Battle on the Border- Why The Democratic Fight Against Wall Is Worth It.

The Berlin Wall of Shame is a mistake that should remain unrepeated.

“Something there is that does not love a wall”, said the famous American poet, Robert Frost, in his famous poem Mending Wall, and that seems like a good place to start, in discussing the proposed border Wall of Donald Trump, a completely unAmerican project if ever there was one. A constitutional crisis has come to our Southern border, latest in a long line of artificial disasters created by the illegitimate and infantile man who with Russian help stole the 2016 election.

Returning again to his use of executive power to bring chaos to the country and deflect national attention from his crimes, crimes which his old campaign manager Paul Manafort got a 19-year prison sentence recommended for last week, Donald Trump has declared a national emergency where there isn’t one, announcing his intention to try and build the Wall he’s been screaming about, twelve hundred miles worth of ugly mess and dark symbol on our entire Southern border.

House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff gave us the story Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “He’s pretty much daring the court to strike this down,” the California Democrat said. “It is going to be a real test for my GOP colleagues in Congress and their devotion to the institution.” Knowing the Republicans, they will roll right over for Trump.

It hardly bears repeating why this whole thing is moronic and despicable. Readers of this blog will most certainly already know. But what’s the other side of the story? How can the Republicans possibly justify this? What are the Fox News talking points? How could the fight be worth it in their ridiculous eyes? As they see it, here’s how the story goes, at least in the observations of this Millennial Democrats contributor.

The Wall is not immoral because it has a door. People will be allowed through according to legal channels. The current state of affairs wherein new waves of immigrants pass under bushes and across the desert to flock into our country by the hundreds will be ended. What Trump is doing is understandable, he needs it for his base, and above all, the fight is not worth it for the rest of us. It cost the country $7 billion.

Their solution? We should simply give up the fight and let him build the thing.

Let’s start out in the Aristotelian model, by conceding that there are aspects of truth to this. As always with Trump, like Charles Manson, he is very good at taking the truth and making a lie out of it. Another point to consider is that if the president of the United States wants a $5 billion appropriation for a pet project that’s important to him personally and partially fulfills a campaign promise, then he ought to be able to get it.

This is also true. The time-honored way for him to get it is to do what Trump promised above all else- come to the negotiating table, and make good deals. But back at the beginning of 2018, we were ready to cut a deal that could have given him the wall if in so doing we could have secured legal rights of citizenship for our DREAMers, the roughly two million Latino-Americans who were brought here by their parents as small children.

We, Democrats, came to the table offering a compromise involving wall money and a path to citizenship for DREAMers. Nancy Pelosi and Chuck Schumer came up with a good plan and brought it to the table for him to sign. He almost went for it, too. It was immigration hardliners in Trump’s own administration who scuttled the deal, and that is what brings us to the core truth of this whole standoff.

The Wall is a completely pointless waste of time.

Everyone knows it, including the immigration hardliners. They themselves clearly don’t think the wall is particularly useful or important in the real world. If they really wanted a wall, they would go get a wall by offering something in exchange for it, like protection for the DREAMers or letting the immigrant children their thugs have hijacked out of the warehouses they’re keeping them in, or some other thing. Nothing has been offered and nothing will be, because the only one who wants this done is Trump. As for the aforementioned hardliners, they know the whole concept is idiotic, so they won’t offer to trade for it. It’s as simple as that.

That the Wall is pointless and not worth it is true enough, and it is also Trump’s fault. He himself immediately admitted, “I didn’t have to do this” and then went on to recite his worn out old stump speech for the umpteenth millionth time. This whole boring episode makes it clear that Trump is even more isolated in his position that what’s happened on our southwestern border constitutes any kind of a national emergency than he was when he first caused the #TrumpShutdown. The immigration hardliners and the sane center agree on that much.

But where considerations of silver and gold are all that kind of person sees, it’s only where we’re getting started.

For one thing, the belief that a wall alone will keep anyone out of anything is just plain stupid. It’s a ridiculous concept all around. It’s a medieval solution to a post-industrial problem. If they really wanted to keep immigrants from crossing the Rio Grande they would lock up the guys hiring these guys. If they didn’t know they could come here and get jobs easy, they would stay back home.

Trump cites the “migrant caravans” as a reason why this is a crisis, pointing to the disgraceful failure that is Venezuelan socialism and noting that the refugees heading out of that area are in desperate straits. He sent our troops to the border in response to one of these just before the midterms.

Now that was disgraceful.

Militarily speaking, there are no modern examples of a wall being a successful defending strategy, but there sure are lots of examples of their failure. We don’t have to go all the way back to when the Mongols hopped right over the Great Wall of China, nor do we have to make mention of the founder of Rome, Romulus, having killed his brother Remus for mocking the wall he’d built around the city. He laughed at him, just like we’re all doing at Donald, which should serve as an abject lesson of how ugly people can be in a state of wounded pride.

Fixed fortifications failed the French at the Maginot Line, which was the most heavily equipped fortress of a border there ever has been. The Germans simply drove tanks through the Ardennes Forest around it, and conquered France in a little over six weeks back in 1941.

Likewise, in 1944, American troops stormed the beach at Normandy and cracked Hitler’s vaunted Atlantic Wall in one day.

France proved our point again on its way to dragging the United States into Vietnam, by getting themselves annihilated at a fortress called Dien Bien Phu.

But above all others, it was a non-military barrier as this one will be, as ideological as physical, the border of the Berlin Wall that stood for many years as the world’s largest eyesore.

The premier of the Soviet Union, Nikita Khruschev, put it up across Berlin in 1967. It was the result of a fit of petty rage, his own pride wounded when he understood just how unpopular his communist system was, that many people were escaping to the free lands of the West through the part of Berlin controlled by the Allied powers.

This was because, above all else, people wanted to be free than live under the hells of socialism. We still do.

Someone ought to tell Bernie Sanders that, not that he’d listen.

The Berlin Wall came down in 1991, right behind the evil empire of the Soviet Union that was propping it up, and it’s nothing but a memory now. But the scars it has left on the psyche of the human race are very large and have yet to fully heal. Something there is that does not love a wall, indeed. Willy Brandt, the Social-Democratic mayor of Berlin, and soon to be chancellor, called it the Wall of Shame. The term caught on quick and was totally accurate. If Trump does build a new one, it will be revived.

In the end, it isn’t all a question of money and impracticality. Trump’s Wall is a symbol and an evil one just as much as the one in Berlin. As Nancy Pelosi said, it really was total immorality. To placate his base would be insane, since they are all insane, and there’s no sense in appeasing dictators or their bases anyway- because it can’t be done. They will take and take until there is nothing left.

As the old saying goes, and as we have written in the past, never give Poland to Hitler. If we rolled over on this Trump would be emboldened to try for the next wicked item on his unending agenda of corruption all the harder, not that that will ever happen. Walls keep people from coming together, and that’s exactly what the human race does not need. Our history is vibrantly sad already. It’s time for us to begin learning how to heal, not to begin inflicting new wounds.

All cancer comes from one form of inflammation or another. This has gone on for too long. It’s bad for the presidency, it’s bad for America, and it’s bad for the whole human race. The border must remain open, the government must remain open, and Donald Trump must be made to stop using his powers in this egregiously ridiculous and damaging way. America has had enough.

The Midterms And Beyond- A Democratic Future.

Millennial Democrats- The Future Is Ours!

Polls are showing that we Democrats are in a good, strong position going into the midterms. There are some problem areas, but we’re getting them worked out. By all indicators, we’re on track to retake at least the House of Representatives, something the nation’s future depends on.

In fact, it has become increasingly clear that the future of the nation depends largely on the future of the Democratic Party, since only Democrats seem to care about it. It has become critical for us to ask some questions about ourselves and where we’re going, after the midterms and beyond.

What is the nature of Democratic ideology? What does it mean to be a Democrat? This is something many of us have thought about a lot, especially since 2016. It has changed quite a bit over the years. Experience and study both have taught us to be wary of any ideology that requires a true believer. Thus, although it does not exist as a crystalline and brittle dogma, incapable of change, it does still have a form. And although it is profoundly sickening to dignify Trump’s raving with a well-thought out response, 

That form is not called socialism. It has nothing to do with socialism. And it will never have anything to do with socialism, regardless of the slanders of Trump aimed at us that we’re all radicals. We are not. 

The time-honored policies we’ve been using since Franklin Roosevelt, like that of nearly everyone in the western world, belong rightly to the tradition of Social Democracy. That is profoundly different from being a socialist, which even the most reputable and intelligent of leftist publications, Jacobin Magazine, is in total agreement with us on this matter; one headline of theirs we came across while researching this read simply, Democratic Socialism Isn’t Social Democracy.

The difference is simple. We want to retain our free market economy, and not hand it all over to bureaucrats. We also wish to see it tempered of its harshness by a social net of citizen relief. 

That’s not what everyone wants, and I get that, although it’s hard to accept, especially now, when the stakes are so high. Democratic ideology means having respect for others, which means a certain amount of agreeing to disagree. We cannot try to force it! People must come around on their own. We’ve got to use reason, not ugliness. We don’t want to hurt anyone over the way they think, just the opposite. We need their help to do our share to ensure that our government is healthy and to be sure we remain realistic about its prospects.

Everybody’s got a set of ideologies these days, one sometimes feels, and many are meant to deliberately waylay and mislead. Many seem artificial. Others seem insensitive, and still others downright stupid. While utopian thinkers are thinking about their utopia, the world outside is going right along as it always has, regardless of anyone’s thoughts or ideas. Current events do not suggest it’s the right time to retreat into philosophy and get lost in obscurity.

We need to get out there and fight.

Revolutionary-minded people have their talking points in order. They will not take long in getting around to Robert Owen or the Paris Commune or what have you as examples that things might be otherwise because a few people wanted them to be; a few words about the former seem in order here. In 1825, Owen bought the town of New Harmony, Indiana and established a utopian colony there-or tried to.

New Harmony prospered at first. But it wasn’t long before the residents fell to quarreling about politics and religion. By 1828, it had failed. Sound familiar? If they’d have been short on resources it would have gone the way of the Donner Party. This why Sir Thomas More chose the word Utopia to describe his 1516 vision of a perfect society.

The word “utopia” is the Greek word for “nowhere”.

Socialists do not understand the nature of capitalism. They believe it to be a system of government. It is not. Capitalism is an entity! It is the raw, naked force, the self-governing force, of the free market itself. Economist Adam Smith called it the Invisible Hand, and observed the patterns it arranges society into.

Those patterns are the trouble with socialism, which asserts itself along unrealistic principles that are inconsistent with human behavior, which is not going to change overnight. Humans are heavily pattern-based creatures. We do the same things in every generation. Bees don’t just wake up one day and start building pyramid shaped hives, no matter how talented the beekeeper.

We have got to find a way to bring this realization home to all of our fellow Millennial Democrats before it’s too late. It’s as if some of us have been in a bubble ever since the 2016 primary election and Bernie Sanders, repeating the same slogans to each other left and right. It has led to other generations slandering us and considering us to be unintelligent and unrealistic.

This is incredibly wrong and unfair. Once the dialogue begins, most of us are fair and decent, just as much so as anyone else. We are capable of thinking with reason. How dare we be held accountable for the conduct of the six-hundred-year-old Bernie? We’re going to be fine, thank you very much.

All we have to do is point out some basic things to one another.

We have to understand that socialism means state ownership, which is synonymous with public ownership but doesn’t sound as nice. It means to build an apparatus so huge that people can hardly fill it, and then hand over the keys to completely untested and radical persons. This has not gone well in the past. The entire systemic concept makes socialism, by its very nature, highly subject to despotism. We must come to thoroughly understand this.

Although the two terms sound alike, a massive gulf exists between the socialistic nightmares of Franz Kafka and social democracy, the highly decent governmental system that made the meatpacking industry in Chicago clean its act up after Upton Sinclair wrote The Jungle.

Social democracy, by the way, is the free-market model used by Nordic nations such as Sweden. Another term for it is Nordic capitalism. There is no socialism involved. Period. Bernie’s praise of their system’s accomplishments was just and correct but he didn’t understand what he was praising. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez doesn’t either, but we believe there’s hope for her. She’s got a good heart. She’s just got to cut out all this nonsense about socialism.

The process of trade and money started up in society right away. It was the reason society was necessary. Capitalism is raw desire, and without society, it walked around in the hearts of cavemen, snatching from the others where it could. It was brutal, but it also allowed us to compete with more powerful forms of life. We realized back then that what makes us great is also what makes us dangerous. The human being is a sword with many edges.

There’s certainly no getting rid of capitalism. It exists and appears to be an integral part of human culture. So what to do with it? This has been the question since before humans wore pants. It came at the cost of two World Wars and a galaxy of other atrocities, but at this point, humans have channeled capitalism and made it work for us, and it has given us everything we have, problems and progress alike. 

Every form of social organization, every form of government, is an attempt to give capitalism a saddle and riders. In America, we have the strength of the Roman Republic shoring up the walls of Greek democracy. Six thousand years of societal evolution has combined to give us the advantage we enjoy, as a nation. All we have to do is just take care of it.

And we’re going to give that up for- what, exactly? The half-baked regurgitations of Marx and Lenin that the far left has been shouting for these last few decades? Their “plan” is equivalent to cutting the basket ropes of a hot air balloon you are in because the sun is getting in your eyes. Destructive and ineffective. For all the disasters you cause in the process of cutting those ropes, the sun will still be in your eyes.

In the last analysis, regardless of who tries what, our nations and empires follow the same cycles of death and rebirth that our bodies do. During those cycles, the same things have happened in every generation. Most of them are not very nice.

Howard Zinn’s People’s History of the United States does a great job of illustrating just how ugly those struggles can get. Hundreds and hundreds of pages, and on each a grocery list of vivid atrocities. Yet still, somehow amid the dung-pile, he finds grounds to claim that humans can just unlearn it all, that we can just lay down and retire the entire concept of a State since people in a mob are so obviously capable of being objective and fair.

Most of us can’t even quit drinking caffeine.

Discussions about the nature of government have become much more common and much more critical for millennials than ever before. We must succeed where Bernie failed, and learn to correctly identify not only socialism, but also capitalism and understand its nature as an entity.

I ask you, readers- Have you ever read or seen Dune? The book, by Frank Herbert, the movie by David Lynch? If not, consider the recommendation made. It provides a perfect metaphor for the relationship between government, capitalism, and society.

Society is the Fremen sandriders. Capitalism is the sandworm. The government is the hooks they used to control where the sandworm goes.

The socialists want to act like the sandworm is not there, even while its jaws snap shut around them. They’d like it all to be theories and talk, and they ignore the grim realities behind many of their ideas. They think it’s just people waving hooks around and desert. They are slowing down the rest of us, in our quest to keep from being eaten.

On the other hand, the Republicans think that letting the sandworms go about without the hooks is good, which is so ridiculous and crude as to make a man throw up. In essence, both the right wing and the far left wing, are completely nuts. We need the government to regulate things, and this is why. We just don’t want to give it all the power. We’ll get by all right, we just have to keep moving forward together. Like Hillary Clinton said.

As John Locke said, the goal of government is not to restrict or negate the rights of man. It’s to ensure them. Even the most cursory glance at our sad yet vibrant history is enough to explain why we must have one. So let’s cut out all the nonsense and pining for the hunter-gatherer days and big revolutions and get to work cleaning our backyards. We can argue over terminology after we take back the House of Representatives.

There’s an enormous amount of work to do before a meaningful change will come to America, and most of it will not be done in our lifetimes. We can’t change that, but we can carry our load as best as we’re able, and we can be the change we want to see in the meantime. In a Democrat’s ideology, that is good enough. We don’t need to rise up in revolution; random acts of violence are not the answer. The answer is to look at the world in a spirit of love and kindness and to vote a straight Democratic ticket. In this election, and in every other.

Making Tyranny Great Again-Trump Spends Week Assaulting Democracy.

Trump is a threat to our democracy.

Ever since the first few weeks that Trump took office, in which he created worldwide pandemonium by announcing via Twitter that citizens of seven countries were banned from traveling into the United States, America has seen itself disgraced by the conduct of its 45th president time and again.

Things have reached the point where it’s becoming normal. The bar of expectations set by our citizens for our leaders is having to be lowered by the day, and that is very dangerous to our democracy.

Most recently, it’s been his decision to start stripping people who criticize him of their security clearances, starting with former CIA director James Brennan.

Axios recently tweeted that Trump has become enamored with the unchecked powers of the presidency. “What he enjoys most about this job is finding things he has absolute power over,” said one source who’s worked closely with Trump.

Sources recently told Mike Allen that Trump  “got a kick out of pardons, that he could pardon anybody he wants and people would come to him to court him and beg him.”

60 former CIA officials have signed a letter responding to the removal of Brennan’s security clearance, pointing out that “The country will be weakened if there is a political litmus test applied before seasoned experts are allowed to share their views.”

Of course it will, but that is not what Trump cares about.

Trump’s attack on John Brennan is meant to distract us from his crimes, starting with the fact that he and his crew are almost certain to be proved guilty of agreeing to conspire with a shady Kremlin plot to help Trump win the 2016 presidential election.

Even at this minute, he is aiding and abetting Putin’s attack on the election by denying it was happening. He’s still doing it.

Meanwhile, his old campaign manager Paul Manafort’s trial drags on, because the jury is still deliberating. Why? There is enough evidence against that guy to throw him in the can for a million years.

The jurors must be at least as aware of it as we are, which is what makes it fishy that they’re still in there arguing with each other about it. T.S. Ellis, the judge, who has been threatened himself, says they’re scared. Who can blame them?

All the while, Trump is talking about how sad it is that a guy who stabbed America like Manafort did is on trial at all.

Not very democratic of him, but that’s the kind of guy he is.

The bottom line is that democracy is an impediment to Donald Trump. He does not find it useful, so he holds it in contempt. To him, the natural order of things involves debauched old white guys on top of every power structure, shouting orders and bossing everybody around.

Democracy has been in the process of rejecting this worldview for more than a hundred years. So why respect it? It’s an albatross around his neck.

If he can manage to whip up a sort of spit-polished authoritarianism, some form of rule that would retain a veneer of democracy while skewing the contest to ensure its result, that would be ideal for Trump, and also for his right-wing nationalist buddies all throughout the world.
Trump wants Erik Prince to build him his own private army. he was talking about building him a private spy network a few months ago. They want to privatize the war in Afghanistan.
He’s been talking up his dictator buddies, like Putin and Kim and Maduro, right from the start. As long ago as 1989, he was making public statements deploring the “lack of control” the Soviet Union had over its people. He wants to do whatever he wants to do, and he can’t  completely disregard the rights of others because he lives in a democracy.
How then to get rid of it?
In the clouded and foggy mind of Trump, these notions are not well conceived. They are murky impressions at best, addled further by the dementia Omarosa says he’s got. But other authoritarian leaders, like Putin, understand them very well and would like nothing better than to see them take place here.
America is the center of the current, liberal world order that has given us everything since the conclusion of World War Two, a struggle over these same ideas that nearly finished us. In order for that to change, America must abandon its values. That is why Trump, a man who values nothing he can’t stain his T-shirt with, was so favorable a candidate for other despots to support.
Going forward, we have got to come together strongly to affirm that we will not give up our values for anyone or anything. That is what the Resistance is for. Preservation of all we have in America depends on our success.

The Failure of Socialism- Bernie’s Legacy.

The Failure of Socialism- Bernie's Legacy.

Contrary to the ongoing narrative regarding the politics of our millennial generation in the media, not all millennials are in for socialism, or Bernie Sanders. Most of us are not. That narrative might have had some truth to it, once upon a time, but not anymore. Millennials have learned.

Hard and painful experience has taught us not to invest in a gambler, or his roulette table.

Since the upset victory of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez over New York Democrat Joe Crowley last month, there has been a lot of talk about this, and most of it has revolved around the question of socialism. The concept has come to be notoriously misunderstood, and most of the reason why is thanks to Bernie Sanders.

The prime minister of Denmark said it best when he pointed out that Bernie did not understand socialism in the context of Denmark; he could have added any other context and been equally right. Bernie didn’t understand socialism at all.

The Nordic countries have excellent social services, which to be fair were adapted from socialist theory. Governmental regulation and social work are both taken seriously there. But their economies are free-market, which means that they are capitalist. Completely capitalist.

The only countries that can legitimately lay claim to being socialist are those countries that have fully planned, one-size-fits-all, Big-Brother-is-watching style economies. Like Venezuela.

The mixup comes from a confusion over two terms, Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism. They sound a lot alike, but that is where the similarity dies.

Tempering the harshness of laissez-faire capitalism has been a good thing for the world, and is known as Social Democracy. Every civilized country, including the United States and Sweden, uses a type of social democracy to govern its people.

Bernie switched around the order of the words and called it Democratic Socialism. No one knows why Sanders insists on using that term, but in our opinion, it’s because he enjoys getting the attention that comes with being contrary and starting arguments all the time.

People have been going around repeating it ever since he first began, but in fact, the phrase doesn’t even have a precise meaning. Thirty seconds worth of using Google is enough to tell you that.

Socialism has been floating around for 188 years, since 1830, and not once in that time has it led to a successful society. Aspects of it have been implemented in normal societies and its influence in putting the social welfare of workers on the agenda is important.

As an overall idea, though, it has been a disaster, as nearly every country to have tried it has ended up with the goose-step and the concentration camp.

Back when it was just an archaic, discredited system, I thought it was kind of neat. I used to think about it while jogging. It was kind of like a Sudoku puzzle for me.

Once people started to take it seriously again, though, I stopped musing and started figuring out how to explain the inescapable truth- that socialism is a disaster, completely incompatible with human freedom and dignity.

Why can’t we learn from all the times it failed? All the horrible revolutions that produced even worse regimes? The thousands who had to die because of someone who wanted to apply ideas from a political theory to the real world?

Mark Perry, the creator of the popular economics blog Carpe Diem, referred to socialism in 1995 as “The Big Lie of the 20th century”. He reported in 2016 that he was shocked at its resurgence, such a short time after the fall of the Soviet Union, the so-called “Worker’s Paradise”.

“I perhaps assumed the failures of socialism were so apparent and obvious it would be forever considered only as a discredited system of the past, and never as a viable option going forward into the future!”

“Given the recent resurgence of socialism, especially as it is now being embraced by young Americans, I thought it might be a good time to review why socialism: a) failed in the 20th century, b) is failing in the 21st century (e.g. Venezuela, see photo above), and c) will always fail. And that’s because it’s a flawed system based on completely faulty principles that aren’t consistent with human behavior and can’t nurture the human spirit.”

This has always been the case. People are people. And while the socialists do join us in believing society can do better in many areas than it is doing now, the transcendental human change required as a prerequisite for socialism shows no sign of taking place next week.

Socialism does not mean Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders. It only begins there. It ends with Hitler and Stalin. Going forward, we’ve got to raise awareness about this until people understand. Socialism is a universal failure.

Thebalance.com did a piece called “Socialism and its Characteristics”, telling us that there are eight types of socialism, but really, the distinctions are semantical. There is only one type of socialism. The evil kind.

Cold War Two- The West Is Not Anti-Russia. Just Anti-Putin.

#NeverTrump

Cold War Two is heating up, as the diplomatic conflict between Britain and Vladimir Putin, caused by the murder by poison of ex-double agent Sergei Skripal is reaching a fevered pitch. Moscow’s embassy in London has been urging Russians against traveling to the UK or sending children to school there.

Putin’s orders to the embassy were to tell their citizens that British authorities may single out Russians for various persecutions, citing “the anti-Russian policies and an escalation of the British side’s threatening rhetoric”.

The Russian embassy even urged fans of football team CSKA Moscow flying to London for Thursday’s Europa match with Arsenal to exercise “extra vigilance” because of Britain’s “anti-Russian campaign”.

Britain does not even have an anti- Russia campaign.

It doesn’t even have an official anti-Putin campaign, although it needs one.

Everything everywhere needs to have an anti-Putin campaign. Not anti-Russia. Anti-Putin.

The two are not synonymous. Russia produced Stalin and Putin, it’s true, but it gave us Tolstoy, Dostoyevsky, and Alexei Navalny as well. Russian people are not our foes unless they’re here on Putin’s orders to disrupt and destroy our countries. And even then, they’re just extensions of Putin.

Millennial Democrats would like to extend our sympathy and solidarity with Russia’s people, and with all good people everywhere who are stuck beneath the heel of that tyrant, or any other tyrant.

Putin has continuously kept pushing this matter. He’s not going to just let it go. He’s angry because he’s finally met resistance where there didn’t use to be any.

Next, Putin ordered the summoning of British ambassador Laurie Bristow on Friday. He wanted to tell her that London is being given a month to cut the number of diplomatic staff in Russia to the same number Russia has in Britain.

The measure came after Russia expelled 23 British diplomats, closed a British consulate in Saint Petersburg and halted the activities of the British Council educational and cultural organization last month.

Bristow was evicted by Putin along with the heads of missions from 23 other countries, almost all of whom are EU member states.

Russia suggested parity. The British side has more than 50 more people,” foreign ministry spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told AFP.

Parity? Did we come into your lands, and poison anyone you granted asylum, Vladimir? It probably wouldn’t be too hard to get at Julian Assange, the pet rat you keep in that Ecuadorian embassy cage(they just shut off his Internet! LOL!), but we don’t, out of respect for the rule of law.

There’s no parity in Putin expelling a single one of those diplomats. We didn’t do anything to him. We’re not the ones extending tentacles of chaos all throughout the world, encouraging ethnic violence and poisoning people we disagree with. We are also not the ones who keep on with continuous escalation.

The Pentagon’s concern this whole time has been not that Putin is strong, or fearsome, but rather that he’s getting old and sloppy.

They fear that he’s finally deluded himself into thinking he’s rebuilt the Soviet Union- Russia’s economy is a sixth of what the Soviets enjoyed- and will make a gross miscalculation that leads us all into war, as Hitler eventually did.

The way in which Putin is encouraging distrust among his people against any outsiders is also Hitleresque. A tyrant needs to have his country’s population scared and angry so that they will fight like desperate men, if he wants to try and conquer the world by force.

But he had better realize he will never have enough power. You cannot kill the human desire for freedom. And you cannot push us into giving up what we hold sacred. Donald Trump will not be in power forever.

Hitler found this out, too, once upon a time. The Western powers are goodhearted and kind and will give you the benefit of the doubt. But don’t be fool enough to delude yourself into thinking that means you can push us past a certain point. Or sooner or later, you will find two things out the hard way.

First, that the West has a very hard core.

And second, that we do not like being cheated.

Democratic Dedication in the Age of Trump- A Call For Help.

Living in Donald Trump’s America has been a lot like living in a pressure cooker.

The time leading up to the election was not the worst year in American history, but it may well have been the most stressful. Around 2014, ominous signs began popping up, in strange form and large number, that we had a real problem on our hands. The forces of radicalism are always given a shot in the arm by economic recessions, i.e. the Great Depression and the rise of Adolf Hitler. On the left and the right alike, people started getting really out there.

By the time it was widely realized that Bernie Sanders was actually going to not only be taken seriously, but held up as an example and idolized, it’s not hard to think looking back that it was already too late. If I would have started organizing sooner, worked a few more hours, shared to a few more Groups, tried a little harder to reach people, etc. It’s a wistful feeling, looking back on a great battle lost.

It started to become clear that a great many, a terrible many people, were not going to embrace Hillary Clinton as a candidate, no matter how good a President she would be, and she would have been great. The biggest tragedy here is the scale of the missed opportunity.

We’re talking about a person who had on-the-job approval ratings that were through the roof in every job she had. Those are the only kinds of polls that really matter; the others are nothing but a photograph, one second’s popularity contest. Rational people know that. So when it had clearly started falling by the wayside, in favor of emotional considerations poorly expressed and ill-conceived of, it became darkly evident that things were not going to continue managing themselves.

In our lives, when we come up against a wrong too big to be ignored, it forces us to make a choice. We either take a side or turn a blind eye. We are given a voice for a reason. The time had come to use it, for every American. We were, and are, in the midst of facing a major existential crisis, one to set the direction for the entire nation’s paradigm. Simply stated, the question is: Do we want to keep being a democracy?

A terrible shame is self-claimed by anyone who was fortunate enough to grow up in this country, and still attempts to justify answering that question in the negative. The very fact of people being able to run around on the streets spouting off in that manner is in and of itself a tremendous luxury, one that was paid for and made possible by the success of American democracy. In the days of fascism and communism, things were otherwise to a very horrible extent.

Stalin’s gulag system held nearly 3,000 to 100,000 of its citizens at any given time.  Most, like author of the Gulag Archipelago Alexander Solzhenitsyn, were there for speaking out against the government. The Tiananmen Square incident in China was a murderous repression of democratic protesters. It is not yet thirty years old. The Nazis had a whole interior of labor camps, such as Dachau or Mauthausen, reserved exclusively for German “political criminals” until the final days of the war.

There have never been such things in America. We have plenty of prisons, but no concentration camps. Foreign radicalism has never taken deep root over here, because for the most part, people have had the good sense to know how lucky they are to have the chance to participate in this. To risk all that because you are angry is insane. Recessions and depressions are a part of human life on Planet Earth, and that is not going to change to suit anyone.

At this stage in our history, the entire global economy is already deeply interconnected. Wherever you live, they are going to come and go.

If you think that’s a good reason to start down the road toward a second Dark Ages, you might want to read up on the first ones. There are many problems in this country. We are not a perfect nation. But for all our faults, we are the linchpin of the entire global order. Every life in the world will feel it, should the lights go out again.

All through the year of 2016, we heard a great deal about a revolution. Why is it we never heard any of this under Bush, when it was necessary? Back when the world really needed that power, it was found lacking and largely absent. All these brave revolutionaries waited for a kind and tolerant President Obama to come in and start actually making America great again, to start screaming about a revolution. They gambled with the utmost recklessness with the future of the whole human race. Why?

It’s been like this all throughout history. Tightly repressive regimes are rarely overthrown. It’s only after the restrictions are loosened, that the people tend to break levees. We see this all the time, in the Middle East. Its hallmark was all over the place in Syria. It was also this way when the French Revolution felled the monarchy in 1789, and again when the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. Just as soon as a system starts to mature, it suddenly collapses.

The events of American life since the year 2000 have indeed been nauseating; it’s worth remembering that Hunter S. Thompson took his own life just after the second Bush was reelected. Times have been hard since Bill Clinton left office.

Still, after Obama got elected, and particularly when compared to the past, we had things really good. We suffered for eight years under Bush, but after that things started getting better.

The economy started recovering, we got universal health care in the form of decades worth of work with the Affordable Care Act, and we started getting back to work. We were once again having the time to worry about things other than base survival. To risk that, on the gambler’s promise of some screaming demagogue, was the absolute height of stupidity. How anyone could have been so foolhardy as to risk our tangible, hard-fought gains on a pack of ridiculous pipedreams will never be explainable by any sort of logical standard. Everyone is trying somehow to get to the answer. Yet for all we have learned along the way, the governing dynamic still manages to elude.

As we approach the midterms in 2018, the Republicans have been killing us in terms of small donors. That’s an ugly fact. For Republicans to be outdoing Democrats, on a grassroots level, is the very worst case scenario. They have taken the strategies of the Bernie Sanders campaign and turned them into a juggernaut.

For all the ugliness and chaos surrounding his presidency, Trump is getting stronger. And not a day goes by that he doesn’t use that strength to chip away further and further at the bedrock of our democracy. Koch Industries has had an unprecedented opportunity to pass through their long-sought Libertarian agenda. The star of fascism is clearly on the ascendant.

What is it going to take? That’s the question we keep coming back to, ever since November of last year. What can we possibly do, to pull back from this chasm we are heading toward? A disturbing percentage of us are behaving like nuclear powered lemmings. There is no one on the horizon at this time who can do much about any of this, except possibly for Robert Mueller, the Obi-Wan Kenobi of our whole drama.

Think as well, about Bob Mueller himself. His good, kind, honest face. How hard he is working, and in his retirement age, no less. All the years he was the director of the FBI, the best one that we ever had. He chose James Comey as his successor. He spent many years training him. He made sure he was the best man to head up the Agency.

Trump threw Comey away like the garbage, and it makes me want to vomit. All the best people in the country right now, are completely excluded from its government, while the worst are getting away with bloody murder. Putin is laughing at us. The Russian media laughs and boasts about the way he’s made a toilet out of Trump. And rock bottom is still nowhere in sight. Surely some revelation is at hand.

In the interim, the author of this article is in Facebook jail, over sharing the articles we recently published regarding the Zapad war games in Russia and the fact of Russian Stuxnet viruses being found in over a hundred American power grids. Facebook Jail is slang for when you get blocked from various Facebook features by its robots, because the Russians and their proxies have figured out how to game its Report as Spam/Abuse buttons.

Sixteen other Democratic activists I know are in jail also. Meanwhile, Zuckerberg does nothing with the greatest of industry. As a good friend and mentor of mine wrote recently, Congress must reform Facebook.

Posting is way down. Russian ads are everywhere. People are scared, and actively exploring other platforms. We are being stopped from participating in the political process of America, as Americans, by foreign agents and agitators who have effectively conquered our entire section of cyberspace, while the people able to handle it have their hands tied behind their backs. The indignance I feel at this state of affairs cannot be adequately expressed by language.

The only clear way forward for us is to get serious about education. Education is the key to it all. That’s why the Kochs and the DeVos’s and all the other Tea Party monsters have been paying so much money to destroy and withhold it. It’s why Betsy DeVos was chosen for the Secretary of Education post. They know knowledge is power, and they don’t want reliably Democratic voters to have any- which includes every single at-risk part of our population, including all persons of color and women.

That’s what this is all about for the opposition. Power, dominance, and money. The Republicans have no actual social agenda. They can only whip up enthusiasm among their supporters by lying about and otherwise savaging ours. It’s become a trench battle, and it threatens every day to break out into another wild fight.

In the end, is it really possible for reason to understand emotion? Because when we analyze the 2016 election, that is the task that faces us. Donald Trump is not something most people wanted, but they chose him all the same, out of desperation.

We’ve got to find a way to address the pain that caused that desperation, because it is severe in the extreme. In the midst of it all, heroin use has gotten so bad that our children are in prison and dying. And Jeff Sessions wants to go back to locking us up for weed. People are looking for a release valve, and if they do not get it, then one should fear wholeheartedly for the future of our beloved, hopeful, wonderful country.

Shortly before he was murdered, Robert Kennedy had these words to say.

“What I think is quite clear is that we can work together in the last analysis, and that is what has been going on within the United States—the division, the violence, the disenchantment with our society; the divisions, whether it’s between blacks and whites, between poor and more affluent, or between age groups or on the war in Vietnam-is that we can start to work together. We are a great country, an unselfish country, and a compassionate country.”

Those words are still true, but it’s going away. If we don’t fight for it, with all that we have got, it will be too late before much longer. Millions have lived and died, for the future of a great America. We cannot disgrace our ancestors, and we cannot let down our descendants.

This is the purpose of Millennial Democrats. This is the task that lies before us. It is largely up to us now. We have to get our peers to see the light and get active in their own fates and futures. Remember when we were kids, and we all watched the NeverEnding Story on the big screen? It is like when the Nothing came. It has eaten everything, and the last glowing seed held by the Empress is ours to blow life into. We must somehow find the courage to dare what we dream.