Sunday, August 27, 2017

Trump Seizes the Pardon Weapon

It was inevitable that Trump would abuse the presidential pardon. His pardoning of former Sheriff Arpaio was merely a trial balloon to see just how far he could go. From the response so far, it appears that, with the exception of a few senators and congresspersons, the Republicans will refuse to act.

The president has unlimited pardoning power, but there is nothing in the Constitution that immunizes him from prosecution for crimes while in office. To maintain the position that he can pardon himself—print his own get-out-of-jail cards, in other words—is to declare him a monarch, who in theory can do no wrong. Our forebears fought a war because they were determined not to be ruled by a monarch.

A constitutional crisis is now upon us. A president without respect for the law or the Constitution has taken a huge step towards a coup. If his henchmen can ignore our statutes, our Constitution, and even common decency, in the knowledge that they will be pardoned for any crime they commit short of treason, the republic will cease to exist.

Surely, our legislators comprehend the danger poised by this clever but vicious clown. If they do not take action quickly—bipartisan action, no less—to impeach and convict Donald Trump, tomorrow they may find to their sorrow that they lack the power to act at all.

Monday, August 21, 2017


The dragon has finally arrived and is chowing down on our Sun. It’s getting darker. Weird.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Why I was always suspicious of George Mason University

I just read an article by one of my favorite writers, George Monbiot, which I strongly suggest you read: Missing Link. Monbiot, a British journalist, invariably writes something useful to those concerned about the state of the world and the future of democracy.

In the column cited above, Monbiot recounts the story of one James McGill Buchanan, whose office, stuffed with his writings, was discovered by historian Nancy MacLean. Her new book Democracy in Chains: the deep history of the radical right’s steath plan for America tells how she came across Buchanan’s papers in a deserted clapboard house on the campus of George Mason University in Virginia.

The papers revealed a horrifying plan to transform the United States from a representative democracy into an authoritarian plutocracy. The plan was being funded by a group of billionaires, including (you guessed it) Charles Koch.

As a mere mortal, I have never understood why billionaires would desire a society in which the rich live obscenely luxurious lives while the overwhelming majority of citizens are mired in abject poverty. It seems insane to me, but I’m not a member of that privileged class who never had to work a day in their lives but are able to isolate themselves thoroughly from those who actually work.

This is a despicable sub rosa conspiracy, designed to achieve by stealth what cannot be accomplished in the light of day. Men love the darkness when their deeds are evil[1]. Not only are their objectives immoral, but they are ultimately self-defeating. Societies ruled by the few who profit from the sufferings of the many inevitably perish.

So read the column, but don’t be afraid. Be concerned. Be angry. Most important of all, be courageous. The world doesn’t have to become what these men would like it to become. Manure, if exposed to the sun, quickly becomes harmless. In fact, it becomes useful as fertilizer. Let us work towards shining the sunlight on these men and their aims.

  1. John 3:19  ↩

Friday, August 11, 2017

Listening to Hayden Symphonies

I just finished listening to Symphonies 21 and 57 by Joseph Haydn. They are both stemwinders. Recording of these symphonies by Christopher Hogwood are on YouTube.

I wish I had studied more Hayden through the years, and I am determined to make up for lost time in the years I have left.