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Friday, August 11, 2017

Post not.

Ask not what Big Green has been doing for you this week. Ask what you can do for Big Green. And yes, I am cribbing from John F. Kennedy - that's how we roll around here. It's all JFK, all the time.

Interestingly, president Kennedy did have a role in Big Green's history, albeit a minor one. Back in the day when we were fighting the cat for the scraps that she had just wrestled away from some mice, we would record in our childhood bedrooms, our mother's living room, some spare room - wherever we could fit a cassette machine and some battered instruments. (Those instruments!) Matt and I would bang around the way we still do now, hammer together a song, then release it on cassette. And when I say "release", I mean something like tossing it out into the middle of the road and hoping someone chances upon it. (You know - essentially like posting it on the Internet ... without the Internet part.)

Hey, Abe ... Does this song remind you of the war?Well, many of those cassette collections were made up of Christmas songs - not carols, but songs Matt wrote on the theme of Christmas. (He typically recorded these collections himself to retain the element of surprise.) The one Matt put together in 1989 was entitled "PT 109" and the sleeve featured a slightly modified version of the heroic cartoon-like cover of Kennedy's war memoir by the same name. The song PT 109 was actually a country number ripping on George H.W. Bush, who had just become president and who had a heroic WWII story about how he had rescued a future president of the United States - himself - from a plane crash in the Pacific. The lyric was written in the posthumous voice of one of Bush's crewmates, lamenting that he hadn't served under another commander:

Had I served on PT 109  
I would have had the good fortune to be
on patrol with lieutenant JFK
and I might just have survived to this day
'Cause sometimes not only the hero survives to tell the tale

Anyway, that's Kennedy's contribution to Big Green. Not unique, of course - our songs feature many presidents, including the current one. Occasionally they show up in the titles as well. Fun fact: one of our cassette collections was entitled "Songs that remind Lincoln of the war". Extra points if you can guess which president was on the cover of that sucker.

Unfit.

The president this week took a break from his 3-week vacation to issue an existential threat against a sovereign nation. If the intention was to intimidate the target country, well, it didn't work so well - the DPRK responded with a thinly veiled threat to launch missiles at Guam, home to 160,000 people and two major U.S. airbases. That prompted another nuclear threat from Trump. Then he threatened to invade Venezuela. This may turn out to be the longest summer vacation in history.

In some respects, this feels very familiar. The Defense Intelligence Agency leaking an intel assessment about North Korea being able to miniaturize nuclear weapons to a warhead-ready size - that sounds like the Iraq war run-up to me. Clearly someone likes the idea of another catastrophic conflict on the Korean peninsula. The cheap, sloppy trash-talking, though, is different. The only close to comparable incidents I can think of from other presidencies is, perhaps, W. Bush calling Kim Jong Il a "pygmy". No, this was full-throated nuclear sabre-rattling of a type that only pathetic posers like Seb Gorka could admire.

In charge of nuclear weapons.So now we're in a nuclear pissing-match, by conscious choice of the president. That is unacceptable, though quite predictable. During the campaign last year he lamented that the nuclear arsenal was a kind of white elephant and wondered about its utility is we never used it. People voted that guy into office, and now - six months in - he's threatening people with fire and fury. Trump is what many had surmised before: a man unfit for service in any capacity, let alone the Presidency of the United States. But an unfit man cannot be president - it is far too potentially destructive a job to be held by someone with severe mental problems.

Based on his comments this week, it's clear that Trump must be removed from office. The constitution provides for this outside of the impeachment process - it requires the Vice President and a majority of the heads of federal agencies to certify that the president is unfit. I know some of my progressive friends are growning at the thought of a Pence presidency - so am I - but the problem with Trump supersedes any political considerations. They need to invoke the 25th Amendment and save the country and possibly the world. I'd sooner spend the next three years fighting the Pence Administration than stand with my arms folded as millions more Asians are kicked into a mass grave by this murderous dunce in the White House.

Let's face it: Trump won the presidency by virtue of our constitution. We need to encourage others to utilize that same constitution to protect the nation and remove President Trump from office.

luv u,

jp