Chaos and Power Politics

There are several roots to this present-day chaos and scrambled power politics: the economic and political manifestos of Milton Friedman, Ayn Rand, the Heritage Foundation and hundreds of other activist groups similar to the Heritage Foundation! They have all initiated the reduction or destruction of constitutional US federal and state governments. Right-wing propaganda industries have always promoted anti-government sentiments. The hate group militia “military” wannabes long for wild, free anarchy and heroic ventures, all in the name of God. After President Obama was elected, the 2010 Tea Party (Freedom Caucus) sent conservative misfits to the House of Representatives. Their voters were shocked and angry because a mixed-race, brilliant man became president. They were easy pickings! Today, the so-called POTUS cannot resist blaming President Obama for all of his problems — still pandering to his base! He is like the monkey in a zoo who throws his poop at the other “primates” outside of his cage who are much smarter than he is.

Russia and China adopted the Friedman system after the communist regimes failed. However, corrupt communism, with the same leaders, can only create a corrupt system of capitalism, which it has done.

The US has been on a tentative path toward the same destructive tendencies — endangering our governing system of checks and balances. A significant majority of middle class intelligent, intuitive citizens have dealt with those forces of greed and power madness before. i have to believe they can continue to succeed.

Naomi Klein’s book, The Shock Doctrine, tells all about the Friedman “system,” and its disasters.

Helen McKinney
Sapphire, N.C.

Two-Tiered Justice in America

Tax Day has passed, and nearly all of us fulfilled our civic duty to pay. But Donald Trump brags about how little he can get away with paying, with no civic shame.

Jeff Sessions committed perjury under oath, yet he faces no legal consequences now as attorney general. Michael Flynn and Paul Manafort failed to register as paid lobbyists of foreign governments, in violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, yet they are not being prosecuted. Trump, his daughter Ivanka, and son-in-law have been receiving emoluments from foreign governments, in the form of exclusive trademark protections, yet no legal enforcement of the Constitution’s prohibition is underway.

The privileged few are not abiding by the same laws that the rest of us must respect. That just ain’t right. That isn’t the way our country is supposed to be governed.

Bruce Joffe
Piedmont, Calif.

Trump the Posturer, Con-Man, Liar, etc.

This is in response to Eric Boehlert’s “Media must choose: If Trump’s not a liar, he’s delusional” [5/1/17 TPP]. Trump strikes me as a somewhat-charismatic posturer and as a confidence man.

Another confidence-man, self-professed as such, once said that just as a teacher has confidence in a student to raise his C grade to a B, the confidence-man has confidence in his listener to do or believe exactly what the confidence-man expects of him. So Trump would verbally and emotionally structure the situation, feeling certain that the listener can do as he expects. All Trump has to do is draw it out of him.

Trump, indeed, might have delusions of grandeur among other self-deceptions. And he surely lies plenty, but, in fairness, a few of what appear to be lies may be honest errors.

Lastly, sometimes his instinct to posture may lead him to speak when he is not sure of the truth or falsehood of an assertion, but he asserts anyway. I suspect that “NATO is obsolete” is a good example. One might call it a bluff. When he reversed himself, he had confidence in people to believe his latest assertion, and in his core supporters to overlook his inconsistency.

Richard Sibley
Phoenix Ariz.

Trump’s Tax Returns

Now that Donald Trump has for the umpteenth time refused to release his tax returns, it is time to try something new.

The Senate Committee is saying it is investigating the Russian influence on our election. Unlike the House committee, formerly headed by Devin Nunes, the Senate investigation promises to be a real inquiry into when and how Russia attempted to influence our election. An essential part of that investigation would be to see what ties, connections or loyalties Donald Trump has toward Russia and why Russia wanted him to be President. A vital part of that investigation would be Trump’s tax returns, which the Senate could request or subpoena.

Until Trump releases his tax returns, we will not know for sure why Russia wanted so much for him to be President. The subpoena should be issued tomorrow.

Frank L. Schneider
Chicago, Ill.

Perspective on Cuba

I can’t believe that my letter has been the only response you have received with regard to Mary Sanchez’s piece in the 1/1-15/17 TPP (“Rapprochement with Cuba, through the eyes of a refugee”). The Cuban experience enjoys widespread and well-merited support, though not uncritical, from virtually the entire spectrum of  the progressive community.

Ms. Sanchez decries the fate of a former Batista supporter and Bay of Pigs veteran living in her home state to laud the cause of the Cuban exiles as “freedom fighters.” Readers of this paper are well aware of the Cuban exile community’s ties to the most heartless, reactionary and repressive policies both in the US and in Latin America. Your readers are aware of the advances made by the Cuban experience, especially in regard to education and health. These achievements  have served as a model and inspiration for similar policies across Latin America recently. …

We know, of course, that these advances mean nothing to these people, same as with the thousands of privileged and upper-class Brazilians, Venezuelans and others who flock to Miami, Orlando and Las Vegas, crying oppression from their home governments. The readers of TPP deserve to know better.

Kim Hutchinson
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Editor Replies: We missed an earlier, lengthier letter from Kim Hutchison criticizing Mary Sanchez’s column about Cuban emigres’ enmity towards Fidel Castro, but we haven’t noticed any other letters critical of Sanchez’s column. And Norman Solomon’s column, “Fidel Castro turned out to be right about the US role in Latin America,” in the same 1/1-15/17 issue, was largely an appreciation of Castro’s accomplishments in Cuba and Latin America. As Mr. Hutchinson acknowledges, we think progressives can be critical of the way the Castros have run Cuba.

Sanders Diehards Spout Nonsense

I am fed up with Bernie Sanders supporters like Ted Rall saying that Sanders would have been a stronger candidate than Hillary and would have beaten Trump. That is nonsense and hypothetical because we will never know.

Because Sanders never got the nomination and because he was not the nominee he was never the target of the GOP attack machine. If he had gotten the nomination all the over-the-top remarks that Sanders has made over the years such as his support of Castro and the Sandinistas would come back to haunt him.

I believe he would been a very weak candidate and lost by a landslide.

The DNC did not cheat on Hillary`s behalf. She beat him by four million votes in the primaries. Sanders failed to get the nomination because he did not have the support of people of color. Without their support you cannot win the Democratic nominaton.

Contrary to what Rall writes, there is no such thing as a Sanders Democrat because Sanders is a socialist and is not a member of the Democratic party.

Hillary beat Trump by three million votes. And polls document that the trio of Comey, Putin and Assange stole the presidency from the rightful winner, Hillary Clinton.

Reba Shimansky
New York, N.Y.

Contraception and Abortion

There’s much more to the contraception/abortion debate (“The AHCA’s War on Women” by Amanda Marcotte, 4/15/17 TPP) that is seldom discussed. Progressives and pro-choice advocates talk about the effects on women, but very few of them mention the effects on the children.

I would like to point out that unwanted children are often candidates for abuse, and abused children usually become abusing adults, straining social welfare programs that everyone pays for in heartbreak as well as money. A large percentage of the inmates doing time for violent crimes were abused as children, costing the taxpayers even more.

Children deserve to be wanted and loved by their parents, and, truly, it’s better for everyone if an unwanted child is never born.

Gayle Voeller
Carmichael, Calif.

Unhinging Russian Complicity in Election

It is amusing, to say the least, to read John Buell’s attempt [“The enemy of your enemy is not your friend: Russia, the CIA, and American democracy,” 4/15 TPP] to sanitize hypotheses that the Kremlin might have influenced the outcome of the American election by arguing there is no “proof that there was collusion with the Trump campaign.” Then, without himself offering any proof, he goes on to accuse liberals, as well as conservatives of endlessly [sic] propounding the idea  that the Kremlin is engaged in a Satanic [sic] conspiracy to take over the world, “echoed night and day by every radio station and in every newspaper — the thesis no American can dare any longer challenge without himself becoming suspect.” Talk about Trump’s incoherent and unhinged rantings, that, then, have to be defended as “alternative facts” by Miss Sunshine with the unsightly fingernails.

David R. Wright
Tampa, Fla.

Send Disgraced Members of Congress to Gitmo

There may actually be a good reason for keeping Guantanamo open. It would be a fabulous isolated prison for the numerous crooked members of Congress and members of the Russian White House oligarchy who should be incarcerated for treason and attempting to destroy our health care system, environment, and public educational system. If Guantanamo is not available, a refurbished Alcatraz might be a good substitute.

Edward L. Koven
Highland Park, Ill.

From The Progressive Populist, May 15, 2017


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