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Recital.

Whereas contemplation of the lawful removal of the 45th President of the United States is a serious matter; and,

Whereas the President of the United States, Donald Trump, has displayed public behavior that can reasonably be characterized as profane, untruthful, misogynistic, and a demonstrated top-level fomenter of many of the base instincts of man; and,

Whereas the President has consistently displayed conduct, both internationally and within US borders, that is unbecoming of the top-level executive and de facto moral representative of the citizens of the United States of America; and,

Whereas the President has with malice and purpose attempted to incite foreign states with disrespect, schoolyard taunts, slander, and in the case of the DPRK, public threats of total annihilation, nuclear or otherwise; and,

Whereas the President has unilateral control over the release of nuclear war shots while, in this capacity, cultivated a mode of operation that is antithetical to US norms and traditions, and is unburdened by knowledge of the hard earned historical precedents relating to our nuclear weapons complex and decades of successful strategy pertaining to nuclear conflict and their enduring effects;

Therefore, be it resolved that the 45th President of the United States should be lawfully removed the from office by the US Congress under the terms of Section 4 of the 25th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Note: This is only one of a great many possible declarations calling for the removal of President Trump. Focus your thoughts. Try writing and publishing your own.

 

Twenty-fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Section 1. In case of the removal of the President from office or of his death or resignation, the Vice President shall become President.

Section 2. Whenever there is a vacancy in the office of the Vice President, the President shall nominate a Vice President who shall take office upon confirmation by a majority vote of both Houses of Congress.

Section 3. Whenever the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that he is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, and until he transmits to them a written declaration to the contrary, such powers and duties shall be discharged by the Vice President as Acting President.

Section 4. Whenever the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive departments or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall immediately assume the powers and duties of the office as Acting President.

Thereafter, when the President transmits to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives his written declaration that no inability exists, he shall resume the powers and duties of his office unless the Vice President and a majority of either the principal officers of the executive department or of such other body as Congress may by law provide, transmit within four days to the President pro tempore of the Senate and the Speaker of the House of Representatives their written declaration that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office. Thereupon Congress shall decide the issue, assembling within forty-eight hours for that purpose if not in session. If the Congress, within twenty-one days after receipt of the latter written declaration, or, if Congress is not in session, within twenty-one days after Congress is required to assemble, determines by two-thirds vote of both Houses that the President is unable to discharge the powers and duties of his office, the Vice President shall continue to discharge the same as Acting President; otherwise, the President shall resume the powers and duties of his office.  Source: Wikipedia.

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I have to wonder what kind of internal monologue runs through the heads of Trump supporters these days. Here are some fictional quotes based on what I’ve heard-

Virginia, 52 y, Kearney, NE: “I know he has some problems, but he is shaking up Washington. Give him time to catch his stride.”

Ben, 73 y, Henderson, NV:  “Don’t care what he does long as he puts that dishonest Hill’ry in jail where she belongs.”

Arlene, 68 y, Webster City, IA: “I wish’d Ted Cruz was president … ”

Sheree, 31 y, Livonia, MI: ” No real choice but to vote for Trump.”

Lenny, 47, Russellville, AL: ” … shee-yit, cain’t believe Dale Junior is gonna retire …”

Boyce, 77 y, Rock Hill, SC: ” Billionaire oughta be able ta run th’ country. Heck-fire, O-bama did it, sorta.”

Cassie, 48 y, Sheboygan, WI: “… can’t get over my husband votin’ for that disgusting SOB…”

Allen, 56 y, Fargo, ND: ” Trump said he’s gonna put us back to work. Gotta keep drillin’. Oil is what keeps this country runnin’.”

Emma, 39 y, Abilene, TX: “Pastor said to vote for Trump. We’re prayin’ he’ll pull through these rough patches of fake news.”

You really can’t tell what Trump people are now thinking about this real-estate-billionaire-as-president debacle being broadcast 24/7. Our better angels might have whispered a soothing assurance that there would be widespread wailing and parades of contrition by now. But no, it’s not happening. In my experience the great masses of Trump believers have either clammed up or express no misgivings. A very strange picture against the backdrop of blatant bad behavior on a daily basis.

Seems obvious as hell that an autocratic hand-waving “Chairman of the Board” approach to executive governance is not going to work. Obvious to everyone but the Trump fans. Why would folks think that a business management template could be applied to the government? Government as we know it is not a profit oriented endeavor. It is a not-for-profit enterprise serving the many needs of society. The word ‘democracy’ has been used to describe the American system, although oligarchy, plutocracy, corporatist, and the like have gain favor in recent years.

A business organization is not a democratic structure. It is autocratic by nature. There is no freedom of speech in business. Due process is sketchy. No bill of rights in regard to your career path. It is very Darwinian and anti-democratic, yet Americans have adapted to the many small dictatorships that govern up our working lives.

It is a curious thing to see flag-waving conservative evangelicals embracing capitalism and American corporatism when it is so antithetical to the common though childish narrative of American virtues of egalitarianism and freedom.

The notion that governments can and should be operated as a businesslike organization is a utopian fantasy. It is preached by wealthy neoliberals who seek to absorb land and natural resources (i.e., control) which are now in the public domain. It’s reminiscent of the Oklahoma land rush, except that few of us are invited. An example of the neoliberal players would be the Koch brothers, among others, who are steeped in some variant of the Austrian school of economics mixed with John Birch Society ‘nuance’. The goal of these devotees is to deconstruct the present government to a greatly diminished level that will then guide the privatization of the public domain, meaning public lands, public schools, and the mineral wealth of the continent. Remember the words of Grover Norquist: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”  Norquist got a lot of publicity from this statement. Unfortunately it shows an incredible ignorance of history.

“Government exists to protect us from each other. Where government has gone beyond its limits is in deciding to protect us from ourselves.”  Ronald Reagan

I think Reagan was right in his comment about protecting us from each other. However, I think that the next sentence is dead wrong. As a precocious species we continue to accelerate the depletion of resources and the injection of waste onto our small planet. We are tipping the balance of the biosphere in measureable ways. Mankind is lurching forward in a way that is not sustainable and will eventually end in social collapse as resource scarcity triggers international conflict.

If we were limited to spears and stone axes, large scale conflict might be recoverable. But something terrible lurks in the background. A handful of nations, several with serious disputes, have a large number of nuclear weapons waiting 24/7 for instructions. No nuclear armed country facing certain doom by invasion or destruction will perish with its nuclear arsenal sitting in storage. It is imperative that the knowledge and responsibility for restraint and wise stewardship of our nuclear heritage be passed with fidelity down through the generations to come. We really do need to protect us from ourselves.

 

President 45 has chosen a cabinet, with senate confirmation, that outwardly seems chosen specifically to deconstruct the large scale structure of the federal government. This has come out in the open by admission from the likes of Steve Bannon, but serious dialog about the consequences of this has only just started.

If you step back a bit and think about what role the federal government has had in modern US culture, you might realize that the federal governmental superstructure has provided a framework and a shelter for many things citizens and businesses have come to rely on.

Some science oriented services the federal government has provided-

  • Funds for industrial expansion in 2 world wars
  • DARPA, which funds for the development of advanced military hardware, including aviation, communications, orbital platforms, electronics, robotics, computer technology, and more. All of this has spillover benefits to the nation at large.
  • A military establishment that countless young men and women joined that helped them build a career for life after enlistment
  • The GI bill post WWII credited with aiding the formation of the American middle class
  • The FAA regulates the operation of a large scale civilian aviation system, including organizing the airways, aviation safety, air traffic control
  • NIST, which provides for common weights and measures as well as the definition and standardization of many other units of measure for science and industry
  • CDC, which monitors and aids in the identification and containment of diseases
  • NOAA, which provides a large array of satellites and computer capacity for weather forecasting
  • EPA, that agency much maligned by pollution-generating industry, is charged with oversight of surface waters of all kinds as well as the purity of the air we breath.
  • The NIH which serves as an effective national resource for the advancement of medicine in research and in practice
  • The NSF has for many years funded basic scientific research, and in doing so provided many generations of scientists and engineers for industry and academics
  • NTSB is charged with investigating transportation accidents and promoting transportation safety
  • you get the picture …

I am not entirely sure what the slogan “Make America Great Again” really means. It is a brilliant piece of propaganda in the sense that it stirs the emotions of voters, but cannot be pinned down to any one meaning. The image of greatness is in the eye of the beholder.

When I think of this greatness business, my mind naturally goes to the source of our vast science and engineering prowess. The US evolved a unique and effective system of research and development.  The American university/government R&D machine has over many years provided breakthroughs in technology, but also it provides a constant supply of valuable scientific and engineering talent for any and all who need it.

Another benefit of our scientific establishment is the treasure trove of knowledge it leaves behind for posterity. Working in an R&D heavy manufacturing environment, I have at my finger tips the largest collection of international scientific references in the world. This is the CAS registry at the Chemical Abstracts Service and it is in fact national treasure.

I use this resource almost daily to uncover known technology and substances dating back to the late 19th century. A great resource to have because in business, you can’t afford to reinvent the wheel. And a lot of wheels have already been invented. Highly detailed information can be retrieved to provide the knowhow to solve problems encountered in industrial R&D today. Information that is in the public domain. Even better, because of the practice of peer-review, the information usually can be considered highly reliable.

Our government/university R&D complex is the goose that laid the golden egg. It is part of the engine of ingenuity that drives our economy.

Industry benefits from tremendously from a constant supply of talented engineering and scientific talent graduation from the best university research establishment in the world. It is this way in large part because of financial input from federal government funding agencies. Yes, there are monies available from private organizations. But I don’t think it compares in magnitude and breadth to funding from DoE, NSF, NIH, etc.

When I see that the present crew of republican elected officials and their appointees gunning for the large scale teardown of government agencies and reductions in force, I am naturally worried about the future of our education and R&D apparatus. I have trouble believing that the present congressional majority and the White House have the knowledge and intellectual bandwidth to comprehend the consequences of their actions.

This whole deconstruction of the federal government in favor of state control has the smell of a return to confederacy. Ask yourself how a confederate states of America would function when challenged by China or Russia militarily. How would the disunity by strong state control of resources respond in the case of an incremental land grab like the Russian takeover of Crimea. What if China takes over Taiwan and threatens hegemony of the Pacific?

The present political regime in DC threatens to do great harm to a civilization that used to be the envy of the world. Opportunity, wide open spaces, modernity were an attribute of a productive, unified nation. Do a majority of the citizens want what amounts to the libertarian dream of personal responsibility in the form of isolated bubbles of humanity? Does every aspect of our lives have to be a potential profit center for someone? Competition thrives with individual choice. But civilization requires cooperation. I vote for civilization.

 

 

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