"T" For Treason and Trump

President Trump likes to throw around words like fraud, spy, treason, hoax, deep state, and witch hunt. I often wonder, given his limited vocabulary on Twitter, if he really understands any of the words he is using. For example, he repeatedly calls for those in the media to read the transcript of the July 25th call with the president of the Ukraine. Problem, he has never released the transcript from the July 25th call. A transcript is a typed copy of a dictated or recorded material. The document released is a Telecon Memo that explicitly states that it is NOT a transcript.

I mentioned treason in the title, Trump likes to call those around him who don't follow his every wish traitors. In the 1960's a Russian KGB officer, Anatoliy Golitsyn, defected to the west. He went on to write a book called " New Lies for Old ". In it he outlined a series of goals that the KGB had in order to discredit and defeat the United States. Many of his predictions have come to fruition including the collapse of the Soviet Union, westernization of former Soviet republics, reunification of Germany, and democratization of Russia (or at least the appearance). There are a few things that the Russians and the KGB have been unsuccessful in accomplishing, until they were able to get Trump elected including:

  • Driving a wedge between the United States and NATO
  • Sowing distrust between the United States and its allies
  • Discrediting US foreign policy in the middle east
  • Weakening US interest on the Korean peninsula
  • Weakening US positions in the Pacific
  • Sowing internal discontent along racial and political lines
  • Weakening the US economy in order to create opportunities to move towards socialism/communism
What the KGB had been unable to accomplish in over fifty years, Trump accomplished for them in just three. So if there is anyone in this administration who is a fraud or a traitor it is most likely the person who has been working in interest of foreign powers. As proof, take Trumps willingness to accept President Putin's denial of interference in the 2016 election over that of US intelligence agencies and his repeated request of both Russia, China, and Ukraine to conduct (or at least announce) investigations into his political rivals. It's astounding to me that the older, more hawkish republicans in Congress can't see this.

Anyone who disagrees with or contradicts the president is immediately targeted via Twitter and Trump's army of metaphorical brown shirts goes to work intimidating and threatening them and their families. Is it any wonder that anyone who has any knowledge of wrong doing on his behalf hesitates to come forward?

Another interesting angle OANN has taken is questioning the loyalty of Lt Col Vindman and Ms. Hill since they aren't born in the United States. Why is this interesting? Because they haven't attacked the first lady. Melania is born in Slovenia, a soviet satellite state. So using OANN's logic, it's possible that she is a KGB honey pot who has been manipulating a dotard old man with sex into doing her KGB handler's bidding. Not that any of that is at all true or backed up by any supporting facts or evidence, but since when has that ever stopped OANN? Or Fox, for that matter.

The irony of the president's many admirers and defenders on Twitter saying he's the best ever, and that Obama and Democrats are traitors, is evidently lost on them. No president in recent history has done more to further the goals of Russia, China, and North Korea as well as abandoning the middle east to Iran and Russia and the Pacific to China and Russia. We are no longer respected, much less feared. Just look to Turkey if you need proof that Trump's threats are taken as hollow. Turkey will go through with the purchase of the S-400 missile system, according to Turkish and Russian media. So we'll see if anyone in Congress has any balls left to go through with halting their purchase of the F-35, as they had threatened to do. North Korea got a windfall of publicity - Kim standing up to an American president by not keeping a single promise while Trump gave him unprecedented publicity and called him a great leader. What did the great negotiator gain for America? ...crickets...

How can someone who is supposed to be such a great businessman know so little? In regard to his call with the president of the Ukraine, Trump would later claim that he didn't even know who the call was with or the name of the man on the other end of the line until someone handed him a card with the man's name on it. Seriously? Is that how little he prepared for his business dealings? On Oct 8, Trump would tweet about Ambassador Sondland and call him, "...a really good man and a great American." Over a month later, on Nov 20, he would claim, "I don't know him very well." Rudy Giuliani evidently has sensed a change in the wind and sent a not so subtle warning to the president after replying to questions from the press if he was concerned about potentially being thrown under the bus that he had no worries about it but he had " insurance. " Trump in the " transcript " directed the Ukraine to talk with Giuliani. Now Trump claims he didn't know what Mr. Giuliani was doing in Ukraine. Why should we reelect a man who has, evidently, no idea what is going on around him?

For those who think Trump has done the US military a favor, you're just ignorant of how the military and the world works. The Navy didn't just make Gallagher a scape goat or try him on a whim. A military court martial is just like a civilian trial. He had a jury of his peers, fellow Navy officers and enlisted, who felt his actions brought discredit on the service and the country. I have no doubt that CPO Gallagher is a brave and dedicated serviceman, but he made an error in judgement and his actions have consequences. One of the key foundations of military order and discipline are our core values, the UCMJ, and the LOAC. It's what makes us both a feared and respected fighting force. By subverting that process you place lives at risk. Our allies, who have long allowed the US to try our own for crimes committed in host nations, may no longer show us that courtesy if they lose faith that justice will be served within the US military judicial system. Trump may have gained three votes, but at what costs? Then there is the issue of transferring much needed MILCON funds from the DoD to use for a useless border wall. Our military infrastructure is in desperate need of modernization. By taking these funds from the DoD the Trump administration is further weakening our military capability while at the same time fooling the American people into thinking he's really strengthening it. It's all smoke and mirrors folks.

No one, certainly no president, is an expert in all things. This is why a president surrounds themselves with smart people. He should perhaps take the time to listen and take their advice, especially when it concerns things he knows little or nothing about. No one is perfect, they're going to make mistakes, but a good leader owns them, learns from them, and moves on. You, Mr. President, turn on them and throw them to the wolves. You demand loyalty but show none yourself. You demand respect from the other branches of government but give them none. You've put your own interest, and those of a select few of your cronies, ahead of the nation's. You may point to a stock market making gains right now, but you're focused on the short term and there is a crisis looming that has the potential to wipe out everything and push us into a second great depression, or worse. You claimed you would drain the swamp but instead have sought to rule it all.

Lastly, he is a pathological liar and narcissist. He's incapable of admitting he has made a mistake and blames others. He is incapable of telling the truth. Everything is about him. For example, during your recent trip to Apple in Austin, Texas Trump claimed that he opened a new Apple manufacturing plant. Three lies in one tweet (he is actually very good at that). First, he didn't open it - it has been open since 2013. Second, it's not an Apple manufacturing plant it is owned by Flextronics and third, it doesn't manufacture anything. They assemble MacPros there. The parts are made elsewhere, in places like China where his tariff tiff is soon going to blow up. Due to the holiday season American firms are eating the costs of the tariffs, but they can't sustain that forever and soon those increased costs will be passed along to the consumer. Let us see how the markets react to that.


Genisis - Throwing it all Away

Released August 8, 1986

Throwing it All Away was released in August 1986. I remember exactly where I was the first time I heard the song. I was driving back to Baytown, Texas from San Antonio. I had no idea at the time what a metaphor for my life that song was about to become. In fact, in many ways it still is. I will never, ever be there again. Ever. You've thrown it all away.

Right now I get to focus on core business classes. At least next semester I will finally be taking some CIS courses. It will be interesting to see what these classes are like and how I do. I still need to see what credit I can get for my University of Maryland courses. If anything.


November Sunrise Rides

November Sunrise Randolph AFB TX

While I am not a big fan of riding in the cold (I'd rather sweat than freeze) I do enjoy being out when the sun comes up here in central Texas. Not only are the colors vivid, but I know that I am finally about to get warmed up and maybe my frozen hands and feet will thaw a bit. I just wish I had a little more time for riding and not as much homework. I still haven't even broken 1K miles for the year, which is unusual for me. My original goal for the year was at least 3K miles. Not even close at this point. I did put the GT Grade on the trainer and renewed my subscription to Zwift. No more good excuses when the weather is crap outside.

To all my AFCT brothers and sisters out there, ride on!


Halloween

Halloween Blue

Happy Halloween everyone. I will be spending mine in class taking a Business Law exam. I can think of few things scarier, especially since this one will be covering contract law. I'm expecting it to be quite challenging. Hopefully, I will be able to keep track of all the things that make up a valid contract like Agreement, Assent, Consideration, Capacity, Legal, and Form. Then of course there all the things that can change the rules. On the bright side, this is one class I really do enjoy.


Grand Tour

Agnieszka Grand Tour Route

I mentioned to a close friend who lives in Scottland that when I move back to Europe I'd like to go and do a ride with her. She replied back and said that she had a route in mind. I'm thinking she has something around Edinburgh in mind, or perhaps the Highlands, or maybe even the Isles of Islay. Distance wise I'm Thinking 60 to 160 km.

Then she sends me this map (left) and tells me this is the route she has in mind. Not being your typical American as I had, and more importantly paid attention to, geography in school. This is not a day trip. This is even longer than some of cycling's Grand Tours. " It's mostly flat, " she tells me. Except that I know there are mountains between Spain and France, and between Austria and the Czech Republic.

I guess my job as Sherpa, soigner, and mechanic is going to be to plot the course. On the bright side, that means I get to try and find the flattest route through. Which means that I will try and stay away from extended twenty-four percent grades. We'll see if/when this happens. If it does, I guess I will have to reactivate my FB account so that people know where we are.


Uh, Pearson?

Pearson error message browser not supported

So I'm not a big fan of textbook publishers. Even less of their websites designed to complement the text. I've found many errors and there are a lot of issues with the back-end programming (that would be you, McGraw Hill) that it's often distracting from the course material. Then there are sites like Pearson where you are always getting messages that your browser or OS are not supported. Seems Pearson doesn't like to support MacOS, iOS, iPadOS, or Safari. Which is odd considering I'm using Safari and I get the error that it's not supported and then the suggestion that I use...Safari. Wait, what?

Right. So don't use Safari, use Safari. Yeah. I'll get right on that. Makes me wonder if I'm the one who needs to be working on my degree or if perhaps someone at one of these publishers should be as well. I could go into a discussion about content, but I'll save that for another time. When I'm ready to tackle the question of what an editor's job is.

Until then, you all stay safe.


Sunrise

Sunrise over Randolph Field

So one thing I am going to miss is the Texas sunrise. I pretty much like to watch it anytime of year. I think if I had to choose I would say late spring and summer would be my favorites. Really beautiful when you can be out on the bike watching the sun come up in the springtime over a field of Texas bluebonnets.

In the meantime, I'm back at Texas State taking the rest of my core business courses. I hope that after this I will be able to focus on my remaining CIS courses to get my degree. It's difficult only because the McCoy college seems so geared to getting you ready for a career in business, which is the correct attitude, but there doesn't seem to be a program that considers people like me who have completed their careers and are now just going back to get the paper. In any case, I'm hoping at most to have one more full semester.


Peace


XKCD

XKCD Review

Saw this today on XKCD and thought it was funny. The mouse-over text on the XKCD site read, " Controls are a little hard to figure out ".


Let's Ride

Grade in Heros Park

So I have finally managed to find some time to ride the past few days. School took a much bigger bite out of my schedule than I thought it would. I scaled back my goal from a 5,000 mile year to just 3,000 but as of 21 August I still haven't even broken the 1,000 mile mark. Being hurt also didn't help. I think I lost about five weeks there. I've missed almost every ride I had panned to do this year due to either school or injury. I also don't like to ride alone so that has kept me from being a little more adventurous. I had wanted to ride from home to Texas State in San Marcos and back. That would have been between 72 and 80 miles round trip depending on the turn in San Marcos and if we stopped for food and drink. Ohh well, perhaps next year. I shouldn't have to take so many courses over the summer and then I can actually enjoy the break.