Posted by: coastcontact | July 17, 2017

Treason

Russia wants to destroy western democracies. Not just the United States. There has been media reports of Russia’s efforts to impact elections in France, Germany, Belgium, and other nations. Their reason, I believe, is that Vladimir Putin is a dictator and the success of western democracies is demonstration to his countryman that the will of the people results in a more successful nation. National leaders like Nicolás Maduro of Venezuela, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan of Turkey, and Hassan Rouhani of Iran are the dictatorial leaders that Putin admires.

I believe that Donald Trump, his son Donald Junior, his son-in-law Jared Kushner, and ex-campaign manager Paul Manafort are all guilty of treason. They all colluded with the Russian government in the 2016 presidential and have continued to collude since Donald Trump’s election. I suspect their reason for the collusion is to earn money for themselves. They have little or no regard for American democracy.

Update 7-18-2017:

Trump and Putin spoke a second time for nearly an hour at G20 summit, White House says. Apparently the only people at that meeting were Trump, Putin, and a Russian translator. As this was not a meeting that Trump wanted to be known, isn’t this another piece of proof of collusion?

Trump’s repeated claims of fake news and his contention that everyone does the things he and his inner circle have done are all part of politics strains credulity beyond what any reasonable person would expect.

Read this definition of treason from thefreedictionary.com
n. the crime of betraying one’s country, defined in Article III, section 3 of the U. S. Constitution: “Treason against the United States shall consist only in levying war against them, or in adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort.” Treason requires overt acts and includes the giving of government security secrets to other countries, even if friendly, when the information could harm American security. Treason can include revealing to an antagonistic country secrets such as the design of a bomber being built by a private company for the Defense Department. Treason may include “espionage” (spying for a foreign power or doing damage to the operation of the government and its agencies, particularly involved in security) but is separate and worse than “sedition” which involves a conspiracy to upset the operation of the government.

I know that as of today the Republican Party is not ready to charge Trump or his inner circle with treason. I predict that the day is coming.

Posted by: coastcontact | July 11, 2017

Saber Rattling Will Not Deter Kim Jong-un

Saber rattling will not deter Kim Jong-un in his obsession to obtain an ICBM that can strike the United States.

First, the United States and South Korea conducted joint missile exercises off the east coast of the South Korean peninsula. Then, on July 8, American B-1 bombers flew over the Korean Peninsula, where they were joined by South Korean and American fighter jets. Now it is reported that the THAAD missile defense system will be tested.

All of this is saber rattling. The United States is unlikely to start a war with North Korea. The loss of life, likely hundreds of thousands of people, would be too high.

There are many things the United States can do to force North Korea to take the action it wants including telling China that exports to the U.S. will be limited unless there is clear evidence that North Korea has begun dismantling its nuclear and missile technology.  If I were president of the United States I would give China 60 days to produce verifiable results. 

Businesses in the United States will suffer if we limit imports from China but this is national security taking priority over American business interests. What President Trump needs to do is obvious but does he have the courage to take the needed action?

Posted by: coastcontact | July 5, 2017

Garcetti for president in 2020?

This letter sent to the Los Angeles Times conveys my opinion.  I would only add that the likelihood of a Jew being elected president of the United States is as likely that a buffoon like Donald Trump being elected.  Wait a minute I guess anything is possible.

July 5, 2017  9:30 AM

To the editor: Excuse me, but what has Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti actually accomplished to be added to a short list of presidential wannabes? Is the Democratic Party’s bench so lacking that a mediocre-at-best mayor can be inserted into a serious presidential conversation for 2020? (“On the eve of Garcetti’s inauguration, soaring ambition meets a sober reality,” July 1)

Garcetti won a second term in an election in which few Angelenos voted and no one bothered to seriously challenge him. As for serious accomplishments, homelessness and gentrification are out of control, and Los Angeles has become known for high rents, anemic job growth and a seriously deficient municipal infrastructure.

Given his incessant and annoying public service announcements at LAX, Garcetti seems to be auditioning for talk radio, not higher office.

Nicholas J. Antonicello, Venice Beach

Posted by: coastcontact | July 1, 2017

This Is My Canada

Happy 150th Canada!

 

Posted by: coastcontact | June 30, 2017

Trump Wants to Kill Free Press

Donald Trump just gave cable TV show “Morning Joe” a wonderful free piece of publicity. The program hit an all-time high passing more than one million viewers for the first time ever in May and beat CNN’s third-place “New Day” for the 27th straight month, the program’s best streak ever.

Trump gave the show a boost by his name calling of the hosts. He called Mika Brzezinski “low I.Q. Crazy Mika” and Joe Scarborough “Psycho Joe.”  This name calling is nothing new for Trump.  He had names for Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, and Carly Fiorina.

Today’s claim by Brzezinski and Scarborough that they have been threatened by a possible piece in the National Enquirer, that could be killed if Scarborough called an apology to Trump might be true or it could be a publicity stunt. More people are likely to be watching Morning Joe on MSNBC just to see what will happen. It is like a soap opera but is real. Great entertainment value.

While it should be beneath the president to be involved in name calling, I suspect there is a more serious intention to this entire story.

Previously CNN was accused by the White House of issuing “fake news” reports. There have been other actions by the White House to deny coverage of new events. An example is the meeting between Trump and Russian officials on May 10 where White House officials block reporters from covering the meeting. Photos were released by the Russia.  Just today there was another event where video was not permitted.

The entire behavior of the White House is to block and discredit the news media.  America as we have known it is under attack.  Whether it is WordPress or Morning Joe the media must remain on guard.  There is a man in the White House who wants to destroy our institutions.

Posted by: coastcontact | June 26, 2017

Hillary Clinton is Unwilling to Accept Her Defeat

“Hillary Rodham Clinton enters the Barnes & Noble to sign her book “Hard Choices” at The Grove, Thursday, June 19, 2014. (Photo by Michael Owen Baker/Los Angeles Daily News)”

The American election for president was November 8, 2016. That is more than six months ago. Everyone who loses an election for president probably goes through an emotional conflict for some period of time. Mrs. Clinton still seems to be in a state of denial.

Even worse for her is that she has blamed everyone for her loss but appears to believe that she is not to blame.

First Mrs. Clinton was a poor campaigner. During the last weeks before the election Donald Trump was appearing somewhere every day at a campaign rally. Clinton did not campaign every day.  Prior to the debates Donald Trump was appearing at rallies every day while we citizens were told that Mrs. Clinton was preparing for the debates. Despite her preparation Donald Trump at least did a credible job.

Those debates were not the turning point for her campaign. The truth is her campaign was flawed from the very beginning. In fact her entire effort lacked a theme. I remember her appearance at The Grove shopping center in Los Angeles well before she announced her candidacy. There were long lines of people waiting to see her for the announcement and sale of her new book, “Hard Choices”, Thursday, June 19, 2014. Most people in that line wanting her signature inside the cover all carried signs saying “I’m with her.” That was her campaign slogan. Most of us understood that the new book was a kickoff of her campaign. I did not stand in line. I was there merely to see how many people would be willing to stand in line for that signature. The number was in the hundreds.

Donald Trump took the primary theme that has been the backbone of every Democratic Party candidate since FDR. That was the claim that the Democratic Party was the party for the working man. What does “I’m with her.” Mean?

When Businessweek told stories of people who had lost their jobs and looking for help it was Donald Trump who promised to bring back those jobs. Where was Hillary Clinton then? Nowhere to be seen. Donald Trump promised to revitalize coal mining and bring back miner’s jobs. Clinton promised to shut down the coal industry.

Mrs. Clinton offered no plans or ideas for reinvigorating the blue collar and middle class work force that historically supported Democratic candidates.

The fault for Mrs. Clinton’s loss in the election of November 8, 2016 lies with her.

Do Americans think they are immune to the acts of foreign governments when they travel? Apparently the answer is YES. The State Department warns U.S. citizens to stay away from North Korea but hundreds go anyway every year. Otto Warmbier was an American university student who, while visiting North Korea as a tourist in January 2016 tore a wall poster down as a souvenir. He paid with his life.

North Korea is not the only country that the State Department has warned not to visit. The State Department web site has a Travel Warnings list. The site is headed with the following warning statement.

“We issue a Travel Warning when we want you to consider very carefully whether you should go to a country at all. Examples of reasons for issuing a Travel Warning might include unstable government, civil war, ongoing intense crime or violence, or frequent terrorist attacks. We want you to know the risks of traveling to these places and to strongly consider not going to them at all. Travel Warnings remain in place until the situation changes; some have been in effect for years.”

There are 44 countries listed. Of those nine are from 2016. Surprisingly none in Europe which is on a Travel Alert list due to threat of terrorist attacks.

The Travel Warnings list includes Mexico. The Mexico specific statement says: “The U.S. Department of State warns U.S. citizens about the risk of traveling to certain parts of Mexico due to the activities of criminal organizations in those areas. U.S. citizens have been the victims of violent crimes, including homicide, kidnapping, carjacking, and robbery in various Mexican states. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning for Mexico, issued April 15, 2016.” The site then identifies the cities and states that are particularly dangerous including Mexico City. Despite the warning a total 7.86 million Americans visited the country from January to October 2016, an increase of 12% from the same period in 2015.

Have you visited America’s national parks? My favorites are Yellowstone and Grand Teton. Have you visited Washington D.C.? Both Boston and Philadelphia offer interesting historic sites that I believe everyone should visit. The best part is that you are far safer and you might see a really great show on Broadway in New York City.

Posted by: coastcontact | June 18, 2017

Everyone loves L.A. — and that’s the problem

See the details at  https://losangelesloveitandhateit.wordpress.com/

Posted by: coastcontact | June 18, 2017

Alex Jones the Conspiracy Theorist

Alex Jones has made a living selling conspiracy theories.  In every instance he appears to believe that the government has an ulterior motive. If you say that someone has an ulterior motive for doing something, you believe that they have a hidden reason for doing it.

Jones has now been given the gift of appearing on Megyn Kelly’s program tonight.  That decision by NBC only gives legitimacy to Jones’ theories.  I am disappointed in NBC.  The likely viewership of the program and the possible income the network might obtain is clearly more important than honesty.  I hope the number of people watching is very low.  However, since the public appetite for the outrageous never seems to end NBC will probably have a big hit.

Newsweek’s online web site provides Jones’ top conspiracies.

  1. New World Order: The world’s elite are planning on “exterminating” 80% of the world’s population so that the remaining population can live forever thanks to advanced technologies.
  2. 9/11 Was an Inside Job: Jones describes himself as “one of the very first founding fathers of the 9/11 truth movement.” He claims that was in “inside job” orchestrated by the U.S. government to enslave the world.
  3. Major shootings, Bombings Were “False Flag” Operations: Jones sees “false flags” including Oklahoma City, Boston Marathon bombings as events orchestrated by elites.
  4. Obama is “Global Head” of Al-Qaeda: Jones called Obama “the Global Head” accusing him of funding and arming terrorist organizations to achieve his own political goals.
  5. Government Creates Homosexuality: Jones said the government is using juice boxes to make children gay to slow and eventually revers the growth of population. In one of his popular videos je claims that chemicals in the water are “ turning the freaking frogs gay.”

Perhaps NBC sees the Kelly program is just another form of entertainment and not to be taken seriously.  Sadly too many people do take everything they see on television seriously.

Posted by: coastcontact | June 14, 2017

Golden Parachutes and extraordinary pay for the undeserving

Greed and incompetence are rewarded in corporate America. Just ask Robert Coury, Marissa Mayer, and John Stumpf. These are the three people I am highlighting but there are many more. A 57 cent ignition switch was not replaced in 2.6 million Chevrolet Cobalts and Saturn Ions at the price of 13 deaths.

Mylan (MYL) was already under fire for a relentless series of price hikes on a two-pack of EpiPens by 400% over seven years. The controversy badly damaged Mylan’s reputation and wiped out billions of dollars of market value. Yet Mylan still lavished former CEO Robert Coury with $98 million in pay for 2016 as he transitioned to the role of executive chairman.

Marissa Mayer leaves Yahoo with nearly $260 million. This is after she failed to make the company a success. In fact it was bought by Verizon who saved Yahoo from bankruptcy. Mayer, who will not be sticking with Verizon (VZ, Tech30) now that Yahoo and its other digital media unit AOL are being combined under one operating unit called Oath, will also receive $23 million in severance payments to walk away from Yahoo.

In 2012, John Stumpf, former CEO of Wells Fargo Bank, had total compensation of $22.87 million with a base salary of $2.8 million, $3,300,000 in cash bonuses, $12.5 million in stock granted, and $15,000 in other compensation. Stumpf retired just weeks after he was grilled by two congressional panels over the way the bank handled an alleged scam where upwards of 2 million accounts were created by employees without the knowledge of customers. The accounts were allegedly opened so thousands of employees could meet aggressive sales goals set by management. Stumpf was widely criticized for the way he handled the questioning, pushing the blame to lower-level employees and not holding upper-level executives, including himself, responsible.

Those were just three of the oligarchs that are receiving millions of dollars while the U.S. Census Bureau reported in September 2014 that: U.S. real (inflation adjusted) median household income was $51,939.

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