A Presidency Trump Can’t Refuse

I think Trump believed he was working for the Clinton campaign and he didn’t intend to become president. Maybe that’s why he was so overwhelmed last January at his White House visit with Obama. He wasn’t supposed to be there and he feared the worst.  I don’t know how a transition is supposed to work but it also seems strange that no one has stepped up to help him deal with everything.  And the help they did give him hasn’t been very helpful.

Trump was told by Steve Pieczenik to hire Michael Flynn and Jared Kushner.  Pieczenik had to know that Flynn had conflicts of interest. And now Rachel Maddow has switched her focus to Kushner’s associates. Jared’s business background had to be known to Pieczenik as well. Meanwhile Ivanka is trying to hold everything together and the media treats it all like a big joke. It’s starting to look like the election of Donald Trump was some kind of punishment. I’ve lived with the frustration of this election for so long I almost missed this human drama.

In other news, Freemasonry seems to have left me behind in Cairo.  This is a week for endings.

Methinks Thou Dost Protest Too Much

I wasn’t talking about David Icke in the last article, but my goodness, I must have struck a nerve. His ‘Me Me Me’ video is the creepiest video I have ever watched. Not only is the content creepy, the video started playing after I turned off YouTube. Maybe I was meant to hear it.

I wasn’t being partisan at all in that article and I wasn’t throwing around imaginary accusations. I addressed Pieczenik because he announced before the election that his cabal was going to make sure that Hillary didn’t win. And whatever else he had in mind, it seems he intended to eliminate Bernie, probably because he knew Trump couldn’t beat him. He timed the release of the emails to fall immediately after Bernie endorsed Hillary.

But now that we’re on the subject there are some similarities between Pieczenik and Icke. As I have said more than once, everyone knew there were only two candidates in this election: Bernie Sanders and everyone else. So they betray themselves when they act as if Bernie wasn’t in the race.

How’s this for non-partisan? It’s curious that Hillary chose not to campaign in the very states where the Electoral College would give the presidency to Donald Trump. I wonder, were those guys helping the Clintons elect Trump?

Last but not least, when I mentioned the alternative media’s left/right dialectic I was talking about the progressive channels. I don’t usually watch Icke.

The King of the World and Other Nonsense

Well, it seems Donald Trump has disappointed some of his backers. As I watch their desperate pleas go unheeded it’s becoming painfully obvious that they really believed he would fix the country. Of course it’s not at all clear where this faith came from. Did it come from Trump’s temperament? His business record? His marital record? His experience in governing? I’d really like to know.

I would also like to know what these people had against Bernie Sanders, because it’s obvious to me that Bernie is the president this country needed at this time. I’m particularly addressing poor Steve Pieczenik here. Nothing is going the way Pieczenik expected and now he has to endure that prima-donna Alex Jones squealing like a sissy and changing the subject whenever Pieczenik criticizes Trump. I think we deserve to know why they took it upon themselves to deprive us of our president without knowing what kind of president they were giving us in his place.

Of course our media, including our ‘alternative media’, is not going to ask these questions. They’re going to shore up the left/right dialectic and repeat standard talking points ad nauseam. Shall I show you the president they have foisted upon us? Why do you think Trump calls Mar-a-Lago the Winter White House? Maybe because he thinks he’s the Masonic king of the world. The Winter Palace in Saint Petersburg, Russia, was, from 1732 to 1917, the official residence of the Russian monarchs.

Perhaps Trump-world will be Evangelical. After all, Trump did ask for the endorsement of Freemason Jerry Falwell, Jr. This would explain why Mitt Romney criticized Trump. The Mormons have always thought the king of the world would be one of theirs. Now here they are saddled with this fake Evangelical interloper. That must really rankle.

You might think any theological disagreements between Evangelicals and Mormons would have been settled by Freemasonry, but I guess not. I’m sure it was shocking to Romney to see Trump steal his thunder but one hopes he was not actually surprised. History is full of royal heirs being banished, murdered, or imprisoned. Hey, I have an idea: maybe the real problem is the king-of-the-world nonsense. Unfortunately, the Mormon version of the king of the world goes all the way back to Joseph Smith, which is a real dilemma for Mormon believers. But will they recognize it as a dilemma?

Another topic of discussion in which the alternative media is failing us is the border wall. When the administration admits that the majority of people crossing the border are going south into Mexico rather than north into the United States, and then continues to prepare for the wall anyway, shouldn’t we be a little suspicious about the true purpose of that wall? I’m only mentioning this now because Scott Walker recently proposed a wall on the Canadian border. It’s beginning to look as though these walls are meant to keep us in.

And now we can fully appreciate the Trump administration’s increase of military spending and aggressive actions in other countries. If you accept the myths of our culture, either religious or political, you will have to agree that we now seem to have front-row seats for the bad boys’ big unveiling. Of course the bad boys won’t see it that way. They’re incapable of seeing it that way. But believe it or not, I’m not writing this article to make you more depressed. All things considered, I believe there is reason to hope.

I have tried to talk about Bernie’s campaign in a metaphysical way but unfortunately this made everyone nervous. I know because they published articles about how Bernie is not religious. I’m aware he’s not religious. Bernie’s religion had nothing to do with my support of his candidacy. Look, I supported him when I thought he was an atheist. But I would also argue that humans tend to think metaphysically and at some point these events will belong to the people to interpret the way they see fit. I wrote that article partly because we had just been robbed of our rightful reward in the primary, partly because I’ve been trying to understand my own spiritual experience, and partly because of a YouTube invitation from another Bernie supporter, Niko House, to discuss the spiritual meaning of Bernie’s leadership.

Niko said he got this idea from reading the Bible and the Koran. However he issued this invitation after I published Islamic State’s Apocalyptic Vision and I was disappointed to find that I had shut myself off from his discussion. So I had to ask myself what I was trying to say in that article. I wasn’t trying to say that people should give up those ideas. Apocalyptic beliefs have a place in our religion. So then I began to wonder how apocalyptic beliefs are useful to us. What purpose do they serve? (By the way, Niko wasn’t talking about the Apocalypse—he was talking about the idea of a messiah, but the two things are connected in Christianity.) I’ve come to the conclusion that our apocalyptic ideas are harmful.

It seems to me that since the time of the Church Fathers Christianity’s apocalyptic teachings have been regarded as a theological albatross. Personally, I’ve been looking at the scriptures with an eye to mythology, thanks to Ignaz Goldziher. I’m also influenced by Edward Moor’s focus on the characteristics of the deity, and by Robert Eisler, and I find no redeeming qualities in the ‘Day of the Lord’ as described in the Book of Revelations. That Day is a day to be avoided at all costs. Unfortunately, our political and military leaders find it very useful in deed.

But again, I know there is strength and abundance in this world. I think we saw it blossoming during the campaign of Bernie Sanders. His campaign was a powerful thing any way you look at it—Bernie gave us a forum and a voice. If you consider the efforts our illustrious leaders have put into mind control and social engineering, this blossoming should have depressed them no end. It turns out that human goodness and clear-sighted courage was just waiting to burst forth in all its glory, like the touch of a match to dry wood. Unfortunately, if the establishment understood this for what it was, they’ve done a pretty good job of hiding their shock.

Within the Christian world view, the Resurrection is a better representation of the kind of hope I’m trying to convey. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is Christianity’s promise that death doesn’t win in the end. Fear and ugliness don’t win. Life is stronger than all of those things.

Irreconcilable Differences?

We’re all aware of the conflict in the Catholic Church between those who want the Church to be more modern and those who want it to maintain traditional discipline and forms of worship. For those of us on the outside, the public comments have been so cryptic and contradictory it’s impossible to know which way it is headed. That’s probably why a recent news story on Crux Now took me by surprise. The writer congratulated the pro-life faction on the election of Donald Trump because Trump plans to cut funding to Family Planning. This was published shortly after the bombs were dropped on Syria and Afghanistan. Apparently the Church is fine with Trump’s military brutality even as it applauds his pro-life agenda. This is very disappointing.

I’m sure you’ve heard the pro-life claim that protecting life in the womb will assure world peace. I would argue instead that the frantic determination to conquer the womb is the root cause of disorder in our society. For forty years conservatives in the United States have been using the abortion issue to attack our democracy. One of their most effective strategies has been electing presidents who will appoint Scalia-type justices to the Supreme Court. Now we can see where this has led us. Their persistent efforts have finally brought our republic to its knees.

The Town Hall as Battleground

The political process is important and necessary but we’re long past the point where anything worthwhile can be said about this election. All that’s left to us is bad theater played by bad actors. At some point you have to let it go–just tell the truth about it and move on. In Thursday’s town hall the lead actor would be Senator Jeff Flake. However I think the cast also includes grandstanding members of the opposition and the bloodthirsty media whose job it is to make a partisan mountain out of every molehill.

It’s been reported that Senator Flake bravely withstood a drubbing by a liberal audience, which sort of discounts the audience’s responses in my opinion.  However, it must also be said that Senator Flake gave as good as he got, both during the meeting and in the interminable years leading up to it. After postponing this inevitable confrontation with his cuckolded constituents as long as he possibly could, he arrived at the arena armed only with his trusty list of non-answers and his famous smile. It’s not surprising that this smile was perceived by said long-suffering constituents as disrespectful rather than jovial. As one man explained when it was finally his turn at the mic, everything of importance has already been said, so he commented instead that the senator seemed to be smiling an awfully lot.  All things considered, serious self-reflection would be more appropriate.

Of course, serious self-reflection had no part in Mr. Flake’s battle plan on Thursday. His sole purpose seemed to be sticking to his guns regardless of what the bad people did to him, and stick to his guns he did. Some in the media counted the public’s outrage a victory of some kind. I have a different take on it. If Jeff Flake’s goal was to deliver a lesson in futility to the unruly masses, the evening was a smashing success–for him.

I’m not denying that the masses were gloriously unruly. I’m just saying the Senator was going through the motions. He was there because of the petition that was signed by his constituents.  He’s still the same guy who spent his career ignoring their wishes. So naturally the smiling delivery of his all too familiar non-answers worked like a knife in the heart and the people responded by the only means at their disposal—howls, cat-calls and chants. None of it had any effect on the good senator however, who often ended his responses by stating, “I disagree,” which is patently absurd coming from a representative of said masses.

Somewhere in the middle of this standoff things got really…interesting. A young girl stepped up and delivered her line with the timing of a vaudeville straight man, “I’m a sixteen-year-old girl of color and you’re a white man of privilege,” or something to that effect, at which point I suddenly lost my concentration.  I can’t quote her exactly—find a clip of it on the web. But the gist of her comment was, Jeff Flake is a powerful bully who ignores the needs of the underprivileged. Unfortunately for her this turned out to be a perfect setup, because it allowed the senator to wryly muse about being the middle child of eleven children, implying that he grew up in a poor family.

An awed silence fell over the crowd as scenes from The Grapes of Wrath flashed before our eyes. We were so stunned it didn’t occur to us that eleven children is not a natural disaster like an earthquake or the weather; nor is it a national disaster, like a depression. Last but not least, being born into a poor family with eleven children is not even a social handicap–not in Mormon country. Dang! This guy is good!

I left feeling sorry for the town component of this town hall. I still do, even after learning about the Democratic establishment’s email instructing people to ‘put Jeff Flake in their grill’. That pretty much describes what happened but this was no victory for the people. Jeff Flake and the Democratic establishment got what they wanted—the continuation of the status quo–but the people who continue to languish under the policies of Senator Flake and his cronies, got zip. I’m sorry Senator, but that is the very definition of privilege.

Arizona Town Hall Tonight

Senator Jeff Flake has scheduled a town hall Thursday from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. PT. According to the email sent out by his office, which includes a code of conduct, the venue seats 1,750 people. This town hall is bound to go a little differently than his telephone town hall in March. These are my notes from the last town hall. There were no responses to his answers so I assume the callers were no longer on the line.

1. He was asked about Arizona’s plans for public land. He said land trades were common in the past and that they were only talking about 6,000 acres of BLM land out of 137,000.
2. On immigration, he said policy should be based on national security, not nationality.
3. On the environment, he began by saying that he loves the outdoors. However he thinks we need common-sense regulations and that Arizona is being penalized for dust storms that have nothing to do with development or human activity.
4. When asked how he could vote for Betsy DeVos, he said “Elections have consequences,” and the president deserves his cabinet. After all, he said, he confirmed Obama’s Attorney General even though she was unqualified.
5. On the concern that a border wall will split a reservation in Tucson, he said that is one of the complexities about the wall that people don’t understand.
6. When asked why he didn’t hold a town hall the previous week, he said that he had to stay in Washington because of the nomination process.
7. One caller asked how he could say he cares about veterans when bills that would restore military retirement pay don’t get a hearing. He said he thought they had already made the situation better. He added that Senator McCain is concerned about the problem and is still working on it.
8. When asked how he was going to pay for infrastructure spending he agreed that more spending is necessary, but that we have to be fiscally responsible. He would support lowering corporate taxes. This would bring all the corporate money parked overseas flowing back to the United States.
9. Another caller was concerned about the possibility of turning Social Security over to Wall Street. He replied that the current program will be bankrupt unless it is reformed. The Republican legislation won’t affect retired or near retired people, and it will tag benefits to prices, not wages. However the retirement age will continue to increase.
10. He is against a special committee to investigate Trump’s Russia ties.
11. To another question about the wall, he said 750 miles of it has been funded since 2013; that the terrain won’t allow the wall to be built everywhere; and that in many areas the water shed flows north, not south. (It’s not clear if he thinks the border should be left open in those areas.) He said we also need more interior enforcement.
12. On the proposed increase in defense spending, he said he’ll support McCain. We need to spend more, budget better, and pay people properly so that the economy continues to grow.
13. He’s against a border tax. He thinks it would not be good for either side.
14. Social Security should not decide who’s mentally fit to have a gun.
15. One caller said he hoped Republican healthcare reform would keep the rule on preexisting conditions. Flake said Obama Care is not sustainable and he praised Ryan’s plan.
16. Responding to a call about School Choice, he said he advocates choice. Competition makes schools better and state control is better than federal control.
17. Senator Flake assured another caller that Gorsuch is not pro-corporate and that he will follow the law. Then he praised him for being an Originalist. He thought Gorsuch would probably be confirmed in early April.
18. A caller said we should not privatize the VA. Flake answered that he doesn’t think that’s where we’re going. He said seniors can pay for private care and be reimbursed later.
19. In response to the idea of increasing taxes for the wealthy to remedy the national debt, Flake said we need economic growth. He thought we could accomplish that with a proper tax and regulatory environment. Instead of increasing taxes for the wealthy we should reform entitlements. They are the drivers of debt and deficits. He pointed to the stock market, which he said is responding to what has been done so far. (The stock market has nothing to do with economic growth.)

Tonight’s in-person town hall is Flake’s response to a petition circulated by Change.org, which got 5,886 signatures. Although the petition requested a central location in Phoenix, the meeting will take place at the Mesa Convention Center in the East Valley. (I believe this area is predominantly Mormon). And although the petitioners asked for at least two hours, Flake scheduled one and a half hours.

The location is 201 N. Center Street, Mesa, Arizona. Doors open at 6:00 p.m. Parking and lines at the door are not allowed before that time. Seating is first-come, first-served.