Category Archives: Trail Mixers Say

Destination Cuba

Blue Bronc

Dr. Zira: What will he find out there, doctor?
Dr. Zaius: His destiny.
— Planet of the Apes

There are days when the world wants to collapse around itself and yet, it holds in place or rises a little to allow at fast glimpse of a better world.  Obama, and others in unison, forced a little rise of the heavy and often dark world the other day.

The expected response from the usual loud mouths failed to appear.  What has happened is that this is turning in to a significant event, without the screaming and rending of cloth I was awaiting.  One day of sputtering and spittle and now nothing.

Of course, once the blowhards return to the floor there will be speeches of dread and  doom, but that is all.  Will they refuse the ambassador vote?  Most likely, but eventually it will happen, as will the funds to rebuild the embassy.

cubancarThere is one huge cone of silence over the announced and almost announced presidential candidates.  They have nothing to jump on the soap box about.  Cuba has not been a threat to anyone in this hemisphere since the end of the Cuban Missile Crises of 1962.   That was a long time ago, most of those involved are dying off or already compost.  There is little to say that would do anything to rile the extremists.

I expect the rest of the presumptive candidates will find their voice once the polls are complete and interpreted to their desires.  The best known statement is the December 16, 2014, statement by Jeb-Boy Bush, that he wants the embargo strengthened.

Sometime next month there will be a bill in the hopper providing monies for those who abandoned property in Cuba when they fled to the U.S.  That will buy off the Rubios of Little Cuba and they will be quiet.

The final result will be an increase in Cuban marijuana, Maria to many, showing up in the stores of Colorado and all others with legal mj.  That will help the agriculture industry of the island.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Jeb Bush: “The Empire Strikes Back”

Nash 2/5

Jeb Bush is now the establishment Republican Presidential candidate for 2016.

If you are a Wall Street banker, a corporate CEO, or any other member of the 1%, you know that the Bush family dynasty represents your interests, exclusively, like a country club or a gated community.

Did someone say Tea Party? Forget about those revolting peasants … they don’t have any MONEY. Jeb may not be able to buy the Presidency, but he can probably buy the primaries.

Quite frankly, the establishment GOP is more than a little tired of the Tea Party crowd. Yes, they need their votes but they don’t need their goofy candidates.

The establishment “empire” is finally striking back, to regain control of the Republican Party.

Speaking of country clubs, here’s Darth Vader playing golf.


— Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor

“Strange, how in all those apocalyptic movies,

when their society breaks down into lawlessness and anarchy, Canada is always the haven of safety, the place people want to escape to.” 
 Jenifer Mohammed, Resurrecting Cybele

This week. This month. This year.  Hell the last fifteen years have been horrible, or rather horrible if you are a Progressive person.  A lot of Dems no longer can apply that honorable description to themselves.

The release of the torture report revives the disaster that is the Bush/Cheney/Ashcroft reign.  So many deaths have come from those criminals that we do not even begin to have an accurate count.  The Republicans are crying crocodile tears that Americans might be in danger now.  What a pile of stinking BS that is.  Due to the actions of the above named criminals, Americans have been in the sights of terrorists since the inauguration of the chief fool.

NYT: Report Portrays a Broken C.I.A. Devoted to a Failed Approach

Civil rights are being shredded in the name of “anti-terrorism”.  Fear of everything is the word of the day, promoted all day and all night by the Republicans.  People who should know better are believers of that.  These people do not deserve the right to vote.  The people who care, and are the ones losing the right to vote, should be the American voters.

Right now the Republicans stand for police and non-police killing black children and men.  They stand for torture.  They stand for everything that is un-American I can think of, yet they are being elected to positions of ruling the United States and every political office there is.

Why?
– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Recommended Reading: “Fields of Fire” by James Webb

Nash 2.5

Widely considered to be the BEST novel to come out of the Vietnam War…

“Fields of Fire” by James Webb

Publisher’s Description:
They each had their reasons for being a soldier.

fieldscoverThey each had their illusions. Goodrich came from Harvard. Snake got the tattoo — Death Before Dishonor — before he got the uniform. And Hodges was haunted by the ghosts of family heroes.

They were three young men from different worlds plunged into a white-hot, murderous realm of jungle warfare as it was fought by one Marine platoon in the An Hoa Basin, 1969. They had no way of knowing what awaited them. Nothing could have prepared them for the madness to come. And in the heat and horror of battle they took on new identities, took on each other, and were each reborn in fields of fire….

Fields of Fire is James Webb’s classic, searing novel of the Vietnam War, a novel of poetic power, razor-sharp observation, and agonizing human truths seen through the prism of nonstop combat. Weaving together a cast of vivid characters, Fields of Fire captures the journey of unformed men through a man-made hell — until each man finds his fate.

*****

fieldscover2Most highly rated Reader Comment on Amazon:

A lot has been said about style, etc. that I agree with & won’t repeat. Suffice to say James Webb was a platoon commander in Delta Co./1st Battalion/5th Marines: I was a grunt (said with pride) in C/1/5. When I first opened this book back in late ’70s and saw the map of the An Hoa basin – the “Arizona territory”, Go Noi (No-go) Island, Liberty Bridge, the Phu Locs – the hairs on my neck stiffened, and then I let out an “Alllright!!” (scared a few bookstore patrons, nbd).

When you’re reading this you are walking down the same trails, setting up ambushes in the same spots, taking fire from the same tree-lines that Lt. Webb and this young (then)PFC walked & fought from. Hell, it was like goin’ home for a visit!

I had the chance to meet James Webb during the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial and thank him for writing this personally. He still had the look in the eyes: quiet, deadly calm, with steel-trap analytical processes going on upstairs. At his swearing-in ceremony for Secretary of the Navy (he remembered this grunt from two chance meetings & sent me an invitation!), as soon as he was “official”, he stopped the show, called up some of the men who had served with him back in An Hoa, and gave them the medals and commendations he had recommended so many years before but had never been given to them. Outstanding!

Jim has the courage of his convictions that he later resigned rather than acquiesce to a polically-motivated evisceration of the Naval service he was entrusted with. He exemplifies the Marine officer – I know of only one other, a Lieutenant in C co, that I had as much respect for, and sadly he didn’t make it out alive. He’s the real deal: this old grunt would assault the fire-and-brimstone-beaches of hell if James Webb was commanding!

*****

You can read more and/or order this book by clicking on the Amazon link on the top right of the Trailmix website or click Fields of Fire (Bluejacket Books)
for the book page.  If you order the book this way, Trailmix will get a small fee, which will help cover some of the costs of operating and updating the website.

(Craig doesn’t like to ask people for support, but posting this contribution and making this marketing appeal was entirely my idea.)

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor

Roanoke (VA) — Our view, The unvarnished Jim Webb: “Webb is often categorized as a centrist. That’s not true. Webb simply does not fit neatly into the conventional, two-dimensional left-to-right universe. To understand where Webb is coming from, you have to think in three dimensions — which will be his problem with party activists (and some journalists, as well).”

I Like To Have A Martini

Blue Bronc
Two at the very most.
After three I am under the table,
after four I am under the host.
— Dorothy Parker

How do we survive this turbulent period? Obviously many are supporting breweries, wineries and distilleries. In Colorado we can be sure they know the local pot shop and keep a supply of Boones Farm Apple in the cellar.

But, suppose loyal Democrats want to do more. At this time, those wishing for the old politicians to act are probably needing a palliative. Except for O’Malley, the current Democratic bench would be 70 years old or older if elected in 2016 and sworn in in January, 2017. Geriatric is a description that is more than about age.

Will HRC run? At this point I do not care. I want to see the rest of the crowd. A beauty pageant is what we used to call them, but that is old fashioned. Is this important? Yes. It is my era, the same era that HRC, Warren, Biden, Webb are from. I am from the 1950’s. I am from the 1960’s. I am from the 1970’s. I am from the 1980’s. This is what raises concern in my thoughts.

silver-age-congress-1The voters who matter, the voters needed to fill the polls and be volunteers in 2016, will mostly be in their 70’s or 60’s or 20’s. Those old enough for Social Security are not who we need to convince. They will vote D, as they have much of their lives. We need those in their 20’s to volunteer and vote.

This last week, actually today, I made a comment about 1978 to a co-worker. Carter was warring against the use of energy and we were still okay in Iran with the Shah. My co-worker made a comment that is critical to 2016: “I wasn’t even born then.” That is critical to understanding what kind of problem we have. He is all for experience that comes with age. But, when you start promoting and running a grandmother for president, you need to understand his concerns.

The Republicans have been knocked up side the head enough to understand their problems, and they have very serious problems. But, none severe enough to prevent finding a candidate a decade younger than the presumptive Democratic candidates. That ten to fifteen years difference can be important, especially if there is any sign of aging. Missed words, skipped words, misuse of words, vague statements with wrong words and you can forget winning this one. Granny, show me the Lindy Hop, please.

The Dems in their 50’s are who I would like to see.  Hopefully, a few will start peeking around the corner.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor.

We Have Met the Enemy and He is We

PatD
Are the powerful, the greedy and the power hungry who promote things that destroy our air, our water, our food and our rights oblivious to the results and effect on themselves if their promotions succeed? And aren’t we too to some extent complicit and compliantly looking the other way?

Where has our collective survival instinct gone?

Pogo-We-have-met-800wiWhere is our concern for our children and their children? When someone is drowning, don’t we still jump without hesitation into the surging water to save them? Throw our self between the oncoming truck and the helpless tyke on the trike? Share our last crumb with the starving doggy? Why then are we and they hiding our heads even deeper into the polluted sand when it comes to an ultimate disintegration of life as we once knew it?

It is a puzzlement.

“Resolve then, that on this very ground, with small flags waving and tinny blasts on tiny trumpets, we shall meet the enemy, and not only may he be ours, he may be us.” — Walt Kelly

PatD is a Trail Mix Contributor

Impeach Obama?

Nash 2.5

Will the GOP-controlled House of Representatives Impeach Barak Obama?

AP: “Some on the right said executive action on immigration could even be grounds for impeachment.”

“Impeachment would be a consideration, yes sir.” — Rep. Joe Barton (R-TX)

At this point, no one knows, but it’s a good time to review the procedure, as described in the Constitution, and modified by subsequent legislation and by custom.

Note: “impeachment” by the House of Representatives is just an indictment. “Conviction” by the Senate is needed to remove the President from office.

impeachment_ticketLegal Procedure for Impeachment of the President of the United States.

(1) House prepares “articles of impeachment” (a list of offenses) and votes.  Simple majority needed to impeach.

(2) Several House members are appointed as “managers” (prosecutors) who present the case for impeachment to the Senate.

(3) The Trial in the Senate consists of presentation of evidence, cross examinations, etc.   The procedure is presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court (Roberts).

(4) 2/3 majority of Senate is needed to convict.

Two Presidents have been Impeached:  Andrew Johnson (1868) and Bill Clinton (1998).  Neither was convicted.

What do Trailmixers think?

  • Will the GOP-controlled House Impeach?
  • If so, will the Senate Convict?  (The GOP would need Democratic votes to get a 2/3 majority.)

– Nash 2.5 is a Trail Mix Contributor. Read More by this author.
How to Become a Contributor

“We Must Leave This Terrifying Place Tomorrow

and go searching for sunshine.”
— F. Scott Fitzgerald.

Blue Bronc
This last election was partly a confidence vote on our professor and his tenure, graded on a pass fail, was not on the pass side. We need a leader who is out front, engaging the world, charming all, and willing to take on the dragons that confront our way of life.

Depending on your age you will have memories of certain strong presidents along with memories of other leaders. My mother has fond memories of FDR and JFK. Mine are JFK and LBJ, that is until the Vietnam war became a war. For all their flaws, these were power presidents.

The next batch of presidents will be what Gen X, Gen Y or Millennials have as American leaders. The flaws are immense and debilitating.

Nixon, Ford, Carter (nice guy with the power of a mouse fart), Reagan, Bush I, Clinton, Bush II and Obama. None of them had initials like FDR or TR. A couple had immense power, but it was used in ways that did not make life better for Americans.

fdrchairWhat I want my leader, my president to be is an FDR who takes on the corporate powers; an FDR to make the social network of America strong and helpful; a JFK to spark youth and desire to achieve; an LBJ to put the Congress back into running America instead of making it a weak clumping of neo-tribal units.

Where do I find these leaders? Those all achieved their levels in spite of and because of, backroom deals, power hungry backers and the vagaries of elections. That means in this modern, and very open world, another leader can emerge from the morass that is the current swamp of politics.

– Blue Bronc is a Trail Mix Contributor

Christie Misses the Memo

Jace
My wife and I work in a local school district. In the past few years no issue has received more attention than that of ‘bullying’.

Whether in the classroom, in the hallways, or on the school bus, our district like so many others across the nation has adopted a zero tolerance approach to bullying. All members of the staff from administrators and teachers to custodians and school bus drivers receive training in recognizing and intervening in suspected cases of bullying. We have even adopted a method for students to report bullying anonymously via a tip line.

One of the most revealing things about this program is the support it receives from the public. It cuts across party lines, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic distinctions. People support it because in general people detest bullying. Not just in our small community but across the nation.

So it is somewhat surprising to hear politicos and pundits who should know better attempt to down play the outbursts and bravado of a high profile governor and possible presidential candidate as some type of straight-talking, hard-hitting pragmatism that will be very appealing to voters. It is nothing of the kind.

Christie-1-485x323Make no mistake about it, Chris Christie is a bully! A classic school yard bully who just happens to hold elected office and wear nice suits.  He exhibits all the given traits of a bully. Perceived superiority as a result of his size and his office, a sense of entitlement, and a willingness to intimidate those whom he deems as unworthy or who dare to disagree with him, especially teachers, nurses, or people who are down and out through no fault of their own. Like all bullies he is capable of finding the smallest kid on the play ground to harass, and he invariably resorts to personal attacks on his targets.

Like all good bullies, Christie acts the way he does in order to compensate for some perceived inadequacies or short comings — usually related to his policies or his governing style, or his honesty, perhaps even his weight, all of which have come under increasing scrutiny as of late and managed to remove a good deal of the luster from this once rising star.

Being a bully does not automatically disqualify one from the presidency. What should disqualify Christie is the fact that he is so tone deaf to an issue on which Americans have made themselves very clear.

Chris Christie missed the memo on bullying in society. How many more memos has he missed.

The presidency may well be ‘a bully pulpit.’ It is not however meant to be a pulpit for bullies.

– Jace is a Trail Mix Contributor

The Vital Vote

PatD
Vote! Whatever the flavor. Just do it, America.  Exercise that most precious right or lose it. Get off the couch, off that fence and make a decision. What are you waiting for?

Depending on messianic candidates mesmerizing the electorate to show-up every four years is a poor way to run a government. That’s  democracy lite. We need muscle, we need the beef and heft of a working congress.  And that takes an effort every two years on our part.   What , short of crises, can motivate us?  Any ideas? Contests? Raffles?  

How about something like the New York rally this Sunday by the non-partisan organization Why Tuesday? — “using the occasion to kick off its campaign, called LET’S FIX IT, to raise awareness about low voter turnout in the USA. Why Tuesday? is also offering a prize of $64,000 — in cash — to the person who comes closest to predicting the national voter turnout for the 2014 midterm election.”   How about plain ole patriotism? Or for the fun of it ROCK THE VOTE!

– PatD is a Trail Mix Contributor