My Dear U. S Government, Please Stop Trying to Save Me

By Leyland A. King June 10, 2017

After centuries of arduous work to give me freedom by saving me, I beg of you, please stop. The fact is, that when there is any rescuing done at all, the beneficiary is only you. For centuries!

Of course, external threats and domestic terror are exempt. That is your cardinal role, and even that needs rethinking, but it’s not my focus here. What are my focus and consternation are the sweat and treasure needlessly expended; all devoted to saving me from myself. I never made an appeal and I am so aware that even if I did, the remedy you concoct is too often detrimental to me and those similarly entangled in the widening, strengthening, all-consuming tentacled web flung upon me. Me! A person whose greatest vice is a weekend gelato and a pecan sticky bun.

You, having made vices crimes, then turn around and tax the very crimes.  I am flabbergasted that you could not have distinguished (1) the difference and (2) the consequence of the crimes you created.

Since our institutions follow your lead and adopt your worldview, one cannot be surprised that the sale of two cigarettes might be more important than human life; in your zeal to save me from myself, I pay the price through my insecurity and unceasing surveillance. Thus, I don’t have to actually engage the marijuana crime, it is sufficient to lose my personal freedom or life because a cop claimed to have smelled marijuana as he passed my car. Demanding that my constitutional rights are respected could bring upon me a swarm of law enforcers to kill me. I’m not exaggerating, this is what you have done to save me from potential vice. Me!

Gambling is a vice. You made it a crime. A few retirees and six slot machines in a storefront, bring hell’s coals upon them. Secretive sex; having a beer all by myself on my own driveway, could get me manhandled and arrested if a paper bag didn’t cover the bottle. Masked, armed men could break down my door and enter my home night or day and take me out or take me away because, I suppose, they think I am some sort of a combatant in the war on drugs.

The interesting thing is, despite my plea not to be saved from myself, you’re determined to do it anyway because you are obsessed with what you call law and order -what I hear as control and contain. We ask for jobs, you offer us 10,000 more cops. Not to be outdone your Attorney General, who has panic attacks at the mere mention of the word marijuana, called for increased prison time; more private prison space; he decided, based only on his addled notion, that the police need to be unfettered from such inconsequential matters as arbitrary arrests, detention, brutality, and murder.

So, as state governments grapple with pressing matters like drug testing the poor; increasing the rate of executions lest the chemicals expire; to shoot death row criminals because it’s cheaper, unhindered by pesky constitutionality, and trips back and forth to the Supreme Court. So, my dear rulers, I’m not asking for much, just to be left alone to self-regulate me.

 

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When Public Officials Misplace Loyalty, Institutions Collapse

Today, like many Americans, I took the time to witness the Senate Intelligence Committee at work. They did their inquiry as best they could, under the circumstances.

By under the circumstances, I mean their determined efforts to get to the truth of various, potentially criminal matters affecting the Trump Administration, only to be stymied by the four public officers who answer to the American people. It was shameful and appalling. I hope that this nation is still able to function as under previous Administrations. They, the four witnesses appeared to me that they would be prepared to suffer anything to protect what they believe to be their personal property. The Senators be damned…and the citizens too. But of the four lame witnesses, I have to give special attention to Adm. Mike Rodgers, a rude and surly person by demeanor and arrogant with regard to personality. For a member of our armed services, he was the bad kid next door, that our parents warned us never to adopt his behavior. For junior members of the services, Admiral Rodgers is surely no officer and a gentleman.

We can look at what’s happening and fight over which party to blame and make comparisons to excuse wrongdoing for only so long. I believe that if our leaders don’t come to their senses, the fight may not be between Republicans and Democrats, there just might be the third faction.

 

Crush This Monster in the Egg​

“What a terrible era in which idiots govern the blind”
-William Shakespeare, Julius Caesar

I wonder if there is anything Trump’s followers are not willing to put up with. My own concerns are about what is evident today, and impending threats to our future.

When Trump’s surrogates express contempt for the constitution, the courts and media, yet Trump and GOP, by timidity or stupidity embraced those actions- be alarmed.

Said one: “Everyone……will have to bow down to Donald….the greatest man in the universe.”

Another surrogate: “The President’s authority will not be questioned.” That was yet another idiot needing a job. He was speaking about recent actions of the judiciary.

None, none of those chilling remarks, and other more subtle threats were ever discouraged by the President or the ruling Republican party. And by the way, don’t forget the recent photograph of Trump’s flag atop a military convoy traveling on the highway in the United States.

Yes, Trump doesn’t have much education, but neither did Idi Amin, former President of Uganda. The latter started with mass deportation of Asians. We know how it ended. Note that the slaughter and disappearances were indiscriminate. One can never be sufficiently loyal to any dictator. What is so special about America, that would lead anyone to believe that a fascist state of White Nationalism is so remote a possibility?

There is a conjecture I might make, based on a large number​ of American citizens encountered on social media defending each and every action of the Trump administration. Do those people truly believe that their race or party affiliation would make them safe? Stalin and Mao disproved that.

Nothing is sacrosanct​ and no one is safe in autocracies.

After President Obama, What?

Today, I spent an inordinate amount of time reading posts on social media. Several hours reading just political commentary from my fellow citizens, not media articles, not blogs, only posts from John and Jane Doe.

I made sure that I was mentally prepared for every disconcerting thing, my rule: do not post or respond. I am now so glad to say that I survived but let me throw out some cautionary words. If you are prone to depression, do not visit; do not read content. It is that disappointing and utterly discouraging.

How did we get here, I thought just a little and informed myself that an accumulation of appalling choices by people who covet public office but have no business being there, stands out among the several that quickly come to mind. Individuals who are compelled to one of two parties for their own longevity of office, and because of that dependency, which they confuse with loyalty, brought us to a place not that different to communist parties. Graphically triangular, one would see the paramountcy of the party, survival of office, and somewhere fighting for the third tier comes the befuddled and abused citizenry.

It is now being claimed that all that bedevil us is race and that emerged from the legacy of slavery. But if I concede that explanation, then I correctly state as truth, what have leaders done to address the issue head on? Not by “a conversation about race,” but by being a beacon helping us through the darkness. But that is a false expectation. Why would they? They rely on racial animus to get elected. President George H.W Bush used mug shots of Willie Horton, to scare the bejeebers out of the White electorate; Nixon used crime and the Southern Strategy. Trump used Muslims and Mexicans. The malicious means justify the winning ends.

Seems to me that race was and continues to be a potent factor. It does not have to be that way. We have choices, we need leaders. Not instigators.

Senator Paul Ryan, a Shrinking Man

Dear Senator Ryan, I remember when you were an indistinct politician until the spotlight shone on you in the lead-up to your selection as running mate to Gov Romney. As the media promoted you, I said to myself , this guy seems to be someone passionate about our country, likeable, reasonable and would probably work with both parties. Though I do not share your political views I respected you and expected much of you.  Then a few things happened, I learned more about you and you seemed to diminish in stature like a banquet ice-carving that could not see the event through. I now remember you for two actions, Sen. Ryan, both of which were choices you made for paltry gain. The first was when you espoused your view about “inner city” people not willing to work and relying on welfare. Nothing new there. Africans have always been depreciated that way. It gets votes. You went through the ritual of apology after claiming you were misunderstood. I knew better as did most people. Today, I watched as you needlessly harangued a senior public servant John Koskinen at an unnecessary hearing. You all but inferred  criminality. The kind of people who would see your behavior and celebrate that, I would not wish to share the street with. Today, I saw you for what you truly are: a heartless, disrespectful, egotistical little man whose only care in life is to bully and insult others for whatever miniscule gain you can eke out of the disparate-power-interaction. Frankly, I am disgusted with you and the way you use your office. A public apology is owed Mr.Koskinen.