Category Archives: Amnesia

Amnesia April 10, 2018

Who Is The Only President Since Nixon Not To Face Impeachment?

Guess Again

The subject of impeachment is chilling. Therefore, we have opted to illustrate it with a classy photograph of Nixon’s dogs, a “man’s best friend.” And Nixon needed all the friends he could find. From left to right—Pasha (Yorkshire Terrier), Vicki (Poodle) and King Timahoe (Irish Setter). We are not among those who are prejudging Trump as some are. Impeachment is only for what a president has done while in office, otherwise there would likely not be anyone eligible for the office. There is an investigation going on into the Trump Presidency and until that inquiry is complete Trump is exempt from this question.

Obama is the only president since Nixon to not face impeachment in some form or another.  The discovery of this fact was startling.

For those who are impatient with how long the Trump investigation is taking, remember that the Clinton investigation went on for five years. The average time for high-level special investigations is 1,154 days, slightly more than three years, which means the Trump investigation, if it runs the average length, will end around November 2019.

In our judgment it would be a compounding mistake to finalize the investigation before the mid-term elections, just a scant eight months away. There have been enough home-grown interferences with elections to add insult to injury with a rushed release that is ill-timed. Remember the Hillary Clinton off-on again investigation, the James Comey bobble-head moments of grand posturing, the Bill Clinton “accidental” meeting with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, the warning of crooked elections from Donald Trump as a candidate, etc.

Russia didn’t shoot us in the foot: we did, the result of too quick a draw.

Our Greek Chorus
Opinions of The Vigilant
The Greek chorus was an integral part of ancient Greek theatre, a group of three or four performers who looked alike and spoke all at the same time. Their part was to comment on what was being said and help the audience know what the characters in the play were thinking. The chorus usually sang, or spoke. We honor that tradition here
A case could be made for some of this behavior from past presidents in office, from seeing UFOs to swimming nude. None rose to high crimes, but it now depends on what high is.
Updated Posts

Zuckerberg Puts on Angel Face

by Josh Hammond

What’s the Stink About?

by Josh Hammond

He’s a trickster, a conman, out to fool you and win at all costs, sparing no deception.

by Josh Hammond
Our Newsletter
The easiest way for you to stay on top of what’s happening at Free American News is subscribe to our weekly update. Out every Friday morning, bright and early, it lists the latest post and has some exclusive extras. Please use the pop-up subscription form or click on the subscribe to newsletter box on the lower right-hand column.
Go to the Newsletter Subscription page
Amnesia March 9, 2018

Mirror, Mirror on the Oval Office Wall

Who had the fullest In-Box of all?

A president of the US is judged many ways. Mostly they are judged too quickly. After 100 days, a year, a 1000 days and then the voters judge every four years. History and time have a way of sorting things out. But ranking presidents is a popular parlor sport for pundits and professors.

We decided to be a little more vigilant and challenge these premature rankings. The only criteria we use at this time is how much was in their in-box? Not the small or petty stuff, but the big stuff that impacts national security and global peace. How many crises–not of their own choosing– were on the President’s desk on Day One?

Using this criteria, George Washington, by virtue of being the first president, clearly had the biggest and most challenges. Everything he did was a precedent of some sort or another. Some would put Abraham Lincoln on the top of the list because of one singular issue of monumental consequences—The Civil War. By the time he was elected, seven states had succeeded from the Union. He was able to concentrate on the war with all its complexity and managed to keep the Union together. Others have FDR at the top of the list or near the top. Like Lincoln he started with one big item on his desk—the Great Depression. There were wars brewing in Europe, but Pearl Harbor was several years into his administration. He served for 12 years and guided the country through WW2, but he had the depression well under control by the time the war started.

LBJ makes our list. He inherited the most traumatic event in modern history of the Office of the US President—the assassination of the sitting president, John F. Kennedy. In the era of television, the assassination and its after-drama, paralyzed the Nation. The social and political unrest of the 60s decade and the bastard war in Vietnam, cluttered LBJ’s desk. His enormous political skill and talent resulted in one of the most productive legislative periods of American history, second only to FDR who served twice as long. Most of his achievements came in his second term.

After George Washington, the number one president who exceeds all other presidents with the clutter on his desk, was Barack Obama who had a boiling cauldron of domestic and foreign crises facing the nation.

  1. The War in Afghanistan
  2. The War in Iraq that he voted against while a US Senator
  3. The unprecedented and unconventional and invisible war of terrorism
  4. The Great Recession

Obama had to address all four issues concurrently. But there was a fifth thing on his desk, something that had never been on a president’s test before. The titular head of the Republican Party, the minority leader of the US Senate, Mitch McConnell, vowed to make Obama a one-term president. He created the unprecedented just say no to Obama–no matter what the idea. Although he waited about two years to say it in public, his say-no strategy was already in action in the House and Senate from Day One. This was not a failure of content, but a dog-whistle of racism that would shadow President Obama for two full terms.

What is your take? Did we miss someone? Or did we incorrectly assess one of the presidents?

An Editorial Note: The purpose of this post was not to judge how well they did with those crises, but simply to note the tasks they faced. There is probably more agreement on what they had to do than on how well they did it.

Our Greek Chorus
Opinions of The Vigilant
The Greek chorus was an integral part of ancient Greek theatre, a group of three or four performers who looked alike and spoke all at the same time. Their part was to comment on what was being said and help the audience know what the characters in the play were thinking. The chorus usually sang, or spoke. We honor that tradition here
Johnny Carlson does a presidential version of the famous Abbott & Castello routine, 'Who's on First.'
Updated Posts

Zuckerberg Puts on Angel Face

by Josh Hammond

What’s the Stink About?

by Josh Hammond

He’s a trickster, a conman, out to fool you and win at all costs, sparing no deception.

by Josh Hammond
Our Newsletter
The easiest way for you to stay on top of what’s happening at Free American News is subscribe to our weekly update. Out every Friday morning, bright and early, it lists the latest post and has some exclusive extras. Please use the pop-up subscription form or click on the subscribe to newsletter box on the lower right-hand column.
Go to the Newsletter Subscription page
Amnesia February 8, 2018

Trumpet

The Broken Press Flummoxed by Donald Trump’s Preemptions.

Nicole Wallace, the host of Deadline Washington on MSNBC, said on February 5, 2018, “If we’re not careful, we will become his [Trump’s] foil.” No Nicole: you already are his foil and you have been for some time from the beginning. Your show, Washington Deadline, regularly starts off with a Trump tweet. It is a tiring format: Even some of your guests think it is time for you to move on and cover the policy, not the man.

No one in politics can change the conversation more quickly than Donald Trump. He does this through his patented dialogue interruptus. Twice a day or more, starting with the morning feed. The press, like trained animals, bite every time. Unable to ignore or dismiss Trump’s Tweets, they have collectively gone to mocking him and talking about his base as though it were a flower vase or bar stool.

To give themselves imagined caché, the babbling press have almost in unison gone to the dry well and emerged with labels never heard in the Bible: Trumpian, Trumpism, Trumpantics. No doubt, some other labels were left on the cutting-room floor. New ones are in focus groups. Somehow this mindless labeling enables the press—in their own minds—to recoup some status for being a reporter in today’s dumbed-down exchanges and rote reporting. There is a dusty elitism from a bygone era heard around the edges. The race is to the one who has the most academic sounding one, the one with perceived thought and insight.

No president has a branding of someone else’s choosing. Others are comfortable with a branding by the press. For example, Obama did not object to the characterization of his presidency as “No drama Obama.” In Trump’s case there is no mutual respect. The flummoxed press is scattered like chaff. All we get is word-speak, the kind reserved for dictators and isms of fear and loathing. We talk about Herculean, Promethean and other stars of mythology. We muse about Orwell, both the actor and the author. All those labels are about what they did, not who they were. Not so with Trump. He must love the echo of his tweets rising to where the eagles sore.

Presidents get nicknames, usually of the mocking sort—James Buchanan was called Ten-Cent Jimmy, Grover Cleveland was labelled His Obstinacy and William Harrison was called General Mum. While those names were descriptive of how they conducted themselves, the names have now gotten personal as they have since Barak Obama became president. Bill Clinton was called The Big Dog and Slick Willie and Richard earned the name Tricky Dick, but Trump has not earned a title or any aphorisms that might stick on a muddy wall. And it is true, the term “Reaganesque” was applied to Ronald Reagan, and then it was discovered he had Al Hammer’s disease, as John Irving calls it.

So why do we talk about Trumpism, Trumpian, Trumpesque with such such odd labels and repeat them like some Prep School Valedictorian? He must relish the adoration, the attention, and he knows that bad attention gets as much results as good attention, sometime better.

Our Greek Chorus
Opinions of The Vigilant
The Greek chorus was an integral part of ancient Greek theatre, a group of three or four performers who looked alike and spoke all at the same time. Their part was to comment on what was being said and help the audience know what the characters in the play were thinking. The chorus usually sang, or spoke. We honor that tradition here
With Paul Simon, Stevie Wonder
and The Dixie Hummingbirds
If I was President
And the Congress call my name
I'd say ''who do
Who do you think you're fooling?''
I've got the Presidential Seal
I'm up on the Presidential Podium
My mama loves me
Updated Posts

Zuckerberg Puts on Angel Face

by Josh Hammond

What’s the Stink About?

by Josh Hammond

He’s a trickster, a conman, out to fool you and win at all costs, sparing no deception.

by Josh Hammond
Our Newsletter
The easiest way for you to stay on top of what’s happening at Free American News is subscribe to our weekly update. Out every Friday morning, bright and early, it lists the latest post and has some exclusive extras. Please use the pop-up subscription form or click on the subscribe to newsletter box on the lower right-hand column.
Go to the Newsletter Subscription page
Amnesia February 7, 2018

Only Three Can Claim Revolution?

Bernie Sanders is a revolutionary fraud.

Sanders is as much a revolutionist as the Pope is a hockey player. Just because you can use the word and wag your finger and raise your voice doesn’t mean you know anything about revolutions. Sanders is an old white man, an imposter, a carpetbagger from Vermont and he is getting ready to highjack the Democratic Party nomination again as a Socialist. He didn’t even have the courtesy to change parties when he ran for president in 2016. He just pooped in.

The good news is Vermont has made it legal to smoke more than corn stalks. Maybe the only Socialist in the US Congress could do for weed what Fidel did for Cohibas. Now that would be revolutionary!

The only person in the Burn Camp who had any understanding of the basic elements of revolution was Nina Turner, a fiery, articulate former State of Ohio senator. If she had a more substantial platform, she should be running and having Bernie open the door for her.

At this point you may say “so-what?” “What’s the big deal?” Our response is that part of the decay in public discourse is that words are losing their meaning and thereby inhibit understand. Are you suggesting that cultural revolutions are the same as revolutions in cancer research? That face-recognition software is revolutionary? That words can mean anything at any time as determined by anyone? Maybe, but first we should understand the power of the word revolution in it’s original sense. We are content to leave it there and find another word for what happened in the industrial revolution, 20s, the 60s and most recently the 2016 presidential election.

There have only been three classic revolutions in modern time—American, French and Cuban. Russia and Mexico would want to make a case that they should be included. Egypt is the most recent country that may also have a case. Fighting, killing, assassination, coup or coup d’état, regime change (as Bush 2 liked to say) and burning the palace or parliament does not make a revolution. Revolutions are planned or organized event sprout spontaneous, but they are sustained over a period of time. They have a beginning with an idea, a middle with upheaval, and an end where “nothing” is the same anymore. The goal of a true revolution is to over throw the existing government/rulers and create a new constitution and a new way to govern.

In classic modern terms, revolution started with America, then France, followed by Cuba. The American revolution is the most enduring.

I was taught to think of revolutions as a fever. Before the fever is obvious, your body gives off signals that may include: sweating, chills, headaches, muscle aches, loss of appetite, irritability and general weakness.

The key to getting rid of a fever is rest, but here the metaphor breaks down. In a real revolution the fever is the prelude to violence, sacrifice, death, destruction and ashes. It’s out of the ashes that a new order arises. The old order is gone—usurped, destroyed, replaced—and a new order is installed. New is invariably idealistic. Goals are unattainable. Some get shortchanged. Others are dillusional. Fighting is easy: governing is hard. Fighting is fun: maintenance is boring. Both are what make revolution successful.

When you hear someone use the word “revolution,” ask them what they mean? Ask for examples of successful revolutions? Ask whose blood will be shed? Ask what institutions will need to be sacrificed? Ask what constitutions will be rewritten? Ask who will do the writing? Ask. Ask. Ask.

Our Greek Chorus
Opinions of The Vigilant
The Greek chorus was an integral part of ancient Greek theatre, a group of three or four performers who looked alike and spoke all at the same time. Their part was to comment on what was being said and help the audience know what the characters in the play were thinking. The chorus usually sang, or spoke. We honor that tradition here
Our vigilance will not be televised.
Gil Scott Heron said the change starts
with the invisible, in the mind and that his song.
“The Revolution Will Not Be Televised.”
Updated Posts

Zuckerberg Puts on Angel Face

by Josh Hammond

What’s the Stink About?

by Josh Hammond

He’s a trickster, a conman, out to fool you and win at all costs, sparing no deception.

by Josh Hammond
Our Newsletter
The easiest way for you to stay on top of what’s happening at Free American News is subscribe to our weekly update. Out every Friday morning, bright and early, it lists the latest post and has some exclusive extras. Please use the pop-up subscription form or click on the subscribe to newsletter box on the lower right-hand column.
Go to the Newsletter Subscription page
« Previous post
Category
Amnesia
Next post »
Amnesia January 21, 2018

Never Again, Again, Again

The two words “never again” are the collective sin of commission by the world.

They are the two emptiest words in the English language. They mean nothing. Is it the number of dead that triggers this cry? Does it need to be?

  • 6 000 000 (Holocaust),
  • 7 500 000  (Holodomor/Ukraine),
  • 3 000 000 (Cambodia),
  • 3 000 000 (Bangladesh),
  • 1 000 000 (Rwanda),
  • and on and on and on?

If those examples are too distant, consider what is going on in Syria right now! Close to 500,000 citizens have been killed–men, women and children, some by the illegal and immoral use of the chemical sarin. Half the country–12 million–has been displaced. And it is not over.

It is April 8, 2018, and the chemical murders in Syria continues. Maybe never again will be kicked in later this week, probably not, especially since Russia and Iran want to keep it going.

Putting the expression–Never Again–in the drawer is not the answer. The will to act is.

Our Greek Chorus
Opinions of The Vigilant
The Greek chorus was an integral part of ancient Greek theatre, a group of three or four performers who looked alike and spoke all at the same time. Their part was to comment on what was being said and help the audience know what the characters in the play were thinking. The chorus usually sang, or spoke. We honor that tradition here
I close my eyes, only for a moment
And the moment's gone
All my dreams pass before my eyes, a curiosity
Dust in the wind
All they are is dust in the wind
Our Greek Chorus
Opinions of The Vigilant
The Greek chorus was an integral part of ancient Greek theatre, a group of three or four performers who looked alike and spoke all at the same time. Their part was to comment on what was being said and help the audience know what the characters in the play were thinking. The chorus usually sang, or spoke. We honor that tradition here
We'll be fighting in the streets
With our children at our feet
And the morals that they worship will be gone
And the men who spurred us on
Sit in judgement of all wrong
They decide and the shotgun sings the song
Updated Posts

Zuckerberg Puts on Angel Face

by Josh Hammond

What’s the Stink About?

by Josh Hammond

He’s a trickster, a conman, out to fool you and win at all costs, sparing no deception.

by Josh Hammond
Our Newsletter
The easiest way for you to stay on top of what’s happening at Free American News is subscribe to our weekly update. Out every Friday morning, bright and early, it lists the latest post and has some exclusive extras. Please use the pop-up subscription form or click on the subscribe to newsletter box on the lower right-hand column.
Go to the Newsletter Subscription page