♫ Eve of Destruction – Redux Again ♫

I give no reason for playing this song again … for the fourth time … tonight.  If you don’t know the reasons, then … go on back to sleep.


Released in 1965, this song was an anti-government protest against racism, hypocrisy and injustice at a volatile time in American history.  Sound familiar?  I’m really surprised that this song hasn’t made a huge comeback in the past year or so, for it is every bit as apropos today as it was 50+ years ago.  In some ways, the issues today are different, but in other ways … not so much.  Today, instead of Vietnam we have climate change and a clown in the Oval Office, Brexit and election manipulation.  Racism is still alive and well, but today we have no Martin Luther King.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah, in spades, my friends.  And Injustice is the name of the game here and around the world.  I could name 100 reasons that this song is as relevant today as it was then. Different faces, same ol’ song. 😢

Eve of Destruction
Barry McGuire

The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it’s the same old place,
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Songwriters: P. F. Sloan
Eve of Destruction lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

The Playground Bully Strikes Again …

The headline in the New York Times

British Ambassador to U.S. Resigns After Leak Enrages Trump

The condensed version is that Britain’s ambassador to the U.S., Sir Kim Darroch, had included in some of his memos, less than flattering words about Trump & Co.  What exactly did he say?  He described Trump as inept, insecure, and incompetent.  All true.  He said that Trump’s administration is uniquely dysfunctional.  Again, true.  According to the UK’s The Mail, Sir Kim …

  • Describes bitter conflicts within Trump’s White House – verified by his own sources – as ‘knife fights’;
  • Warns that Trump could have been indebted to ‘dodgy Russians’;
  • Claims the President’s economic policies could wreck the world trade system;
  • Says the scandal-hit Presidency could ‘crash and burn’ and that ‘we could be at the beginning of a downward spiral… that leads to disgrace and downfall’;
  • Voices fears that Trump could still attack Iran.

Every single one of those things is a true statement of fact.  Call a spade a spade.  He also said …

“We don’t really believe this Administration is going to become substantially more normal; less dysfunctional; less unpredictable; less faction riven; less diplomatically clumsy and inept.”

Again, every single word in that statement is fact-based … the truth.  One of the duties of an ambassador is to keep his own nation’s leaders informed about the situation in their host country.  That was what Sir Kim Darroch was doing – his job.  He was informing his government about the chaos and ineptitude that now defines the U.S. government.  He did not leak those memos, but somebody else did, no doubt with the intent of stirring the cauldron, and that is exactly what happened.  My best guess is that it was an associate of either Boris Johnson or Nigel Farage who leaked the documents, but that is for the UK intelligence agencies to determine.

It should be noted, however, that shortly after the 2016 election, two months before Trump was to take office, he suggested that the UK send Nigel Farage as their ambassador to the U.S.  He was promptly informed that he doesn’t get to choose who he would like as UK’s ambassador to the U.S.

In a statement, the British Foreign Office, upholding Sir Kim’s position said …

“The British public would expect our ambassadors to provide ministers with an honest, unvarnished assessment of the politics in their country. Their views are not necessarily the views of ministers or indeed the government. But we pay them to be candid. Just as the U.S. ambassador here will send back his reading of Westminster politics and personalities.”

Donald Trump can dish out the insults hour after hour on Twitter, day after day.  Not a day has gone by during his term in office that he wasn’t calling some perceived enemy nasty names.  But … like the playground bully, he can dish it out, but cannot take it.  He is extremely thin-skinned and flies into a rage at the slightest hint of disapproval.  And predictably, that is exactly what he did.

He described the ambassador as “wacky,” a “very stupid guy” and a “pompous fool,” and called Prime Minister Theresa May “foolish” for ignoring his advice on Brexit.  Wow, such maturity, eh?  And then Trump said that he would no longer “deal” with Sir Kim.  Trump, never running out of nasty things to say, then continued, via a series of unhinged Twitter messages …

“The wacky ambassador that the UK foisted upon the United States is not someone we are thrilled with, a very stupid guy. He should speak to his country, and Prime Minister May, about their failed Brexit negotiation, and not be upset with my criticism of how badly it was handled. I told her how to do that deal, but she went her own foolish way – was unable to get it done. A disaster! I don’t know the ambassador but have been told he is a pompous fool. Tell him the USA now has the best economy and military anywhere in the world, by far and they are both only getting bigger, better and stronger.”

Let that one sink in for a minute.  The ‘man’ who has failed this nation in every single foreign policy aspect thus far, “told” the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom how to handle a situation about which he is even more clueless than my cat.  A buffoonish, playground mentality is running this ship, folks … and there is an iceberg dead ahead.

Unfortunately, Boris Johnson, one of two candidates in the running to become the next Prime Minister later this month, pandered to Trump rather than supporting Sir Kim.  As one writer for The Guardian aptly said …

“The national interest would hardly be served by Her Majesty’s chief representative in Washington sending back sanitised and euphemistic dispatches. Governments rely upon thorough, honest and frank information and advice from their diplomats.  If the memos are unusually strong stuff, that is because the US administration is a wholly abnormal one. Indeed, the ambassador’s verdict of a dysfunctional, faction-riven and inept White House is not only blindingly obvious to any observer but looks decidedly diplomatic when set beside some of the accounts which have emerged from the leaky Trump administration itself. There are multiple reports of senior figures describing him as an idiot, a moron or unhinged.”

It is the opinion of this writer that Donald Trump has made yet another serious faux pas, another in a long string of foreign policy blunders that are putting us on a collision course.  Such juvenile behaviour coming from the ‘man’ who sits in the highest seat in government is inexcusable and unacceptable.  There is no doubt that he has single-handedly driven a wedge in US – UK relations, even if his buddy Boris does become the next Prime Minister.  I call on Nancy Pelosi to stop waiting for some perfect moment and open an impeachment inquiry NOW, before the United States has no friends left, and is left with only a warmonger whose itchy finger is moving closer and closer to the button.

An Open Letter To Our Grandchildren

This crossed my radar earlier this week and I saved it to share with you.  It speaks for itself and needs no introduction from me.  At the end, there is a short (3 minute) video clip that I urge you to watch.

We Trashed Your Future: An Open Letter to Grandchildren Everywhere

Dear Grandchildren Everywhere,

It is with immense regret that I must write you this letter of apology for the actions of my generation and previous generations that preceded me. We have trashed your planet and your future, and now we must take responsibility (albeit too late) for the Earth we are passing on to you.

In our quest to conquer nature and stock pile material wealth, we have systemically destroyed Earth’s life support systems, so that a few people could get rich beyond their wildest dreams. We have polluted the land, the rivers and the oceans. We have decimated global biodiversity and caused the climate disaster that now threatens your very survival. And the tragedy is that we knew the facts and realized the consequences of our actions long before we reached the point of no return.

At the time of writing this letter to you, the world’s leaders seem more focused on Donald Trump’s Twitter feed, global trade wars and Brexit than they are on your future. So preoccupied with what might happen tomorrow, they fail to consider the magnitude of what might happen a year, a decade or a generation from now. Needless to say, many of today’s grey-haired politicians will not live to see the dystopian future they have bequeathed you, and perhaps that is part of the bigger problem.

Nevertheless with every passing day we destroy our planet and ourselves through slow and painful destruction. We have created an economic system in which every natural resource is a commodity to be extracted and sold to the highest bidder. Every living tree, drop of oil, pool of water and patch of fertile soil is up for sale. And by the time you grow up, I fear much of what is left today will have been contaminated beyond restoration or have disappeared for good.

Of course, you have the right to feel deep anger and frustration, the right to question why we were so blind to our destructive ways and the right to ask why we did very little to fix Earth’s growing environmental problems while there was still time. I cannot blame you for feeling a deep sense of resentment towards us. We failed to safe-guard your future due to our never ending greed.

But now I ask only one thing: Do whatever you can to restore Earth’s systems and eek out a peaceful future for yourselves. We can only hope you learn from our towering mistakes and succeed where we failed. Sorry and good luck.

Yours Sincerely,

Your Ancestors

Alex-MoxonAlex Moxon is founder of Susticity.com. He is a sustainability and social justice writer with a “pay it forward” attitude, aiming to have a positive, uplifting impact on others in everything he does.

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There He Goes Again …

Tomorrow, Donald Trump goes to visit our friends in the United Kingdom.  I offer my apologies to my UK friends in advance for all the terrible things he is sure to say and do, and I hope you won’t hold it against us … or at least those of us who did not, could not, and would not vote for him.  But really, you guys invited him … what were you thinking???queen-elizabeth-iiLast July Trump visited the UK and was honoured with a visit to the Queen.  I shuddered when I heard that would take place, for he is known for being crude and crass, without a shred of grace or dignity to his name.  And, true to form, he disrespected the Queen in numerous ways, humiliating and embarrassing us.  He began by arriving late, looking sloppy as usual, and keeping Her Majesty waiting for a full ten minutes.  Then he shook her hand instead of bowing.  But the most glaring faux pas by far was as they were preparing to review scarlet-clad troops assembled in the Quadrangle of Windsor Castle. He turned his back on her and walked ahead of her.  Now, to people in the U.S. that may not sound like a big deal, but there are protocols in the UK about how one addresses the Queen and how one acts in her presence.

So, now he is returning at a time when the UK is already having serious troubles and really doesn’t need Trump and his ignorance to add to the mix.  But, if you are holding out some hope that he will behave and act like a world leader, splash yourself with cold water and wake up from that dream, for he has already insulted the nation in the days leading up to his trip … let me count the ways.

Trump has an obnoxious habit of sticking his nose where it doesn’t belong … in UK politics, namely the Brexit situation.  First, speaking about that which he knows less than nothing, he said that Theresa May “messed up” Brexit.  Then, he said that he supports Boris Johnson who he believes would be “an excellent choice” to become the country’s next Prime Minister.

Boris-Donnie

I think Boris and Donnie both buy their toupees at the same place

“It’s something that I find very interesting. I actually have studied it very hard. (He has never even read the U.S. Constitution, but he has studied Brexit “very hard”?  I think not.) I know the different players. But I think Boris would do a very good job. I think he would be excellent. I like him. I have always liked him. I don’t know that he is going to be chosen, but I think he is a very good guy, a very talented person. He has been very positive about me and our country.”

He sees himself as being very influential in UK politics, claiming that other contenders had approached him asking for his public support …

“Other people have asked me for an endorsement too. I have been asked for endorsements. Well, I don’t want to say who but other people have asked me for endorsements, yes. I could help anybody if I endorse them. I mean, we’ve had endorsement where they have gone up for forty, fifty points at a shot.”

Despite the protests by the British people, the huge Baby Trump balloon, Donnie thinks the people in the UK love him!

“Now I think I am really, I hope, I am loved in the UK.”

I’m still laughing over that one!  Somehow, he who cannot make a single trade deal thinks he knows best about Brexit …

“Get the deal closed. If they don’t get what they want, I would walk away … If you don’t get the deal you want, if you don’t get a fair deal, then you walk away.”

And because he is so bloody smart and knows so much, he says that the UK’s #1 idiot Nigel Farage should have been put in charge of negotiating Brexit …

“He is a very smart person. They won’t bring him in. Think how well they would do if they did. They just haven’t figured that out yet.”

Nigel-Donnie

I think Donnie and Nigel go to the same fake tanning salon

And as if it weren’t bad enough that he is sticking his bulbous nose into things that a) he does not understand, and b) are none of his business, he had the unmitigated gall to call Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, “nasty”.  Meghan, a U.S. citizen by birth, married Prince Harry in 2018 and the couple have a son who was born on May 6th of this year.  So, what is Trump’s beef with the Duchess?  Back in 2016, while Trump was on the campaign trail, Meghan supported Hillary Clinton and, calling a spade a spade, she said Trump was “misogynistic and so vocal about it”.  I’m betting that no U.S. president in the history of this nation has ever before publicly called a member of the royal family “nasty”.  Too bad we aren’t still in the times when the Queen could have said, “Off with his head!”

Trump baby blimp-2I hear the good people of the UK have some great surprises planned, like an even bigger Baby Trump balloon than last year’s, and something to do with a milkshake dowsing!

Oh, and by the way … in case you’re interested, this trip is estimated to have a total cost to U.S. taxpayers of $22 million.  Trump is taking all three of his adult children AND their spouses which will require a second plane.  But we cannot afford to fix our highways or feed our poor, right?  And with 10,000 police said to be protecting Trump, you can imagine what it is costing the UK!  Why they ever invited him, I will never know.  They were hoping to negotiate a trade deal, but frankly … look how well that has worked out for other nations, such as China, Canada and Mexico.  His way of ‘dealing’ is to hit the other country with tariffs, so look out Ms. May and whomever succeeds her!Trump-Boris-NigelCan we hope he wakes up with blisters on his feet or something tomorrow so that he feels too poorly to make the trip?

It’s rant time….

Probably close to half of my most frequent readers are citizens of the United Kingdom and many have truly become good friends. Therefore, I have learned much from them about things transpiring on their side of the pond, Brexit of course being the biggest and most divisive, but other issues are worrying to them as well.

One of those friends, Gary, has written a post that I felt worth sharing, in part because it is an eloquent and heartfelt piece, in part because it helps us understand some of what our friends across the pond are dealing with, and in part because much of what he writes about is happening here in the U.S. as well.

I don’t live in the UK, so I make no attempt to judge from afar the Brexit issue or any other, but I think it’s important for us to understand that they have their troubles, and many of them aren’t much different than our own. I hope you’ll take a couple of minutes to read Gary’s post.

A Dad trying to cope with the loss of his Partner and becoming a single parent.

I’ve talked about walks quite a bit recently. Hopefully I won’t stray too much onto old ground on this rant. Apologies it is a rant.

One of the benefits of a walk in nature is that it helps you forget about our world, my country.

Deep breathing and it begins…..

We are so lucky to be sitting on this magical rock, in this special little place in the Universe. We live on a planet which is beautiful and can provide for all of us (if we let it).

I live in a stunning county in a once lovely and diverse country.

I used to love my country but I deeply hate what it has become.

A place where someone thinks it’s ok to string dead Jackdaws on the gates to a TV presenters house because he makes a stand for animals in our country.

A place where one of our…

View original post 566 more words

♫ Eve of Destruction ♫

Tonight, as I write, this nation is no longer a democracy, no longer the nation it once was.  I am filled with angst, as I know many of you are.  This song that I have already played back a few months ago, speaks for me.

Released in 1965, this song was an anti-government protest against racism, hypocrisy and injustice at a volatile time in American history.  Sound familiar?  I’m really surprised that this song hasn’t made a huge comeback in the past year or so, for it is every bit as apropos today as it was 50+ years ago.  In some ways, the issues today are different, but in other ways … not so much.  Today, instead of Vietnam we have climate change and a clown in the Oval Office, Brexit and election manipulation.  Racism is still alive and well, but today we have no Martin Luther King.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah, in spades, my friends.  And Injustice is the name of the game here and around the world.  I could name 100 reasons that this song is as relevant today as it was then. Different faces, same ol’ song. 😢

Eve of Destruction
Barry McGuire

The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it’s the same old place,
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Songwriters: P. F. Sloan
Eve of Destruction lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management

Dumb, Dumber and Dumbest

The sheer arrogance and ignorance of some within the Trump regime, including Trump himself, is astounding, jaw-dropping and mind numbing!  Keep in mind that U.S. foreign policy is in tatters at the moment.  Donald Trump is literally despised by all truly democratic nations and loved only by autocrats and strongmen dictators.  Trump has no idea how to conduct foreign relations.  Well, given that he is on wife #3, and has cheated on her at least twice that we’re aware of, I think it’s safe to say he has no idea how to conduct relations.  Period.  However, that doesn’t stop him from sticking his nose into others’ business and telling them how to run their countries.  Three examples in the news just this week …


Dumb

For starters, we have Richard Grenell back in the news.  You may remember the post I did about him last June when he first went to Germany as the Ambassador from the United States.  Grenell is a former Fox ‘News’ commentator, which should tell you something.  When he first arrived in Germany, he made a fool of himself by criticizing Chancellor Angela Merkel on just about every and any issue he could think of, including immigration.

grenell

Richard Grenell

Grenell is back in the news this week, and at least one German lawmaker is calling for his expulsion, saying he is acting like “a high commissioner of an occupying power.”  In his remarks, Grenell criticized the budget of Germany’s finance minister and said it was unacceptable that the country was once again going to miss its NATO defense spending target.

This is not the role of a diplomat and in fact flies in the face of the very definition of the word ‘diplomacy’!  I hope Germany does send him packing, for he is further damaging relations between the U.S. and Germany that Trump has already rent with his frequent criticisms of Ms. Merkel.  Imagine if Pete Wittig, Germany’s ambassador to the U.S. tried to tell Trump that, say, he is wrong to declare a state of national emergency just to rob the U.S. of funds to build his ego wall.  Trump would expel him in about 2 seconds flat, right?


Dumber

Then there was Trump himself, who in all his narcissistic arrogance offered President Macron an unsolicited lecture.

“How is the Paris Environmental Accord working out for France? After 18 weeks of rioting by the Yellow Vest Protesters, I guess not so well!”

After similar comments by Trump last December, France’s Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian appropriately said …

“We do not take domestic American politics into account, and we want that to be reciprocated. I say this to Donald Trump, and the French president says it, too: Leave our nation be.”

It seems to me that Trump’s own nation is in worse shape under his reign than those nations he chooses to criticize and condemn.  Perhaps he should clean up his own house first.


Dumbest

And finally, the very definition of ignominy, is Don Trump, Jr.

Don Trump, Jr., who has proven more than a few times that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree and he is truly as much of an idiot as his father, had the unmitigated gall to criticize UK Prime Minister Theresa May for her handling of Brexit.  He went so far as to actually write an OpEd piece published in Britain’s The Telegraph, chastising May … taking her to task for not following the advice of his father! It would be funny, except it isn’t.  He claims that …

“… and ultimately, a process that should have taken only a few short months has become a years-long stalemate.”

A ‘few short months’???  And he knows this because …???  Junior’s international experiences are limited to colluding with the Russians to get his father elected and murdering wild animals in Africa! don-trump-junior.pngTrump the Younger went on to inform the land of the Magna Carta, John Locke and Oliver Cromwell that, in his “expert” view, “democracy in the U.K. is all but dead.”  Say WHAT???  Savvy readers will note that it is the U.S. where democracy is ‘all but dead’ and his father is the very one to have pulled the trigger!  This is simply beyond words … this young idiot, this “chip off the old block”, this killer of beautiful animals … has the nerve to give his unsolicited and unwanted opinion on a topic of which he knows nothing!  Junior has no role in our government, is not a member of the cabinet nor the administration … why does he even speak???  My apologies to all my friends in the UK for this abomination … and his father.


Never before has a United States president acted with such reckless abandon, seemingly intent on destroying every relationship the U.S. has worked toward building since it’s founding.  Never before has a president’s family member taken it upon himself to stick his nose into the business of our allies.  Never before has a madman taken the helm, determined to plow into the largest iceberg he can find at warp speed.  To all our allies, on behalf of We the People, I apologize for the terrible behaviour of the ‘man’ in the White House, his family members and appointees, and hope you will bear with us until we are able to rectify this situation.

America In The Eyes Of The World — A Guest Post By Colette

Today I have another guest post in response to my plea for readers around the globe to share with us their views of the U.S. in today’s world.  Colette has generously taken the time to write a thoughtful analysis of how the U.S. fits … or doesn’t fit … with the rest of the world today, and how our policies and leadership have affected the rest of the world.  Thank you so much, Colette, for this excellent and sobering analysis!


How did America Lose its Way in the World?

The USA, for many decades, maintained leadership in the world of economics, politics and living standards.

In 2008, that all changed when a poor economy, during the end of the Bush administration, triggered job losses and foreclosures on newly purchased real estate. The Prime Rate Mortgage scheme unravelled spectacularly, as people walked away from their homes. Financial Institutions holding the debt load across the world, fell like dominoes, crippling the world economy. The Bush administration had allowed for a scandalous mortgage scheme to exist. Outrageously, Senator John McCain exonerated Republicans by falsely pinning the blame for the financial fallout on the Democrats. Trust was lost in America.

Then, the rise of Chinese, Russian, Brazilian, and Indian (BRIC) economies created the global financial growth once enjoyed by the USA. They, and the fifth member, South Africa, have developed enormously. These nations are forming stronger inter-development alliances with interested parties and no longer depend on the EU and the US economies for survival.

America, despite the best efforts of Barack Obama to rebuild confidence, has lost the respect of other nations. With the loss of trust in America, came the loss of safety for political allies. America was no longer a major player in the World. Barack Obama was unable to adequately rebuild those fractured relationships. There were no viable Democrats waiting in the ‘wings’ who had a definitive strategy for bringing back jobs and rebuilding the economic status that the American public wanted. A political void existed.

I don’t like Donald Trump. I read his ‘Art of the Deal’ when it was first published in 1987. It didn’t take me long to realise that the man could use spin to sell any abhorrent idea to anyone. I also noticed how he manipulated officials to win planning permission for constructing his ostentatious buildings.

I thought Donald Trump to be the perfect TV host of the American version of ‘The Apprentice.’ His bullying, bellow of ‘You’re Fired!’ to contestants was an accurate personification of his real self. Donald Trump is not the perfect man for the position of President of the United States.

Trump, fresh from his instant TV stardom, rode in like a cowboy with guns blazing. Mowing down friends and foes alike, he boasted to his TV audience, “We’re gonna Make America Great Again!” It was a terrible ‘John Wayne’ imitation, but it was enough to mobilise poor-town Americans into lifting their heads up from dusty bars across the Nation. They recognised Trump from his appearances on their living room screens as someone who knew business and how to make money. As a collective, they put their fists in the air and said, “Yeah, we’re gonna make America great again! They were not seemingly aware of the debts that Trump had incurred in his own dealings, nor of his use of tax avoidance and double dealing tactics.

My husband, a financial man for much of his working life, saw a visionary Donald Trump providing hope for a better economy. His view, was to give the man a chance! He tells me that Donald Trump, whether you like him or not, has made progress on his pre-election promises.

I don’t really think my husband knows Trump’s full history, nor do I think that he cares, so that may also be true of Trump’s many supporters.

Unfortunately, Donald Trump is full of old ideas, old philosophies, and old tricks. And he believes that he, ‘The Donald,’ is above the law, above the Constitution, and above any need to be diplomatic with other nations. He plays the Presidency as he did his own empire. He believes that his only hindrances are the Democrats and a few million Hispanics on his southern border. He does not personally like or feel any compassion for economic migrants because he is a covert racist and doesn’t want them in ‘his’ America.

The lack of trust in America has extended into the very real issue of world climate change. There is hesitation on global action as America, under Donald Trump’s instruction, has now left the bargaining ‘table.’ Other nations mumble verbal commitments, but their trust in American leadership has been abused yet again. Suspicion and hostility about how the Paris Agreement might work without US involvement has ground proceedings to a halt.

I watched a May 2018 interview with ‘Stephen Fry,’ a British actor. How did he see America today? He dropped his head saying, “Oh it’s terribly unfortunate! ” He also went on to say that Donald Trump used gangster and criminal tactics to force his agenda. He says Trump’s popularity is driven by ‘clickbait’ issues posted on social media, that is then reiterated over and over again, in televised news.

Stephen Fry also predicts that Donald Trump will run a second term, and so does my husband. Why? Because Donald Trump commands attention. He keeps his fingers working on his Twitter account so that he makes world news every day! A certain percentage of Americans see Donald Trump’s constant barrage of media blustering as ‘the real thing.’ They are fooled into believing that ‘America IS Great Again! ” So, they will vote him in again because Trump’s fake news fiasco is working!

Donald Trump tosses out outrageous propaganda which the media just gobbles up and feeds to us wholesale. Stephen Fry said that if nobody listened, and nobody clicked on the social media links, all the propaganda would disappear, and so would Donald Trump’s success.

Brits in general, feel that they hear far too much about American politics, especially during elections. And in truth, not many ordinary people on this side of the pond care what Donald Trump does, but those same people lap up the articles written about Trump because they reinforce some parallel issues that arise with Brexit.

Trump’s firings of his staff, the withdrawal of troops, the detention and degradation of migrants, the threat to keep the government in lock down, and his never-ending tirade about the ‘wall,’ all invoke fear. Trump hopes to trigger a state of emergency in a paralysed nation fearful of attack. These are the ‘plays’ of a man desperate to have the rest of the world take notice of America and see her power. Trump wants to build the economy using the steel industry to build the ‘wall’ and to create an arsenal of new weapons (in the event of a war that he will likely instigate). It is so unfortunate for the American people who must endure the consequences of the lies churned out by Trump. They may see the economy build, but it is not building for them.

The sinister side to all of this, is that Trump may eventually use his bullying tactics one too many times with China. It could backfire spectacularly in 2019 as a China/Russia alliance becomes a mega joint strategy against the perceived US threats. Donald Trump is playing with fire. His military commanders know it, and so do his allies. Other countries are quickly backing away from Trump’s influence as he drags the good citizens of America down a very dark black hole whilst chasing his own empire.

 ‘Trust’ and ‘Safety’ no longer exist in my vocabulary for describing Donald J. Trump’s America. And the consequences of Donald Trump’s flawed plans could herald a change of leadership on the political world stage. If so, it will not be the United States of America in that lead role.

America In The Eyes Of The World – A Guest Post by Gary Metcalfe

Today I am happy to present the second guest post in response to my plea for friends outside the U.S. to give us their insight about how they view the U.S. today.  This one is by Gary Metcalfe, who blogs as bereavedandbeingasingleparent, or as I call him, Bereaved Dad.  Thank you, Gary, for taking the time and effort to write this illuminating piece!


IS YORKSHIRE CLOSER TO WASHINGTON OR PARIS

Geography doesn’t really come easily to a simple Yorkshire chap like myself. I’m lucky to find my way round the house never mind circumnavigate the globe.  But distance wise I am pretty sure we are closer to France than America. It has always puzzled me if I should call America – America or is it the USA? Let’s go for America. So, although we are physically closer to France, in terms of relationships are we closer to Washington or Paris?

This is such a difficult question given the fact that my own country has clearly gone barking mad. So badly divided over Brexit. Increasingly violent and seeing the worrying rise of extremism. Less tolerant. Without any effective leadership. Obsessed with the cult of personality over substance. A country with ever widening inequalities. Happy to criticise others yet reluctant to cooperate or make any meaningful international contribution.  Occasionally sending a few war planes into the Middle East does not really count as a constructive policy.

To be fair if Washington and Paris had any sense they would distance themselves from the UK. I suspect the leaders in Europe secretly can’t wait to get rid of us. When I worked for the NHS I went to a conference and the Secretary of State for Health started slagging off our European partners. He held up a European Competition Framework and complained that it was 300 pages long and was a clear sign of European bureaucracy gone mad. Unfortunately, he failed to mention that the vast majority of the bureaucracy in that document had been inserted at the request of the U.K. to protect our own interests. That document will be much slimmer when we have left.

Although we talk as if we are European we have historically seen our closest ally as America. America is often portrayed as vibrant, modern, yes a bit brash but also so very inclusive. Yes, we have seen things which make us shake our heads. The obsession with guns … what is all that about. Wouldn’t an obsession with something like Tea or Old Car Restoration be an awful lot safer for your kids. But still we could trust America. Then Obama came along and suddenly our closest ally became a real beacon of hope.

In 2011 the American President said a few simple words that resonated (he had a brilliant talent for that):

“We should do everything we can to ensure this country lives up to our children’s expectations”

 The words came at such a tragic time for the American People, but Obama was the leader we all wished we had. Intelligent, caring, passionate and someone who understood he had obligations to the upcoming generations. That’s a great look for country and certainly a friend we can work with.  Then the hope appeared to fade, stagnated by a divided country. Principles had to be compromised.  But still America was a trusted partner. Someone we could turn to when we fell out with Europe.

 Then we all got trumped.

 When Trump received his nomination it never really sunk in. We knew of him. A billionaire, a golfer, luxury hotel owner, someone who appeared in Home Alone 2 and the winner of the WWE Battle of the Billionaires with Vince McMahon – didn’t get his head shaved. That was it.

We didn’t focus on him too much as obviously Hillary would win, as obviously the UK would vote to stay in Europe. Then even after he won he wasn’t taken that seriously. He won’t last long, people started placing bets on how long he would be President. Most people seemed to think anywhere between 6 months to 1 week. But he stayed.

For the first period of his presidency it appeared from the U.K. that if you just ignored his frequent twitter rants then things would be ok. He hadn’t blown anything up. Apart from the noise nothing seemed to be happening. Yes, the revolving door approach to presidential appointments seemed vaguely amusing. Moving the White House engine room to a golf course (as clearly a golf course is where a President can do his best work) was not really a surprise. In fact, all we really heard was how much time he spent playing golf.  But slowly the news of the what trumping really meant started to filter across the pond.

  • Apparently dangerous links with Russia and certain Middle East tyrannies existed. But we couldn’t lecture on this as we have equally close links with Saudi Arabia.

  • The Paul Manafort saga (too confusing to really follow as we only heard about snippets of the story) but it clearly implied incompetence or something more sinister. Whatever the underlying cause it’s not a great example to the world of American Ethics.

  • The handling of the Puerto Rico natural disaster was just really insensitive, self-centred and despicable.

  • The apparent haste to fall out with your historic partners like Canada, France and Germany. But you have found a new buddy in North Korea.

  • He bizarrely started to openly condemn his own Intelligence Agencies and the FBI. Yet he didn’t seem as willing to condemn the Extreme Right operating in his own country.

  • The Complete disregard for international climate change commitments. It really felt like he was saying ‘stuff you’ to the world and future generations. Maybe he thinks it’s not my problem as I will be gone by the time the world burns. Contrast that with Obama’s approach. Monumentally stupid or colossally selfish.

  • Favouring the interest of the NRA over child safety. Seriously arming teachers….

  • Attacks on the Free Press and attempts to stifle debate. These are particularly worrying as some of our politicians are clearly starting to copy Trumps strategy. What happened to the Leader of the Free World role.

  • That Wall. That Magic Wall which will solve all of America’s problems. The Wall which is so precious that it’s worth freezing Government for. That must be some Wall. But the sight of a modern Leader seemingly taking personal delight at the shutdown. Probably thinks it makes him look like a big man. We are talking about people’s lives here being sacrificed for a few bricks.  Kids are dying on the border. Oh, I forgot they are just migrants. Are the golf courses still open?

To the vast majority in our country your President appears to be at best a misguided clown at worst a dangerously unbalanced self-obsessed bully. Either are not a good look for a leader and certainly not as a leader who we are trying to forge a partnership with. Many in our country feel that Trump has gone too far. That we should be distancing ourselves from him. But our PM is desperate, she sees an American trade deal (regardless of how bad it is) as a way of saving her job. So, unless we get a new government it’s going to happen.

Where does that leave us across the pond. Rapidly burning our bridges with Europe. Yet looking on at America with increasing consternation and alarm. At a time when we should be embracing closer links with Washington we see a dangerous superpower. Potentially a threat. Yes, a threat. And yet. And yet. As our country careens out of control into a world with few friends, our government views Trump as someone we might be able to quickly do business with. He clearly hates Europe as much as our Brexiteers. But at what cost. Is an unbalanced trade deal really worth further opening up our beloved National Health Service to Trump’s golfing buddies. Are we really that tainted as a country that we are prepared to sacrifice our moral principles for the price of a document which Trump could declare void at any stage.

So back to the big question. Are we closer to Washington or Paris? The answer is sadly neither.Text dividers

♫ Eve of Destruction ♫

I’ve played a lot of great music the last few weeks … a lot of Motown and the sort of music that makes you tap your toes and just feel good.  Tonight I must veer for just a bit …

Released in 1965, this song was an anti-government protest against racism, hypocrisy and injustice at a volatile time in American history.  Sound familiar?  I’m really surprised that this song hasn’t made a huge comeback in the past year or so, for it is every bit as apropos today as it was 50+ years ago.  In some ways, the issues today are different, but in other ways … not so much.  Today, instead of Vietnam we have climate change and a clown in the Oval Office, Brexit and election manipulation.  But racism is still alive and well, but today we have no Martin Luther King.  Hypocrisy?  Oh yeah, in spades, my friend.  And Injustice is the name of the game here and around the world.  I could name 100 reasons that this song is as relevant today as it was then. Different faces, same ol’ song.

Eve of Destruction
Barry McGuire

The eastern world, it is explodin’,
Violence flarin’, bullets loadin’,
You’re old enough to kill but not for votin’,
You don’t believe in war, but what’s that gun you’re totin’,
And even the Jordan river has bodies floatin’,
But you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Don’t you understand, what I’m trying to say?
And can’t you feel the fears I’m feeling today?
If the button is pushed, there’s no running away,
There’ll be no one to save with the world in a grave,
Take a look around you, boy, it’s bound to scare you, boy,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Yeah, my blood’s so mad, feels like coagulatin’,
I’m sittin’ here, just contemplatin’,
I can’t twist the truth, it knows no regulation,
Handful of Senators don’t pass legislation,
And marches alone can’t bring integration,
When human respect is disintegratin’,
This whole crazy world is just too frustratin’,
And you tell me over and over and over again my friend,
Ah, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Think of all the hate there is in Red China!
Then take a look around to Selma, Alabama!
Ah, you may leave here, for four days in space,
But when your return, it’s the same old place,
The poundin’ of the drums, the pride and disgrace,
You can bury your dead, but don’t leave a trace,
Hate your next door neighbor, but don’t forget to say grace,
And you tell me over and over and over and over again my friend,
You don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

No, no, you don’t believe we’re on the eve of destruction.

Songwriters: P. F. Sloan
Eve of Destruction lyrics © Universal Music Publishing Group, BMG Rights Management