[Edited version of an article by Eli Stokels of the LA Times.]

At the NATO news conference, Trump said about shared spending, “They’re going to up it at levels that they’ve never thought of before.” Other leaders, however, denied that they had made any new pledges beyond what they’d agreed to in 2014, under some pressure from President Obama. “No increase in spending,” Italy’s new prime minister, Giuseppe Conte, said of his country’s military budget. French President Emmanuel Macron, in his own closing news conference, said NATO members generally had made no new commitments.

The diplomatic confusion Trump caused among NATO allies left them more uncertain than before of the U.S. commitment, and apprehensive about his get-together with Putin. At NATO’s close, he cast himself as a savior, yet it was a crisis of his own making that distracted from an agenda focused on Russia, and anti-terrorism. A day after tweeting, “What good is NATO?” Trump spoke in his most glowing terms ever about the alliance, a pillar of the post-World War II democratic order and one that as a presidential candidate he repeatedly called “obsolete.” “I believe in NATO,” Trump said. “I believe it’s probably the greatest ever done.”

The president’s “misstatements and bluster,” Senator McCain wrote, “are the words of one man. Americans and their Congress still believe in the transatlantic alliance.” He ridiculed Trump’s description of Putin as a competitor, saying, “Putin is our enemy” because he chose to be — by invading Ukraine, annexing Crimea, slaughtering Syrians and attacking U.S. elections and democracies worldwide.

These are my conclusions about what Eli Stokols was writing about the NATO conference!

Trump, as usual, tried to take credit for something that actually did not happen! The increases in spending are still on the same schedule that NATO members agreed to under some pressure by President Obama! Not only was this conference not a success by any means, he left NATO wondering by saying he could pull out any time and he did not need congressional approval to do it!

He attacked Germany and Angela Merkel saying they are pawns of Russia! He attacked England and Theresa May, even saying he thought her political rival would be better at her job! An unprecedented intrusion into a countries politics by an American President! He went on to say he had told her how to do Brexit but she wouldn’t listen! He attacked Europe as a whole by saying that allowing immigration would destroy what used to be great European traditions! You know, all white and all Christian, my words, of course!

Trump is a disruptor, which I admit sometimes can be a good thing, but not in his case! He attacks and insults longtime allies and trade partners. He puts in jeopardy alliances that we need for long-term security. His misguided trade restrictions of our allies, he just threatened England with trade reductions. Even his China policies are a mistake! We have issues with China, trade and otherwise, but what he is doing to them and our allies in his new tariff demands will hurt us, and hurt us bad!  His disruptions are guided by only one thing, his desire to show he is in charge on the world stage and you better pay allegiance to the World Emperor or else!

These are few excerpts from an article in the LA Times, with a few comments of my own thrown in! It was long so I am going to try and shorten it so some of you might read it. Actually nothing I have not said before, but here goes again!
President Trump stood before a crowd of small-business owners at a hotel last week and said that his administration’s economic policy could “be summed up in three very beautiful words … jobs, jobs, jobs.” But when it comes to jobs, Trump is like the wealthy heir who, as the saying goes, was born on third base and thinks he hit a triple.
Unemployment rates for blacks, Latinos and all Americans began a steady decline in late 2009 that has continued since Trump took office. The same is true with the plunge in first-time claims for unemployment benefits.
And the 3.4 million jobs created in the 18 months from December 2016 through May of this year isn’t such an unbelievable number. The U.S. economy added 3.7 million net new jobs in the 18 months immediately before that.
It was Obama administration policies plus Federal Reserve policies that engineered a recovery from the depths of the Great Recession and that continues. The tax break given to the rich has kept it going, but that will not last as the break for the middle class disappears. Also, inflation has been on the rise since Trump took office and wages have not increased even though there are more jobs, so the average worker makes less, not more!
So, Trump needs to also thank Obama for the current economy, but that is never going to happen! However, we the people need to look at the figures, figures that are easily accessed if you actually care to know the facts, and realize that you have to dig out the truth for yourself! If you have not figured it out, Trump is a liar, plain and simple! To be fair, he has kept the momentum Obama created going, but we have created more debt in the last year than any time in history and we are still creating more, and that will bite us in the ass!

 

Trump wants to leave NAFTA, why? One is he dislikes anything Obama liked, had anything to with, or championed. It is isolationism, which Trump also likes. Trump is not negotiating he is stalling! As far back as the 1930’s, we found that isolationism has short-term value, but in the long run, we only do well if we make sure our trading partners also do well. Trump thinks it should all be our way or the highway. He does not think like the leader of a country, but like a shark in business for himself just as he has done all of his life! Does not pay until he has been sued, then settles for pennies on the dollar! Or he intimidates and does the suing of the contractors and forces them to take less money because he knows they cannot afford to wait for payment! He is trying to run a country that way, it will lead to dangerous times for all of us, mark my works! The threat of leaving NAFTA has some short-term benefits; investors are moving money here to hedge their bets if things go south on negotiations! Also, the dollar is weakening under Trump, even though he has said he believes we have to have a strong dollar, in reality, it makes it easier for foreign investors to do business here in America. So he will ride this gravy train for as long as he can, plus his base has long been hoodwinked by his lies so he will not do well if he does weaken on NAFTA when he runs for reelection! However his advisers, yes Republicans, are telling him it will hurt us, in the long run, to leave NAFTA, not to mention our neighbors Canada and Mexico! However, we know how concerned he is about them!

Leaving the U.N. Human Rights Council, why? Because of our stance on immigration and our disregard for people who will be murdered, starved, or sold into the sex trade if sent back! Our policy started this year, under Trump, not Democrats, of separating children from their parents and putting them in camps. Of course, he lies about that and blamed Democrats. Anything wrong in the world is mostly the fault of former President Obama, everyone knows that because Trump has said so probably approaching a thousand times now! At least we left families of Japanese ancestry together when we put them in camps! We have been censored more than once for civil rights violations under Trump! The United States censured for human rights violations is incredible for me to even imagine, but to answer those charges by pulling out of the HRC helps us how! It sends signals that not only are we not planning to improve, but things are going to get much worse in the future!

Weakening NATO, why? Because he wanted to appear to his base like he knew what was going on when he did not! So he called NATO obsolete and said that if they got into trouble on his watch do not count on the United States coming to their help! After 82 days in office, Trump officially pronounced NATO rehabilitated, taking credit for transforming it into a modern, cost-sharing, terrorism-fighting pillar of American and European security. Never mind that very little had changed in the previous three months and that whatever changes had been made were in the works long before Trump entered the White House. After weeks of being cajoled and educated by the leaders of Britain and Germany, not to mention his national security team, Trump had to change his stance but of course beating his own chest by making claims that were not true, but what’s new!

Pulling out of the Paris Accord, why? Climate science, as far as the rest of the world is concerned, is a settled issue! Trump’s decision to pull out of the agreement was because of the inevitable transition to low-carbon energy technologies that will send hydrocarbons—oil, natural gas, and coal, to a much lower place in the world’s energy needs agenda! It had nothing to do with science! Trump could not have carbon-based energy put on the back burner as his swamp creatures would not like that, and he is controlled by the 1%, let there be no doubt on that score. So he installs an anti-EPA toady as head of the EPA and now we can now set up fracking sites, dump waste in streams and rivers, and pollute the skies much easier than a just a year or so ago. Yes, it cost more money to be clean, but in a few years, with even more jobs created, it will not be. But Trump’s swamp creatures want it now, all of it, and if poisoning millions and millions of people is the price, well that is ok with them!

Do you get it now?

Credits go to Fortune, The New York Times, and NBC News for some of the information I used in this article, which I did fact check!

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So, a little self-promotion is happening here. A few years back I started studying the governments and societies of nations around the world in preparation of writing a sci-fi novel I had in mind. Well after several nations had total regime changes or had revamped their government policies, I had not written a word. So one night I just thought, why not just write something down! When I looked up from the computer it was light outside and I was five chapters in! I did not use a lot of the research, it just kind of appeared like it had a mind of its own! I actually did not know what was going to happen until it did appear on the page. I think it is good, but of course, as the author, I would. My friends and relatives who have read it also think it is great, but again, friends and relatives! But I am hoping for a few customers, not for the money, I would just like to know people enjoyed it! I will not throw any money out, but royalties here are at a minimum for either book, so unless it becomes a best seller I am not going to get rich by any means!

To be honest, I was not intending to publish, I found that writing relaxed me and relieved stress. So anytime I could not sleep, I wrote. I wound up with about 850 pages. In order to publish, I had to make it fit on 670 pages, so I did after a few people harangued me about why I was not publishing it. So there is now a paperback and a Kindle or e-book version. You can download a free Kindle reader on your tablet, PC, or computer on the link to my books. I am writing a sequel, but we will get into that at a later date. So I am including links to both the paperback and the Kindle version on Amazon. There is a pop-up that will let you read some before you buy. When you get rid of that pop-up there will be prices in blue for whichever form of the book you intend to buy, if you decide to, that is.

This is the link to the paperback Shipp by John Love.

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fdp%2F1983055093%3Fref_%3Dpe_870760_150889320&h=ATOD-O3drgILSuWWT-tirvoZZMR4hYn8KvFqcNaj37MSsW100__CqCMdudHZt-WP9oAMguhREQTVNl9aITOQMRy7PTrXvc94c6Nz3-bUFxIizIbwn2GPDeHYJsfAM7aSLAX8gTzNHPzzlpHTvZ02z1Tz0nDZ5A

This is a link to Kindle or E-version of my book Shipp.

https://l.facebook.com/l.php?u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.amazon.com%2Fdp%2FB07DGPH4GK&h=ATMQYLxBivPH2EU0Etjld0GhY9Jwo5i5LsHd3GHgAX3vEosf6Tbf-sZL_cHCYuTMazmIBMHYKVE8NqOloXGa_tqJZhextSSkKvq-ruhzXFpO5ALA2FnTSIP0t_LeaY0Vdaaz0o-pIXM2RaISPep59J7tdKjj1w

Thank you, I will read any words of wisdom you care to provide me if you do read my novel. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did writing it!

John Love

 

 

 

 

I am going to talk to you through my blog about Trump and the Iran deal! You, of course, do not have to read it, but I hope you do.

Mr. Trump just pulled out of the Iran nuclear deal. He lied about why, and he lied about our allies backing his decision!

The newly uncovered facts in Israel’s PowerPoint presentation last week provided us with very little information we did not know back in 2008!  A large trove of information that was just liberated by an Israeli agent working with an undercover person in Iran did elaborate on plans that were even more elaborate, but again, this is not something we did not either know or suspect. But if you watched the Trump news conference you were led to believe this was all new and ongoing! It is not the real truth!

The International Atomic Energy Agency, our own CIA, and our Energy Dept. have all said that Iran is currently following all the rules of the agreement. Almost all of the fissionable material that could be used to make a nuclear bomb has already been moved out of the country.  All of our Allies have begged Trump to stay in the deal, but as you know he did not. However, in his remarks today he made it seem like they were all on board and agreed with his decision, which is exactly the opposite of the truth! Even the original opposition to the agreement have all said that it is working so do not mess with it! Trump ignored everyone, fired those close to him who were telling him this was wrong, and filled it with yes men who will tell him what he wants to hear. He has put our Allies and us in way more danger.

He is going to try and set a nuclear deal with North Korea when he just pulled out of an international nuclear agreement just today! So how is that going to set with an already suspicious regime! Not well, cannot but make things more difficult!

Trump is right about them being a major supporter of terror, but everyone knows this. They also still plan and build missiles. Everyone also knows this. But everyone, all our partners on the world stage, knew we could only go after nuclear bomb developments and get a deal. This would give us 15 years without a nuclear bomb threat while we try and make inroads with them for peace in the region.

So lastly, not only did our Allies not agree, Trump basically threatened them all to go along or else! He has put them and us in more danger than we were in yesterday! We will see how that goes! Peace and stability, well he just shot that all to hell!

History, who has not heard me harp about that! Well let’s look at history, I did the research for you, and unlike your politicians, I am not a prevaricator!

The Great Depression (1929 to 1939) was caused by huge wealth and income inequality in our country. Combined with extensive new tariffs being imposed. Who was at the helm when this occurred, you ask? Herbert Hoover, a Republican was! Who dug us out of the largest most destructive depression in history? Well WWII put it on hold as jobs were available for the war effort, so some people say that was what ended the depression. However for that to be true we would have had to stay in a state of world war perpetually! Plus it was illusory as the war put us in extreme debt, which as you know causes its own problems. Same reason our debt is so large now, we have been at war 222 years out of 239 years since we have existed. This means we have only been at peace with the world for 20% of our history! So no, not the war! Roosevelt started the New Deal, but it was put on hold during the war, and Roosevelt passed away before his new proposals for post-war America got enacted!, He was responsible for new ideas and a successful template! Harry Truman was actually responsible for continuing the New Deal, implementing the Marshall Plan, NATO, and using United Nations veto more than any President to fight communism and the Soviet Union! He did continue Roosevelt’s ideas and kept the Great Depression at bay, and more infamously was one of the world’s leaders instrumental in starting the Cold War. So the Great Depression started by a Republican was left for two Democrats to fix! Wealth and income inequality, new tariffs imposed, sound familiar? How about exactly what Trump is doing right now!

The Great Recession (2007 to 2009) was started by banks gambling with investor’s money and going for the quick profit! That meant making dangerous and very risky investments and loans! Big business and Wall Street were concentrating on big bonuses and profits, risking their customer’s money, and not caring! Who was at the helm during this disaster, yet another Republican, George W. Bush! Who got us out of this disaster, regardless of what you have been told, it was President Obama, and he did it without any help whatsoever from Republicans. Did it cost us, you bet! Were the steps President Obama took necessary, yes they were! It was the biggest economic disaster since the Great Depression, in full swing when Obama took office and gone before he left office. You can hyperventilate all you want, but this is history, and will be recorded as such, no matter what you wish to be true! You will notice that the recession was in full swing when Obama took office, and if you look at when the recession ended, it was in Obama’s first year as President. And the economy, jobs, and unemployment all steadily got better during his Presidency, regardless of what the Liar in Chief or his minions told you! It is all in the public record, plain and simple, all you have to do is learn to read and not watch, well, you know!

So if you go back up and look at what I just said caused the Great Depression, it appears Trump has decided to create exactly the conditions that caused it, of course blaming everyone and everything around him as he leads us into either the next Great Depression or a nuclear war. Something to look forward to! If you look at real history, the record of the U.S. economy, every time we have a depression or major recession Republicans are almost always in charge. There is always huge wealth and income inequality, a suffering middle class or no middle class, and the debt rockets into the stratosphere. Republicans always campaign for a balanced budget, then get in office and run the debt up by enormous leaps and bounds. Has always been thus, lie, then give huge tax breaks or loopholes to the rich, make laws that only favor the already rich and Wall Street, and you get a recession, every damn time. History, it is all there; all you have to do is crack open a book or two and start reading. Not some book by some crackpot, I am talking about the dull, painstaking business of reading documents, looking at the debt and deficit and see who actually ran it up and why! You always have to look at why. Was it war, tax cuts, trade, and what dates, not what some lying politician told you! History, it does not lie, people just lie about it!

 

Let me give you a little history of the two men whose pictures I will post and trip I will be writing about in this article. Also a little bit about me, the author.

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These two pics are of  Jim Mahon, a 17-year-old Marine shipped out to Vietnam in the late 60’s. Yes, I said 17! Not old enough to drink or vote, but old enough to risk dying for his country. I don’t have exact dates, and Jim does not like to talk about it much, but I also joined the Marine Corps May 5, 1969, not long after he did and spent my first leave visiting him in the hospital in Bremerton Washington. He did not look good. He had been blown up by a booby trap, a high explosive device near Danang in the bush! He died twice in the field, but due to a Corpsman’s superhuman efforts was delivered alive ta a hospital and his life was saved. He looked like the victim of multiple shark attacks when I first saw him. Scared me half to death! He eventually, as many other wounds were attempting to heal, lost a right leg that just could not be saved even though valiant efforts were made to do so over many years! I myself served four years in the Corps, did two tours, parts of both were in Danang. However I was an avionics tech working on computer warfare birds, so never left the safety of the airbase at Danang. It was, however, not called Rocket City during that time for no reason! I was inaugurated within my first half hour in the country! I was a Sgt and NCOIC of crews running missions out of Danang and repairing aircraft in Cubi Point in the Philippines. I practically lived on a C-130 Hercules. But I digress.

After a period of adjustment, my lifelong friend Jim, we met freshman year of high school gearing up for football, basically became a professional student after he recovered from his injuries! He has multiple degrees, can teach, owns his own gym, worked with PTSD vets for the VA, and is my hero! He is in Nam looking into teaching English classes as I am writing this. While in college he met Sonny Dee Dam in the early 1980’s, a man born and raised in Vietnam.  He and Jim became close friends and roommates, both going to Boise State in Idaho. During that period of time Jim, always curious about the place he had fought and been wounded but knew so little about wanted to go back and start exploring! Sonny could not go at that time but told Jim his family would sponsor him so off he went.  So here is Jim, still suffering and torn up from wounds received fighting in Nam, going through all kinds of red tape trying to get into a country we did not then officially recognize! Vietnam had no U.S. Embassy back then, so he had to go through our Embassy in Thailand. He was successful after years of work and several trips! He was able to to get Sonny’s sister and children to the States, which was one of the tasks he intended to accomplish when he started his first trips back to Vietnam. He subsequently married the sister, who shall remain nameless for now. They subsequently divorced years later as Jim’s wanderlust and desire to travel was not a desire she shared. I believe they are still friends! During the time he was sharing a domicile with Sonny, his friend was a single parent, and Jim also single with twin boys to support. They shared good times, hard times, but this only strengthened their friendship. Sonny around 1990 moved to California to pursue his career and Jim had a new marriage and instant family, a new language to grasp, so they did not visit or talk much for a few years! After Jim became single again they reconnected. He now lives in Council Idaho with Jim when in the states and he and Jim are not in Vietnam.

This is a recent picture I took of Jim in my front yard. Just before we set off on our motorcycle trip through the Northwest. Jim and I have also shared some adventures over the years. We consider ourselves family and call each other brother! I am only one of many friends, but I consider him to be my best friend! As I said, my hero for many reasons. One of the most determined men I know!

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Not long before this picture was taken Jim took another trip to Vietnam and the Danang area to see if he could visit places he had been, battles he fought in, bush he had traversed! Of course, it had changed so much over the years that nothing was recognizable, but still a cathartic adventure for him, in my opinion, anyway. One bridge he remembered as a one-lane wooden structure was now a four-lane concrete behemoth as one example! One of the things he mentioned stayed with me. When the people there found out his wounds were received fighting during the conflict, they treated him very well. He met no one holding a grudge, regardless of what side they were on. He had to get used to how things got done there, a kind of barter system with local authorities, but he navigated the whole thing with skill and good humor.

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This is a picture of the 2017 trip last year taken with Sonny and Jim drinking coffee and relaxing in Ho Chi Minh City! [Saigon] Sonny has relatives there, and now that he is retired he spends part of every year in Vietnam, and Jim usually travels with him! The next several pictures are from that same trip, they have not given me the pics from the current trip, but I am told they are forthcoming! I am told if the teaching job in Nam comes through for Jim, they will spend six months there and six months in Council. Sonny says they started talking about these trips 30 years ago! The subjects in the following pictures are Jim Mahon, Sonny Dam, and Lan Thanh. At present Jim and Sonny are checking into the teaching gig and a permanent residence.

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A little sightseeing with Lan, Jim, and Sonny. Lan Thanh is Sonny’s girlfriend of several years. You will see her in most pics with Sonny and Jim.

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They all love to eat. These are all from the last trip in 2017.

 

 

This is a video of Jim cycling in Nam, I assume the video was taken by Sonny. this was a 23-mile ride on a hot day. And I complain about my daily treadmill walks! This is current, the video was sent on March 4, 2018. You can see why motorcycles and scooters are so popular. I should be getting more pics of Jim and Sonny’s current trip and will add them and post as soon as they send them.