How to Leverage “American Carnage”

American Carnage” Day One … bleeding the same red blood of patriots

During his Inaugural address Trump invoked an odd phrase – one for all time – when he said,

American carnage”: “The crime, and the gangs, and the drugs that have stolen so many lives… This American carnage stops right here, right now.”

In President Trump’s Inaugural Address he also said,“Protection will lead to great prosperity and strength. I will fight for you with every breath in my body, and I will never ever let you down.”

Protection /Prosperity

Rev. Henry Ward Beecher wrote, “The fundamental doctrine of Christianity is that all men are brethren. The fundamental doctrine of protectionism is that all men are NOT brethren.

Christianity teaches that all men, in all parts of the world should love each other.

Protectionism teaches that all men on one side of an imaginary line should hate, or at least disregard, all who live on the side of that line. Not only so, but protectionism teaches Christians to hate their fellow Christians (more than they do pagans).”  Protection a Moral Question by Henry Ward Beecher (Note 1)

President Trump continued in his address,

A new national pride will stir ourselves, lift our sights and heal our divisions. It’s time to remember that old wisdom our soldiers will never forget, that whether we are black or brown or white, we all bleed the same red blood of patriots.”

Protection /Prosperity  

Don Boudreaux wrote in TRADE on April 5, 2010 (Note 2) “But let’s never forget that protectionism is also immoral.

It is immoral for anyone or any collective forcibly to obstruct peaceful exchanges between two parties merely because a political border separates these parties from each other.

If it is legal and proper for me to buy widgets, my choice of which widget supplier to patronize should be mine and mine alone.  Likewise, the terms on which we deal are no one’s business but my own and that supplier’s.

Protectionists, at root, are thugs.”

Trump went on to claim,

We will bring back our jobs.

We will bring back our borders.

We will bring back our wealth.

And we will bring back our dreams.”


Protection /Prosperity

All trade barriers rest upon the moral premise that it is fairer for the U.S. government to effectively force an American citizen to buy from an American company than to allow him to voluntarily make a purchase from a foreign company.

U.S. trade policy assumes that the moral difference between an American company and a foreign company is greater than the difference between coercion and voluntary agreement.

The choice of fair trade versus free trade is ultimately this: Is coercion ever fairer than voluntary agreement?” The Immorality of Protectionism by James Bovard September 1, 1994 (Note 3)

When you combine ignorance and leverage, you get some pretty interesting results.”

― Warren Buffett

Today is a blurr. (I’ll blame it on the common cold and Seattle’s drippy skies.) Tomorrow will be out of focus. (I wonder who I should blame that on?)

Even if today I stood with the throng right in front of the restored Capitol building in DC I would have become “unstuck in time” like Billy Pilgrim (protagonist from Kurt Vonnegut’s, Slaughterhouse-Five).

As a person with a high regard for civil discourse and rational thought the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States might be an insult to the intelligence. (This is a good time for me to breathe and admit the hypocrisy of self-righteous know-it-allness.)

That might explain why I’ve been on this shaky acid-trip-type of thrill ride since before Thanksgiving.

It’s like Annie Barrett at Entertainment Weekly wrote a few years back (about the Willy Wonka’ creepy boat scene.)

She said, “I’ve always found such profound peace in this CRAZY boat ride — I love that he’s (Wonka) so calm about not knowing a damn thing… But as a kid I just recognized hey, this is exactly how I feel in relation to my surroundings all the time. I too can sit perfectly still and dart my eyes around with knowing glances at the wonder of all the not-knowing.”


The best part is right when Wonka begins to sing very softly.

There’s no earthly way of knowing

Which direction we are going

There’s no knowing where we’re rowing

Or which way the river’s flowing


Is it raining, is it snowing

Is a hurricane a-blowing?

Not a speck of light is showing

So the danger must be growing

Are the fires of Hell a-glowing

Is the grisly reaper mowing?

Yes, the danger must be growing

For the rowers keep on rowing

And they’re certainly not showing

Any signs that they are slowing!

(Breathless Pause)


The roots of prejudice can be traced to a general cognitive outlook characterized by the hunger for certainty.”

― Jamie Holmes,

Nonsense: The Power of Not Knowing


The new Sitting President of the United States of America “rejects free trade.”

The new Sitting President of the United States of America “rejects our disproportionate role in the military defense of Europe and the West.”

The new Sitting President of the United States of America “rejects the diversifying of our culture and the opening of our borders.”

The new Sitting President of the United States of America “embraces the kind of tariffs that were once thought the relic of an old international system.”

The new Sitting President of the United States of America “would cede the shaping of markets to a Chinese leadership that now, improbably, seems to be the world’s largest cheerleader for trade.”

The new Sitting President of the United States of America imagines profound beauty in a wall.”

(taken from reporting by Matt Bai National Political Columnist Yahoo News

On January 19, 2017)

Not a speck of light is showing

So the danger must be growing

Are the fires of Hell a-glowing

Finally the new Sitting President of the United States of America has antipathy toward the political establishment and toward globalism itself.

For the new Sitting President of the United States of America ambition is personal, not national.

And the new Sitting President of the United States of America has made a promise to (Quote) “make America great.”

But for the new Sitting President of the United States of America this is a promise only for and to a subset of Americans to whom modernity has been callous.

It is very important we remember that during the entire process that has led up to today Americans have allowed a ‘normalcy’ to be created from an abomination.

Before we can stand up to the new Sitting President of the United States of America we need to recognize our complicity (allowed this ‘normalcy’).

We MUST recognize this.

We all do.

Recognize and Grieve.

And then Let it be.

And Forgive internally.


So we can move forward as the loyal opposition.

What comes in the light of confession and forgiveness can be hard to swallow. But so much damage has already been done. Time is at a premium. The folks who will most benefit from protectionism have been racing away while we have barely arrived at the starting gates.

Our hesitation to throw all we had against this hell-bound train has permitted a void to form.  It materialized through a moral lapse of audacity.

In the ethical void a vacuum is brewing.

This nothingness exits.

Fear and not-knowing is real.

Once a vacuum is left, it will not be possible to simply step back in and say,

Hey you guys! We were only messing around.  Just kidding!”

Because in the vacuum economic rules will get written.

And in the vacuum rising powers will exploit the moment.

So in the vacuum the world will look elsewhere for predictability

Yes in the vacuum the world will look elsewhere for … stability.


By the way – isn’t this precisely what Vladimir Putin recognizes?

This is why Putin loves Trumps and his blather. Right?

The Russians are nothing if they are not patient.

The Russians have been waiting over 75 years for an exact moment.

A moment . . JUST – LIKE – THIS.

America’s vast expansion during the past American Century has run aground on the boundaries of time and technology – just like when the British Empire had to struggle to maintain its driving force in the decades that lead up to World War I.

They could not.

They did not.

We cannot.

We will not.

Does Globalism exist because of cheap technology and even cheaper transportation?

Has Globalism given free rise to competitors while automation has left American workers redundant?

Did Globalism make factory-towns cave in upon themselves.

Has Globalism made the price of maintaining global supremacy, both in peoples lives and in their credit harder to justify?

Yes, the danger must be growing

For the rowers keep on rowing

And they’re certainly not showing

Any signs that they are slowing!  

Has Globalism grown government?

Has Globalism deepened the chasm between the wealthy and everybody else?


Once you’ve survived Wonka’s boat ride there is a moment for reflection before the next horrific disaster falls on you.

So in my reflective moment I have reacquainted myself with the little 1987 book, Trump:The Art of the Deal, from Mr. Donald Trump (and Mr. Tony Schwartz).

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people’s fantasies. People may not always think big themselves. but they can get very excited by those who do. That is why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest, the greatest and the most spectacular.”

― Donald J. Trump, Trump: The Art of the Deal


Oh yeah .. I am really going to miss President Barrack Obama.

Goddamn it!


 don’t make deals without it.


― Donald J. Trump, Trump: The Art of the Deal

Attention to the loyal opposition

Attention to the loyal opposition

We’re bound by demographics to become a more diverse, more enlightened country, not less so. We remain the world’s leading exporter of culture and consumerism. We’re awash in technological talent, and we command more military machinery than any nation in history.

But like the British before us, we’re increasingly reconciled to being one power among many — to act modestly on our own behalf, rather than grandly in the service of what Joe Biden, speaking at Davos this week, called the “liberal international world order.”

TIME Jan. 18, 2017 Melissa Chan reporting from the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland

Speaking at President Donald Trump’s inauguration Friday, North Carolina-based evangelist Franklin Graham said his prayer was that God would bless the new president, his family, his administration “and may He bless America.” Graham’s famous father, Charlotte-born evangelist Billy Graham, now 98, gave prayers at the presidential inaugurations of Richard Nixon (in 1969), George H.W. Bush (in 1989) and Bill Clinton (in 1993 and 1997).

Graham (Junior) chose to read a passage from Paul’s First Letter to Timothy, chapter 2, which calls for prayers for all people, including

“.. kings and for all those in authority, that we may live peacefully quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.”

Peaceful quiet lives may be on hold for a season.

Resistance may get a bit loud and uncertain.

Godliness and holiness might look a little different as well.


Henry Ward Beecher

(Note 1)

Henry Ward Beecher (June 24, 1813 – March 8, 1887) was an American Congregationalist clergyman, social reformer, and speaker, known for his support of the abolition of slavery, his emphasis on God’s love.



Donald Joseph Boudreaux

(Note 2)

Donald Joseph Boudreaux (born 1958) is an American libertarian economist, author, professor, and co-director of the Program on the American Economy and Globalization at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University.




James Bovard

(Note 3)

James Bovard (born 1956) is a libertarian author and lecturer whose political commentary targets examples of waste, failures, corruption, cronyism and abuses


  1. We got too complacent, not only during the years of Obama’s presidency, but also in the months and weeks leading up to the election, putting blind trust in the glib “85% chance” that Hillary would win (maintained until late Election Day!) We must take this opportunity to stand up and fight for what we believe in and make our opinions known to our legislators. Already 5 brave Republican senators have stood up to the blind rush to repeal Obamacare without any plan whatsoever to replace it. Send them messages of support!

  2. Well said Reverend Mike. Each of us is but a citizen. But each of us taking action will multiply into many. Resist!

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