American Morality

Two articles in the Rutland Herald this past week by Nick Kristof and Barrie Dunsmore speak of American morality. Anybody who has really studied history knows that there is no country that can claim such a thing. Countries do not have morals or morality. They have selective self-interest and only when they see those interests negatively affected in some way, do they act.

They do not act to save lives, they act to save their interests. Monique Mujawamariya, a human rights activist from Rwanda, perhaps said it best: “The United States has no friends, only interests, and they have no interest in Rwanda. As a result, 800,000 Rwandan’s were killed in only 100 days. The United States and many other western countries had ample warning that this massacre of children, women and men was about to take place but choose to stand by and do nothing.

I would ask Mr. Kristof and Mr. Dunsmore, where was that American morality you so loosely speak of? In his article, Mr. Kristof spoke of the Kurds and how we protected them with no-fly zones; he conveniently left out that we sold them out when they were gassed by Saddam. He also left out that when Saddam was gassing the Iranians, our government let it leak out that it might have been the Iranians doing the gassing. As with many in the media, you preach morality when it’s convenient.

Where was our morality when citizens of Bahrain and Saudi Arabia started to protest early in the Arab Spring? A quick crackdown by both of those authoritarian governments and Washington said nothing. Selective self-interest; a huge navy base in Bahrain and Saudi Arabia’s massive oil reserves.

I wonder if the Saudi’s or the Bahrain government had used gas, would we be screaming as loud? If we look at America’s past actions with friendly dictators, the answer would have to be no.

So, don’t lecture the American people on American morality, gentlemen, because it’s lacking and like other countries, only comes out when it’s needed to serve its own self-interest.

The Never Ending Meat Grinder

A group of President Trump’s supporters said they were glad that he pushed the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of the way while walking with NATO leaders. This they said showed that the United States was done being pushed around.

These supporters did not view it as just more boorish American behavior! The Ugly American is alive and well and is once again on full display not only in South East Asia, but in the Middle East and Europe as well. Washington wants the American people to see the whole world as a threat. Every nation and its people want to bring down the United States and kill the American people.

None of this is true. The current administration along with past administrations often sight China as a preeminent threat to the United States. China has not been at war for the past 17 years. In fact the last conflict China was in was in the 1970’s and it was a brief border skirmish with Vietnam; prior to that it was the Korean War that ended in 1953.

The U.S. has been in a constant state of war since WWII. Those wars have not been good to the American people unless you are an Arms Company! If you are then these wars have been a gold mine to you.  It should be noted that even though the U.S. has been in this constant state of war, it has not won any of them.

Each war has simply led to another enemy, another war, another wave of propaganda designed to justify the war while scaring the citizens of this country. American troops are in many other countries, the armies of those countries are not in the United States; and that is one of the reasons the people of those countries fight the United States.

A thread of that propaganda tells Americans we are fighting them over there so we don’t have to fight them over here. This is not true either but many people want to believe it because if it’s not true then it would mean Washington has been lying to them.

The current war, “The War on Terror” is a dream come true for the Military Industrial Complex; it’s a war with no conceivable end! There is no government that can surrender to the U.S. no country that can be taken; another meat-grinder for each new generation!

Failing to take Jacques seriously

Opinion | Commentary                                                                                    Charles Laramie

May 25,2014

On May 20, Michael Jacques was sentenced to life plus 70 years. Once again Jacques stood in a court of law apologizing for his actions. People should not take Jacques’ apology seriously but realize instead that it’s as empty as the one he offered to Judge Amy Davenport in a parole hearing when Jacques told her he was a changed man.

Michael Jacques first came into contact with the Vermont legal system in 1985, when he was charged with lewd and lascivious conduct with a minor.

Jacques engaged in more than 100 sex acts with an underage female relative starting when she was 8 until she became pregnant at 15 and had an abortion. This case was dropped when the victim refused to testify. No reason was given for this refusal.

In 1986 when Jacques was 20 he was charged with sexual assault on a minor. The victim was the 13-year-old girlfriend of Jacques’ 13-year-old brother. Jacques had an apartment in Barre where he was known to provide alcohol and drugs to minors. During one of these parties, police said, he sexually assaulted the minor.

Ultimately not taking this case seriously enough or looking at his previous history, the court gave Jacques a deferred sentence for lewd and lascivious conduct and ordered him to serve five years on probation. It’s unlikely that this was followed through on, as there are no official records of this.

The justice system was still not taking Jacques seriously.

In 1992 Jacques abducted an 18-year-old woman, a co-worker, after she left a Barre bar. He handcuffed her, tied a rope around her neck and forced her to engage in a series of sex acts throughout the night, at times holding a knife to her throat and threatening to kill her.

Jacques let the woman go, stating he needed to see a psychiatrist. The police arrested Jacques, and he was charged with kidnapping, aggravated sexual assault, sexual assault and simple assault. Jacques received a prison term of six to 20 years all suspended but for six years.

The justice system was still not taking Jacques seriously.

In reading this story a person might think that up to this point in his life Michael Jacques had sexually assaulted three women, and had been caught each time. Having worked with sex offenders for 16 years, I know that the likelihood of that is inconceivable. The fact is it’s highly probable that before he was caught in 1985-86, and again after that until he was arrested in 1992, Jacques had a long list of victims that until this day have not come forward. No one should be surprised by this. Few victims ever report that they were sexually assaulted.

According to records, Jacques was a model prisoner and voluntarily completed a sex offender program while in prison. However he was released several months before the program actually ended and therefore he never really completed it. Because of this, he served just over four years, 404 days of which were served in pre-trial detention. He was released from prison in August 1996.

The justice system was still not taking Jacques seriously.

In 2004, in considering a request by Jacques for a reduction in his probation, Judge Amy Davenport stated that “according to Mr. Jacques’ probation officer, Richard Kearney, Jacques is a probation success story.” He was married and had a child.

Jacques’s attorney, Kevin Griffin, told Judge Davenport that Jacques “had undergone an extraordinary change in personal circumstances.” Jacques’s wife said that he had become a role model for his stepdaughter and made her a better mother, that he was no longer the same person who had committed those crimes.

Jacques, speaking on his own behalf, repeated a paragraph he had memorized directly from the pages of a treatment textbook. Based on this testimony, Judge Davenport ruled that if Jacques did not violate the conditions of his release his probation would end in 2006. It was not supposed to end until 2013.

Kearney’s statement that Jacques was a probation success story flies in the face of reason when compared to the statements of Jacques’ previous probation officer, Paul McNaughton, who in 1997 asked Judge David Suntag to increase Jacques’s probation conditions. McNaughton gave the judge a long list of Jacques’ false statements, describing Jacques as a chronic deceiver and misrepresenter of the facts.

McNaughton stated that at a party Jacques had disrobed and raped an unconscious woman. No investigation or charges were brought in that incident. McNaughton also stated that Jacques had told an employer that his conviction on the rape charge in 1992 was for date rape.

Sadly, Jacques seemed to understand that somehow people in our society question this charge and it wouldn’t be held against him like a charge of kidnapping and aggravated sexual assault. As a result of McNaughton’s request, Judge Suntag added 19 more conditions to Jacques’ probation.

In August 1997, a year after Jacques was released from prison, the Department of Corrections filed a violation of probation in that Jacques was living in a household with a 3-year-old child. According to his probation Jacques could not be alone with children under the age of 16. Jacques was sentenced to four days on a work crew and then was given permission to go on living in the same household with the 3-year-old.

To a sex offender this behavior confirms what he already believes: that society doesn’t take the crimes he was convicted of seriously. To be sentenced to four days on a work crew and then to be allowed to continue the same behavior that got him in trouble did not send the right message. This is especially true when the state ignores its own child safety laws and leaves a 3-year-old living with a convicted rapist in direct violation of his probation.

The justice system was still not taking Jacques seriously.

In 2005 Jacques was convicted in New Hampshire for violation of the sex offender registry. Jacques was working in Hanover and had previously signed an offender registration form stating he understood that each year within 30 days of his birthday he was to update his registry information. Jacques said this was a simple misunderstanding. According to Judge Davenport’s 2004 ruling, this violated Jacques’s probation and the conditions of his release and his probation should not have ended in 2006 but should have continued until 2013.

However, Mr. Kearney would later testify before the Vermont Senate Judiciary Committee that he did not think it was important to report Jacques’ violation to the court, it being a minor technicality. Therefore Orange County Judge Patricia Zimmerman did not have this information on Dec. 2, 2006, when she released Jacques from probation.

The justice system was still not taking Jacques seriously.

The first thing I learned in working with sex offenders was to verify everything they say and do. Sex offenders see kindness as weakness and weaknesses are to be exploited. Jacques clearly exploited Mr. Kearney, Mr. Griffin, his wife and Judge Davenport.

On June 30, 2008, Jacques was charged with repeated aggravated sexual assaults for the sexual abuse of a minor beginning in October 2003 when the victim was nine until June of 2008.

On July 1, 2008, Jacques was charged by federal authorities with the kidnap and rape of his niece, Brooke Bennett. On July 7, 2008, the Orange County state’s attorney dismissed the aggravated sexual assault charge against Jacques.

Too late for 12-year-old Brooke Bennett — the justice system now had no choice but to take Michael Jacques seriously.

Richard Kearney, Kevin Griffin, Judge Amy Davenport, Jacques’ wife, the Vermont judicial system, to name but a few, are directly responsible for Brooke Bennett’s death and for all those victims of Michael Jacques who are alive and living silently with what he did to them. It’s unlikely we will ever know how many victims Jacques has, but I suspect they run into the dozens and likely more than that.

In 2003 a 9-year-old began to experience the horror of Michael Jacques. In 2004 Richard Kearny, Kevin Griffin and Jacques’ wife spoke of a success story, of a changed man, a role model, all this while Jacques laughed at them and continued to feed on his prey.

This should make it clear that there is no such thing as a low-risk offender. This should make it clear that treatment only works if the offender really wants to change. This should make it clear that people should not believe the low rates of recidivism touted by so-called experts because in reality it’s impossible to determine if a person will or has re-offended.

We are all responsible for speaking out, for not keeping silent, for teaching our children to respect others and to refuse to stand by while sexual abuse takes place.

Trump: You Can’t Handle The Truth

There is a big difference between what Trump says and what actually happens. Many of the orders he signs makes it look to his supporters that he is jumping on things and moving mountains that before were tied up in Red Tape. However a read of those orders show that they mean very little and unless many of them are acted on by Congress nothing will ever become of them.

For instance the Border Wall. His signing of an order to have it built means nothing. Congress must vote to authorize the billions of dollars it will take to do this and it’s not likely that authorization is coming any time soon.

He makes these grand gestures with the press watching and his supporters get all pumped up and his opponents get all worked up but in reality little to nothing has changed except Trump. In all of this he perhaps has come to the realization that running a country especially one the size of the United States is not like running a business into the ground.

He has found that he can’t just say make an order and everybody has to follow it or their fired. He has found that the checks and balances in the American Government do work and people are more than willing to stand up and challenge him.

All of this must be getting dreadfully dull for him after only three weeks; meetings every day, security briefs the occasional firing of one of your highly touted White House Advisers, shaking the hands of  a few world leaders, to the point of embarrassment.  The former host of The Apprentice must be like, “If this is all there is to the Presidency, why anybody could do it so why am I here. I am better than this and Arnold is crashing the ratings on the Apprentice.”

It’s hard to imagine this man willing to stick around long in a job that is quickly becoming mundane and boring for a man whose view of his own talents and stature are prolific!  I suspect if he were to tell Americans the truth he would ask for a do over and let somebody else take over.

Is it possible he could resign? If the National Security Advisers resignation leads to calls for Congressional Hearing and being called to testify come around I suspect he would resign rather quickly. He is not a man that can stand to be questioned or feels that he should be and certainly not in the capacity as President. He could very well answer as Jack Nicholson did in “A Few Good Men” when a lawyer told him he wants the truth. Nicholson answers, “You can’t handle the truth! Son we live in in a world that has walls, and those walls have to be guarded by men with guns. Who’s gonna do it? You?

Well we all know what happened to Nicholson after that! Therefore I think Americans should not be surprised if this man offers up his resignation before his impeachment begins.

Destructing Bannon’s Administrative State

livi-and-me

Fair But Unbalanced-Steve Bannon the man that would be President states, he is going to destruct the Administrative State. The Administrative State (AS), too many people might mean the Swamp they have been hearing so much about. However, the (AS) to Bannon and his pack of ultra-conservatives, is much more than that.

The (AS) is the one the conservatives have been talking about bringing down since it started. The programs and policies started by Franklin Roosevelt during the Great Depression are what Bannon is referring to and in his mind makes up the Administrative State. The (AS) is often referred to by conservatives as the Welfare State.

There will be many who will support Bannon in his endeavors; people who have been primed for many years by those who control the information. It’s the same old story line. The people that are really hurting America and putting us in debt are those who reap benefits from the hard working American Taxpayer but do not want to work.

These people believe that the social programs started under FDR, have multiplied and can no longer be, nor should they be supported by the American Taxpayer. They are led to believe that if these programs were eliminated that their tax burden would be lifted, the dead wood would be forced to find work and all would be Great Again in America. That’s the big lie and it has been told over and over and over again so that now it’s accepted as the Gospel Truth.

Bannon’s plan will be good for only one group of people and those are the people who control the information, the banks, the politicians, the corporations and the military industrial complex. The problem is not the Administrative State that Bannon and Company are trying to convince the American people of, it’s the Crony Capitalism State that he and all those I just mentioned enrich themselves from.

Many of these major companies refer to their welfare as Subsidies. This has a nicer ring to it than does welfare; welfare being reserved for those who do not have the power to fight back or to respond to. These are the men that are destroying the economic and moral leadership of the United States and they are doing it for the same age old reason, profits. If you want the real answer you follow the money. This never changes.

These men, these banks, these corporations have come a long way since the Great Depression. Today it’s so much easier to hide profits in off-shore accounts-phantom businesses and ponzi schemes then it was then and the profits are much higher. Those profits, the money they are making often on the backs of third world laborers v American workers are not being taxed and the American worker is being made to subsidize these people.

But even then because these people control the information they get the very people they are stealing from to support them, to stand up for them and to vote for them. It is perhaps the Greatest Ponzi Scheme ever to be pulled on the American people. I have to applaud them for their due diligence in pulling it off.

Steve Bannon talks about Economic Nationalism and putting Tariffs on goods coming in from other countries and his supporters scream their support. Why? They do so because they look at their country and see it as losing its standing in the world not only economically and militarily but also as a moral leader. This makes them angry and afraid and so they believe the United States should strike back and show people just how important the U.S. really is.  All of this is based on fear and when actions are taken based on fear they have a way of making things worse.

The Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of 1933 was an action taken based on the very same reasons. The country had been hit by the Wall Street Crash, people were losing jobs. By 1933 almost 15 million people were out of work and almost half the banks in the U.S. had failed, fear was rampant, ushering in the Smoot-Hawley Tariffs Act.

However it had the opposite effect of what was intended. Other countries started to put tariffs on their own goods leading to fewer exports from the U.S. in turn leading to more people losing their jobs. In today’s globalized economy it’s possible that another tariff act could be even worse. Many economic historians believe that the Smoot-Hawley Act only deepened and prolonged the Great Depression.

None of this will matter to the people who control the information, the banks, the politicians, the corporations and the military industrial complex, for even when really bad times come, they continue to make profits. Americans are often blinded by their own patriotism and they believe that all these people I have mentioned share that same patriotism. Donald Trump told them, I too am a Patriot and so they believe him.

To these people Patriot and Patriotism are just words and it has been said that Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. For them it’s surely that and they are using it to fleece the American people of their last shreds of dignity and when they are done, will leave them with little to begin again.

 

How Dictator’s are Created

The Truth no longer matters! What do you mean the Truth no longer matters? Just what I said, “The Truth no longer matters. Today the Truth is what people think it is and that’s all that matters.”

The Trump Administration understands that the Truth no longer matters to its supporters! That the Truth is what they say it is!

The only thing that matters are what the people believe or can be made to believe and many people believe that whatever Trump tweets or states, no matter how provocative or outlandish, is the Truth.

Once his followers, his minions, completely believe that whatever Trump says is Truth, then no other information no matter how factual or obvious will change their minds. Then they will have, perhaps unknowingly, yet still willingly, given up their freedom to a propaganda machine.

There are people I know and like who voted for Trump. I know they are convinced that he is the best person for this country at this time. I know they don’t understand how I can’t see this. This scares me even more.

Donald Trump is clearly a Snake Oil Salesman! He is a completely self-absorbed human being. His persona, his personality, is no different than Stalin, Hitler, Mussolini, Hussein or a thousand other little dictators. The fact that he is now an American leader does not change this. Trump and his personality disorders are on the same level as those other men. It would be irresponsible of me to attempt to justify his behaviors and make him seem somehow nobler because he is American v German, Russian, or a leader from some other country.

The only difference in the outcome may be is if the Checks and Balances of our Democratic Republic can keep him from turning the United States into what those other dictators turned their countries into. I know that some people will think this is a belief way beyond the pale and that I should get a grip on reality.

I encourage those who think this to take a look at Germany, before Hitler; a man who was also elected by the people and how many Germans supported and believed in this man before he took them and their country to places we as a nation do not want to go! He did this by convincing them that his Truth was the only Truth.

I’ve spoken to many people for whom this election has left them with a sense of foreboding, as if as a nation we have entered unchartered water and they are unsure of and leery of what lies ahead. I’ve also spoken too many who are excited because they believe the political machine has been beaten and a future of prosperity and less government control and military strength lies ahead.

The days and months ahead have never been more uncertain for the United States but if as American citizens we allow the Trump Administration to determine for us what the Truth is then we will deserve the country we inherit.

Trumps Double-Speak

Donald Trump railed against Hillary Clinton’s close relationship with Goldman Sachs saying, she was in bed with them. He then turns around and appoints current and former executives of Goldman Sachs to be part of his Cabinet.

Donald Trump said he opposed the Iraq War and was going to make America Great Again beginning at home. However his appointment of General Michael Flynn as his White House National Security Advisor, a man who has stated that Militant Islam is a cancer that needs to be eradicated and that Sharia Law is spreading in the United States, should make Americans very nervous about his real intentions.

 Add to this that he also appointed Retired Marine Corps General  James  Mattis to be Secretary of Defense knowing that (Mad Dog) Mattis , “Sometimes it’s fun to shoot people,” has shown he is  strongly opposed to Iran and believes it’s a danger to Middle East stability, should again  have Americans wondering what he real plans are for America’s continued involvement in the Middle East.

He also appointed Steven Bannon, as White House Chief strategist.  Prior to this Bannon had been running Breitbart news. Breitbart, started by Andrew Breitbart , a staunch supporter of Israel who favored the Right Wing Likud Party is the newspaper favored by the Alt-Right. The Likud Party was extremely opposed to the United States-Iran Nuclear Treaty.  These three appointments do not create confidence in Trumps, Make America Great Again, beginning at home theme.

With his proposed tax cuts where does the money come from to engage further in the Middle East with perhaps another war taking place, this time with Iran while still making America Great Again, beginning at home.

Trump has also stated that as President he will protect the rights of all Americans. However his tweets about protesters, the press, Hamilton, and Saturday Night Live which are all covered under the First Amendment should have all Americans concerned. The fact that he does not tweet at three in the morning about White supremacists screaming Heil Trump, while giving the Nazi salute should frighten us all.

The Truth be Damned

The Truth no longer matters. What do you mean the truth no longer matters? Just what I said, “The truth no longer matters. Today the truth is what people think it is and that’s all that matters.” To prove my point here is and exchange between Newt Gingrich and a reporter on CNN after Trump’s nomination.

The CNN reporter suggested Trump was overselling fear. “Violent crime across the country is down,” she said. “We’re not under siege.”

Gingrich waved that off: “The average American, I will bet you this morning, does not think crime is down; does not think they are safer.

Reporter: “But we are safer and it is down.”

Gingrich: “No, that’s your view.”

Reporter: “It’s a fact.”

Gingrich: “The current view is that liberals have a whole set of statistics which theoretically may be right, but it’s not where human beings are. People are frightened.”

The reporter noted figures from the FBI — no liberal bastion — say crime is down.

Gingrich: “No, but what I said is equally true. People feel it.”

Reporter: “They feel it, yes, but the facts don’t support it.”

Gingrich: “As a political candidate, I’ll go with how people feel and I’ll let you go with the theoreticians.”

Gingrich is right. People do not want the truth today. They want their feelings to be validated. Don’t tell me I’m safer today than ever before, I am afraid, tell me I have a reason to be afraid and the politician that validates those voters’ feelings gets his vote.

If I asked people, how many of you know someone who has died of cancer almost everyone would tell me they do. If I asked them how many of you know someone who has died as a result of drug or alcohol addiction or from a car accident most would tell me they do.

If I asked the same group, how many of you know someone who has been killed by a terrorist, been murdered, been robbed not many would know someone. But they would tell me out of all of those things they fear the terrorist the most. Why? Because the people who want their vote are tapping into their fears, as irrational as those fears are to them they are real and that’s all that matters. The truth be damned!

 

The Perfect Storm

Many Democrats were completely unprepared and stunned by the outcome of the Presidential election and rightly so. They had listened and believed the mainstream media telling them the Republican Party was finished and it was finished due to the Far Right Wing Christian Evangelicals. Fast forward to after the election and it’s exactly the opposite. The Democratic Party is finished at least for now and the Far Right Christian Evangelicals of the Republican Party have taken control with a Republican Congress they hope will do their bidding. So where does this go from here?

Mike Pence stated the person he would most emulate as Vice-President is Dick Cheney. This is frightening because President Elect-Trump has informed Mike Pence that he will be the one running Foreign and Domestic Policy. The most likely reason for this is, Trump has no understanding of politics nor does he have any real interest in learning about it. He is in this for the business end of it and the profits it brings to the Trump Brand.

It’s also worth noting that Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater an American Private Military Company and Security Firm that was contracted by the U.S. government during the war in Iraq, donated money to the Pence Campaign. A number of Blackwater employees were accused of murdering civilians in Iraq and convicted.

What does a Far Right Christian Evangelical Republican Party want? If you are paying attention you already know. They want to roll back Roe v Wade, Gay Rights, Civil Rights, voting rights, Separation of Church and State, severely limit immigration, outlaw Islam, and go to war with Iran and that’s just for starters.

There will be attacks on Freedom of the Press, Freedom of Speech and Freedom of Religion, Right to Privacy, along with attacks on who is covered or not covered under due process.

Trumps picks for his cabinet should be a real warning to all those blue collar workers who voted for him. Many of these picks bring on board former Goldman Sachs Executives; the very same executives Trump told his supporters Clinton was in bed with. This is how he has “Drained the Swamp” If those blue collar workers who voted for Trump believe these executives have their best interests in mind, then they have been fooled for a second time.  Many of these men are the same ones that helped bring on the Great Recession.

In the 2000 Presidential Election Al Gore won the popular vote and lost the election to George Bush a political novice. He became the puppet for Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, John Poindexter and the policies they wanted. The election of Trump is almost an exact parallel including losing the popular vote. He is a political novice who is surrounding himself with people who will easily convince Trump of what needs to be done.

The people he is surrounding himself with are also staunch Zionist who support the Likud Party in Israel. The Likud party was adamantly opposed to the United States Treaty with Iran and will do anything to undermine it. Trump has also named Retired Marine Corp General, James Mattis as Secretary of Defense and who also favors a hard line with Iran. Throw in General Michael Flynn who will be Trumps Defense Advisor in the White House and who has said of Islam that it’s like a cancer that needs to be eradicated and you have all the earmarks for another war.

The picture should be getting very clear here and it’s creating the Perfect Storm. With the Bush Administration it was Iraq with the Trump Administration it will be Iran. If it plays out the same way we are looking at another long war with no way of paying for it and a major recession before it’s over.

How Nineteen men brought down an Empire

There are those in our society who are so afraid of change, so afraid of others who are different; not only different in their features but also in how they think that they would give up their own freedoms in order to feel protected from them.

Anyone who does not believe as they do is a potential threat and therefore a potential enemy; not to be trusted. This is how the Trump Presidency was allowed and it’s how it begins. Of course if you are a Trump supporter you will think this is all a lot of crying from a liberal who has helped to destroy this country with his beliefs.

But it was not liberals who destroyed this country nor was it conservatives, independents or anyone else. It was fear that destroyed this country. It was nineteen men with box cutters on September 11, 2001 that brought this nation to where it now finds itself; polarized and frightened.

This is not the first time this has happened. After the attack on Pearl Harbor in December of 1941 Americans feared and attack on the West Coast by the Japanese. Because of this American Citizens of Japanese Ancestry were stripped of their Constitutional Rights, their homes, possessions and freedoms and put into camps. This was done to them for two reasons; fear and they could be recognized as different. They could be recognized as the enemy.

America was at war with Germany too but few Germans were put into camps. The reason; they were American Citizens with German Ancestry therefore their skin was white, their features the same as all other Euro-American Citizens. Therefore they could not be recognized as the enemy.

In American history it hasn’t always been an act of war that has caused Americans to fear those different from themselves. From 1882 to 1943 the United States Government severely curtailed immigration from China to the United States. This Federal policy resulted from fear over the large numbers of Chinese who had come to the United States in response to the need for inexpensive labor, especially for construction of the transcontinental railroad. Competition with American workers and a growing nativism brought pressure for restrictive action.

These same Chinese immigrants died by the hundreds building the Trans-Continental railroad that would connect the United States from coast to coast. But after the Civil War and with the economy in decline and many Chinese immigrants employed in low wage jobs the Chinese were blamed for declining wages. Many were beaten to death in the street or lynched.

With the attacks on the World Trade Center on September 11, 2001 Americans are once again responding in the same old way they have in the past and they are responding for the same reason and that reason is an unreasonable fear of those who are different.

This time their fear is directed at American Citizens with West Asian ancestry; Muslims whose religion for many of them is Islam; Muslims whose features are distinctly different from those who fear them; white Euro-Americans. In their eyes Muslims represent what the Japanese did too many Americans in 1941 and if we as a nation stand by the same thing can and will happen again.

In the year 2016 in American history a man showed up who told them he would protect them from these terrible, dangerous people. He would send back the immigrants who are stealing their jobs and causing wages to stay stagnant. He told them he would create a registry for these people they feared. He would make their country “Great Again” never spelling out the time period that America was Great.

When was America Great? Was that when we were conquering the United States in the 1800’s or when slave labor was used to build cities, and run the American economy. Was it during the Civil War or was it during the advance into the Pacific theatre where the U.S. colonized other nations and restricted their freedoms for its economic gain and to increase its military power.

During all the time when women and minorities had few or no rights; is this the America that Americans want to go back to? Is this the period where America was great? Was it during WWI or WWII that Trump is talking about? Is that when America was great, do we as a nation want to go back to fighting world wars so as a nation we can feel proud.

Was it during the 1950’s when the fear of Communism led to the Korean War and McCarthyism? Was it during the sixties with the Vietnam War and the Civil Rights Movement? When was the time period that the United States was great?

If American citizens look back into their history with a critical eye they will find that it all came at a cost. A cost in lives taken, cultures destroyed, opportunities wasted, and they would see that at no point is there a time where you could say America was great without finding others who would say at what cost?

There are those supporters of Trump who only want one thing, and that is what they deem a Christian White America! They want to overturn Roe v Wade, Gay Rights, Women’s Rights, and Civil Rights. They want an America that makes the world in balance with their beliefs. They do not care about anyone else’s beliefs.

The recent letters sent to Mosques in California stating that President Trump is going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews is not making America Great. The fact that President-Elect Trump has yet to call a Press Conference and openly denounce this type of hate being carried out in his name does not make America great. For those who are not white it must make their own country horribly frightening.

Many other supporters of Trump voted for him because they were tired of politics as usual. They may find that they are going to get from Trump a politics that is much more repressive than usual and will bring down on them even more restrictions, more hardships, and fewer rights. It seems that most Americans do not really know or at least they do not really want to know their nations history. If they did they would not want to make “America Great Again” they would want to make America Great.

Trump would limit our rights quickly! He believes his truths should be our collective truths! I believe he is constitutionally incapable of seeing any side but his own! He has shown himself to be a weak-minded man and history has shown us that a weak-minded man is very dangerous when he has power! We must stand Vigilant!

America cannot be great on the back of all the things past American Governments have done. In order to be great current Americans must acknowledge the failure and the harm of past U.S. Administrations and right those things where they can be righted and openly acknowledge America’s role in those that can’t be righted.

Having done this future Americans and their leaders can move to create an America that looks out for the welfare of the many at home and abroad for the purpose of bettering their lives, not for economic gain and to increase its military reach.