Wednesday, January 24, 2018


    Balloons have lifted my spirit since I was a kid. They add cheer to anywhere, including an alley.
        Even the shadows are playful and teasing,
      and something to chase.

where a shadow haunts
Photo by Fabrice Coffrini Agency France-Presse
    The World Economic Summit has commenced again in Davos. 
    60 World leaders, countless corporate and business chieftains, academics and theoreticians gather each year to plumb the world's economy. This year there is more security than ever.
     Terror is a threat, in the form of armed zealots, but nature has done her part as well. A record 6 feet of snow has fallen. It is as though the planet's climate is demanding a place on the agenda.
Photo by Gian Ehrenzeller European Press Photo Agency
        There is also the growing terror of people dislocated by economics, war and disaster. There may have never been more refugees in history and more are likely. There may never have been a wider gap between the haves and the have-nots. The number of wealthy remains small-most of the rest of the world's population faces more struggle. A storm of another kind is brewing.
Photo by Fabrice Coffrini Agency France Presse

they wait for the rupture
    I attempt to avoid religion in these posts. A person's beliefs are their business, a most intimate and personal piece of being human. I think we should afford respect, but today I must speak.
     In the last couple of days two major news organizations have explored the support for donald trump by evangelical Christian groups, mostly right wing. There have been other pieces over the last year, but his recent profanity burst and the leak of his paying hush money to a porn star to be silent about their relationship prompted a new examination.
     They still back the vulgarian. That very support gives their brand of faith a black eye and a crushed credibility. 
     Trump is a liar, a swindler, a serial adulterer, an apparent racist, a sexual predator, a bully, worships money and is by most evidence stupid but conceited. All of that but the stupid makes him an ideal target for the evangelicals to capture- to change his heart, to convert him, to make him a better human being. But there is nothing in that to cause them to step away from the faith of Jesus to back  trump. They must have forgotten that Jesus was a radical rabbi who's rare display of anger was to turn over tables and toss out the swindlers. He spoke of eschewing all of the things that trump worships and does and how he lives and how he behaves.
    Can you imagine trump laying down his life for his followers, or living as a wandering vagrant, urging his followers to give what they have to less advantaged, or to decry violence, to be a peace maker, loving all, even those who are handicapped, or from Haiti, or Mexico, or Syria, etc, etc, etc.?
   So how do you justify going from a devotion to a Christ to a devotion to a trump? How? How in the hell do you do that? Ah, there is that!
      From my understanding of Jesus he would probably be the first to forgive trump and the first to try to bring him into the fold, but also the first to recognize the wrong or evil and perversion of the man's life and his devotion to himself. 
      Someone who purports to be a person with a genuine faith and who uses articles of that faith to support trump is, in my opinion, not to be trusted on matters of faith. Same for those who ignore trumps perversity of character.
      I knew Billy Graham and even worked with him and his senior staff over the course of a couple of years. I was leery of evangelists, but Graham was sincere and devoted to preaching. I came to a new understanding of Graham, his role and impact. Something that he wrote and spoke of is how he had been emotionally and spiritually swindled by Richard Nixon, with whom he had a close relationship. As someone pointed out recently he never got over how he was "snookered" by Nixon.  It would behoove his son Franklin and other evangelicals who somehow find a way to support the behavior and action of trump to learn the Billy Graham lesson. 
     To those who say they are evangelical Christians and who support trump-would you want to spend eternity with him? Not that you have anything to say about that.
     One year of him in the White House has been a kind of hell for the majority of US citizens and others around the globe. Try to save him if you wish, pray for him, but to take a pulpit or a public forum and endorse him or his actions makes you a phony and a fraud, just like trump. Your faith is more important than just another one of us mere mortals with feet of clay. To support trump or to ignore his perversity is to make a mockery of what you say you believe.
      And a reminder to me and everyone else, the founders were right with this idea of separation of church and state.
     And on that note, God bless you and God bless America, please! In fact, God bless this whole planet.

     See you down the trail.



  1. Your comments are equally applicable to all believers of all denominations and non-believers alike who continue to support Trump. Even non-believers have a moral code which they abandon when they support Trump. The Christian Evangelicals are just an easy target because they are generally more vocal in their support of Trump. #Sad.

  2. Would they have been equally devoted to a black man who fathered 5 children with 3 different women? Been in the casino business and went broke? Multiple bankruptcies? Ran a scam University? How about a relationship with a porn star and a bribe for her silence? Excuse me, but Jesus these people are scum.

  3. Bravo for calling out the hypocrisy. To Trump The Ten Commandments is only a movie title.

  4. What a great title that is!! Get it to HBO or Netflix

  5. Jesus, Tom. Really? Your vile attacks on Trump, your hatred of him and those that support him, half of your fellow Americans, has left you..unhinged. I don't recall such outrage at the behavior of extreme Muslims? Where are the posts about the corrupt FBI and propaganda outlets parading as news organizations. What about the self-serving Clintons? The Socialist Sanders who owns 3 homes. Talk about hypocrisy.
    If you want to complain about policies, that's great. Go for it. But spewing these personal attacks is ridiculous. I'm an atheist and not supportive of all of Trump's policies. He's rude and crude but he IS clearing out the swamp. And isn't that what Jesus attempted to when he tossed over those tables? I don't read your blogs anymore because they are usually void of the facts. But this one piqued my interest it was so over the top. Don't bother to respond as I won't read it, unless you want to impress your biased readership with your ability to attack yet another Trump supporter.

    1. Come on Maryann--don't hold back. Tell me how you really feel!
      Oh, BTW, was anything I said about your president, untrue?

  6. Christ was great. UnChrist-like Christians are another thing.

  7. Was anything I said about the Clintons, the FBI and Bernie Sanders Untrue? As usual, you misunderstood. I wasn't defending the President. I was defending the voters. Who are you to call them frauds and question their devotion to Christ? And you call Trump an egoist and a bully. As a journalist, you should be ashamed of yourself for fomenting hatred of any religious individual that may not hold you the same opinions you do. We've been down this road before and it's not pretty. I have a question. Do you stand by your comments? And if so, do you have any objections with my sharing them with other members of the community who may or may not be persuaded by your arguments? If you're right, why not spread the word? Otherwise, why posit them?

    1. This is coming in parts-
      I have written here and elsewhere about the Clintons. To summarize, I am not a fan of either. I have critiqued his presidency, repeatedly. His largest failure was his character, his own sexual indiscretions and perhaps even predatory behavior. His role in NAFTA was like most other supporters of the idea, myopic on what impact it would have on segments of the work force. There were other "adjustments" that should have been made to eliminate the negative consequences. His killing of Glass-Steagall was, imo, horrible, and was a lead up to the economic melt down. There was the health care reform fiasco, his response to the first world trade center explosion was imprecise and inadequate, Waco Branch Davidian disaster happened on his watch, while he was not involved in the operational aspect he has to take some heat, not sure don't ask don't tell helped anyone, it was kicking an issue down the road, he did balance the budget and provided spending cuts and a tax increase-not so sure that wasn't good in the long run, troops killed in Somalia in a questionable operation, didn't commit troops to kuwait but did help negotiate an Iraq withdrawal from the border, Oklahoma City Bombing-again he was not aggressive in dealing with terror, domestic or foreign, he and gingrich were responsible for a govt shutdown, still undecided on line item veto, DNC financing questions, fundraising questions plagued him, Paula Jones distraction, Lewinsky distraction, Embassy bombings-again-his weak response to previous terror? impeachment distractions. There were achievements on his watch but I have said on balance these and other issues make his presidency flawed. He also took the democrat party in a right of center direction with all that DLC bull shit. That allowed republicans to move further right and appeal to the ideologues and zealots. I have said all of this before, so your implied statement that I was defending the Clintons is wrong.

    2. Hillary was a horrible candidate. I'm not sure she is a very likable person, but she was never as bad as Fox news would make you think. Remember Special prosecutor Robert Ray found no indictable evidence in the White Water Case. Ken Starr after his $80 million wide ranging investigation found nothing to indict either of them on and that ran from Vince Foster, to White Water to Travel Gate to the bimbo eruptions as they were called. Nothing on her. I'm not sure the last word is in on the Clinton Foundation, but federal investigators found nothing to charge either of them. Ditto for the server question which was largely hype by the Clinton hating right wing mob frenzied by Fox News. I've written too that Benghazi was mishandled by her but in company with others including Ambassador Stevens who was a good guy.
      You may not like, I may not like her, but millions of voters do. In fact a majority of voting citizens voted for her, by several million over the rude, crude unfit and unqualified trump. People do have a right to be stupid, but not to be stupid without hearing about it.
      Bernie Sanders is a democratic socialist-not a socialist nor a communist. Democratic socialism has a lot that is attractive. In fact we have pieces of that at work in the US-
      The Veterans Administration, Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid. We could have a single issue discussion someday about how democratic socialism is probably where the US will be in a generation or two.

    3. Trump voters-it's a mixed bag. Many thought he had the stuff it takes, some were republicans, many who detested HRC voted for him, unhappy sanders voters voted for him, some are ideologues and zealots. Probably the same could be said of the HRC supporters, though you won't find White Supremacists, Neo Nazis and that sort in the Clinton camp. Trouble is Trump's campaign was a joke, a publicity stunt that got out of hand. He's not a conservative, not a republican and is in all truth probably a liberal democrat of sorts. But he's an idiot and hasn't a clue. My big beef with his supporters is they voted for someone with no experience, no depth and no real interest in the job and who had a public record of lying, cheating his partners, going bankrupt till US banks cut him off and he sought foreign money, had been in cahoots with Russian money launderers in the Trump tower for 20 years (its true-looks up the federal court records) and was a creepy guy to top it of. In my opinion it was an insult to the nation to vote for such a fool. But people have the right to do so--in a kind moment I'd say he is our Berlusconi .
      The Christian supporters? Of course they are free to vote and think as they do-but this gaggle of right wing evangelicals are hypocrites and I'm not the only person to say so. These are the same people who have broken churches because they believe homosexuality is a sin. Too judgmental for me, but if they are truly pious a vote for trump is a betrayal of what they say they believe.
      Who am I to call them frauds? Me. This is my little piece of the blogosphere and I got here after 42 years of journalism that included lots of government, politics investigative work and national security issues. I learned a bit. For 42 years I had no place to voice "my views" now I do.
      I had an old boss who said when the liberals and conservatives and the democrats and republicans are both complaining about you, you know you are doing your job well.
      I have not horse in the race or dog in the fight. I've been an observer for too many years, but I do have thoughts and opinions. It's a bit like the old wag said
      my job is to comfort the afflict and afflict the comfortable--and that includes people who are so sure and so smug in their opinions, forgetting we are all bozos on this bus and none of us are any more than a mist or vapor in time. Phonies and frauds I know when I see them.
      I stand by my comments. I subscribe to the idea that in this nation we can still Say what you want, where ever you want, but we must be prepared for

  8. I don't have the time or interest to address this whole rant but I will point to one example as a way you make excuses for the left's behavior, Hillary "mismanaged" Benghazi?
    She stood over the coffins of dead Americans and lied to their parents about how they died by blaming it on a video when an email to her daughter that night later revealed that she KNEW it was a terrorist attack.When I brought this up to a well known liberal in town he shrugged his shoulders and asked "what video.?" The press isn't doing it's job. In their biased reporting, the left can do no wrong. It's not like Trump gave away 1/3 of our uranium to the Russians, or leaned over to a Russian flunky and whispered "Ill have more flexibility after the election" or collected enormous speaking fees from the Russians and...never mind. It's exhausting and a waste of my time. But at least I got you fired up and maybe your 'ratings' are up this week. Everyone has the right to free speech but no one has the right to disseminate false information. The press has lower ratings than congress and for good reason. They (you) are part of the problem, not part of the solution. You're credibility is gone. We're not as stupid as you think. You could be using your journalistic skills to educate but you choose not to. You continue to cover up, ignore or make excuses for the left. Just continue to call names and throw tantrums and see where it gets you. You're helping to lead this country down a dangerous road. But Trump is just one man. There are some adults in office now, who do not despise this country and could pull his back from the brink. Elections have consequences. You lost. Try to make the best of it! Stop the vicious attacks and name calling. You're setting a poor example for young people.

    1. I think we see things differently. You ascribe motivations that simply are not true (i.e. "make excuses for...") plus you see things from your tilt and I see things differently.
      Our ideas about government, the governed and the act of governance are not the same. We have diverging views about the use of free speech and the dialogue in the public square.
      I don't think I'm setting a poor example for the country, but I think the current occupant of the White House is. And as for your reference to Obama's comment to his Russian counterpart-are you sure of his intention? Is there any interpretation on your part as to what it meant? In a related note his successor is the man who invited top Russian officials, including a spy master, into the Oval office and then leaked a highly classified piece of information. Don't recall any action like that on the part of his predecessors. And finally you say "you lost." America lost. In fact the majority of Americans who voted did not vote for trump and a significant plurality voted for HRC.
      You say make the best of it. Those of us who decry the rude, crude, unfit and unqualified behavior of trump are making the best of it. Perhaps the "vicious attacks and name calling" will end, when trump follows your advice. BTW I have yet to read the transcript but of what I heard from him at Davos I thought he laid out an interesting defense and invitation of and for American business. Though you and I know the credit goes to his staff and speechwriter.
      I appreciate your investment of time and energy in our little side bar debate. I know you are writing a book and thus your sacrifice of time for this platform is appreciated.
      You are a tiger and you know I respect you.

  9. Dear Maryann,
    Read and learn. You're is a contraction for you are. It does not mean the same thing as your, which is a possessive. So, when you write "We're not as stupid as you think" immediately after a sentence that reads "You're credibility is gone" --- well...

  10. Dear Mr. Moore,
    Thank you for pointing out my mistake. In my defense, it was 7 am. I'm still groggy at that hour and I had a lot to say but, if it makes you feel good to imply that I"m stupid, so be it. You, on the other hand, probably never make mistakes. I was very impressed with your 4 sentences.

  11. Tom,
    Was it Reagan who made famous the line "there you go again?" This is the stuff that makes my eyes bleed. So, I see things from my "tilt" but you merely see things "differently." Subtle but effective hint that bias clouds my thinking but not so with you. Columbia School of Journalism? This is why we can't have a rational discussion. This, and the name-calling. If I were going to name-call the previous President, I'd use words like naïve, arrogant, petulant, a liar, (although it is referred to in the press as "evolving") an egotist, ignorant of basic economics, weak on foreign policy, divisive and driven by a blame America first policy. But I won't.
    Anyway, this, in my opinion, is not an efficient platform for argument. It's a place to spout off to guys (it's mostly, guys, isn't it?) who think just like you and wait for the "atta-boy," and "well-done" and "Amen" comments to pour in. When you get serious about that in-person discussion group you have talked about, sigh me up.
    Nice running into you at Windward. You're much more of a gentleman when you're not blogging.
    p.s. I prefer "tigress." Where is Mr. Moore when I need him?

  12. Maryann-
    For the record, there are many women who read and visit here. A look back at the comments will reveal there is very little of the "attaboy," but often thoughtful and divergent views.

    Also, for the record I should have said you see things from your tilt and I see things from mine. Repeating an early comment, we are all bozos on this bus and none of us have nailed it.

    I saw a quote from writer Edward Abbey that informs me at least about the nature and purpose of today's independent blogger-
    " is my belief that the writer, the free-lance author, should be and must be a critic of the society in which he lives. It is easy enough, and always profitable, to rail away at national enemies beyond the sea, at foreign powers beyond our borders who question the prevailing order. But the moral duty of the free writer is to begin his work at home; to be a critic of his own community, his own country, his own culture. If the writer is unwilling to fill this part, then the writer should abandon pretense and find another line of work: become a shoe repairman, a brain surgeon, a janitor, a cowboy, a nuclear physicist, a bus driver. -Edward Abbey.

    Given the time and inclination I think we can learn and hear a lot about or condition in the cyber public square. We should take it all with a critical mind at work.

    And you get the last word. Tigress! Yes, you are indeed that and a force of nature. That is not name calling, that is a compliment.