functionaries involved were solidly on the side of justice, while in the American case, one of the two most influential political parties is no longer interested in upholding the rule of law in the nation. When Federal Judges like Aileen M. Cannon from the Southern District of Florida, clearly rule in favor of an ex-President for the sole reason that there are ideological affinities between them and simply because the ex-President appointed her to her post, the credibility of the whole apparatus of justice in the United States is tossed up in the air. From that moment on, the rule of law in America becomes seriously questionable and no longer reliable. And the Attorney General, along with the Department of Justice, become the object of mockery and disdain when they hesitate as to whether an ex-President of the United States should be prosecuted, even when the possible crimes are Obstruction of Justice and Sedition against the American State. They didn’t hesitate for a moment in Israel or in France when it came to applying the rule of law to two or their highest, elected ex-government officials, yet, in the United States, the alleged criminal ex-President goes around openly thumbing his nose at the American justice system while the leadership of the Republican Party loudly applauds him for it. No Justice Department in the world is capable of upholding the rule of law by itself. It is the functionaries in charge of making it work that have to apply justice according to the official law of the land. Israel and France played strictly by the rules when their justice systems convicted those two high-end, elected ex-officials. Will the United States apply the rule of law as indiscriminately across the board as those two countries did? Hopefully so, although we all know that migt never happen as long as the Republican Party keeps intentionally throwing monkey wrenches in the whole machinery of American justice.

The True Culprit in America’s Failing Democracy is the Absence of a Real Leftwing Party. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 8th, 2022. For reasons you may elucidate in reading this commentary, it should be plain for anyone to see why I don’t consider myself a “Democrat”. For the same token, you may also get a clear idea why I would never in my life vote for any Republican candidates, particularly not these days when the GOP has finally revealed itself as the fascist, white-supremacist, antidemocracy party it always was. The serious crisis of Democracy we presently have in the United States does not stem exclusively from the Republican Party’s efforts to destroy our Democratic System. No. This crisis is just as much a direct consequence of the Democratic Party’s failure to stand up actively and firmly in favor of the American workers. Aside from AOC and, maybe, the rest of the “Squad” in the House, there are hardly any real leftwing Democrats in the party. Senator Bernie Sanders usually votes alongside the Democrats, but he is an Independent. Most other elected Democrats are either wimps, outright Republicans in disguise, or positioned conveniently somewhere in between just trying to get reelected. True, the Democrats often throw some breadcrumbs to the working classes and, occasionally, accomplish something significant like The Civil Rights Act of 1964 and others, but, overall, they usually support policies that mostly benefit the moneyed classes, big capital and big industries. I consider myself a capitalist, but not of the “cutthroat” kind most Republicans and many Democrats stand for. My concept of capitalism is more in line with the systems they have in some European countries (i.e., England, Germany, France, etc.) where their systems of government can be categorized as “Social Democrat”. And if you try to label me a “socialist” or a “communist” simply because I fully embrace what many people call “leftwing politics”, you can go straight to fly a kite, jump in the lake, or whatever other euphemism can be used to mean “go f**** yourself”. I’m presently living in Vietnam, which is a country known as “Socialist”, as it still claims to embrace a Marxist-Leninist ideology, as well as the ideas promulgated by Ho Chi Minh. But I’m perfectly aware that the progress the country has experienced over the past 6 years since I was here last, stems from the government’s new policies that have softened Marxist ideologies and are gradually opening the country to the international markets, meaning they’re allowing the country to gradually join the international capitalist system. The same goes for China, country where I lived for a total of 4 years. Anyone labeling China as a “communist country” doesn’t have the slightest idea what they’re talking about. In case you haven’t noticed, China is the 2nd economy in the world, which means those guys are generating more capital than the rest of the countries on the planet, except only for the United States. The common factor between Vietnam and China is that they both have a one-party, non-Democratic system of government, which is something similar to the system the Republicans would like to put in place in America. The thing is that, as long as the American workers don’t have any real, active and effective representation in Government, they will keep falling prey to demagogues like Donald Trump who swindle them into believing they will save them. In a few words, as long as the Democratic Party is populated with wimps, selfish hypocrites only looking for reelection and outright Republicans in disguise, most of them consciously shortchanging the American workers, we will never find a solution to the present crisis of Democracy. America is in desperate need of a real leftwing party. Without it, the whole country may go down the drain relatively soon. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new photo album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (October 7th, 2022)

No Longer a Fringe Fantasy, Talk of Civil War is Now Mainstream. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 6th, 2022. A little over 150 years ago, the United States got mired in the deadliest war it has ever been involved in, the American Civil War. Back then, the warring factions could easily be traced along geographical lines, but along universalist vs. utterly racist ones too. The North was fighting to unite the country under the ideas expressed in the Declaration of Independence, that all men are created equal; the South was fighting to split the country and preserve a society that enslaved and dehumanized an entire ethnic group. The deep divisions plaguing the country today cannot be traced on the map as clearly as it was possible back then. The battles in the upcoming civil war would not be staged along any north-south border within the country. The 21st century version of the American Civil War could get to be a random but constant urban-guerrilla warfare of the kind fought for decades in Northern Ireland and in the Basque Country in Spain, but on a larger, more intense and perhaps even bloodier way. It might even get to resemble the decades-long guerrilla war that’s still going on in some minor areas of Colombia, but it wouldn’t be fought solely in the countryside. The battles in the upcoming American Civil War would be staged in the towns and cities across the country. Every street in America would become a potential battlefield and every American would consider it their sacred duty to arm themselves to their teeth to protect themselves and their families. Do these things I’m telling you here sound to you like a fantastic, apocalyptic, doomsday, hallucinatory, farfetched scenario? If it does, maybe you should think again, for the possibilities of such scenario becoming the national reality keep increasing as we move forward toward the November elections and beyond. How far could the country be from living under a similar reality? 5, 10, 15 years? Hopefully, any such scenario will never come to pass, but the road to avoid such fate doesn’t look at all like a walk in the park. And the more we ignore such possibility, the likelier it is to come true. Given that the NYT has a paywall, I have taken the liberty to borrow an article published there yesterday that elaborates on the subject. To read it, please click here.

“Democrats Want Republicans Dead”, Said Republican Congresswoman MTG. Cua Duong Commune, Kien Giang Province, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, October 4th, 2022. No one who has been following the news over the past few months should be amazed at Republican Congresswoman Marjorie Taylor-Greene (MTG) vomiting such false, highly inflammatory rhetoric at a pro-Trump rally in Michigan last Saturday. Neither should we be shocked when that same rabid lunatic added that “They’ve already started the killings”, meaning that, in her feverish mind, there are Democrats out there already killing Republicans for political reasons. And then there is the appalling fact that has now become just another part and parcel of the Republican Party’s agenda, that not a single Republican leader has condemned or rebuffed that Congresswoman’s deranged, delusional, ill-intentioned discourse. No even one. In case you haven’t noticed, this situation only looks like the beginning of something much more ominous for the nation and perhaps even for the whole world too. The United States is already a highly polarized country, but the poles in that spectrum are no longer defined along differences in policies or legislations, but in near-total disagreements as to whether the country should keep embracing Democratic principles or abandon them altogether and put in place a one-party authoritarian system, not as the ultimate end, but only as the first determinant step toward establishing an openly white-supremacist, fascist American regime. Isn’t it obvious to you the direction the country is already heading to when MTG and other Republicans keep increasingly using such deranged, inflammatory rhetoric while the Party’s leadership stays silent, thereby acquiescing to all of it? The only terms that come to mind when contemplating such situation are Authoritarianism, Totalitarianism, Despotism and Fascism. And none of those terms sounds farfetched or outlandish anymore. In all of this, however, there’s still one thing that sounds a bit amazing to some of us, and that is the fact that Marjorie Taylor Greene is NOT any of those two-bit, deranged, risible, stereotyped third-world demagogues, but a legitimately-elected Congresswoman serving her first term in The House of Representatives of the United States of America. Meaning that, if she has the chance to openly spew all that anti-Democracy venom at Republican rallies, is because there are thousands of Americans who voted for her and keep supporting her and encouraging her to go out and vomit the very pro-fascist delusions that they all want to hear her say. And, to top it all, there's still the whole leadership of the Republican Party acquiescing to her mad lunacies. And you still dare to think this is all just a minor kink in the American sociopolitical fabric? Ha. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The End of American Exceptionalism. Chau Doc, An Giang, Vietnam, September 29th. 2022. I never thought I would ever be one among a good number of Americans to assert the demise of America’s exceptionalism, but I am. I have no choice. My conscious wouldn’t allow me to join the ranks of those well-meaning, yet naïve, fellow-US citizens who choose to hide their heads in the sand and pretend the ongoing sociopolitical crisis is just another situation akin to any of those the country has gone through in the past. No way. Since January 6, 2021, the United States now figures prominently among the band of countries living under very unstable democracies. Actually, the US is now one of a handful of nations spearheading the global movement towards illiberal, undemocratic authoritarian systems. Think of Hungary under Orban, Brazil under Bolsonaro, Turkey under Erdogan, Poland under Morawiecki, and now Italy under Meloni. All of those leaders believe in extreme right-wing ideas that follow the Republican Party’s line of thinking. In fact, Orban is actually a role model for some of those influential pro-authoritarian right-wingers in today’s American conservative movement. We Americans used to be very proud to tout the longevity and stability of our Democratic system. Alas! Those days are gone, and they’re gone for good. And the saddest of things is that the serious decline of our Democratic System is only at the initial stages. And the more we try to fool ourselves into believing that this is just another passing crisis that will soon go away, the more and the fastest the situation will get worse, namely because the corrosion of Democratic ideals in America does not spring from international influences, but from a domestic, collective disenchantment with the system. And if to that we add the determinant influence of some of those retrograde, illiberal Christian beliefs, we have a situation that doesn’t project much good into the country’s future. There may still be a way for the United States to escape out of the present, dire, sociopolitical predicament, but, thus far, most of what I hear and read is just sheer speculation with not much foundation on reality. To read an article that elaborates on the subject with plenty of factual detail, please click here.

Is Everything Really Not Lost Yet? Chau Doc, An Giang, Vietnam, September 22nd, 2022. For a few days it has seemed like the American Justice System was stalling, mired in procedural bouts of activity and setbacks and bombastic charges against that corrupt ex-president, while the rotten guy simply goes around untouched, freely headlining rallies where he vomits his customary narcissistic anti-Democracy venom. Then, a couple of days ago, New York Attorney General Letitia James filed a lawsuit against that amoral guy for basically defrauding lenders and insurers to the tune of billions of dollars, but suing is all she can do, as she doesn’t have the constitutional authority to indict the guy, his company or his family. Now it's all up to a Federal Court in Manhattan to take up the case and, if they find it viable to prosecute the vermin in question, maybe they will go ahead and do it. For the moment, however, that looks just like one more possible pitfall leading to another fiasco. Meanwhile, the high-roller ex-presidential conman keeps openly radicalizing himself and his base with incendiary rhetoric, thereby fertilizing the extreme-right political soil, predisposing his followers for whatever possible attempt against American Democracy he can manage to incite them to commit. No doubt about it. As hard to admit it as it may be, the fact is American Democracy DOES NOT have the necessary guardrails to keep it from degenerating down to an autocracy, or possibly even down to a dictatorship. The founding fathers were, no doubt, some kind of socio-econo-politico-philosophical gifted men, but what their 230+ year-old vision for the country has these days turned out to be, is a rather limited one, a vision blinded by their impossibility to have foreseen the evolution that human society, with all the faults and vices inherent in the human being, could eventually bring us all to experience. The text of our Constitution is no longer clear enough to address some of the most crucial sociopolitical issues of our times. The Constitution of the United States keeps revealing itself to be so mired in ambiguities that it’s clamoring out loud to be Amended, and Amended seriously. So easy to say, right? Amend the Constitution! Yes, but, alas¡ One of the two main traditional political parties no longer gives a single hoot about our Democracy. Quite to the contrary. They want to destroy it and put a backward-looking political system in its stead. Fortunately, not everything is lost yet. Some Republican functionaries in influential positions are not yet willing to throw their full consciousness and their true love of country down the toilet by professing unconditional servitude to Trump. A three-judge panel of Florida’s 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, two of whom were appointed by Trump, just ruled that Trump doesn’t have any legal claim to the documents the FBI retrieved from Mar-a-Lago on August 8, thereby nullifying Trump-appointed Federal Judge Aileen Cannon’s ruling that had stopped the investigation while Special Master reviewed the retrieved documents. Nope, obviously, not everything is lost yet, and the upcoming midterm elections may still surprise us all with results that may break one of the most traditional political patterns in the history of the nation, that the party that wins the House in any given year, loses the House, the Senate, or both, two years later during the midterms. To read an article that elaborates on part of the subject, please click here.

Internationalism vs. MAGA-Style Narrow Authoritarian Nationalism. Chau Doc, An Giang Province, Vietnam, September 13th, 2022. I like a good analogy and Nobel-Laureate in Economics Paul Krugman recently presented one in the Opinion section of the New York Times. In the commentary that you’re presently reading, the term internationalism could easily be replaced with the term interculturalism, depending on the scope of the situation you apply it to, and if we were to stretch the former a little further, it could even be replaced with the term “interracialism”, although in this context interracialism wouldn’t be limited solely to the idea of interracial marriage. Basically, Krugman’s analogical idea springs from the fact that the Ukrainian forces are beating back the invading Russian Authoritarian Army because of the financial and military assistance the Ukrainians are getting from a host of western liberal Democracies. On the other side of Krugman’s analogy, at the level of American domestic politics, the MAGA authoritarian, anti-Democracy forces have thus far been subdued by a strong coalition of Democrats of all hues and a good number of influential pro-Democracy Republicans and Independents. In a few words, what the battle for Ukrainian sovereignty and the one for American Democracy have in common is the fact that they’re both being fought between the forces of plurality of thinking and sociopolitical progress, and the forces of anti-Democratic authoritarianism and sociopolitical backwardness. Extrapolating Krugman’s analogical postulate, and taking into consideration the cases that countries like Hungary, Poland, Brazil, Turkey, the United States and others present that, with different degrees of intensity, keep leaning towards authoritarian systems of government, it is plain to see that what we’re witnessing right now is a worldwide rightwing backlash against the left-leaning political achievements of the recent past and against the liberal interracial and intercultural gains obtained during the same period of time (as a clear example, just think of a black man ascending to the presidency of the United States). A strong pro-Authoritarian sentiment is already present and expanding in many quadrants of the planet and, although that sentiment is not yet, and may never come to be, as strong as the fascist movements we saw in Europe during the 20th century, it would be utterly irresponsible of us not to react and stand against it as forcefully and urgently as the situation demands and as soon as possible too. Given that the New York Times has a paywall, I have taken the liberty of borrowing Krugman’s opinion piece and making it available to you here. To read Paul Krugman’s article, please click here.

--- There is a new photo album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (September 11th, 2022)

--- There is a new original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (September 6th, 2022)

The New American-Style Kind of Friendship: Want to Be my Friend? Don’t Talk Politics. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, September 5th, 2022. I got a pleasant surprise the other day. An old friend of mine that I had lost contact with wrote me an email with a nice comment about the commentaries I post regularly on this website. My friend and I used to get together often back in the early to mid-1980s, but then he moved out of California and I eventually started travelling again, so we had lost contact. I really appreciated his gesture, but his email was basically a double edge sword. First, he mentioned he agreed with most of the political points I stress in my commentaries and then he wondered whether I would like to reestablish an email conversation between us, which I thought was nice, except that there was a condition attached to his request: I would have to refrain from emailing him my impressions and thoughts about American politics. As a first reaction, I gladly sat at my computer, wrote a few comments about my present situation here in Phuket and about my plans for the near future and sent him my reply. But then I thought, wait, what my friend is proposing basically amounts to censorship. My friend wants to establish some kind of pen-pal-ship with me, but only as long as I completely disregard the most relevant and consequential existential threat the United States has faced since the 1940s. A friendship based on censorship. See no evil, hear no evil and, consequently, say no evil. In his email, my friend said his “cup was already overflowing with knowledge” about these distressing political matters and that, essentially, now he just wants to look the other way and pretend everything is hunky-dory over there. Good luck on that one, my friend. If you bring your thumb close enough to your eye you can pretend the sun is not shining up there in the sky at noon, but that would only be a puerile illusion. The thing is, if my friend has already had enough of the unpromising sociopolitical circumstances prevailing in the country today, I would suggest he hold on tight to his seat, as he’s certainly NOT going to like what’s coming. Right now, the situation in the United States is of the kind that, the more you pretend it’s not there, the more it festers and the more the sociopolitical fabric holding the country together rots. It is probably true that not all Republicans embrace the MAGA madness as much as some of those diehard fanatics do, but a considerable number of them actually does, and that includes some of their most influential elected leaders. That is an irrefutable reality. I know, for a fact, that my friend is a good man who always tries to do what’s right even as, just like the rest of us, he sometimes fails in that effort. So, I understand where he’s coming from when he proposes to limit the kind of topics he would like to talk about with his friends. At the same time, however, I disagree that pretending to look the other way is going to be beneficial to anybody, not to mention the country itself and, frankly, I could even say that trying to impose such censorship on any relationship is a bit cowardly. In spite of my friend's good intentions, there may soon come a time when, either you fully and actively get involved in defense of American Democracy, or you actively or passively participate in the dismantling of the whole system. Just as much as a good number of us, I’m sure my friend would like to find a viable way to put the country back together again, but hiding your head in the sand will never be a solution. As the situation stands today, there's not much left to say but, may the universal forces protect the United States of America.

Just Watched Live Biden’s Speech. Well Said, Joe! At Long Last! Patong, Phuket, Thailand, September 2nd, 2022. It was just about time the President of the United States spoke clearly and loudly about the uncertain sociopolitical situation in America. American Democracy is on the brink of failing catastrophically and it was very important for the President to let the people know he's aware of that danger, warn them about it and ask them to stand firm in its defense. In his speech, Biden only said what many of us have been saying for some time now, which means he’s somehow behind the curve, but it is encouraging to know that at least he’s catching up with that reality. There’s really no hope that Biden’s speech will entice any of those fanatic Maga guys to snap out of their idolatry for Trump, but it will encourage those 81 million voters who in 2020 put Biden in the White House to go out and vote in November against any and all of those pro-big-lie, pro-authoritarian Republicans. It really isn’t too late yet to save America from disaster, but the path ahead doesn’t look easy and it will require all elected Democrats and Independents and, yes, as many elected Republicans as possible, to stand up clearly and loudly in defense of our Democratic system. Well done, Joe.

Joe Biden and the Dems Seem to Be Finally Waking Up to Reality. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, September 1st, 2022. See no evil, hear no evil, say no evil? Ha! No way such naïve, hands-off stance could ever be enough to save America from the immoral designs the Republicans have in store for the country. Particularly not at the present moment, when the disseminators of anti-government conspiracy theories and the proponents of violence and civil unrest in our streets have megaphones like Fox News working 24/7 in their effort to cripple our Democratic System as much as possible, thus setting the country on a straight and steady path towards a Hungary-style authoritarian system. Ever wondered why right-wing attack-dog Tucker Carlson held a CPAC rally in Budapest back in August of 2021? Ever wondered why authoritarian Hungarian Prime Minister came to Texas early this past August to be the keynote speaker at another CPAC rally there? Those, of course, are rhetorical questions. It is obvious in the eyes of the whole world that the Republicans are in no way up to any good. The real question is, what took Biden and the Democrats so long to at least say something in defense of American Democracy. Thus far it seemed that the American public was much more alarmed than most elected Democrats about the perils facing the nation. Some of those elected Dum-Dems have even submitted to the idea that the midterm elections always represent a setback for the party in the White House, so they just take it for granted that, come November, the House and/or the Senate will fall on the hands of the Republicans. Apparently, those Dum-Dems haven’t yet woken up to our present reality. Many of them are still playing politics by the book, according to American political traditions and, in so doing, they are dangerously mistaken. Joe Biden still refers to those MAGA neo-fascists as “our Maga friends”, as if the “bipartisan” idea that helped him navigate the political waters of the past was still viable today. Hey Joe! Wake up! You and I and all other Democracy-loving Americans don’t have any friends among the MAGA crowd. Those Maga guys are out to destroy the America you and I love, how can you call them friends? We will be able to call those mistaken fellow Americans “friends” again only after they have recanted their idolatry of Donald Trump and repented for their egregious attempts to terminate our Democratic System. Fortunately, for the moment, not everything is lost yet. Hearing Joe Biden overtly condemning the Republican Party for giving up on their traditional support for law and order represents a silver lining in the clouded political environment of the Country. Hopefully, the rest of elected Democrats will follow his example and make the open, loud defense of American Democracy a rallying point in their political campaign strategies as we approach the November midterm elections. As for us regular citizens, the best we can do is vote against any and all Republicans, as that party no longer deserves to be entrusted with shaping the destiny of the United States.

A Republican Fascist Threat: Prosecute Trump and We’ll Set the Country on Fire. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 30th, 2022. Lindsey Graham’s Mafia-style threats to the DOJ are no longer mind-boggling. By now we all know Graham is just following a predictable line of conduct within the GOP Fascist script: The use of intimidation and threats of violence to attain nefarious political ends. Joe Biden was semi-right in calling the Republican ideology “semi-Fascist”. In so saying, Biden only articulated a “semi-truth”. There’s no valid “semi” prefix applicable to the GOP’s irrational stance. In their desperation, they now seem to be ready to finally come out of the closet and show their true, full Fascist face. And, NO! It is no longer an exaggeration to tag the Fascist label on the GOP. Actually, for some of us, since 2015, it was always obvious what direction the MAGA movement was taking. By the time in July 2016 when Donald Trump said "Nobody knows the system better than me, which is why I alone can fix it," many of us were already aware of the heavy authoritarian streak festering in that guy’s mind. And, unfortunately, we were not wrong in our perception. I for one, have been posting warnings about that rotten now-ex-president basically since the moment he announced his candidacy back in June 2015. Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) saw similar ominous writings on the wall too, but just a few months later he jumped on the MAGA wagon and he never got off. I have a collection of Collages that show my growing concern across the years about the Fascist threat Donald Trump always represented to the country. To view that collection, please click here.

An Asinine Democrat Argument: Don’t Prosecute Trump Because It Will Cause Civil Unrest. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 29th, 2022. There are some prominent Democrats, like Senator Patrick Leahy of Vermont, going around warning that prosecuting Trump will divide the country even further and will cause serious civil unrest which, in the view of some of us, is the most cowardly argument ever articulated in defense of American Democracy. Have those Chicken-hearted Dems really thought about the consequences of NOT prosecuting Trump? Do they think the Republicans will be thankful for it and stop spreading the big lie and come back into the Democracy fold? Do they think letting Trump get away with his egregious malfeasance will make him stop his inflammatory discourse and help unite the country once again behind the American Flag? Ha! No way. None of that would ever happen. Quite to the contrary. Letting Trump escape unscathed once again would only crown him in the eyes of all Republicans as the untouchable, invincible Messiah all his MAGA followers already claim he is. Furthermore, letting Trump go unpunished would only send a clear message to all other demagogues like Ron DeSantis that no authority in the United States will hold them accountable for treading all over the rule of law as they please. Nothing good can come out of condoning Trump’s unlawful behavior. Some ninny Democrats also argue that no ex-president of the United States has ever been prosecuted in the history of the nation and that, therefore, there should be no reason good enough to prosecute Donald Trump. Again, just another asinine argument. Yes, it’s true, no ex-president has ever been prosecuted in the past, but there’s a very simple reason why that hasn’t happened before: Because no president in the history of the country has ever soiled the office of the presidency as much as Donald Trump has. No previous president, not even Richard Nixon, ever incited masses of Americans to stage a coup d’état against the US Government. No other president has openly tried to coerce state functionaries in an effort to overturn an election like Trump did in Georgia. No prior ex-president of the United States has illegally taken highly classified documents to his unsecured home after leaving the office of the presidency and refused to hand them back when the authorities requested them. Yes, no previous ex-president of the United States has ever been prosecuted before because no other president has ever performed such unlawful, illegal, even criminal disservice to the nation. The harm that failing to prosecute Trump would inflict on the country is of immeasurable, unforeseeable proportions. The risk of the US falling down an authoritarian spiral is a clear and present danger. There’s no possible argument in defense of American Democracy that may include shielding Donald Trump from the arm of justice. Just imagine that if Abraham Lincoln had followed the advice of petty cowards such as some Democrats are today, very likely there would still be legal slavery in some southern states of the country. Sure, American sociopolitical divisions today are not as deep as they were back in the mid 1800s, but they're bad enough that if we don't put a stop to Trump and his brand of neo-Fascism sometime soon, there's a high risk that we may have an Authoritarian Government, or worse, in the United States just a few years down the line. “Got to pay your dues if you want to sing the blues”, goes the song titled “It Don’t Come Easy”. Want to have Democracy in America? It doesn't come easy anymore. We have to stand up firm for it. All the way. No matter what. To listen to Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vermont) expressing some of his unwise concerns, please click here.

There’s no Longer Any Other Option for the DOJ but to Indict Donald Trump. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 27th, 2022. Did you read the redacted affidavit the DOJ released yesterday (read here)? Did you read the accompanying memo explaining why the redactions were absolutely necessary (read here)? Donald Trump didn’t only willfully refuse to hand back to the National Archives the classified documents he unlawfully took from the White House after losing the presidency, he did so with full knowledge that in refusing to hand them back he was obstructing the general course of US law. As you may have seen, the publicized affidavit is heavily redacted, but it still describes with enough clarity the efforts the National Archives and Records Agency (NARA), the DOJ and the FBI undertook to retrieve those documents in the most non-invasive manner possible, thereby demonstrating that the August 8 FBI raid on Trump’s residence resort was the last and only option left to them. As the affidavit and the memo show, the top-secret documents in Trump’s illegitimate possession were way too important for the security of the United States to be left any longer in the irresponsible hands of that deranged sociopath. The evidence brought to the public by the Select Congressional January 6 Hearings was already proof enough of Trump’s culpability in that insurrectional affair and if to that we now add Trump’s clear obstruction of justice as corroborated by the affidavit, there is now quite a visible path for indicting and, most likely, convicting that corrupt ex-President of a few crimes. But the clock keeps ticking as we move forward and the DOJ could have just a few days left to charge Donald Trump of any of his many wrongdoings before the coming November midterm elections. This short window for indicting Trump is not based on any law cast in stone, but on “long-standing Justice Department policies and tradition” (ex-AG Eric Holder, read here) that ban political prosecutions during the 60 days prior to a general election. Failing to indict Trump before the 60-day period would mean the DOJ would have to wait till after the November elections to do it. But traditions are not laws and, given the gravity of the criminal offenses committed by Trump, AG Merrick Garland could easily disregard them and proceed to indict Trump even if already within the 60-day period. The question is, would Garland do it? Garland is committed to restoring public trust that the DOJ is not a political instrument at the service of anyone or anything but the administration of justice. Will Garland show he is really committed to upholding the primacy of the rule of law in the United States and prosecute Trump to the fullest extent of the law come hell or high water? In the view of many of us, Merrick Garland has no other visible choice but to indict Trump. Let’s just hope he views the situation under a similar clear lens. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There is a new collection of collages in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (August 26th, 2022)

--- There is a new original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (August 24th, 2022)

Al Capone Was Caught for Tax Evasion - Donald Trump Has Been Caught Hiding Classified Documents. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 24th, 2022. Yehp, something similar to gangster Al Capone’s fate could well be awaiting that crooked, amoral, sociopath ex-President. The way things are going, the noose of justice just keeps tightening around that corrupt guy’s neck. Have you read the letter the Acting Archivist of the National Archives of the United States sent to Trump’s lawyers on May 10th detailing the legal reasons why Trump could no longer claim executive privilege over the documents he illegal brought to Mar-a-Lago from the White House? I have, and so can you. That letter was a legal warning to Trump’s legal team that they’d better hand those documents to the FBI, as they were unlawfully in the ex-President's possession. And guess what the funny thing about this story is? That it was the ex-President’s legal team who last Monday evening handed a copy of the letter to Trump-authorized journalist John Solomon, who then made it available to the general public. Thank you, Trumpers. You just pushed your fake Messiah one step closer to his political guillotine. On top of it, it has now been revealed that Trump had personally reviewed the documents, kept silent about possessing them and refused to hand them to the National Archives, which makes him doubly guilty. First, guilty of hiding classified documents and second, guilty of obstruction of justice. Humpty Trumpty may soon have a big fall and, this time around, none of the ex-President’s men may be able to put him back together again. But there’s more. The letter clearly shows that the National Archives made good-willed efforts to retrieve the documents from Trump in non-invasive ways and that Trump and his team chose to ignore those rather-amiable advances and refused to hand the documents to the Archives, leaving the DOJ no other choice but to send the FBI to Mar-a-Lago to retrieve them. In releasing the letter, Trump and his gang of desperate fools aimed to implicate Joe Biden in their conspiracy lunacies regarding the raid, so that they could again claim that their fake Messiah was the victim of a partisan “political witch hunt”. But their asinine ruse only backfired on them, as the letter makes clear the corrupt ex-President was holding on to those classified documents with full consciousness that it was an unlawful, illegal thing to do. This is a clear case of efforts undertaken to protect Donald Trump that backfired miserably on him. The more these events unfold, the more it looks like corrupt Trump’s comeuppance is catching up on him. Justice, after all, may well be finally served to that morally-degenerate, pro-Fascist, anti-American ex-President. To read the letter mentioned in this commentary, please click here.  

The American Project According to Trumpist Republicans. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 23rd, 2022.

                          TheAmericanTrumpistProject

                                                                                              Borrowed from Politico.com

The Democrats’ Reluctance to Grab the Bull by the Horns Can Have Dire Consequences. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 22nd, 2022. While campaigning for President, Joe Biden said he would keep himself above the domestic political wrangling and, unfortunately, much to the detriment of American Democracy, he has kept his word. But it is not only President Biden who has thus far refused to tackle the delicate ongoing situation head-on. It is actually the great majority of elected Democrats who don’t even want to acknowledge the dangers facing our Democratic System today. Many of them justify their inaction saying that we have all been here before and that, in the end, everything has always gone back to normal. History shows there’s enough truth to that saying, but that’s never reason enough to leave it all up to chance. The 1920s and 30s were near-deadly years for Democratic systems all over the world and, although the US didn’t fall prey to authoritarianism the way that, among others, Spain, Portugal and Greece did and, ultimately, Italy and Germany did too, during those years the US was plagued by “corruption, monopoly, apathy, inequality, political violence, hucksterism, racial injustice, unemployment, even starvation” (see here), situation that was throwing serious doubts as to whether Democracy was the best system for the country. Around 1933, Italian Dictator Benito Mussolini declared that “The present century is the century of authority, a century of the Right, a Fascist century,” (idem) and for a few years his statement held true. Today’s Republican leadership hasn’t yet echoed Mussolini’s words verbatim, but they’re certainly already following in his footsteps. At the same time, many elected Democrats seem to believe, or at least they pretend to believe, that American Democracy is a natural, inalienable, god-given right that nothing can take away from us and, in so doing, they’re gravely mistaken. They see the domestic political temperature rising on an almost daily basis and, yet, just like the proverbial frogs in boiling water, they refuse to do anything about it. Unfortunately, the situation may soon come to a point when it’s already too late to save the day. Just picture that, of over $300 million spent thus far by the Democrats in campaign advertisements for the coming November elections, less than 4% of them mention the Republicans’ coup attempt of January 6. The typical, naïve “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”. But it is actually worse than that, as Democrats are even spending millions of dollars to help pro-Trump Republican candidates win their primaries in the hope that their Democratic rivals will beat them in the general elections. But, what if their political gamble backfires? Abortion rights and the growing inflation rates are real, valid issues worth campaigning on, and the Democrats are banking on them in their hope to keep their slim majorities in both chambers of Congress, but those, and most other issues, pale in importance when the real issue at stake in this and all other coming elections is whether American Democracy, the longest standing Democratic System in the history of the world, will still be standing by the end of the decade. Hopefully, the American pro-Democracy electorate won’t drop the ball in November and will head on down to the ballot box in numbers that will again overwhelm those pro-Trump, pro-big-lie, pro-fascism, white-supremacist Republicans. As the situation stands today, our only chance is to put our hopes on the American anti-Authoritarian electorate itself, as the Democratic Party leadership seems to have fallen asleep at the wheel. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Right-Wingers Are Right Saying the DOJ Will Discredit Itself if It Fails to Convict Trump. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 21st, 2022. Remember the 2017-2019 Mueller Special Counsel investigation into the 2016 elections' Trump-Russia connection? Remember the resounding fiasco it all came down to be? At the time, some people in the know used to say Mueller’s investigation was doomed to fail from the beginning, as you don’t send a “Semper Fidelis” guy, meaning a Marine, on an errand meant to heavily taint the reputation of, or ultimately indict, the top guy in the US Government. In case you didn’t know, “Semper Fidelis” is Latin for “Always Faithful” in English. But Merrick Garland was never a Marine, so he doesn’t have the burden of that promise on his shoulders. Merrick Garland’s reputation is that of a conscientious, legally-versed, impartial judge worthy of respect from legal minds of all ideological persuasions. Chief Justice John G. Roberts, the Conservative head of the US Supreme Court, once said that “Any time Judge Garland disagrees, you know you're in a difficult area”, meaning that Garland’s Judicial opinions carry plenty of legal and Constitutional weight with them. Such reputation makes even some MAGA guys fear that this time around their Messiah is probably in very serious trouble. If in approving the Mar-a-Lago raid, Garland is behaving perfectly in line with his reputation as a level-headed, legally-minded, nonpartisan judge, then he may well end-up being Donald Trump’s executioner. But if, for whatever reason, his judgment on the matter was in any way clouded or distorted and, in the end, the whole DOJ operation ends up being just another monumental fiasco, the damage such failure will inflict on the DOJ’s reputation and on that of the United States Government in general, may be irreparable. If you’re up to date with US news, you know how Trump and his vociferous acolytes have recently been going around throwing doubts, threats and insults against the FBI, and any other institution or individual who refuses to prostrate at the feet of their proto-fascist “Dear Leader”. With that in mind, just picture the kind of inflammatory, violence-insinuating, anti-Government, anti-Democracy rhetorics those Trumpers would spew around if, after all the legal actions the DOJ has executed against Trump, in the end that heavily-corrupt ex-president should once again walk away scot-free unscathed. Nothing good would come out of that situation, quite to the contrary, the aftermath of such fiasco would only be ominous and dire for the country. Having watched live the eight J-6 Congressional Hearings, there’s not a shred of doubt left in my mind as to the culpability of that corrupt, morally-traitorous ex-president. However, whether all that evidence will result in a conviction for the GOP's dear Führer in a court of law, it’s another question. Some of us have been openly critical of Garland’s early apparent-inaction on this matter but, as the situation stands today, I would put all my chips in the DOJ’s slot. To read an article by a right-wing opinion writer that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The GOP Doesn’t Want America to Be a Democracy – What’s Their Alternative? Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 19th, 2022. The answer to that question should be an easy one for those who know that most of those Americans who propose to dismantle our Democracy are individuals who also support Donald Trump. 2 + 2 = 4, right? So, No-Democracy + Trump = Authoritarianism, which is just a short step away from Dictatorship. Yes, it is right to say there’s nothing in the Constitution that mandates to always have a Democratic System of Government in America but, could you please explain how on earth would we select our leaders if not through an electorate-centered Democratic system? In what other way could we be able to tell who in the view of the American majorities is the best qualified individual for the top positions of Government? We can come up with two or three well-known alternatives to a Democratic system, namely, 1) a full-fledged monarchical system of the kind they used to have in France, England, and some other European countries, where the voice of the king or the queen was the absolute law of the land and the throne passed from one member of the Royal family to another. Modern-day England and other existing European monarchies like Sweden, the Netherlands, Belgium, Spain and others, are parliamentary-democratic ones, not of the absolutist kind they used to have in the continent a few centuries ago, so those are not the monarchical systems I’m talking about. Then we have 2) dictatorial, totalitarian systems of government like the one they have in North Korea and, in a slightly milder version, in Russia too. North Korea’s Kim, Jun-un is dictator for life and presidential elections in Russia are just a mockery of Democracy, as we all know beforehand that Putin, or his designated successor, will win. Finally, we have No. 3) one-party authoritarian systems like the one they have in China, where their leaders are chosen by a select committee of party cadres whose authority derives from their seniority and their deep loyalty to the party’s principles. None of these three models allows for the participation of the people in the selection of their leaders and, among the three, the only one that has shown any remarkable success as a nation is the Chinese model. So, if the Republicans no longer want to have a Democratic System in the United States, what system do you think they propose to replace it with? In my view, the alternative they have in mind is something that resembles the Chinese model. They want to replace American Democracy with an Authoritarian system where the Republican Party is the one and only permanent party in power so that they can freely legislate laws and rules that will forever promote white supremacism as the law of the land. The Republicans know that their Darwinist, white-supremacist idea of America is no longer shared by the majority of Americans, so the only solution they see to their problem, is to get rid of our Democratic System. Trouble is that, if the Democrats keep falling asleep at the wheel, like Joe Biden and most Congressional Democrats keep doing, the Republicans may actually succeed in their nefarious plans. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The DOJ Can no Longer Keep Quiet – Americans Need More Clarity About Its Doings. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 15th, 2022. I don’t have any doubts that the FBI acted with full legality in raiding Mar-a-Lago last week, but I’m a never-Trumper and I don’t need any more proof that that guy is one of the worst, most destructive things that could have ever happened to the United States. I also think that most of the arguments presented by the Republicans to try to delegitimize any US Government move against the ex-President are bogus and even infantile. But I’m also perfectly aware that all those American pro-Trumpers are American citizens too and, as such, they have the right to have their doubts about the raid clarified. In fact, all Americans have the right to have our government’s law enforcement activities explained out in the open for everyone to see, particularly when FBI agents are deployed to execute a search warrant on the private property of an ex-US President. I, for one, would like to see a widely-publicized official DOJ document detailing all the non-obtrusive efforts the Department had made before the raid in trying to have Trump deliver to them all those classified documents that he unlawfully took home to Mar-a-Lago. It should be clear to all Americans that the FBI’s raid was the last and only option left to them after Trump had failed to comply with their requests, or perhaps even subpoenas, to deliver those documents to them. In no way would I support the unfounded, incendiary anti-government rhetoric that many Republicans are spewing around in the general media, but the DOJ can no longer just do whatever they think is legal and right and keep the general public in the dark about their aims and motives. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a pro-Trumper, never-Trumper, or anything in between, the American Government needs to be as accountable as possible to the American people. The DOJ’s silence may have been acceptable in normal sociopolitical times, but these are in no way normal sociopolitical times. The ongoing fragile situation in the United States may deteriorate further as we approach the midterm elections in November and in the wake of those elections too. Clarity of reason, purpose and legality in all US Government moves is of the essence. AG Merrick Garland should be smart enough to assess the present delicate situation correctly and act accordingly. To read an article that elaborates on the volatility of the situation, please click here.

There’s No Visible Light at the End of this American Sociopolitical Tunnel. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 13th, 2022. Have you spoken personally or through SMS or email with any Trumper individuals lately? I have, and I can tell you it’s impossible to agree with them on anything related to their “Dear Leader”. No matter what evidence you may present to them about any of his wrongdoings, they will always respond that it’s not true, that it’s just another ill-willed anti-Trump interpretation of the facts, or that you hate him because you’re just another “liberal” socialist individual bent on destroying the United States. And those that respond that way are the “moderate” ones. The closer you get to the diehards among them, the higher the chances they will insult you and even threaten you with violence. In the Trumpers’ view, there are no existing standards of legality or justice to measure their Messiah’s inexcusable behavior. If he loses an election is because the election was rigged against him, if the Democrats impeach him for staging a coup d’état against the US Government is because they don’t like him and they’re engaged in a “Political Witch Hunt” against him, if the FBI raids his Florida residence is to plant incriminating evidence against him, and so on and so forth. In their blind fanatic view, their Messiah is a saint that never does anything wrong and if he ever did anything wrong, is because he has the “god-given” right to do it. You cannot talk politics as usual with them because their thinking is already way beyond the usual left-right ideological premises. The closer their Führer gets to being brought to justice, the farther his followers’ thinking strays from traditional US politics and the closer it gets to religious devotion. How can those Trumpers claim to love the United States when they despise, slander and even attack physically, any US Government institution that doesn’t bend to the corrupt, self-serving will of their Messiah? In no way can their stance be considered as love of country. But in the delusional reality they have weaved around their false Messiah, the only thing that makes sense is whatever their “Dear Leader” may say or do. It’s all just an appalling situation. Haven’t you yet asked yourself how did it all come to this? Barely 20 years ago our national concerns were how to neutralize anti-American and international terrorism, but at the domestic level most of us thought the country was united to a very good extent. And now? Now we’re facing the crude possibility that our Democratic System may any day fail in a catastrophic manner because one of the two traditional political parties, the GOP, has gone totally rogue in its relentless quest to establish an authoritarian, white supremacist system of government in the United States. It is hard and sad to have to come to this conclusion, but there’s no visible light at the end of this increasingly dark American sociopolitical tunnel. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

In Normal Times the DOJ’s Silence is Justifiable but These Are Not Normal Times. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 12th, 2022. Public concerns have again forced AG Merrick Garland to appear before the TV cameras, this time to announce the DOJ will “unseal the search warrant and property receipt” pertaining to last Monday’s raid in Mar-a-Lago. In normal times, the FBI raid should not be an issue for polemics or for concocting serious conspiracy theories, but the polarized political situation in the country today demands that there be an explanation as legally and ethically detailed as possible from the part of the DOJ as to why the raid was necessary. Allowing the press to review the text of the search warrant and see the detail as to what items were confiscated from the ex-President’s home, should quell the growing animosity the raid has generated, particularly among the Republican camp for whom, when it comes to the egregious corrupt conduct of their Führer Donald Trump, any search for truth and facts equals a “Witch Hunt”. As expected, the DOJ motion has caused a backlash from the part of Trump supporters, as they know that, in unsealing those documents, the DOJ will dispel any doubts as to the justification for the raid. Trump himself could have easily clarified any doubts about that incident had he already released to the press his own copy of the search warrant and the list of items confiscated, but by now we all know about the irredeemable level of rot corroding that guy’s amoral core and we all know how much he loves to wallow in whatever chaotic situation he can manage to generate around himself. But Trump also knows, even much better than any of us, that he is in deep legal trouble, first, in New York, where just a few days ago he invoked the Fifth Amendment (the Constitutional right to decline to answer to avoid possible self-incrimination) for more than 440 times in the span of 6 hours of interrogation. Then he may soon have to face Fani Willis, the District Attorney for Fulton County, in the state of Georgia, who has been gathering evidence as to his shameless attempt to subvert the elections in that state. According to some legal experts on the matter, Georgia’s case is probably the most likely to bring criminal charges against Trump and the most likely to find him guilty too. None of this looks good for that corrupt ex-President and the DOJ is doing well in finally listening closely to the concerned voices of the American people. According to people versed on the American judicial system, AG Merrick Garland is a proven, conscientious individual worthy of the Supreme Court, not to mention the DOJ, but he seems to be some sort of slow-learner when it comes to how fast the American sociopolitical situation has deteriorated over the past few years. Obviously, the ongoing situation doesn’t resemble much the situation Garland grew up in. American society has not been this fractured along partisan lines probably since the Civil War and many Americans of all walks of life have plenty of difficulty coming to grips with this new dangerous reality. Spurred by popular concerns, however, Garland seems to be waking up to these new national circumstances and is increasingly responding with the necessary urgency and clarity to the popular demands for justice. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Will the DOJ Finally Give the Mother F***** the Punishment He Deserves? Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 10th, 2022. The noose of justice is tightening around the Traitor in Chief’s neck. Will those Americans who embrace the Declaration of Independence and Justice for All triumph again over those who seek to divide the nation and destroy our Democratic System? The FBI raid on Mar-a-Lago this past Monday looks like a promising sign. In no way was that DOJ move insignificant. Now there’s hope on the horizon that not all is lost yet. The more events of this magnitude happen, the more the Democratic System of the United States will stand a chance to survive. The day of reckoning may be at hand for that unscrupulous, amoral, anti-American ex-President and all those other treasonous elected Republicans that have so blindly and cowardly followed him. As a first step to save America, it is imperative that that highly iniquitous individual remain light-years away from any possible official position of power and that’s quite like what may transpire from the kind of action the FBI performed on Monday. As the FBI has shown, the DOJ will no longer accept to be cajoled or be taken for a fool by any of those well-known Trumpian distracting tactics. Yesterday’s raid makes it clear the DOJ is now on a legal war footing and won’t wait around for Trump to produce any documents they may request or subpoena from him, they will just send the FBI to get them. Way to go DOJ. And please note that the FBI wouldn’t have been able to execute that raid had they not first obtained a search warrant from a Federal Judge, meaning that Monday's FBI move was perfectly and entirely legal. No doubt August 8th was a good day for America, as it was shown to the world that in this country even ex-Presidents can be investigated with the full force of the law when they are under heavy suspicion of having committed a crime. Other countries such as Israel, France and Brazil have already brought their top national leaders to justice for breaking different kinds of laws and their judges and juries have even found those leaders guilty and have sent them to jail or home confinement for their crimes. With these examples in mind, those American Chicken Littles that fear there would be terribly divisive consequences if the DOJ prosecutes Trump don’t have any foundation for their fears. We let that morally-degenerate ex-President get away unscathed for his intentional, frontal attack on American Democracy and, not only will he surely try to stage another coup again, but other authoritarian, proto-fascist equally-rotten Republicans will surely try to emulate him and, if they’re allowed to, will confidently follow in his anti-Democracy footsteps. There’s way too much at stake to let that guy Trump and his henchmen go Scott Free. There’s no other way to go for the American justice system but to give that Mother F***** the punishment he deserves. To read an article that highlights some deplorable but realistic aspects of this situation, please click here.

--- There is a new original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (August 8th, 2022)

Could AG Merrick Garland End Up Culpable of Dereliction of Duty? Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 5th, 2022. The January 6 insurrection did not end on January 6th and the events of that day did not constitute the sole attempt to overthrow the American Government. We now know for certain that the Republican conspiracy is still afoot and is much deeper and wider than we might have imagined. It turns out not only the Secret Service has deleted phone messages relevant to Jan 6, but the Defense Department and Homeland Security too and those are by no means isolated incidents. It is all part of a widespread Republican conspiracy against the United States as we know it. The question is, will the Department of Justice actually uphold the rule of law and hold the masterminds of that coup accountable? Not many Americans are certain that Merrick Garland has understood the gravity of the sociopolitical situation facing the country today. Authorities in Constitutional Law, like Garland’s own University Law Professor Lawrence Tribe, have already warned him a few times in public of the need to accelerate the DOJ’s step toward indicting those responsible for plotting and enabling the January 6 coup d'état. Nobody is advising Garland to increase the speed of his investigations in a reckless irresponsible manner. No. What we all would like is for him to put to work the vast resources, legal and otherwise, provided to the DOJ by the Constitution, so that he may prosecute the masterminds of the Jan 6 insurrection as expeditiously and responsibly as possible and to the full extent of the law. The thing is, Garland already let Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino off the hook once without a single explanation for his ultra-troubling failure to indict them for Contempt of Congress and that was in no way a reassuring move from his part. Now, after being the object of so much criticism on the media, he seems to have awakened and seems to be rising up to the seriousness of the circumstances. The question is, is there still time enough left to avoid a catastrophic outcome in the 2024 elections? The Republicans are already setting the stage for a revised 2024 version of the Jan 6 coup. They’re putting in place proponents of the big lie in key positions at State level Departments of Justice, so that they may overturn any electoral results that favor the Democrats. Just try to picture the situation the country would be in today if Georgia’s Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger had sided with Trump in January of 2021 and had illegally handed to him that state’s electoral victory. Nothing short of a catastrophe would have come out of it. Actually, the whole American Democratic system might have gone up in flames. Well, something of that sort is what the future holds in store for the country if November 2024 comes around and Trump, Meadows and the rest of Trump’s henchmen are still free and able to concoct a much better orchestrated power grab. Is Merrick Garland aware of the perils he would subject the country to if he doesn’t indict the masterminds of the Jan 6 Coup in the shortest possible period of time, but with the necessary diligence and force? Time is of the essence. Should Merrick Garland fail to indict Trump or actually convict him in the next few months for the crimes the Select Committee has already proven he perpetrated, Garland could find himself culpable of dereliction of duty by the end of his tenure as AG. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Nancy Pelosi is Right to Visit Taiwan in Defiance of Xi, Jing Ping’s Threats. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 3rd, 2022. Hey Nancy! Welcome to the Sovereign Republic of Taiwan! I’m just one of many world citizens happy to have watched on CNN last night as Nancy came down the ladder from her official US Government plane to set foot on Taiwanese soil. Way to go, Nancy! It was about time a High Ranking American official of her stature went there. Many Chicken Littles in the Democratic Party had advised her no to go, always willing to cower in the face of autocrats of Xi’s kind, but Nancy wouldn’t have any of it. Since when does China have the authority to tell the Speaker of the House, the second in line to the US Presidency, where to go or not to go? Giving-in to Xi’s threats would have only invited other authoritarian leaders to bully the United States at will. And, by the way, it was a good tactic for President Biden to say in public the US Military had told him they didn’t think Pelosi’s Taiwan visit was the right thing to do at the moment. In so doing, the President can always claim Pelosi’s visit was not exactly in line with any of his own foreign policies, which is a smart political maneuver, a preemptive diplomatic posture designed to diffuse any possible escalation of friction between the two nuclear powers. But let’s not fool ourselves. It is no secret what the Chinese leadership’s intentions are regarding Taiwan. They want to subdue that island under their authoritarian system of government and if you want to know what that means just check out what’s been going on in Hong Kong these past few years, where Democratic norms have been decimated basically down to nonexistence. And if you think Xi wouldn’t eventually go as far as emulating Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine and just take Taiwan by force, you still don’t have a clear picture of the situation. The Chinese people have a huge chip on their shoulders. As a country, they have historically been abused and humiliated by Western powers, but now that it has taken them barely 50 years, not only to become the second economy in the world, but an industrial, technological and military power too, they want respect. Trouble is, once they saw the success of their revindication efforts, now they want world domination. Have you seen how active they are investing trillions of dollars in the four corners of the world? And if you think they’re financing government projects in Africa, Asia and Latin America for humanitarian reasons, again, you haven’t yet grasped the situation properly. The Chinese have experienced in their own skins the economic miracle their system of government has generated for them, lifting hundreds of millions of people out of poverty in just four or five decades, so they think no other system of government in the world is better than theirs. And the better educated the Chinese people you talk to are, the more convinced they are of the superiority of their culture and system of government. I lived in China for a total of four years and my experience in talking to people of all walks of life over there tells me that if there’s anything that unifies the Chinese people these days is their desire to show the world their country is entitled to rule the world. In a nutshell, the chip the Chinese people have on their shoulders can be said to be justified but, does that mean that for that reason they’re entitled to tell American officials where to go or not to go? No Way. The United States may be deeply divided at the moment, but if anything may unify the great majority of Americans, excepting traitors a-la Tucker Carlson, Donald Trump and many of their followers, is our categorical refusal to be bullied around by anybody. Way to go, Nancy! To read an article that contemplates the controversy over Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan, please click here.

The Irrational Wild West World Americans Choose to Live In. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, August 1st, 2022. Yehp, believe it or not, that’s what the American people want, a social environment where everybody is heavily armed and ready to shoot, even trained to kill someone else at short range. Many teachers in America are now training at shooting academies across the country as a means for necessary self-defense and, who can blame them for it? Wearing a gun at school is increasingly becoming a matter of self-preservation, sheer survival. With a gun in their holster and some training on how to use it, teachers may at least stand a chance to face up to any American lunatic with a military-grade assault weapon bent on killing their students and killing them too. It is increasingly becoming an every-man-for-himself situation, particularly now that we have all seen the video showing how cowardly 376 law enforcement agents in Uvalde, Texas, stood passive for well over 1 hour while a lunatic shooter with an AR-15 assault weapon kept killing children and teachers at will. And just picture that many of those police officers were wearing bulletproof armors and had automatic rifles in their hands. Sheer cowardice. And what has Congress done to keep such kind of school massacres from happening again? Raise the legal age for acquiring assault rifles from 18 to 21! Ha! What a joke! Cosmetics! The way things are going, pretty soon we may find ourselves living in an environment quite like that of the Wild West of yore: Everyone for themselves. Just imagine that, someday soon, you may go drop your child at your neighborhood school in the morning and everybody there, from the school principal to the English teacher, is wearing a Glock 19 at their waist or even an automatic rifle hanging on their back. And, no, that’s no longer a farfetched scenario. That’s pretty much what the future holds in store for American society. Just picture that in 2020, the last year we have data about gun violence in our country, 45,222 people died a gun-related death, 43% of them in murder cases, 54% in suicide cases and 3% in other cases. There is a series of statistics conducted by the Pew Research Center that place the US at the top position among high-income countries regarding gun-related homicides per 100,000 people (see here). It is no secret that the US is today one of the most violent countries in the industrialized, developed world, and it is evidently becoming more violent still now that we have such deep sociopolitical divisions in the country. But, isn't there anything anyone can do about this? There are a couple of logical sure ways to minimize the gun-related carnage we presently have in America, namely, first, enforcing a total ban on the sale of assault weapons again and, second, restricting the sale of all firearms in general. No doubt such measures would bring the number of gun-related deaths to a bare minimum. Trouble is, such measures go, first, straight against the interests of the NRA and the profit-centered motives of the gun industry in America and, second, they’re a slap in the face of those who defend the willful-misinterpretation of the Second Constitutional Amendment that supposedly mandates the free flow of firearms in the country. And just those two simple factors are reason enough to keep the gun-related killings in America increasing freely and forever into the future. Sheer irrationality. Sheer madness. No? But such is the wild west world Americans choose to live in. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Why the Prospect of Being Mistaken Means There May Still Be Hope for American Democracy. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 29th, 2022. Since the Department of Justice declined to indict Mark Meadows (Trump’s last Chief of Staff) and Dan Scavino (Trump’s Deputy Chief of Staff for Communications) on June 3rd, both of whom had been referred to the DOJ for contempt of Congress, I’ve been very skeptic about Attorney General Merrick Garland’s resolve in administering justice to the Republicans responsible for the January 6 insurrection. But I’ve never been alone in expressing those doubts. Many others, including congresspeople, reputable constitutional lawyers and people who have previously worked in the Justice Department have also publicly expressed their concern that the DOJ was not doing their job. The general apprehension grew loud enough to the point where Garland was asked by reporters before the TV Cameras whether the DOJ was active at all investigating the masterminds and instigators of the Jan 6 subversion, particularly as the Congressional Committee was showing how far its investigations had thus far gone. Garland finally reacted to the general concern and did an interview with NBC Nightly News’ Anchor Lester Holt where he clarified that “[The DOJ] intend[s] to hold everyone, anyone who was criminally responsible for the events surrounding January 6 ...accountable” adding that “[the DOJ] pursue[s] justice without fear or favor”, which, in theory, sounds great but, what about in practice? These past few days there have been reports on the Washington Post and other news sources, that DOJ Prosecutors have been asking secret service agents, under oath, for information pertaining to Trump’s performance before, during and after the Jan. 6 coup attempt, which is telling guys like me that Garland has been actually spurred into action by the general criticism he was the object of from the general public. Now we have learned that Cassidy Hutchinson, thus far the star witness at the Jan. 6 Congressional hearings, has been testifying before the Grand Jury too and we also know a judge has authorized the DOJ to look into John Eastman’s phone records. If you recall, Eastman is the lawyer who came up with the idea of enlisting fake pro-Trump electors so that Mike Pence could use them to sow confusion on the electors’ certification and thus wreak havoc in Congress. As a result of these news, the voices that we now keep hearing tell us the DOJ may be seriously looking into Trump’s behavior, possibly with the intention of charging him with one crime or another. The DOJ has all the Constitutional and legal powers to investigate and prosecute whoever they may deem responsible for any crimes committed, so it looks like Trump, Meadows, Juliani and their minions should better watch out, as the Sword of Damocles may well be about to fall on their heads. To recap, yes, some of us have been very skeptical about the role AG Merrick Garland has been playing in this January 6 saga and I, for one, am still not fully convinced that he will go all the way as far as prosecuting those who masterminded that deadly insurrection is concerned, but if in the end the DOJ indicts Trump and his henchmen and, as a minimum, puts them permanently out of reach from any influential government office, I’ll be more than glad to be proven mistaken in harboring such doubts as, in so doing, the DOJ would infuse American Democracy with a necessary breath of hope for survival. But I wouldn't hold my breath. To read an article that sheds some light on this matter, please click here.

--- There is a new original song in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (July 26th, 2022)

A Small but Fortunate Personal Twist of Fate. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 24th, 2022. “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”, sang John Lennon to his son Sean in the song “Beautiful Boy”, which was part of “Double Fantasy”, an album Lennon and Yoko Ono released together in November of 1980. It’s not clear whether it was Lennon who coined that expression or not, as some people claim to have read it elsewhere at different points in time but, for the purpose of my story, it is the expression itself that matters, regardless of who first used it. So, what is this commentary about? It’s rather simple. Please picture that you are involved in any given project or purpose, or simply doing something menial like mowing the lawn or going shopping when, suddenly, in a completely unexpected manner, a different result or consequence springs from your actions. Something of that sort is the gist of my story. Before I start, just in case you don't know what Sciatic-nerve problems are all about, let me give you an idea of it In very simple terms. Very often, when we reach a certain age, the Sciatic nerve that goes down our spine gets caught between two vertebrae and, consequently, the nerve sends pain down to our legs passing by the buttocks. This is a very common health problem. Millions of people around the world who are around my age suffer from it. In my case, I’ve recently been having some pain in my buttocks whenever I walk because of the darn Sciatic nerve, to the point that, as you can imagine, going out for a stroll is often literally a pain in the ass. To top the problem, aside from some exercises, there’s really not much else anyone can do about it. That is, unless you experience a small, but fortunate twist of fate. A couple of weeks ago, after one of those flash storms we’ve been having here in Phuket, I was walking up some wet stairs going up to a 7/11 store, when I slipped and fell straight flat on my butt. But no harm was done. No broken bones, no hurt, not even a scratch. So, I just laughed about it, stood up and went into the shop to buy whatever it was I wanted to buy. But then, a very curious thing happened. A couple of days later, I started noticing there was no longer any pain in my buttocks whenever I went for a walk. And the surprise only grew larger when I noticed that, since the day of my fall, I have hardly felt any Sciatic-nerve-related pain anywhere in my body. Wouldn’t you think this episode sounds rather funny in a non-funny way? I’m not a doctor or anything of that sort, so I don’t have any scientific or medical explanation for this, but I’m imagining that, when I slipped on the wet stairs and fell flat on my butt on the floor, the mild impact must have somehow realigned the vertebrae in my backbone in a way that they no longer pinch the Sciatic nerve between them, so that the nerve no longer sends pain down my legs via my buttocks. Funny thing, no? Yes, funny but fortunate. I just hope my Sciatic nerve doesn’t get caught between my vertebrae ever again, at least not in the painful way it did before. Lady luck indeed has funny ways to smile at some of us sometimes, no? And some good things CAN indeed happen to you while you’re busy making other plans.

America’s Nero Rejoiced While American Democracy Nearly Went Up in Flames. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 22nd, 2022. The island of Phuket, Thailand, where I’ve been living for the past 3 months or so, is 11 hours ahead of (later than) Washington DC and the US East Coast in general. So I woke up at around 06:45 my time today, Friday the 22nd, to watch on my computer as the 8th Congressional Hearing was broadcast live on CNN. Except for some revealing details, not much was presented that was entirely new, but it was all still quite impressive. So much for love of country. They say Roman Emperor Nero played the lyre as he watched the city of Rome lit-up on fire, but there’s no need to contemplate historic man-made disasters of such magnitude to understand the madness saturating the minds of power-drunk individuals. Our own wannabe-Emperor Trump gave us first-hand testimony of such insanity on January 6th, 2021, when the peaceful transition of executive power from one administration to another was under a serious, unprecedented threat, yet he just sat and watched with glee on his TV screen as the whole episode unfolded in real time. One hundred and eighty-seven minutes of deadly chaos is more than enough time for any sane, reasonable President of the United States, to have intervened on behalf of law and order but, untill the end of that disgraceful coup attempt, he didn’t. Thousands of delirious pro-Trump insurrectionists violently stormed the Capitol to try to stop the peaceful, constitutional, legal, legitimate transition of power, but it took then-President Trump a little over three hours to call the insurrection off, a deadly insurrection that he, himself, had instigated. The term to describe such irresponsible level of presidential inaction is “Dereliction of Duty”, which is an offense punishable by impeachment, but not by law, unless such offense is committed in times of war. The crime in Trump’s dereliction of duty resides in his intention to stop the official transition of power from his expiring administration to that of newly-elected Joe Biden. There are three separate legal terms applicable to such crime, 1) Conspiracy to Defraud the US Government, 2) Conspiracy to Obstruct an Official Proceeding and, 3) Seditious Conspiracy, all of them punishable by law. Take your pick. Many of us would prosecute that insane, traitorous wannabe-Emperor for the three of them, but just one of the three would suffice to neutralize to a good extent the irrational anti-Democracy forces that have amassed behind such nefarious character. If it were up to me, however, I would also keep a dereliction of duty card up my sleeve in case Attorney General Merrick Garland refused to prosecute Trump, as, in my view, such inaction would characterize Merrick Garland, not only as an accessory to the three crimes mentioned above, but as enabling future presidents and other elected officials to commit the same kind of crimes knowing that the Department of Justice will not prosecute them for it. I don’t have much confidence that Merrick Garland will stand up forcefully enough in defense of American Democracy, but I sincerely hope that, in the end, he proves my doubts misplaced. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

A Firestorm Waiting to Be Lit? Beware the Destabilizing Political Trends in America. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 20th, 2022. Would you say that the ongoing extreme political polarization in the US entails bad omens for the country? What about the rampant skepticism about governmental and Democratic institutions? Does the rising gun violence or the increasing sales of firearms tell you anything? What about the widespread circulation of conspiracy theories? Or the growing dissemination of misinformation? Does any of these factors, or all of them together, make you wonder whether the country is headed in the right or the wrong direction? Well, if it doesn’t, it should, for the results of a survey conducted recently by the University of California at Davis are not very reassuring. The study involved a sample of 8,620 individuals across the country and what we can learn from those results is worthy of consideration. For one, it shows that one in five Americans now believe violence is acceptable as means to obtain political objectives. Doesn’t this factor alone sound like some sort of wakeup call to you? From a certain realistic perspective, what this study mainly does is put statistical figures on some facts that have been shinning before our eyes over the past few years. In so doing, however, the survey is telling us the country is probably worse-off than we might have previously thought. For example, did you know that two thirds of the respondents fear the country’s Democratic System is under serious threat? That would amount to close to 200 million Americans who, as we speak, fear our Democracy may fail at any given time. Or, how about those 89% of respondents who said Democracy is very important to them, while 42% of them also said having a powerful leader is preferable to having any democratic system? Does any of this sound like a joke to you? Not to me. Quite to the contrary. All this sounds more like a warning. The results of the survey in question are presented in a very detailed manner in a PDF document that you could read by clicking here. In my view, this is the kind of survey that should be sent to the Democratic Party’s leadership, so that it may serve as some sort of “slap in the face” wakeup call that may prompt them out of their political slumber and kick them into action. To read an article that elaborates on this subject, please click here.

Are You Surprised the Secret Service Is Trying to Protect Donald Trump? Not Me. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 17th, 2022. How low can we go? How deeply and widespread has Maga corruption contaminated the whole apparatus of the American Government? For how long will Trump’s attempted coup d’état continue to unfold? It now happens that the Secret Service is not only deleting text messages and phone records to protect Donald Trump’s wrongdoings, they’re doing so shamelessly out in the open, as if they knew they can get away with it, which they probably will. The Jan.6 Congressional Select Committee may subpoena all the documents and all the secret agents they wish, but if the DOJ keeps playing dead about it as much as they presently do, in the end the hearings will have amounted to just a highly entertaining TV drama with no consequences to the corrupt protagonists. No doubt Robert Engels and Tony Ornato, both of them influential secret agents part of the security detail protecting then-President Trump, are involved in such obvious illegal maneuver. But those two guys couldn’t by themselves have managed to delete all, or most of, the text messages and phone records in question. That operation would have required a concerted effort across the structures of power within the Secret Service, and that’s the compelling part of the story. How deep and wide have the tentacles of the White Power insurgency reached within the American Government’s institutions? Jan.6 was not a one-off attempt to overthrow the American Government. This is an ongoing slow-motion coup d’état, in other words, this is a well-coordinated insurgency. Please note the difference between an insurrection and an insurgency. An insurrection is a frontal attack on the institutions of government, like, say, an armed rebel attack on the presidential palace, a coup d’état, which is what took place on Jan. 6. An insurgency, on the other hand, is a long-term political movement that doesn’t necessarily involve an armed confrontation. What the Republican Party is presently waging against the United States is an insurgency motivated by the general perception plaguing the minds of millions of white Americans that their supremacy over the rest of America’s ethnic groups is being systematically undermined by the liberal leadership of the Democratic Party. Worse still, they see that they’re no longer the overwhelming majority of the American electorate, so they know that their candidates’ chances of being elected on platforms that favor mostly the white portion of the population are increasingly diminished, and that makes the American Democratic System the main obstacle for their white supremacist designs. The main purpose of the ongoing Republican insurgency, therefore, is to discredit or dismantle as much as possible some key governmental and non-governmental institutions of the United States, particularly our Democratic System and our free press, so that they can increasingly get a tight hold on the reins of power through sheer lies and deceit or, ultimately, though violent means. So, am I surprised that it turns out the Secret Service is trying to cover up for Trump’s illegal or perhaps even criminal behavior as president? Not a bit. What I’m beginning to wonder, however, is to what extent may Attorney General Merrick Garland be sympathetic to the Republican insurgency, as thus far he seems to be largely missing in action. To read an article that describes how the Democratic Party is out of sync with the present political reality in America, please click here.

Am I a Prophet of Doom in Writing These Commentaries or Just a Clear-Eyed Realistic Guy? Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 15th, 2022. In travelng across, and living in, several countries across four different continents over the past 18 years or so, I have acquired a certain international perspective that provides me with a clear, unemotional picture of the situation presently unfolding in the United States. In contrast, many of my fellow Americans who live over there may easily be missing the forest for the trees as, in worrying mostly about gas prices and inflation in general, or perhaps in being seriously concerned about abortion issues or even gun control, or just in being constantly involved in bickering with their political opponents, they fail to really grasp the gravity of the overall domestic situation. Not me. I’m largely unencumbered by all that white noise. My overseas perspective grants me a telescopic vision of the sociopolitical environment over there and it grants me a microscopic vision too, as my clear understanding of American culture allows me to interpret any domestic events with considerable accuracy and even allows me to foresee some relevant consequences to those events with enough clarity too. America is not walking down the road to a promising future. The sociopolitical differences presently dividing the country are deep and aren’t getting any better. Quite to the contrary. For example, just picture that, according to a poll conducted on July 5-7 of this year by the New York Times and the Siena College of New York, even now that we know that 64 cases brought before the courts alleging that there was voter fraud in the 2020 elections failed, and even now that we know that the majority of the White House staff told Trump repeatedly that there were no grounds to believe Joe Biden’s election was illegitimate, 76% of Republican voters believe Donald Trump “was just exercising his right to contest the election” when he illegally tried to overturn Joe Biden’s win and, as a last desperate resort to stay in power, incited thousands of his followers, many of them armed, to attack the Capitol on January 6, 2021. So, please tell me, what bright future can there be for American Democracy when millions of Americans have such warped concept for “contesting an election”, particularly when there weren’t any grounds for contesting that election to begin with? (To read "Lost Not Stolen", a detailed study released yesterday conducted by 4 Judges, 2 Senators, 1 Lawyer and 1 Political Consultant, all of them Conservative Republicans, that corroborates Biden’s win was 100% legitimate, please click here) Can anyone possibly explain the frame of mind of those millions of Americans who, without a single shred of evidence, fervently and fanatically still believe Donald Trump won? How can anyone shore-up such massive disconnect from reality? 20th century Europe showed us some similar irrational socio-psychological political trends and we all know how catastrophically they ended. Can anyone give us one single plausible reason why the irrational socio-psychological trend presently corroding American politics won’t end in an equally catastrophic way? Frankly, I don't think so. So, let me ask you once again, am I a prophet of doom in warning you about the ominous waters the United States is presently navigating on, or am I just a clear-eyed realistic guy who sees and describes the alarming American reality just as it is? To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The More the Jan. 6 Committee Hearings Succeed, the More the DOJ Looks Asleep at the Wheel. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 13th, 2022. Did you watch the 7th Select Committee hearing Tuesday night? I was up until 3:00 am Thailand-time watching it live. It was compelling. Across its 7 hearings, the Committee has been clearly tracing the line of events that culminated in the January 6 attack on the Capitol, thus making it clear that the insurrection was not a one-off effort, but the last of a series of attempts to overturn the legitimate results of the 2020 presidential elections. And the more the Committee presents its case, the more it is clear that Donald Trump’s desire to stay in power at all cost was the motivating reason behind those seditious attempts. Unfortunately, the Select Committee, and Congress in general for that matter, don’t have the constitutional authority to bring criminal charges against anybody. All they can do is refer their cases to the Department of Justice and then it is up to the DOJ to indict anyone or not. But in cases of extreme national importance as the Jan.6 insurrection is, shouldn’t it be the DOJ who spearheads the investigations in the first place? Shouldn’t the DOJ be avidly and diligently turning all possible stones to uncover the culprits behind such unprecedented attempt against our Government, our Constitution and our Democratic system? Obviously, it should, but, obviously, it isn’t. Did you know that, according to some DOJ sources, Cassidy Hutchinson’s revealing testimony before the Committee on June 28th caught the DOJ by surprise? Yehp, believe it or not, the DOJ hadn’t even considered the possibility of obtaining any ultra-relevant testimony such as Cassidy’s. So, we have to wonder, has Attorney General Merrick Garland instructed the DOJ to do any kind of investigation on the Jan.6 insurrection at all? Apparently not. All signs keep telling us Merrick Garland is asleep at the wheel. Well, he’s either asleep or just consciously refusing to do anything about it. Another question is, why isn’t the AG interested in finding out what really happened on January 6 and who is responsible for it? There are only a few possible answers to that question and, in my view, the most logical one is he doesn’t want to appear partisan. Actually, in remaining practically inactive, Mickey Mouse Garland doesn’t want the Republicans to think he would only prosecute Trump in revenge for the Republican-led Senate discarding his nomination to the Supreme Court in 2016. If my impression of the reasons for the DOJ’s inaction on this subject are correct, and very likely they are, Merrick Garland is just another one of those archaic Democrat political dinosaurs a-la Biden who still think they can teach principles and morals to the Republicans by example. Ha! Poor fools. But the problem is that those guys’ foolishness may entail heavy dire consequences for the United States, as they may end up sending the whole country down an authoritarian rabbit hole or even down a neofascist toilet. To read an article that elaborates on this subject, please click here.

Are the Democrats Duping the Masses? There’s No Pro-Workers Party in America. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 11th, 2022. Some people may think that only a staunch Republican would criticize the Democratic Party as vigorously and constantly as some of us do, saying that such criticism only undermines the Democrats’ efforts to stand up against the ongoing Republicans’ pivot to the extreme right. But the fact is the Democratic Party is so inefficient these days that it could actually be renamed “The Beauty Parlor Party” of America, as the art they’ve been perfecting over the past few decades is that of political cosmetology, meaning they are now quite good at proposing or modifying legislations that affect labor and pro-masses issues only at the surface, allowing the core of American politics to remain categorically in favor of big capital and the elites that handle it. Sociopolitical Darwinism exerts an irresistible pull over innumerable people, including many or most Democrats. After all, egoism can be said to be the inborn natural state of the human being. But the self-interest that defines egoism also tells us that the wellbeing of the others is also a part of our own wellbeing, as living in an environment where there are just a small number of princes surrounded by masses of pauper-workers would not be much to our liking. We’ve seen examples of similar environments in the past during the Feudal-Lord era and we all know how hard and why those systems failed. The question is, if people succeed in the business world using mostly their own ideas and efforts, why should they want to share in any way their material gains with anybody else? The Europeans found the answer to that question in the hardest of ways. Through a series of sociopolitical conflicts that culminated in the two world wars of the 20th century, they learnt that either all boats are lifted by the tides of progress, or we all suffer the consequences of disastrous storms that sink us all into chaos and despair, which is now a basic premise at the heart of the European welfare state. In contrast, and even in very irresponsible ways, the Republican Party keeps trying to control for their own benefit the tide of sociopolitical progress presently growing in the United States, while the Democrats just keep showing signs of acquiescence to those Republican efforts. Ever wondered why not many people, or even not many irresponsible financial institutions, suffered much, or any, consequences for the 2008 financial debacle? Well, because the Obama administration let the big-fish culprits off the hook. Ever wondered why American workers have today so little legal rights at their disposal to defend themselves against the abuses of big capital? Well, because the Clinton administration was very successful in implementing Neoliberal policies that gave international capital all the rights and left international labor virtually empty handed. Let’s not fool ourselves. There is no real left, pro-labor, pro-American-masses political party in the United States, and things are only getting worse. These days, American politics has taken such hard turn toward the extreme right that the simple fact of standing up in defense of American Democracy may easily make you look like an unamerican leftwing liberal in the eyes of millions of your conservative compatriots. Under these inauspicious circumstances, why should the Democratic Party leadership be worthy of much praise? To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Relentless Reactionary Republican Efforts to Dismantle American Democracy. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 9th, 2022. No need to express shock or dismay about the January 6 insurrection anymore. By now, the whole world knows there is a very influential portion of Americans who no longer want to have a democratic system in the United States. We also know that the Jan.6 revolt was not a one-off Republican effort to destroy American Democracy, but an ongoing, open insurrectionist struggle that involves subverting the American Constitution ultimately to the point of rendering it useless. Just check out how the present 6-3 right-wing majority justices of the Supreme Court (the Supreme Morons) recently ruled in favor of Carson v. Makin, thereby canceling the Establishment Clause embedded in the 1st Amendment to the Constitution. What such ruling basically does is legalize the use of state moneys to subsidize children’s education in christian schools, thereby blurring the separation of church and state further. In so doing, those conservative Supreme Morons are just pushing the nation one step closer to a Christian-Taliban-like American State. Now, the court has agreed to hear Moore v. Harper, a case that was brought before them by the State of North Carolina and others. The case is intimately related to the Electors Clause and the Elections Clause inscribed in the Constitution and, if ruled upon it affirmatively, it would entitle state legislatures to authorize gerrymandering in any shape or form they see fit, which in effect would almost guarantee that most elected functionaries (or at least their political parties) keep their place in Congress for an indefinite time. But the damage such ruling would do to our Democracy is deeper and darker still, as it would allow state legislatures to arbitrarily select electoral college delegates as they wished. This means that, for example, if Trump lost North Carolina to Biden in 2024, that state's legislature would have the legal authority to disregard the will of the people and send the state’s 15 delegates to vote for Trump at the convention. No doubt about it, American Democracy will never stand on firm, solid grounds as long as we have the Electoral College in place. But don't ask any elected officials to get rid of it, for only a very small number of them will even be willing to listen. The Electoral College benefits the Republicans much more than it benefits the Democrats, but the asinine Democrats are as pigheaded clinging to it as much as the Republicans do. What can I say? Keeping the Electoral College in place is just one of those cultural stupidities the United States has suffered from almost since the inception of the country. And the “funny” thing about these things that I'm telling you is that none of it is a joke. If what I’m telling you here weren’t actually based on facts, this could easily sound like a conspiracy plot in a John Le Carré novel or something of that sort, but it isn’t. It’s just the incontestable reality facing the United States today. The Republican Party is waging a war of attrition against American Democracy on all possible fronts and if the Democratic Party doesn’t garner any guts to do anything about it over the next dozen weeks or so, we might as well start waving goodbye to the United States as we know it. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Incompetent Joe Biden Is in No Way Up to the Alarming Circumstances of the Moment. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 7th, 2022. At heart, Joe Biden is probably a very good man, but as President of the United States he’s just an incompetent political dinosaur. He’s part of a seriously endangered class of career politicians clearly tagged for extinction. He’s just a nearly-octogenarian guy having the time of his life basking in finally having accomplished his lifelong dream of sitting behind the Resolute Desk at the Oval Office. Trouble is that, from his dreamlike perspective, he’s incapable of seeing the dire path the country is embarked upon, so he’s unable to tackle the situation with the determination needed. “Let Congress take care of this, let the DOJ take care of that”, that’s all he says about the heavy threats the nation is presently facing at the domestic level, while he vainly tries to restore the long-gone image of America as a knight in shining armor at the international level. Yes, at heart, Joe Biden may well be a good man, but as the leader of the United States he’s rather blind and he looks increasingly stupid, as he’s obviously nowhere up to the alarming circumstances of the moment. The friendly, bipartisan, kind and gentle father figure Biden wants the American people to see in him is utterly out of sync with reality. Right now, the country needs a leader that tells it exactly like it is, not one that goes around pretending everything is right and nothing is wrong. Joe Biden was first elected to the US Senate in 1973 and then spent the next 49 years of his life as a career politician. But, for whatever reason, when he was elected president in 2020, he thought he would be presiding over the same “collegial” congressional environment of his earlier years, when most Democrats and Republicans supposedly shared a common vision for the future of America. Obviously, those bipartisan days are long dead and gone, but Joe Biden doesn’t seem to have come to terms with that fact. Joe Biden claims to be a Christian, which I’m certainly not, but through time I have acquired an understanding of the bible clear enough to know that Biden would be very wise to read some passages of Ecclesiastes 3, particularly those that say “To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven… a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up… A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing… A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak…” But Joe Biden doesn’t seem to know the difference between one time and any other. To him, everything looks perfectly hunky-dory in America. So, to him I say, hey stupid! Stop pretending everything is fine! This is not the time to be a wimp, this is the time to stand up firmly and loudly in defense of American Democracy! It's not the time to be blindly"collegial" and "bipartisan" with the Republicans, it's the time to wake up and face the crude ominous reality and act decisively on it, you stupid dinosaur! For if you don’t, you will most surely be sending the country you claim to love so much, the United States of America, straight down the toilet! To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

4th of July Alert: Disabuse Yourselves - Maga Republicanism is Just Pure Fascism American Style. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 4th, 2022. It's been years since I've been denouncing in these pages the Authoritarian traits Donald Trump has shown in almost everything he says and does since the beginning of his political career. Unfortunately, most of my analyses and perceptions on this matter have thus far been rather accurate and right, to the point that my fears and warnings about that guy's neofascist designs almost became a reality with the coup d’état he staged against the US Government on January 6, 2020. But that insurrection was not a total surprise to many of us. For years before Trump's failed coup, people who worked close to him, like Michael Cohen and Tony Schwartz, had clearly and loudly warned us he wouldn't easily let go off power if he lost his reelection bid. The surprise in all of this were the 70+ million Americans who crept out of the neofascist woodwork and voted to keep him in power. Let's be realistic. For very dark, ominous reasons, we somehow have to hand it to Trump. He has proven to be a very effective demagogue who has managed to deceive millions of gullible Americans with his pseudo-nationalistic fallacies. But the national situation is not getting any better and it could actually slide down to alarming levels in the very near future. The Maga movement is now at a point where some Republicans running for office not only emphasize the big lie as part of their platform, but also post online videos where they incite viewers to arm themselves and go “hunting” for Americans who oppose their nefarious neofascist project (see here). There's no guarantee, therefore, that the present situation won't descend into serious social unrest or even down to outright armed street violence if the results of the coming November elections don't satisfy the Republicans' electoral wishes. And let's consider that a 2nd Civil War in America wouldn't look much like the first one we had in the 1860s, where two large armies fought against each other in a battlefield. This time, an American Civil War would probably consist of scattered but constant January-6-like plots and uprisings across the country, including coordinated pseudo-legal attacks on our Democratic institutions with the clear intention to disable them. For the moment, none of this is cast in stone but, as the situation stands, it would be highly foolish of us not to consder the Republican Party as a clear and present danger to the nation. So, given the high probabilitiy that Trump and his acolytes may continue to affirm and enhance their grip on the levers of power, and by way of a possibly near-final, warning, I present to you Jason Stanley. --- Jason Stanley is an American professor and writer who teaches philosophy at Yale University. He is considered one of the most important American scholars in the study of Authoritarianism. In September of 2018, Random House published one of his books titled “How Fascism Works”, with the subtitle “The Politics of US and Them”. Later, in September of 2021, Stanley recorded a video where he briefly outlined the 10 basic tenets present at the core of fascist movements, with the caveat that it is mostly when those 10 elements are given together as a single cluster that a fascist movement can be labeled as such. Most recently, just this past June 30th, 2022, he recorded an interview he gave at PBS where he outlines some of the parallels between a typical fascist movement and the ongoing sociopolitical situation unfolding in the United States today. Stanley’s father came to America from Germany and his mother from Poland around 1939, both of them running away from the Nazis. In the videos, he addresses the subject of authoritarianism and its parallels with Maga Republicanism in plain day-to-day language and in an illustrated, objective, unemotional manner that make watching his presentations a rather easy-to-digest informative experience. To watch Stanley outlining the 10 basic tenets of fascism, please click here. To watch an interview where Stanley presents some similarities between fascism and Maga Republicanism, please click here.

With Domestic “Friends” of America Like the Republican Party, Who Needs Foreign Enemies? Patong, Phuket, Thailand, July 2nd, 2022. The main difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has limits. Want proof of it? Just check out the glaring limitless stupidity of the Supreme Morons of the United States Supreme Court. Want some examples of their backward stance? Rulings against women’s rights, rulings to facilitate the sale of guns in New York and, by extension, in the rest of the country, rulings to blur the separation of church and state (on the road to a Christian American Taliban?) and, most recently, rulings to allow smokestack industries to keep polluting the environment basically unchecked. Anyone still dares to think those 6 Republican supreme morons are “wise”? Ha! Let me give you some details. The State of West Virginia, and other Republican-led states, brought before the Supreme Morons a case against the EPA’s (Environmental Protecion Agency) 2015 “Clean Power Plan”, a government program designed to put limits on greenhouse gas emissions. The question in West Virginia’s Attorney General Patrick Morrisey’s argument said it all when he asked “Should it be unelected bureaucrats [the EPA] or should it be the people’s representatives in Congress” who make the rules that affect the American economy? Couldn’t stupid Morrissey see he was asking that question to 9 UNELECTED individuals? Of course, on sheer ideological lines, the 6 unelected supreme conservative idiots, being the imbeciles that they are, sided with Morrisey et al. The logical question is, if, in the view of those 6 Republican retards, the EPA officials don’t have the authority to enforce any nationwide program pertaining to the environment because they are unelected, why should the judges of the Supreme Court have the authority to strike down any EPA designs when they are equally unelected? Shouldn’t such overruling also be the responsibility of the US Congress? The whole ongoing sociopolitical situation in the United States is mindboggling. What we have these days in our country is the rule of a deranged minority so one-track-minded and adamant in their nefarious backward ambitions that they cannot see one single inch beyond their ideological noses. And the fact that their attempted coup d’état failed on January 6 hasn’t deterred them one single bit. Quite to the contrary, their failed act of sedition only seems to have emboldened them. If their designs to take full control of the American government by force didn’t succeed the first time around, they are waging a concerted war of attrition against all possible government institutions, particularly our Democratic System, so that their next coup attempt may stand much better chances to succeed. And the “funny” thing that we Americans living abroad can plainly see is the glaring, open shamelessness the Repubican Party displays in planning it all in broad daylight, for everyone to see. That, is, everyone except the leadership of the Democratic Party who just want to keep dancing on the deck of the Titanic while the iceberg just keeps steadily approaching. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The 25-Year-Old Woman Who Obviously Loves America Much More Than Most Republicans Do. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 29th, 2022. Her sincere, unwavering love for the United States and the laws and institutions that define it, remained steady in the face of the ongoing Republican plot to hide and deny the unamerican events that took place before, during and after the January 6 Trump administration’s efforts to overturn the results of the presidential elections of 2020. Cassidy Hutchinson is a woman of valor and an individual whom I wouldn’t hesitate to shake hands with, even as I know she initially went along with Trump’s neofascist rhetoric, to the point of holding a key position in his White House. Very likely, Cassidy and I wouldn’t always see eye to eye when it comes to contemplating what policies are good for the country and what policies are not, but I’m sure there would be no daylight between us when it comes to our understanding that America’s greatness has and will always be based on the fact that our leaders abide by the Constitution and the rule of law and that the moment our leaders put themselves above those two essential elements of our Democracy, the country is surely bound to go down the drain. With her taped depositions and her live testimony before the Congressional Select Committee this past Tuesday, Cassidy stood up for what she believes in and, quite unlike the great majority of Republicans, she believes that what the American experiment has accomplished thus far is way too precious and unique to let it slide down the road to perdition only because a deranged megalomaniac ex-president is incapable of accepting that the American electorate voted him out of office in November of 2020. At the age of 25, Cassidy Hutchinson is already an inspiration to millions of Americans and to greater numbers of people around the world too. To know a bit more about Cassidy Hutchinson, please click here.

Most Americans Just Want to Keep Dancing on the Titanic While the Iceberg Keeps Approaching. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 28th, 2022. No doubt about it, the relentless, increasingly well-organized, nefarious efforts of a minority of religious, anti-Democracy, reactionary, rightwing American crusaders are clearly coming to fruition. Through Gerrymandering, propaganda and whatever other means at their disposal, religious proto-fascist individuals, meaning the Republicans, have cleverly and gradually been placing themselves in key government positions and are planning to continue doing so for as long as the circumstances permit. Meanwhile most of those Americans that may call themselves “liberals” keep blindly disregarding that reality, believing that the guardrails of our Democratic System will hold steady all by themselves and nothing really bad is going to happen to the country. “We have been through similar crises in the past”, they say, “and in the end everything went back to normal”. But, this time around, the religious, neofascist, Republican right-wingers won’t relent. They won’t take breaks and they won't capitulate. They see their mission to dismantle American Democracy as an existential fight, as an imperative “do or die” situation, and thus far they are succeeding in their dark quest. Just check out our present national state of affairs. America no longer looks like a beacon of hope to the world. It now looks like a backward-looking country. Just recall the latest Supreme Court (Supreme Morons) rulings. All or most of those rulings go against the will and the wellbeing of the majority of Americans, yet they now exert a determinant, often detrimental, influence over American society. It’s very difficult not to see it. The United States is increasingly looking like a Democracy in name only. But the American masses, those that in the end risk losing the most if our Democratic system fails, aren’t doing much, if anything, about it. And what are those “liberal” politicians of the so-called “Democratic” Party really up to? Nothing. They just continue uttering the same worn-out platitudes so that they may get elected again. Self-centered individuals that refrain from taking the anti-Democracy bull by the horns cowardly claiming that in warning America out loud of any imminent, Republican-conceived sociopolitical disaster they would only be “dividing the country further”. Nearsighted fools. Frankly, the Democrats' inaction on this matter only amounts to outright appeasement. Self-serving cowardly acquiescence. The forces of American white supremacism keep galloping forward in their quest to retain full control of the reins of the country and the great majority of Americans, under the missing in action leadership of the Democratic party, don’t seem to care much about it. They just want to keep on dancing on the deck of the Titanic while the fatidic iceberg only keeps steadily approaching. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Incredible Supreme Morons of the US Supreme Court. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 25th, 2022. With their two most recent asinine rulings, what exactly do you think those retarded, backward-looking conservative morons of the Supreme Court are trying to “conserve” in the United States? Any reality-based, popularly-supported, uplifting laws that will unify the nation and will allow the American people to look forward to a more egalitarian and harmonious society? Ha! Nothing of that sort. What those conservative retards are trying to do is, first, send America back to the lawless Wild West days so that once again everyone can freely shoot each other in the middle of the street and, second, send us all back to those dark ages when women were basically seen as reproductive machines at the service and for the pleasure of men. And you still consider the United States as a “forward-looking country”? Wake up! Over these past few years, we’ve been taking a heavy 180° turn back toward some of the darkest chapters of history. Oppress women as much as possible and bring back the era of the gunslinger, except that, this time around, the deadliest gunslingers often are lone copycat deranged psychopaths carrying AR-15s or AK-47s and their targets are defenseless children. This past June 23rd, six halfwitted conservative justices, who are supposed to be some of the “wisest” people in America, struck down a New York law designed to regulate who can and who cannot carry concealed weapons in the public sphere. So, from now on, anyone can be legally allowed to carry a gun in the streets of that state. Gee, that’s wise! Now there will probably be more shootings and gunfights in that state than there already are (thus far, 277 mass-shootings in New York in 2022). What a smart ruling! And just a few hours ago, five conservative supreme idiots overturned Roe v. Wade, so that now states can totally ban abortions within their borders. Great! Really wise! In so ruling, those five supreme Republican morons clearly asserted that, in their view, American women are basically underdeveloped beings that mother nature never endowed with a full fledged moral capacity to know what’s good and what’s not good for themselves. According to those supreme imbeciles, a woman’s body doesn’t fully belong to the woman who inhabits it. In their supreme backward reactionary thinking, a woman’s reproductive organs belong to the state, not to her. Supreme retard troglodytes! Does any of this feel to you like American society is a modern, forward-looking one? Not to me. Not anymore. The more I know about what’s happening in my beloved USA these days, the more I’m glad I’ve been living overseas for the past few years. To read an article that elaborates on the supreme morons’ totally anti-civilization New York ruling, please click here. To read an article that elaborates on the supreme morons’ totally-retard Row v. Wade ruling, please click here.

How the January 6 Republican Insurrection May Have Actually Succeeded. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 22nd, 2022. Democracies survive only for as long as the people in charge of making them work fervently believe it is the best system of government for their country and, for that reason, they’re willing to defend it with all the powers invested in them by the constitution and the rule of law. By itself, a Democratic system is not a living organism with a natural inbred immunity system that will automatically protect it against any anti-Democracy viruses. The heart, blood and all the other vital organs of a Democracy are the elected and appointed functionaries whose job is to make sure that the rules, laws and mechanisms that make it work are followed and respected at all times. A Democracy’s immunity system, therefore, resides in the hearts, minds and belief systems of the functionaries in charge of making it work. This means that Democracies are very fragile institutions, as fragile as the morality of human beings can be, and we all know how weak and inconsistent we human beings are, highly prone to selfish acts and the acquisition of power over our fellow humans. One single corrupt rotten apple placed in a key position wihIn the network of any Democratic system, can raise havoc across the whole apparatus and can eventually lead the whole Democratic scheme of things down to its own destruction. American Democracy has thus far survived the longest in the history of the world because the American people in charge of protecting it have been mostly consistent in their belief in, and respect for, our Democratic system. Alas! That long American pro-Democracy tradition collapsed recently over a period of two months culminating in the attempted coup of d’état of January 6, 2021 orchestrated at the highest levels of power of a Republican administration. As the situation stands today, we all know that a very large, influential part of the American population no longer believes Democracy is the best system of government for our country. The fourth Congressional Select Committee hearings aired this past Tueday showed us all how adamant some of the highest officials of the Trump administration, including the ex-president himself, were in trying to corrupt in their favor the workings of some officials in charge of legitimizing Electoral College results, thereby affirming their total rejection and contempt for the vital principles of American Democracy. But the saddest part in this perilous saga is the fact that the Republican Party is still on a war footing against Democracy in America, plotting to put in place corrupt rotten apples in key influential positions so that any future election results that run contrary to Republican wishes may be overturned in their favor. That is evidence that the Trump administration's insurrection of January 6 was never intended to be just a one-act play, but part of a long-term authoritarian conspiracy meant to take as long as it may to achieve its ends. In other words, that insurrection is still unfolding as we speak. So, if Democracies survive only for as long as the people in charge of making them work fervently believe it is the best system of government for their country, now that we know the Republican Party is really the anti-Democracy Party, how much longer do you think American Democracy will survive? The answer to that question will depend largely on who you vote for this coming November and who you vote for in November of 2024. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Brown People of the South Teach a Lesson in Political Maturity to the White People of the North. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 20th, 2022. What a difference a few years make. It was only a few years ago that America’s political system stood high and proud as the brightest beacon of Democracy to the world. Now it’s been a few months since that somewhat deserving place at the lectern of Democratic self-righteousness was forever tarnished. And I say “somewhat deserving” because America’s highly-undemocratic Electoral College system has always been a threat against the will of the American electorate and has actually, in a few occasions, sent to the White House individuals that were not elected by the majority of Americans. But America’s claim to be the longest standing Democracy in the history of the world was true and sustainable for as long as there was always a peaceful transition of executive power every 4 years. Alas! Such claim is not sustainable anymore. To this day, 594 days after the November 3rd, 2020, presidential elections, the losing candidate, Donald Trump and the political party he belongs to, the Republican Party, have not yet conceded defeat. This in spite of the fact that the 2020 elections were the most scrutinized elections in the history of the United States. In Contrast, in Colombia, a Southamerican country where the 52-year domestic war between the armed guerrilla forces (FARC) and the Colombian government ended in a peace agreement in 2016, they had presidential elections this past Sunday, June 19th, where the losing candidate, a business mogul, had no problem in accepting the final results and no problem in congratulating his winning adversary, a leftist ex-guerrilla fighter. What a difference just a few years make. Who would have thought, just 10 years ago, that the people of Colombia, a country that has been mired in a long bloody domestic armed conflict, would one day teach the people of the United States a lesson in civility and political maturity? Very few other countries have recently had conflicting and/or violent electoral consequences similar to the one we’re still having in America. Among those few countries there is: Afghanistan in 2019, Benin (Africa) in 2021, Ivory Coast (Africa) in 2020 and perhaps a few others. On the other hand, among the countries that, like Colombia, have recently had peaceful transitions of executive power there is: Argentina in 2019, Bolivia in 2020, Republic of the Congo (Africa) in 2021, Dominican Republic in 2020, Chile in 2021 and, just picture this: Honduras in 2021! Yes, Honduras! A country that ranks No. 5 in the list of most violent countries in the world, had a peaceful transition of executive power last year, while in the United States we had an attempted coup d’état on January 6, 2021 and, to this day, the losing candidate has not yet conceded defeat. Doesn’t this feel like reality has somehow turned upside down? But this is not a problem of the past. America’s political problems are in no way over. Actually, they may well be just beginning. The Republican Party remains today a clear and present danger to the country, while the Democrats appear to have gone completely AWOL from the ongoing political reality. For the moment, there really isn't much left to say. May the universal forces keep the United States of America from falling down the protofascist rabbit hole the Republicans keep trying to push it into. To read an article that elaborates on the Colombian presidential elections, please click here.

--- There are 2 remastered songs in the Music section of this Website. To listen to them, please click here. --- (June 18th, 2022)

The Stark Reality Driving Racist, Anti-Democracy White Supremacism in America. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 17th, 2022. Few things look as unavoidable these days as the imminent fall of ethnic whites from their pedestal as the largest ethnic group in the United States. Reliable national birthrate-deathrate data clearly attest to that inescapable end. Americans of color are reproducing at faster rates than whites and old white Americans are dying at faster rates than old Americans of color. On top of that, both legal and illegal immigrants to the country are overwhelmingly non-white, which tells us that white Americans will very soon become the LARGEST MINORITY ethnic group in the country. Come to think of it, in less than two decades there will no longer be any ethnic majority in the United States and most white Americans of the bigot, Republican persuasion are already panicking about it. Is it any wonder that racism and white supremacism have lately gained such alarming, destabilizing currency in the sociopolitical life of the nation? Birthrates aren’t going to decrease anytime soon among Latino, Asian and Black Americans, particularly not if the Supreme Morons of the Supreme Court get rid of Roe v. Wade, and birth rates certainly won’t suddenly increase among American whites either, particularly not if the cost of living and of healthcare keeps rising as fast as it currently does. So, what solution have some desperate American ethnic whites of the Republican Maga sort come up with? To dismantle American Democracy and replace it with an authoritarian one-party system that will ensure right-wing whites and their sycophants stay at the top echelons of power, thereby relegating all other ethnic and egalitarian-minded groups to subservient positions. No doubt about it. It’s as clear as spring water. The reason why America is today in such dire sociopolitical predicament is the fact-based fear many right-wing American whites have that in the future American politicians will have to pay extreme attention to the needs and demands of non-white minorities in order to garner the necessary votes to gain elected positions. At one point in the near future, catering mainly to the needs of white Americans will no longer guarantee that white politicians will remain in the top positions of government. Obviously, a cultural paradigm shift is in the offing and such shift will inevitably come to happen relatively soon, unless the Republicans manage to disable the American Democratic System seriously enough to delay any changes for any indeterminate period of time. Make no mistake. Republicans are now and have been for some time the sworn enemies of Democracy. White supremacist Americans won’t have a single good night sleep for as long as we have a Democratic System in the United States. And, as you're heading down to the ballot box this coming November, and everytime thereafter, please keep in mind that most or all anti-Democracy white supremacist Americans are of the Republican persuassion. To read some eye-opening statistics that reveal the difference in birthrates and deathrates between Americans of color and white Americans, please click here.

Will Meek Mouse Merrick Garland Ever Gather the Guts to Prosecute Rotten Trump? Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 15th, 2022. Is Attorney General Merrick Garland just a shy guy or is he in fact a real-life coward? Is he still unconvinced that Donald Trump actually masterminded the Republican efforts to defraud the American electorate on January 6, or is he just afraid the Republicans will accuse him of sheer partisanship if he prosecutes him? Is he just another wishy-washy Democrat like many others are, or is he simply another textbook example of Democratic-Party cowardice? The first two hearings conducted live on TV by the January 6 Congressional Committee have clearly proven that ultra-corrupt Trump knew quite well what he was up to when he started spreading the big lie about him having won the 2020 presidential elections. There’s no way he couldn’t have known that his unsubstantiated arguments were false. Right from election night, everybody around him told him his allegations of widespread fraud were unfounded, that is, everybody except drunken Rudy Giuliani, who told him to “just say we won”, which is exactly the lie Trump wanted to hear. Once Trump embraced Giuliani’s seditious fallacy, corrupt lunatic lawyers like Sidney Powell and others eventually joined in the plot to overturn the elections, culminating with the unethical, malicious participation of conservative Constitutional Lawyer John Eastman, who told Vice-President Mike Pence that Pence had the Constitutional authority to block the Electoral Votes certification. Eastman was perfectly aware that such move would be unconstitutional, even illegal, yet he still proposed it. Apparently, however, four years working under the leadership of a morally-bankrupt president weren’t enough to corrupt Pence’s love of country and respect for the rule of law, at least not all the way down to his bone marrow, so he declined to follow Eastman’s entirely immoral and anti-Democracy proposal. All this and much more the Select Committee has laid out and will continue to lay out in the open for the whole world to see. And what have we heard thus far about it from the Department of Justice? Nothing. Not even a faint peep. Some Democrats may argue that Garland cannot afford to rush into conclusions of any kind, that he has to be highly attentive and judicious, particularly when it comes to indicting an ex-President of the United States, which has never been done before in the history of the country. But if we take Garland’s refusal to charge Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino with contempt of Congress as example of his weak determination to uphold the rule of law in the United States, we’re left with ample reason to believe he might just let Trump, Eastman and all the others off the hook without even the need, or the legal obligation, to give the American people any explanation for it. The serious crisis of Democracy the nation is presently undergoing could have easily been averted had Special Counsel Robert Muller had the legal, moral and patriotic courage to charge Trump with obstruction of justice back in 2019. This time around, there are much more ominous, unforeseeable, consequences that will befall the nation if Attorney General Merrick Garland refuses to indict at least Trump and Eastman for, among two or three other reasons, corruptly attempting to obstruct the Joint Session of Congress of January 6, 2021, which is a crime punishable by law for up to 5 years imprisonment accordng to 18 U.S.C. 1505. To read an objective, clear-minded article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There's a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (June 13th, 2022)

Will the DOJ Turn the Ongoing Congressional TV High Drama into Just Another Fiasco? Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 11th, 2022. As the top defenders of the rule of law in the United States, the DOJ has not always been worthy of admiration over the past few years. Quite to the contrary. On a few occasions they have been the source of deep disappointment for a good number of Americans. For one, recall that back in 2017, then-Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as Special Counsel to investigate "any links and/or coordination between the Russian government and individuals associated with the campaign of President Donald Trump, and any matters that arose or may arise directly from the investigation". Those matters included possible obstruction of justice from the part of then-President Trump. Then, in April of 2019, after months of investigation, Mueller’s report stated that "while this report does not conclude that the President committed a crime, it also does not exonerate him”, thereby washing his hands of any further responsibility on the matter. Later, Mueller clarified that "under long-standing Department [of Justice] policy, a president cannot be charged with a crime while he is in office”, statement that was and is NOT based on any Constitutional mandate, but on an INTERNAL MEMO adopted in 1973 by the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and reaffirmed again in the year 2000. A MEMO. But please note the serious consequences of such DOJ failure to stand up in defense of the rule of law: Had Mueller and the DOJ gathered the legal guts to prosecute Trump at that point in time, Trump would most likely not have been allowed to run for reelection in 2020 and the insurrection of January 6 would have never taken place. More consequential still, American Democracy would have never been discredited down to the shameful level where it stands right now. The DOJ’s inaction back in 2019, therefore, bears heavy responsibility for the dire present state of our Democracy. But, alas! the DOJ hasn’t learned its lesson well. Just a few days ago, on June 3rd, Attorney General Merrick Garland, clearly aware that the evidence and testimony former chief of staff Mark Meadows and social media director Dan Scavino have for bringing Donald Trump to justice, declined to charge them with contempt of Congress for refusing to cooperate with the Congressional Committee. In acting so stupidly, what precedent is Merrick Garland setting for posterity? Obviously, that the DOJ cannot be trusted as vigilant, constant guarantors of the rule of law in the United States of America. Unfortunately, this throws serious doubts as to what guarantees do we have that the DOJ will do anything different this time around? The Congressional Committee by itself cannot prosecute anyone for their responsibility in organizing and/or participating in the failed coup d’état of January 6. All they can do is present evidence and then refer their cases to the DOJ for their consideration. This means that, in the end, if the DOJ decides not to do anything about it, the high drama of the ongoing Congressional public hearings could easily turn up being just that: A well-staged real-life TV drama with no legal or criminal consequences to anyone. In other words, just another fiasco. I just hope I’m wrong in harboring such doubts about the DOJ, for if after all the evidence of subversion against the US Government that the Congressional Committee has presented and will continue to present, ex-President Donald Trump and all the others that encouraged and/or organized the failed coup get away unscathed, you can be sure that this will happen again in 2024 and in any other presidential elections that the Republicans may lose.

The Usual Cowardice: Getting the Small and Medium Fish while Letting the Big Fish Go. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 7th, 2022. Lately, US Attorney General Merrick Garland has been showing us his true colors. Nothing new. Just the expected Democratic Party’s reverential, perhaps even cowardly kowtowing to the powerful at the top. Sure, all Democracy-loving individuals like myself feel hopeful that not everything is lost in America when we read that Stewart Rhodes, the founder and leader of the Oath Keepers and now Enrique Tarrio, the former head of the Proud Boys (see here), along with some other members of those two far-right organizations, have been indicted for seditious conspiracy. No doubt those indictments are two right steps in the right direction, but I don’t feel compelled to applaud the DOJ for it. Why should anyone applaud anyone else for doing exactly what they’re supposed to do? It was also sort of reassuring to know that Peter Navarro, an assistant policy coordinator to Donald Trump and a very visual, active proponent of the big lie, was held in Contempt of Congress for refusing to comply with a Congressional subpoena issued to him this past February. So, once again, the DOJ is doing what they’re supposed to do, which is to uphold the rule of law in the United States of America. But what about Mark Meadows and Dan Scavino? What about those two guys? Like Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon before them, Meadows and Scavino had also refused to comply with the House Committee subpoena, but the former two were charged with contempt of Congres while the latter two were let go off the hook perfectly unscathed. Why!? Meadows was Donald Trump’s influential Chief of Staff during the Jan 6 uprising and Scavino was Direcor of Social Media during the same period. Those two guys were part of the head of the snake that tried to suffocate and strangle American Democracy on Jan 6, why were they let go scot free so easily!? Rhodes and Tarrio were just commanding legionnaires at the service of Trump’s quest to replace American Democracy with an autocratic regime. They were basically foot soldiers, small fish in the overall plot. Peter Navarro and Steve Bannon were at a higher level in the seditious hierarchy, with a much more visible presence and a much more influential input in the plotting and unfolding of the failed coup. These two were medium-sized fish and it is reassuring to know they got caught in the nets of justice, but what about the guys at the top? What about the big fish? The DOJ says Meadows and Scavino were not indicted because they had cooperated with the Select Committee, but the Select Committee had referred those two guys to the DOJ for indictment in spite of whatever level of cooperation the Committee may have gotten from them already. Obviously, in the eyes of the Committee, Meadows and Scavino were as much in contempt of Congress as Navarro and Bannon, except that Meadows and Scavino had, and still have, much more valuable information regarding Trump’s involvement in the whole plot. Could that be the reason that Meadows and Scavino got off the hook so easily? Could Attorney General Merrick Garland be as inconceivably stupid as to think that in declining to indict those two rotten guys he plays the part of the “noble knight in shining armor protecting the office of the presidency”? Or, could his decision be just another instance of the cowardly vein that often runs up and down the spine of the Democratic Party? Whatever the case, such mistaken move was just a loud slap on the face of Congress. Worse still, in so doing, Merrick Garland appears to have extended a helping hand to the pro-authoritarian forces laboring against the Democratic System of the United States of America. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

American Democracy is on the Brink of Disaster and the Democrats Don’t Seem to Give a Single Damn About It. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 2nd, 2022. It is no longer a secret. Quite far from it. It is a fact that has been out in the wide open for a few years now. The Republican Party does not want to have a democratic electoral system in the United States of America. They want to get rid of it and the way they intend to achieve their nefarious ends is through a short-term and a long-term plan. First, they will try to discredit the electoral system to the point where any win by the Democrats will be mired in suspicion of fraud, move that will greatly enhance their chances of capturing the majorities in the House and in the Senate. Second, once both the House and the Senate fall in Republican hands, which will probably happen come November, the country’s leaders would from then on be chosen arbitrarily by those big-lie-believers, lawyers, judges, Secretaries of State, House Representatives, Senators and law-enforcement officials that the RNC is already laboring to put in place across the nation. This they will try to do particularly in swing states like Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, Minnesota, Arizona, Georgia, Virginia, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, Colorado, North Carolina, and Maine. Make no mistake, this is exactly what the Republican Party wants to do: Destroy the American Democratic system. They know this is what they want and they know we know they know it. Many Democrats know it too but, just like Joe Biden, they erroneously think American Democracy is indestructible and is here to stay with us forever. Blind fools. The Republicans’ nefarious anti-Democracy intentions are by now visibly clear to the naked eye, yet, no one in the Democratic Party is proposing any countermeasures to derail those disastrous plans. No one is even raising any voice of warning against them. What’s going on here? American Democracy appears to be heading toward a precipice and Joe Biden seems to be asleep at the helm. He seems to be thinking that in getting full bipartisanship to send billions of dollars in all kinds of aid to Ukraine he has bridged the deep ideological fissure presently splitting the country. No such thing. That wide gap isn’t going to narrow down anytime soon. The Republicans already crossed a point of no return. They are already perfectly aware that their sociopolitical message no longer appeals to the majority of the American electorate. They know that if the American Democratic System were to work fine for the foreseeable time to come, they would never again garner a majority of votes in any election (except with the usual help they get from that highly undemocratic “Electoral College”). In the face of that reality, the only logical course of action for them to follow is to dismantle the American Democratic System and put in place a one-party authoritarian system along the lines of the Chinese model, with similar government censorship on the media, but with more freedom of capital movements and investments. No doubt about it - The time for hesitation is through. There’s no time to wallow in a mire of doubts. If we did that we would only lose. And the bright light of American Democracy would just become a funeral pyre*. To watch a YouTube video that briefly but clearly elaborates on the subject, please click here. (*Paraphrased from a song by The Doors)

Misogyny, White Supremacy, Murderous Gun Violence – Is this America the Beautiful? Patong, Phuket, Thailand, June 1st, 2022. Who would have thought it would all someday come to this? America was supposed to be the land of the free and the home of the brave, but these days the most salient freedom we can all see is the freedom those violent lunatics have to mass-murder their own fellow citizens. And the most outstanding bravery we can all witness is the misguided one its armed militias show when standing belligerent and defiant against any and all possible gun-control legislation. America, the world’s most advanced society that apparently was never so. Yes, there’s still plenty of beauty in the US and not only in the richness and variety of its landscapes, but in the constant innovative thrust so clearly shown in its fields of arts and technology. But, Alas! Over the past five or six years all that beauty has been blurred under the thick haze of racism, white supremacism, misogyny and gun violence. With their fallacious, outright shameless rhetoric, the American neofascist minoritarian forces, meaning the Republican Party, have managed to hijack the imagination of influential numbers of Americans, thereby dislocating their moral compass to the point where they can no longer tell (or no longer want to know) what’s true and what’s not, what’s right and what’s wrong. There is, of course, a clear, willful propensity from the part of those MAGA-2nd Amendment, pro-school-children-massacre people to accept, believe and amplify the irresponsible, antisocial, anti-democracy lies propagated by their leadership, meaning that the naïve, innocent ones within the Republican Party’s ranks are probably just a tiny minority. The great majority of Republicans know exactly what they’re doing when they stand against Roe v. Wade and when they support any unbridled, free-wheeling, pro 2nd Amendment legislation. First, they want to keep American women subjugated to the repressive rules concocted by some ultra-conservative men and, second, they want to make sure the US government and its frail Democratic system are always under threat from the armed, rightwing militias. What else is there to say but may the universal forces have mercy on America and keep her from falling down the dark, malodorous, authoritarian pit the Republicans want to plunge her into? To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

If - by Rudyard Kipling. Patong, Phuket, Thailand, May 30th, 2022. This poem speaks for itself.

1

If you can keep your head when all about you   
    Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,   
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
    But make allowance for their doubting too;   
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
    Or being lied about, don’t deal in lies,
Or being hated, don’t give way to hating,
    And yet don’t look too good, nor talk too wise:

2

If you can dream—and not make dreams your master;   
    If you can think—and not make thoughts your aim;   
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
    And treat those two impostors just the same;   
If you can bear to hear the truth you’ve spoken
    Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
    And stoop and build ’em up with worn-out tools:

3

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
    And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
    And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
    To serve your turn long after they are gone,   
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
    Except the Will which says to them: ‘Hold on!’

4

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,   
    Or walk with Kings—nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
    If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
    With sixty seconds’ worth of distance run,   
Yours is the Earth and everything that’s in it,   
    And—which is more—you’ll be a Man, my son!

It Appears Most “Good Guys with Guns” Behaved Like Cowards in Uvalde, Texas. Phuket, Thailand, May 28th, 2022. How many times have you heard those Republican Senators and Governors, along with other public officials of different political denominations, assert with a straight face before the TV cameras that the only thing that can stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun? Just check out the articles and videos about the NRA’s Annual Convention that took place in Houston, Texas, just yesterday, Friday, May 27th, barely three days after the Uvalde massacre in the same state. There they all went again, claiming that the culprit for such mass killings is mental illness and that the only way to keep those tragedies from happening in our classrooms is to train and arm the teachers and to basically transform every American school into a fenced military compound. In other words, it is their view that only more guns can stop the blood shedding that results from gun violence in America. It’s all a farce, a worn-out fallacy, an irrational mantra repeated ad nauseum to bring together all sorts of ultra-nationalist, second amendment lunatics, including all those militant white supremacist groups. Have you seen the pictures and videos showing all those Texan armed policemen wearing bullet-proof vests, some of them carrying assault rifles, just standing by the school walls, hiding behind police SUVs, or even harassing and threatening parents who wanted to go into the school to get their children out? All of it while some children kept calling 911 crying for help and the shooter was still inside the school? And please note that this situation went on for over an hour while the police didn't do anything. Over one hour of gutless, shameful police inaction. Weren’t those Texas policemen supposed to be the “good guys with a gun” the Republicans keep saying will stop the "bad guys with a gun"? It’s all pure BS. The usual hollow Republican rhetoric. In the end, it was a team of border patrol agents who shot the gunman dead, a situation that comes to add an ugly blemish to the reputation of American police forces. I would never go as far as supporting any “defund the police” legislation, as such defunding would be utterly foolish. But enough of automatically glorifying the American police forces as heroes even as they fail to protect the citizenry, as it appears to be the case in Uvalde, or even every time they shoot an unarmed black person after a simple traffic stop. It is true that American civil society would go down the drain if it weren’t for the constant presence of the police on American streets, but the need to hold each and every police department accountable for their extreme use of force or for their deadly negligence in their performance is already a categorical imperative. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here. To read an article about the recent conspiracy theories-laden NRA Convention, please click here.

If You Are an American who Supports the Second Amendment You Are Complicit in these Massacres. Phuket, Thailand, May 25th, 2022. Barely ten days ago the nation was lamenting the killing of 10 black Americans at a supermarket in Buffalo, New York. Here we go again. This time the killer took the lives of 19 children and 2 adults at an Elementary School in Uvalde, a small city near San Antonio, Texas. As usual, the president of the United States has already been condemning the gun lobby, but that’s all he’s going to do. That’s all American politicians will do. Theatrics. Pantomimes. Hollow words. “The right to bear arms is as American as apple pie”, they will tell you. “The second amendment is part of the backbone of the nation”, they will repeat time and again. “The second amendment is an essential component of our freedom”, they will conclude. But what they’re really saying is that American rightwing crazies and all other kinds of murderous American lunatics have the god-given right to massacre other Americans at will. That’s what it all comes down to. Joe Biden is wrong in putting the blame for these man-made tragedies on the gun lobby’s shoulders. He would be wrong in blaming the NRA too for, in so doing, he would just be looking for scapegoats. In the face of these senseless mass murders, the real culprits cannot be other than the American voters themselves. They are the ones who put in power individuals who sponsor and pass legislations that allow the country to be flooded with deadly fire arms of all kinds. The Uvalde massacre is just one more chapter in a never-ending story. This is the unavoidable destiny of American society. The land of the free? Yeah, free to be shot dead at a supermarket simply because your skin is black. Home of the brave? Maybe for some things, but utterly cowardly when it comes to stopping the indiscriminate flow of deadly weapons flooding the country. My condolences to the parents, family and friends of those who were murdered in Uvalde, Texas, but, as a society, these senseless killings are exactly what the Americans people deserve. To read an article that presents some details on this subject, please click here.

If You Talk like a Neofascist, Listen Only to Neofascists and Mingle Only with Neofascists… You’re a Neofascist. Phuket, Thailand, May 22nd, 2022. I just wonder what’s on Joe Biden’s mind. What is he waiting for? For the Republican Party to officially change its name to “The Neofascist Party of America”? That Biden guy, along with the Democratic Party’s leadership, still thinks the political situation in the United States is the same “collegial” environment of his younger years. No, you dumbo! Those days are long dead and gone. At this point in time, putting the name of former US president Trump and the term Neofascist in the same sentence is only the logical thing to do. Everyone knows that populism, authoritarianism, ultranationalism, nativism and anti-immigration xenophobia, some of the main characteristics of Neofascism, are also some of the main traits in Donald Trump’s persona. That’s not news. It is something we have all known since the beginning of the presidential campaign in 2015. What we didn’t know back then that we now know for sure, is that nearly the whole leadership of the Republican Party embraces the very same ideology too. Actually, by now we are also totally certain that the greater portion of the conservative movement in the United States shares in the same Neofascist ideas. As it has been widely published, the American CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) just held a conference in Budapest, Hungary, country where the authoritarian, neofascist Prime Minister, Victor Orban, was recently elected to a fourth term. Featured in that conference were some well-known anti-Democracy dark stars like Donald Trump, Tucker Carlson and Mark Meadows, three leading characters in the Neofascist saga presently unfolding in America. But there were also some infamous local racist individuals participating in that event, namely the Hungarian Prime Minister himself and other local unsavory creatures like Carlson-like, racist talk-show host Zsolt Bayer and the antisemite blogger Jack Posobiec, all of them foul, dark jewels of the Hungarian Neofascist movement. As the situation stands today, no American can reasonably claim not to know what’s going on in our country. It is perfectly plain for everyone to see. Neofascism is not only alive and well in the United States. It now resides at the heart of one of the two main American political institutions: The Republican Party. And what’s the Biden administration doing about it? Basically pretending that American politics is just the same ol’ business as usual. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here. To read an equally informative article that elaborates on the same topic, please click here.

American White Supremacist Christians Want to Take the Country Back 200 Years. Phuket, Thailand, May 19th, 2022. American white supremacism and Christianity seem to have always gone hand in hand. From the inception of the Ku Klux Klan shortly after the Civil War, to the “Unite the Right” torch-carrying masses marching in Charlottesville in August of 2017, to the massacre in Buffalo, NY, this past May 14, Christian white supremacism has proven to be the living scourge of America, the social wound that festers and never heals, the constant shameful blight on the face of an otherwise wonderful country. I’m not Christian, but I have repeatedly read the bible and I’m perfectly aware of the beauty clearly manifest in some of its pages. For that reason, I cannot help but to wonder, how and when did “do to others what you would have them do to you” (Matthew, 7:12) become “you won’t replace us”? How did the teachings of a man who is supposed to have walked this earth with nothing but love and compassion for humanity in his heart become the inspiration for large numbers of Americans bent on putting in place a hate-filled white-supremacist philosophy as the law of the land? It’s mind boggling, but I guess that’s just the nature of the human being. The thing is, replacement theory is not only alive and well in America, its appeal is gathering adepts across the nation. Worse still, as we speak, its existing believers and followers are getting further radicalized and, thus, quite willing to commit murderous acts of terror in its name. Yesterday I came across a New York Time’s opinion piece that elaborates on this subject with excellent journalistic professionality. The article is only available for subscribers of that newspaper, so I took the liberty of downloading it as a PDF document and I have made it available for you to read. To read the article in question, please click here.

The Murderous Social Environment Americans Choose to Live In. Phuket, Thailand, May 18th, 2022. Do I feel sorry for the families of the people who were slaughtered a few days ago by a MAGA-like, replacement-theory madman in Buffalo, New York? Yes, I do. I can definitely understand how hard it must be to come to terms with the absurd fact that their friends and family members were taken away in such a senseless, utterly-uncalled-for way. But, do I also feel sorry for the United States of America? No, I don’t. On this count, I don’t have any sympathy for the American society. All that news about the affected communities grieving, praying and placing all kinds of flowers at the site of the murders doesn’t move me at all. At this point in time, those public emotional displays look like a pre-staged, meaningless pantomime. In the crude, cruel face of those massacres, grieving and praying are just useless expressions of massive impotence and a clear ritual of societal submission to our own domestic forces of death. After so many similar massacres over the past few years, the United States could now be comparable to a deranged man who keeps stabbing himself with a sharp knife and, after each time he does it, he weeps, prays and gives flowers to himself, but he doesn’t drop the knife, even as he knows for sure that he’s bound to hurt himself again sometime soon. Those massacres that happen constantly in the United States don’t happen by chance; they’re recurring national self-inflicted wounds. They keep happening because the American people have consciously accepted that they’re inevitable, perhaps even necessary. And expect all those “liberals” like Joe Biden and the rest of the democratic political class to behave like the usual hypocrites when it comes to their reaction to those massacres. They bemoan the shootings, they denounce the shooters and they visit the scene of the crimes, but then they just go home and in just a few days everything goes back to business as usual, as if nothing happened. And if somebody dares to propose any anti-gun legislation in Congress, some of those bleeding-heart liberals may even be the first in line to defeat passage of the proposed legislation. It’s all just the same old story. Yes, Biden may call for stricter gun controls and Senator (D) Chuck Schumer may call on Ruppert Murdock to put a muzzle on Tucker Carlson’s stinking incendiary snout, but will any of that amount to anything in the long run? I seriously doubt it. We have all been here before. It’s all just the same disappointing, sad old song. For this reason, I no longer feel sorry for those massacres that occur time and again in the United States. Not a single bit. I can certainly empathize with the deep pain the family members and friends of the slaughtered people must feel, but those politically or racially motivated mass-killings, along with those perpetrated by sheer social-resentful deranged lunatics, they all happen on US soil because the great majority of Americans have accepted them as inevitable. They have come to revere the second amendment as the sacred law of the land, even as that archaic amendment keeps constantly proving to represent a death sentence to thousands of Americans every year. Sorry for being so blunt, my fellow Americans, but, as a society, on this count, you’re only getting exactly what you deserve. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Society Going Backward in America and Going Forward in… Spain? Phuket, Thailand, May 14th, 2022. Since Dictator Francisco Franco’s death in November of 1975, Spain has experienced considerable sociopolitical transformations. First of all, they abandoned the authoritarian, dictatorial form of government they had for the previous 36 years and barely a couple of years later they had already replaced it with a Democratic Constitutional Monarchy. Such radical change opened the doors to other progressive legislations, among them, the labor reforms passed in December of 2021. But Spain is not per se the central object of this commentary. These words I’m writing to highlight the contrast between the American and the Spaniard societies, specifically in view of the recent Supreme Court opinion draft that was leaked to the press just a few days ago. In that opinion draft, the conservative majority of Justices clearly state their intention to overturn Roe v. Wade, the 7-2 decision issued on January 1973 acknowledging the right of American women to decide when to have an abortion and do so protected from excessive government intervention. Please consider the moral and physical repression that, when issued as a formal decision, such leaked opinion will have on American women and put it in contrast to the Spanish government’s intention to pass a legislation that would allow Spanish women over 16 years of age to have an abortion without parental consent. Under the light of this contrast, which of these two societies looks progressive and which looks backward? Consider these two points: a) Spain abandoned its authoritarian instincts in 1975 while slightly over one year ago the United States had a failed coup d’état staged by our own domestic American authoritarian forces and, b) Spanish society is poised to grant their women increased rights over their own bodies while American society is getting ready to limit those rights and even criminalize their exercise. In a few words, progressive forces are seriously waning in America while they keep openly gaining momentum in Spain, yes, in Spain, that catholic country where the famous atrocious religious inquisition once took place. And please don’t get me wrong. I have lived in Spain for a couple of years and I recently spent a month in the Spanish enclave of Melilla, on the North African coast, and although I have certainly enjoyed living there, I’m not particularly fond of that country’s social mores and traditions. However, on the two counts I’m mentioning here, Spanish society looks like a bright beacon of social progress while that of my beloved United States looks like a dark backward blackhole. But there’s more to the rights women are gaining in Spain than I mention here. To read about it, please click here.

Has Elon Musk Been a Closeted Fascist All Along? Phuket, Thailand, May 11th, 2022. What a difference two hundred billion dollars make. Just make somebody the richest man in the world and watch what happens. Not everybody reacts the same way when acquiring humongous fortunes. Bill Gates, for one, turned to giving away billions of dollars of his own personal fortune through his foundation. Jeff Bezos bought the Washington Post in 2013, but thus far hasn’t interfered in the newspaper’s editorial or general work. Elon Musk, on the other hand, doesn’t have the slightest intention of emulating Bezos' laissez faire attitude or Gates' charitable instincts. He intends to reshape Twitter according to his own will and character. “Twitter needs to be much more even-handed,” he said this past Tuesday, “It’s currently left-biased.” And in so saying he’s identifying himself with the new American ideological trend whereby being pro-Democracy is being a “leftwinger”. He also said out loud for the whole world to hear that banning Donald Trump from Twitter was “…a morally bad decision and foolish in the extreme” because “It alienated the country and did not result in Donald Trump not having a voice.” In Musk’s view, destructive and divisive voices like Trump’s, spewing hourly hateful, protofascist, pro-white-supremacist, anti-Democracy, racist rants every day will make Twitter more “evenhanded”. Really? Does he really know the consequences of what he intends to do? Or has suddenly becoming the richest man in the history of the world already made him lose touch with reality? He says he’s a “free speech absolutist”, so, would, falsely shouting fire in a crowded theater be perfectly OK for him? Apparently so, for there’s hardly any way he doesn’t understand the consquences of his intentions. He has to be aware that in unleashing Donald Trump on the Twitter platform he may very likely be guaranteeing the eventual demise of American Democracy. There’s just no way he cannot know that. So, in the face of his latest statements and given that he now holds the reins of one of the most popular worldwide socialmedia platforms, the logical conclusion has to be that, unless he’s pulling an awful dark joke on all of us, what Elon Musk really wants to do is to put in place an Authoritarian type of government in the United States of America. Please prove me wrong, Elon. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Dream is Over. Time to Wise Up. A Needed Economic-Political-Military Global Realignment is Taking Shape. Ancona, Marche Region, Italy, April 29th, 2022. Thus far nobody has said it any better than Liz Truss, the UK’s Foreign Secretary. Western markets have to be open only to countries that play by Western Democratic rules. That’s a bold, courageous statement but, should it be included in the category of neo-colonialism? Is that just another western “holier than thou” thing to say? No way. Much far from that. I have lived in seven different provinces in China and, believe me, as much as l love intercultural exchanges, you wouldn’t like to live your whole life under a China-like ultra-controlled sociopolitical-economic environment. I have been to Russia too, if only for a few days, but according to what my Russian ex-fiancée has recently told me over WhatsApp, Soviet-era repressive rules are back in their day-to-day lives. The thing is, why should open Western markets be contributing in large part to the economic development of authoritarian governments that might eventually feel free to use the financial resources they perceive from the West to invade militarily whatever country they wish, most importantly, invade west-friendly nascent democracies like Ukraine? And what about Taiwan? It is the best-known world-wide secret that Xi, Jing-ping is quite willing to invade that island in a way much similar to Putin’s attempted invasion of Ukraine as soon as he sees that the US and Europe have dropped their guard. If they haven’t done it yet is because they know the United States will not stand aside and let it happen. Chinese leaders also know quite well that aligning themselves with Russia in an increasingly participatory manner will have serious detrimental consequences on their economic progress. Russian markets can in no way replace western markets. The West represents at least half of the world economy. No single country can ever substitute for that. Any authoritarian country willing to trade with the West, therefore, should, as a minimum, respect the democratic principles governing the West. In stating the UK’s foreign policy in such stark terms, Liz Truss is hitting the nail right where it needs to be hit: In the Head. Without a doubt, the clear engine for the world’s socio-economic progress is the West. As imperfect as Western societies, markets and political systems may be, they’re still the best results human ingenuity has been able to produce. Full participatory membership in such western club, therefore, has to have strings attached. Any country willing to benefit from access to Western Markets should necessarily abide by western Democratic rules. So, in total agreement with Liz Truss, to all authoritarian governments out there I say, want to benefit from any kind of alliances with the Western World? Abide by Western Democratic rules. Otherwise, no Western Club membership for you. You’re on your own. To watch a video showing Liz Truss’ speech in its entirety, please click here.

ALERT: Either We Vote Democrat in Record Numbers in November or We Start Bidding US Democracy Goodbye. Ancona, Marche Region, Italy, April 24th, 2022. I’m not a Democrat. But I always vote Democrat because I don’t have a choice. There’s no way I could ever vote for a pro-elite, racist, white-supremacist, anti-Democracy party such as the GOP. You fear the growing inflation in America? You fear Uncle Joe’s infrastructure spending ideas? You fear Democrats push CRT too much? Do such fears make you want to throw congressional majorities back in Republican hands? If this is your case, please think again and please think again as deeply as you never have, for if you, the American electorate, send Republican majorities to the House and the Senate in November, know that you will basically be throwing the American Democratic system down the toilet. For one, a Republican-controlled Congress will block everything the Biden administration will try to do that benefits the great majority of Americans, but that would only be the beginning. Just a couple of years down the line, in 2024, they would make sure there are no obstacles to a third Trump candidacy for the presidency, and this time they would do their most blatant, shameless best to see that Electoral College vote counts clearly favor their candidate. And once their fraudulent mission is accomplished, nothing will stand in the way of an autocratic system taking hold of the United States government. And this is just the crude, naked reality facing our beloved United States these days. So, just remember, a vote for a Republican candidate in November may easily represent one more nail sealing the coffin of the American Democratic System. To watch a YouTube video where Director/Actor Rob Reiner expresses his serious concerns about this matter, please click here.

Man Created God in His Own Image. Ancona, Marche Region, Italy, April 16th, 2022. Among the religions of the world, the one I’m most familiar with is Christianity. I’m not Christian, but I was raised in a Christian environment, just as the great majority of western people were. The other religions I’m sort of familiar with are Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism because that is the source of all Yoga disciplines and Buddhism because of some of the similarities between the two of them. In case you're curious, the reason I’m not Christian is that, a few decades ago, I used to read the Bible almost on a daily basis and, after reading through it a good number of times, I saw the serious, irreconcilable incongruencies written in it, one of them being the cruel, sadist, vengeful and unjust, even blood-thirsty performance of the “God” of the Old Testament. How could any such “God” demand that we be just, unselfish, caring and forgiving when “he” himself isn’t? Genesis 1:27 trumpets that “God created man (humankind) in his own image”, but in the view of some of us, that’s just one of the most glaring nonsenses you may find in that book. Actually, everything points to the exact opposite of such nonsense, meaning it is actually us, the human kind, who have created “God” in our own image. We have “humanized” him (actually “it”) in a useless effort to redeem ourselves for our selfish perverted nature, for if the “God” of the Old Testament really existed, Vladimir Putin’s cruel and unjustified invasion of Ukraine could easily be considered as “Godly” and acceptable by many, just as it appears to be for some of those deranged anchormen at Fox News. The thing is, I’m obviously not the only one who has dropped that famous black book after leafing through it a few times. Some of the childish incongruencies found in it are indeed appalling to a large number of us. And this is not the first time I write a comment on this subject either. While living in South Korea a few years ago, I wrote a piece I named “Who’s Afraid of the Morning Star?” highlighting some of the conflicting, incompatible premises stated in that book. The style of writing I used for that piece is of the Naïve kind, something along the lines of Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, but the implications are in no way of the childish kind. In a nutshell, there’s just no way such an immensely powerful and unlimited creative entity as the one we call "God" could ever be as petty and lowly as the one pictured in the Old Testament. Whatever the case, it's already been some time since I don't have anything to do with it. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Unthinkable Political Things Happen Only in Foreign Countries, Never in America, Right? Passo Varano, Ancona, Marche Region, Italy, April 2nd, 2022. Not much comment to add to this cartoon depicting a glaring sociopolitical possibility in the United States of America. You still think the American Democratic System is indestructible? Think again. To see the cartoon in question, please click here.

With Imbecile Clowns of Boris Johnson's Caliber as World Leaders, is There Any hope for Any Global Stability? Ancona, Marche Region, Italy, March 20th, 2022. For undeserving “leaders” like Boris Johnson, the Ukrainians’ laudable resistance to the Russian invasion is perfectly comparable to the decision taken by a number of UK voters to leave the European Union. Yes, my friends, in Johnson’s feverish, power-drunk delusions, the European Union is a tyrannical institution. No doubt about it, we’re living in the age of widespread sociopolitical bullshit. In Putin’s mind the Ukrainians are Nazis, in Johnson’s mind the EU is a despotic institution, in Xi, Jinping’s mind Taiwan belongs to mainland China, etc. The thing is sociopolitical nonsense got plenty of wind under its wings right there in Washington DC, in a famous, centuries-old mansion known as the White House. Across the span of four years, humongous lies got plenty of currency and legitimacy in the halls, rooms and corridors of that house, where the previous guy who sat at the resolute desk in the Oval Office fervently believed the name “White House” applied to all of the United States and it meant that only white American folks had the “god-given” right to govern the country. Things have really kept going topsy-turvy since the beginning of this century and keep turning upside-down as we move along. Obviously, we’ve had our share of Johnson-like political clowns who reach the summit of power in the United States, Ronald Reagan being one of them. But at least Ron was witty, knew well how to deliver his lines and was even a good-looking guy, but Boris Johnson? How can a graceless, charmless, dim-wit-like imbecile of that caliber gain the post of Prime Minister of one of the top five economies in the world? This, of course, is a rhetorical question, for the answer to it is well known to most of us, because the people who voted for him are equally or more foolish than him. And the same could be said of my fellow Americans who voted Republican in 2016. How could a crass, glaring, typical, anti-Democracy racist demagogue of Trump’s caliber gain the White House? (Gee, what a difficult question) Because the Americans who elected him are equally racist and anti-Democracy or worse. Talking the other day on the phone to a friend who lives in San Diego he told me he believes things aren't really that bad in the US because, of the 70 million Americans who voted for Trump in 2020, only about 30 million were really pro-Trump and the rest of them voted for him just because they didn’t like Joe Biden. Gee, what a consolation! What does my friend want me to think of those 40 million Americans? That they’re real patriots? That they love the American Democratic System, as imperfect as it is, as much as I do or more? No way! According to my friend, those 40 million Americans were willing to throw the American Democratic System down the toilet, not because they liked Trump, but because they didn’t like Joe Biden, therefore, they should be worthy of my sympathy. Say what? Those American men and women my friend talks about are as reprehensible as those Russians who cheered Vladimir Putin at the rally he held at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow a couple of days ago, although not as reprehensible as Tucker Carlson and the rest of the anti-American gang at Fox News, for the latter are already toying with siding with a serious rival who is basically already up in arms against the West, whose spearhead happens to be none other than us, the United States of America. And just consider that that Carlson guy appeals to 2.3 million viewers a day, which tells us the ones to blame for the world being on the brink of disaster are really not world demagogues like Boris Johnson, but the uninformed or ill-willed everyday bigots who vote for them. As Joseph de Maistre's famous saying goes, “in a Democracy, people get the leaders they deserve”. To read an article that elaborates on Johnson’s asinine statements, please click here.

Russia: A Nation Going Back in Time While Triggering an Unpredictable Global Arms Race. Ancona, Marche Region, Italy, March 12th, 2022. Russia’s early-2000’s short-lived dream of becoming an important, respected member of the western world has now gone up in flames. The thriving market economy Vladimir Putin envisioned for his country some 20 years ago has now turned into a nightmare for his fellow Russians while shattering whatever hopes the rest of the world may have had for a lasting peace in Europe and beyond. Where is the law of unintended consequences leading all of us to? As the presidential historian Jon Meacham recently said during an interview at MSNBC’s The Last Word, “large conflicts don’t tend to begin as large conflicts”, they just grow into such proportions. Could you have pictured just a couple of months ago that Germany would get rid of its pacifist anti-rearmament stance and all of a sudden increase its military budget by € 200 billion? In so doing, Germany will now even exceed the 2% of GDP in national defense it was supposed to be spending all along as a member of NATO, but had been reluctant to do for historical reasons. Japan, for its part, has decided to add $51.5 billion to its military spending, also as part of a response to the worldwide insecurity generated by Putin’s war of choice. The Baltic states, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, are debating diverting budget moneys for national defense as well as for sending military equipment to Ukraine. NATO has now activated plans authorizing its commanders to send military forces to any possible hotspots around the Ukraine/Russian borders and the US has placed 8,500 troops on high alert in case they’re needed anywhere in eastern Europe. Does this sound to you like some sort of worldwide arms race? It does to some of us. Nobody knows for sure where this is all leading to. Nobody has a crystal ball. But we can surely tell there’s been a worldwide paradigm shift whose consequences are highly unpredictable. To read a short version of how this situation came about, please click here.

Putin’s War: Totally Unchecked Raw Human Lunacy at Its Worse. Passo Varano, Ancona, Marche Region, Italy, February 26th, 2022. Is there a better way to classify Vladimir Putin’s naked, criminal, totally uncalled-for invasion of Ukraine? There most likely is, but mine suits well the dire, unpredictable worldwide situation Putin has generated in following his imperial expansionist worst instincts. There are many unknowns in this ongoing war, among them being, what is the real purpose of it? Where does it end? How badly will it turn the present fragile global stability on its head? How will China play its highly influential cards? And there are a few more questions that only time will be able to answer, but we can have an idea of what such uncertainty may look like in the near and longterm future. I know not everybody has access to the online version of the New York Times, so I’ve taken the liberty to save an Opinion piece I just read there as a PDF document and I’ve uploaded it to this website so that you may read it. The piece is by the well-known NYT columnist and writer Thomas L. Friedman. One particular characteristic of Friedman’s writings is the clear, layman-like, yet utterly well-informed style that he uses, which is one of the reasons he’s so widely read. To read Friedman’s opinion piece on the subject of Russia’s Ukraine invasion, please click here.

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If the Democrats Don’t Wake Up Soon, We’re Going to End Up with Fascism in America. Ancona, Italy, February 20th, 2022. By far, I’m not the only one who’s been trying to spread the word across the four winds. Many others, including some individuals of evident nationwide renown, have been repeating the same warning over and over and again: The Democratic Party has embarked on a perilous mistaken direction, thereby putting the whole country in a dangerous predicament. If in the past the Democrats may have sometimes been onboard the right pro-common-American political vessel of ideas and actions, they are now showing they are navigating adrift while an imminent political storm is fast approaching. The problem is the Democrats still think they can have it both ways. They cannot. You can only sow what you reap and for the past few decades, including during the Obama years, they have been oblivious of the plight of the American masses while doing the best they can to appease the forces of excessive, cutthroat American capitalism. The next political harvest is less than a year away and the Democrats’ crop is increasingly withering away while influential members make sure the party’s electoral results are as meager as possible. The Republican Party’s message comes through loud and clear: They don’t want a Democratic system in America. They want to eventually put in place a one-party authoritarian system of government where the soon-to-be-minoritarian white population has the upper hand in all major sociopolitical and economic decisions in the country. That’s what the Republican leadership wants and that’s what the great majority of Republican Party members want too. And the Democrats? What do they want? Do you know? Quite unlike the Republicans, the Democrats hardly ever speak with a single voice and that’s because in their ranks there are always influential DINOs (Democrats In Name Only) who boycott whatever pro-American-masses legislation the party’s leadership tries to pass. And in the face of such constant blaring fact, some rightwing pundits dare to call the Democratic Party the “American Left”? What a joke. But the joke is not on the Democrats. The joke is on the United States, because without a real, active, pro-American-masses party in America, the country is doomed to fall into fascism, which is what many of us have been shouting as loud as possible to the four winds. So, please allow me to repeat it one more time, if the Democratic Party doesn’t wake up sometime soon, we’re going to end up with fascism in America. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

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For the Republican Party Violent Insurrection is Only Sheer “Legitimate Political Discourse”. Melilla, Spain, January 5th, 2022. And this is only the beginning. It is only the prelude to more calamitous things to come. The GOP just keeps performing the political version of the 60’s Limbo Rock: “How low can you go?” And, frankly, by now, the Republican Party’s morality, civility and Democratic-patriotism look like a bottomless pit. There doesn’t seem to be an end to the degenerative process afflicting the morals of the Republican leadership. Have you seen the videos of the violent insurrection that took place at the National Capitol on January 6th 2021? If that can now be labeled “Legitimate Political Discourse”, then shooting political rivals at will may eventually be labeled “Legitimate Expression of Political Disagreement” or some other puerile euphemism of that sort. And that’s the road the Republican Party wants the United States to follow. The road to widespread insurrection. They’re increasingly legitimizing politically-inspired violence so that the next coup d'état, possibly an armed one, can be justified by calling it something like “the right of the people to express their political views” or something equally ridiculous. Not all Republicans are on the same anti-American boat, but those who aren’t are mostly the silent ones, the ones cowering under the pressure of the GOP’s dethroned Führer. Nothing good can come out of the stance the Republican Party has adopted. Nothing good can befall the United States if no one manages to put a stop to the mad designs the American conservatist forces keep concocting and are shamelessly gradually implementing across the nation. Is there any hope that the Democratic Party may finally muster the guts to do something about it? Ha! That’ll be the day. A serious, destructive mutiny is in the offing, but there don’t seem to be anyone at the helm of the American pro-Democracy vessel. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Sad But True - America is Not the Greatest Country in the World Anymore (Video) Melilla, Spain, January 29th, 2022. No, America is no longer the good guy in the world neighborhood. We dropped the ball many years ago and a great number of us haven’t even realized it yet. Then there are those millions of Americans who know we’re no longer a guiding light to the world, but they no longer care, either because of sheer chauvinistic impulses or because they no longer believe in the guiding principles that once made America great in the first place. Actually, many of the latter kind are clearly against such fundamental principles as those involved in the concept of Democracy. And by now you know I’m not the only American in the world who has come to such sad, yet infuriating, conclusions. You don’t need to be a Political Scientist to gain a sober awareness of that fact either. All we need to have is an unconditional love for the principles that were supposed to guide the nation, as such love enables us to detect with considerable certainty the moment the country goes astray. And it went sadly astray around the beginning of the 21st century, or shortly before. The American playwright Aaron Sorkin, for one, has been aware of such erosion of principles at the national level for some time now, as evidenced in the monologue he wrote, and Jeff Daniels performed at the beginning of the HBO TV Series The Newsroom, which premiered on June 24th, 2012. I came across that speech just a few hours ago and realized it was absolutely applicable to the circumstances encircling the sociopolitical environment in the United States today. Judge for yourselves. The speech starts by saying “there’s absolutely no evidence to support the statement that we’re the greatest country in the world. We’re 7th in literacy, 27th in math, 22nd in science, 49th in life expectancy, 178th in infant mortality, 3rd in median household income, No. 4 in labor force and No. 4 in exports. We lead the world in only three categories, number of incarcerated citizens per capita, number of adults who believe angels are real and defense spending, where we spend more than the next 26 countries combined, 25 of whom are our allies”. Regarding the way America used to be, the speech goes on to say “We stood up for what was right. We fought for moral reasons. We waged wars on poverty, not on poor people. We cared about our neighbors. We struck down laws for moral reasons. We put our money where our mouths were. We made great big things, ungodly technological advances, explored the Universe. We cultivated the world’s greatest artists and the world’s greatest economy. We reached for the stars. We aspired to intelligence, we didn’t belittle it. We didn’t identify ourselves by who we voted for in the last election and we didn’t scare so easily. We were able to be and do all these things because we were informed, like great men, men who were revered. The first step in solving any problem is recognizing there is one. America is not the greatest country in the world any more”- In my view, that speech sounds absolutely true in January of 2022. To watch the video, please click here.

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A Shameless Notorious Opportunist Who Could Make Machiavelli Proud. Melilla, Spain, January 20th, 2022. Sadly so, we all have to hand it to him. His nefarious feat did come as a surprise to many Americans like myself, but a consummated conman who reached the world’s highest levels of power couldn’t be expected to behave in any way different to his customary ways, hoarding for himself as much of everything available as possible, particularly if it is at the expense of others, even at the expense of his own country. And the way he accomplished his fateful malevolent deed is doubly worthy of comment, as he initially used one of modern technology’s most banal, cheap, popular means of communication to accumulate power: Twitter. Amazingly so, even a year after he was officially divested of any presidential powers, he still holds in his hands the reins to steer one of America’s two main political parties in the direction he wills. As ridiculous as this situation would have seemed just half a dozen years ago, the future of American Democracy depends on how strongly and for how long the conman in question manages to keep control of the presumed “conservative” sociopolitical forces of the United States. And control of such forces he openly wields, as virtually all Republican Senators and House Representatives fear being primaried in 2022 and beyond by the millions of voters the conman commands. In accomplishing such state of affairs, the conman is reaffirming Nicolo’s postulate that, given it is hardly ever possible for a leader to be both feared and loved, it is imperative for such leader to choose being feared. And just check out how the McCarthys and McConnels in Congress cower under the conman’s threats to unleash his primary electoral hordes against them. Indeed, as archaic, obsolete and worn-out as Machiavelli’s postulate should be in the 21st century, it is still clearly and shamefully applicable to the sociopolitical environment of the United States today. And that’s what the famed “Grand Ol’ Party” of America has finally turned out to be, just a gang of power-obsessed, conman-fearing, shameless cowards willing to let the integrity of their own country fall down the gutter for the benefit of their own selfish, perverted, seditious political ambitions. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

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Joe Biden’s Idealist Old-School Tactics Are Failing Catastrophically. Melilla, Spain, January 15th. 2022. Failing to grab the bull by the horns when needed can have dire consequences, particularly in the fragile political environment we presently have in the United States. During his first year in the White House, Joe Biden has tried to play it cool thinking that hiding the January 6 attempted coup d’état under the rug would simply make any subversive animosities go away, so that in time things would gradually go back to “normal”. Sheer naïve wishful thinking. The President, just as many other Americans, doesn’t yet seem to have grasped the magnitude of the amoral, anti-Democracy turn the Republican Party has taken over the past few years. Up until the anniversary of the January 6 subversion, Biden had barely uttered publicly any words of condemnation for those events thinking that, in keeping quiet, he would avoid dividing the nation any further. Poor blind, illusory, backward-looking, well-meaning idealist. The days of Congressional collegiality are long gone, Joe, you just missed that boat. While the Democrats have uselessly tried to pass any pro-common-American legislations in Congress, the Republicans have very successfully been enacting laws and legislations at the state level that will ensure that Black and Latino communities find it much more difficult to vote in November of this year and, more importantly, in November of 2024. As most of us know, usually, the “no” vote, the “hatred” vote usually gets the upper hand at the ballot box. People who reject change are often more aggressive and energetically committed to their cause than their opponents and the present case of Trumpism in America is no exception. As I write and as you read, the Democratic Party is already contemplating a financially-exacting uphill effort to bring voters to the voting booths in November, as the Republicans have already put in place in a growing number of states, measures, laws and legislations designed to substantially reduce the participation of non-white Americans in the Democratic processes of the nation. I frankly don’t know, nor anybody else can know for sure, whether American Democracy is still salvageable, but the way things are going there doesn’t seem to be much chance of survival for it. But don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying the time has come to start writing an epitaph for the American Democratic system, but if the Democrats keep thinking everything is Hunky-Dory in America, they are sure to go down in history as the ones who never did enough to keep the American Democratic System from going down the drain. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Imminent Specter of Dictatorship Looming Over America. Birmingham, England, January 3rd, 2022. Not long after Trump announced his candidacy for president on June 16, 2015, many of us saw the threat he and his constant barrage of racist statements and lies represented to American Democracy. I, for one, began sending warning signs even before the 2016 elections (see here) and continued doing so right after the elctions too (see here and here) Then, as time went by, all through his four years at the White House, the threat became clearer still as his hordes of followers became larger and more vociferous. Once again, many of us kept sounding the alarm (see here and here) By the end of his tenure as president, the quasi-religious cult of personality professed to him had already gathered some 70 million voters who wished he could continue dismantling our Democratic System in favor of a white supremacist, authoritarian form of government. When their nefarious efforts didn’t succeed at the ballot box, they staged a coup d’état against the American Government on January 6, 2021, right under the command of their cherished Führer. That coup attempt may have been a shock to the world, but was not totally unexpected to many of us. A large number of Americans knew that deranged megalomaniac narcissist wouldn’t accept defeat so easily, we just didn’t know exactly what kind of incendiary fireworks he would ignite on his way out. Fortunately, once again, he didn’t succeed in destroying our Democratic system, but the forces animating such anti-Democracy movement have not vanished into thin air. They’re quite alive and active pursuing their nefarious authoritarian ends and are gearing up to disrupt and overturn any electoral results that don’t bring their candidates to power. This is not a passing temporary phenomenon. At the heart, Trumpism is rooted in American history and our failure to react and take it with the urgent seriousness it deserves may prove fatal to our Democracy. The American media seems to be in some kind of lethargy, mostly because of Covid, but also because of its well-known general tendency to sugarcoat or disregard bad news for the sake of stability in the domestic and international markets. Unfortunately, such stupor may prove disastrous to American Democracy even in the short term, meaning in the next five to ten years. This is in no way a time for complacency, but how can anyone effectively tell tens of millions of Americans to wake up to such foreboding reality?  People in general and Americans in particular, don’t like to hear bad news, but some of us feel the compelling need to tell them to you. Wake up, America, your Democratic System is in danger of failing disastrously. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There's a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (December 31st, 2021)

--- There's a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (December 28th, 2021)

Let the Jan. 6 Coup-Plotters Go Scott Free and Expect a 2nd, 3rd, 4th… Coup Attempt. Birmingham, England, December 26th, 2021. It goes without saying. It’s a clear truism. Let a crook get away unpunished for his wrongdoings and you’re just giving him license to commit the same crimes again. Criminals have to be shown they were wrong in committing their crimes. We cannot afford to see innocence where there isn’t any, particularly not when the future of American Democracy is at stake. Only coup-sympathizers want to make believe the January 6 coup attempt wasn’t a coup attempt. Only those who want to put in place an authoritarian autocratic government in America go around denying the Republican Party is today a clear and present danger to our Democratic system. It clearly is. But, if this is so clear to all Democracy-loving Americans like myself, is it still conceivable that the Department of Justice fail to prosecute to the full extent of the law the masterminds behind such clear act of insurrection against the American government? Will the Democrat functionaries at the helm of that department cower under the pretense of “bipartisanship” or “to avoid dividing the country further”, thereby relinquishing their obligation to defend and protect the nation? Thus far, Merrick Garland, the US Attorney General, hasn’t shown much willingness to see that such acts of sedition don’t get legitimate currency in the United States. In my view, Democrats often behave like a bunch of ninnies, spineless, wishy-washy clowns interested only in getting reelected or reappointed. And if in so doing they're required to embrace right-wing policies that run contrary to “liberal” interests, well, so be it, they just go ahead and do it. Some (or many) elected Democrats are simply turncoat unprincipled self-serving puppets of their own ambitions. Not to mention clear semi-disguised Republicans like that imbecile Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia or that opportunistic, political mercenary, Sen. Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona. The thing is, there have to be serious conscious-awakening consequences for all those who masterminded the Jan. 6 attempt to overthrow an incoming duly-elected administration. That was a clear coup d’état attempt against the Government of the United States and the whole world needs to see that those Americans who presently hold the nation’s reins of power in their hands will not tolerate any such acts of sedition ever again. To let the individuals who intentionally concocted and tried to bring to fruition their nefarious, anti-American-Democracy plans walk away scott free would be a highly irresponsible thing to do with incalculable detrimental consequences to the Democratic System of the United States. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There's a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (December 23rd, 2021)

Facing the Depth of the Precipice and Pretending Not to See It. Arusha, Tanzania, December 16th, 2021. We all thought the days when the American Republic stood at the brink of irreparable disaster were long gone for good. Think of the 1850s and the way those Unionist Patriots managed to somehow patch it all up together after the early 1860s national hecatomb. The issues that generated that deep sociopolitical fissure were never brought to a definitive resolution, but America managed to push forward and it did so in ways that surpassed the rest of the nations of the world in almost every field of endeavor, except for the question of racial divisions. It turns out that, after festering for well over a century at the very heart of America, that issue has now resurfaced with a vengeance to the point that the forces propelling it are determined to destroy anything in their path that may try to stop them, including destroying our very own Democratic System. America is now a highly diversified country. The dominance of white individuals holding in their hands the most important reins of government has been slowly but steadily disappearing. We recently went through eight years under the presidency of an African-American leader and we have a Latino-American woman sitting for life as Justice of the Supreme Court. And this is the tip of the iceberg. The Latino, Black and Asian communities are now such strong electoral forces that American politicians choose to ignore them only at the peril of their own careers and that’s precisely what the still-majoritarian (but not for long) White communities dread to death, that the supremacy of their sociopolitical power will soon no longer exist. But those white folks also know that their supremacy will keep waning only for as long as we have a Democratic System in place in America. Deprive those “other” communities of their right to vote and their supremacy is guaranteed forever. And what better way to guarantee the survival of such supremacy than to actually get rid of our Democratic System for good? On January 6 the Republicans staged a failed coup d’état that, had it succeeded, would have put a decisive nail in the American Democratic System’s coffin. Yet, all of the masterminds of that plot are still walking around freely. Make no mistake, the Republican Party is up in arms, ready and willing to subvert each and all of the coming elections that don’t bring their candidates to power. That’s the precipice. But, with a Democratic Party counting among its influential members with individuals who don’t really know whether to side with the Republicans or not, what hope can there really be for the country at this critical juncture? The precipice is right up ahead. Can you see it? Do you NOT want to see it? The future of the United States may well depend on how does the majority of Americans answer those questions and what they do about it. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Rumble (©Salaroche) Arusha, Tanzania, December 9th, 2021. If, on a daily basis, you witnessed how a beloved friend or relative of yours was steadily going down the road to ruin, constantly inflicting serious harm on herself, would you just stand aside and become a simple, uncaring, detached witness to her self-destructive behavior? Or, would you try to do something about it? And, if there were really nothing you could do to help her, wouldn’t you at least try to warn her of the perilous road she has taken? I would. And I’m sure many of you would too. A few days ago, I finished producing a song that represents my tiny two cents in warning my beloved USA of the dangerous road the country has taken of late. A road that will not lead America to its demise anytime soon, certainly not tomorrow or the day after. No, the American Apocalypse is not knocking at the door yet. As history shows us, empires don’t usually fall in a matter of days, months, years or, sometimes not even in decades. However, from my international perspective, I can see the serious, steady erosion the American Democratic System is suffering at this point in time. I can see how the Republicans are getting ready to stage other January-6-style efforts to overturn any electoral process that doesn’t bring their candidates to power, be it in 2022, 2024 or in any and all other elections thereafter. The troubling thing in all of this is the apparent absence of concern about it that prevails in the general American population. I have friends in California whose discernment is undeniably much above-average that are still unable or unwilling to see the imminent existential threat the Republican Party presently poses to American Democracy. In case you haven’t realized it yet, the Republicans couldn’t care less about our Democratic system. Keeping America as a Republic is all they really care about. But a Republic is not always supposed to be a Democracy too. Just look at “The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea”, which is in no way “Democratic”, but is indeed a Republic, as it is not a Kingdom of any sort (would you like to live in a Republic like North Korea?) Or just check out “The People’s Republic of China”, which is indeed a Republic, although, quite unlike North Korea, doesn’t have any pretentions of being a Democracy. The ideal government the Republicans have in mind for the United States is somewhat similar to the one they have in China, although definitely not exactly the same. What the GOP leadership wants for America is a plutocratic, authoritarian, entirely pro-market, one-party system with marked Darwinist overtones. So please consider yourselves hereby entirely warned. Just let the Republicans get away with their nefarious wishes and that’s where our beloved United States will end: A China-style, authoritarian, cut-throat capitalist, undemocratic country. To listen to my song “Rumble”, please click here. To read the lyrics, please click here.

--- There's a new song of mine in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (November 21st, 2021)

Why Are Ignorant Superstitious Republicans Dying in Larger Numbers Than Regular Normal Democrats? Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, November 9th, 2021. And the answer to that question is, because considerable numbers of Democrats have been getting the Covid vaccine while much fewer Republicans have been doing so. But, how is it that such deadly partisan division exists? How can those two differing ideological bents generate such diverging understanding and acceptance of basic scientific findings such as vaccines? In case you forgot or didn’t know, since 1980-1981, all schools in the 50 states of the union and the district of Columbia have vaccination requirements for all students enrolling in their classes. This includes vaccination against measles, mumps, rubella and others. In consequence, it is by now widely understood that, in accepting such senseful requirements, hundreds of thousands of lives have been saved and will continue to be saved in the future. But the governmental authorities that enacted such directives are the same authorities now trying to mandate Covid vaccine requirements for the different sectors of the population, so the question is, if vaccines have been so widely accepted for well over 40 years now, why is it that there is such a strong pushback against them today? And why is it that such pushback comes primarily from the Republican camp? A partial answer to this question is clearly stated in the question that serves as title for this commentary, ignorance and superstition are the bottom-line driving forces behind such stubborn, arrogant, uninformed and irresponsible stance. But there’s more to this than just that, as the question of vaccines has now become a political football. You see, it so happens that during the four years between 2017 and 2020 inclusive, we had a narcissist, white supremacist, conman Republican demagogue president of the United States whose daily rants had the ultimate goal of discrediting as much as possible the credibility of all governmental institutions who disagreed with him. This he did so that, in his scheme, he would eventually stand as the only credible governmental source of information in the eyes and ears of his idolater followers. In his authoritarian, megalomaniac, despotic dreams, he was bound to become the first dictator in the history of the United States. Then, as time went by and a Democratic administration came to power, the elected leadership of the Republican Party marvelled at the irresistible magnetic pull that guy still exerted on millions of struggling, frustrated Americans who felt abandoned by their government, and decided to use it as a political ploy so that anything the newly-elected Democrat administration proposed or said would appear like part of a sinister "liberal" plot to put in place a “socialist” "totalitarian" government in the United States intent on robbing Americans of their precious personal freedoms. And such dark-fairy-tale-like situation is what initially generated and has kept alive the Republican hordes’ extreme reluctance to any government-mandated requirements for anti-Covid vaccination. But if to this we add the fact that millions of those blind antivaxxer Republicans are of the evangelical persuasion, we have a very strong dose of religious superstition thrown into this lunacy mix. Just recall that large numbers among those evangelicals still think that white-supremacist ex-president is their messiah. But things got worse, as the rampant superstition that deeply plagues Republican minds these days has now acquired serious peudo-scientific overtones in the form of harebrained, farfetched, voodoo-like micro technologies and chemicals that Bill Gates, George Soros and other usual rightwing scapegoats and boogeymen, now including the US Government itself, have supposedly manufactured and have managed to distribute worldwide with the intention of controlling our minds, thereby robbing us of our freedoms and making us forever subservient to their evil, diabolical world-domination designs. Yehp, believe it or not, such is the sad situation we have in our beloved America today. The United States has managed to arrive alive and relatively well to the first quarter of the 21st century, but the 21st century hasn’t yet arrived to the minds of a great number of mostly Republican Americans. 16th century-style superstitions have in no way been eradicated from our sociopolitical environment. They have only metamorphosed into more palatable digital-age dark delusions and fantasies. To read an article that shows some details on this subject, please click here.

The Democrats Lost Virginia and Kept New Jersey by a Hair. Well Deserved, You Stupid Hypocrite So-Called “Liberals”. Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, November 4th, 2021. The American people desperately need to know in concrete and unequivocal ways that their government stands beside them and really cares for them, otherwise tens of millions of them will continue to fall for the destructive anti-Democracy demagoguery of those white-supremacist Republicans. But the stupid Democrats still refuse to grab the bull by the horns and are mired in a shameful legislative impasse. They still think they can get rid of the White-supremacist anti-Democracy elephant in the room by simply ignoring its presence. Nothing in the American Political environment is normal right now, but the cowardly Democrats just keep pretending everything is just business as usual. Sorry folks, there’s no near-future silver lining in the cloudy American political skies. In fact, those skies are actually getting darker as we move into 2022 and those ominous midterm elections. Talking the other day on the phone to a fellow-American friend who lives in San Diego, California, I asked him how hot was the political temperature in his neighborhood, particularly given that southern California is quite a bastion of American conservatism, to which he rejoined that the voices in his local grapevine were telling him the white-supremacist frenzy that brought about the January 6 attempted coup d’état was waning and was on its way out. I kindly but firmly disagreed with him and told him those voices were quite likely missing the forest for the trees. I told him that things didn’t look rosy at all from my international vantage point (I’ve been travelling over the past 18 years through 49 countries in 4 continents). I told him my fears ran quite deep as to whether US Democracy would ever manage to recoup from the serious damage inflicted on it over the past 4 years or so. My friend was born and raised in Minnesota and I know his love of country is genuine and intense, but I also know he still holds in his mind that post-WWII mythical idea that America is indestructible and invincible and that no dire long-term woes will ever befall her. Such idealism is somewhat “cute” to witness, but at this point in time we all know that blind faith in any lofty myths can easily be a formula for disaster. And my friend from San Diego is not alone in his mistaken idealism, none other than Joe Biden, the President of the United States, is also in the same boat, along with some other complacent elected Democrats in Congress. Meanwhile, right-wing extemist forces keep steadily galloping toward the 2022 midterm elections. Just check out what just happened in Virginia. Glenn Youngkin, a total newcomer in the local political arena, just got elected Governor basically on an anti-Critical Race Theory (CRT) platform. And the reason that Republicans dislike CRT so much is that such studies basically say “let’s stop covering up America’s history of racism and its consequences. Let’s Talk about it. Let’s discuss it. Let’s study it”. That’s all. Trouble is, that’s not all, as studying that subject at the college level may imply bringing down from its fake pedestal our white brethren’s’ idealized, only slightly-blemished racial-divisive performance over the past two centuries. And therein lies the rub, the cloaked seed for today's White Supremacism. But who’s going to fight against those destructive Republican forces? Who has enough fire in the belly to stand up to them? Certainly not Joe Biden, nor any of those other elected Democrats, except most surely for AOC and perhaps some other members of her squad. Otherwise, I can easily picture “Democrat” Senators Joe Manchin and Kirsten Sinema celebrating the Virginia gubernatorial electoral outcome with champagne in their living rooms in the company of some Republican friends. No easy way out of such predicament. No silver lining in the country’s present cloudy political skies. No one has a crystal ball either, but the omens inscribed in the poor performance of the Democrats are ominous. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There's a new song of mine in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (November 1st, 2021)

--- There's a new song if mine in the Music section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (October 25th, 2021)

The Sad State of the So-Called “American Left” a.k.a. the Democratic Party. Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, October 19th, 2021. It is indeed a sad state for any supposedly “left-leaning” political party to find themselves with a majority of one in the Senate, a slim majority of 218 to 212 in the House of Representatives and a defeating minority of 3 to 6 in the Supreme Court. Yes, the Democrats have Joe Biden in the White House, but with such meager majority in Congress to support his agenda there’s not much he can actually do to shore up the country from the deep problems plaguing it at the moment. And if to this we add the by-now-traditional absence of any ideological unity among Democrat party members, we have the poor, sad, pitiable predicament the “American left” (what a joke) is mired in. Is it any wonder that the so-called American “leftist” party actually only has a handful of real leftists in its rank, i.e., AOC and her few “Squad” mates? Bernie Sanders could fit well within that group, but he’s not a Democrat, he’s an Independent, sort of like me. But the situation is worse still. Some of the most influential “Democrats” in the Senate could in no way be classified as “leftists”. In fact, a couple of them are blatant fifth columnists, real-life DINOs (Democrats In Name Only). Basically, they’re just Republicans in a very thin disguise. Do I have to mention their names? Not really, but I will: Manchin and Sinema. Some cynical right-wing opinion writers in the New York Times even dare to assert Joe Manchin is to “the left of Barack Hussein Obama”. What a risible, ludicrous, preposterous proposition. That guy Manchin doesn’t have one single hair in his body tilted towards the left side of the political spectrum. Kyrsten Sinema is perhaps more of a corrupt political mercenary, going around raking in hefty donations and bushels of political capital from the Republicans whose interests she so ardently supports. Yet most Americans dare to call the Democratic party “the American left”? What a joke. There’s no real “left” in the United States. And the scattered tinges of it there may be are usually contemplated with derision by the American Media, often even by the so-called “leftwing media”. Yes, Bernie Sanders had a good run in the 2020 presidential elections and AOC and her Squad have, at least, been elected to the House, but in the eyes of a good majority of Americans, their cause is just a quixotic attempt, just an entertaining variety in the greatly conservative, reactionary American political environment. Let any administration propose any pro-masses, pro-common-man-and-woman legislation and just watch as very influential elected Democrats like Joe Manchin immediately say publicly that “that’s socialism”. And then listen as the American masses applaud. And why would they applaud? Mostly because they see that kind of legislations as only benefitting Black, Latino and other minority Americans. And that’s anathema to them. The good ol’ racist America of always. Actually, perhaps since its inception, our beloved country could easily be renamed “The United Coopted States of America”. Four years under a clearly protofascist, white-supremacist Republican administration should have been enough for the American electorate to wake up and send an overwhelming majority of Democrat (so-called “leftist”) Senators and Representatives to Congress in 2020, but that didn’t happen. And such is the sad, pitiable state of the so-called “American Left” a.k.a. the Democratic Party. To read an article that contemplates the subject from some sort of a silver-lining perspective, please click here, but please note that I entirely disagree with the title of that article and some parts of its content.

The Danger Biden’s Archaic “Bipartisanship” May Pose to American Democracy. Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, October 9th, 2021. One thing is clear, either we condemn, repudiate and prosecute (wherever applicable) the Trump administration’s efforts to overturn the 2020 presidential election, or the ex-president and his Republican idolaters will stage another coup attempt as soon as they can. Granting any sort of executive privilege to the withholding of any incriminating documentation or to any of Trump’s seditious acolytes so that they can dismiss Congress’ subpoenas will only ensure that our democratic system keep going down the drain. The January 6 insurrection was a serious rebellion against the government of the United States. This can in no way be investigated with a “business as usual” mentality. If the barely-bipartisan Congressional Select Committee doesn’t approach this matter from a “do or die” perspective, meaning, if they’re not willing to use all the legal and lawful tools in their power to get to the bottom of their investigations, the Republicans will make sure the Democrat-led committee ends up as a national laughing stock. Thus far Biden has turned down Trump team’s request to withhold documentation, thereby refusing to grant them executive privilege, and in so doing he did the right thing. But I sincerely fear he may soon cave-in to his archaic bipartisan instincts and grant executive privilege to Trump or any of his top acolytes when those guys are handed subpoenas and they dismiss them, just as thus far Steve Bannon has done. Were Congress and Biden to allow any or all of those guys to laugh at the subpoenas, where would the powers granted by the Constitution to the Executive and the Legislative Branches stand? If that came to happen, the whole Republic would be left standing on very shaky, unstable grounds. But, rejoice. For the moment, things seem to be moving ahead in the right direction. Let’s just keep hoping Biden won’t one of these days come up with any stupid, sentimental reason for letting those seditious guys off the hook. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Our Next Presidential Election Could Be Our Last as a Leading Democratic Country. Stone Town, Zanzibar (Unguja), Tanzania, September 29th, 2021. In paraphrasing Tom Friedman, I’m again warning my fellow Americans that these are NOT times for complacency. Giving in to any demand from the Republicans that would cover up their party’s failed coup d’état on January 6th, acquiescing to their blatant anti-Democracy moves at the States’ level, pretending politics in America are just normal in the face of the continuing refusal to accept defeat in the 2020 elections from the part of influential Republican functionaries, disregarding any or all of that as unimportant, can only lead to a national catastrophe of proportions comparable only to the Civil War. Sure, you could always justify your apathy and carelessness about these matters by calling me an alarmist, and I wouldn’t have any problem with that if the issue at hand pertained only to you, but this is a national issue that seriously affects all Americans, including myself, and for that reason none of us who love our country should simply standby as unconcerned spectators and do nothing about it. Tom Friedman, among others, has said it perfectly right: American Democracy is in serious, dire straits. Depending on what we do about it, we could actually be living the last few years of our Democracy as we have thus far known it, imperfect, yes, and quite so, but a Democracy nonetheless. But my fears for the future of our democratic system don’t rest on whatever the Republicans may or may not try to do to destroy it and put in place an authoritarian system, or even ultimately a dictatorial one. No. I no longer expect any pro-Democracy stance from the Republicans. My objective fears rest on the wishy-washiness, hypocrisy and duplicity of some elected Democrat functionaries in Congress who can only be characterized as DINOs: Democrats in name only, meaning, Republicans in disguise. Ultimately, my deepest fears rest on Joe Biden’s shoulders who, in the end, and in the name of that misguided, archaic, “bipartisan” nonsense of his, may simply grant executive privilege to Donald Trump when it comes to Trump’s Jan. 6th records being subpoenaed by the ongoing Congressional Hearings or even if and when it comes to having that amoral, seditious ex-president testify in Congress. One thing we can all be very certain of, either we nail Trump down for good, thereby drowning forever all of his future presidential ambitions, or the country is doomed. And even if we nailed him down, Trumpism is here to stay among us for the foreseeable future so that, even if there unltimately were a happy ending to this sad story, for the moment, such ending isn't anywhere in sight. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

It Was 200 Years Ago Today. Uroa, Unguja (Zanzibar) Island, Tanzania, September 17th, 2021. “You’ve come a long way, baby”, I say today to the Republic of the United States of America, “and you’ve still got a long way to go”. Yes, it was 200 years ago today that the US Constitution was finally ratified after some 600 failed separate previous attempts to do it. No doubt that document is some sort of masterpiece in political philosophy but, have you ever taken a closer look at what was really meant by the words “We the People” as engraved on the preamble of it? The meaning they ascribed to those words back then doesn’t resemble much the meaning we ascribe to them today. The human condition has indeed evolved over the past 2 centuries since the final approval of that document, thereby relegating some well-accepted concepts of that time to the bin or archaic ones according to the standards of today. But the principles contained in that document had, from the beginning, enough universality in them to allow for the human mind to elaborate on them and interpret them according to the level of intellectual evolution of the day. Hence, it’s already been some decades since we have universal suffrage in America, while we still keep debating how to grant equal rights to all Americans regardless of ethnicity or walk of life. Obviously, things are not today the way they were 200 years ago, but not all Americans have evolved according to our times. Millions of us would still like to grant our white majorities (soon to be just the largest minority) some exclusive privileges and rights, thereby basically nullifying our Democratic system. Yes, America, you’ve come a long way. But you’ve still got a long way to go. So, don’t let you guard down even for a minute, for there are powerful domestic forces in your midst seriously bent on taking your outstanding sociopolitical achievements over one hundred and fifty years back to the past. To read a detailed article on the subject, please click here.

--- There's a new Photo Album in the photos section of this Website. To see it, please click here. --- (September 16th, 2021)

--- There's a new Photo Album in the photos section of this Website. To see it, please click here. --- (September 9th, 2021)

--- There's a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To see it, please click here. --- (September 7th, 2021)

America is Indeed a Sleeping Giant That Doesn’t Want to Wake Up. Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, September 5th, 2021. “They have woken up a sleeping giant”, one of my ex-professors at UCSB told me a couple of days after 9/11, “and now they will regret what they have done”. 20 years later, the Taliban took over by force the country of Afghanistan in just a matter of days, thereby transforming into a total failure the costly nation-building work that the “Sleeping Giant” had so hard labored to complete. But the crude fact is the Sleeping Giant didn’t wake up at that point in time and hasn’t really woken up to anything yet. While America just flipped sides on its own bed and kept on dreaming of its glories, an ultra-lethal virus crept into its bloodstream and it’s now chewing on its brain at a pace faster than most Americans perceive. And I’m not talking about Covid. I’m talking about Trumpism and its ongoing, relentless anti-Democracy thrust. It would be one thing to have just a bunch of lunatics believing the 2020 election was stolen from their god-Trump, it’s a totally different, much more serious and dangerous thing to have Republican Governors, lawmakers and senators fervently believing the big lie and passing laws and legislations designed, not only to undermine the legitimacy of the American electoral system, but also to restrict as much as possible the electorate’s access to the voting booth. All of it in the name of white supremacy. And what is the majority of Americans doing while this is happening? They’re just worrying about Covid, the deadly floods on the east coast and the deadly fires in the west. The American pro-Democracy forces are sleeping. And how can we expect the masses to wake up when the official leaders of the nation, President Joe Biden and his wishy-washy fellow Democrats in Congress, just keep pretending that everything is OK, that American politics remains the same ol’ “business as usual”? From my perspective, such massive slumbers are just appalling. I guess we’ll never learn. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

--- There's a new Photo Album in the Photos section of this Website. To see it, please click here. --- (August 31st, 2021)

--- There's a new Music Video in the Music section of this Website. To watch it, please click here. --- (August 29th, 2021)

--- There's a New Song of Mine in The Music Section of this Website. To listen to it, please click here. --- (August 26th, 2021)

--- There's a New Photo Album in the Photos Section of this Website. To view it, please click here. --- (August 9th, 2021)

Sorry, Joe Biden, but if Trump Gains the Presidency in 2024, I will be One to Put a Heavy Partial Blame on Your Shoulders. Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, August 8th, 2021. Imagine that Abraham Lincoln had been as lenient with the Confederates back in 1861 as Joe Biden is with the Republican Trumpers today. Try to picture what would have become of the United States had Lincoln not retaliated against Jefferson Davis’ armies after the latter ordered the attack and surrender of Fort Sumter, Charleston, South Carolina, in April of that year. Imagine where would the country be today if Lincoln had “compromised” with the Confederates at that crucial point in time. Had Lincoln not stood firmly in defense of the Declaration of Independence's core statement that “all men are created equal”, Slavery would still run rampant in all those southern states and the country would have probably split in two many decades ago. You think such critical event in our history is not comparable to our present predicament? You think my comparison is farfetched? You think I’m being alarmist? If you did, I would have to put the same heavy partial blame on your shoulders too, for you would also be eventually allowing our country to go as deep down the drain as the Republicans would like. The ongoing sociopolitical situation in the US has never been a joke, nor will it ever be, but millions of Americans still think this is just a temporary kink, an irrelevant little blip in the whole scheme of things. Joe Biden’s approach of “minimize the importance of this critical moment and it will eventually disappear” is, as a minimum, sheer wishful thinking and at its worst, a perfectly negligent, irresponsible and heavily consequential approach. The more his administration fails to shout out loud to the world that the Republican Party continues to route our Democracy down a seriously dire path, the more those guys will feel empowered and the more they will continue to pursue their nefarious agenda. Your intentions for the country are obviously good, Joe Biden, but the Republicans won’t ever give a single damn about them. You cannot continue to be timorous about this situation, trying to validate your excessive restraint thinking that in so doing you’re avoiding a more serious partisan confrontation. We ARE already facing a serious confrontation between the Republican pro-authoritarian, anti-Democracy forces and the rest of the country’s Democracy-loving, egalitarian-seeking population. Joe Biden, don’t make the disastrous mistake of not grabbing the bull by the horns. Encourage the DOJ to prosecute, in strict accordance to the law, anyone who in any way participated in the Jan. 6 insurrection and hold anyone responsible for that attempt against the American State accountable for their treasonous behavior, be it the ex-president of the United States or any of his acolytes. Enough of that “[is] not good for democracy to be talking about prosecuting former presidents”. One wonders whether that attitude of yours is just a simple case of cowardice hiding behind the skirts of “higher principles” or what. Thus far you’ve been doing more good than harm to the country, Joe. Don’t let any fake principles and timid pseudo moralities keep you from grasping and reacting to the present situation with the required, utterly-needed, genuine love for the United States of America. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

*Some Kenyan Music Played with Some Kenyan Instruments. Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, August 4th, 2021. For the past few days, I’ve been working on a music project inspired in the daily life at the Soul Breeze, a seaside Bar-Restaurant located just a couple of minutes’ walk from my place at Diani Beach Resort. The idea is to have the vocalists sing in English and in Swahili and to have both male and female singers too. I can take care of the male-English vocalist part and thus far I’ve met a couple of Kenyan women singers, Brenda and Thelma, who I think can do the Swahili part. I got together with Brenda yesterday and she started writing the Swahili lyrics. Today I got together with Thelma and she continued developing the song-theme in Swahili. Meanwhile, this morning Brenda sent me some links to some pictures of Kenyan musical instruments and to some Kenyan music videos too. One of the videos shows a music group called the “Nyrere Konda Music Group”, and the particular feature of that group is that they are from the town of Kilifi, which happens to be Brenda’s Mother’s place of origin. The second video shows Oganda Joginda, a one-man band from the town of Siaya, the capital of Siaya County, in Southeast Kenya, just north of Victoria Lake. In that video Oganda is playing the Nyatiti, a stringed instrument. The rest of the sounds he produces using his legs and feet. The third video shows the "Aloka Ojangla Group". The music those guys make is sort of akin to South African music and could even be considered similar to some Caribbean music, such as that of Martinique and Guadeloupe. The main instrument those guys play is the Orotu, a one-stringed instrument whose closest relative in the West would be the violin. Interestingly so, there are very similar versions of the Orotu in countries like China, where we find the Erhu, Japan, where we find the Kokyū, and Vietnam, where they have the Đàn Bầu. My question is, were all those instruments first invented independently of any influence from one another, or were they first just copied from one single source and later adapted to each culture? It would be easier and more credible to speculate that the Erhu, the Kokyū and the Đàn Bầu have a common origin, most likely in China, but it would be more difficult and less credible to propose that the Kenyan Orotu has a common origin with the other three. Whatever the case, the music the Aloka Ojangla Group produces with their Orotu sounds very African and very original to me. By the way, both the Nyatiti and the Orotu stringed instruments are two of the most important instruments in Luo culture and Luo is the name of the tribe that Barack Obama’s father came from. Obama, therefore, is a Luo guy. So, you could very rightly picture him dancing to the music played in videos two and three of this posting. 1) To watch the music group from my friend Brenda’s mother’s hometown, please click here: https://youtu.be/-MU13FLg_io. 2) To watch the video of the one-man band Oganda Joginda, please click here: https://youtu.be/BQYtWOBQyBQ. 3) To watch the video of the group playing the Orotu violin-like instrument, please click here: https://youtu.be/kWbhAfwJkkw

A Walk on the Grounds of Diani Star Resort (Photo Album) Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, July 29th, 2021. I found the Diani Star Resort on AirBnB, but I managed to sidestep that company’s reservation process and dealt directly with the resort’s management, which saved me a few bucks because of my intention to stay here for up to three months, maybe longer. There’s a good number of resorts in this area, some of them right on the beach and some others, like mine, just a couple of minutes’ walk from the ocean. The first 11 photos in this album show the local beach just as I see it almost on a daily basis as I go to the Soul Breeze bar-restaurant for a beer, a glass of wine or even for some breakfast or lunch. A couple of times I’ve tried Chef Salim’s pizza, which is baked in a clay oven just as it should be. I have to admit his pizzas are almost as good as those I used to relish on a few decades ago at “Frankie & Luigi’s” in the Mountain View/Palo Alto area, in the San Francisco Peninsula, back in California. The dough Salim makes the thin crust with is definitely a good foundation for the good taste and the good texture of it all. The remaining photos show the Diani Star Resort just as it presently is, meaning that some of the garden sections are clearly unkept. And the reason for that partial neglect is the general lack of visitors plaguing the whole area because of Covid-induced travel restrictions. Covid has indeed affected the Tourism industry seriously on a global scale. But, for guys like me, moving around Kenya’s tropical landscapes is a reward in itself, regardless of whether everything I see is properly taken care of or not. To see some photos of the Diani Star Resort, please click here.

I Stand 100% with Republican Congressman Adam Kinzinger. Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, July 27th, 2021. During my studies for a Master’s Degree in Political Science from the University of California at Santa Barbara, I learnt one precious lesson: You don’t take anything of crucial importance for a fact until you’ve investigated, studied and researched it exhaustibly. They don’t give a diploma for nothing at the University of California campuses. You’ve got to earn it. For the same reason, I would never, ever in my life take the opinion of any one single source of information as the indisputable truth, be it that of a former president of the United States, the UN Secretary General, any outstanding university professor or anybody else, before looking seriously at the causes, reasons, precedents and factors involved in the issue at hand. That’s why I stand 100% with Representative Kinzinger in his rationale for participating in the January 6th Select Committee formed to investigate the attack on the Capitol on that day. America needs to elucidate some very crucial questions about that incident if we hope to keep any similar insurrections from happening again. To quote Kinzinger, we need to find out, “How did this happen? Why? Who spurred this effort? Was it organized? When did our government leaders know of the impending attacks and what were their responses? What level of preparation or warnings did our law enforcement have? Was there coordination between the rioters and any members of Congress, or with staff?” Those and other relevant questions need to be answered for the sake of our Democracy. The Republican Party’s reluctance, actually their aggressive unwillingness, to participate in such investigation is exceedingly telling: They know a good majority of them were participants in that insurrection, be it actively, passively, or even just in secretly wanting that revolt to succeed. The Republicans will use whatever political power they still hold in their hands to discredit whatever the results of that investigation may be, but the committee has an imperative obligation to go ahead with an exhaustive, objective, well-documented investigation. To read Rep. Adam Kinzinger’s (R) opinion, please click here.

Another Short Peek at Diani Beach (Photo Album) Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, July 16th, 2021. In Kenya there are usually two rainy seasons, one from March to May and another from October to December, which means that at the moment we’re somewhere in between. These days, sunlight comes and goes intermittently around here and the rain falls in random patterns. Sometimes you wake up in the middle of the night to the sound of rain falling copiously on the rooftops and treetops which, to me, is a very pleasant experience, particularly because the temperature remains the same in spite of the rain. Down here, even the rain water is rather warm. Diani beach looks like a very nice place for Kitesurfing. There is a Kitesurfing school beside the Soul Breeze restaurant where I often go have a beer and/or lunch, just like I did today. Sometimes it’s a real pleasure to watch some of those guys and girls who teach that sport go surfing around, back and forth between the reef in the distance and the beach close to me. Those guys really know what they’re doing and they seem to enjoy doing it very much too. The cuisine at the Soul Breeze restaurant is not very sophisticated, but you can be sure that whatever Salim, the Chef, cooks for you is going to taste good. As you will see in the last two pictures of this album, this time I had for lunch some beans in coconut sauce, sprinkled with chopped green hot chili peppers. The peppers I requested myself, as Salim doesn’t usually add them to that dish. On the side, Salim serves some plain rice and a small salad. It was all tasty and abundant. To take another short peek at Diani Beach, please click here.

This Morning I was the Object of a Blatant, Cunning, Shameless Robbery. Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, July 13th, 2021. Around 10:00 AM this morning I came out onto my balcony to enjoy the green scenery under the sunny day and saw there were a couple of big monkeys jumping around in the trees close to the property walls, some 50 meters away from the balcony. It was an entertaining scene for me to see, so I watched them and whistled at them for some ten minutes or so. But when I turned around to go back into my room, I saw two smaller monkeys calmly walking out of my room, one of them carrying a small box of mints I had inside my bag, which was hanging from the back of a chair inside my room. So, I just shooed them away. The empty-handed monkey jumped back onto the trees, but the mints-thief little SOB just sat on a concrete beam looking at me straight in the eye as he (she?) just kept chewing on the mints in an absolutely shameless, guiltless way. I guess these little scoundrels are just natural born thieves. But no problem. No harm was done to anyone or anything during this episode. Such is life in Kenya. To see some pictures of the kind of monkeys I’m talking about, please click here.

Diani Beach Album II (Photo Album) Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, July 9th, 2021. Today I discovered two good things here in Diani Beach, a) an outstanding beach resort and b) an exotic local African dish. I also noticed a very unique feature of the resort in question. As you will see, the resort’s settings are very well designed, so there’s not much to add to that. The exotic dish I tried for the first time ever is called “Samaki Nguru”. It’s made with Tilapia fish cooked in coconut curry and served with white rice, boiled spinach and sliced cucumbers and tomatoes. The flavor of that dish reminded me a bit of the “Tika” dishes they cook in India. It’s delicious. The unique feature I noticed in the resort was the marked presence of a Black African majority among the guests. Usually, in most similar resorts in other tropical countries where I’ve been, the majority of the guests are white and the people catering to them are the locals. Not in this resort. I had already noticed the same particular characteristic in the place pictured in the previous photo album, but not as marked as in this one. On that count, hooray for the Kenyans. To see a series of views of the Lantana Galu Resort in Diani Beach, please click here.

A Short Peek at My New Whereabouts (Photo Album). Diani Beach, Kwale County, Kenya, July 8th, 2021. And the ship sails on as the river continues to flow. Covid stranded millions of people in different countries, but a few windows of opportunity to travel have been opening for some of us. In my case, the moment came for me to come down to Africa again, this time to Kenya’s southern coast in the Indian Ocean. As it happened, I’ve ended up in Diani Beach, a community located along a 17-kms stretch of coast near Kenya’s border with Tanzania. I’ve always been interested in things related to the Bantu family of tribes and here in Kenya in general and in Diani Beach in particular, there are plenty of Bantu people. Unfortunately, thus far I haven’t encountered anyone well versed in the history of Bantu tribes, but I arrived just a couple of days ago and I still have time to meet many more locals, so I’ll just keep my ears open. Another African curiosity I’ve been able to satisfy is to stand in front of a Baobab tree. There are a few of those giants in my neighborhood and there’s even one of them right beside my balcony, which I can look at any time I step out into it. The visa I obtained is also of a particular kind I’d never gotten before. It’s called an “East Africa Tourist Visa” and it’s a multiple-entry visa to Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda, which means I can travel in and out of those three countries as many times as I wish within a period of three months. The visa is also renewable, but I would need to go Nairobi, the Capital of Kenya, to do it. No problem. For the moment everything is fine and my immediate plans are to just hang out around Diani Beach for a while and then we’ll see what happens. To take a short peek at my new whereabouts, please click here.

Reality? Who Cares About Reality? Certainly Not the Republicans. They Just Want to Adore Their Delusional Orange “God”. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, June 30th, 2021. There’s really no longer much to say about this subject. It’s all way too absurd to even try to understand how can such massive number of Americans lose their grasp on reality in such a collective way. It’s like in the movie “The Body Snatchers”. Those Maga people and their acolytes may look basically the same way they did 10 or 15 years ago, but their minds have been taken over by some sort of reality-numbing delusional entity that immunizes them against reality. And there’s not much the rest of us, common US citizens, can do about it, except to vote Democrat in the coming 2022 elections and beyond. It’s unbelievable. What kind of politics can we expect from a Party that doesn’t want to know the facts? Pure politics of deception. Politics based on lies and delusions. Amazing. There’s not much I can add to such sad but dangerous predicament of American politics, so I’ll just let the Economist Paul Krugman tell you about it. To read Krugman’s opinion piece on this subject, please click here.

Rise Again. Tulsa and the Red Summer (Documentary). Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, June 22nd, 2021. The Germans and the Japanese inflicted a deep wound on their national identities during WWII. But after the war the Germans recognized their error and have since atoned to a very large extent to the atrocities they committed. The Japanese, on the other hand, not so much. To this day, they continue to censor some of their schools’ history textbooks in an effort to cover up the dehumanizing behavior they adopted against their neighbors during the first half of the 20th century. But, what about the United States? Have white Americans atoned to, or openly repented for, their repugnant, even criminal behavior toward African-Americans across more than two centuries? Well, lately we’ve been witnessing a bit of that, most recently in Joe Biden’s declaring Juneteenth a national, federal holyday. Shortly before that we also learned of the conviction of ex-police officer Derek Chauvin for his videotaped murder of George Floyd, a Black man. Those two events, along with some other recent ones, are of significant importance, as they signal that the country may be finally heading in the right direction in terms of someday fulfilling the promise inscribed in the Declaration of Independence that all men [and women] are created equal. But I’m not an idealist dreamer. I know the nation has a long way to go, particularly because of the heavy backlash the Republicans and other white-supremacist groups are already busy trying to enact across the country with the help of some of those elected backward-looking government officials better known as “Conservatives”. With that in mind, I really don’t think the United States will anytime soon get rid of that scourge of racism that permeates all strata of American society, at least not in my lifetime. Meanwhile, my question to you is: While you were in school, did you hear, read or discuss anything about the Tulsa massacre of June 1921? Was that particular subject, or any other similar event, ever mentioned in the history books you studied? And, if it did, was it at least a full chapter, or just a short paragraph or footnote? I ask you these questions because, during my studies in Political Science and Psychology in college and later during my Graduate studies, I never heard the subject mentioned, not even in passing. My question is, has America as a nation been censoring its own history textbooks in a concerted effort to hide that shameful, racist past, just as much as the Japanese may still be cooking their history books trying to hide their abhorrent behavior during WWII? It would appear so, but it's worse than that. As we speak, the Republicans are working hard to see that such shameful history is kept away from the American classrooms. For one, many of them are quite active demonizing the generalization of Critical Race Theory (CRT) studies in our schools. In case you didn’t know, CRT is an effort to elucidate how racism is (or may be) entrenched in our nation’s legal system to the point of largely guaranteeing that the great majority of non-white Americans are always kept in a subordinate position, financially, socially and politically (to read a clear, detailed definition of CRT, please click here) In my view, such studies are, at least, worth contemplating. However, after watching the documentary this commentary refers to, I cannot conceive how anyone can claim to really know what America is all about without acknowledging this fundamental, essential part of the nation's history. This subject should be taught, analyzed and discussed in all the classrooms of America, starting in middle school. Anyone standing against exposing our own students and the rest of the world to this aspect of our nation's history has to be, either seriously delusional, or an outright white-supremacist bent on perpetuating the systemic racism that has plagued our nation since its inception. And the latter refers specifically to those “Conservative” white-supremacist, Republicans presently endeavoring to keep the subject as much in the dark as possible. By now, it seems that most things that the Republicans detest, are very likely very beneficial for the majority of Americans. To watch the documentary “Rise Again. Tulsa and the Red Summer”, please click here.

The Unthinkable Hypothesis is Already Real: We’re at the Beginning of a Century that May See American Democracy Finally Fail. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, June 16th, 2021. In this Commentaries page, across the past 5 years, I have repeatedly talked about the perils US Democracy has been facing since that well-known incarnation of American proto-fascist, white-supremacist forces entered the national political landscape back in 2015. The January 6th insurrection turned out to be just the culmination of all those events that I, along with hundreds, if not thousands, of Americans had been warning about as loudly as we could. Yet, that deeply ingrained, instinctual complacency residing at the heart of the American people, which is born out of an archaic, misplaced belief that the United States is a perfectly indestructible nation, keeps blinding the great majority of us to the glaring, ominous reality of our present days. With that in mind, I’m not going to comment much on this subject as, in so doing, I would only be repeating once again the same things I’ve already said many times before. There comes a time when you just resign yourself to let reality follow the natural course of events so that, in spite of whatever the outcome may be, your sanity, your reasonable grasp on reality and your good spirits, may remain intact. Good luck, America. To watch a YouTube video that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Is Democrat Senator Joe Manchin a Shameless Anti-Democracy 5th Columnist or Just a Stupid, Naïve, Old-Fashion Fool? Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, June 10th, 2021. There are no two ways about this. There are no “in between” points of view. And there’s no possible compromising either. Either you admit American Democracy is facing an imminent catastrophic failure or you don’t. And if you don’t, there are only two possible reasons for your denial: Either you are an ultra-uninformed, ultra-naïve person, blinded by an archaic belief in the mythical indestructibility of the American system of government, or you no longer want to have a Democratic system in the United States. Period. The question is, which of those two reasons is why Joe Manchin opposes the For the People Act of 2021, also known as H.R.1? He says he likes some of the clauses included there, but not all, which is the reason he has sworn to oppose it. In case you didn't know, in a nutshell, H.R.1 would “…expand Americans' access to the ballot box, reduce the influence of big money in politics, strengthen ethics rules for public servants, and implement other anti-corruption measures for the purpose of fortifying our democracy, and for other purposes” (to read the full H.R.1 text, see here) Among those “other purposes” is getting rid of gerrymandering, that ultra-corrupt system we have in the United States whereby electoral districts are shaped according to the partisan affiliation of the residents. That the Republicans are against passing H.R.1 is obviously understandable, as 1) the highly undemocratic campaign-finance system we have in America is what gets many of them reelected time and again. 2) Limiting as much as possible the American people’s access to the ballot box is essential for their political survival, as the GOP is no longer the party of the majority. So, the GOP’s shameless opposition to H.R.1 is perfectly expected. We all know the Republican Party no longer stands in any way for Democracy in America. But Joe Manchin? Why would he oppose strengthening our Democracy? Did he already forget how many Republicans continued to oppose validating the Electoral College results after the January 6 insurrection? Isn’t he aware of the moves many Republican Governors and State Legislatures continue to do to limit the people’s access to the ballot box? Doesn’t he know that many Republicans continue to promote the big lie that Joe Biden didn’t win the election? I doubt Joe Manchin isn’t aware of the serious danger American Democracy is facing right now. There’s no way he cannot be aware of it. And I’m sure he also knows the Republicans won’t be interested in any bipartisanship when it comes to furthering Joe Biden’s agenda. So, the only alternative left when trying to explain his anti-Democracy stance is that he’s morally corrupt. He’s a Senator for West Virginia, and that’s a red state. So, in glaringly siding with the Republicans in the Senate, he’s just catering to his Republican constituencies back home. In other words, Joe Manchin is a 5th Columnist, meaning, he’s an individual who on the surface appears to be part of the Democratic Party, but at the bottom he’s working to implement the Republicans’ agenda. There’s always the chance that he might just be one of those stupid, old-fashion Americans who still believe our national ideological fissures are only superficial and that, with a little bit of tolerance and goodwill from the part of the Democrats, the Republicans will soon come back into the fold (Ha) Yes, Joe Manchin could be that stupid but, whether he knows it or not, he’s working to further the Republicans’ nefarious agenda. No doubt about it. Willingly or unwillingly, Joe Manchin is a 5th Columnist and there's nothing we can do about it. For if the Democrat's leadership were to chastize him, he could just easily go nuclear and simply switch parties. And he coud even bring that other 5th columnist, Senator Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ), along with him, thereby handing the Senate Majority Leadership to Moscow Mitch once again. Let's face it, Joe Manchin is not really a Democrat. He's mostly a "moderate" Republican and the Democrats, along with the rest of the country, have no choice but to put up with that fact. Is American Democracy finally doomed to fail? Let's just hope it's not. To watch a YouTube video that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

It Looks Like This May Only Get Much Worse Before It Gets Any Better. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, June 5th, 2021. You remember when you used to believe in Santa Claus? A lot of water has gone under the bridge since then, no? For one, we have matured, that is, we have learned to tell fantasies from reality. Or did we? Well, maybe some of us did, but not all. What if somebody told you that none other than the previous president of the United States believes he didn’t lose the November elections and that the results of a vote recount presently underway in a few key states will serve as proof that he’s still the rightful president and that, therefore, he will be reinstated to power this coming August? Would you believe it? Or would you think that such ex-president has lost his grip on reality? And what about the people who are actually engaged in such vote recount? Should we also think those guys have also stepped into some kind of fantasyland? All this sounds like perfect nonsense, right? It sounds like some sort of farfetched, bad joke, right? Yes, it does. But the saddest thing of it all is that none of this is a joke. It’s actually happening. This is part of the “reality” presently unfolding in the United States. And, NO, this isn’t a sad story either. It’s a very dangerous one, because ± 3/4 of Republicans and almost their entire leadership stands beside their deluded, anti-Democracy, white-supremacist messiah. The Republican Party seems to be in its last throes and it has become a very dangerous dying beast willing to take the whole nation down with it as it sinks. Republicans know for sure that the electorate majorities are slipping away from them, if they haven’t already done it, and they know that the only alternative to an all-out civil war is to dismantle the mechanisms of American Democracy. Their strategy: Shout out loud to the four winds that the November election was stolen, so that, using such fallacy as an excuse, they may restrict the voting rights of the American majorities and ultimately refuse to accept any electoral results that don’t conform to their nefarious wishes. In other words, they’re now ready to claim that any election whose results don’t put a Republican in power has to be rigged and, therefore, is not valid. This is the situation where the United States of America stands today. It’s something totally surreal. Where can the country go from here when one of the two most influential political parties no longer wants to have a democratic system in place? It’s unbelievable, it’s totally stupid even, and it’s sad, but true. But it’s much more than that, it is very dangerous. You think the open insurrection of January 6th will remain an isolated incident forever? This is no longer a laughable matter, if it ever was. America can and will fall into chaos if the Republican leadership keeps shepherding their blind followers toward the abyss of insurrection. Wake up America. You’re facing a serious existential threat and it’s not coming from Russia, or China, or from outer space. It’s a deadly homegrown sickness already entrenched at the highest echelons of power. It’s a maddening virus and it's alive and festering at the very heart of our own American government and its name is the Republican Party. To watch a sober, realistic, exposé of the foreseeable routes the Republicans may take, as presented by the highly no-nonsense Rachel Maddow, please click here. To read an article that elaborates on the subject that appeared recently in a "conservative" magazine, please click here.

A Few Views of a Small Historical Harbor (Photo Album) Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, June 1st, 2021. Counting my present stay, I’ve been to Greece four times. This time around, I’ve been here for 16 months, of which the last seven I have stayed put here on the Northwestern tip of the island of Crete. I spent the first two of those seven in the small seaside town of Almyrida and I’ve been here in Kalives for the past five. What I mean is I haven’t moved around much. In one of my previous visits, I stayed for a few days in the Northeastern tip of the island, but thus far I haven’t visited the rest of it. And the main culprit for that is Covid. What fun would it have been to go around the island when all or most bars, restaurants, and places of interest would have been closed because of pandemic lockdowns or other restrictive government measures? But now things are beginning to change for the better. For starters, after a two-month waiting period, this past Wednesday, May 26th, I finally got my first AstraZeneca vaccine shot, which makes me feel like I’m now a bit closer to the Greek borders. Meaning I hope there will soon be enough vaccinated people in the world, so that most Southeast Asian and other tropical countries may start thinking it’s safe to allow foreign visitors in. Meanwhile, by way of celebration, right after getting my vaccine, I went for lunch to Chania, the city-port that is the capital of this region of Crete. Turns out the Chania harbor dates from the times the Venetians were a dominant force in the Adriatic and in the Mediterranean Seas. While living for a few months in the city-port of Bar, in Montenegro (see here), and visiting the ports of Dubrovnik in Croatia (see here) and Durres in Albania (see here), I became somewhat familiar with the Venetians’ exploits in the Adriatic. Those guys commanded full respect along these Aegean shores too, until the Ottomans came around in 1669. The venetians were here in Crete for a few centuries and many more traces of their architecture would probably be still standing today had the Ottomans not demolished some of them for their own military purposes. I don’t think the series of photos you’re about to see does justice to the beauty of the Chania harbor, so I would suggest you take this album as an introductory set of pictures, as now that things may really be going back to normal, I intend to go take a second set of views sometime soon. Meanwhile, to see a few views of a small historical harbor, please click here.

Hey Joe Biden, Forget Your Bipartisan Nonsense. Don’t Be a Ninny. Right now You Have a Majority in Congress, Rule with It !! Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 30th, 2021. Remember the Obama Administration’s last months in office, when Judge Merrick Garland was to be nominated to the Supreme Court at the passing of Republican Justice Antonin Scalia and the Republican Senate majority leader cynically refused to hold any confirmation hearings? Remember the bogus argument he presented? He said the presidential elections were just around the corner and the American people should have a say in filling that Supreme Court vacancy. Fast forward to four years later, during the previous Republican administration’s last days in office, when Amy Coney Barrett was nominated to the Supreme Court at the passing of Democrat Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Did the same Republican Senate Majority Leader argue to wait till after the presidential elections to hold the confirmation hearings? Did he claim the American people should have a say in filling that Supreme Court vacancy? Ha! A modern-day Republican leader inclined to present even a resemblance of bipartisan spirit on such an important matter? Again, HA! These days you have to be either ultra-naïve or ultra-uniformed to expect any such fair-minded attitude from any Republican leader. Or you could be Joe Biden, meaning, you could be an old-guard-style idealist politician who, willingly or unwillingly, doesn’t yet seem to have grasped the depth of the ideological fissures dividing the country. You think every American you meet believes Democracy is good for the Country? You think every American around you believes Jim Crow-style laws are just a thing of the past? You think Ku-Klux-Klan-style organizations exist in books and movies but not in today’s real-life America? If you think any of that, please think again. And if you think those 70+ million Americans who voted Republican in the 2020 elections have the same idea of America that you do, you would need to seriously reconsider that too. 9/11 caused a deep crack in America’s sense of invincibility, mainly because, unlike our military defeat over there in Vietnam, 9/11 was a strike at the heart of the nation, right on our very own soil. But then came the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency, and not only for one term, but for two consecutive ones. And that was the proverbial straw that broke the white camel’s back. That’s where the idea of making America great again comes from. At the International level, it means showing the world America still stands tall way above any other country and at the domestic level it means white Americans are in no way willing to let their racial supremacy slip through their fingers like precious water. From this perspective, Joe, most Republicans probably even see you as a traitor to your own whiteness. Just think that over half of them don’t even believe you’re the legitimate President of the United States. How can you expect the leadership of such contrarian hordes to seek any common grounds with you? Don’t be a ninny, Joe. You know the American middle and lower classes feel abandoned by their government, which is the reason millions of them are willing to accept the fallacies uttered by highflying Republican conmen and other copycat GOP demagogues. Forget bipartisanship, Joe. Right now, you have enough of a majority in Congress to pass most of your badly needed reconstruction plans. Don’t be a ninny. Maybe at some point in the future bipartisanship will again be worth pursuing, but not now. Forget bipartisanship. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Republicans' Immoral Blocking of the Jan. 6 Inquiry Only Ensures Such Violent Acts of Sedition Will Happen Again. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 29th, 2021. The Republican leadership doesn’t want the world to know who was responsible for the January 6 violent attempt at a preemptive coup d’état on a new president-elect. They don’t want the world to know who among them was actively involved or complicit or acquiescent to that violent act of sedition against the Republic. But their refusal to create an independent bipartisan commission to investigate such act of insurrection only betrays an unequivocal sense of mea-culpa. There’s not a single doubt in their minds as to the culpable involvement of their leadership in that rebellious affair and they know most of us know it too. But they don’t care. There’s no longer any trace of shame in them. For the Republicans, this is an “all or nothing” game. It’s an “either we consolidate political power in our hands or we set the country on fire”. Their intent to keep their proto-fascist white-supremacist god on a pedestal, or even restore him to power, is so strong it is blinding and it has dug itself so deep within their hearts that the future of the country no longer means anything to them. Either they can shape America in the image of their god, meaning, a country increasingly steep in racism, white supremacism, Darwinism and authoritarianism, or they’re willing to blow the whole thing up. Mark my words, the January 6 violent attempt to nullify a legitimate outcome of our Democratic system will not remain an isolated incident for long. For the moment, other minor, but not less serious, measures to undermine our Democracy, are already underway in a good number of Republican-led states, all of it under the pretext that the 2020 elections were not legitimate. There isn’t one single trace of evidence to support that claim, but no lie is too big for the Republicans anymore. And why should they care? A very recent Ipsos poll shows 56% of Republicans believe the 2020 elections were illegitimate and 53% think the previous president won. In consequence, 87% of them support placing limits on voting. With such numbers of Americans behind them, why should Republicans want to get to the bottom of the Jan. 6 insurrection? Why should they go along with the creation of a commission seeking to allocate responsibilities for such blatant act of sedition when they know the results of any such inquiry would only place the blame squarely on their party’s shoulders? A scorched earth. That’s the only alternative the Republicans have in mind to their desperate, rabid thirst for power. All or nothing. Their way, or national disaster. So, to Joe Biden I say, dear Joe, you could easily end up making a total fool of yourself if you keep trying to compromise with those guys. They’re ready and willing to run you over as many times as possible in their relentless quest to make an authoritarian, white-supremacist state out of the United States of America. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Coming Back to Life (Photo Album) Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 25th, 2021. It seems like long overdue, but it’s finally happening. Life is coming back to Crete. The Greek government has recently announced the end of most Covid restrictions nationwide, thereby launching an open, but still cautious, tourist season. People from 53 countries are now approved to come to Greece, provided the day before travelling they fill up a “Passenger Locator Form” (PLF) specifying where they will be staying once they get here. Life is a bit easier for us foreign and local residents too, as we no longer need to send an SMS whenever we leave our homes to go shopping or whatever. Brits still seem to have some difficulty coming, but that may partially be a question of reciprocity, as there’s been some reported hostility toward EU people entering the UK. For the moment, it’s good to have an occasional chat with other foreigners. Yesterday I had the opportunity to talk to a few German holiday makers and to some Belgians too. In case you didn’t know, Germany has now closed its borders to UK visitors for Covid reasons. Most of the photos you’re about to see I took this past Monday the 24th during a visit to Elafonisi beach, which is located in the Southwestern tip of Crete. Life is certainly acquiring some hues of normality around here. Let’s just hope it all keeps moving in the right direction. To see the “Coming Back to Life” photo album, please click here.

“We’ll Meet Again” (©Charles-Parker) Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 23rd, 2021. This is an English song dating from late September of 1939. It was written by Hughie Charles and Ross Parker and was originally sung by Vera Lynn, a lady who just passed away last June 2020 at the age of 103. It was in September of 1939 that England and France declared war against Germany after Hitler invaded Poland earlier that month, so eventually the song was used as a means to give hope to the soldiers who had to go to the continent to fight the Nazis. “We’ll Meet Again” may be known to many as the end theme for Stanley Kubrick’s movie “Dr. Strangelove”, which was released in the US in January of 1964. The song also served as the introductory theme for the Beatles Anthology, a documentary that was released in the US in October of 2000. "The Byrds" released a version of it in 1965 that got some airplay on the radio and Johnny Cash recorded his own version in 2002 but, as far as I know, it didn't gain much popularity. I remembered the song some 10 days ago as I was saying goodbye to an English lady I was talking to at a café here in Kalives and from that moment I just couldn’t get it out of my mind. At that moment I had already started recording another song of mine, but “We’ll Meet Again” was too much of a distraction, so I decided to record it first. The melody and the chord progression follow the same patterns Vera Lynn’s version follows, but the beat and the instrumentation constitute my own contribution to it. To listen to my version of “We’ll Meet Again” please click here.

A Fair Look on President Biden From a Conservative Opinion Writer. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 21st, 2021. Not all American conservatives are blind, pigheaded reactionaries of the Maga kind. Some of them still hold some of the capacity for introspection that their intellectual expansion is supposed to endow them with. And if you’re capable of taking a clear, good look at yourself, that is, if you can contemplate your own thoughts and behaviors from a perspective devoid to a good extent of racial, sexist, ideological, overly-nationalistic or overly-egotistical prejudices, you’re very likely capable of perceiving others in a fairly accurate, realistic way too. This, of course, can be said of anyone with enough clarity of self-perception provided such individuals aren’t morally corrupt to the point of not giving a single hoot about the reality they perceive, which is most likely the case of the previous president of the United States and many of his Republican followers in government and elsewhere. But the conservative opinion writer in question is not of the latter kind. As a good conservative, he holds his biases against sociopolitical progress in America, to the point of sometimes presenting a demonized view on some of the events, movements or characters he writes about, but he’s not an extremist. To begin with, he doesn’t seem to have fallen on his knees at the altar of the church of Mar A Lago, which can be considered a sign that he hasn’t lost his moral compass, at least not totally. Then there’s the obvious fact that he cares enough for factual information, not just enough to have an honest, direct chat with the President, but to go ahead and write about it in a newspaper column that will be read by millions of Americans and other people in the rest of the world. This to me is a small sign that not everything is lost in the conservative world. I’m an optimist. And even as I’ve never been a bookworm, I’ve read enough history to know that resilience is one salient characteristic of the American people. Not for nothing the United States is still the longest surviving Democracy in the world. All the other attempts, even those that are now some of the strongest existing Democracies, failed at different points in time in the past while the American version has just kept going forward since the country's inception some 230 years ago. No doubt Democracy in the United States has never been perfect and probably won’t ever be and, yes, our Democratic system is now facing a serious existential threat mostly from our own domestic anti-democratic forces, but I refuse to lose sight of the silver linings in the present sociopolitical clouds. From that perspective, I welcome the latest David Brooks opinion piece in the New York Times, where he describes with enough detail the foundational personal experiences that have shaped Joe Biden’s character along with his views on the present American condition. The only thing Brooks rather glaringly failed to emphasize in his piece, is the highly damaging effects his conservative fellows’ behavior is having on the American sociopolitical scene, which is a reason of the highest importance as to why Joe Biden’s policies should at this point be considered vital for the survival of the United States as we know it. Brooks characterizes Joe's policies as "whopping big legislative packages", but taking baby steps in trying to solve the present national crisis would be utterly irresponsible. America is in serious trouble. To pretend otherwise would be, either utterly foolish, or intentionally ill-willed. For the moment, it’s good to corroborate once more that the individual sitting behind the Resolute Desk at the Oval Office is a capable, competent American of good will who really loves his country. To read David Brooks’ opinion piece, please click here.

Bipartisanship? Careful Joe, Americans of Good Will Like You Are Usually Taken for Patsies by the Republicans. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 19th, 2021. “When will we ever learn?”, sang Pete Seeger back in the mid-1950s, and the answer to his question still seems to be “Blowing in the Wind”, as Bob Dylan told us in the early 1960s. Could anyone blame Joe Biden for trying to reach across the partisan divide in search of a consensus as to what is good for America at this point in time? I cannot. I somehow understand him. Not only because he’s a septuagenarian like me (the human aberration we had at the White House before him was too) and not only because he’s been strolling around at the top of America’s corridors of power for nearly half a century now, but because whatever level of moral corruption holding the levers of government in his hands may have exerted on his “soul”, they haven’t robbed him of a sincere love of country. Joe Biden loves America and that includes the American people. And, for better or worse, that includes the Republicans too. I also love America, for what America has given me no other country in the world could have ever given me (I’ve been to 47 countries and have lived in 16 of them) but I’m highly skeptical of the Republicans. I don’t trust them anymore. I no longer think they have the same idea of the United States that Joe and I share. The Republicans' obvious white supremacism, racism and elitism makes their ideology totally, completely, 100% incompatible with mine, which entitles me to tell them to go fly a kite as loudly as I can. But Joe is the President of the United States. He cannot afford to tell over 70 million of his own compatriots to go jump in the lake. He's not a sociopath, megalomaniac fool like the previous president was. He has to try reaching out to the Republicans. He has to give it a good shot, and the best and only way is to talk to the Republican leadership in Congress, to the Governors and even to the Mayors if necessary. But there’s one crucial factor that Joe should always keep in mind whenever dealing with the Republicans, that they will try to derail any and all of his projects and even try to throw his presidency down the drain if he lets them, even if in so doing they may wreck the whole country irreparably. No American should ever forget what the Republicans tried to do to our Democratic system over the course of the previous administration and January 6th, 2021, should be a day that lives in infamy forever in the sociopolitical annals of the United States. So, to Pete Seeger’s question I respond that the time to learn is here and now and to Bob Dylan I say, NO, Bob, the answer cannot be blowing forever in the wind. The answer is in our hands, and it’s here and now. So, go for it, Joe, pursue your agenda in a wholehearted way, but never forget that when dealing with the Republicans you’re dealing with devious serpents seriously bent on ruining your presidency, regardless of the harm their efforts may inflict on the United States of America. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Hello China Goodbye America. The Shrewd Relentless Nationalist Policies Moving China Toward World Hegemony. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 18th, 2021. Guess what country’s companies are most active in infrastructure works across the African continent? Guess what country is financing those works the most? Guess what country has over 10,000 companies operating over there bringing that country’s investments in that continent to more than $2 trillion? Guess what country is now Africa’s biggest trading partner? And the answer to all those questions is, well, China. The Chinese are busy building hospitals, Universities, railroads and stadiums over there and, as we can all see when we visit Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou, or when we take their trains across their country, when it comes to infrastructure, those guys are up to par or even better than most industrialized western nations (I’ve been to 7 different Provinces in China and have lived there for a total of 4 years) The colonial powers left Africa a long time ago, but the natural resources are still there on the ground or in the Continental seas and the Chinese are eager to get their hands on them. Just look at the deal the Chinese just struck with Ghana, whereby the Chinese will invest $2 billion in the country’s infrastructure in exchange for 5% of Ghana’s Bauxite reserves. Or what about the ongoing controversy in Sierra Leone as to whether a $55 million deal with China, whereby the Chinese would build a fishmeal processing plant on the beaches facing one of that country’s richest waters in Barracuda, Grouper and Sardines, is good for the country? The deal is obviously good for the Chinese, as they have to feed the largest population in the world (1.4 billion people) and Sierra Leone’s seafood would come quite handy. But Chinese interests aren’t only focused on Africa. Those guys have their eyes set on the whole world. Guess who’s Germany’s biggest trading partner now? China. In 2020 Mercedes Benz sold 3 times as many vehicles in China as in the US. Actually, guess what country has already taken over the US as the EU’s biggest trading partner? China.  Clearly, China is beating the United States at its most touted game: Capitalism. And one of China’s biggest assets in the capitalist game is the size of its market, with its 1.4 billion potential customers. As we all know, money usually trumps principles and morality, meaning that human rights, freedom of speech or any other such Democratic principles go right out the window the moment trillions of dollars in profit come into play. And if you think I’m joking just ask Tim Cook, the chairman of Apple Inc. about the huge data-processing plant they’re just finishing in Guiyang, the Capital of Guizhou Province, in Southwestern China, where Apple’s Chinese customers’ personal data will be stored. Ask him why is he placing those servers in the hands of Chinese government employees? Ask him why has Apple been banning all kinds of Apps from its App Store in China? Why is Apple censoring all kinds of Websites from its platform in that country? Actually, we don’t need to ask him. We all know what the answer is. Profit trumps principles. Civil Liberties? The hell with them. Unlawful abuses and incarcerations among the Uighur population in Xinjiang Province? Heavily repressing pro-Democracy dissent in Hong Kong? That’s not the business of business. My point being that American-Style Capitalism, meaning pseudo-Democratic Capitalist systems like ours, are now seriously contested by authoritarian forces, be it of the domestic or the International kind. China’s assets on the International stage are powerful and resilient and at the domestic level they have one super asset that we keep losing in America: Unity of purpose. We’re a deeply divided nation and the Chinese aren’t only single-minded in their intent to dominate the world, they’re perfectly capable of getting to the top too. To read an article that contemplates the subject of Apple’s selling out to the Chinese government, please click here.

“Jennifer” (©Salaroche) Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 14th, 2021. This little tune I wrote a few decades ago. I categorize it as “Old Time Rock & Roll”, with a style harking back to the early 60s, but with clear touches of Country Rock. Country music actually lies deep in the heart of Rock & Roll. That’s the kind of music none other than Elvis used to play and sing before he developed his own style of music. Remember “Blue Moon of Kentucky”? He recorded that one back in 1954. Yes, that’s a song written by Bill Monroe in a style now known as Blue Grass, but Monroe was basically a Country singer/song-writer who, like Elvis, also gleaned his own style of music from Country. The main difference between Country and Blue Grass is that the latter is (or used to be) performed solely with acoustic instruments, the Mandolin being one of them. Bill Monroe was actually a Mandolin player/singer/song-writer and he and his group are credited with giving that style of music the name of “Blue Grass”. I enjoy playing Blue Grass-style music on my guitar, with a finger-picking technique that comes naturally out of me, but “Jennifer” is not a Blue Grass song. It has much more Country in it than anything else. The solos in it may have a certain Jazzy flavor, but that has to do with the different musical influences I’ve had over the years. “Jennifer” is inspired on a real-life girl I met a few decades ago. One day I decided to enroll in a computer class at a local college and there’s where I met her. She was just a spunky, good-looking, witty girl with a sense of humor I couldn’t help but like. I actually recorded the first verses of the song on a portable cassette player and gave a copy of it to her and she liked it. So we spent a whole semester sort of horsing around up until the Summer of that year, when school recessed and she had to go back home. But when September came along, I didn’t go back to school as I had already learnt the computer language I wanted to learn. Later that year I found out through Jennifer’s good friend Pat, that Jennifer hadn’t gone back to school either, as she had to stay back home for family reasons. The song “Jennifer” presents a vivid reflection of the memory I have of her. To listen to “Jennifer”, please click here.

What if Your Deepest Sense of Personal Pride Rested Largely on the Whiteness of Your Skin and the Privileges You Gain from It? Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 12th, 2021. That’s not a rhetorical question. It’s actually quite a valid one and there are some Political Scientists and Economists who have looked into the possible answers to it and have come up with some sound, highly plausible ones. So, if my question describes your own personal case, you have most likely felt devastated over the past few years. Or very angry. Or both. Actually, chances are you’re quite likely a Maga person too. You know… one of those people who followed, or still follow, that proto-fascist, racist, white supremacist demagogue who was president of the United States until January 20th of this year. According to some reliable studies, white people have lately been feeling threatened by the other races around them. Not that the other ethnic groups are going around brandishing automatic rifles and bazookas against them and their families. Nothing of that sort. It’s just that non-white Americans of all walks of life are increasingly standing on a par with whites and that robs our pale-faced brethren of their fabricated sense of god-given superiority (I’m a mixed European-Amerindian) Horror of horrors! A non-white guy was even President of the United States for eight years just a few years ago. And, just to rub it in, he was of African descent! We could easily argue that such presidency was the straw that broke the camel’s back and emboldened the masses of resentful Anglos to send a racist white supremacist demagogue to the White House (actually, it wasn’t the American people who sent him there, it was our highly undemocratic Electoral College which, for the second time this century, has put a totally incompetent individual in the presidency) But such fear at the imminent crumbling of their prefabricated socioeconomic and political status isn’t something that happened overnight. It has been creeping into our white brethren’s conscious for decades. Deaths by suicide, drugs and alcohol abuse among middle-aged (40s-50s) Americans have been rising since the 1970s, particularly among white, uneducated ones. In contrast, the number of similar suicides among the Latino and Black communities has been falling. The same goes for the Europeans as opposed to us Americans. Suicide rates among the corresponding cohorts over there are declining, while back in the US they’re rising. The main cause for such phenomenon has been ascribed to the high level of insecurity about the future that many white, middle-aged uneducated Americans feel, primarily because of falling wages, a lack of job security and the meager safety net our government provides them with. But if all other American ethnic groups have been living under the same troubling, uncertain circumstances, why are whites so disproportionately disheartened, resentful and angry about it? And the answer is that the other ethnic groups keep gaining ground in spite of the general adversities and, in consequence, whites see their sense of racial superiority slipping away like precious water through their fingers. When non-white minorities are increasingly and unstoppably at a par with, or even doing better than, whites, well, what we get is simply the ongoing rise of white-supremacism in America. Anachronic? Sad? Unbelievable? Shocking? Obviously true? All of the above? Take your pick. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

There’s Certainly No Viable Alternative to Capitalism. Our Only Choice is in the Kind of Capitalism We Want. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 11th, 2021. Conservatives and Liberals have differing views on the means and purposes of Capitalism. American Conservatives believe a Capitalist political system should be decidedly at the service of those shrewd and ambitious individuals pursuing their own financial success, regardless of whatever detrimental effects such lopsided support may have on the rest of the population. In their view, American Conservatism should always be close to the idea of “Realism” as contemplated in International Relations theory, meaning that, since selfishness is the main drive behind all human endeavor, it should be allowed to run as free as possible in the country’s economic activities. In contrast, Liberalism, at least the kind of Liberalism I have in mind, proposes Capitalist systems should certainly reward ambition and success in any effort to accumulate capital, but NOT at the expense and the detriment of the rest of the population. In that view, not only those who succeed in America should give back to the country in proportion to their success, but the government should also be an active participant in seeing that income disparities don't reach levels that tear at the country's social fabric, so that, as a result, the whole national infrastructure, be it social, political, economic, physical, or even in terms of health and education, may not only be preserved, but may also promote progress according to the needs of the times. Some American conservatives, like the New York Times’ Ross Douthat, claim that Liberalism doesn’t have any solutions to today’s problems. They don’t claim Conservatism has any solutions either, but they cite countries like France and Sweden, which have more moderate, much less Darwinian capitalist systems, as examples that “Liberalism” doesn’t produce happier individuals or more cohesive societies than the ones we have in America. After the events of January 6th, however, such argument is quite debatable, as the American people’s level of discontent is obviously much higher today than that of the Europeans may have been for decades. Just recall that, over the past four or five years, over 70 million Americans gave their unconditional support to a proto-fascist, racist, white-supremacist demagogue leader, which is something Western Europeans haven't done since the 1930s. Racism, white-supremacism and proto-fascism exist in Europe too, but those factors aren’t as mainstream and as politically influential over there as they are in the United States today. No doubt conflict is inherent in human nature. To expect that one day it will miraculously vanish from human relations would perhaps be the most utopian dream of them all. The human condition thrives on conflict. For example, our conception of ourselves as social entities keeps clashing with our own sense of individuality and with our need to reaffirm ourselves as distinct, separate, independent beings. Human creativity, be it of the industrial, artistic, sociopolitical or economic kind, is largely based on our constant, primordial need to express our individuality. But we also know for sure that in allowing our individuality to run rampant we would only be making our lives much more “solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short”. Influential “Conservatives” like Douthat cite the Gilded Age as an example that unbridled, hyper Capitalism of the kind Republicans would love to bring back to America, doesn’t cause the breakdown of societies, meaning it would be counterproductive to try to tame any excesses American Capitalism may be showing to have today. But such comparison is archaic and inappropriate, as back then we didn’t have the means of communication, nor the variety of perspectives on our own condition that we have today. What prevails these days across the world is what Alvin Toffler predicted back in the 70s we would eventually get: Too much choice. And the more the choices, the higher the possibility that a society may splinter. What choices did Americans have by the end of the 19th century? Not many by today’s standards. Douthat argues for a “reinvention of traditions” in America as means to revive the conservative movement, but how can you reinvent a national tradition that's so seriously grounded on elitism, racism and white-supremacism? If you have cancer in your lungs, meaning, if the oxygen you breath into your whole system is processed through an organ deeply contaminated with a deadly disease, having plastic surgery on your face won’t heal you, nor in any way prolong your life. The whole concept of Capitalism isn't frozen in time, like Douthat seems to pretend. It demands constant innovation. It can, no doubt, be a tough game to play, but it doesn't have to be the dog-eat-dog environment Republicans want to perpetuate. What do conservatives like Douthat propose to do? Put a heavy lid on sociopolitical progress? Spin American racism and white supremacism in ways that would cloak their existence so that Republicans may again pretend we already got rid of them? Ha¡ But it's good to know that guys like Douthat keep questioning the fundamental ideas behind their “Conservative” movement, which, as small a step as it may be, it's at least an inch away from denial. To Read Ross Douthat’s opinion piece, please click here.

If Your Fellow “Conservatives” Will Repudiate You if You Blame Them for Prolonging the Pandemic, Blame the Whole Country Instead. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 8th, 2021. Guts are in very short supply within the Republican Party these days. Delusion, on the other hand, willful or not, is found in abundant quantities everywhere within their ranks and leadership. But, among them, there are those who are just playing self-defense and go along with the Party lies for sheer reasons of survival, so that they won’t lose their audiences, constituencies or readers, which might eventually mean losing their jobs. Some reporters and opinion writers may easily fall within the latter category. The New York Times has some known “Conservative” opinion writers among their staff, whose articles I read on a regular basis. I find it necessary to know what some of those guys are thinking, otherwise, how can I know what I'm up against? One of those guys is David Brooks, the Canadian-American commentator who’s been working at the NYT since 2003. I occasionally respond to some of his opinions and yesterday I was again compelled to do so. The subject of the article in question is the difficulty the US will be facing when trying to achieve Herd Immunity against the Covid virus, particularly because of the reluctance to get vaccinated from the part of some 30% of the American population. Brooks ascribes such dangerous reluctance to the different social fractures presently plaguing our country and to the decreasing sense of belonging together that such fractures have generated among us. But, as a typical conservative of this day and age, Brooks opts to omit the blaring political aspects of that phenomenon and he does so because, as It’s perfectly obvious to many of us, the US won’t be able to reach Herd Immunity anytime soon largely because of the deadly, noxious, irresponsible anti-vaccine, anti-mask-wearing, anti-social-distancing stance adopted by the Republican leadership. For example, Liz Cheney is about to be burned at the political stake for openly refusing to go along with her Party’s nonsense and Mitt Romney is, for the same reason, facing an ostracism very seldom imposed on anyone among their ilk. But Brooks wouldn’t dare to even hint at his Party’s responsibility in all of it. He just decided to ignore this very important aspect of his story. So I sent him a little note highlighting his very essential, but no doubt willful, omissions. This is what I wrote to him: “Dear Mr. Brooks: Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to stand on your two feet before your Republican/Conservative tribe to tell the general American herd to please stop their anti-vaccine, anti-mask-wearing, anti-social-distancing nonsense, as doing so might mean losing most of your Republican readers, thereby probably losing your job at the NYT as a result. If Liz Cheney and Mitt Romney are an example of anything is that American “Conservatives” better toe the Party line (excuse me, I meant the PARTY LIES) or they risk being ostracized in shame. Go ahead, Mr. Brooks, blame the whole of the American population for a culpability that falls largely on the leadership of the Republican party. Americans no longer have the capacity to form de Tocqueville’s “Social Body”? Gee, I wonder whether Conservatives have anything to do with that. If the previous four or five years showed us anything is the true, destructive, anti-Democracy, anti-American face of the Republican Party. Thank you for your attention. Salaroche” To read David Brooks opinion piece, please click here

How do We Know that What We Know Are Verifiable Facts? Do We All Share the Same Sets of Verifiable Knowledge? Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, May 6th, 2021. Episteme is a term derived from the Greek language that pertains to anything related to knowledge and the means to acquire it. Thus, epistemology is the study of the origins or knowledge. For example, if I ask you whether we are all equally exposed to the same kind of factual information, I'm presenting you with an epistemological question. Are all the sources of information available to us equally reliable? Should we always take what others say as credible information? Along those lines, do you live in an echo chamber, meaning, are you part of a group where all members distrust any “outside” sources of information? Or, do you live in an epistemic bubble, where group members don’t have enough information? Does political epistemology consist of only one source to obtain knowledge from, or several? Is Democracy in general and American Democracy in particular under an epistemic threat? Let me start by answering the last question first, and the answer is YES. 50 years ago, we all had one single reliable source of information across the United States, that which is today still widely known as part of the “mainstream media”. ABC, CBS, NBC were the major TV Networks that we knew were fact-based and reliable enough for us to believe the news they told us. PBS could be counted there too, but with a selective audience. The rest of the news sources were suspect, not accredited enough, not trustworthy. There was a shared trust in our reputable Newspapers and TV news outlets that was part of the idea that we were all under the same umbrella of beliefs. In other words, our epistemic sources, meaning the news organisms that helped us form a clear idea of what was going on around us, were basically one, universally-accepted set of mostly fact-based reportings, analyses and opinions made available to us. But those are the now long-gone days of yore. Now, there’s no longer much of a shared, universally-trusted, nationwide source of information. By the mid-1990s many of us thought the Internet would eventually become a force for the “democratization” of knowledge, but we were considerably wrong. We thought in time the Internet would come to constitute the universal epistemic well whence would spring all kinds of reliable, scientifically-tested information to be diseminated across the world, but we were only partially right. The thing is we weren’t counting on the devious instinct to deceive and dominate others that’s so intrinsic in human nature, nor on the weakness and corruptibility of the human character so constantly bent on searching for and accepting only that which might support our own self-serving interests. Thus, in America, political epistemology has become extremely partisan. Tens of millions of Americans now draw their daily understanding of their own reality from echo chambers that, not only reject any antithetical propositions, but demonize as evil anything that might contradict their shared beliefs. As we speak, Americans keep losing, willingly or not, those shared common standards we used to use when determining what’s fact and what’s fiction. Just picture the state of denial still prevailing in some Republican enclaves as to whether the Covid pandemic is a real national health threat. Anyone standing against wearing protective masks is lionized by the Republican crowds and anyone advising to wear them is demonized. The same goes for the 2020 presidential elections. Those claiming the election was stolen from the previous president have a future within the Republican Party (i.e., Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley) while those asserting that “the steal” is a big lie are struggling hard to stay politically alive (i.e., Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney) The idea of knowledge has no longer the same meaning today that it might have had just three decades ago. The line dividing the sheer fact of knowing, on the one side, and the fictional fact of just “wanting to believe what I want to believe” on the other, has been utterly blurred, often to the extreme of making partisanship a synonym of willful ignorance. The US Democratic system is indeed suffering an epistemological crisis. Whom do we trust? Fox News? MSNBC? Axios? The New York Times? Newsmax? The Washington Post? Where is a nation going when the shared set of fundamental values necessary to hold its democratic fabric together starts to disintegrate right before our eyes? How can we go back to legitimizing in the minds of the American people our own professional sources of information? Our own national sources of knowledge? Can we all learn or re-learn to separate fiction from fact? Those are conundrums that will very likely take years, if not decades, to resolve. But, rejoice. For the moment, not everything is lost. I'm all for free speech, even as the last few years have shown us that there's speech clearly intended to sow hatred and division in American society and even goes as far as inciting violence against our own Democratic system and our own institutions of government. But Facebook's oversight board's decision to extend the ban on that dangerous, deranged, proto-fascist, white-supremacist, demagogue ex-president of the United States from its platform is a very good sign that we may be learning that, sometimes, there have to be limits even to some of our most cherished freedoms. It's telling us there’s a good chance that Americans of the fair-minded, stable, America-loving kind may still prevail. A first good step would be to restore to a good extent the people's faith in their own government, so that we may at least avert a sociopolitical catastrophe of a proportion not seen since the civil war. On that count, godspeed, Joe Biden. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Be My Love (©Salaroche) Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 30th, 2021. Are we all supposed to start remembering our 20s and 30s when we reach our 70-somethings? Is such phenomenon as widespread as to happen to everyone my age and older? Don’t know how universal such thing is, but it’s certainly happening to me these days. Could I be experiencing this instead because of the rolling lockdowns I’ve been under and the general restrictions on movement that keep me tied here in Greece? Not that I’m complaining about being literally beached here. This is a beautiful country and the great majority of people here are very friendly to foreigners so, maybe it's all a combination of age and circumstance. But, what me worry? The thing is “Be My Love” is a song I wrote 50 years ago and it’s a song that was never part of my repertoire when I was an on-and-off performer back in the 80s and 90s, but it’s a little piece I’ve never forgotten. So, while I was working on another recording project a couple of weeks ago, all of a sudden I thought of “Be My Love”, but with a totally different rhythm. Actually, the whole song came back to me as if it were a different concept. Given that this song already had some mystical things attached to it, I told myself I should record it again. You see, the lyrics to this song came to me in my sleep, while I was taking a nap one Saturday afternoon back in the spring of 1971. Earlier that day I had been struggling trying to come up with somehing to say that would fit the melody, but at one point I just gave up. I said "well, maybe another day", and went for a nap. But when I woke up some 30 minutes later I had the full lyrics for the song clearly spelled in my mind. So I quickly went back to my living room and picked up my guitar, but there was something different going on. The version of "Be My Love" I heard in my sleep was in a different key. The first version, the original one, was in AM7 (A major 7th) but the version in my dream was in CM7 (C major 7th) and the beat was different too. It was the same song, but it was arranged differently. Something similar happened to me a couple of weeks ago. I remembered the song, but with a totally different rhythm and with a completely different arrangement. In addition, once I started recording it, a couple of new parts sprang up too. The result, therefore, would be a bit surprising to some of those old friends of mine who heard the 70s version. But the whole project turned out good enough to share it here, so, since all is well that ends well, or at least acceptably so, here it is. To listen to "Be My Love" please click here.

Republicans Do Believe American Capitalism Can Only Be Corrupt, Undemocratic, Racially Bigoted and Shamelessly Elitist. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 27th, 2021. Sometimes it takes a controversy unfolding in the wide open to have people show their true corrupt colors. Such is the Republican Party’s predicament at the moment. Some of those guys seem desperate enough to be going for broke politically. Should it be taken for a fact, as the Republicans obviously believe, that corporate CEOs shouldn’t give a single damn about Democracy in America? Should it be a requirement, as the Republicans most certainly would like, for all CEOs to be racist and willing to deprive workers of as many constitutional rights as possible? Should all CEOs of the Republican, or any other, persuasion quietly submit to censorship of any kind from the part of their elected leaders? Should we all just keep quiet when top Republicans threaten their moneyed constituencies with legislative retaliation when the latter want to hold State governments accountable for their blatant anti-Democracy efforts? For the Republicans, corruption, dishonesty, elitism, racism, authoritarianism and overall bigotry equals government. A government that may not stand on such corrupt premises is not attainable to them. In their view, institutionalizing mafia tactics is the only way to stay in power and it’s the only way for them to govern. And the rest of us should keep quiet in the face of it all. How easily Republicans forget the 1st Amendment when free speech goes contrary to their corrupt designs. Since when are Americans of any walk of life supposed to refrain from criticizing their own government? Since when do elected Republican officials have the monopoly on political opinions? “Either you let us cheat the American people out of their most fundamental rights, or we will make sure your most precious privileges soon start to disappear”, that’s basically what Mitch McConnell, Marco Rubio, Ron DeSantis, Rick Scott, Ted Cruz, Josh Hawley and other Republican officials are telling American capital. And they no longer do so behind closed doors. Now they basically shout their threats out loud in the open media. It’s no secret for anyone that in China, Russia, even Turkey, not to mention North Korea, criticizing the government equals political suicide or even worse, it may actually mean imprisonment or eventual death or disappearance. At this point in time, it’s no longer too farfetched to think that’s the road many Republicans would ultimately love to embark the United States in. That’s no longer a secret. We all saw how firmly the Republican Party stood side by side with the previous authoritarian president who not only wanted to silence the mainstream media, but wanted to annul a near-perfect, legitimate election he had clearly lost. We're all aware of it. Many influential Republicans don’t believe Democracy is good for them unless they’re allowed to distort its rules and bend them or break them in any possible way to fit their authoritarian designs. And if the Constitution stands in their way, the hell with it too! The 1st Amendment? Who cares! Free speech is worth standing up for when it comes to voicing racist and white supremacist hatred, it’s even constitutionally protected if it’s a Republican president who is publicly inciting hordes of his supporters to storm the Capitol Building to subvert the results of a legitimate election. But if corporate America dares to publicly disagree with any Republican State Government enacting laws and legislations designed to suppress the American electorate’s right to vote, NO. The hell with the 1st Amendment! That’s “Woke” Capitalism, they say. Shut up American CEOs! They shout. Or else... To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

A Legitimate Question: What Are American Conservatives Trying to Conserve? Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 26th, 2021. The New York Times isn’t the “left-wing” newspaper some American “Conservatives” like to paint it as. It actually isn’t even the most “liberal” among the western news outlets right-wingers would like to have us believe it is. I subscribe to the NYT and I read it on a daily basis but, frankly, I often feel the journalists at The Guardian are much more incisive in their opinions and even in their investigative reporting than those at the NYT sometimes are. But I still think the NYT is at the top of the list among the most reliable, fact-based, trust-worthy newspapers in the world, which is the reason that those delusional Maga hordes and other conspiracy theorist groups hate it. Just recall that the proto-fascist previous president of the United States called the New York Times “a true enemy of the people”, which should be considered a badge of honor for that Newspaper. The thing is there are some openly conservative opinion writers at the Times whose articles are often worth checking out, for they often present conservative perspectives that aren’t just immersed in blind, worn-out ideological prejudices. I was particularly attentive to a piece I read there yesterday where a staunch, avowed American conservative named Ross Douthat questioned the validity of the premises American Conservatism is supposed to stand on. It was a somewhat refreshing piece to read. The fundamental question presented there is what does American conservatism really want to conserve? The author didn’t have a clear answer to his own question. He just answered it tangentially by citing some of the things or causes conservatism should no longer, or can no longer stand for. The impression I got from the article is that of a rudderless ship sailing aimlessly upon troubled waters out on the high seas which, in my view, is a fairly accurate representation of the sad predicament American conservatism finds itself mired in today. So, once again, I decided to send my reply to the author, which I’m hereby sharing with you: “Dear Mr. Douthat: Congratulations. Your article is testimony that American conservatives still have some capacity for self-analysis left in them. Your central question hits the nail right on the head, what are American Conservatives trying to conserve? America needs active conservative forces participating in the political game, so that our liberal wing won’t ever take the country to any destructive extremes. But the aim of such conservatism cannot be solely to oppose or destroy any efforts to improve the lot of the American masses. If your conservative movement cannot find any other raison d’être than to stand against any kind of sociopolitical progress in America, you’ll just keep pushing our country down the road to ruin. For the moment, it's good to know influential individuals like yourself are introspective enough to doubt your own ideas when they’re no longer leading you anywhere and to question the foundations of your own ideologies, at least to the extent you show in your article, when they're on their way to total bankruptcy. Thank you for your attention. Salaroche”. To read Ross Douthat’s opinion, please click here.

You Believe America’s Problems Are Over Now that the Proto-Fascist Ex-President is Gone? Sheer Wishful Thinking. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 24th, 2021. Talking a couple of days ago over the phone to a friend who lives in Tallahassee, Florida, he was telling me that, had the previous president won a second term, he would have moved to another country (how many times have we heard that before?) like implying that now that that orange creature isn’t president anymore everything is back to “normal” in America. I just thought my friend hadn’t yet grasped the magnitude of the problem afflicting the country today. So, I just replied that the 70+ million Americans who voted to keep that guy in the White House hadn’t gone anywhere. They’re still there. Living their lives in the streets and houses of the United States, going around mulling in their minds and in their conversations with their fellow Maga friends and family what their next pro-racist, pro-white-supremacist, anti-Democracy step will be. If anything, their zeal for their destructive cause has increased and solidified. Their anger and resentment against any further democratization of the country and against the growing multiracialism of our society only keeps growing. And their leader is still there at Mar a Lago, serving as the Godfather for the Republican Party, giving his blessings or his scorn to the different “Conservative” (read: backward-looking reactionary) figures who may contemplate running for office. Back to normal? Yeah, back to that “normal” many Americans had refused, and keep refusing, to see, my friend included, that nearly half the American population has at least some, if not deeply engrained and strong racist instincts; that a corresponding number of them have serious doubts about, if not outright contempt for, our Democratic system; that the American far-right movement is not only quite alive and kicking, but actually gathering strength as we speak. Normal? Yes, but not of the old kind. This is the new normal, where hatred is glorified as patriotism whenever it’s applied against any other Americans who may love Democracy and may want more legal and moral equity for all American ethnic groups. You think I’m just ranting here? Check out the polls and analyses that show the level of resentment festering at the heart of the Republican Party. And check out the way far-right entities are helping each other across borders. Just think of the Brit firebrand Tommy Robinson (see here) and his connections to billionaire Republican donors, the ex-president's family, American Maga leaders, Moscow, and other far-right, anti-Islamic organizations in Denmark and Germany. Some of us may still think, as my friend probably still does, that our own home-grown Proud Boys and Oath Keepers are just a couple of fringe groups with no mass appeal, but we would be quite wrong in thinking that way. Just a few months ago, 70+ million Americans voted to keep a proto-fascist president in power and those voters haven’t gone anywhere. They’re right at home and, as soon as the pandemic allows it, they will be back at work in the offices, shops and factories of our beloved United States. Normal? What normal? Fortunately, there’s a spark of hope that Joe Biden’s overall national projects may assuage the anger boiling at the heart of millions of Americans who now feel abandoned and betrayed by their own government, which is the reason they were and still are vulnerable to the populist lies a demagogue conman told them. But to think that America’s problems are over simply because that proto-fascist ex-president is gone is just wishful thinking. There’s still a lot of serious homework to do before we reach the promised land described in the Declaration of Independence. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.  

Covid Doesn’t Spare People on the Basis of Nationality and All Governments Should Know It. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 23rd, 2021. I have dual French-American citizenship so, for all practical, legal purposes, I’m a European. This means my rights as an EU citizen are protected under Chapter 5 of the EU Charter on Fundamental Rights. And this applies to me and all other EU citizens in any of the 27 countries members of the Union. As a European, I can freely travel across those 27 countries basically as if they were my own and I don’t need a visa to go in or out of any of them, just as I’m entitled to apply for jobs or retire there if I wanted to. Greece is a country member of the EU, which means the great majority of fundamental rights the Greeks enjoy, I enjoy too. But all Europeans are encouraged to request a local Social Security number if we intend to stay in Greece for longer than 3 months. All we have to do to get such number is go to the local authorities, present our passport and proof of health insurance and that’s it. I came to Greece last year, on February 6th, 2020, to be exact, but, since I didn’t expect to be here longer than a couple of months, I didn’t think I needed to get a Social Security number. So, I didn’t. Then Covid hit hard across the world in March 2020 and the future started looking very uncertain, as International borders began to close and domestic restrictions of movement were increasingly imposed everywhere. But, just as hundreds of other Europeans, I still didn't go get that number. That Social Security number is known here as AMKA. The thing is that, now that I’m within an age bracket that entitles me to get the vaccine here in Greece, I don’t have the number in question that’s a requirement to get it, so I’m left here in limbo while the Greek government comes up with a system that would grant legal immigrants like me, and hundreds of other Europeans, the right to get a temporary Social Security number with the explicit purpose of getting the vaccine. As the situation stands today, hundreds of us are left here with no way to get the vaccine other than catching a plane and going to any other EU country where we can get it, which would turn out to be a very expensive vaccine (plane tickets, taxis, hotels) I’ve already applied for a temporary AMKA through the official local office, which is known as KEP, but when I double checked on the status of my application last week, they told me getting an AMKA usually takes two months or longer, so, what can I say? I’m stuck here in Greece, quite vulnerable to a deadly virus, with no chance of getting vaccinated against it any time soon. And, as if that weren’t all, Greece is now poised to open their borders to visitors from the rest of the EU, the UK, the US, Australia, Japan, Israel and Turkey, as well as all other Schengen-affiliated countries. Will all those visitors have been properly vetted as to their negative PCR tests or vaccinated status? No one can be sure, but we have all read in the past about the contamination spikes that happen in other places whenever restrictions of movement are lifted. So, I guess all of us Europeans residing here in Greece who don’t have that AMKA number will have to be extra cautious about wearing masks and keeping our distance from others whenever we’re in line anywhere. Am I complaining here? Yes and no. But mostly no. There isn’t much Covid contamination here in Greece. Updated information I just read at the WHO-Johns Hopkins University Website shows that, as of today, April 23rd, there have been 326,395 cases of infection reported in Greece, with 9,788 Covid-related deaths. I wasn’t able to find any reliable data on the island of Crete by itself, but this being an island and one not too close to Athens, I imagine (hope) we’re relatively safe around here. But that’s just an optimistic hope. In the meantime, we've been having some beautiful sunny days around here and the Emerald-Turquoise shining waters of the Aegean Sea are quite a sight to look at from my balcony. From that perspective, very few other places in the world could be better than the Greek islands to weather out a pandemic. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

We All Saw the Video with Our Own Eyes: It Was Murder in Plain Daylight. For Once, Justice for Black Americans Has Been Served. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 21st, 2021. How many times have US police officers been let off the hook and walked away scot free after abusing, beating or even killing African Americans? Too many times to recall. This time, the guilty verdict was simply unavoidable. The whole world witnessed the deadly dehumanizing cruelty ex-police officer Chauvin applied to George Floyd that day. Would he have been found guilty if young Darnella Frazier hadn’t taped the moments when Floyd was murdered? Most surely not. Racism runs rampant in the streets of the United States and it’s actively supported or condoned by millions of Americans, many of whom do so subconsciously, as if by knee-jerk reflex. They just learnt to think and be that way at home since they were children and many of them then went to high schools, colleges and Universities where such prejudice was reinforced by the academic environment. Racism in America has never been a secret, except that now it is blatantly clear for everyone to see. The whole world witnessed over the few years of the previous administration as tens of millions of Americans were willing to support and then reelect a president whose racist, white-supremacist instincts he time and again exposed in the clear wide open. No doubt racist instincts are deeply engrained in the American psyche and have been so since before the inception of the country. It’s going to take decades to eradicate such sociopolitical scourge from the American mainstream and there’s no assured certainty that such eradication can ever be achieved in any noticeable relevant degree. Still, small but significant steps like the one the jury at the Chauvin trial just took cannot be ignored. Chauvin’s guilty verdict indeed means something. It means there’s hope that American society can actually change for the better if we all really want it to change. It remains to be seen what kind of sentence will the presiding judge impose on Chauvin eight weeks from now and whether Chauvin’s verdict can be overturned or minimized on appeal weeks or months after that. For the moment, however, the guilty verdict has defused a hot explosive popular reaction and there’s hope that this jury decision will serve as example and encouragement to other witnesses and jurors involved in similar cases in the future. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

I’m All in for Annalena Baerbock. You Don’t Know Who She Is? Very Likely the Next German Chancellor. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 20th, 2021. What am I doing getting mixed up in German politics? You might ask. Well, I’m an American, but I’m a French citizen too, which automatically makes me a European, hence my interest in European things, including politics. And I’m writing these words from the island of Crete, in the country of Greece, which is an EU member as well. I have also lived for years in Northeast and Southeast Asia, which makes it that I always keep an eye on what goes on over there too, but, aside from the United States and France, no other country in the world has ever fascinated me more that Germany, even as I’ve never really set foot on German soil. Once I walked around at the airport in Frankfurt while waiting for my connecting flight to Paris, as I was going over there coming from Athens, sometime in 2017. But that’s about it. The question is whether there would be a European Union as robust as we know it today without the total support of Germany. And the answer is a clear NO. Whether some Europeans like it or not, Germany is the driving force in EU affairs, to the point of having been named the “reluctant hegemon” by some people. Among other things, they have the largest population (83 million) they’re the largest contributors to the EU budget (± 26 Billion €) they have the most powerful industrial sector in the whole continent and they've had one of the most stable democracies in the world for over half a century. Sorry to rub it in, my fellow Americans, but Germany’s democracy is now much more stable than ours. No doubt Angela Merkle’s chancellorship for the past 16 years proved beneficial to Germany and, by extension, to the EU, although the latter part of my statement could easily be contested by a good number of Europeans who may claim Berlin has just been dictating the fate of Europe for their own nationalist advantage and aggrandizement. And the fact is there may be some good tinges of truth to it. Just ask many Greek people about it and they will peg most of the blame for their financial problems on Germany, starting with Merkle’s reluctance to float them during the 2008 financial debacle and beyond. But whether our European brethren like it or not, Germany is here to stay and we all better hope their next chancellor has a clear Europeanist head on his/her shoulders. And here’s where Annalena Baerbock comes into play. To begin with, she’s a charismatic woman. I saw her pictures and some of her videos and I immediately fell in political love with her (what else do you want me to do? She’s a good-looking chick too) I checked her public general track record and there's nothing there that might automatically keep her from becoming the leader of the 4th economy in the world (Japan’s is the 3rd, India’s is the 5th) and Europe’s # 1 (the UK’s is the 2nd and France’s is the 3rd) The next federal elections in Germany will be in September of this year and Annalena would be running for the Green Party. Unless there’s something hidden there that we don’t know anything about, she looks like a serious political force to be reckoned with, as she’s not only well-prepared and charismatic, but an ambitious political creature too. In the span of just a couple of years she has managed to displace Robert Habeck, the previous frontrunner for the party, who just today (Tuesday) announced it would be Annalena, not him, who would seek the Chancellorship this year under the banner of their Party. For some reason, I see some parallels between Obama’s sudden and augurious appearance in the US political scene at the Democratic convention in 2004 and Baerbock’s approching center stage in Germany's political theater today. I in no way claim to have a crystal ball to see the future but, as things stand at the moment, I’m 100% in for Annalena. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

The Expanding Universe and the Big Bang Theory. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 18th, 2021. Recently there was some sort of query on the online version of “The Guardian”, one of the best, most reliable sources of information in the world, about the well-known assumption that the Universe is expanding. The query was that, if the Universe is really expanding, where is it expanding into? I sent them my views on the subject, but, apparently, either I submitted my response too late, or they just didn’t consider it fit to print. No problem. I’m just a layman on this subject, but the proposition that the Universe is expanding sounds a bit nonsensical to me. Some scientists say the shape of the Universe is like a trumpet, a flat disc, a sphere, etc., but I have to wonder how come those supposedly bright minds that conceive those shapes not wonder what’s beyond that shape? From my perspective, such proposition is a non-starter, as in my average, just reasonably intelligent mind, the Universe has no limits. It has no beginning and it has no end. For example, if we were to send a powerful ray of laser light into space from each centimeter of our planet, none of those rays would ever reach an end (provided they don’t meet a hard celestial body that stops them) Meaning the Universe is limitless in all possible directions. Does that idea sound inconceivable to you? The same goes for the Big Bang theory. To begin with, that theory was first conceived by a Belgian Catholic priest named Georges Lemaître. Lemaître may have been a bright mathematician and physicist, but his theory looks suspiciously influenced by the book of Genesis. In my view, the Big Bang theory looks like just another mythological tale about the beginning of the Universe, except that such tale is dressed in scientific garb. The thing is, both those ideas are founded on sheer speculation, sheer imagination. Has anybody gone to the edge of the Universe to prove such edge exists? Was anybody there to witness when the Universe supposedly came into existence after the Big Bang? And, anyway, where did that inconceivably humongous amount of exploding cosmic silly putty come from in the first place? In the view of a layman like myself, both those ideas look like pure products of our own human egocentric, Androcentrist, Geocentrist general view of things. We see with our own eyes that everything around us has limits and has a beginning and an end, and we blindly extrapolate such limited impression into the vast Universe. No such thing. Time and space can be basically categorized as nonexistent in the larger Universe. But if we wanted to put it to words, we would have to say the Universe is limitless and it’s timeless. It has no boundaries and it never had a beginning, nor will it ever have an end. It has always been there and it will always be. Life may extinguish in one planet or another, planets may crash against each other, stars may be born or die, but the Universe will always be there and there are no confines to it. As simple as that. No such thing as an expanding Universe and no such thing as a beginning (Big Bang) or an end (Armageddon) to it. There is a document I wrote while living in Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia, back in 2009, that elaborates on the subject of the Big Bang Theory from a perspective of Jnana Yoga. That document I wrote in the span of one week, while teaching English to some Engineers employed at Al Salam, a Saudi Aerospace company tied in some sort of joint venture with Boeing and Lockheed Martin. That document I called “Eternalism, Reincarnation and the Big Bang”. If ever you’re interested in browsing through it, you could do so by clicking here.

Girl (©Lennon-McCartney) Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 16th, 2021. "Girl" is a song written mostly by John Lennon that was credited to Lennon-McCartney because of contractual arrangements between the two of them. It was part of the album “Rubber Soul”, which was released in the US in early December 1965. I clearly remember listening to that LP several times in a row the day I got my hands on it later that month. I remember at first I didn’t exactly know what to make of it. It was definitely not the kind of music I was expecting from the Beatles. I wasn’t sure whether to be disappointed in them or just puzzled by their new approach to their music. I thought somehow their “cheerfulness” was yielding to something else and at first I didn’t know what that something else might be leading to. It took me some time before coming to terms with their new style, but a couple of days down the line I had already realized there were definitely some very good songs in it. Just recall that "Michelle", "Norwegian Wood" and "Nowhere Man" were included there. The thing is the Beatles were simply maturing and their maturity was clearly coming through in their music. “Girl” is a song I thought was particularly unusual and maybe that’s the reason that, since those days, it got imprinted in my memory in an indelible way. The arrangement you will hear if you click on any of the two links available here, I “wrote” in a very spontaneous manner one night I was performing at “Chez Yves”, a Nightclub-Restaurant where I played 6 nights a week for almost a year while living in Paris, France, back in 1980. For those of you who are familiar with that city, “Chez Yves” used to be located in the Rue Tournefort, which runs parallel to the Rue Mouffetard, near the Place de la Contrescarpe, in the 5eme Arrondissement. It was a place where they served French and Brazilian food, but the bar where I performed used to stay open until dawn. I played there as a soloist singer-guitarist every night, except Sundays, and I usually started performing around 11:30 PM. During those days I used to use a rhythm machine that was very easy to manipulate, and even though I had a selected series of rhythms already programmed in it, I also used to improvise rhythms at random whenever I thought the audience would be willing to go along with me in testing something new. So, one night, as I had already started playing “Girl” with a different beat, I stopped, quickly programmed the rhythm machine to reproduce that rhythm, and played the whole song in it. And the audience liked it. So, I kept that song with that particular arrangement as part of my repertoire. That rhythm, by the way, turned out to be a Cuban rhythm called “Guaguancó”. But as summer came and I went down to the French Riviera and performed there without the aid of my rhythm machine, eventually that arrangement fell through the cracks of time until a couple of weeks ago, when I remembered it and decided to record it using my small, portable recording machine and my limited digital software. The final version you will hear came out a bit jazzier than the original one I came up with back in Paris in 1980, but the concept and the rhythm are the same. As usual, I “play” all the instruments and sing all the vocals. To listen to my version of “Girl”, please click here.

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) Is the Democrat’s Monkey Wrench – Will He End-Up Playing the Role of 5th Columnist? Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 10th, 2021. It’s too early to tell what really lies deep in the heart of Joe Manchin. He claims to be a Democrat, but how far and how straight is he willing to stand for the American people? Is his present reluctance to go along with Biden’s infrastructure spending plan a mere case of grandstanding from his part just to have the limelight shine on him? Is he really ready to gamble with the wellbeing of the American people for his own political gain just like some Republicans often do? (i.e., Cruz, Hawley, Graham) And why does it always have to be a Democrat who switches camps, either partially or totally, to embrace the cause of the Republicans? One thing we have to hand to the Republicans is that, regardless of how wrong their plans for the country may be, they usually stick together, with just some occasional dissenters raising their voice among their ranks. And when Republican dissenters do raise their voices, they usually do it in numbers that don’t neutralize or reverse the general will of the Party. Just think of the few (10) Republicans who first voted to impeach the previous president for the second time, and the very few (7) of them who later voted to convict him. They did disagree with the partisan majority, but not in numbers large enough to affect the majorities’ will. In contrast, the majority the Democrats presently hold in the Senate couldn’t be more minimal. It’s just a majority of one: The vote vice-President Kamala Harris casts as President of the Senate. Joe Manchin, therefore, holds a pivotal position right now and he’s perfectly aware of it, so, it remains to be seen whether he will try to capitalize on it as much as he can, even if it may sometimes mean derailing Joe Biden’s well thought-out and needed plans for the country. Obviously, Manchin is not a deep-blue kind of guy, just as much as a few other “Democrats” aren’t either. Among Democrat elected officials, and elsewhere too, some so-called “Democrats” really aren’t. They’re just Republicans in disguise. They fit under the Democratic tent only because they support one single Democratic issue, say, gay rights, or immigration reform, or Roe vs. Wade, but when it comes to issues that pit capital vs. workers, or police abuse of authority, or budgetary matters, or programs that benefit the masses, or even racism, they're often quite willing to take the “conservative” Republican side. Manchin is one of those who call themselves “moderate Democrats”. How many Republicans do you know that call themselves “Moderate Republicans?” Mitt Romney maybe? Not even him. For the moment, it isn’t clear to me what Joe Manchin’s position is on many important issues, but I’m sure we're all going to find out about it sometime soon. My point being that Manchin doesn’t seem to have understood who he’s dealing with when he’s extending a conciliatory hand to the Republicans. Or, if he has understood, then he's just another Republican in disguise. Has he already forgotten the dire route the Republicans tried to embark the nation on over the past four years? Did he already forget the Republicans were ready and willing to allow a corrupt authoritarian president run roughshod over the American Democratic system? Hardly any other issue can be as serious and consequential to America as that. Does Joe Manchin take those issues seriously? Manchin should do well in recalling the lyrics to Pink Floyd’s “Dogs of War”, moniker that could easily be pinned on some, or even many, Republicans. Those lyrics go somehing like this: “Dogs of war and men of hate... With no cause, they don't discriminate... For hard cash, they will lie and deceive... Even their masters don't know the web they weave”. And the last stanza includes this: “Dogs of war don't negotiate... Dogs of war won't capitulate... They will take and you will give... And you must die so that they may live”. The last sentence may be a bit overblown for my comparison, but that’s well allowed within poetic license. So, hey Joe Manchin, to avoid the risk of having the whole thing blow up in your face, and maybe in that of the whole country as well, make sure you know who you’re really dealing with before compromising with the devil. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Thank You, Uncle Joe. I’m Sure Those Moneys You Just Sent Will Be Pretty Much Welcome Everywhere. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 8th, 2021. No doubt the money Uncle Joe just sent as part of his Covid rescue plan will be highly welcome by millions of Americans, particularly those over 60 or even over 70 or 80 years old, age brackets that include me. I got my money day before yesterday by direct deposit. Thank you Joe. These are difficult times for many of us. Even for the two or three years before the pandemic, people my age had no longer been getting enough job offers. By then, such job scarcity was already a phenomenon happening in most of Southeast Asia, most of Europe and even in some African countries, which are the areas of the world where I've spent these past 17 years or so teaching languages or just visiting. During those years I taught French, Spanish and English in some of those countries, but mostly English, as that is the language most in demand across the world. Before that, I had also taught Italian in California. By now it should be clear to everyone that the English language is indeed the lingua franca of our times. But, gradually, over the past five years or so, those teaching jobs began disappearing. Governments and educational institutions began erecting age barriers everywhere and, in spite of my good credentials and experience as a language teacher, doors were no longer opening to me as wide as they had opened before. Then, last year, because of Covid, Job offers dropped to zero and have remained so up to this day. Fortunately, I’m a recipient of SS benefits, which keep me financially afloat with a certain level of comfort as long as I stay in countries where the cost of living isn’t too high. I’m also fortunate to have 4 citizenships, all of them legal, as the constitutions of those 4 countries allow their citizens to hold as many nationalities as they wish. I am, of course, primarily an American, but as the French citizen that I also am, I can stay as long as I want and even settle down for good in any of the 27 countries members of the European Union, one of them being Greece, the beautiful country where I’ve been living for over a year now. The thing is, as the septuagenarian that I also am, I’m in pretty good shape overall, physically, mentally and spiritually, so, I don’t see any reason why I wouldn’t be able to teach any of the 4 languages I speak fluently to anybody willing to learn any of them, particularly because of the teaching diplomas I have and the years of experience I have thus far accumulated in that field. But many government and educational institutions across the world think differently and I understand their point of view, even as I respectfully disagree with it. The fact is some people my age tend to behave in ways that aren’t compatible with some of their exigencies. And some Asian and Southeast Asian countries have an additional reason to discriminate hiring on the basis of age. In South Korea, for example, which is a country where I worked for 2.5 years and had a pleasant, even memorable experience, their culture tells them older people deserve to be respected by all other younger ones just for the sheer fact of being older. This puts school directors in trouble, as their culture tells them to show respect to older people and if the foreign teachers are older than they are, how can they tell them what to do? But I’m in no way complaining about my present situation. I feel good. The Internet provides me with some of the best up-to-date, reliable, reputable sources of information that there are, the island of Crete is certainly a beautiful place to live in, Greek people are welcoming and, for the most part, kind; language is in no way a barrier and, to top it all, I’m in very good overall health. Things being the way they are, therefore, I often tell myself that life may not always be a bowl of cherries, but it isn’t a constant pain in the neck either. So, once again, thank you Uncle Joe for sending those moneys and please keep up the good work. I was just reading about Joe’s tax plan and I entirely agree with it. Let’s keep those corporations from cheating the United States out of that valuable and necessary financial contribution. To read about President Biden’s tax-plan proposal, please click here.

Where Does Mitch McConnell Think He Is? Russia? China? Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 7th, 2021. Wow. Since when does the American government tell private companies when to get involved in politics and when to stay out? Is authoritarian Mitch finally losing whatever bits of grip he had on reality? What do you think he would do if, for example, Coca Cola continued to denounce Georgia’s recent anti-voting laws? Throw James Quincey, the company’s CEO in jail? Poison him like Putin poisons his political enemies? Convict him of bogus crimes in a kangaroo court like the “communist” politburo does in China? Nationalize Coca Cola? Ha. Delusional McConnell is just huffing and puffing against the brick walls of American capital, just pushing the same old false dichotomy that has helped keep the Republican Party afloat for decades, that if Americans don’t let the Republicans get away with whatever dirty anti-Democracy tricks they want, the country will descend into socialism. Yeah, right. What do you think those corporate CEOs are, Mitch? A bunch of woke dopes? Those guys are capitalists by excellence, you dumbo, and they're pretty much in touch with the political pulse of the nation too, obviously much more so than you do. You arrogant delusional fool. And, anyway, the pact between big corporations and the Republican Party is not cast in stone. The lower-taxes, preference-over-labor treatment American capital gets from the Republicans in exchange for their financial support can be broken at will by either side at any time. And right now McConnell doesn’t have much say in whatever the Biden administration may be about to do next. So, for the moment, Republicans don’t have enough political weight to make corporate America do one thing or another against their will. The present political situation of the country is quite fluid and could drip out of the Republicans’ hands if they don’t go along, at least to some extent, with the political flow of the moment. And I’m not talking about the ideological restructuring American conservatism needs to do if it is to avoid an eventual splintering or implosion. The Republican Party should avoid stating outrageous claims and give itself enough time to reassess its pros and cons from a realistic perspective. As it is, the Party looks devoid of viable ideas. They have now become the party of NO, the party of sociopolitical resentment, the party of racism, white supremacism and authoritarianism. As sociopolitical engineers they have obviously failed. Their vision for the future of the country is murky at best, if not entirely vile. As we witnessed over the past four years, to follow them is to risk falling down a bottomless sociopolitical pit. Their plans for America can only lead to political stagnation and ossification of the American social structures, as that’s what social Darwinism does, perpetuate the powerful in power and let the rest toil for their survival in whatever way they can. McConnell’s complaints and pseudo-admonitions to the corporate classes are just one more example of the Republican Party’s pitiful predicament in the face of a changing American political landscape. There’s a small awakening taking place in the country right now, that if Joe Biden’s socioeconomic plans bear the desired fruit may finally bring some needed lasting change to the nation. And if the Republicans persist in their blind destructive policies of the past, they could easily end up having to kiss the American political scene goodbye which, in my view, would be a highly welcome event. The United States needs to have conservative forces actively participating in the national political game, so that our liberal wing won't take the country to any political extremes, but such conservatism needs to be responsible and pro-Democracy and needs to have the progress and the wellbeing of the American masses in mind, not just those of the moneyed elites. In other words, American conservatism needs to renew itself and needs to find a new vehicle to express itself, as the present incarnation of the Republican Party already looks ideologically defunct. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

A Protest Against Police Violence May Be Seditious Conspiracy. Invading the Capitol to Overturn an Election May Just Be Trespassing. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 6th, 2021. Any idea where that overt double standard may have come from? Let me give you a hint. “Even though those thousands of people that were marching to the Capitol were trying to pressure people like me to vote the way they wanted me to vote, I knew those were people that love this country, that truly respect law enforcement, would never do anything to break the law, and so I wasn't concerned.” So said Republican Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI) about the anti-Democracy thugs who stormed the Capitol on January 6th at the behest of an authoritarian, anti-Democracy, Republican president. Then he added that, had those violent invaders been "tens of thousands of Black Lives Matter and Antifa protesters, I might have been a little concerned." In quite a stark contrast to Johnson's willingness to turn a blind eye on such anti-government violence, Bill Barr, a Republican Attorney General for the previous administration, last summer pushed prosecutors to charge with seditious conspiracy some demonstrators who did some similar damage to federal property in Portland, Ore., during street protests after the killing of George Floyd by a police officer in Minneapolis. Got where the double standard comes from? Clearly, for those government officials, the severity of a crime doesn't rest on the laws or principles that were broken, but on the race and the political affiliation of the people who broke them. And that's the way things are in America. If you demonstrate to support or promote the rights of the American people in general or those of any ethnic minority in particular, or even if you just protest against police violence against African-Americans, you're a threat to the Republic and you could even be charged with seditious conspiracy. Break violently into the Seat of Congress, threaten to kill some congress people, vandalize the whole enceinte and even beat a Capitol officer to death in a violent effort to overturn an election to keep an unelected Republican president in power, and prominent Republican Senators will categorize you as someone who "loves this country" and "would never do anything to break the law". No way the country can return to such "normal" state of national affairs. Something has to be done about it. And the GOP's racism and authoritarianism are no longer expressed only by any overexcited, drunken rabble, but with pride and arrogance by government offcials at the top echelons of government. No doubt those white-supremacist guys like Johnson are desperate. They sense their so-called "conservative" (read: Retrograde) idea of the country is no longer shared by the majority of Americans, so they're quite willing even to resort to violent means to stay in power. In countries like Myanmar, the local authoritarian cabals are killing hundreds of pro-Democracy Burmese people in the streets, as they know violence is their last and only resort to remain in power. The Republicans haven't done anything similar in the United States only because they don't have the military on their side, but if they could they would. Just recall that in late December, 2020, Michael Flynn, a staunch loyalist of the previous president and an Army Lieutenant General in his own right, was doing the right-wing media rounds claiming his orange idol should declare martial law by way of invoking the Insurrection Act of 1807, which would have basically empowered the president to deploy the US Military in the streets against the American people. And later the whole Martial Law idea was discussed at a meeting with the then-president and his top aids, all of it with the intention of staging a pre-emptive coup d'etat against a duly-elected American president-elect. Make no mistake. Had the Republicans found a way to unleash the US Army against the American people just as the Myanmar government has done over the past few days against their own, you can be sure they would have done it. In Senator Johnson's view, although he clealrly admits the January 6th thugs were trying to upend the American Democratic system and basically overthrow a duly elected new president, he condones their actions because those thugs were mostly white and were standing for an authoritarian Republican ex-president. And that's the present state of affairs in the United States of America. If you're an elitist of most possible kinds and you voice your resentful, racist, anti-Democracy concerns loud enough, you will surely get the Republicans' full favorable attention (and maybe that of a few influential Democrats too) But if you stand for racial equality and justice, or raise your voice in favor of the rights and the wellbeing of the masses of Americans, or even if you just stand to protect the Democratic system of the United States, the Republicans will see you as their mortal enemy and will even try to charge you with Sedicious Conspiracy. To read an article that eaborates on the subject, please click here.

You Still Believe Trickledown Economics Works? Undeceive Yourself Once and For All. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 2nd, 2021. The bigger the lie and the more often it’s repeated, the more and the longer it stands to deceive the masses. The lie is the instrument of domination most often used by authoritarian leaders and most other wannabe or consummated dictators. The lie is the most destructive and efficient tool government officials can use to undermine democracies. Just recall how the previous president of the United States almost put American Democracy in checkmate by falsely claiming the election had been stolen from him. And, lo and behold, he did manage to fool tens of millions of Americans, many of whom haven’t yet woken up. The lie is a powerful tool to gain and stay in power, but don’t take such statement from me. Take it from one of the greatest masters of deception in the history of totalitarianism, Joseph Goebbels who, allegedly, said: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the [authoritarian and totalitarian] State” (words in brackets mine) Remember how often the previous US president accused the American press of being the “enemy of the people”? What he was actually saying is that the truth was the enemy of all those Maga people who followed him, as they had all fallen prey to his deceptive demagoguery. But there is a bigger and much older lie still prevalent in America that proves Goebbels’ alleged dictum is almost always perfectly correct, that in giving hefty tax breaks to the moneyed classes they will channel those savings back into the economy in the form of investments that will generate jobs for the masses. Yeah, right. They even came up with a catchy name for that scam: “Trickledown Economics”. Those Reaganite scammers do deserve to get the Goebbels Prize, which would be the equivalent of the Nobel Prize for mass deceivers, for they have for decades managed to fool the masses of Americans into believing moneyed people are a class of otherworldly guys who only have the benefit of the masses in mind. In that view, once you become rich you are, as if by magic, no longer a regular human being and are henceforth invested with a halo of sainthood that divests you of any selfishness, greed or dishonesty. Yeah, right. Moneyed people are just human beings, just like you and me, and as such they can be greedy and selfish and are in no way shielded from corruption and dishonesty. In fact, as the popular saying goes, “power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” and many or most of those moneyed people gained power over the masses as they went acquiring their fortunes. Moneyed people are powerful people, and as such they are subjected to corruption. But I’m not here to demonize those guys. No. I’m a human being too, and a very imperfect one at that, and If I were rich I would most likely be exposed to the same levels of corruption that they are. But, since I know I’m potentially corruptible, I’m perfectly certain that they are as well. As a result, I would agree with giving hefty tax breaks to the rich on one very simple condition, show us in very clear numbers and terms that your company invested the largest portion of your tax savings back into the economy or you and your company will no longer be on the list for future tax breaks. As simple as that. As the situation stands today, however, most, or at least a good majority of those companies, either use that money to buy back their own stock, pocket the tax break money or, quite likely, just lay off workers and proceed to divest instead of investing back into the economy. You think I’m imagining all this? Just check out how these 77 American oil companies took $8.2 billion in Covid relief tax cuts last year and, instead of investing that money back into the economy, they went ahead to lay off thousands of workers. Trickledown Economics my foot. That’s just a scam. Just one more successful Goebbels-like big lie. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here.

Joe's Infrastructure Spending Plan is What America Needs Right Now and If the Republicans Don't Like It, Screw Them. Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, April 1st, 2021. Ask the great majority of Republicans to join you in promoting an initiative that doesn’t include tax cuts for the rich, suppressing the vote or bashing in any way on any minority ethnic group and, as a minimum, they will openly give you a very cold shoulder. Show them you support white supremacy and have a high distaste for governmental and democratic institutions and they will give you a standing ovation. And quite a loud one too. Many of us actually think those guys no longer stand for America as we've thus far known it. No doubt the whole world is now aware of the Republicans' deep disdain for American Democratic principles and it is by now plain and clear for everyone to see they only stand to protect and perpetuate the privileges of the white American moneyed minorities. And in their racist, servile plutocratic blindness, they couldn’t give a lesser damn whether the country goes down the drain or goes up in flames. Just recall the blatant submissive subservience they quite proudly and openly professed to a racist, white-supremacist, authoritarian demagogue for the past four years. Worse still, keep in mind that a large and influential number of them still do. Joe Biden is totally right taking the side of the American people and he’s perfectly right in his willingness to invest big in national infrastructure. A $2.5 trillion price tag for his plans? Not bad for a start. Rebuilding 20,000 miles of American roads, rebuilding the 10 most economically-important national bridges and repairing 10,000 more, replacing the lead pipes and lines in the water-supply system, upgrading the electrical grid, investing in R&D, actively supporting the production of electric vehicles by placing 500,000 charging stations across the nation, making sure the US has accessible and affordable highspeed Internet in all corners of the country, renovating airports, those are just a few of the works that should have been done on a periodical basis over the past decades and some new ones that are now badly needed. Those works, of course, will produce millions of jobs and will have other beneficial repercussions on the economy. And how does Joe propose to pay for it all? Raising marginal income taxes on the moneyed classes and income taxes on International corporations over the next 10 years. Yes, it's about time those moneyed guys gave an extra something back to the country whose hard-working labor force and general pro-capital business environment have made them the multi-millionaires and billionaires that they are. And if they tell you taxing them extra is socialism, just kindly ask them to try moving to Europe. Or how about moving to China guys? Remember how Republicans used the Reconciliation Bill to pass the 2017 $1.5 trillion tax cut for corporations and individuals? A $1.5 trillion gift to those Americans who needed it the least?! You didn't hear any of them complain, did you? Trickledown economics my foot. I'm all for capitalism, but not of the cut-throat, pamper-the-rich, screw-the-workers kind Republicans want to keep in place in America. Let's level a bit further the playing field for everyone. Should we keep thinking everything is OK in America when 91 fortune 500 companies, including Amazon, don't pay a single penny in federal taxes while an average middleclass household pays 24%? Not any more. Joe's infrastructure investment plan and general reforms have to become reality. It is now imperative for the Democrats to use the same Reconciliation Bill strategy to pass the $2.5 trillion infrastructure package. And if the Republicans start crying for any imaginary deficit fears or any other worn-out "conservative" nonsense of that sort, just tell them clearly and loudly to go screw themselves. American conservatism in its present form is dead, anyway. It already revealed its true colors, its true face. As it stands today, American conservatism equals backwardism. It equals sociopolitical stagnation. In some instances it even means going back to Jim Crow-like laws and legislations. The country desperately needs to renew itself, renew its ideas. It actually needs to conceive itself under a bright new light, and so do the American conservative forces. For the moment, however, this is it. The United States has no other way out. Either the US government stands straight for the American masses and for renewing the country, or the whole of the American edifice may eventually just crumble and fall. Joe is perfectly right in pushing hard to implement his infrastructure spending plans. Go for it, Joe. I watched the speech he gave from Pittsburgh presenting with enough detail what his investment plan is all about and one thing came through perfectly clear, he designed his plan with the American people and the future of the United States in mind and that's exactly what the country needs right now: A strong, revitalizing shot in the arm. The one and only way for you to go is forward, Joe. And please make a real effort taming those bipartisan instincts of yours, as the Republicans' only quest for the foreseeable future is to wreck any and all of your smart projects and doom your presidency for good if you let them. And if in the process they wrecked the whole country, you can be sure they wouldn't give a single damn about it. To read an article that elaborates on the subject, please click here. To watch a video of Joe's Speech from Pittsburgh, please click here.

Aviva El Seso (©Salaroche) Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, March 31st, 2021. What better time to sit down in front of my computer to record some music than during Covid lockdown? The pandemic situation is not extreme here in “my” small town of Kalives, or even on the island of Crete, or even at large in the country of Greece, for that matter. At least not as bad as it may be in parts of my beloved California and elsewhere in the US, or in Czechia, Sweden or Brazil. And I say this without the slightest tinge of schadenfreude in my heart. The fact is I’m here in Greece because the Southeast Asian countries I would like to go to are closed to foreign visitors. But I’m not complaining either. Crete is a beautiful island and Greek people couldn’t be any nicer and welcoming to foreigners. Just picture that here most people are quite happy to speak to you in English. So, with all that free lockdown time in my hands, what better entertaining endeavor than to record my own songs? “Aviva El Seso” is a piece I wrote sometime back in 1972-73, while living in the city of San Salvador, the capital of El Salvador. Back in those days you could still say the living was nice and easy over there. Not anymore. All those Central American countries, except for Costa Rica, have basically gone down the drain, mostly because of extreme gang violence or excessive authoritarianism in Nicaragua. Costa Rica, by the way, is today one of the most stable democracies in the world, much more stable than the one we have in the United States. Over there, everybody's quite happy with their democratic system, which is far from being the case in our beloved America. I’ve been to Costa Rica a few times and I’ve always liked it. But this song was inspired in El Salvador. I wrote it in Spanish, which is one of the four languages I speak fluently. I wrote it one night, 48 years ago, when I came back home after partying at a place where there'd been an orchestra playing Salsa music and I just told myself “why not write a song in one of those rhythms?” and so I did. The funny thing is one day, about a couple of weeks ago, as I was writing something on my computer, I remembered the whole song, harmony, melody and lyrics in its entirety, so I said “I should record this thing”. And here it is. In English, “Aviva el Seso” means something like “wake up” or “wise up” or “open your eyes to whatever is happening”. Aviva el Seso is not a popular phrase in Spanish, I got it from a poem by Jorge Manrique, a Spaniard who walked this Earth around the middle of the 15th century. I didn’t write this little piece with anyone in particular in mind. I just thought I should try to make it sound like a Colombian, Panamanian, Cuban or Venezuelan Salsa, which is a cluster of Caribbean rhythms that have plenty of African influence in them. As it turned out, I think I did manage to make it sound that way. To listen to “Aviva El Seso”, please click here.

Hey Joe: Before Trying to Sell American Democracy to the World, Shouldn't You Try Selling it to the American People First? Kalives, Crete Island, Greece, March 29t