Let’s Move On

For Heaven’s sake – why in the world should there be any discussion about the eligibility of Donald Trump to run for the Presidency of the United States?

There is something so wrong with all of our systems that would even allow a man of his background to be considered as the person to represent the United States to the world.

Let’s finita la commodia and get him out of our lives and move on.

America is better than Trump – at least we should be. 

He Lies Like a Rug

Here’s a little insight into Trump’s family history as seen in the article The Trump Family’s Immigrant Story by Natasha Frost on History.com. 

It’s interesting that Trump despises immigrants and considers them all to be crooks, criminals and despicable people when he comes directly from immigrants:

“Trump is the son, and grandson, of immigrants: German on his father’s side, and Scottish on his mother’s. None of his grandparents, and only one of his parents, was born in the United States or spoke English as their mother tongue. (His mother’s parents, from the remote Scottish Outer Hebrides, lived in a majority Gaelic-speaking community.)”

Although he claims to have come from Swedish roots, Trump’s history shows that his lineage is correctly traced to Germany. Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, immigrated from Germany in order to dodge the draft in 1885 – sound familiar? 

“He had been a sickly child, unsuited to hard labor, and feared the effects of the draft. It might have been illegal, but America didn’t care about this law-breaking—at that time, Germans were seen as highly desirable migrants—and Trump was welcomed with open arms. Less than two weeks later, he arrived in New York, where he would eventually make a small fortune.” 

Friedrich married a woman from his hometown of Kallstadt and planned to return home with the fortune he made in America, but they were barred from returning when his draft-dodging was discovered. 

Friedrich’s son, Fred Trump, originated the lie about their origins. As it was during WWII, Fred hid his German roots in order to insulate himself from a possible alienation from his Jewish real estate benefactors by claiming his family really hailed from Sweden. He married a Scottish woman named Mary Anne MacLeod, who was born to a family of 10 in the village of Tong on the Scottish Isle of Lewis and migrated to America before meeting Fred Trump. The two would go on to become parents to the infamous Donald Trump. 

The point is, Trump is exactly what he hates: an immigrant.

Kicking the Can

The present Supreme Court has managed to undermine universal confidence in the Supreme Court for the first time in American history.

It was clear from the beginning when the first thing that Trump did as President was to appoint as many members to the Supreme Court as he could get. Having stopped Obama from even appointing one member to the Supreme Court, Trump made it possible for himself to stack the Supreme Court with three questionably qualified people.

It was clear from day one that Trump expected to abuse the Presidency in a manner that could only benefit himself. He knew in advance that his criminal actions, starting with the January 6 Capitol Attack, made him an insurrectionist of the government of the United States, and that it was an attempt to destroy the democracy. He knew that this could bring a case against him to the Supreme Court.

Herbert Walker Bush can be blamed for his appointment of the despicable Clarence Thomas, but the three others: Neil Gorsuch, Brett Kavanaugh, and Amy Coney Barrett, have managed to overthrow Roe v. Wade. Despicable.

They have undermined the support and alliance on the court, and reduced the confidence of a major part of the population who no longer trust the independent judgment of the Supreme Court.

It becomes increasingly clear that a constitutional amendment is imperatively required to limit the terms of Supreme Court sitting Justices.

Supreme Court Op-Ed by Tom P. Taft

This is a letter regarding the current state of the Supreme Court recently received and well worthy of being widely read and widely distributed. Please help to do so. See below:

Less Like a “Supreme” Court and More Like a Blatantly Political Court

I grew up in a family that honored the law and revered the Supreme Court. Perhaps that is not surprising because my father was a lawyer and county commissioner, my grandfather was a lawyer and a mayor, and his father, William Howard Taft, was a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

We sat down to dinner every night together, and after discussions about the day’s events and regular ribbing from my older brother, we often discussed issues of fairness and justice. The really interesting ones did not have clear, obvious answers. 

Ultimately, my father pointed out that is why we have the Supreme Court.  I learned early on that Supreme Court justices were awarded lifetime appointments so they could be free from any political pressure and decide difficult issues based on what was fair and just and consistent with the United States Constitution.

My great grandfather spent his entire life aspiring to become a Supreme Court justice. During the Warren Harding administration he was finally offered and accepted the role to which he had so long aspired.  As Supreme Court Chief Justice, he pushed hard to elevate the court to its proper position as one the three equal branches of the Federal Government, including the construction of the current Supreme Court Building. The official history of the Supreme Court includes this statement:

Finally in 1929, Chief Justice William Howard Taft, persuaded Congress to end this arrangement and authorize the construction of a permanent home for the Court. Architect Cass Gilbert was charged by Chief Justice Taft to design “a building of dignity and importance suitable for its use as the permanent home of the Supreme Court of the United States.”

It is exactly because of this family history, and the deep respect that so many Americans have for the role of the Supreme Court, that this current court’s actions represent such a devastating, debilitating, democracy-destroying effect on our country, on our past, and tragically, on our future.

The six current conservative Supreme Court justices have shown themselves to be more like political hacks of the worst kind rather than like honored justices, because they cannot be voted out of office, an outcome to which other political hacks are subject.   

The decision the court just made to review complete Presidential immunity, even for criminal actions, is farcical. Justice delayed is justice denied. The ultimate obvious outcome has to be that Presidents do NOT have unlimited immunity. If the Court came back and said that, in fact, Trump could order Seal Team Six to assassinate political rivals, then Biden could preempt Trump and take out his rivals right before the election.

 The court has intentionally, painfully, and blatantly ignored the health of our democracy on two levels with this decision.  First, they took the case at all after the compelling, well-written decision by the DC Court of Appeals, and then they hit us in the face again by slow walking their decision-making process.  The Bush v. Goredecision happened in days because an election hung in the balance.  Clearly, once again, an election hangs in the balance, and they are actively putting their thumbs – big heavy thumbs – on the scale of justice by moving so slowly!

As well-known and highly respected conservative jurist, Michael Luttig, stated, “There was no reason in the world for the Supreme Court to take this case.”  End of story – but the beginning of the next travesty for this farcical excuse of a Supreme Court.

After spinning in his grave, my great-grandfather has taken to silent screams at the court’s constant and unjust abuse of its judicial power. 

By Tom P. Taft, February 29, 2024

Uptown, Downtown, All Around Town

The new Tolling Program is one of the most ill-conceived ideas created by a bunch of people running this city further and further into the ground. For instance, on the East Side, most of the medical offices and hospitals are in the 60s up to the 80s. If a person living below 60th needs to go to a doctor or hospital, and if you need to go by taxi, car, or Uber, you’re going to have to pay to get back down. Anytime a person goes to the doctor or the dentist on the Upper East Side, or makes a hospital visit for any reason (to the Lenox Hill Hospital, Weill Cornell, Sloan Kettering, Mount Sinai – just to name a few) you’re going to have to pay a tax! And this is in addition to your medical bills.

This is as stupid as a solution as having everyone downtown evacuate and move uptown, or having everyone evacuate uptown and move downtown! 

If, God forbid, your work involves crossing 60th street during your commute and you need a car for that purpose, you have to pay coming and going, and up and down. Be ready to pay an extra few thousand dollars every year just for going uptown and downtown.

As it has already been said, another great attribute of this brilliant system would be that it would push more traffic to the FDR, increasing the pollution and consequent asthma and health dangers to the further detriment of already underprivileged communities. All of this is brilliantly accomplished by higher taxation.

Instead of this ridiculous congestion tax, they should force every new building that’s built to build garage space. There should be garage space built into every new building in New York, owned by the city, where off-street parking would be at the same cost as on-street parking is now. Since Bloomberg was the Mayor of New York, the only people who have benefited from these tall buildings have been the building contractors. They can build taller and taller buildings on smaller and smaller spaces, obliterating light and view within the city, but without creating any parking space for the decongestion of traffic. 

This genius scheme is designed to make living in New York City even more expensive and even more intolerable than it already has become for anybody who works or lives here. Instead of bringing the city back to life, instead of lowering the rents, instead of filling the empty stores, this scheme will close more doors, create more empty spaces, and shut the city down evermore.

Clamshell Generation

The computer and the telephone have alienated an entire generation. It is impossible to look at America today without wondering what has caused this tremendous division in the country. And what is the division? 

It seems as though a generation of people have grown up without having any real connection to the society in which they live. Their attachment is to their computers, their telephones, and to an ever-narrowing landscape world. They observe but they don’t participate. That seems to be a large part of the younger generation. Another part of the population are the people who are hostile, angry, and don’t seem to really understand what is happening in the world. They don’t seem to understand the relationship between aiding the Ukraine to continue the war against Putin – war that has kept Putin from invading NATO countries, and which so far has kept America out of World War III. 

Ever since the end of the Vietnam War, Americans have not been involved in any public service. There has been no draft. It may be that the only thing that can save this country is to reinstitute the draft. People can choose to serve in the military – the Army, Navy, or Air Force – or they can choose to serve in some form of Peace Corps abroad. 

Years ago, Helen Parkhurst, who is the founder of the Dalton School, one of the most advanced, progressive schools in the Nation, was totally committed to the idea that everyone as they graduate high school should serve for 2 years in some form of public service before going to college. Today, this idea seems more necessary than ever. 

Public service gives people a sense of commitment and exposure to the needs of other people and other societies, a camaraderie, and ultimately helps solve the problem of racial inequality and the commitment to racial integration. When people all work for a common cause, they recognize the commonality of their interests and their humanity, and they recognize the common needs. It also helps them to find a way to do something constructive towards solving social problems. 

In other countries in the world today, everybody serves. America is one of the very few countries that does not have a commitment to public service. It seems as though this may be a partial cause of some of the divisions in the country.

A draft gives a person many different possibilities to serve in whatever way they choose. The important thing is to be involved, and to be part of the social action that shapes and defines the direction of a country. It makes you a participant. The point is that this is a generation that sits by and watches the world go by.

Perhaps the social problem today and the division in this society is related to the lack of connection that public service provides. Everyone is living in their own little shell.

Beware! The Tiger Is at the Gate

Here we are, in exactly the same situation that the United States was in just before World War II. Roosevelt was trying to keep the war “over there” by trying to support Britain and France in the fight against Hitler. Today it is even worse. As dangerous as that was, we were faced with an external enemy. Today we are fighting another war. Today we are a nation divided against ourselves, trying to fight an enemy from within. It is inconceivable to believe that that enemy is the former President of the United States.

It is inconceivable that the United States today is on the brink of losing the democracy to a former President, running again, whose single, solitary aim is the destruction of that very democracy. In World War II, Hitler was about to attack England and the United States, having already taken over France, and Roosevelt persisted in trying to keep the war over there. It wasn’t until Hitler took over Europe, and the simultaneous attack by Japan at Pearl Harbor, that finally forced America to go to war. The circumstances today seem very similar with Putin hoping that by destroying Ukraine, and if we do nothing immediately to support Ukraine, that it will give him the freedom to move into the NATO countries, which would immediately involve the United States. 

The Congress of the United States must immediately make the commitment to support Ukraine. A peaceful future for the United States is dependent on weakening Putin by supporting the Ukrainians and their efforts to destroy him. What is wrong with America? That it can allow politics to divide the nation in such a way as to lead to it’s own destruction. What is wrong with America? Are we allowing political differences to destroy our democracy?

Today we are facing a double-threat – from the destruction within our country from Trump, and the destruction from Putin emanating from the outside of the country. Beware! The tigers are at the gate. 

Right is Right

It’s impossible to find anything Biden has done that has been destructive for this country, and it is especially important to look at what positive things Biden has done and what he will do if he is supported. The stock market is up, the job market is up, and he delivered the Coronavirus Relief Fund to help people through a period of unemployment during the pandemic. He has again raised the level of respect for the people in our communities who serve in the armed forces and in the police forces around the country: those people who keep our country safe in the world and safe at home. Most of you are probably not aware of the fact that he has also delivered the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program that forgives the financial burden of loan repayment after a period of time for public service workers in our nation, including doctors, nurses, teachers, law enforcement professionals, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and military personnel. Unlike Trump, Biden is actually championing and supporting the people of our nation who hold this country together, who treat those who are sick, and who educate our children. 

Biden is the only man at this moment who can save the democracy of the United States of America. The fact that he is eighty two years old and has a speech-impediment is not an indication of his mental acuity. The fact that he is not a circus barker and doesn’t know how to yell and scream to get people into the circus – that is not a reason not to support Biden. Anyone who is as busy as he is, with as much on their plate as he has, is bound, every so often, to sound forgetful. How many of you set out to walk from one room to another and when you get there you can’t remember why you went to that room? And none of you have as much on your plate as does Biden.

Nobody knows more about governing America than Biden. He has spent his entire life working for the people of the United States. He has served for the United States Government for fifty four years, and before his Presidency he was a member of the Senate, he ran for President, and he served as Vice President. This is in comparison to Trump, who has never in his life served anyone anywhere for anything – only himself. And the only thing Trump knows about the Government of the United States is how to best serve himself and how to fill his own pocket. Biden has always been known for his integrity and decency, while Trump has been renowned for his lies and deception, abuse of women, and narcissism. Even if you don’t agree with all of Biden’s policies, you at least have to agree that it is better for the United States to be represented by a decent, honest man who has only the best interest of the country at heart, as compared to a crooked, dishonest man whose only desire is to destroy the democracy and to serve his own personal interests. You can disagree with Biden once he’s elected, but you won’t be able to disagree with or change Trump. With Biden, there is hope for the democracy of this country, but with Trump, there is only disillusion and despair. 

Straighten Up and Fly Right

Why in the world is America wasting so much time and money on Donald Trump? The man who raised the national debt of the United States by $7.8 trillion while in office? God alone only knows what he paid himself and his family out of that debt. When he lived in New York, everybody knew that he was a liar, a cheat, a misogynist, and a despicable human being. Everybody who ever worked for him was robbed by him. A girl who was raped by him was told if she got pregnant she should get an abortion. This is a man whom everybody knew and has known forever, who has absolutely no redeeming feature as a human being. What is the matter with the people of this country? Who wants to be represented by such a reprehensible person? Is this the way Americans want the world to see us?

This has nothing to do with Republican or Democrat – right or left – this has to do with a dictator who wants to take over the country, reduce the taxes on the rich, and take away from the middle-class and the lower-class every benefit: health, education, reconstruction, and international alliances that help keep the country safe and secure. He will increase taxes on the middle and lower classes. He will deprive women of their right. He will deprive people of their vote. He would open the doorway for Putin to take over the United States. He would give up our alliances with the other nations of the world that keep us safe, and instead would enable Putin to accomplish his goal of destroying the United States. 

Do not forget: America went to war to fight World War II against Hitler. Hitler had been elected to office by the German people. Does America want to repeat history? To give up our democracy to a vile, despicable, self-avowed dictator? Is that what you, the people of America, want for your future?