A Clear & Present Danger

Clear and present danger was a doctrine adopted by the Supreme Court of the United States to determine under what circumstances limits can be placed on First Amendment freedoms of speech, press, or assembly.”

I borrowed the title for my essay from the movie of the same name with Harrison Ford as the star of the film. With Trump’s mind-boggling press conference performance last week, it has become clear for all to see, except for the willfully blind of course, this guy is obviously a can or two short of a full six-pack. And his incessant berating of the press is of concern for many like myself who fear what may be ahead for us if Trump succeeds in muzzling the free press.

That is to say, Trump represents a sort of apex of the forces threatening our national well-being & by extension, the well-being of the planet because of our military & economic power. The confluence of the far right “Christians’” political agenda & the secular, “free market conservatives” has reached its “promised land.” Trump clearly chose Mike Pence as his vice-president in order to win the support of the massive Christian Right and it doesn’t bother the hypocritical “Christian” Right that Trump is just about as far from a Christian as it is possible to get unless he were an avowed Satanist.

Just as the Christian Right has been screaming for freedom to have prayer in public schools, the freedom to outlaw abortion in America, the right to censor books in our schools, to censor T.V., movies, etc., to control women’s bodies, etc., those free market fundamentalists have been calling for the complete elimination of all laws that regulate their business practices and having to pay a single dollar in city, state, or federal taxes. You may feel that I’m exaggerating here but if you had been following these forces as I have over the past 30 years, you’d see that I’m definitely not exaggerating.

As far as these “religious” believers are concerned, Secular Humanism is their number one enemy & it’s synonymous with drug-induced, wild, pagan orgies worshipping the Devil. For their supposed “clean” minds, these guys are pretty out there. And their ceaseless pursuit of power over the rest of us is always hidden behind a call for religious freedom & a plea that the rest of us stop waging our war on religion.

On the other hand, their crime partners in business have long whined that they are being stifled & can’t compete against the rest of the world economically because of all the oppressive government regulations that hold them back i.e. workers’ rights, health & safety on the job, etc. The Great Depression which threw one out of every four workers in America out of a job & forced millions of men to wander the country in search of work and split-up millions of families, the Savings & Loan Scandal which happened under that darling of the liberals, Jimmy Carter & was allowed to go on unabated under Reagan and which cost us, the taxpayers; “ In 1996, the General Accounting Office estimated the total cost to be $160 billion, including $132.1 billion taken from taxpayers.[2][3]

The deregulation of S&Ls in 1980, by the Depository Institutions Deregulation and Monetary Control Act signed by PresidentJimmy Carter on March 31, 1980, gave them many of the capabilities of banks without the same regulations as banks, without explicit FDIC oversight.

Yep, good ol’ Jimmy Carter, the simple country boy and good Christian. Of course we must’n forget good ol “Kenny boy” as that other devout Christian, George W. Bush liked to call him. And Kenny boy appreciated his buddy Georgie, the Coward from Crawford so much that he allowed Georgie to fly around the country on Enron’s private jet for his political campaigning for the presidency.

“While all this was occurring, the US Government and other public agencies continued to advocate for Enron, threatening poor countries like Mozambique with an end to aid if they did not accept Enron’s bid on a natural gas field. Enron was so intertwined with the US Government in many people’s minds that they assumed, as the late Croatian strongman Franjo Tjudman did, that pleasing Enron meant pleasing the White House. For Tjudman, he hoped that compliance with an overpriced Enron contract might parlay into an array of political favors, from softer treatment at The Hague’s War Crimes Tribunal to the entry of his country into the World Trade Organization.” http://www.corpwatch.org/article.php?id=2279

Of course when Kenny boy & Enron were circling the drain, Bush claimed that he hardly knew Ken Lay, you know, another one of those “Christian” values i.e. abandon friends as soon as they’re in trouble. And you might recall that in one of the presidential debates when Georgie was asked who his favorite philosopher was, he said, Jesus Christ. My point here is that Enron represented just how dangerous it is when corporations & the government are so intricately intertwined that it’s hard to distinguish between where one’s interest leaves off and the other’s begins i.e. Goldman Sachs and it’s role in the world-wide economic collapse of 2008 & it’s overwhelming presence in our Treasury Department. Oh yeah, Hank Paulson, is another good “Christian,” a Christian Scientist.

Enron, Tyco, Global Crossing, WorldCom, Xerox, etc., what do they and so many other corporate cockroaches have in common? That belief in the free market, well in their definition of the free market which is government subsidies for their research & development but not having to share their profits once that research starts paying off i.e. the invention of the Internet mostly paid for from funding by the Pentagon & the research done at M.I.T., tax shelters, tax breaks, all our infrastructure that we, the taxpayers pay for i.e. roads, highways, bridges, airports, ports, police protection, military protection overseas as they’re invading one country after another so they can steal their natural resources, etc. all in the name of freedom. Yet when it comes to paying their taxes, their money is invested in the Cayman Islands, etc. and isn’t subject to being taxed?

Of course when the corporations that I mentioned above and oh so many others, get busted for fraud, theft, lying, massive pollution of our ecosystem, etc. every now & then, the first thing we hear out of their mouths is that, “Oh, it was just a few bad apples.” Yeah, and coincidentally, when those T.V. evangelists get busted for stealing their congregations’ donations, living like jet-setters, paying prostitutes, etc., yep, “just a few more bad apples.” (Jim & Tammy Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard, Pat Robertson, Jerry Falwell, etc.)

Evidently, these aren’t aberrations in business or in the religion industry, no, they’re sadly the norm. And in my opinion, this is why our founding fathers made sure to have a separation of Church & State because they knew from history & from being students of the Enlightenment:

The Enlightenment (also known as the Age of Enlightenment or the Age of Reason;[1] in French: le Siècle des Lumières, lit. ‘the Century of Lights’; and inGerman: Aufklärung, ‘Enlightenment’)[2] was an intellectual movement which dominated the world of ideas in Europe in the 18th century. The Enlightenment included a range of ideas centered on reason as the primary source of authority and legitimacy, and came to advance ideals like liberty, progress, tolerance,fraternity, constitutional government, and separation of church and state.[3][4] In France, the central doctrines of les Lumières were individual liberty and religious tolerance in opposition to an absolute monarchy and the fixed dogmas of theRoman Catholic Church. The Enlightenment was marked by an emphasis on thescientific method and reductionism along with increased questioning of religious orthodoxy – an attitude captured by the phrase Sapere aude, “Dare to know”.[5]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Age_of_Enlightenment

Our founding fathers were landowners & men of great wealth and sadly, slaveowners as well but moreover, they were also men with a great love of learning. And obviously, Donald Trump is a mental midget or not even in the same galaxy as them when it comes to intellectual prowess. Here’s a fragment of U.S. history that you may or may not be aware of;

“During the War of 1812, British forces entered Washington, D.C., burning the Capitol building and the 3,000-volume library inside it. Writing to Samuel Harrison Smith in September 1814, Jefferson expressed his particular distress at this loss: “I learn from the newspapers that the vandalism of our enemy has triumphed at Washington over science as well as the arts, by the destruction of the public library with the noble edifice in which it was deposited.”1 Recognizing that it would be difficult for Congress to replace the library that had been lost, given the war and the difficulty of procuring items from Europe, Thomas Jefferson offered up his large personal library to Congress.” https://www.monticello.org/site/research-and-collections/sale-books-library-congress-1815

Now normally I’m not a betting man but I’d be willing to bet you that if Trump has any books in any of his homes/apartments, they are probably Reader’s Digest Condensed Books & a collection of every magazine that has his picture or name mentioned in it and oh yeah, The National Enquirer. But all kidding aside, the so-called Christians that have jockeying for position & power within our political system for decades if not longer, have always felt that our secular government’s respect for intellect & belief in public education for all our citizens was a threat. Why? Because they are so insecure in their professed beliefs and people, like our founding fathers, who appreciate the wisdom that comes from a deep study of classic literature, history, philosophy, political science, theology, etc. aren’t so easily manipulated into belief in the authoritarianism of much of theological belief. And just as those televangelists & pastors of the mega-churches who want blind faith, the majority of organized religions see it as their holy duty to do everything they can to undermine public education.

Unfortunately for us as Americans and for the rest of the world again by extension because of our military empire, Trump, the Babbling Baboon & Buffoon who has conned his way into the White House won in his appointment of Betsy DeVos as our Secretary of Education. And DeVos represents those two sinister forces of which I speak i.e. the phony Christian whose goal is destroy public education & the free market fundamentalist who married into the Amway Corporation, you know, the legalized Ponzi scheme sanctioned by the government. Betsy knows absolutely nothing about public education, and neither she nor her children have ever attended a public school. She is clearly a part of that Christian far right organizations that have been steadily working against public education in the U.S. for decades.

Furthermore, Betsy’s brother is none other than the infamous, Erik Prince who heads one of the largest mercenary contractor agencies in the, well it used to be in the U.S. but then Erik felt the need to move to the U.A.E. (United Arab Emirates) because he & his organization, Blackwater, were under investigation & indictment for war crimes. You see, Erik is the perfect embodiment of John Bunyan’s “Pilgrim’s Progress” in that he loves killing Muslims in the service of the lord and making a pretty penny while at it.

Please excuse the interruption but I need to return to the separation of church & state issue briefly. While I confess (pun intended) that my study of history has been piecemeal i.e. I haven’t studied it formally in college but rather on my own by reading a variety of histories but my contention is that some of the most calamitous times in human history were when the church & state worked in unison i.e. the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, the Christian missionaries spreading their faith around the globe, etc.

Undeniably, America’s unequivocal support for Israel both militarily & politically has been the source of much of the tension in the Middle East and with our completely unnecessary attack & occupation of Iraq, we have stirred-up a hornet’s nest that is not likely to subside for decades. There is much debate on our motivations for invading Iraq but I feel that one would have to willfully ignorant to deny that oil was perhaps the overriding reason for it. Of course there’s also the geopolitical strategy of having a “foothold” in that region of the world & naturally “our” leaders trot out the tired, old worn-out pretense of, “We’re bringing democracy & freedom to them.” But it’s important to not lose track of the fact that many, if not most, in the Christian far right were also cheering & pushing for this modern day crusade for Christ.

Perhaps this is a good point at which to remind you of dear, old Georgie, the Coward from Crawford’s enabling of the Christian Right when he was in office?

The concept of the faith-based initiative, a political idea put forth by George W. Bush (in the United States), involved the U.S. federal government giving money to religious organizations in order that they would do the government’s work in caring for the poor, endangered, and troubled. Bush claimed that these initiatives could somehow work more efficiently than regular government agencies, an assertion that remains unproven bullshit. In order to implement this program, an executive order established a new government agency, the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (OFBCI), soon after Bush’s inauguration.”  http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Faith-based_initiative

In other words, Georgie, like Donny, just ignore the U.S. Constitution whenever it suits their agenda. That document to which all politicians, military personnel, etc. swear an oath to protect & uphold against all enemies foreign, and domestic, is simply cast aside whenever it’s not politically expedient to these craven bastards! Yet strangely, we often hear them pontificating in front of the cameras as to how deeply they respect the rule of law & order? Isn’t that interesting? In other words, whenever our laws are inconvenient for them, they can simply disregard them but if you or I try disregarding the laws, well, I don’t have to tell you what happens to us. So by signing this “initiative” into law, Georgie Dubya scored a helluva lot of brownie points with his hypocritical “Christian” base just as Donald of the Duck Dynasty Klan is busy doing now. Why do I use the word “klan” in describing Donny, the girly-man with the small hands? Because the KKK and the skin-heads are besides themselves with joy in that they’ve finally got one of their own in the White House & they too, consider themselves good Christians. This by the way, is also what Charles Manson had hoped for & was trying to instigate with the murders he ordered in the 1960s. He was salivating at the thought of starting a race war in which the poor, oppressed whites would rise-up and slaughter all the blacks & other undesirables which he feared & detested.

To return to Georgie’s & Obama the Oreo’s “faith-based initiative,” these good “Christians” now ensconced in various departments of our federal government, had this to say;

The second head of the department, Jim Towey, in a session of “Ask the Whitehouse” dated November 26, 2003, stated in regard to a question about pagan faith-based organizations:

“I haven’t run into a pagan faith-based group yet, much less a pagan group that cares for the poor! Once you make it clear to any applicant that public money must go to public purposes and can’t be used to promote ideology, the fringe groups lose interest. Helping the poor is tough work and only those with loving hearts seem drawn to it.”[13]https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_House_Office_of_Faith-Based_and_Neighborhood_Partnerships

Of course, “pagans,” another code word for Secular Humanists, couldn’t possibly care about the poor, the suffering, the destitute homeless, etc. because they’re too busy indulging in orgies & dancing naked in the woods at midnight like some of my ancient, ancestors, the Druids, the original tree huggers. No, we’re suppose to rely on the good-natured, “Compassionate Conservatives” whom Dubya proclaimed the Repubican party to be, for not only our physical well-being but also our spiritual well-being. I mean, isn’t it obvious how deeply they care about us? Okay, I know that I’m getting side-tracked as per usual so I’ll try to wrap-up this “digression” to a certain extent.

On the other hand, we are in serious danger once again thanks to the free market fundamentalists. Let me first introduce you to Brooksley Born, who graduated at the top of her class at Stanford Law School and whom Bill Clinton interviewed for the position of attorney general in his cabinet. He felt she was too boring though so he appointed her as the head of the CFTC (Commodity Futures Trading Commission), a little agency with little authority & even smaller respect among the financial superstars like Robert Rubin, Alan Greenspan, & Larry Summers—all die-hard, free market fundamentalists. Greenspan had served as Chairman of the Federal Reserve under five presidents & was a rock star in economics so-to-speak. And Greenspan was an unabashed devotee of Ayn Rand, the Queen of Selfish, a libertarian who was an ardent free market champion and opponent of regulations. She was noted for her philosophy “Objectivism,” (because they object to everything except what makes the wealthy wealthier, sorry my pun) “the central tenets of it are strong self-reliance, the right of the rich to ride roughshod over everyone, and a hatred of those who take government money.” If you’re around my age, you might recall Reagan’s denunciations of what he called “Welfare Queens” i.e. an imaginary black woman who drove her Cadillac to the welfare office to collect her checks. If only the public knew of Ayn Rand the welfare hypocrite who for the last eight years of her life collected Social Security & Medicare benefits because she was dying of lung cancer but they kept it a secret.

Of course, anyone who has been paying attention to politics over the last several years is clearly aware of the hundreds, if not thousands of ways the politicians, who speak for the wealthy, have been attacking all the programs of the Social Safety Net that FDR enacted to help the vast majority of the public who had suffered so terribly during the Great Depression. In fact, the con-servatives have been waging a steady war to destroy them ever since they first came into being.

To return to Brooksley Born, she became concerned about the trading of the OTC (Over The Counter) derivatives that were off the books i.e. next to nothing was known about them aka “a black box” in which over $27 trillion worth of these derivatives was being traded. Brooksley kept appealing all the way up the chain of command, so-to-speak, for the authority to regulate & learn about these derivatives but was ignored & dismissed. She raised such a fuss that Rubin, Greenspan, & Summers clamped down on her hard even though a year earlier her fears were realized;

“In 1998, a trillion-dollar hedge fund called Long Term Capital Management (LTCM) was near collapse. Using mathematical models to calculate debt risk, LTCM used derivatives to leverage $5 billion into more than $1 trillion, doing business with fifteen of Wall Street’s largest financial institutions. The derivative transactions were not regulated, nor were investors able to evaluate LTCM’s exposures. Born stated, “I thought that LTCM was exactly what I had been worried about”. In the last weekend of September 1998, the President’s working group was told that the entire American economy hung in the balance. After intervention by the Federal Reserve, the crisis was averted.” [the crisis was averted because the Federal Reserve commanded the Super Banks to come up with the necessary capital to bail-out the LTCM (Long Term Capital Management) corporation]  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooksley_Born

Yet due to the arrogance of Rubin, Summers, Greenspan and the overwhelming majority of the financial experts, Brooksley continued to be ignored & dismissed with condescending comments inferring that she just wasn’t sophisticated enough to comprehend these complex “instruments.” The final straw for Brooksley came a year later when she was called before Congress and basically told to shut-up and that her agency had no authority to regulate these derivatives. She resigned in protest in 1999 and need I tell you what happened in 2008? And what does our illustrious girly-man with a fondness for twitter and avoidance of presidential briefings have in mind? You got it, deregulate every industry in America and his cabinet picks are just the ones for the job. Are you beginning to take my point regarding Donald as a clear and present danger to America?

More importantly, if the Duck Dynasty doesn’t cause our economy to implode first, he & his hawks are salivating at the thought of attacking Iran, the only nation on his list of seven nations that he’s attempting to ban their refugees from entering America that hasn’t been destroyed yet due to our drone warfare program started under Georgie & expanded under Obama. Yep, these seven nations (Syria, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Sudan, & Yemen) coincidentally have been bombed repeatedly by us and even though we’ve never been a target of a terrorist attack by any citizens of these countries, Donny says we must keep them out? What does that tell you? Could it be an acknowledgement that if anyone has a right to be pissed-off at us it is the citizens of these nations? And even though 15 of the 19 hijackers who hit us on 9/11 were from Saudi Arabia, they’re still our ally and we sell them billions of dollars worth of military weapons.

Perhaps a brief refresher course in why the Iranian people hate America would be appropriate here? In 1953, Prime Minister Mosaddegh of Iran got the outrageous idea that his country should receive a lot more of the profits from its oil than the Anglo-Persian Oil Co. (a U.K. corporation) which changed its name a year later to British Petroleum (B.P.) and because the British & the Americans didn’t think this a good idea, their prime minister nationalized their oil industry. Well, this ticked-off our corporate cockroaches so they sent in our C.I.A. which was just learning its trade-craft of instigating coups, assassinating world leaders, etc. and via bribes, etc. we managed the overthrow of Mosaddegh and installed the Shah who was much more amenable to bribes. Well, he wasn’t such a nice guy so we trained his secret police who terrorized the Iranian people up to 1979 when the Iranians had finally had enough so they had a revolution & the Shah headed for the hills. Well, we being such good guys, more specifically, Henry Kissinger felt sorry for the poor, multi-millionaire Shah whom no one else seemed to want & persuaded Carter to allow the Shah to come to America for medical treatment. And Carter had been warned that if the U.S. allowed the Shah to enter the U.S., the American Embassy in Tehran might be taken hostage but as usual, old Henry could be very persuasive and voila, our embassy’s people were taken hostage and held for over a year. I’m going to go out on a limb here & suggest that gee, perhaps the Iranians have a legitimate right to be angry & distrustful of the American government?

Continuing on but leaving the subject of history & bringing up current events, Trump has already expressed his desire to go back and do over our war in Iraq and take their oil and with that horrific possibility in mind, I want to share with you, a military historian whom I have great respect for:

Andrew J. Bacevich, Sr. (born July 5, 1947) is an American historianspecializing in international relations, security studies, American foreign policy, and American diplomatic and military history. He is a Professor Emeritus of International Relations and History at the Boston University Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies.[1] He is also a retired career officer in the Armor Branch of the United States Army, retiring with the rank of Colonel. He is a former director of Boston University’s Center for International Relations (from 1998 to 2005), now part of the Pardee School of Global Studies.[1]

Bacevich has been “a persistent, vocal critic of the U.S. occupation of Iraq, calling the conflict a catastrophic failure.”[2] In March 2007, he described George W. Bush‘s endorsement of such “preventive wars” as “immoral, illicit, and imprudent.”

Colonel Bacevich graduated from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1969 and served in the United States Armyduring the Vietnam War, serving in Vietnam from the summer of 1970 to the summer of 1971…..He holds a Ph.D. in American Diplomatic History from Princeton University, and taught at West Pointand Johns Hopkins University before joining the faculty at Boston University in 1998.

On May 13, 2007, Bacevich’s son, Andrew John Bacevich, was killed in action in Iraq by an improvised explosive device south of Samarra in Salah ad Din Governorate.[8] The younger Bacevich, 27, was a First Lieutenant in the U.S. Army,[9] assigned to the 3rd Battalion, 8th U.S. Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division….. (Wikipedia entry) [excuse the appearance of bragging but Colonel Bacevich was gracious enough to read my lengthy essay, The Politics of Patriotism when I sent it to him last May & he was also generous in the compliment he paid me—not many people, friends included, have been willing to do so]

In short, Colonel Bacevich is far from being the only scholar who thinks that an attack on Iran would be absolute madness & if you haven’t had a chance to watch the documentary, “Zero Days,” may I suggest that you make a point of doing so because it’s very eye-opening in that it reveals that due to the collusion of the U.S. & Israel and the insertion of a malware virus dubbed “Stuxnet,” which went undetected for quite some time & allowed us to sabotage the Iranians’ nuclear power processing plant, they discovered it & duplicated it and they too now can disrupt & destroy our infrastructure (communications systems, power systems, water filtration, etc.). Let that soak in for a minute and try to imagine what that could do to our economy even if only for a day let alone weeks or months. Unless you’re a Trump fan in which case, you’re probably not reading this essay anyway, you realize how seriously ignorant he is and the thought of this egomaniac having the ability to launch us into a war with Iran, China, or whoever hurts his feelings just as easily as he launches into his Twitter wars in the middle of the night, is truly terrifying.

The danger looms because appointments that Donald Trump is making to senior national security positions are installing at high levels of the new administration a predisposition to stoke permanent conflict with Iran, a predisposition that is far more visceral than analytical and that embodies the kind of fervor and hatred that has the risk of leading to armed conflict.” https://consortiumnews.com/2016/12/08/trump-and-his-iran-haters/

Undeniably, the powers that be are always plotting new ways or strategies to ensure that the military/industrial/congressional complex never collapses because it is the grand conspiracy behind the two most profitable words in their lexicon i.e. “National Security,” and if you still need confirmation of their hidden agenda, here you go and please note that this was written & published in 1997 and signed into law by President Clinton in October 1998 i.e. they had it ready and were just looking for an excuse to put it into practice. One of the traitors said, “What we need is another Pearl Harbor type event.”

Calls for regime change in Iraq[edit]

Kristol and Kagan advocated regime change in Iraq throughout the Iraq disarmament crisis.[22][23] Following perceived Iraqi unwillingness to co-operate with UN weapons inspections, core members of the PNAC including Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, R. James Woolsey, Elliot Abrams, Donald Rumsfeld, Robert Zoellick, and John Bolton were among the signatories of an open letter initiated by the PNAC to President Bill Clinton calling for the removal of Saddam Hussein.[19][24] Portraying Saddam Hussein as a threat to the United States, its Middle East allies, and oil resources in the region, and emphasizing the potential danger of any Weapons of Mass Destruction under Iraq’s control, the letter asserted that the United States could “no longer depend on our partners in the Gulf War to continue to uphold the sanctions or to punish Saddam when he blocks or evades UN inspections.” Stating that American policy “cannot continue to be crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council,” the letter’s signatories asserted that “the U.S. has the authority under existing UN resolutions to take the necessary steps, including military steps, to protect our vital interests in the Gulf.”[25] Believing that UN sanctions against Iraq would be an ineffective means of disarming Iraq, PNAC members also wrote a letter to Republican members of the U.S. Congress Newt Gingrich and Trent Lott,[26] urging Congress to act, and supported the Iraq Liberation Act of 1998 (H.R.4655)[27][28] which President Clinton signed into law in October 1998.” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_for_the_New_American_Century#Calls_for_regime_change_in_Iraq

I know that this is all very depressing & I understand most people’s impulse to want to avoid such knowledge but that is precisely why we have reached this turning-point in World history i.e. willful ignorance & apathy. And that’s why we are saddled with someone the likes of Trump. We can no longer afford to turn our heads and hope that someone else will do the work necessary to stop this madness. And as my hero, Noam Chomsky wrote back in the 1960s when he first started speaking out against the Vietnam War, it is the responsibility of intellectuals to inform themselves & to share that knowledge with others who don’t have the luxury to go to college and to read the important works & to write about them. If you’ve made it this far, I applaud your tenacity & your perseverance and I’m going to start winding-down but first, I have one last example in support of my thesis of the clear & present danger facing us. Some of you may recall dear, old Ronnie Ray-gun’s “Star Wars” program that was completely debunked and supposedly ended? Well, it may have appeared to have ended officially but I got news for you my friends, it didn’t and here is proof of it, they simply changed the name;


hen Donald Rumsfeld chaired a commission on space and national security just before taking office in 2001, the precursors for a deluge of spending on new space-based weapons programs were put into place. The commission concluded that to avoid a so-called “space Pearl Harbor” the U.S. must “vigorously pursue the capabilities called for in the National Space Policy to ensure that the President will have the option to deploy weapons in space.”

….These comments echoed the strategy recommended in an unclassified 2003 USAF document entitled Transformation Flight Plan. The latest Flight Plan details America’s right to “full-spectrum dominance”—the control of land, sea, and air, as well as space. According to the document, space superiority includes three main capabilities: protect space assets, deny adversaries access to space, and quickly launch vehicles into space to replace damaged or destroyed space assets…..

Much of this falls under the purview of the national Missile Defense Agency. After investing nearly $100 billion and 22 years into developing a ground-based missile defense system and yielding dismal results, the U.S is setting its sights on launching satellites capable of shooting down missiles. The Space-Based Interceptor Test Bed program — scheduled to begin in 2008 — would launch up to five such satellites…..


Senior military and space officials with the European Union, Canada, Russia, and China have all publicly objected to the notion of American space superiority. Last fall, the U.S. voted to block a United Nations resolution calling for a ban on weapons in space. Currently, the only international treaty on the subject is a 1967 agreement, ratified by 91 countries, that bans weapons of mass destruction in space.

“Almost unanimously, the rest of the world is seriously concerned about the direction of the U.S. with regard to military space,” comments Hitchens. “Because most nations hold that no one can own space, a move by the U.S. to try to establish ‘space dominance’ will be seen as highly threatening, and other nations are likely to react in a variety of negative ways.”  http://www.thirdeyemag.com/nonfiction/essays/full-spectrum-dominance/ 

In conclusion, Trump has appointed a Cabinet of climate change deniers, and pseudo or faux “Christians,” who are all in favor of a Crusade against Islam & who want to deregulate every industry in America. Moreover, we have a president who wonders why we can’t use the nuclear weapons at his disposal & has talked about fighting a nuclear war in Europe because “It’s a big place.”

When my dear wife, Jeri and I were on our honeymoon, we were walking in Paris & a reporter approached us along with his camera man & asked if we were American. I said yeah and he said that he was like the Dan Rather of Czechoslovakia & he asked what we thought of Reagan’s proposal of fighting a limited nuclear war in Europe? I didn’t hesitate and said, He scares the Hell out of me and I think he’s a moron.

If this confluence of corporate cockroaches & “Christian” fascists isn’t a Clear & Present Danger to humanity, then I don’t know what is? Furthermore, the rush to Economic Armageddon with the unleashing of the millionaires & billionaires in Dip-Shit Donald’s cabinet who apparently learned nothing from the World-wide economic crash of 2008. Tens of millions of people around the world lost their jobs, their homes, their medical care, their pensions, & their life savings but who gives a fuck as long as the 1% were saved & awarded themselves obscene levels of profit for tanking the world economy.

So, if Donald the Doomsday Dictator doesn’t start a war in Iran or somewhere else in the Middle East, he may cause our economy to self-destruct? And note that Muslims around the world are growing more fearful by the day & believe Osama bin Laden was correct when he warned them that the Great Satan, the United States of America, wanted to destroy Islam. “Our” leaders have played right into bin Laden’s game plan of igniting a world revolution against the West and the stakes just grow higher with each stupid move on the part of our political & military elite.

“Clear and Present Danger” was a test the U.S. Supreme Court devised to help them determine if a citizen had gone too far in protesting against America’s possible entry into WWI or posed a threat to our “National Security” by encouraging Americans to not join the military (my essay could well have landed me in prison in those days & who knows with the ways things are headed under the Tyrant Trump, it could still happen?).

In England, Lord Bertrand Russell was sent to prison for publicly protesting England’s entry into WWI and he went on to become a Nobel Prize winner for mathematics & philosophy. And he became a friend of Albert Einstein who also denounced war & was denied the security clearance to work on the Manhattan Project which may not have been completed before the Nazis’ similar program had it not been for Einstein’s discoveries?

Finally, we have now come full circle because as I’m sure you are well aware, Trump has been on a non-stop tirade against the media in this country & unlike the Supreme Court who silenced individual critics of America’s militarism, Trump has the galactic hubris to think that he can silence our entire free press because they annoy him with their “not nice” questions.

Following this train of thought a bit further, at the time of the McCarthy witch hunts for communists within our government, Hollywood, our press corps, etc., there was a journalist who embodied all that’s most noble & courageous in true journalism, his name was I.F. Stone. I stumbled upon his work over 30 years ago & was amazed at his work schedule & the sheer volume of his research not unlike that of Noam Chomsky’s. In fact, Stone although a royal pain in the ass to the power brokers in Washington D.C., was dubbed “Washington’s Conscience” because he’d cull through the Congressional Record and countless other documents that were available to the general public and he’d find the little gems often buried in thousands of pages of no consequence & his sharp, analytical mind would find the facts of what Congress was really up to, etc.

By way of contrast, today, the magazine, “The Nation” is widely respected as one of America’s greatest liberal or left-wing publications but during those years of McCarthy’s witch hunting for Commies, they wouldn’t hire I.F. Stone because he had been labeled a commie by McCarthy. So much for their “journalistic integrity.” Well Izzy as he was affectionately called by his friends, said fuck-it and he and his wife started their own little weekly paper of four pages. He’d do all the research & writing and deliver them to the post office, etc. while his wife handled all the business affairs, etc. Their paper started out with about 5,000 subscribers and three of their earliest subscribers were Bertrand Russell, Albert Einstein, & Eleanor Roosevelt. By the time Izzy decided to retire, their subscribers numbered about 80,000.

Additionally, Bertrand Russell was Noam Chomsky’s hero and he has a large poster of Russell on the wall of his office at M.I.T. And Chomsky feared that he too might be sent to prison in the 1960s because of his refusal to pay taxes as a protest against our war in Vietnam so his wife, Carol went back to college so she could support their children should he be sent to prison. About this time, Chomsky & Howard Zinn played a small part in helping with the publication of The Pentagon Papers by Daniel Ellsberg i.e. they helped to hide the documents from the government who was in hot pursuit of Daniel Ellsberg and when they were published it unleashed such a shit-storm that the government quietly dropped their case against Chomsky & others.

Last but certainly not least, I’m sure that the Supreme Court which developed that test, Clear & Present Danger just before we entered WWI, could never have imagined in their wildest dreams that America would ever elect a president as colossally ignorant & childish and who would use the presidency to promote his “brand” and further enrich himself.

So, who knows if it’ll be climate change, a nuclear war, or the implosion of our economy that will be the final nail in the coffin of America’s life but one thing is abundantly clear to me, we must empower ourselves & everyone else we possibly can by informing ourselves and that begins with reading Edward Bernays’ book, “Propaganda,” which was the basic template of the advertising & public relations industries that began at the turn of the 20th century along with the new, discipline of Psychology established by Sigmund Freud, Bernays’ uncle!

—Rob DeLoss, Florence, Oregon on Feb. 23, 2017

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January 2021

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