How thin is the ice?

By now, everyone, with the possible exception of his loyal base, knows that Trump can simply not be trusted to respond appropriately to any particular crisis, whether it be North Korea, Israel, Syria, Yemen, or something else we don’t yet know about. We just can’t predict for sure how he will react, what he will do. The problem is, any one of these crises could develop into a full blown catastrophe. And not knowing how Trump will react makes it harder to be prepared. America is on thin ice, but we don’t know how thin.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Where did it come from?

Trump’s base is reported to hover around 30 to 35% of registered Republicans. He didn’t assemble this base. He simply descended the escalator and took his place as the candidate many Republicans had been the looking for all of their political lives. What made him such a good fit? It’s almost as though the media (which Trump takes such delight in excoriating) held a giant mirror up for Republicans to see themselves in, warts and all. What did they see in that proverbial mirror? They saw Trump. No human on earth encapsulates so many of the Republican Party’s worst attributes: bigotry, mendacity, misogyny, narcissism, you name it. Trump has them all, some in the extreme. And because he is so Republican in his own right, physically, mentally, philosophically and in every other way, he will always be “their guy”, the consummate Republican. And he can count on that base to have his back in any situation. There is no more reliable GOP cohort than the Trump base.
Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Help from the Republicans

We knew all along that Trump could never be trusted to do what was best for anyone other than himself. His every utterance, from day one when he declared his candidacy, throughout the campaign and his presidency, we have “clucked and tut-tutted” at every painfully obvious small and even some monstrous “corkers” uttered with a straight face as only Trump can do. We could do this because, even though the GOP was in total control of everything, we knew that there were bound to be some Republicans intelligent enough to form a backstop against this con man. We thought we could trust the Republicans to do the right thing.
Obviously, we were wrong.

Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Third World Customs

In a typical military coup, the first thing the new dictator does is raid the treasury. In our case, it has taken the Republicans almost a year but they have finally started their raid on the U S Treasury. They are doing it in the form of a huge tax cut for the wealthiest among us; and, taking their cue from the Ronald Reagan playbook, are making no provision to pay for this tax cut. They can get away with these shenanigans because they are in complete control of everything, and there does not appear to be enough Republicans who put country ahead of party to stop them.

Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Taking the knee

Hank Moonjean (As You See It Nov.24,2017) just doesn’t get it. Hank mentions… “The idiots on the pro sports teams who, with no real regard for our history, show their ignorance and disrespect for America.” He is wrong. What the athletes are doing (for which the rest of us should be grateful) is calling attention to a situation that has bedeviled America for far too long with little or no attention, that is: the appalling condition of racial injustice that exists throughout the country. We have ignored it and tolerated, even encouraged, some of its worst examples. But, thanks to one guy named Colin Kaepernick, with a lot more intestinal fortitude than most of us possess, that situation is changing, and the country will be the better for it.

Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

We do not need a vote

The idea of a referendum on the future of modern rail is a terrible idea. In the first place, the Sentinel has published so much misinformation on the subject, it is unlikely the voting public would have any idea or understanding of exactly what that they were voting on. “Rail banking” is a shiny new term being waved around enthusiastically by trail-only advocates because it involves tearing out the tracks. (It is important that we never, ever forget what Los Angeles did in the 1950s when they tore out the streetcar tracks of a superb public rail system which blanketed the metropolitan area and even reached out to the far suburbs. They are now spending millions to try to replace parts of what they had. If they had simply abandoned the tracks and left them in place, they could now reactivate that system without spending a dime!) Trail advocates should also acknowledge that trolley cars are completely compatible with bicycle and pedestrian traffic and coexist on the same right-of-ways all over the world. Now, if the SCCRTC officially adopted trolley cars as the chosen mode of passenger rail, (rejecting, once and for all the notion of a passenger train), then the trail people could proceed with planning, design, and construction without concern for future safety or conflict with the dreaded TRAIN!

Howard F. Sosbee 1400 Weston Ridge Road Scotts Valley CA, 95066 831, 335, 8401 hfs@sosbee.com <mailto:hfs@sosbee.com>

Black lives matter

Minority athletes have shown tremendous courage by “taking the knee” at the beginning of sporting events. Right-wing pundits do what they can to denigrate both the knee action, itself, as unpatriotic flag disrespect, etc., and the various other demonstrations that have sprung up as a result of the courageous moves by Colin Kaepernick and others before him, such as Tommy Smith and Juan Carlos. We white folks should be grateful to those NFL players and others who have been joining in, calling attention to the appalling conditions of racial injustice in the United States of America.