Weekend Reading: Trump’s Mental Stability; Photos, Video of Santa Fe Climate Strike

Robert Reich wrote a brilliant piece on Trump’s declining stability, and his evidence, assembled in one short piece, is staggering. A second article describes the Trump administration’s wanton disregard for the rule of law.

For information on coming actions and events, including Retake Our Democracy on KSFR at 8:30 this morning with Rep. Abbas Akhil, a film on Gaza tonight at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation, a public banking house party on Sunday, and CD-3 candidate forums click here.

Trump Dictatorial? Or Criminally Insane. The Two Articles Below Wrestle with This Reality

On Thursday, the NY Times published an alarming article about how a whistle blower from the intelligence community filed a complaint against President Trump. This is alarming, but adding to the concern is the reaction from the Justice Department refusing to share the complaint with the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, as required by law. Unambiguously required.

Trump appointee, Michael Atkinson, the solicitor general for the intelligence community, was so alarmed by this suppression of the complaint that on Thursday he came to the House Intelligence Committee testifying behind closed doors. The complaint is said to be an “urgent concern” that includes multiple issues, including one of the President making an “inappropriate promise to a foreign leader on the phone.” Multiple reports surfaced today claiming that Trump had asked the Ukrainian President eight time to work with adviser Rudy Giuliani to unearth evidence of wrongdoing by Joe Biden’s son Hunter and when asked if he would do this, Giuliani responded: “Hell yes.”

Prior to going to Congress, Atkinson had reported the complaint to the Acting Director of National Intelligence, Joseph Maguire who has refused to hand this over to the Congress….again, as required by law.

The problem, as explained by Jack Goldsmith, who led the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel under President George W. Bush, is that Mr. Trump’s behavior has repeatedly revealed “the extent to which our constitutional system assumes and relies on a president with a modicum of national fidelity, and decent judgment and reasonableness.”
In other words, the system isn’t designed to deal with a situation in which a hazard may come from the president himself. “

The NY Times article is worth your review as it points to yet another instance of deplorable behavior not just by Trump but by the hand-picked sycophants that inhabit the administration, the vast majority of them in “acting” positions. As Reich points out in the second article featured today, Trump is in love with “acting” positions as it allows Trump to fire them on a whim….or an act of personal betrayal, which in this administration can be simply raising concerns that something the president is considering is illegal.

Click here to read this NY Times report. It illustrates, yet again, the complete disregard for the rule of law that is endemic of this administration.

Thank You Robert Reich, A Breath of Sanity in an Utterly Insane World

Most all of us find Trump reprehensible. The article above makes it quite clear that he believes he is above the law. But is he insane?

Robert Reich pieces together a sequence of Trump behaviors that individually would be alarming, but when viewed collectively create insurmountable evidence that the man is not only cruel, heartless, and ignorant, but dangerously unstable.

I think we have to face the truth that no one seems to want to admit. This is no longer a case of excessive narcissism or grandiosity. We’re not simply dealing with an unusually large ego.

The president of the United States is seriously, frighteningly, dangerously unstable. And he’s getting worse by the day. … What to do? We can vote him out of office in 14 months’ time. But he could end the world in seven and a half seconds.

There’s also the question of whether he’ll willingly leave. “

Some readers may find Reich’s concerns a bit extreme or alarmist, but if you read his full article–and it is actually quite a punchy, short read–you will very likely think Reich has understated the threat. I highly recommend you review this Guardian article. Click here.

Global Climate Strike

I am sure you will have seen television news featuring strikes across the globe and will have heard the numbers, 100,000 here, 400,000 there. So today, I’ll skip that and just present a few of my favorite shots from the Climate Strike yesterday in Santa Fe.

Above is a banner with the four demands of the Youth Activists for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA) hanging in the Roundhouse Rotunda.

This was the first banner we saw when we arrived. It set a somber tone, an apt preparation for the haunting closing to the Strike, two hours later.

Youth outnumbered adults 2-1, and because of how the youth from YUCCA ingeniously staged activities outside in four different stations and with essentially four different marches, it was impossible to tell the collective number of people striking, but there were many more than was reported in the New Mexican. At each of the four stations surrounding the Roundhouse, only youth spoke or led chants. No adults played a role except for three adults who were part of a truly haunting final ceremony described below.

Groups departed from all four stations and headed to different sites related to the gas and oil industry, creating a flowing energy headed all throughout the neighborhood surrounding the Roundhouse. Our group went to the Permian Basin Petroleum Association. I didn’t even know it existed. Yet there it was a few hundred feet from Kaune’s market with its sign posted outside with an oil derrick centered between the PB and the PA.

Youth voter registrars were everywhere and Roxanne caught this scene of two youth getting ready for local elections this year and the primary and general in 2020. A sustained voter education and registration effort will certainly contribute to electing more representatives who are ready to take action on climate change.

For Roxanne and I, there was one moment, the closing ceremony, that we will never forget. It was a prayerful performance conducted before a jammed Rotunda with youth also lining the second floor balcony.

After a series of moving talks by youth, the YUCCA emcee called for silence, a string ensemble began to play as narrators began to speak slowly and solemnly. The theme of the ensemble is captured well by the sign above.

On either side of Rev. Gail Marriner, two speakers offered commentary, while the Reverend solemnly spoke the names of species that are in danger of extinction. It would impossible to recount all that was said by the narrators, but I do recall one comment toward the end, describing our times as a reversal of Noah’s arc with one species after another becoming extinct.

The youth above was sitting listening to the closing ceremony and his shirt captured the theme of the ensemble’s work perfectly.

I was streaming this performance live to our Retake Facebook page and offer it below. At one point in the ensemble piece, Roxanne used her phone to comment. “Its hard not to cry,” which brought quivering tears to my eyes, causing the phone camera to shake a bit. I don’t want to spoil how it ended, but it was unforgettable. Click below. At 9 minutes 41 seconds the ensemble performance begins. Forgive the poor quality video and sound echoes a bit in the Rotunda, but it is well worth looking beyond that for what transpired at 22M 25S as a haunting, beautiful voice emerged from the crowd. Unforgettable.


For a great compilation of the best climate strike signs around the world assembled by the Huffington Post, click here.

In gratitude for our youth who showed up and to YUCCA who orchestrated such a varied and finely nuanced Strike,

Paul and Roxanne

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4 replies

  1. It was very good to see and be there to support these kids. We can only imagine what could have been if the leaders of New Mexico had planned to be a part of this. We can imagine if the Governor put out a plea several days ahead of this asking all businesses to strike for 5 minutes at 12:30 Friday and not serve customers or do any work? To think about the crisis we are facing and how important it is to address this. How the Mayor and the Governor could have had the stage on the plaza to compliment the children in the “march” ( which seemed to not happen) and express their concern for supporting and dealing with Climate Change. That is what is missing from almost all politicians across our country; Leadership and Commitment! For them, all of them, this is just another issue to deal with, politically.

  2. 450 marched and held-up signs for Silver City’s Climate Strike. Good turnout for a small town.

  3. Your facebook link does not work. Can you post that performance some other way? Most of us adults missed it.

    • The link works for me but this is the second person to say this. I can’t fix something that works for me, but if you go directly to our FB page (Retake Our Democracy) you can just scroll to it. I have confirmed it is there. Sorry I can’t do more. Paul

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