Beyond Food Rights, to a Fight for Survival

stalin-ukrainefamine

The work of a Putin predecessor: Josef Stalin encouraged a famine that killed millions, to force collectivized farming in the Ukraine in 1932-33.

I’ve been trying to figure out why this election has affected me so deeply. It’s had me feeling at once angry, despondent, frustrated, unable to write and, most of all, with a huge sense of loss.

I try to tell myself, it’s just a new politician. I’ve seen many politicians come and go,—some of whom I supported and some of whom I despised—and yet most of them didn’t have a direct impact on my day-to-day life.

Who knows, maybe this will be the same thing. Leave it alone, let it be, one side of my brain tells me. We do need a healthy dose of reform and shaking up in many areas, including food. Just keep doing what you’ve been doing, writing about farmers who are being pushed around by our oligarchic food system, and hope that possibly the system becomes more tolerant of our smallest producers of good quality food.

While I try to go about my business, the other side of my brain is in a panic. I know, I should keep an open mind until Donald Trump takes office. I’ve tried, believe me. I’ve tried to find signs that he will do things to help real people, for example, help small farms escape corruption-induced regulation designed to help Big Food corporations that make the biggest campaign contributions.

But wherever I look, I see a monster, who will make the corruption of the last 40 years look like penny ante. The billionaires Trump has brought in to run the government are expert at one thing—doing deals that will enrich a few, at the expense of the many. Trump’s refusal to separate himself meaningfully from his worldwide business interests nearly guarantees conflicts of interest, in which it’s difficult to imagine Trump or his people putting America’s interests before his own private financial interests. Some of it is very clear and direct, like the flocking of foreign dignitaries to Trump’s Washington, DC, hotel—much of it at the Trump family’s urging.

Newsweek provides an excellent primer on some of the more complex and thorny conflicts of interest around the world, expressing fears that Trump’s refusal to make the separation from his businesses potentially subjects him to bribery and blackmail; it is very informative reading.

I can’t help but conclude that America’s 240-year run as a democratic beacon to the world is drawing to a close. That going forward, we’ll have experiences much more like nearly every other once-great country the world over has had during our 240 years of democratic governance. Russia ruled by czars and communist tyrants. Germany ruled by a maniacal genocidal ruler.  Italy  and Spain ruled by fascist dictators. France, Greece, Denmark, Poland, Austria, Hungary and Holland ruled for years by conquering Germans. Much of South America ruled by military juntas. Japan ruled by dynasties and eventually a military dictatorship that dragged the U.S. and Asia into World War II. China ruled by dynasties and tough communist tyrants. South Africa ruled by a system of racial apartheid. Venezuela, Cuba, Burma, Turkey…..the list goes on and on, and it’s only an off-the-top-of-the-head listing.

Few of these tyrannical situations ended peacefully and easily, and without terrible recriminations. Indeed, some haven’t resolved themselves at all. But when they end, they invariably end as a result of war or massive corruption or civil conflict or coups. Why should we be different?

Those thoughts keep me mired in the muck. But what truly saddens me, even shames me, is the clear sense that a good chunk of my countrymen haven’t the least sense of trepidation about what lies ahead. Indeed, many seem to lust for a strongman, based on polls showing substantial support for Vladimir Putin and Russia—much like new army recruits often lust for the first battles of warfare….until death and maiming and destruction bring them to their senses, and the survivors return home mentally dazed and disturbed. Some of the political stuff I see bandied about on Facebook by people who have been involved in working on behalf of food rights is truly frightening in its ignorance and hatefulness.

Just as in all these other countries I listed, my countrymen are certain that our tyrant will be different from those chewed up and spit out by the turbulence of history. Why? I suppose because we’ve had 240 years of stable democratic rule (with the exception of the Civil War of 1861-65, whose terrible destruction helped wring the naivete out of those times).

All I can conclude is that so many years of stability have made many Americans so politically fat and happy that they’ve lost their sense of appreciation and gratitude, and their sense of danger. It makes them oblivious to the unfortunate reality that once you lose human rights to a tyrant, it’s very very difficult to get them back. In fact, sometimes you don’t get them back, as some of the countries I listed earlier have discovered.

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from studying history, it is that it’s foolhardy to sit back and hope for the best, to think that the tyrant won’t try to accomplish much of what he promised. It’s crazy to think that I can continue to focus on exposing problems with food rights, even while other civil liberties and human rights are being abridged and demeaned, as they almost certainly will be. That’s what strongmen and tyrants inevitably do—they imagine more and more enemies at every turn, and try to shut them down via harsher and harsher methods.

When Trump says he admires the leadership qualities of Russia’s strongman, Vladimir Putin, Trump can only be referring to his tyrannical ways—his murder of journalists, his murder of political opponents, his murder of Syrians, his intimidation of the Ukraine—because Putin has no other leadership accomplishments, except perhaps leading his country to the brink of bankruptcy, while enriching himself. He descends directly from a long line of strongmen, most notably Josef Stalin; one of whose major accomplishments came in the food arena—starving millions of Ukrainian farmers and peasants in the early 1930s, in the process of forcing collectivized farming on his nation’s most productive farming areas.

Going forward in the immediate future, it’s essential to keep the heat and spotlight on Trump’s coming crackdown. It’s important for journalists to investigate Trump-related corruption in advance of him likely seeking expanded libel laws. It’s up to cities and religious institutions and other organizations to declare themselves “sanctuaries” for immigrants, in advance of widespread raids and deportations. It’s up to women to organize together with doctors to ensure continuation of choice over their bodies, even if this human right is declared illegal.

Absent a clear message from lots of Americans that they won’t roll over, you can rest assured the new administration will seek to do all that Trump promised to do, and then some. Indeed, we are likely one terrorist incident removed from a state of emergency declared by the commander in chief that will initiate us to the abridging of basic rights, like those affecting search and seizure, the prohibition against self incrimination, and free speech.

If there is anything encouraging in this situation, it is that some organizations are standing up and being counted. A number of religious organizations are committing to offer sanctuary to immigrants facing separation from their families. I plan to ask several religious organizations I am involved with to consider doing the same.

A number of major technology corporations, including IBM and Microsoft, have said they won’t participate in building a directory of Muslim Americans.

Finally, I’m not sure where this blog is headed. There have been some good discussions here over the last few weeks, while I’ve been dealing with my writer’s block. Yet a number of readers certainly won’t care for my new direction, and I respect that. One thing is certain: Politics has never in my lifetime, with the possible exception of the conflict over the war in Vietnam, been as front and center as it has become in our lives. Difficult times lie ahead.

36 comments to Beyond Food Rights, to a Fight for Survival

  • Mark Mcafee Mark Mcafee

    Amen brother!!!!

    I feel exactly the same.

    • Mary McGonigle-Martin

      Having a giggle over thinking David, Mark and I view Trump exactly the same. I have never felt fear after a US presidential election. Happy Holidays to the two of you.

      • mark mcafee mark mcafee

        Dear Mary,

        Huge hugs to you and your family….I have transitioned away from this rightwing blog madness and instead I am focusing on adding more RAWMI LISTED farmers here and in the EU. We are quite possibly adding a pediatrician from Sweden to our Board Ranks at RAWMI. Lots of great things going on.

        Merry Christmas….this year my prayers go to those in Ellepo Syria and my deepest hopes for sanity in the Whitehouse.

        One can hope.

        Join the discussion

  • Ken Conrad Ken Conrad

    It is the same old never-ending story David… a story that’s inevitably destined to be repeated due to man’s relentless obsession with control. All political ideologies are equally guilty of this obsession, which inevitably leads to their fall from grace.

    These words by C S Lewis certainly ring true… “If tribulation is a necessary element in the redemption we must anticipate that it will never cease till God sees the world to be either redeemed or no further redeemable. A Christian cannot, therefore, believe any of those who promise that if only some reform in our economic, political, or hygienic system were made, a heaven on earth would follow. This might seem to have a discouraging effect on the social worker, but it is not found in practice to discourage him. On the contrary, a strong sense of our common miseries, simply as men, is at least as good a spur to the removal of all the miseries we can, as any of those wild hopes which tempt men to seek their realisation by breaking the moral law and prove such dust and ashes when they are realised. If applied to individual life, the doctrine that an imagined heaven on earth as necessary for vigorous attempts to remove present evil, would at once reveal its absurdity. Hungry men seek food and sick men healing none the less because they know that after the meal or the cure the ordinary ups and downs of life still await them.”

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      What you are suggesting, Ken, is that there is what we might call a “life cycle” to political systems, as there are to products. But there is definitely something to that.

    • brad

      All of this presupposes that governments make solutions, when they actually cause problems.

      Please feel free to name one thing the govt has improved. Let’s forget war on drugs – worse drug problem and govt runs drugs. War on cancer – they lost that one and push and mandate treatments that will kill your child while stopping you from saving your kids. War on poverty – Hmmm THAT one is a total fail – 48 million in poverty and 80some percent very close? Total failure on the part of that war and govt programs “fighting” it. War on terrorism – but import them, don’t let anyone check if there’s a gun under that Burka – guys have worn Burkas and killed people in airports (S Africa) because it is offensive to check them. Racist or some shyte. Then send our children to other nations to kill innocents because destroying families and friends through the murder of others “makes peace” somehow… Magic i’m thinking….

  • Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

    Mr. Gumpert, I will read your post here word-for-word probably within a few days. Where are these United States, pre November 8th, 2016? I will use three quick examples: 1. Ronald Reagan. I believed the portrait of Ronald Reagan produced in the main stream media. My attention was on other matters. Then I read Peggy Noonan’s little book “What I saw at the revolution…” The MSM’s portrait and Noonan’s portrait were opposites. Having since read much more widely on this matter, I can see the consistent, utter, deceit practiced intentionally by the MSM. 2. The Verona Papers. 3. The Black Book of Communism. 4. Read Michael J. Totten’s dispatches from Cuba. These have been confirmed to me by an escapee from that hell. The MSM paints a false picture about Cuba to this moment. 5. Philip Hamburger’s “Is Administrative Law Lawful” 6. Patrick Henry’s March 23, 1775 speech (all 800 or so words) 7.The last paragraphs (on the nature of law and regulation) in the Federalist No. 62 8.The willingness, as it is reported, of the (very respected and mainstream, no?) American Heart Association to take $1.7 million dollars in 1954, and for that sum to simply lie about traditional foods to help the makers of Crisco sell more Crisco. How shall I describe these two parties? Which did the more evil deed? Crisco? American Heart Association? 9. The American Dental Association’s posture with respect to Mark Manheart, D.D.S. of Omaha Nebraska is hard to describe as anything other than a moral horror.

    At the moment, I read Trump and his wealthy pals very differently than you read them.

    I must husband my time. My apology in advance for the poor compositional quality of this comment.

    Mr. J. Ingvar Odegaard

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      I haven’t read Peggy Noonan’s book, but I do regularly read her WSJ columns, and she is definitely part of the MSM. Not sure what you mean about the “consistent, utter deceit” practiced by MSM regarding Reagan. I always got the feeling the MSM liked Reagan–certainly when he died, there was a 3 or 4-day celebration of his life. I noticed, because I wasn’t a huge Reagan fan.

    • brad

      i know the Castros are not nice people and have caused death, torture, and extreme familial disruption for those they don’t trust.
      On the other hand i have a friend who personally travelled through Cuba multiple times in the 80s and 90s when it was totally illegal. Went to Mexico or something first….
      She found that the people there did not hate Castro, and for the most part their life was pretty good and they were pretty happy. She wandered in an old, rented car but went where SHE chose – not like N Korea where you only do what you’re allowed, when they say, and with escorts ready to jail and shoot you. Not like that at all.

      i’m curious as to who wrote the book on the hell and what their slant was – focus upon only the housecleaning of Castro and further dissent stomping?

      We have torture in the US. We kill far more people than Castros could have ever dreamed of – all so that some zionist cronies of the bankers can take over the world – you DO KNOW that this is semi-openly written about by the zionists running the entire world’s economic system, right? And while i realize that unlike O-bomb-ya – Castro never got a Nobel Peace Prize – he also did not go ahead and break every lie about Guantanamo, stopping wars, etc – he went on to bomb seven countries as a Nobel Peace Prize winner, while keeping GMOrons in deeper control of our food and ag systems with at least 34 biotech appointees to govt – going abroad and threatening Spain with economic damage if they didn’t allow unrestricted GMO planting, etc.

      So we have our own HUGE faults. Different, but no less large than Cuba’s misguided actions. Let’s face it – government sucks.

  • I can agree with much of what you write but having a fear of this man Trump and ignoring the massive corruption of the Clintons and the Democrats is foolhardy and shows a lack of research or refusal to put facts over ideology. Since Trump is not part of the establishment may prove to be better than the Clintons only time will tell. Let’s keep the pressure on Trump to do what is good for all rather than trash him before he has proven is lack of integrity. This does not mean I approve of Donald Trump just that I have total distrust of the Clintons.

  • The most important thing we can all do is to maintain respect for each other, though we may be on opposite sides of these issues. There are good people on both sides. One should always be prepared to learn, change, grow and modify one’s views.

    David, if you are right about just a fraction of what you say about the President-Elect, he will be impeached before you can say, “Crooked Hillary.” The Constitution and the American system work. Maybe you could lighten up a little? You’ll sleep better. And we need you on the food rights front!

    In case anyone wonders, my wife Elly and I are doing cat and kitten rescue work. Low stress, the critters are neutral on Mr. Trump, and we enjoy many little victories. An antidote to the news??

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Ron, I agree with you about maintaining respect for each other, difficult as it might be at times because of the intensity of emotion around all this. I personally hope I am completely wrong about what my instincts are telling me, and that I can publicly eat humble pie. Really difficult for me to lighten up, maybe because I have leftover PTSD associated with destruction caused by Stalin and Hitler (which affected my family directly), and I see similar trends today. So when you and others bring up the impeachment possibility, which I think is real, I imagine that Trump will have his retired generals (already being appointed to senior positions) and the military/intelligence communities lined up so that he can refuse any such order. The Constitution and America’s institutions have worked well for many years, but they have been seriously undermined in recent years by all the polarization we’ve seen. Tactics that wouldn’t have been tolerated in the past are now simply accepted. I think it all started big time when presidents began fighting wars (Korea, Vietnam, Iraq 1 and 2, Afghanistan) without a single declaration of war by Congress, as mandated by the Constitution. And has continued through to last spring, when the Senate refused to do its Constitutional duty to vote on a President’s Supreme Court nominee. The Constitution and the American system require a certain amount of good will on all sides to work, and there is very little of that remaining today.

  • Gary Ogden

    David: Go to carlbernstein.com and read his article, “The CIA and the Media” before you commit to belief as true what they publish and broadcast. Vastly more money is at stake now than there was then, so keeping the sheep safely in the pasture, coddled and ignorant, is a much greater imperative. The Democrat and Republican parties are equally corrupt and unrepresentative; the Republicans offering death by howitzer, and the Democrats death by a thousand cuts. Trump does arouse trepidation even in some of us who voted for him (in my case rather than writing in Bernie), but, for me, he was the lesser of two evils, and hopefully, Dr. Price, if confirmed, can drain the swamp at DHHS. This is, to me, the most frightening agency. They own state and county health departments through generous funding with our tax dollars; they promote both good medicine and quackery-if it makes money for industry, they are only too happy to inflict it on an unsuspecting public. They do have an adult vaccination schedule, and they are slowly but surely making it mandatory, beginning with healthcare workers and anyone who has a child in day care. Who will be next? There is a bill in the California legislature (SB 18), brought to us by the oligarchy, which would ultimately take away parental rights, and give them to the state. Death by a thousand cuts. Just as March against Monsanto joined the fight against forced vaccination, so should the food freedom movement. It is all the same fight. We must be skeptical of the motives of both politicians and media executives. Very few of us would be willing to fall on our sword if it meant loss of livelihood or privileges or friendships, so we mustn’t be too harsh in our judgement of them, but we must hold them accountable, we must do our own research rather than rely on the echo chamber.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Gary, good article by Carl Bernstein about how the CIA has used the media. It’s a complicated subject, as he indicates, because both CIA and the media are in the business of collecting information. As a reporter, you want as much “inside” info as possible, so there’s inevitable “trading” that goes on between government officials and media. That’s part of the business. Some of it isn’t part of the business, especially when media sign and get paid as spooks.
      http://www.carlbernstein.com/magazine_cia_and_media.php

      There is one very important statement early in the Bernstein article, that “the Agency has cut back sharply on the use of reporters since 1973 primarily as a result of pressure from the media…” Indeed, the CIA has been criticized for relying ever more on electronic eavesdropping and ever less on real people sources. Safe to say the MSM is much less involved in intelligence gathering now than it was 40 years ago.

  • Sue Diederich

    My position is that if these two were the best this country could come up with, we were doomed long before November 8. Everyone should go rent a copy of “Wag the Dog”, and then sit back and start sharpening their pitchforks.

    Really, the only difference between an A** and an Elephant is the size of the pile they leave behind, but too many cowards vote the two parties. Of course, that being said, there really was no viable third-party candidate either, so we all went out and did what we always do – and that is to vote the lesser of two evils – no matter WHICH criminal we voted for.

    I hope you are wrong, but either way We The People could not help but to have lost.

    Besides… Despite a few republican gains in the houses of Congress, the rest of government (right down to the local level) remains the same. So – once again it’s SSDD all the way.

    There are still 440 bodies (each territory has a representative in the House) to plow through, plus his own VP, and he will largely reign the same way Obama did – through executive orders. Since the People believe they apply at – and every – other than merely and strictly the administrative level (which in this case creates a reality “on the ground”), we will have to fight or defend as usual.

  • David, it seems as you and many of you followers, don’t want to even give the guy a chance. Isn’t this country still a “Republic” and not a democracy, which means, “in Law”, in a Republic, everyone is innocent, until PROVEN guilty? This country is already on the brink of Dictatorship, which Trump has had nothing to do with. But the world’s economy is also on the brink, and you watch, when the “crash” happens, “they” will undoubtably blame it on him. Hillary is, and always has been , with all her entourage, a globalist, who has already been destroying ALL food rights. Hillary is a Monsanto “pusher”, a ” pharmaceutical advocate”, etc etc…….AND how bout that “Clinton Foundation”……yeah let’s attack Trump, before he even takes office.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      James, I’ll take issue with your prediction that when the financial crash comes, Trump will take the fall. You should watch the movie, “The Big Short”. It’s about the 2008 financial collapse created by the corruption associated with subprime mortgages. I don’t think I’m taking away from the ending when I say that at the conclusion, it points out that only one banker of hundreds involved actually went to jail. The question is posed: Who will take the fall, then, for this immense corruption? “They’ll blame the immigrants and the poor people,” says one of the movie’s characters.
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vgqG3ITMv1Q

      Though the movie was completed more than a year ago, it was quite prescient. We, as a nation, have officially placed the blame on immigrants and poor people by electing as President a man who based much of his campaign on scapegoating those people for our nation’s difficulties in rebounding from that financial collapse. If you haven’t seen “The Big Short”, I highly recommend it. I guarantee you, Trump won’t take the hit on any economic failings or corruption in his administration. He walks away from all his bankrupt properties and fraudulent enterprises with lots of money in his own pocket, leaving others to pick up the pieces.

      • Gary Ogden

        David: Right on all counts. We must also place the blame for worsening inequality and continued theft by the parasitic financial industry over the past eight years squarely on the shoulders of our spineless but likable president and our thoroughly corrupt Congress.

  • Gary Ogden

    David: Also read, in the December Harper’s, a fine piece called “The New Red Scare.” The “Putin hack” story is an absolutely classic example of “threat inflation,” an art perfected during the ’50’s to goose Pentagon budgets for weapons R&D and purchases. Trump will be fine with this result. He and Putin have a lot of similarities, but neither is a fool, and both are patriots. The NSA sucks up all email traffic, and are very good at figuring out where they go and all the intermediate steps along the way. They surely have all of Hillary’s “missing” emails. The CIA hasn’t this capacity, but the NSA does. The CIA are trained, professional liars. It is what they do for a living. The NSA knows perfectly well whether the DNC and Podesta leaks were hacks or leaks. The leaker might be a person with access to NSA documents (as Edward Snowden did) who was outraged at the DNC working behind the scenes with mainstream journalist and others to ensure that Hillary got the nomination, or just outraged at the subterfuge in general, or it could have been someone in the DNC itself. All it would’ve taken would have been a thumb drive, pocketed and carried out of the building. The newest ones hold a lot of data.The progressive media is clearly in panic mode to spread this story based upon zero evidence. We can only wait and see what the Trump presidency will be like. I expect it will be both better and worse than we wish, as all presidencies are. But the “Putin hack” story is a very dangerous escalation of the media’s caricature of Trump and of the people who voted for him.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Putin is certainly a patriot. I’m not sure about Trump, simply because there’s no record of him having done anything seriously patriotic in his entire life (unless you count his exploitation of the tax laws to avoid paying any income taxes as patriotic).

      It’s interesting that you give the NSA and CIA so much credit for monitoring and tracking all our electronic information. I would argue that the U.S. has been totally outmaneuvered by the Russians in the cyber arena. The Russians were repeatedly hacking one of our major political parties (and likely both, just not distributing the info from one of them), and our intelligence apparatus seemed powerless to either stop it or to respond to it. We’ve been fighting a cyber war, and getting our asses kicked, I’m afraid.

      • Gary Ogden

        David: I think you misunderstand what I was trying to say. The main activity the CIA pursues is covert ops. This has long been true; they haven’t the capacity to monitor cyberspace. But the NSA is very good at it, certainly better than the Russians. The point I was trying to make is that the Putin hack story is what they call a psy-op, intended to distract the public from what Podesta’s and the DNC emails actually showed us-a down and dirty theft of the nomination for the widely disrespected (and for good reason) Clinton, Inc. Virtually all the media, with the exception of FOX, shilled for Hillary for many months. Bernie clearly spoke to traditional Democrats, especially the young, and he certainly had a better chance to beat Trump than she did, but Clinton, Inc. , and their see-no-evil enablers in the media, has a sense of entitlement; this year was “her turn,” and let the public be damned. One of the few positive results of this election is that both the Bush and Clinton crime families are retired from the national stage, although the Bushes have a fourth-generation scion (counting from Prescott) coming up in Texas.
        The story of the emails absolutely screams “leak.” And the idea that Putin could have any influence on the American voter is both ludicrous and insulting. I can’t believe you give this “story” credence.

  • Guest

    All this over-the-top angst and despair is unjustified or, at least, it is too late, much too late. All it accomplishes now is to showcase what has been wrong with our nation’s political class, the mainstream media and the liberal elites who convinced themselves they had everything all sewed up, ‘my way of the highway’ had become ingrained, it was a given. The Elites simply got to where they were believing their own bullshit…and that will do you in every time.

    But the silent majority finally stood up, said ‘enough!’, and took their country back. Not much different from the various examples of Arab Spring unrest and the Brexit. Now who fears change, huh? We knew it all along as during the past 8 years “Hope and change, yes we can!” was quietly frittered away as ‘too risky, never mind’. Will Trump shake things up? Yep, that’s what he campaigned to do and he appears to be just the man to do it. And he’s appointing, gasp!, a cabinet of beltway outsiders (exactly what we’ve all been screaming for for years) that will clean house among a lot of oppressive, wasteful agencies, just as he promised in the campaign. Dead wood and little tin pot dictators will be purged. Will it be easy and fun? No, it will be a white knuckle ride and a lot of it will suck. Odds are it will be worth it in the end.

    I’m not a fan Kirstin Powers, but her post-mortem was spot on. In fact, for a long time I’ve felt exactly what she describes as the smarmy attitude and bigotry of the Elites, the Hillary supporters…and I’m not even one of the 46% of the nation Hillary & the Democrat Party labels the “deplorables”. That’s where you all went wrong, and you’re still doin’ it, David. The silent majority is out there, they resent being mistreated, they have real priorities with representative government, infrastructure, jobs, the economy, that come before the petty regimentation, the queering & pussifying of America, and who’s to say they are all wrong and you, alone, are right? Isn’t that what precipitated this boondoggle in the first place?

    http://www.usatoday.com/story/opinion/2016/11/10/cracker-barrel-americans-elect-trump-cultural-worldview-kirsten-powers/93593088/

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      I’m okay with a housecleaning, new leadership, draining the swamp, all that. Where I have a big problem is running into the arms of the Russians as part of the “change.” That’s not change I can believe in. That can only lead to tyranny, which the silent majority is completely naive about (and no reason they should know, as they’ve never experienced it, seen it up close).

      • Guest

        What’s the big panic over the Russians all of a sudden, why are they the boogieman and not ISIS or Iran or China or North Korea? OK, they flex their muscle against neighboring nations and they (like everyone else) indulge in cyber warfare. Obama and Hillary were openly shunned by the Russians, not respected at all. Kerry is laughed at by them. Please explain, David, how maintaining a dialogue with the Russians will “lead to tyranny”. Haven’t you ever heard the wisdom of ‘keep your friends close and your enemies closer’? For all we know Trump and Tillerson might play Putin like a cheap violin. Ha, “tyranny”, ha, ha, ha!

        • Gary Ogden

          Guest: How right you are. This is simply the latest version of the Cold War, the purpose of which was to enrich weapons manufacturers. Trump will be fine with this (weapons procurement, not the fake Cold War). We remain immensely powerful, with military presence in 190 countries, while the Soviet Union is long gone, and a weaker Russia, while still having vast resources is losing both population and life expectancy, and they have been seriously economically weakened by cheap oil. Yes, Putin is a thug, but for for every journalist and dissident he has killed, Obama has killed several civilians with drones. Who is deserving of the moral high ground? The enmity between our two nations is nothing but a creation of politicians, and immensely stupid. Putin is right to be wary of NATO breathing down his neck, and our meddling in Ukraine would be the equivalent of Russia meddling in Mexico. The Soviets did horrid things in Eastern Europe, but this could not happen now. Instead, we are seeing a rise in fascist parties and governments in many parts of Europe. This is worrisome. Interesting that during the Cold War of the ’50’s and ’60’s both the Soviets and we overestimated the enemy’s capabilities (many of our nukes in silos were actually nonfunctional due to problems with the guidance systems). So, yes, keep friends close and enemies closer. I think we should all calm down, and ignore the hand-wringing and bleating of the media. Although the Congress ceded to the President their Constitutionally-deliniated war-making power on September 14, 2001, Trump is going to find out how Washington works, and you can bet he will be maddeningly frustrated. Will he go off the deep end? Not likely. But four years hence that comb-over will no longer be blond.

  • Jay

    I’m so excited for Trump! What a change. I’m proud to be a farmer and a Trump supporter in Wisconsin. You definitely do not speak for the food advocates here in Wisconsin or the upper Midwest.

  • Shana Milkie

    David, this is your blog and you should write about whatever you want to! I certainly appreciate the analysis you provide on a wide variety of topics. Politics has everything to do with food rights, so please keep connecting the dots to help the rest of us make connections, too.

  • brad

    Let me apologize for the length of this post, but i think it relevant and welcome feedback.

    First let me state i made the only sane vote – 3rd party. Hillary would have been worse than Trump. Most of her supporters – and maybe some here, never examined her and just went with an automatic “she is democrat so a better person” garbage without examining things.
    They never saw her talk to the bankers in Brazil where she stated that she WOULD get rid of ALL our borders. Not sane. She also stated there that corporations would run the country. As Trump cozies up to business more and more – you see the pressures to steal the election decreasing – because he is leaning in a way that KEEPS the psychopathic rich parasites in charge.

    Most people never saw the video where Hillary stated flat out, that when she was elected she WOULD invade Iran. Not the Diane Sawyer interview where it was predicated upon specific actions by Iran – she was just going to invade Iran – a country which has not invaded another country in over 270 years – unlike the USA and Israel. Israel? Why bring that up? Maybe because of the video in which she addresses the Knesset – israeli govt – and tells them that when elected THEY would be her #1 concern. Not the USA – israel.

    Maybe some of you ignored her CONSTANT lying – she was not named after the Everest climber – that happened 2 yrs AFTER she was born. She wasn’t at ground zero on 9/11, and Chelsea was not jogging there. More of her lies. She lied about Benghazi. As Sec of State – ONLY SHE could have assigned the ambassador to that lowest level of security facility or the one above that. She DID assign him there (because he was investigating US political pedophilia/muslim connections) and that facility was not safe enough for trained law enforcement who was forced into at least 3rd level secure installations instead of the one where the ambassador was killed.

    Her emails prove that she knew 24 hrs before the attack that TERRORISTS – not people upset by a youtube – were gathering for the attack AND DID NOTHING TO STOP IT OR PROTECT THE MEN THERE! There was time, equipment, and willpower to save them and she stopped that from happening – effectively MURDERING the ambassador and his protection detail. Bitch.

    She used what she knew was an illegal server and kept disallowed national security information on that server – which the FBI believes was hacked by maybe 5 foreign nations. The LAW she broke in putting state secrets on that illegal server and removing them from their appropriate storage states she is ineligible to run for ANY office in the USA – meaning she can’t legally run for dogcatcher. She does not need to have INTENT to have broken the law – just as you don’t need to have intent to be responsible for a traffic citation or accident. It happened, you were involved/at fault – you are liable by law. Same here – for up to 20 yrs.

    She ADMITTTED that she broke the law – stating that “now i know better, it will never happen again” and dang right. So regardless of intent SHE BROKE THE LAW and we had an admitted INCOMPETENT criminal running for prez….

    So – comfort yourselves that she never got in.

    T-Rump – the guy i think of as a dinosaur/ass, king of like T-Rex…Great points on immigration and vax caution Nuke power? Insane. Can you come up with a more toxic way to BOIL WATER? Nuke plants are so expensive that they take bonds – when we pay for the development of this crap – why don’t we taxpayers get the profits instead of the tiny group of people at the top of the energy grid pyramid? We paid for it. If they want profits – let THEM pay for the entire project – IF we approve that insanity. Guaranteed cancer deaths just by mining the isotopes to power it and STILL NO WAY TO STORE THE WASTES! Can you say an idiotic, moronic industry? Where do people think the radioactive dust from the midwest is coming from that is the highest cause of lung cancer in the US right now? It is not the natural soil type – it is put down as “soil amendments” with toxic industrial waste including radioactive wastes from nuke power plants.

    So – EVERY problem of significance on this planet is caused by rich people running corporations. Every one of them which can be remediated. Poverty? – rich parasites. Hunger, starvation? Rich parasites. Stress and violence? Rich parasites. Wars? Rich parasites. EVERY ECOLOGICAL PROBLEM AND DISASTER ON THE PLANET? Rich parasites.

    In fact – if you look at the result of a world being run by rich people – just since the industrial revolution, a relatively short time span – you see that EVERY system on this planet keeping us alive is now dying. At an accelerating rate, with increasing levels of damage. All caused by corporations and corp/govt because no other scale of production and damage is capable of planetary damages. You and i can’t do that on our own.

    So we need to oppose T-Rump and his billionaire buddies because they have that unthinking and inaccurate paradigm that they are better people, and make better decisions than other people just because they control more money. Newsflash – most of us here are way smarter than they are – i know D Gumpert is, i know i am, and from the posts i read here i think basically everyone here is except for the occasional GMOron shills…..You don’t get IQ points, or a deposit in your Wisdom Account by having $$$. You lose brainpower from my experience in building for millionaires…. (use money in lieu of brains rather often)

    Let’s get the fight on. Hillary was TOTALLY in the control of the corporate wall st world, and trump thinks that corporations do good things because he has done some good things despite the damages and bad things he has done. So he thinks he is justified in supporting people whose interest is NOT in OUR interests, because he unconsciously equates MONEY with good, intelligence, the RIGHT to impose their choices on others, etc.

  • David, I’m no huge fan of Trump’s, though I did support him after my choice was out. I supported him for one reason only…SCOTUS. He may, or may not appoint a constitutionalist as he says but I am certain Clinton would not have.

    You make some assumptions and statements that are only gut feelings based, and you also said a thing or two that I find illogical. For example, you bemoan his appointment of a couple of billionares to run departments. The government is huge, the biggest “company” in the world, with a lot of moving pieces. What would you have him appoint? The guy that owns the local shoe store?

    There are other points I disagree with you about, but mainly I would say this simple thing:

    Give him a chance. He isn’t even in office yet. You have him convicted before there is even a crime committed. That is completely ignoring rights.

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      Guess we have no choice but to give Trump a chance. As for the appointment of billionaires, guess I don’t buy in to idea that because these individuals have amassed huge fortunes, they are qualified to run major government agencies. We tend to ridicule politicians and bureaucrats, but believe it or not, there are skill sets necessary to do particular jobs. You want an energy expert at Exxon. But should an energy expert be running America’s diplomatic function? Same with education, justice, etc. When it comes to these major cabinet appointments, they don’t always work out that way, of course, because there is a political component (rewards, beliefs), but it would be reassuring in some of these as to competencies, especially since the prez himself has no government experience.

      • Guest

        There are plenty enough politicians David. An entire Congress full of them. Not to mention all of the lesser bureaucrats in each and every one of those agencies you are so fearful might be changed. Funny thing, just 2 months ago we all were crying out for change, now that it’s possibly coming lots of people are beside themselves with trepidation.

        Anyway, it’s not as if large successful business organizations are without their internal politics, or political gamesmanship with the outside world — coping with other large businesses, governments of all sorts, etc. Perhaps you’ve never sat in on any level of executive meeting in business. It’s 100% politics 100% of the time. All give and take, never all take or all give. Maybe that’s what has you spooked David, the lavish flow of government give-aways may be lessened or interrupted, the touchy-feely stuff may be pushed aside to get a few substantive things accomplished, for a change?

        I’ve had the dubious honor of witnessing first hand the politics of business and the business of politics in local government, academia and large business. By far the most selfish, ruthless and petty politics are practiced in academia. Next worst is government. Business, by comparison, is refreshingly civilized, logical and effective. Thank you, David, for reminding me of all this with your worry and angst. The more I think things through the more optimistic I become, the more I suspect the silent majority made the right decision in taking their country back from the Liberal Elites.

      • David, no, the fact they have amassed huge fortunes doesn’t mean they are qualified to run major government agencies…but it doesn’t automatically mean they aren’t qualified either.

        As for needing politicians that know their way around the halls of Congress…well, we have that now. How’s it working ot for America? This country was founded on the belief that it should be run by a citizen-legislature, not a cadre of professional politicians who consider themselves a ruling class.

        I think…hope…wish…Trump is an improvement, but I know it would be difficult to do much worse.

  • John O\'Donnell

    I agree we will have to see if Trump will deliver on his promises. I do see a couple issues with your arguments in all due respect. The first is Trump’s stance on immigration which was pivotal in why he won. Most Americans to their credit realize that multiculturalism is a recipe for the destruction of their national identity. Americans also realized that most of the recent immigrants are not refugees from war-torn areas. “Postmodernists deliberately embraced mass immigration without assimilation – specifically suppressing assimilation, in fact – in order to break down adherence to a common culture and to subvert prevailing family systems. A population without a common language, common assumptions, or indeed any means of generating a genuine polity is easier to manipulate and turn into the common clay from which a new transnational order can be molded.”
    February 2011, James Bennett, writes in New Criterion.
    Also Trump claimed that the time has come to stop meddling in foreign elections, the overthrow of foreign governments, and our interventionist military aggressions.
    In your concern about Russia, my understanding is that Russia has largely thrown the Communists out. As Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and others have documented, the communists were responsible for most atrocities that Russia was known for. Putin enjoys an unbelievably high rating by citizens, Russians get 85% of their food from small farms, my understanding is that their water is not fluoridated, they are banning GMO’s and forced vaccinations, Christians don’t risk their lives today in Russia; and if you read the real news, Russia is trying to resist the West’s invasion of Syria.

    We are not out of the woods yet. Trump is Illuminati, and he has his masters. The big question is: where do Trump’s loyalties really lie? Money? Israel? Freemasonry? or restoring the American dream?

    • David Gumpert David Gumpert

      John, just to be clear, “communism” was just a glamorous label put on a completely centralized, totally tyrannical system of the Soviet Union. Putin was a high-ranking member of the KGB (equivalent to our CIA) in the Soviet Union. When the Soviet Union disintegrated in the late 1980s, and the various states of the Soviet Union went their own way, Russia was the inheritor of the old system. The discredited communism label was dropped, but centralized oligarchic rule was not. Old KGB hand Putin has violated Russia’s two-term presidency limit to essentially declare himself ruler for life. He is now using the threat of military force to bring the old states of the Soviet Union back into line, and re-live the old glory days. Take off the rose-colored glasses, John–Rusian/the Soviet Union is a completely repressive state, and the only reason Putin gets such high approval ratings is that he’s the only show in town….ordinary Russians know better than to not rate him highly.

      • Gordon S Watson

        “centralized oligarchic rule” … I like that one = as a synonym and a change of pace, every once in a while, so “totalitarianism” doesn’t get overused. The brief comment today on Stephen Lendman’s website, is directly on -point : Obama Signs Measure Opposing Speech and Media Freedoms. That’s your boy, Mr Gumpert …. very quietly cinching the tentacles of the police state, while the country was distracted by the dog-and-pony circus. Where’s your stalwart ? = the New York Times ? and its entourage, lately, on the issue of Freedom of the Press?

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