RADICAL CAUCASIAN TERRORISM

Aquarian Weekly
8/23/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

RADICAL CAUCASIAN TERRORISM
& The President Who Defends It

From 2008 to 2016 violent White Nationalist incidents in U.S. totaled 115. In the same time frame there were 63 Islamic Radical Terrorists incidents.
– The Nation Institute’s Investigative Fund and the Center for Investigative Reporting

Fight the real enemy.
– Sinéad O’Connor, October 3, 1992

Donald J. Trump is the gift that keeps on giving. Our game-show president has become this nation’s ipecac. He extracts the poison from the body politic through our social esophagus inducing needed projectile vomiting. And an astonishing pile of puke was on display this past week during a white nationalist coming-out party in Charlottesville, Virginia, during which dozens were injured and a young woman was run down by a car, and then later in the lobby of Trump Tower when El Douche went off the rails to defend it in what will forever be known as the Tuesday Afternoon Meltdown. But without his gift for ignorant revelation, the poisons that flooded the streets of the otherwise sleepy southern town would have continued to sit undetected in our system and slowly rot it from the inside.

Thanks to a few hundred pasty bigots and our dung-brained president it has now bubbled to the surface where we can no longer ignore or explain it away. Trump’s spectacular streak of stupidity mixed with the world’s most effective promotional tool for abortion has revealed much about America.

Admittedly, up until the most unhinged press conference by a major politician since Richard Nixon’s “You won’t have Dick Nixon to kick around anymore” diatribe against the press, the Eastern Liberal Establishment and Martians, I had planned to write that as usual the response to this president’s “role” or “non-role” in the insane events in Charlottesville was a bit hyperbolic. Beyond his faux tough-guy approach and a preternatural inability to knock anyone who digs him (Vladimir Putin, David Duke, etc) the issue at hand should have been Neo-Nazis, the Klu Klux Klan, something called white nationalists, the city’s day-late-dollar-short police force and the genius who issued a permit for these nuts to openly threaten everyone who was not in the WASP club.

But it was hard to ignore that for days afterwards, Trump repeatedly placed treasonous marauders on the same moral plain as those who admittedly fought back violently against them; symbolically ringing the opening bell for an all-out street fight for the soul of a nation.

Of course, to be fair, a bunch of privileged and lazy Duck Dynasty fans deciding to whip out the Swastika flags they ordered on alt-right.com so they can get on TV to shout “Jews will not replace us!” does not a war make. But it is refreshing to see the kind of monsters in broad daylight that usually hide behind the vagaries of “those people are tearing down our culture” and “those people are diluting our history” while usually lounging around dinner tables or hosting Fox News shows or skulking through the halls of congress or acting all tough masked in fake names on blogs and Facebook posts and spitting banal propaganda in Breitbart News or the Drudge Report.

This is why the First Amendment is first, bubba, and is the niftiest part of our Constitution; it provides those the blessed right to get it all out there, unfiltered, so we can take better aim at picking them off one by one.

As the ugly rise to the surface, we can now know their names and see their faces; the same cretins who attempted to halt marriage equality and deny women reproductive rights, blame their personal failures on outside forces and press voter suppression laws under the ambiguously self-righteous guise of God, tradition, national security, and all the other well-worn buzz words that have been used as oppressive weapons for decades.

We already knew icky things about Trump’s dealings with race from his outlandishly pathetic public performance in the 1980s Central Park Five case to the really weird birther shit against our first African American president, and it is noteworthy that Trump’s daddy, for whom he yearns to please even in death, was busted at a 1925 Klan rally in Queens. It was Fred Trump’s real estate practices of keeping people of color and Jews from queering deals over the “lowering of property values” that trained his son to think that anything that aides Trump business is fine and anything that threatens is bad. Thus those he blithely calls the “alt-left” would be in the bad category and the white nationalists, well, his supporters.

To wit: I can confidently state that if a mob of hate mongers were running around the street in broad daylight evoking my name as inspiration, wearing hats with my name while carrying Confederate and Nazi flags and telling news organizations that they were fulfilling my promises, I would immediately run out onto the White House lawn to push out a statement that gets me as far away from that as possible. Trump did not.

But what Trump did accomplish was to inadvertently reveal the undercurrent of fear that leads to statements like “these people are trying to erode our way of life”; the same theory that convinced generations of politicians to decide that the African American uprising against oppression (more recently Black Lives Matter) and the campus marches against Viet Nam (more recently marches against asinine foreign wars) must be the product of communist intervention (more recently radical leftist political figures like George Soros) and not a deeper problem within American culture and our damaged institutions.

You see the statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, for which the thugs in Charlottesville were (wink-wink) “protesting”, represents to these people, and the people who defend them, which the president clearly did in both his original remarks and his wig-out at Trump Tower, is a classic American “save the culture” argument that is at the root of our tarnished history. It helped lead to the Watts Riots (more recently Ferguson), the violent horrors of Chicago during the 1968 Democratic Convention (see Ferguson again), Kent State (recent militaristic police presence in black neighborhoods), the flaccid War on Drugs (Attorney General Jeff Sessions recent return to Draconian drug sentencing), the Religious Right (Trump pandering on LGBT military ban), and on and on and on and on and on.

Trump’s spectacular streak of stupidity mixed with the world’s most effective promotional tool for abortion has revealed much about America.

It is this kind of “thinking” at the core of this nation’s original sin and what prompts the “nice people protesting a statue” commentary from a man who cannot tell the difference between Thomas Jefferson and an institutional insurrectionist that led an army to over-throw the United States to perpetuate the owning of human beings (which they masked – and still do – in a weak “states’ rights” argument).

And as for Trump’s specious defense of “peaceful protesters”; if I decided I loved statues and felt it unfair to take them down and joined a rally that eventually puts me in the middle of that putrid rabble, I might re-think things before continuing or risk guilt by association. You see, a “peaceful Nazi” exists in the same mystic Trumpian netherworld as the wall Mexico is paying for.

But this all pales in comparison to Trump’s most telling and teachable-moment when he blurted; “They want to change our culture and alter our history.”

This phrase is the tipping point for a new and more direct and far overdue street fight on the irrational resentment of progress, intellect and evolution that has permeated the first years of this twenty-first century; what this space has been writing about for twenty years now this month. (No kidding. It will be twenty years next week I started this lunacy! I have never done anything for this long. And for that I need to be committed.)

But I digress.

No one is altering history. Here’s the history: The Confederacy was wiped out and so were the Nazi’s. They lost. And you know who beat them? The United States of America. They had their shot, they were crushed. That’s the history. The reconstruction of this history is erecting monuments to the vanquished that were strategically placed in public places like parks and in front of government buildings for intimidation during the birth of the Jim Crow South during the turn of the century. Look it up, history buffs. This kind of nonsense is the age-old loser’s lament. If someone tried to erect a statue of the treasonous Robert E. Lee in 1864, instead of 1964 during the Civil Rights movement (another period where these abominations were erected) they would have been taken to a firing squad. Imagine a statue of Osama bin Laden put in your town square next week and you get the picture; except 600,000 people died during the Civil War, the equivalent of 200 9/11’s.

Also culture is change. That is what cultures do; otherwise they go the way of the Confederacy or the Nazis. Trying to preserve an aborted, self-aggrandizing myth is not preserving culture. It is madness. Madness leads to things like Civil and World Wars. I get it, the movement of culture is scary, and for the uneducated it is threatening. Sorry. We have therapists and fancy drugs for that now. Put down the comic adaption of The Turner Diaries and go get laid.

Trump has done us all a big favor and taken this bile and poison, hidden under a cloak of innocuous posturing, and puked it everywhere this week. As it should be – out in the open, to get the best view, to see and smell and understand fully what we’re dealing with, instead of dressing it up in the drag of patriotism and religion and statue fetishes.

Yet, there was one thing that puzzled me about the Tuesday Meltdown; Trump’s ridiculous assertion that people fighting back against treasonous rhetoric makes them equally guilty; as if he would be affronted by this. It has long been obvious that this president advocates violence when he feels he or his followers are being provoked. Remember the most heinous outburst of his provocative campaign rallies in Chicago when he pointed out, quite rightly, that agitators had provoked his people to physically fight back and oft times openly asked his audience to beat on protesters?

Now he’s all politically correct.

Screw that.

Everyone knows who reads this space that when it comes to bigots we openly advocate beatings. Last year I personally challenged my congressman (now ex-congressman thanks to the brave Americans of the fifth district of New Jersey), the ultra-bigot, Scott Garrett to a fist-fight. He refused. This is because bigots are wimps. But that still does not mean that Garrett did not need a beating, as Nazis and the KKK need beatings; several and varied. Why? Because they want it.

You don’t get to be in a terrorist organization like the KKK and bitch about getting a beating. By their very nature, beatings are mandatory. I fully and confidently support dragging David Duke and Richard Spence from their homes to provide them a helping of the stuff they claim to openly support; a little of those fancy Gestapo tactics they’re so fond of. Let’s see if they’re serious about their “radical agenda” and if they’re more than chants and Hitler tee shirts and “Make America Great” hats. You want old-fashioned justice, sirs? Okay, let’s see if you can handle it.

Time to call this what it is and face it and wipe it out; Radical Caucasian Terrorism, because like Radical Islamic Terrorism, which according to statistics has outperformed the former two-to-one, once you take up arms and rhetoric against the rule of law and mark your territory as a combatant, then you abdicate your rights and call for violent retribution.

My guess is these posers would beg for mercy once the hell-rain they want comes a-callin’, like terrorists who want to destroy the system suddenly finding civil rights and asking for lawyers. Well, I say, they trade in all that and take the beatings they have coming.

And so I praise Donald Trump’s idiocy, for it placed on the table what is really wrong with this country and where its real enemies lie; from within. They used to bloat the police force and run states and fill our churches, but it’s getting more difficult to see them. Now we do, and they must be rooted out and dealt with.

Stick that in your jack-boot and kick it.

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THE “DADDY LOVE ME” NUCLEAR STAND-OFF – 2017

Aquarian Weekly
8/16/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE “DADDY LOVE ME” NUCLEAR STAND-OFF – 2017

Who didn’t see this coming?

The second Donald Trump took the oath of office, all of it; wildly manic Tweet storms about TV hosts and obsessions with fabricated inner demons and spastic firings and institutional in-fighting and ill-advised bluster about seemingly innocuous and mostly delusional self-congratulatory nonsense, and now, most likely crimes, was inevitable. It is the Trump branding. This is what we voted for, or at least enough people voted for, and it has been damn fun. Half the administration is going to jail and the rest to hell, and as we continue to celebrate the chaotic dismantling of all of the myths of the American consciousness with delinquent glee there has always been the distinct possibility that all this stumbling around would result in serious consequences.

We might be there this week with the purported nuclear stand-off between our El Douche and North Korea’s impishly wacky Supreme Leader Kim Jung-un. We’re now witness to another in a long line of powerful and insecure man-children putting at risk millions of lives to impress dead fathers who tortured their sons with bullshit machismo to hide their own fear of penis size.

And at some point you’d figure petty knee-jerk imbeciles whose whole point of existing is to find enemies, particularly weaker ones in which to hammer, would move our game show president from the media to congress to a nation across the globe which has a ready-made villain with just as many psychological issues as him. This is science; pure natural selection and the biological attraction of crazy-finds-crazy eventually. This is a duet ready-made. Call Stan “The Man” Lee, we got ourselves a comic book!

You don’t have to be Sigmund Freud or Carl Jung or even Dr. Phil to see the damaged souls at work here. Trump and Jung-un have made global their severe mental issues exacerbated by cold and domineering fathers who by their mere nature were predatory lunatics likely hiding latent homosexual desires and violent tendencies of paranoia, bigotry and self-loathing. Or to simplify, what we have here are two assholes created by two assholes and now there is “fire and fury” and “die American dogs” and the usual mindless machismo that begs for the ghosts of their fathers to recognize they exist.

If only the fat little Korean kid with bad eyesight and the pasty monosyllabic rich boy had been loved, maybe we wouldn’t have to wonder if Guam will be around next week.

Look, since both Jung-un and Trump are entirely full of shit and like their pathetic fathers are merely big-mouth posers creating fantasy worlds in which they’re John Wayne or Al Capone, nothing is going to occur close to the Cuban Missile Crisis, commandeered by two men (John F. Kennedy and Nikita Khrushchev) whose daddy issues were through the roof. But the fact that it has come this far and trust me it will not be the last time that men with small peckers and zero self-esteem piss-fight to fell the demons hatched by their horrible patriarchs, is both sad and eminently intriguing.

We’re now witness to another in a long line of powerful and insecure man-children putting at risk millions of lives to impress dead fathers.

It is also fascinating to watch two men who have little to no idea what they’re doing play this thing out – one a neophyte from an early age thrown into some ancient dynasty of madness and the other a game show host via the World Wrestling Federation who ran for president to expand his family’s international real estate holdings and because he was bored. It is hardly Roosevelt, Hitler and Churchill, all of whom had severe daddy issues but formed an unholy bond in a vacuum of ideology and nation building, world war and cultural divides that spanned the entire earth’s surface. Comparing these idiots to those lunatics is like saying your backyard pond is the Indian Ocean. This is a roly-poly pompadour shuffling like a cartoon character from one half-assed missile test to the other, never leaving his cocoon of sycophants, spitting at the rapidly aging hair-hat golfing nut who needs Fox & Friends to tell him he’s okay to sleep at night.

Not sure what will happen in North Korea, I was certain that by now one of Jung-un’s doomed generals – he kills about a dozen a year – would find a way to assassinate him, but that is an ancient problem this country has been trying to “solve” for nearly seventy years with spectacularly bad results. As for the United States, this whole Trump ranting has been nicely curtailed by congress, which two weeks ago quietly wrested control from the commander-in-chief on any semblance of foreign policy in Eastern Europe due to his by now patently obvious (to say the very least) conflict of interest with Russia. And the Pentagon, who completely refuted and will never implement the president’s goofy LGBT military ban, and the Department of Defense, who routinely walks back the president’s shoot-from-the-hip schoolyard nonsense as “posturing”, have several fail-safes against the inevitably hissy fit.

Which brings us back to Trump and Jung-un’s duel working out of their daddy issues in public with access to powerful weaponry. They serve each other well, a ying/yang thing that will never cure them but allows for a healthy valve in which to decompress. And since our president is at the service of a leader with clear mommy issues, Vladimir Putin (men who continuously have themselves photographed in public shirtless and need to have their chests shaved are absolutely putting on make-up and trying on lingerie in private), it is important he has someone who understands him.

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THE UNSINKABLE ACA

Aquarian Weekly
7/26/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE UNSINKABLE ACA
Bulletproof “Obamacare” Rolls On

It survived six grueling months in 2009 into early 2010 of hearings, debates, propaganda – both pro and con – and an unprecedented act of partisan solidarity to be passed. It survived waves of protests and court hearings, ending up in two Supreme Court decisions upholding it. It spawned and survived the TEA Party movement and stood strong against hundreds of elections by candidates deriding it and promising to repeal it, culminating in both the re-election of the president that bares its nickname and later a president that has acted like a political battering-ram to the system. It survived 50-plus votes by congress to wipe it out and three recent attempts by the opposition party that promised for seven years to bring about its demise. Through it all it went from a dismal 36-percent approval rating to now a rousing majority of support from the American people. The Affordable Care Act is the most hearty, defiant and impenetrable slice of legislation this nation has seen in a century or more. It may take a second Civil War to take it down.

The latest grandstand by this bull-tit Senate, which concocted the second of two bills that stands at a laughable 14-percent approval from the citizenry and could not even get a vote, is a prime example of the invincibility of “Obamacare”. The hue and cry from those who opposed it (I am one) that once it was enacted it would be nearly impossible to rip from the system has come to pass. This was always the point made by this space for lo these past seven years: Why would anyone believe Mitt Romney or Ted Cruz or John Boehner or Paul Ryan or the current buffoon inhabiting the White House when they said, “I shall repeal Obamacare the first day I am in office!”

Remember that crap, kids? “Just give us the House, just give us the Senate, just give us the White House; we’ll skunk this thing.” Right. This generation’s two-chickens-in-every-pot nonsense that we believe when we think we hate something as much as the ACA, when in reality we don’t. This law has gotten the sort of press accompanying Prohibition or the Missouri Compromise when it is nothing more than another flaccid and bloated half-assed attempt by our government to put a band-aid on a gaping wound. (Also a point made by this space for years). And as much as people love to joke about how our game-show host president knows less about national health care than your pet, how many of us comprehend the magnitude of this thing and why it is so unbeatable?

Firstly, although presidents Harry Truman, Richard Nixon and Bill Clinton (well, Hillary, really) all proposed far more progressive versions of national health care dating back to the late 1940s, the framework of the ACA was actually devised by the Heritage Foundation, a right-wing “think tank” filled with antiquated philosophy long since dismissed as madness by the rest of the planet, like the Freemasons without the fancy robes. It was cleverly titled, “Health Equity and Access Reform Today” or HEART, and it was the template for “Obamacare”, plain and simple.

In 1993, the then president thought it a nifty idea to have his unelected wife present what amounted to a single-payer, true socialist bill for universal health care to a congress that would be, it turned out, under siege from the opposition party. By ’94 the first Republican-controlled congress in three generations took the Hill to thwart this exercise with extreme prejudice, but not before the dullards at the Heritage Foundation put together what can now be deemed the infamous manifesto for what would become the Affordable Care Act. Penned by Republican Senator John Chafee of Rhode Island it included among many of the most popular portions of the ACA; creation of purchasing pools, standardized benefits, vouchers for the poor to buy insurance, and a ban on denying coverage based on a pre-existing condition.

It’s a messy, mostly bureaucratic pile of shit, but it has its benefits

The Republicans more or less presented HEART as a centrist answer to a wildly over-reaching government-controlled health care system practiced by European countries, Canada, etc. And it was that construct that first inspired and then prompted what President Barrack Obama proposed to then House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to cobble into a bill that would become the law that cannot be felled even as its opposition party holds sway over all of Washington DC.

To be fair, the final version of the ACA did not include the expansion of Medicare and a federal government pool of money given to states to run it in order to off-set costs. And it is that portion of the law that has been upheld as constitutional in two Supreme Court challenges and gotten conservatives up in arms and its proponents a fulcrum in which to defend it. If the government can tax or force young men to go overseas to die, then it can certainly control the marketplace. It is that key segment of the ACA that allows the government (a tax) to mandate the purchase of something you might not feel you want or need, like state mandates for driver’s licenses or automobile insurance or the dozens of other things the federal and local governments deem you must possess to move about in our social contract.

And here is where the doom of lies the Republicans have existed on regarding the ACA comes home to roost and has led to the farce that you have been enduring on this issue since Donald Trump stumbled into the presidency. You see, while Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell is a feeble and useless government lackey, he is also very stupid. Speaker Paul Ryan, not so much, as he is a more a legislative intellectual stuck in a compromising position when he would much rather lift weights and jack off to photos of Ayn Rand. And…well…the aforementioned Donald Trump probably now wishes he was still on TV making fun of Rosie O’Donnell, judging beauty contests and wrestling Vince McMahon. All of these politicians and more have been comparing “Obamacare” to the Third Reich and bone cancer, when it is probably the most workable legislation on the concept of national health care possible in this day and age.

f it were proposed by a President John McCain or Mitt Romney (who took the Heritage Foundation model and enacted it in Massachusetts while governor between 2003 to 2007), it may look close to what the Republicans are now trying to mash-up just to look like they’re doing something. But since it was a Democratic president and congress that pushed it through it was wrongly considered some kind of socialist monstrosity. It’s a messy, mostly bureaucratic pile of shit, but it has its benefits and those are what cause this hamstrung congress to balk at “fixing” it, because fixing it means rubber-stamping its existence when they really want to just bag it.

There have been a series of congresses that have suckered the American people into thinking they had the power or fortitude to stop badly run wars (2006) or a law effecting one-sixth of the U.S. economy (2010, 2012, 2016). But there are still wars and the ACA rolls on and there is seemingly nothing that can be done about either with the current crop. Even a gutless vote (which will never pass) to just repeal the thing will be the culmination of another promises that cannot and will not be kept.

And thus the ACA is a winner; it cannot be stopped.

Rocky Marciano was an undefeated heavy weight champ, but even he only won 49 consecutive bouts, the ACA is something like 62-0.

Love it or hate it; that is one tough son of a bitch of a law.

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CITIZENS OF NEW JERSEY UNITE AGAINST GOVERNMENT SUPPRESSION

Aquarian Weekly
7/12/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

CITIZENS OF NEW JERSEY UNITE AGAINST GOVERNMENT SUPPRESSION

Before heading to Europe to kiss Vladimir Putin’s ass and after spending a week getting into Twitter wars with cable TV hosts, President Trump unleashed his completely unnecessary paranoid-central, daddy-didn’t-love-me-so-even-though-I-won-the-election-I-need-to-prove-there-is-voter-fraud-cause-I-got-pummeled-in-the-popular-vote commission cleverly titled Election Integrity. It should not escape any of us that this nonsense is the brainchild of a man who continues to deny the outrageous breech of actual “election integrity” by a foreign power in which a growing number of his campaign members were directly involved and which is under multiple investigations by both houses of congress, the FBI and an independent counsel.

And while this continues the comedy stylings of this dumbstruck administration that thus far has looked not quite as organized as the 1920s film footage of twenty men dangling wildly off the back of a speeding fire truck, it now stumbles into my favorite axiom: I have little to no problem if you walk around swinging your arms like a moron, but once either of them hits me all bets are off.

To wit: Last week this “commission” requested from all 50 states individual voter information to be dissected in some federal government data base, including names, addresses, party affiliation, electoral participation history, and the last four digits of Social Security numbers. While being about the 400th crazy thing this president has suggested or tried to implement that is wildly unconstitutional, this was at best a long shot anyway. In fact CNN ran a poll the day the request letter was issued to the states and found that a vast majority of them outright rejected the whole shebang as goofy. As of this writing 44 states are officially telling Trump and the federal government to hump it. Even one of the “commission” heads, voter-fraud zealot and defendant in multiple voter suppression cases over the past few years, Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach has refused the request.

In case you missed it, the loon who co-runs this debacle thinks it’s stupid.

But you know who hasn’t refused, rebuked or pissed on this draconian falderal? The governor of this state; New Jersey, which at the time of this writing has still not given an answer one way or another in complying with the request of sending our vitals to this Tax Payer Con Job 101.

To refresh everyone’s memory Governor Chris Christie is the original Trump lackey. When this whole Trump charade was nothing but a fun-loving hootenanny before the nation he conned decided to actually elect this game show host president of the most powerful and richest country on the planet, it was Christie who was on board. But so abhorrent was this turd he couldn’t even get a gig with these rubes. As stated in this space last winter when our governor was removed from running Trump’s transition team, the same one under all this investigation now, it was clearly illustrated that if you could drag your knuckles four feet and somehow keep saliva in your mouth for 30 consecutive seconds you could work in this administration and yet Christie could not make the cut.

So now a lame-duck executive with a, what is it down to now, 14 percent approval rating, who is brazen enough to shut down the state government, thus forcing the closure of beaches along the Jersey Shore over the holiday weekend, and then be photographed partying on his own private beach with friends and family, is most likely ready to hand over our vitals to his frothing-at-the-mouth buddy.

..it was clearly illustrated that if you could drag your knuckles four feet and somehow keep saliva in your mouth for 30 consecutive seconds you could work in this administration and yet Christie could not make the cut.

Of course none of this matters. I could not care any less about Trump and Christie and whatever other fat, old dickwad wants to join their circle jerk. And quite frankly Google has all my info anyway, and let’s face it, I’ve put most if not all of my radical social and political beliefs in this space for nearly two decades, all of which has either been published in book form or made its way all over the globe via the inter-webs. I am literally an open book so let the government have at it. However, you might not want this, unless you’re part of the Trump Cult wherein you thought the last president was coming for your spleen but this guy can have your lower intestines with a smile.

But I say just for kicks, no matter if you dig big-government shit because Reagan was running things or Obama, why not stop reading this diatribe immediately if you live in this god-forsaken state and contact Trenton or at least your congressman and demand we tell El Douche to suck his thumb somewhere else. He’s not getting any much-needed therapy by dragging us into his low-esteem dementia. How many German hookers do we need to find to urinate on this twerp to fix him?

But enough about Trump. He had his victory in November and I had mine in the personage of one Josh Gottheimer, who became the first Democrat to win in the 5th District since the Great Depression. This happened in no small part to my calling out bigot-deluxe, former congressman Scott Garrett, who by refusing to fist-fight me and then infamously pulled in the cops sealed his fate. When I am done with this I’ll be calling my buddies at his office to call in my marker and make sure Gottheimer makes it known that long before the TEA Party pikers co-opted it we flew a Don’t Tread on Me flag high and mighty at the Clemens Estate and although we have endured Patriot Acts and Affordable Care Acts we have our limits. Not sure what they are yet, but we have them and this could be pushing it.

Well, it’s pushing someone’s limits.

Either way, go work out your freedom muscles and go annoy someone.

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COMEY SPEAKS

Aquarian Weekly
6/14/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

COMEY SPEAKS
Fired and Vilified Former FBI Director Takes His Swings

One hundred and thirty-eight days into his presidency, Donald J. Trump’s lawyer is holding a press conference defending his client against charges of obstruction of justice and borderline treason.

Let that be the lead. Everything else pales.

That is not entirely true.

Here is something worth considering: The entirety of the United States intelligence community, including the NSA, CIA and FBI has all confirmed that the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election. The president of the nation under siege denies it ever happened and calls any investigation into these crimes a “witch hunt”. When no one listens to his carefully crafted delusions, he fires the director of the FBI. In exile Trump publicly humiliates Comey; calling him “a blowhard” and “a showboat” and finally “a nut job” (that part was in a secret meeting with Russians, if you can believe it). This all stemmed from the firing of his national security advisor, who is currently under criminal investigation and whom, for reasons only known to the cosmos, he keeps defending, including asking on numerous occasions several officials connected with the investigation to back off. This list boasts the aforementioned sacked FBI Director James Comey.

That guy got his day in court yesterday when he testified to all this and more in front of the U.S. Senate.

Like most of my columns lately on Donald J Trump, this is merely a review of the facts, which has been taken by the Trump Cultists as some kind of commentary. What is above actually happened, and more hilariously or frighteningly – the word you choose depends on how much you “love” the country and whatever bullshit it might represent to you – it is still happening and will continue to happen while our game show host is running things.

To wit: After Comey’s testimony the Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, no fan of this president but gleefully trading in his so-called principles to get his agenda signed by him, defended Trump’s actions as a sign he doesn’t know what he’s doing. “He’s new to this,” Ryan said, and not with a straight face – I shit you not, the man was smiling, watch it – “He doesn’t get the traditional protocol.”

This is where we’re at now, making the point for those who argued that despite his overt misogyny and overall juvenile behavior and a virile disdain for the truth and much of the English language that would have felled a normal candidate, El Douche was woefully ill-prepared for the position in which he holds. Obviously the analogies are endless, but as I like to use houses as my go-to, it is tantamount to hiring a guy who won a fishing contest to build your house, and a few months in there are obvious signs he is fucking up and then someone named Paul comes to your dilapidated dwelling and says, “Well, come on, give him a break, he’s a fisherman.”

Be that as it may, what Comey told congress and the world yesterday was both damning and not-so. Facts, as we have seen these last months, are squirrely little annoyances open to interpretation. Some will see high crimes and as Trump’s sleazy divorce lawyer claimed, “vindication”. For instance, there were also arguments posed that Comey’s testimony both buried and vindicated Hillary Clinton. One way of the other one must ask, as I have for months, why does the president act as if he is guilty or at least hiding something? I don’t know, beyond my theory that he is either stupid or guilty or both. You come up with a reason. I’m out of guesses.

A real estate mogul in Manhattan would have no trouble “leaning” on someone who wasn’t “playing ball”. Comey spoke as if he were shocked at this.

Still, it was riveting television for those who live in this mire as I do. But what did we actually learn that wasn’t already leaked beforehand?

I was more than mildly curious to hear how Comey, supposedly a button-down hardcore lawman, would explain why when, according to him and his copious notes on his infamous “dinner with the president”, he was being bullied and, let’s face it, bribed and threatened by the president, he did not report it immediately to the justice department or quit. Comey had two excuses; not queering his ongoing investigation by alerting the president to his doubts he was grounded in reality and secondly to avoid alarming those within the FBI that their boss was unhinged.

I am not sure I buy any of it. I think Comey was under his own delusion that he could keep his high-profile gig. Comey is nothing if he is not a media whore. His performance when clearing Hillary Clinton of any criminal activity last July was a joke and almost everything he has done since then has been goofy. Not that this is any reason not to believe him, but okay, let’s just leave that to the ether and move onto what Comey thinks of the president: He is an asshole. That is basically what you get out of a couple of hours of this. Comey thought Trump was acting at the very least inappropriately with a guarantee to lie about anything done or said in private conversations.

But to be fair we already knew Trump was an asshole and we already knew he had no grasp of decorum. Even those who voted for him thinks these things. They wanted him to be their asshole and do something radically different than what would be normally accepted as decorum, which is why I vowed from day-one to not hold this guy to the same scrutiny as those who were actual politicians.

And this is the key for a lifer like Comey. He has no idea what the world of New York City real estate is like. It is something between organized crime and blood sport. People like Donald Trump have little or no use for things like decorum or law for that matter. Law is a roadblock to progress. For examples of Trump’s obliteration of every possible law just check his record over the past forty years, but for a general understanding of what we’re dealing with in the White House now look up what has happened to my beloved Chelsea Hotel since it was absorbed by a real estate mogul in 2007. When you stop throwing up, continue reading…

And decorum, well that nonsense is for the meek and the meek suck pipes and go home. A real estate mogul in Manhattan would have no trouble “leaning” on someone who wasn’t “playing ball”. Comey spoke as if he were shocked at this. What does he know about this crazy wild, wild west shit? He thinks he is dealing with a president. He is dealing with El Douche. You don’t get on TV with petty things like pride or integrity. You get there like a bulldozer rolling over a slave burial ground south of Canal Street. Pave, crush, evict and shame. This is the armory of the real estate mogul.

And in a strange way this is why Comey’s testimony, while damning to everything thing including the main stream media, the justice department, the president and even his own department is merely a sidelight to this key sentence: One hundred and thirty-eight days into his presidency, Donald J. Trump’s lawyer is holding a press conference defending his client against charges of obstruction of justice and borderline treason.

This is what we have now.

Enjoy.

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APOLOGY SYNDROME 2017

Aquarian Weekly
6/7/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

APOLOGY SYNDROME 2017

Where’s the punch line?
– Alice Cooper to jc, 9/13

There is a mural in an alleyway in the Temple Bar district of Dublin, Ireland of Sinead O’Connor. It reads; “Sinead you were right all along, we were wrong, so sorry.” In October of 1992 the Irish singer/songwriter infamously ripped a photograph of Pope John Paul II on Saturday Night Live, proclaiming, “Fight the real enemy.” It set off a firestorm here, but in the entrenched Catholic traditions of her home country it was tantamount to treason. I would gather that in the annals of artistic protest, of which there have blessedly been thousands throughout Western civilization, this one was a doozey. Needless to say O’Connor was vilified and black-balled and even booed off the stage at, of all things, a Bob Dylan Tribute concert in friggin’ New York City a few weeks later. She never recovered professionally.

Turns out, as the mural succinctly and eloquently states, that although the performance protest was oblique and combative, her style anyway, it was a trite salvo in the war that was waged in the ensuing century against the Catholic Church for covering up the sexual abuse of children, to which we would later learn O’Connor had been a victim of; having endured such horrors, as hundreds of her fellow Irish youth, at the hands of predatory nuns, all of whom were whisked away without retribution for decades.

But long before being redeemed, O’Connor, one of my heroes, and I was honored to be able to tell her so personally when I interviewed her for a feature in this paper in 2014 just a few weeks after I took a photo of my wife standing in front of the aforementioned mural, she never apologized. Even when the torrent of hatred and professional and personal strife poured down on her. And you know why? Because right or wrong, this was her statement. And she stood by it, as all statements made by citizens or artists or politicians must; whether you are railroaded for it or not.

You would think.

I was reminded of Sinead and that mural and the night she stared into a camera on live television and tore up a photo of a revered holy representative of her church, and for the record O’Connor has never stopped being a Catholic and in fact was ordained in some radical sect of the church as a priest in the late 1990s, when comedian Kathy Griffin fecklessly apologized for what I assume was some kind of provocative performance/protest art. You’ve seen it by now. She is standing holding the bloody severed head of our president. Oh, not really the severed head, that would be bad, just an effigy.

Why is she apologizing for this?

Whether you agree with this or not or think it “goes too far”, which should not be in your lexicon if you believe in the sacred tenants of the U.S. Constitution, I think we can all agree that apologizing for something you believe makes no sense, especially when it is not off the cuff. This was a conscious free expression.

Now, we all know Griffin apologized because everyone went nuts. So she is not apologizing for her opinion or the way she chose in a very strategic way to express it. She is, of course, doing it because she got canned from CNN; that she only planned, produced, and sent the thing out all over social media to get attention to assist her flagging career but got the Sinead O’Connor shit storm instead. She was apparently wildly unfamiliar with what happens when you appear with the severed, bloody head of the president of the United States.

So it really isn’t an apology. It’s like the Anthony Weiner type apology for being caught or because things didn’t work out in her favor, not because she is sincerely sorry. Remember when Prince Harry went to a Halloween bash dressed as a Nazi? Remember everything Kanye West has done and said for the past decade-plus? Remember Congressman George Allen? Yeah, I don’t remember him, either. Still, all apologized for basically nothing but people being mad at them. Kathy Griffin is full of shit. She is sorry because she’s fucked. That is not really an apology and shouldn’t be.

Also, why would she feel the need to apologize for offending anyone? Isn’t that the point of the provocateur, whether Lenny Bruce or Thomas Paine or Salvador Dali. Not that I am comparing a woman who spends every New Year’s Eve figuring out new ways to joke about blowing Anderson Cooper in Times Square to these mighty figures, but when you swim in that pool you can’t be surprised by getting wet.

Also, let’s face it, Griffin is apologizing because she put her singular name and face to this gesture. What is the difference between this and burning the previous two presidents in effigy, which they were, over and over, in dozens and dozens of protests? Or the despicable shit people throw up on the Internet? One comes with a signature, the other is anonymous or done in a mob but they are the same thing. Different venue. But the same thing.

Art.. is an extension of opinion, and like comedy, need not ever apologize.

Now, there has been much talk about political correctness and the backlash against free speech, mainly by the Right lately. This used to be the domain of the Left. But freedom is a mighty pendulum that will swing and swing hard, and one man’s insult is another man’s right, and I support that in every possible way. But, like all things, it comes with degrees or definitions. I am not broaching parameters here, only what kind of free speech tumbles into shouting fire in a crowded theater. Or more to the point, which can be accepted as opinion versus doing what ironically has been an art form for the president in question, blatant falsehood.

For instance, when former Breitbart, (The Onion of the Right), provocateur, Milo Yiannopoulos caused riots at the formally Free Speech Center UC Berkley campus last February, I had several debates with alumni and we came to this conclusion; the protest was only justified because Yiannopoulos is the Alice Cooper of commentary and as an entertainer in this field he is virtually peerless, but should a place of higher learning be accommodating a guy espousing what amounts to flat-earth theories. This is equivalent to a medical school allowing a man touting leeches as the elixir for menstrual pain. However, a few months later when conservative Howard Stern type commentator, Ann Coulter backed out of her appearance there due to protests, it was a tad different. Coulter is kooky, but she is not telling you the earth is flat. She is saying she thinks Mexicans are evil and Jews need to be “perfected” and that Joseph McCarthy was a hero. These are opinions. I think Ann Coulter is a stupid idiot (opinion), not a fat guy from Cleveland (falsehood).

Art, and whether you like it or not Griffin standing with the severed, bloody head of the president is art, is an extension of opinion, and like comedy, need not ever apologize. And even if you apologize, doesn’t un-paint the Mona Lisa or un-record “Anarchy in the UK”.

People who make a stand, no matter how trite or vulgar or combative, need to stop acting as if it is not when it goes bad. Going bad is the point. Did Kathy Griffin think no one would be offended by holding the severed, bleeding head of Donald Trump?

Oh, and on the flip side of all this political correctness off-shoot, Donald Trump and those who support him are not allowed to be offended by anything. Trump is the vilest human going. This is his thing. He has insulted anything and everything repeatedly to spectacular results. You can make the argument he has “normalized” this behavior, and I could not be more pleased at this. So he or anyone who has supported this act doesn’t get to whine about his 11 year-old little shit “having a hard time with this.” You think Rosie O’Donnell’s kid was digging Trump calling her a fat, disgusting pig over and over again, or the children of the disabled reporter were thrilled that the then Republican candidate for president was acting spastic in front of a capacity crowd to get laughs or the dozens of other disgusting things the president has said and done over the past two years? How do you think Barack Obama’s girls feel when this blowhard accuses their father of high crimes with no evidence after two years of saying he had evidence that didn’t exist that he wasn’t even an American?

Fuck him. Grow a pair and get a helmet.

As for Kathy Griffin, fuck off.

You are no Sinead O’Connor.

Author’s Note: I wish to apologize for anyone I offended in the previous column.

Second Author’s Note: Fuck you.

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DONALD TRUMP: STUPID, GUILTY OR BOTH?

Aquarian Weekly
5/17/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

DONALD TRUMP: STUPID, GUILTY OR BOTH?

The firing of FBI Director James Comey confirms two things; the president of the United States is probably guilty and most definitely stupid.

There is no other explanation for this maneuver; its timing, its politics, it optics, its reflection of the current investigation into his campaign’s role in Russia’s meddling in our national electoral process, or the eventual handling of the announcement. Unless you’re guzzling the Trump Kool-Aid, no one can possibly offer a rationale for doing this, or at least doing this now, that doesn’t end with guilty, stupid or both.

Trump’s letter of dismissal to Comey told the whole tale. The president decided to include an aside about having been told personally by the man he was sacking that he was not directly under investigation…three times; a ham-fisted attempt to deflect the idea that this had nothing to do with being under investigation. By the way, that alone would be grounds to dismiss an FBI director. Whispering in the ear of the subject of an investigation that it ain’t really about him before its conclusion breaks so many laws it is hard to fathom.

Even more idiotic is Trump revealing a previous dinner engagement with Comey to NBC News the following day that included discussions on the director keeping his job. “I told him I’d think about it,” said Trump in the way a CEO dangles career survival as a bargaining chip. Later a NY Times report cited sources close to Comey that claimed the “thinking about it” came with a caveat of “loyalty”, to which Comey said he would provide the president only his “honesty”, something Trump obviously could not abide.

The second part of the letter frames several calls for Comey’s dismissal by members of the Justice Department, more pointedly, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein. According to the voices that defended this move over the ensuing 24 hours, like the vice president, two press secretaries (can anyone find Sean Spicer?) and the usual host of spinners, it was Rosenstein’s strong recommendation that Comey be removed that sprang “the decisive president” into action, thus, in essence, laying the responsibility for it on someone else. However, in a spectacular twist of stupidity, the president pissed on all that and once gain told NBC News it had nothing to do with any recommendation. “I was going to fire Comey all the time,” Trump admitted, adding stuff about Comey being “a grandstander” and “a showboat”, which is like Metallica telling you that your band is too loud.

Joining the stupid/guilty party is Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who also recommended Comey’s dismissal in print, despite having to recuse himself from anything connected to the Russian investigation after lying to congress about his own potential involvement.

And the reason given for the firing? (drum roll) Comey had destroyed the FBI’s morale and …wait for it…hurt Hillary Clinton’s campaign.

Cue laugh track.

Just last week, Trump, painfully unaware he is no longer in a campaign, stood in front of his cult following as they chanted “Lock her up!” and smiled. He repeatedly praised Comey for his “guts” in handling the Clinton email investigation for months and then when he became president not only allowed him to continue in the position, he never once mentioned removing him.

And then he did; just one coincidental day after the recently fired acting Attorney General Sally Yates spent hours presented damning evidence that either stupidity, guilt or both led to the firing of National Security Advisor Michael Flynn for his illegal involvement with the Russians. You don’t have to be Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to sleuth this one.

…Comey said he would provide the president only his “honesty”, something Trump obviously could not abide.

Then, a day after the firing, acting FBI Director Andrew McCabe appeared before congress and completely refuted the White House claim that Comey committed any “atrocities” (their word) or what the president and his spinners referred to as a department “loss of confidence” in him. In fact, McCabe said Comey engendered “broad support within the FBI and still does to this day,” adding, “The vast majority of FBI employees enjoyed a deep, positive connection to Director Comey.” In other words, for about the four-hundredth time since taking office, (voter fraud, fake news, wiretapped by Obama, ships heading to Korean Peninsula) Trump made it all up.

This is once again a solution looking for a reason.

Now, whether you choose to ignore the glaring evidence pointing toward guilt or explain it away with sub-mental theorizing about witch hunts, no one actually knows if Donald Trump or the dozen or so of his campaign staffers are actually guilty of anything beyond hubris and, well, stupidity, but one thing is for certain, through his erratic tweeting and haphazard reactions to all of it the president sure thinks he’s guilty of something.

First and foremost although he continues to call the investigation and the Russian involvement in the 2016 presidential election, confirmed by every level of U.S. intelligence community, a hoax, the president has spent an enormous amount of energy and time defending himself. And while mocking investigations against you is classic Al Capone stuff, Trump only echoes the idea that there is something worth mocking.

Secondly, the White House has done back-flips to get ahead of the story at every turn, hoping to thwart its momentum, from releasing bogus info to one of the lead congressional investigators to the aforementioned sacking of Sally Yates mere weeks after she warned the administration of its abysmal pick of a traitor as national security advisor.

And now in this final act of desperation, following his hollow “Mission Accomplished” moment in the White House rose garden hailing a healthcare bill that will certainly be hacked into unrecognizable pieces by a frightened senate and sent back to the House in a body bag, the president disappears for five days before emerging with this bungled firing of the person who holds the most delicate position to nail him.

What shouldn’t be lost in all this is that Comey was really shitty at this job, or at least performing the public face of it. His July 5, 2016 berating of a major party candidate after exonerating her of criminal activity as if she were a kindergarten student was not only unprofessional and idiotic but put the onus on future directors to not only present “just the facts, ma’am”, but add some kind of Supreme Court dissent to each decision. Then, unconscionably, he halted the democratic process of a national election by erroneously leading the American electorate to believe that the same investigation was re-opened on flimsy evidence that wasn’t really evidence.

And while I think Hillary Clinton’s loss to Donald Trump had little to nothing to do with Comey’s blatant overreach and clumsy communication, it does not clear him of being shitty.

Even so, this would have been a gutsy move by Trump in January or even February, but now? When Comey was currently requesting further resources to increase the investigation? When Trump had a meeting with Russian diplomats closed off to the media?

Yeah, stupid, guilty or both.

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THE TRUMP CENTURY MARK

Aquarian Weekly
5/3/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE TRUMP CENTURY MARK
Dissecting the Worst First 100 Days of a Presidency

Congratulations to Donald J. Trump. Not since 1933 when they started using this century metric to measure the length and breadth of a newly minted president have we seen more chaos, failure and mayhem in the first 100 days of an administration. This was his aim and now it is his greatest achievement. In other words, this is what the office looks like when it is held by a game show host. Not surprising, but certainly entertaining and exciting and full of the type of lunacy that brings a joy to my black heart and worthy of review.

It would take at least four of these columns to cover this properly. But all of it has to start with the fact that Donald Trump broke a speed record for urinating on the constitution, a pastime of nearly all of our presidents. The second he lifted his hand off the Bible, Trump was in violation of the Ethics Reform Act of 1989 for failing to officially divest himself of his business holdings, which are numerous and international and a major conflict of several interests all at once. Then, before long he would replace his top advisor, an alt-right white supremacist web master, with his son-in-law and daughter, both of whom still represent these businesses and are now considered the most powerful people in the U.S government.

This, of course, would soon pale in comparison to how Trump got the gig, which was under investigation within weeks of his presidency when it was learned that the FBI had been officially examining his campaign since July for colluding with the Russian government to skew the outcome of the U.S election in his favor. We have learned, almost daily, that more people inside the campaign than not had either taken cash from or met with Russian officials under cover. Several are under indictment and one, the friggin’ National Security Advisor, General Michael “Lock Her Up” Flynn was sacked after 27 days and is most likely going to jail.

Don’t kid yourself; to be the first president to be investigated within the first 100 days by a bipartisan committee in both houses of congress and the highest law officials in the government is a goddamned spectacular feat. And when it looked as though it couldn’t get more sordid, the White House colluded with one of its lead investigators by secretly handing him erroneous information to back an unsubstantiated claim made by the president via Twitter that the former president illegally wire-tapped his private residence. When this ruse went belly up – several sources including his attorney general and the FBI director said no such thing occurred – he blamed one of the United States most trusted allies, the British Intelligence community.

Election tampering, colluding with a known enemy of the United States to queer an election, refusal to divest business ties and slander is a pretty daunting criminal record for about four months of governing; all of which has earned Trump the lowest approval ratings of any president in his first months in office. The lowest. Not the bottom five or one of the worst, the worst. Ever.

And for laughs, the president, who issued about two-dozen executive orders as if on a drunken binge (something he mocked the prior president for doing), ordered some kind of bizarre and wholly unconstitutional ban on Muslims from entering the country. When it was struck down in court in about five seconds of argument he issued a second one which was then immediately struck down in court. Both remain there and will do so until someone enterprising nut adds an amendment to our constitution making it legal for the government to discriminate on the basis of religion, which I am rooting for but has zero chance of happening.

In other words, this is what the office looks like when it is held by a game show host.

But crimes are not the only thing that has stamped this as the absolute worst 100 days in presidential history; save for William Henry Harrison, who summarily dropped dead on day 31.

There was the complete and utter collapse of a seven-year Republican promise to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Despite owning both houses and the executive branch, they twice failed to even vote on Trump Care, which was viewed by both parties and the majority of the American people as some kind of aborted half-assed band-aid on the existing law everyone apparently hates…except they really don’t. In fact, Donald Trump has turned out to be the law’s best advocate, as it has not only grown in popularity in polls but people have come out of the woodwork, ala the TEA Part uprising against it, to decry its doom, consequently spooking members of congress all over the place.

This turned what is usually a honeymoon period wherein the first legislative attempt is always (not sometimes) always achieved into a historically damaging crash and burn. All of it despite the entire Trump staff threatening members of congress (all Republican) with every known political black-ops in the ledger along with the kind of pathetic pleading that has people believing Donald Trump is actually some kind of decent negotiator.

Oh, the deals and winning we expected…oh, the losses we’ve seen.

Trump has also ignored staffing a majority of the state department and other key departments that still at the time of this writing have 2,000 vacancies. And his choices to run pretty significant government agencies have been downright hilarious. Just to name two (I’ll leave off Ben Carson, who begged Trump to not give him a job, because he was incapable of doing it) an EPA Director who tried to sue the EPA several times and the head of the Energy Department who vowed to shut down the department of energy when running for president, but couldn’t recall its name when declaring it. “Oops!” Oh, you know, the same guy said Trump was “a cancer on the Republican Party” during the primaries.

Trump wasted no time declaring war on the American press calling it “the enemy” or “fake news” whenever it pointed out his daily delusions, not the least of which was framing his three-million popular-vote loss in the general election as “massive voter fraud”. Let me stop for a moment and explain that the winner of the election screamed for weeks that the entire electoral process was fraudulent. Oh, and after saying he would have no time to golf once president, Trump has spent more time playing it and used up more tax payer money in the first four months on travel to do so than eight years of the previous president. He even held nuclear strategy sessions at his own non-classified golf resort called “The Winter White House”. This included the flipping of his already nebulous position on Syria in 24 hours and ordering a bombing raid on a whim over chocolate cake.

For more fun, he compared the U.S. intelligence community to Nazi Germany, joined the Pentagon in lying about Navy war ships speeding to the Korean Peninsula during a contentious week of saber-rattling with a lunatic, defended a talk show host who was eventually fired after millions in payouts for sexual harassment, while several cases against his own sexual harassment are pending. He settled on fraud charges against his bogus Trump University despite promising to fight and win the case and tweets incessantly that every massive protest against his wacky presidency (and there has been hundreds every weekend since his inauguration all over the nation) are funded by the Democratic Party.

He has taken completely opposite positions on issues he vehemently campaigned on like regarding Chinese manipulation of currency and the legitimacy of NATO, which he admitted in print he had no idea about, and reneged on everything listed under Trump’s Contract with America (still on his web site) guaranteed to be completed in his first 100 Days; Middle Class Tax Relief and Simplification Act, End the Offshoring (tic) Act, American Energy and Infrastructure Act, School Choice and Education Opportunity Act, Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act, Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act, End Illegal Immigration Act, Restoring Community Safety Act, Restoring National Security Act, Clean Up Corruption in Washington Act.

And guess what, folks? Remember the infamous border wall? Mexico ain’t paying for it. Not now or in any fantasy con this guy is whipping up. And if there is a wall, highly doubtful at this or any juncture, you’re paying for it.

To be fair, he did appoint a candidate for the Supreme Court, which was confirmed by the Senate, even though they have blown up the entire rule structure for all time. There’s that.

“Politicians are idiots, they don’t know what they’re doing,” candidate Donald Trump said repeatedly on the campaign trail. Now he is president and proving this with tremendous alacrity.

By any standard or metric measuring for the past 80 years this has been one whiz bang, horrifyingly beautiful shit-circus of a presidency.

I cannot wait for the next 1,300.

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WHEN AN ARMADA IS NOT AN ARMADA

Aquarian Weekly
4/26/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

WHEN AN ARMADA IS NOT AN ARMADA
And Doomsday is Delayed For a Lark

We are sending an armada, very powerful. We have submarines, very powerful, far more powerful than the aircraft carrier. We have the best military people on Earth. And I will say this: he (North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jung-un) is doing the wrong thing.
– President Donald Trump to the FOX Business Network’s Maria Bartiromo, April 12, 2017

In the case of our super-mighty pre-emptive strike being launched, it will completely and immediately wipe out not only U.S. imperialists’ invasion forces in South Korea and its surrounding areas but the U.S. mainland and reduce them to ashes.
Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper for North Korea’s ruling Worker’s Party, April 20, 2017

Take a moment from your latest freak-out about something nonsensical and pay attention to the following paragraphs that detail one of the most dangerous and egregious fuck-ups our federal government has perpetuated on us since 9/11. Luckily this time thousands weren’t killed and buildings didn’t disappear in our greatest and richest city.

At the outset I must admit that after nearly 100 days, I am starting to get a handle on this President Trump thing. Rightly accused of lying his ass off nearly every time he opens his mouth is kind of missing a more pressing point. I think it is not so much lying as it is making stuff up that he thinks of on the spot with little to no actual factoids or tangible premise involved. It’s like talking to a four year-old about space men without the cute voice or some imaginative asides. Trump just plain makes stuff up. And this is nothing new. He has been doing this for decades and did so at an alarmingly hilarious rate when he presented himself for the job of President of the United States and then won the right to perform it. Now he has taken this art form or mentally damaged tick (you choose) to new levels.

I do not have the time or the inclination to recount the entirety of Trump’s craziness here – we shall “try” and review the obligatory First 100 Days metric next week. Right now we will concentrate on one spectacular doozey, then move onto something seriously flawed in our Democracy, which has nothing to do with Donald J. Trump.

Before the president employed his “make shit up on the spot” stylings to this monumental screw-up, let us go back to April 8 of this “foul year of Our Lord” 2017, when Admiral Harry B. Harris Jr., the head of the military’s Pacific Command publicly announced the diversion of an aircraft carrier called the Carl Vinson, its wing of fighter jets and three guided-missile destroyers and cruisers from a planned series of exercises and port calls in Australia to complete a new mission in the Western Pacific, more specifically the Sea of Japan, and far more essentially, the Korean Peninsula.

This was fairly important (okay, I will suspend sarcasm for a moment) fucking gigantically pertinent information for the American public and the world, mainly due to North Korea being run by a murderously wild-child monarch by the name of Kim Jong-un, who has recently upped his usual saber-rattling about launching nuclear missiles towards the United States because daddy didn’t love him.

Seeing how the current commander-in-chief, also riddled with daddy issues, is embroiled in several scandals and wants to appear like the tough-guy he “made up” during the campaign, it appeared from that announcement that conflict was nigh – and not just any conflict; nuclear war level conflagration or millions-die-in-an-instant kind of level.

Summarily, all the news outlets, even the real ones, reported this maneuver. And when asked about this in the ensuing days, the ninth, tenth, eleventh and especially April 12, the president, vice president, White House press secretary, defense secretary, the Pentagon, and the guy who played the 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue Easter Bunny (damn it, it is so hard to abandon sarcasm completely here) confirmed and even detailed a show of military force heading to what could easily be framed as a war zone, and has been since the Korean Conflict of the early 1950s “ended” without an official treaty.

..maybe if we are fixing to turn islands into cinder on our dime and maybe brace ourselves for retribution it might be okay to give us the head’s up?

The government and the press told us the United States was basically calling the bluff of a loon with nuclear weapons with its own barrel of severe weaponry over and over and over for eleven days.

Then it wasn’t happening.

It never happened.

Totally made up.

All of it.

Not one iota of this potential major, world-changing event happened or was happening.

We found out about all of this more or less on April 18.

Do I have to write What the Fuck? Or should I merely go with the more accepted acronym WTF? Or maybe I should just move this whole operation down to Australia and bid the rest of you suckers adieu.

Then, for the purposes of perspective, whatever the hell that is, we’ll fast forward to the fallout, which enjoyed the predictable political spin-doctoring acrobatics perfected by more worthy semi-truth tellers on military schemes from Abraham Lincoln to Barack Obama.

But I expect presidents and the Pentagon to lie. Part of it is strategic, some parts are to keep people alive, still other parts include a heavy rotation of “Can’t help it, man.” However, I am trying to figure out why we even have a press corps. Is it to show us funny cat videos; because I have YouTube for that. Is it to have six boxes of talking heads yelling about who sucks less, Democrats or Republicans? Is it to better position one’s self to sexually stalk fellow employees? I need something on this, because I would like to know how nearly two weeks go by with notions of nuclear holocaust dancing in our heads with no one in the government, the military or the national press knowing what the hell is going on with our war ships?

I know it’s too much to ask for competent chief executives or basic legislation or even anything approaching sane decorum, but maybe if we are fixing to turn islands into cinder on our dime and maybe brace ourselves for retribution it might be okay to give us the head’s up? Or if this is not too much to hope for, not make all of it up.

But then again…

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The Trump Doctrine

Aquarian Weekly
4/19/17

REALITY CHECK

James Campion

THE TRUMP DOCTRINE
Spoiler Alert: There Is None

“After listening for 10 minutes, I realized it’s not so easy. I felt pretty strongly that they had a tremendous power [over] North Korea. … But it’s not what you would think.”
– President Donald Trump to the Wall Street Journal, April 12, 2017

When an unhinged simpleton is commander-in-chief of the most power and richest armed forces on the planet you get the week we just had.

Let’s review.

Under mounting evidence that key members of the 2016 Trump campaign committed high treason in colluding with the Russian government, a known and hostile adversary of the United States, to intervene on its behalf in this country’s previous presidential election, President Trump dispatched his heretofore missing-in-action Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to Turkey to proclaim that “the longer-term status of President [Bashar] Assad will be decided by the Syrian people.” This sent neo-cons like Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain into the predictable tizzy, but it did echo the president’s oft repeated vow to be a different Republican and the new voice of “America First” to stay out of the civil wars of foreign nations with little to no lasting sovereign or fiscal interests to the U.S.

This was especially prevalent to matter of Syria, where not only had candidate Trump shrugged his shoulders about Assad, using the “We should have left Saddam Hussein in power because a tough dictator is far more stable than the mess that emerged in the vacuum after the failed maneuvers of the Bush Doctrine”, he doubled down with a constant and almost creepy defense and praise of Russian tyrant Vladimir Putin throughout 2016.

Citizen Trump famously tweeted his advice on this issue in 2012 to the former president, “We should stay the hell out of Syria, the “rebels” are just as bad as the current regime. (caps are his) “WHAT WILL WE GET FOR OUR LIVES AND $ BILLIONS? ZERO.”

Then, with no warning beyond a four-minute aside by Tillerson prior to the arrival of the Chinese to Trump’s private residence in Mar a Largo, Florida, no discussion with congress, or any announcement to the American people, the president dramatically shifted his stance, more like violently spun the whole thing around with dizzying speed, bagging the very foundation of his campaign’s divergence from the usual “fix the planet” Republican mantra of the Bush Administration he unmercifully mocked for over a year by bombing an Al Shayrat airfield in Syria. Something Citizen Trump thought better of in 2013 when someone else had this gig, judging from his tweet tsunami on the subject: “What will we get for bombing Syria besides more debt and a possible long term conflict?” and “Obama needs Congressional approval. The President must get Congressional approval before attacking Syria-big mistake if he does not!”

This was of course in response to the horrific photos and videos taken after Assad’s chemical weapons dump on Syrian civilians, many of them children, the week before. Trump had commented on how affected he was by them, which is noble and human and no one blames him. However, Trump no longer hosts a TV show and gets up at four am to angrily tweet about shit he knows little to nothing about. He owns this now, and by owning it, he owns America’s role in the greater construct of foreign affairs and relations. This is something, again, an unhinged simpleton is learning on the job, and this past week the very notion of a Trump Doctrine has been laid to waste.

During all of this, while consuming in his Louis XIV style meal and what he described to FOX News as “the most beautiful piece of chocolate cake you’ve ever seen” with Chinese Presdient Xi Jinping at his aforementioned luxury accommodations a thousand miles or so from D.C., Trump gave the orders that upset several international apple-carts. First and foremost, American military personnel are working mostly under cover in the fight against ISIS (the only reason we are in the country in the first place) had to summarily evacuate missions, the Russian government, under heavy suspicion of meddling in the American election by congress and the FBI, has a reed-thin agreement on overt military action, especially from the air, as there are daily missions to ostensibly defeat ISIS as an ally, and finally pushing us head first in a civil war in which there are no allies or strategic end-game.

Beyond the president acting like a tough guy and playing with his boats in the bath, what exactly does any of this accomplish?

One is right to ask about the moral imperative for the United States to not sit idly by and watch children slaughtered by a mad man, but if this kind of thing, which has gone sideways now since 2001 in two other countries, and went mostly badly in Libya for the previous administration, (another maneuver derided by TV show Trump) then one might ask what “help” does bombing one airbase actually do to curtail Assad or his ability to wreak havoc on his people? And one also then has the right to ask what to do about Assad, to which Trump has offered no plan, except to punt any thought of removing him from power, which before Tillerson’s fancy speech in the final days of last month was the official stance of the U.S. It no longer is, or is it?

Then there is North Korea.

Trump gladly admitted this week in a lengthy interview with the Wall Street Journal he had no idea about Chinese/North Korean relations, its history, or how complicated all this “curbing” the lunatic, Kim Jong Un would be. Yet this didn’t stop him from blathering on about Un and North Korea being “in trouble” and sending what he described as an “armada”, actually the 97,000-ton USS Carl Vinson with an escort of a guided-missile cruiser and two destroyers, to the Korean peninsula heightening tensions there beyond anything seen since the early 1950s when this country was in a conflict there known as the Korean War.

Beyond the president acting like a tough guy and playing with his boats in the bath, what exactly does any of this accomplish? And let’s say there is an all-out war where thousands are killed and the North Korean situation is “taken care of”, who pays for the reconstruction and all that fun stuff that this president vowed to eliminate from the federal government’s responsibilities in lieu of American jobs ignored by fixing the world’s problems that all the stupid weak politicians prior to him got mired in?

Before the week ended apparently the Pentagon, which has unilateral approval from the White House without express consent from the president, unleashed the largest bomb since the atomic blasts in Japan over sixty years ago on ISIS tunnels at the border of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

And so I ask, and not rhetorically, what is the Trump Doctrine?

Bush Doctrine? Aggressive vengeance and nation-building.

Obama Doctrine? Diplomacy and stasis.

This has been replaced by seat-of-the-pants knee-jerk nonsense.

Let’s see how that works.

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