Saturday, December 3, 2022

trump finally says it openly: let's kill the Constitution

I  haven't had a lot to say about current events for these last two or three months, but trump's call today to kill our Constitution so he can be set up as America's First Tyrant is so extraordinary--extraordinary and evil--that I knew I just had to get to the keyboard and get posting.

We've known from day one he's just a con man and a thug. Anyone who still supports this wanna-be dictator is an enemy to our Country and her Constitution. In light of those postings, there can't be even the slightest doubt.

Having said that, I know that the vast majority of his cult followers are still on-board 100%. Here's the truth: you're complicit in this latest bit of trump treachery if you voted for him again after he tried to extort Zelensky to get dirt on Biden, withholding desperately-needed military aid in order to make President Zelensky cave and give him what he wanted. That's what the first impeachment was all about.

If you supported him after all the evidence presented at that impeachment trial--or the second one about how he incited an insurrection--you are, straight-up, a traitor to the United States.

Ultimately he's going down for stealing vital, Top Secret documents that never belonged to him, though he thinks they do. This hateful and delusional fool is about to be schooled. Schooled about the Constitution he's shown contempt for and now wants to dispose of, and schooled about how the rule of law works in a Constitutional Democracy like ours.

If you support Hair Hitler today, you're a traitor to the United States. It's time for you to pour out the Kool Aid and get real. Be honest. Just admit you also want to shit-can our Constitution and set up this ignorant, hateful and revenge-obsessed loser as America's version of Daddy Vladdy.

Just drop the pretense and say it clearly. For all of America--for all the World--to hear.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile
© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile 

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

The Storm has passed

Hurricane Ian has come and gone and I’ve been thinking about the effects on so many others here in Florida. It’s all very sobering. Sobering and sad.

The effects for me and loved ones in the State were minimal. Because so many of us weathered this storm without a lot of damage, it’s easy to think we’re all good here in Florida. But we aren’t.

It’s hard to wrap your mind around this kind of devastation. I’ve tuned in to some of the reports and it’s so dismal and sad that I have to manage my news coverage carefully in order to not get an overload.

If you’d like to help those in Southwest Florida who’ve been so devastated by this horrible storm, there are many ways to do so.

The FEMA site has a lot of information that may be helpful. And there’s no shortage of non-profits who are helping. And although there are hundreds, I’m leaving a link to the Red Cross. Their work over many, many years has been invaluable to people around the world who’ve experienced disasters of all kinds. I’m happy to support their fine work.

Take care. Stay safe. Reach out for help when it’s appropriate. May that care be there for you when you need it most.

And may you extend that hand of care to others when you're able.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, September 7, 2022

News from the NADF; It's all about the Trees

Some of you may know about the work of the National Arbor Day Foundation. I’m happy to support them and I try not to miss an opportunity to spread the word about the much-needed work that they do.

They have been on a mission to plant trees all over the US and prioritize replanting where communities have lost their tree canopies, especially when natural disasters strike.

This undertaking is never actually completed, as you might imagine. Because there are more natural disasters each year, meeting the demand would take a major miracle. But the Foundation is all-in to do all that can possibly be done. And I’m happy to lend a hand by keeping my membership current and helping to spread the word about their work when I can.

An update about their work hit my inbox this morning and I want to pass the news along.

There are many communities who’ve partnered with the NADF this year to replace trees they’ve lost. Among them are Bayard, Nebraska, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and Lafitte, Louisiana. These recent projects are great examples of how the Foundation operates, helping to meet the urgent needs of cities and counties who’ve experienced first-hand one of those outbursts of Mother Nature’s wrath.

In the case of Bayard, the disaster was a serious tornado, in combination with an outbreak of the Emerald Ash Borer. In Cedar Rapids, the disaster was a derecho with 140 mph winds. Lafitte lost most of their canopy of beautiful and Earth-nurturing trees after being visited by Hurricane Ida in the Fall of ’21.

To get current of some of the recent work of the Nat’l Arbor Day Foundation, just follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Monday, September 5, 2022

Today's Labor Day and...

I do want to wish a most happy Labor Day 2022 to everyone and especially to all of you who work for a paycheck.

I'm happy to say that I'm in that proud group of people and I always look forward to this day as it comes around each year. I'm a proud member of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union and have been a Teamster as well.

The UFCW represents workers in retail, breweries and restaurants. Folks in the budding cannabis industry, too. The UFCW also rep's many of the workers in the meat packing plants that were on the front lines when COVID-19 was devastating that industry during the peak of the pandemic.

My Union and the others that collectively make up the Services Trade Council are in negotiations with the Company right now for the next Collective Bargaining Agreement which will--when ratified by the membership--take effect in 2023.

It's a very good thing, indeed, to be represented by a union and bargain collectively.

Today is about barbecues and all kinds of outings and fun. But about much more. About the men and women who began and sustained the Labor Movement, the workers on whose shoulders we now stand. If you'd like to brush up on your Labor Day history, just follow this link.

Working folks, thanks for all you do. I wish all of you a happy--and relaxed--Labor Day.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

FBI all over Mar-a-Largo Yesterday

By now everyone on the Planet has heard that the FBI served a Search Warrant on the defeated former guy's home, the Mar-A-Lago Resort in Palm Beach.

We've already heard plenty of trump's sycophantic supporters scream about how this is persecution and shows how the Biden Administration and the DOJ are laser-focused on bringing down trump. It's another part of the evil conspiracy from the dreaded, all-powerful Deep State, which has had it in for Dear Leader from the jump... blah, blah, blah...

The truth is that trump has been holding on to documents that belong to the United States for more than a year and that he had zero intention of ever returning them.

Although this came as a surprise to many Americans, the drama about trump's flagrant crimes in this matter has been going on since shortly after he was chased out of the Oval Office. And the National Archives and the DOJ weren't going to put up with his stonewalling and lying any longer.

If you'd like to get some of the important background to this surreal, unfolding story, this article from today's New York Times would be a good place to start.

The wheels of Justice sometimes turn slowly. Sometimes very slowly. But they're turning. 

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Monday, June 13, 2022

US Annex Canada and Mexico?

I'm active on Quora, a site where many folks participate and weigh in on a plethora of topics every day. It's a very active forum. I'm on daily, following, writing and replying to questions Quorans throw out. For me, it's pretty much all the political stuff and a lot of military history topics as well.

Having said that, it's true that many questions thrown out on Quora are really far-fetched and can be taken with a grain of salt. I get it.

But recently the question--and no, I can't say how serious the query was--the question of whether or not the US should annex Canada and Mexico was thrown out for discussion. 

So please permit me to post with my thoughts which go a bit deeper and addresses some of the larger issues raised by the fact that some folks—on and off Quora—keep imaging ridiculous scenarios such as this one.

First of all, the UK, Australia and all other Commonwealth Countries—there are more than 50 of them—would declare war on us and defend Canada to the last man. They’re bound by law and treaty to do this. The fact that the US would stand a decent chance to still come out on top in such a nightmarish and completely unnecessary conflict does nothing to mitigate what a mind-blowing and horrible course of events that would be.

Imagining a scenario like that one reveals not just stupidity, ignorance and arrogance, but betrays a shocking inability to grasp basic and obvious facts about living on this Planet and see our world—and the other Nations with whom we share it—clearly.

No one with even a basic grasp on reality would believe such claptrap. And these hateful and delusional fools who would even speculate and such an absurd scenario are living in their own fact-free reality.

Furthermore, many of them are armed to the teeth and they--through their chosen leaders who hold or will soon hold positions of power--may very well get their hands on both houses of Congress and all three branches of government in the next few election cycles.

Well, I’m headed toward the medicine cabinet to pop a blood pressure med—or three—and try to forget that roughly a third of my fellow Americans think about such crazy things and are poised to—quite possibly—take nearly-absolutely power in Washington in the next 2 to 5 years. And in the meantime, they’ll go on wasting our time when we’re foolish enough to address their bat shit-crazy scenarios on the internet.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Gabbard and Friends: Just Stop!

It was ten days ago when Boris Bondarev -- the Special Counsellor to the Russian Mission to the U.N. in Geneva -- resigned from his position, walked out and lit a fire that is still burning through the diplomatic world. 

The written statement that accompanied his resignation is stunning in every way. It honestly must be read in full to have any idea of what a bombshell it truly is.

Just one of the things that comes to mind as you read what Counsellor Bondarev had to say is that it reveals how completely clueless some of my progressive friends here in the States are when it comes to the war and why we’re where we are right now.

Tulsi Gabbard and others of her ilk have gone on at some length about how the eastward expansion of NATO since the dissolution of the Soviet Union essentially left Putin with no choice but to invade. Her tweet about how the Biden Administration and NATO could have prevented the invasion by forever barring Ukraine from membership and recognizing Russia's "legitimate security needs" received a shit-ton of push back from Twitter users who don't buy the Kremlin's talking points. And that's as it should be.

That assertion was garbage from the beginning and it’s so easy to see that such reasoning also dovetails perfectly with Putin’s dishonest and self-serving propaganda. One can draw no other conclusion after reading Mr Bondarev's candid and heartfelt assessment. He was, after all, a career diplomat and apologist for Mother Russia; Putin's bloody, unprovoked attack on Ukraine was simply a bridge too far for him.

Putin and Putin alone is responsible for the tragedy that is the Ukrainian-Russian War. It is turning out horribly for Ukrainians and the Ukrainian Nation and is and will be even worse for Russia. Comrade Vlad has truly swallowed the Porcupine here. (Not the best metaphor, actually. He’ll never get that spiny fellow all the way down.)

It’s maddening. It’s tragic. And it’s 100% Putin’s doing.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, June 1, 2022

Drink Java, Live Longer

I just finished another delicious, life-giving cup of coffee. I’ve always known my regular obsessive consumption of the juice of the sacred bean had beneficial effects. And a recently-published study confirms it… again! With or without added sugar, I hasten to add.

Here’s to all of my sisters and brothers who’re also cashing in on coffee’s benefits! Let’s celebrate with another cup o’ joe!

To read the study’s results, follow this link.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Monday, May 30, 2022

Profile of a Hero on Memorial Day

Memorial Day 2022 is here. I'm remembering Gunny Johnny Basilone, USMC today. He gave his life for the country he loved on the first day of the furious Battle of Iwo Jima. That was 19 Feb 1944.

His heroic three-day stand during the fierce Battle for Henderson Field on Guadalcanal made him a Marine Corps legend. And it was on Iwo Jima 16 months later that John gave his last full measure of devotion. 

This hero is the only marine from WWII who received both the Medal of Honor and the Navy Cross. You can read both citations near the end of John's Wikipedia entry. Follow the link found below.

Honestly, where do you find men like this?

An entry on Wikipedia is often long on information but just a bit dry. Here's more about Johnny from a tribute site that puts Gunny Basilone's story in a more human context.

I am not able to attend any event on this Memorial Day. But thinking of our heroes here at home.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Murdered Kids, Lame Excuses

Yes, there has been another horrific school shooting. In Texas this time. It took at least 18 innocent lives including one teacher.

The call to enact some kind--any kind--of sensible laws and/or regulations to address the never-ending string of mass killings in our schools is being heard in every corner of our heartsick Nation.

But I promise you that nothing will be done. Nothing at all.

A clear majority of America wants some kind of sensible gun regulation. But nothing will be done.

Reich Wingers and Ammosexuals will say the usual stuff: they'll offer thoughts and prayers. They'll say that now isn't the time to think about such things. They say we should stop politicizing such tragedies. 

The NRA will make hundreds of calls to the legislators they've bought off and sic their lobbyists on any who may be wavering.

The leadership of the QOP in both houses of Congress will sniff around, making sure that none in their caucus will turn on them and vote with those evil demon-rats, go full commie on the Nation and vote for... wait for it... vote for background checks for people who want to buy guns!

They'll say that the true liberal agenda is to take away our guns, they say, blah, blah blah...

Yeah, it'll go like that. As it has after every mass shooting, whether it's school children who're lying still in pools of their own blood or their unlucky parents and friends. Or anyone.

It's tragic. It's horrific. It's all too familiar.

And it's not going to change.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile 

For details about this tragedy unfolding in Uvalde, Texas, follow this link.

Friday, April 29, 2022

Today is Arbor Day 2022

It most certainly is and I look forward to it each year. I’ve been a supporter of the Arbor Day Foundation for years and it’s one of the things I do each year — more often than that, actually — that I look forward to with anticipation and excitement.

To learn more about the work of the Arbor Day Foundation, follow this link.

It’s well known that our Planet is in dire straits now and has been for a long time. And although we can’t pursue only one or two courses of action to help her in her time of urgent need, the planting of more trees is one very good action we can easily take.

Planting or helping to plant a tree today would be a wonderful thing to do. Contribution to an org like the ADF would be marvelous.

Watering, pruning or otherwise caring for a tree in your corner of our Planet would be, as well.

Best of all is to cultivate the habit of taking these actions all through the year.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Sunday, April 10, 2022

The Struggle Against Rising Authoritarianism

It's no surprise that so much of the World's attention is focused on the war in Ukraine right now. It's a very big deal and it would be shocking if it were not receiving so much coverage and attention.

The Ukrainians continue to fare way better in their campaign to thwart putin's attempts to murder their Nation, snuff out their identity and culture and re-assimilate them than anyone could have predicted. It's the silver lining in the horribly dark cloud of rising Authoritarian and Nationalist movements everywhere. 

Although the outcome is far from clear, the Ukrainians have a good shot at thwarting putin and preserving their democracy.

There are a dozen Nations or more where ultra-nationalist movements and governments are threatening their citizens' liberties and trying to consolidate power. Power with none of that pesky "messiness" that comes with people choosing their leaders in free and fair elections. Turkey, Hungary and Brazil come to mind. 

And now France is looking very vulnerable to their own home-grown Nationalist and far-right movements. Marine Le Pen has tried hard to overhaul her party's extremist image and at this writing, stands a good chance to send France's Centrist Premier, Emmanuel Macron, home and institute a right-wing government in France.

Here in the US, trump's cult followers, White Supremacists and Neo-Fascists are gaining strength. The fight to preserve our democracy in the face of their assault is very daunting and we're losing ground, truth be told. 

These threats to democratic institutions in so many places are very serious, whether or not they're accompanied by an actual armed invasion. The crisis in Ukraine is merely the most tragic and sensational example of a widespread problem.

Sad to say, there are no easy solutions on the horizon for those of us who're are committed to the efforts to defend and preserve democracy.

There is only recommitting ourselves to the work. The work of truth-telling, of organizing, voting, community building, and staying engaged in the fight.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Monday, March 28, 2022

Of War and the Leadership of Two Nations

I'm musing this morning on the subject of leadership, the leadership of  Nations, in particular, and how the contrast between Russia's Putin and Mr Zelensky of Ukraine couldn't be more stark.

Zelensky has proven by the way he’s comported himself in the office — and by the way he’s led Ukraine since the tanks started rolling — that he cares about the Ukrainian people and about their country and that he’s 100% committed to doing what must be done to lead them through this terrible, unjustified, once-in-a-generation crisis.

The fact that he spent most of his adult life as an entertainer does certainly make all of this highly unusual, but that doesn’t mean it’s a bad thing. It just makes his leadership that much more extraordinary and worthy of respect.

Daddy Vladdy, on the other hand, has shown again and again that he puts his own welfare — and the welfare of his oligarchical buddies — over the welfare of the Russian State. And certainly over the welfare of the hapless troops he sent into harm’s way five weeks ago in his ill-fated attempt to destroy the Ukrainian Nation as it's constituted today and drag her back into Russia’s orbit.

The World — or at least the part of it that has always seen Putin for who and what he is — will always respect and admire a leader like Zelensky and loathe, despise and shun a “leader” like Putin.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Wednesday, February 23, 2022

Putin's War has begun

Just as so many have predicted, Putin has launched his war to conquer the Ukraine. It must be done, you see, to de-Nazify his neighbor.

Pretty pitiful cover story, but it's the best Daddy Vladdy could do.

It's going to get ugly. Very ugly. In ways that no one could have predicted.

God help the Ukraine. Europe will never be the same.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Saturday, February 19, 2022

Ready to Pounce

In 1939, Hitler needed a little Lebensraum. Today, Russia's cutthroat despot just needs another chunk of the Ukraine. 

The op to create a pretext for the invasion got underway this week. The die is cast; The men and machines of war are in place. 

Putin is ready to pounce.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Ben Lawrence Basile

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

The Ukraine and Putin's Endgame

If you haven't been living under a rock in the last two months or so, you've no doubt noticed that Russia has amassed about 130,000 troops and a massive amount of material on her border with the Ukraine.

Those who're saying that Putin's objective is to steamroll the Ukraine and set up a Russian puppet stare are correct. But bear in mind that Putin -- the former Soviet KGB operative that he is -- has always believed that the break up of the USSR was a singular tragedy, the greatest to befall Russia in the 20th Century. The Baltic States will be next, as his true end game is a restoration of the USSR.

This is no less true because a complete restoration of the Soviet Union would almost certainly be a bridge too far. He'll gladly risk a war of apocalyptic proportions to achieve as much of that objective as he can.

The Baltic States -- Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia -- are now NATO member States but long-time constituent countries of the former USSR. I believe Comrade Vlad will soon have them in the crosshairs.

The United States and, especially, her NATO Allies will soon be entering full-freak out mode and it's for good reason. It's a grim situation on its face and is actually far worse than most people think.

If NATO appeases Putin about his plans for the Ukraine, it will only be the beginning.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Sunday, January 16, 2022

Yes, the Oceans are Warming

When the subject of climate change comes up, it’s natural to begin thinking about the places where you live, the places you know and whether they’re heating up, whether they’re changing. Or whether they’re experiencing unusual, bad or problematic weather.

This is a normal thing to do when we sift through the mountains of articles, studies and data focusing on the environment and the changes we see all around us.

Well, here’s something you may not have thought about: The changes in sea temperature are really a more accurate way to track the ways in which the Planet is warming. And how much she’s warming.

The Conversation is an Australia-based academic journal and it ran an article this week that helps to explain how this works. It can be a big help when laypeople like you or me are trying to wrap our minds around this phenomenon and what some of the consequences of rising sea temperatures are likely to be.

I recommend the informative and well-documented article highly; we are long-past the time when we can afford to ignore or downplay the signs of the catastrophic change happening all over the planet.

“Bulldog Ben” Basile

© 2022 Benjamin Lawrence Basile

Saturday, January 1, 2022

2022 has arrived and...

Well, this New Year, 2022, has arrived. The year we just escorted out was a considerable improvement over 2020 in many ways. Even so, it was still a tough year, truth be told.

None of us can say with any certainly what 2022 will be like. I’m expecting that it will bring our Country a lot of challenges and setbacks. And that some of them will be very daunting.

The fact that the first anniversary of the January 6th insurrection is less than a week away looms large for me. And for millions of other democracy-loving Americans.

While I quite frankly don’t see a lot of reason for optimism, I’m certain of this: 2022 will be a better year if we can recover a sense of community, of being in this together.

Most of the signs are not pointing in that hoped-for direction as I write these words this morning. If we find a way to begin to heal our differences and work together to solve our corporate problems, we will all be the better for it.

I'm hoping that we will. If we fail in that task, this nascent year may be a dark one, indeed.

"Bulldog Ben" Basile

© 2022 Benjamin Lawrence Basile