Posted by: coastcontact | June 15, 2018

Trump wants to be Treated as North Koreans Treats Kim Jong Un

Trump says he wants the US to treat him like North Korea treats Kim Jong Un

Donald Trump’s admiration of dictators is frightening.  It appears he too dreams of being such a dictator or perhaps king with absolute power.

Posted by Alex Lockie of Business Insider and appearing on AOL.COM on Friday June 15,2018.  The Los Angeles Times posted a similar article on Saturday June 16, 2018. You can’t make this stuff up.  Time magazine’s cover of Trump as king of the United States really does appear to be the thinking of Trump.  Just two days ago Trump said that the press is America’s enemy.  Grading media loyalty would be a first step to deterring any media outlet that dares to write anything that counters the Trump narrative.  Erdogan and Putin do not permit any disloyal media.  Sadly too many Americans are not standing up for American democracy and the constitution.

President Donald Trump returned from his Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un with an apparent new respect for the dictator’s control over his people.

“He is the strong head,” Trump said of Kim during a surprise appearance on Fox News. “Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

Trump later told a reporter he was being sarcastic.

“I’m kidding. You don’t understand sarcasm,” he said.

Trump’s comment on Fox followed other musings during the Singapore trip while watching a bit of North Korean television.

North Korea’s news anchor, Ri Chun Hee, delivers propaganda on behalf of Kim’s regime. North Korean news, which is entirely state-run, solely consists of statements that shine a positive light on Kim and the country. As Trump watched, according to The Washington Post, he remarked about her praise of Kim and suggested she could work for Fox News.

North Korea’s news doesn’t just give its citizens state-approved information. It also tells them how to they’re expected to think about that news, too. Any deviation from the state-approved script can land a North Korean citizen in a political prison camp, where the treatment is reportedly on par with Nazi German death camps.

In the US, Fox News is routinely criticized for its coverage of Trump. Fox News has gotten greater access to Trump than any other news outlet throughout his campaign and presidency.

Under Trump, a senior advisor to the State Department started monitoring the social media feeds of career diplomats and American employees of international institutions to grade their loyalty to Trump.

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Posted by: coastcontact | June 12, 2018

Kim Jong Un Wins

In his speech on September 30, 1938, Neville Chamberlain famously declared “My good friends, for the second time in our history, a British Prime Minister has returned from Germany bringing peace with honor. I believe it is peace for our time…” The “peace for our time” was a reference to Benjamin Disraeli’s address after returning from the Congress of Berlin in 1878.

Winston Churchill in the British parliament said “Chamberlain had the choice between war and shame. Now he has chosen shame – he’ll get war later.”

The United Kingdom, along with most of its Dominions and Crown colonies declared war on Nazi Germany in September 1939.

Sadly, Donald Trump has not read and is not a fan of any history.

Thus Trump signs a document that says we agree to talk.  It is better than war.  Prior agreements with North Korea have not resulted in any change by North Korea in its effort to threaten the world.  Under the current leader Kim Jong Un the threat of a nuclear war has become even greater.  There is nothing in this agreement that that takes the world one step closer to denuclearization. Just today Trump has announced that the United States will discontinue joint military exercises in South Korea.  The exercises have been a sore point for North Korea for decades.  They obtained that concession without giving one thing in return. Where was the tough talk of Secretary State Mike Pompeo?

Donald Trump is the 21st century version of Neville Chamberlin.

 

Joint Statement of President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea at the Singapore Summit

President Donald J. Trump of the United States of America and Chairman Kim Jong Un of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) held a first, historic summit in Singapore on June 12, 2018.

President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un conducted a comprehensive, in-depth and sincere exchange of opinions on the issues related to the establishment of new US-DPRK relations and the building of a lasting and robust peace regime on the Korean Peninsula. President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Convinced that the establishment of new US-DPRK relations will contribute to the peace and prosperity of the Korean Peninsula and of the world, and recognizing that mutual confidence building can promote the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un state the following:

1.    The United States and the DPRK commit to establish new US-DPRK relations in accordance with the desire of the peoples of the two countries for peace and prosperity.

2.    The United States and DPRK will join their efforts to build a lasting and stable peace regime on the Korean Peninsula.

3.    Reaffirming the April 27, 2018 Panmunjom Declaration, the DPRK commits to work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula

4.    The United States and the DPRK commit to recovering POW/MIA remains, including the immediate repatriation of those already identified.

Posted by: coastcontact | June 10, 2018

Suicide in America

The CDC has reported that suicides in the United States have risen by 25% since 1999.  It has been an act taken by both the rich and famous and the rest of us.  Depression and anxiety are the apparent causes.  In 2016, nearly 45,000 Americans age 10 or older died by suicide. Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death and is one of just three leading causes that are on the rise.

Robin Williams, a most famous movie and television actor, comes to mind as an unexpected act that shocked Americans. He died in August 2014. The apparent cause of death was suicide by asphyxiation, authorities said. According to his publicist, Williams had been battling severe depression and spent time in rehab as recently as July of that year.

And now in just a week Kate Spade, a famous fashion designer, and Anthony Bourdain, famed chef and world traveler, both ended their lives.  No one except perhaps their closest friends knew of their pain.

When news broke that celebrity chef and author Anthony Bourdain took his own life just three days after fashion icon Kate Spade killed herself, mental health experts raised concerns about the extensive news coverage that was sure to follow and how that might impact others struggling with thoughts of suicide.

“When I heard about Bourdain, I was sad for him and for all the people who were going to hear about it, and I am also sad for people who might be influenced by it,” said Madelyn Gould, a professor of epidemiology in child psychiatry at Columbia University.

According to the CDC researchers found that more than half of people who died by suicide did not have a known diagnosed mental health condition at the time of death. Relationship problems or loss, substance misuse; physical health problems; and job, money, legal or housing stress often contributed to risk for suicide. Firearms were the most common method of suicide used by those with and without a known diagnosed mental health condition.

My own personal pain has been growing for years.  I should probably see a doctor.  My logic is that I do not see any way that any doctor can offer a cure.  That is probably the reason so many people do not seek help.

The suicide prevention line is 1-800-273-8255.

Posted by: coastcontact | June 7, 2018

President Trump Dressed as a King

The latest Time magazine cover features an illustration of President Donald Trump gazing at a reflection of himself in which he’s dressed up as a monarch, complete with jeweled crown and fur cape.

The Time cover gets Trump just right!

I have a file of Donald Trump photos and Donald Trump cartoons.  The file is titled King Trump.  Naturally I was delighted to see Time Magazine’s latest cover page. I look forward to reading “Visions of Absolute Power” and “Trump vs the Constitution.”  This cover was just released this morning.

The wonder to me is that the G.O.P. is in support of someone who clearly defies the constitution and the functions of government that has made America the place everyone wants to live.  Migration to America has been a hallmark of the United States.  Supporting those nations that try to emulate American ideals has been a historic reality throughout the 20th century.

One man wants to tear it all apart.  When will our congress act to stop the destruction of our constitution and our ideals?

Posted by: coastcontact | June 5, 2018

U.S. Job Openings Exceed Number of Unemployed

U.S. job openings unexpectedly rose to a fresh record in April, with vacancies increasingly exceeding the number of unemployed workers amid a robust labor market, Labor Department data showed Tuesday.

 March’s upward revision made it the first time in data back to 2000 that vacancies exceeded the number of unemployed, a gap of 48,000. That difference grew to 352,000 in April and is poised to keep widening, as the number of unemployed dropped further in May, to 6.07 million.

 I believe most Americans are primarily concerned with their economic situation over any other issue.  If collusion with Russia, attacks on the Justice Department, immigration policy, health care, equal opportunity, the environment and other issues are far less important than the economy the Republicans will most likely retain both houses of Congress. 

 The November election will tell us all what Americans think is really important.

Posted by: coastcontact | May 29, 2018

Hateful Time in America

For one day we came together to honor those who gave their lives in the protection of the United States (Memorial Day).

We are living in a hateful time in America.

America has deteriorated into a world of hate for the “other.” That would be anyone that does not think like me, look like me, or believe like me.

Roseanne Barr (TV program “Roseanne”) referred to Valerie Jarrett (an adviser to President Barack Obama) as the offspring of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Planet of the Apes – the film franchise on a Tweet. The exact tweet read “muslim brotherhood & planet of the apes had a baby = vj.”  Barr subsequently wrote, “I apologize to Valerie Jarrett and to all Americans. I am truly sorry for making a bad joke about her politics and her looks. I should have known better. Forgive me-my joke was in bad taste.”

This is not the first time someone in the entertainment industry has created a storm. Kathy Griffin was fired from CNN’s New Year’s Eve coverage for her disturbing photo shoot holding up a faux severed and bloody head of President Trump.

America has become a tribal society. By that I mean that Americans have divided themselves into groups that see others as enemies. It is not just political parties. It’s religious groups, racial groups, ethnic groups all throwing epithet’s at each other. And most of them are hate filled name calling.

We need leaders who will bring all Americans together as one nation indivisible.


Memorial Day flag display at Pepperdine College in Malibu, California

In 1866, Henry Welles of Waterloo, New York, suggested that the town’s shops should close May 5 to commemorate the soldiers who had died during the Civil War. Two years later in Waterloo, Gen. John Logan issued a declaration that Decoration Day should be observed nationwide. The declaration said that May 30 would be designated as a day to decorate the graves of fallen soldiers.

In 1882, the name of the holiday was changed from Decoration Day to Memorial Day. After World War I, the holiday was expanded to remember soldiers from all American Wars.

In 1971, President Richard Nixon made Memorial Day a national holiday to be celebrated on the last Monday in May.

Posted by: coastcontact | May 24, 2018

North Korea Nuclear Timeline

The cancellation of disarmament negotiation with North Korea should not come as a surprise to anyone.  Like the Peanuts cartoon where Lucy pulls the ball away just as Charlie Brown is running to kick it so has North Korea pulled away from completing an agreement to end its nuclear/ballistic missile program.   North Korea has pulled away from every agreement.

Here is a an abbreviated list of the previous failed efforts as reported on a CNN web site.  

1985
North Korea signs the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).

1994
North Korea and the United States sign an agreement. North Korea pledges to freeze and eventually dismantle its old, graphite-moderated nuclear reactors in exchange for international aid to build two new light-water nuclear reactors.

2002
October – The Bush Administration reveals that North Korea has admitted operating a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of the 1994 agreement.

2003
January 10 – North Korea withdraws from the NPT.

2005
North Korea tentatively agrees to give up its entire nuclear program, including weapons. In exchange, the United States, China, Japan, Russia and South Korea say they will provide energy assistance to North Korea, as well as promote economic cooperation.  

2007
February 13 – North Korea agrees to close its main nuclear reactor in exchange for an aid package worth $400 million.

2008
December – Six-party talks are held in Beijing. The talks break down over North Korea’s refusal to allow international inspectors unfettered access to suspected nuclear sites.

Donald Trump did the right thing in cancelling a Singapore summit.

Posted by: coastcontact | May 20, 2018

Crocodile Tears for the Homeless

I am a member of the local community Neighborhood Council. There are 97 such councils in Los Angeles. All are officially recognized organizations that are certified by the city and receive funding from the city.

In the past year there has been a cry at the multiple meetings I attend about the homeless and the city’s lack of action to help those poor people. The mayor, Eric Garcetti, has recently proposed that a homeless shelter would be created in all 15 city council districts.

The sad reality is that no one wants those facilities in their neighborhood. Proof of that is the plan to build a facility on a main thorough fare in the Boyle Heights neighborhood. It was deterred for about a year because of objections by neighbors.

Now a planned “temporary” shelter in Koreatown neighborhood on a city owned parking lot has been confronted with hundreds of people waving and carrying signs protesting that plan. The protestors actually took to the street yesterday and blocked traffic at a major intersection for three hours.

So the homeless will continue to be pushed from location to location and everyone will be tsk tsking the plight of the homeless but not really willing to actually participate in solving the problem.

Interestingly a majority of voters did vote to raise taxed for building housing and providing services for the homeless. They just don’t want the housing or the services in their neighborhood.

Posted by: coastcontact | May 16, 2018

Avenue of the Giants

The Avenue of the Giants is a scenic highway in Northern California, U.S.A., running through Humboldt Redwoods State Park. It is an old alignment of U.S. Route 101, and continues to be maintained by the state as State Route 254.  We were there about 25 years ago on our way home from the Oregon Caves. 

Along the way we stopped at the Trees of Mystery located in the heart of the Redwood Empire, at the very center of Redwood National and State Parks. Trees of Mystery is California’s premier nature attraction on the North coast!

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