What Trump Should Have Said

When President Trump was elected, to the surprise and shock of the prevailing wisdom of the Washington elite and New York media, I thought that he had a glancing opportunity to do something meaningful. I wrote at the time that he should focus his energy on getting something done such as an infrastructure bill which would have cross party and national support rather than become subsumed in the Washington political morass. He hasn’t become subsumed, he is drowning. Unfortunately for our friends across the sea, and in fact the rest of the world, he is proving to be completely inadequate on every level. While we could suggest that the world is a more stable place because Trump will more readily project US power than did Obama there is growing nervousness about his personal capacity to exercise good judgement. The events of this week in respect of the race row are especially troubling.

We must be cautious ourselves in the UK about being too vocal on the subject given we have our own significant domestic race issues to contend with. The resignation of a shadow minister this week because she vocalised widely held concerns about the exploitation and grooming of young girls by a very specific racial segment is an example of our own inability to confront tensions within. The United States though continues to struggle to come to terms with it’s own heritage. Racism is never far below the surface wherever you travel. Once, while working for a Mid Western company of some size, I asked a board member why we didn’t employ any black people. “Not here,” was the simple and straight reply. 

The President though, should stand above these arguments. He, like our Queen, represents all citizens. That Trump has failed to put a stake in the high moral ground in this regard has probably damaged him beyond repair. I would not be surprised to see a new president in office by the end of the year. Any president who is seen or perceived to be on one or other side of the racial divide in the United States is holed below the waterline. A pity he did not action his earlier rhetoric to bring safe streets to the worst of America’s inner cities such as Chicago. He has now blown what little credibilty that has survived serial screw-ups over the past eight months.

A friend reminded me with a Facebook post of what is expected of an American president. In 1989 a reporter asked President H W Bush, who was only a month into his presidency, “What does the party do about David Duke?” the former Klu Klux Klan leader who was standing for state office in Louisiana. (It is usually regarded as highly improper for a president to cross the line and involve himself in State politics). Bush senior said,  

"Maybe there was some feeling in Metairie, Louisiana, that the president of the United States involving himself in a state legislative election was improper or overkill. I've read that, and I can't deny that. But what I can affirm is: I did what I did because of principle.”

Later, in 1991 he was asked if he regretted his actions. This was his reply, 

"When someone asserts that the Holocaust never took place, then I don't believe that person ever deserves one iota of public trust. And when someone has so recently endorsed nazism, it is inconceivable that such a person can legitimately aspire to leadership — in a leadership role in a free society. And when someone has a long record, an ugly record, of racism and of bigotry, that record simply cannot be erased by the glib rhetoric of a political campaign. So, I believe that David Duke is an insincere charlatan. I believe he is attempting to hoodwink the voters of Louisiana, and I believe that he should be rejected for what he is and what he stands for.”

Encouraging voters to vote against his own party was a stand-out, stand-up thing to do. Duke lost and Democrat Edwin Edwards was elected. The stand did not later help Bush senior’s re-election bid with voters in that area but he would have slept more easily. Some issues are more important than party politics. A lesson the current incumbent would do well to absorb.

Charlie Chaplin in the Great Dictator; a great speech with no limit of time

Trump could have been the Messiah to cauterise the economic wounds wrought on ordinary decent Americans over the past ten years and he could, should have been the person to bring their nation closer together. That the opposite is happening is nothing short of criminally tragic. What we are looking at though is a mirror. We have many of the same issues at hand in this country and our own politicians, of every hue, are equally ill equipped to confront them. There is, I am afraid, an absence of moral courage and leadership on the international stage the like of which has probably never been seen before in our history. It is all really rather a worry.

White Supremacist Muppets

How dare these Looney Tunes white supremacists wander around carrying swastikas and in doing so with their reprehensible rhetoric dishonour the memory of the brave GI's and Aircrew who gave their lives to free the world of fascism. They are not fit to lick the boots of the decent and courageous Americans who went before them. Utterly shameful.

Meet John Berry!

A brief welcome video from Ambassador John Berry. 

The new Aussie Prime Minister, former boxer Tony Abbott, is just going to get on like a house on fire with the new US new ambassador, a Mr John Berry.

What on earth were they thinking? I thought it was a sketch from Saturday Night Live but apparently, he's for real. 

Oh dearie me........


Why the US Won't Bail Out Europe.


Pelley: When kids at school ask you where you live, what do you tell 'em?

Austin Metzger: When they see the truck they ask me if I live in it, and when I hesitate they kinda realize. And they say they won't tell anybody.

Arielle Metzger: Yeah it's not really that much an embarrassment. I mean, it's only life. You do what you need to do, right?

A great deal has been written over the weekend about the possibility of the Fed bailing out Europe by buying European bonds or indeed with Europe being bailed by an enhanced IMF fund which necessarily would require a large degree of US funding.

Not only are we entering the final 12 months of the US presidential cycle but there more than sufficient domestic demands on the traditional generosity of Americans. A quick look at this video from the 60 Minutes programme from CBS and it will become clear that the US has screaming needs of it's own. Proof perhaps, that the American pioneering spirit is alive, but heartbreaking nonetheless.

Good luck kids; we all admire your stoicism.

The Angry Planet

I'm not a man to indulge in any fantasy nonsense about Nostradamus or suggestions of the end of the world as promulgated by a bunch of Mexican tribesmen a few thousand years ago. There are though, some distinctly unsettling things going on. Almost all have a scientific explanation; it's the confluence of events which is unsettling.

Back at the beginning of November, I mentioned the Browning Newsletter, a private US weather service written by Evelyn Browning Gariss, which had warned of severe weather to come in the US as a result of El Nina.  Her latest update suggests that the unsettled conditions could persist for another 3 months. Much has been made of the El Nina phenomenon and it is undoubtedly the cause of the shock floods in Queensland. Unfortunately however, there's a bit more to the end result.

Obviously the global warming lobby in Australia has taken an early ride on the bandwagon marked, "it's all because of global warming, we told you so." That's interesting because we learn from EUReferendum that another of their number, one Tim Flannery, a professor of earth and life sciences at Macquarie University, chair of the Copenhagen Climate Council, and the 2007 Australian of the Year was a leading voice in convincing the state government that the predicable cycle of droughts and floods will no longer happen, and that the state, instead of beefing up defences from the last major event 30 years ago in 1974, should prepare for long-term water shortages.

EUReferendum goes on to say, ""Growing evidence," declared Flannery, "suggests that hotter soils, caused directly by global warming, have increased evaporation and transpiration and that the change is permanent. I believe the first thing Australians need to do is to stop worrying about 'the drought' - which is transient - and start talking about the new climate". It was input such as this that had the state government spending $1.2 billion on desalination plant, instead of flood defences, a plant now mothballed, as the flood waters mount."

In fact, the Australians have spent $13.2 bn on desalination plants. One wonders what the total cost is of letting the global warming industry, (for that is what it is). Worse, what will the future cost be?

Mount Anak Krakatau, previous eruption

Meanwhile, over in the Philipines the good residents of South Lampung have more pressing matters at hand. They're being evacuated as Mount Anak Krakatau has started throwing out ash. Not to be outdone, and flying the flag for Europe, Etna's getting in on showtime and is showing signs of animation.

As usual though, America has to be bigger and better than everyone else. The mysterious deaths of thousands of birds and fish have left many people perplexed and puzzled. That unexpected many earthquakes have occurred has simply added to the conundrum. We learn from Lew Rockwell though that one theory might have some pretty scary consequences if proved correct.

The theory is that the New Madrid fault zone is coming to life. The New Madrid fault zone is six times bigger than the San Andreas fault zone in California and it covers portions of Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Arkansas, Kentucky, Tennessee and Mississippi. The biggest earthquakes in the history of the United States were apparently caused by the New Madrid fault. 

Rockwell goes on to say that of late, 

  • According to the U.S. Geological Survey,  more than 500 measurable earthquakes have been recorded in central Arkansas just since September.
  • A magnitude-3.8 earthquake that shook north-central Indiana on December 30th is being called "unprecedented" It was strong enough to actually cause cracks along the ground and it was felt in portions of Ohio, Illinois, Wisconsin and Kentucky.
  • More than 3,000 red-wing blackbirds fell out of the sky dead in the Arkansas town of Beebe on New Year's Eve.
  • Large numbers of dead birds were also found in Kentucky around Christmas.
  • Approximately 500 dead  blackbirds and starlings were also recently discovered in Pointe Coupee Parish, Louisiana.
  • Approximately 100,000 fish washed up on the shores of the Arkansas River just last week.

The implications of a bad thing happening on the scale of the New Madrid fault doesn't bear thinking about. Previous quakes in 1811 and 1812 were so big they remain seared in the collective folk memory. Follow the link to Rockwell to learn more. Some people attribute the BP Gulf oil spill to the drill uncorking an "oil volcano." The enthusiastic onlooker can keep up to date with the USGS site here.

The outright geeky who seek a more on the gound information source may like to check this site out. I'm not sure if it's one of those whacko "End of the World," nut job sites or not but this letter caught my attention, (bear in mind, it's not new and has pinged it's way around the web so I'm a bit suspicious),

Hello Raye;

I live on the New Madrid fault. And I can tell you this. The surface rupture of the roads and highways is out of control. Also, everyday of the week, the structure of my moms home is "cracking" and shifting. You can hear the walls and the surface crack.

Nearby is a dollar general store. In that parking lot there are 3 flagpoles that "vibrate" violently. (not shaking from wind) Each and everyday, the roads "blow" up potholes. U.S. 41 is ruptured severely.

Interstate 65 is also badly damaged. They keep trying to repave them but it doesn't work. The Cline Ave bridge at points is closing. This bridge and off ramps leads right into Inland steel and LTV steel and BP Amoco. So far, I believe 5-7 bridges have been shut down or are scheduled for closing because they are unsafe.

I monitor the earthquakes daily. And as you know there are far too many happening too quickly.

I believe the general public has been misled. In my opinion, the 2012 shift is happening now, but everyone has been conditioned to believe
that they still have time to prepare for the main event. Thats b.s. It doesn't happen all at once.

In Momence Illinois, some of the buildings are beginning to "sink". In Cedar Lake Indiana, the same is happening.

The bottom line is this; Buildings are cracking, parking lots can't be fixed, roads and bridges are closing every week, sidewalks are sinking and sinkholes are opening everywhere. At time day or night, you can literally feel the earth "vibrate" below your feet.

I'm in Northwest Indiana, and I believe we are about to get hit with a earthquake of biblical proportions. We are surrounded by propane, natural gas and BP Amoco refineries.

And, I'm more than concerned what will happen when the new madrid erupts.

best regards

Best of British then Bob; I might just watch the movie 2012 again.

We have our own seismic and volcanic events in Haslemere of course, which remain a wonder and much talked about phenonomen in the geographic community. Fortunately however. Mrs Flashbang has been in a mostly good mood of late so the emergency services and scientific boffins can stand down.