Americonoclast Rises

This blog risen out of the dust and ashes of the 2016 presidential election which resulted in the election of the demagogue Donald Trump to the office of President of the United States of America.  The intent of this blog is to promote discourse and intellectual outlooks in an ontological way regarding US politics and cultural development moving forward.

The selection of Trump as the Republican candidate shocked the Republican party as they found themselves powerless to combat his rise.

His victory on November 8, 2016 in the election contradicted the projected polls across the mainstream media and stunned all those who fully expected Hillary Clinton to become the the 1st female President.

And now…here will I, as the Americonoclast, chronicle the proceedings moving forward.

Let us begin by evaluating Mr. Trump’s list of  priorities in his 1st 100 days as outlined by NPR.

* FIRST, propose a Constitutional Amendment to impose term limits on all members of Congress;

* SECOND, a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health);

* THIRD, a requirement that for every new federal regulation, two existing regulations must be eliminated;

* FOURTH, a 5 year-ban on White House and Congressional officials becoming lobbyists after they leave government service;

* FIFTH, a lifetime ban on White House officials lobbying on behalf of a foreign government;

* SIXTH, a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

On the same day, I will begin taking the following 7 actions to protect American workers:

* FIRST, I will announce my intention to renegotiate NAFTA or withdraw from the deal under Article 2205

* SECOND, I will announce our withdrawal from the Trans-Pacific Partnership

* THIRD, I will direct my Secretary of the Treasury to label China a currency manipulator

* FOURTH, I will direct the Secretary of Commerce and U.S. Trade Representative to identify all foreign trading abuses that unfairly impact American workers and direct them to use every tool under American and international law to end those abuses immediately

* SIXTH, lift the Obama-Clinton roadblocks and allow vital energy infrastructure projects, like the Keystone Pipeline, to move forward

* SEVENTH, cancel billions in payments to U.N. climate change programs and use the money to fix America’s water and environmental infrastructure

Additionally, on the first day, I will take the following five actions to restore security and the constitutional rule of law:

* FIRST, cancel every unconstitutional executive action, memorandum and order issued by President Obama

* SECOND, begin the process of selecting a replacement for Justice Scalia from one of the 20 judges on my list, who will uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States

* THIRD, cancel all federal funding to Sanctuary Cities

* FOURTH, begin removing the more than 2 million criminal illegal immigrants from the country and cancel visas to foreign countries that won’t take them back

* FIFTH, suspend immigration from terror-prone regions where vetting cannot safely occur. All vetting of people coming into our country will be considered extreme vetting.

Next, I will work with Congress to introduce the following broader legislative measures and fight for their passage within the first 100 days of my Administration:

  1. Middle Class Tax Relief And Simplification Act. An economic plan designed to grow the economy 4% per year and create at least 25 million new jobs through massive tax reduction and simplification, in combination with trade reform, regulatory relief, and lifting the restrictions on American energy. The largest tax reductions are for the middle class. A middle-class family with 2 children will get a 35% tax cut. The current number of brackets will be reduced from 7 to 3, and tax forms will likewise be greatly simplified. The business rate will be lowered from 35 to 15 percent, and the trillions of dollars of American corporate money overseas can now be brought back at a 10 percent rate.
  2. End The Offshoring Act. Establishes tariffs to discourage companies from laying off their workers in order to relocate in other countries and ship their products back to the U.S. tax-free.
  3. American Energy & Infrastructure Act. Leverages public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years. It is revenue neutral.
  4. School Choice And Education Opportunity Act. Redirects education dollars to give parents the right to send their kid to the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. Ends common core, brings education supervision to local communities. It expands vocational and technical education, and make 2 and 4-year college more affordable.
  5. Repeal and Replace Obamacare Act. Fully repeals Obamacare and replaces it with Health Savings Accounts, the ability to purchase health insurance across state lines, and lets states manage Medicaid funds. Reforms will also include cutting the red tape at the FDA: there are over 4,000 drugs awaiting approval, and we especially want to speed the approval of life-saving medications.
  6. Affordable Childcare and Eldercare Act. Allows Americans to deduct childcare and elder care from their taxes, incentivizes employers to provide on-side childcare services, and creates tax-free Dependent Care Savings Accounts for both young and elderly dependents, with matching contributions for low-income families.
  7. End Illegal Immigration Act Fully-funds the construction of a wall on our southern border with the full understanding that the country Mexico will be reimbursing the United States for the full cost of such wall; establishes a 2-year mandatory minimum federal prison sentence for illegally re-entering the U.S. after a previous deportation, and a 5-year mandatory minimum for illegally re-entering for those with felony convictions, multiple misdemeanor convictions or two or more prior deportations; also reforms visa rules to enhance penalties for overstaying and to ensure open jobs are offered to American workers first.
  8. Restoring Community Safety Act. Reduces surging crime, drugs and violence by creating a Task Force On Violent Crime and increasing funding for programs that train and assist local police; increases resources for federal law enforcement agencies and federal prosecutors to dismantle criminal gangs and put violent offenders behind bars.
  9. Restoring National Security Act. Rebuilds our military by eliminating the defense sequester and expanding military investment; provides Veterans with the ability to receive public VA treatment or attend the private doctor of their choice; protects our vital infrastructure from cyber-attack; establishes new screening procedures for immigration to ensure those who are admitted to our country support our people and our values
  10. Clean up Corruption in Washington Act. Enacts new ethics reforms to Drain the Swamp and reduce the corrupting influence of special interests on our politics.

On November 8th, Americans will be voting for this 100-day plan to restore prosperity to our economy, security to our communities, and honesty to our government.

This is my pledge to you.

And if we follow these steps, we will once more have a government of, by and for the people.


Some of these items seem reasonable.  Some seem terrible.  Either way, We will find out what time has to say about it…


American flag blowing, close-up


Guns, Teachers, and Students

I should really be grading Shakespearean Sonnets or American History tests over Westward Expansion or something right now, but I find that I cannot focus on my job Because my job has become something of a focal point.  In the wake of the Stoneman Douglas school shooting, the conversation in the nation has become dramatically polarized on the issues of gun control and school safety.

I’m not here to promote any propagandist point of view, but rather to provide my insight as a teacher, gun owner, and civic minded American citizen.  There are several points that I will try to address in this piece, mostly to clear my own mind, but also because I hope that I have some useful insight that may be helpful to others.

Gun Regulation:  I am well aware of all the salient arguments for and against it.  I have seen statistics twisted and manipulated, false information spread like wildfire, and propaganda galore – from both sides.  Here’s the thing.  America has always been obsessed with guns.  It’s one of the main reasons that the original 13 colonies were able to survive in the New World in the first place. It’s one of the only reasons we were able to win the wars the built this country.  Let’s not kid ourselves, the USA was founded on bullets (balls) and blood.

The 2nd Amendment was authored because  the Founders/Framers feared a tyrannical government and believed that one step to keep the young nation safe was to keep the populace armed.  OK, I get it.  But, really, times and weapons have changed.

I am in favor of gun regulation.  I honestly believe that there is no justifiable civilian need for high magazine capacity semi-automatic weapons.  Not pistols. Not rifles.  Ok, maybe shotguns, ’cause birds are fast!  Seriously.  We’ve opened Pandora’s box.  Can we put some stuff back in and close the lid? I’ve already heard every argument from 2A advocates.  Save your breath…I’ve formed my opinion.

Yes, it has worked in several other countries.  It *could* work in ours.  No, it won’t solve all of our problems, or fix crime and violence.  But it would help.  Oh, and stop buying bullshit propaganda about Australia.

School Safety:  Being a pragmatist, I am concerned about the soft target nature of schools.  I understand the need for security.  I want my students (and myself) to feel safe.  I am absolutely in favor of measures like metal detectors, surveillance, restricted points of entry, etc…  I support armed security presence.  I like the idea of School Resource Officers, but I think we have (in many instances) been going about this wrong.  In many cases, the SRO position is a lame gig for cops who get stuck there. They don’t take it seriously.  I mean, the officer at the Parkland shooting didn’t even respond, even though he was there and armed. I think this is because getting stuck in a school is viewed as a bad beat.  We need to change that.

We need dedicated SRO’s who receive training in child development, deescalation, and relationship building.  We need them in the schools daily, greeting the kids and getting to know them.  We need a partnership between local Law Enforcement agencies and School Districts.  I propose that this – enacted properly – would help heal the rift between the “black lives matter” and the “blue lives matter” crowds.  School security needs to be a partnership between local police agencies and schools.

Teachers: Teachers should not have guns in their classrooms.  I know there are many teachers who would be happy to carry, and who go to the range enough to be competent marksmen.  That’s not my point. My point is that having armed teachers will impact the learning milieu in a severely negative way.  I’ve been working on establishing healthy learning environments  for over 20 years. This is a terrible idea, even for those teachers who want to carry.

Can you imagine the headlines around the first incidents where a teacher shoots a student (or many).  Yes.  This will happen if you allow teachers to carry at work.  I know the stresses of the job. I understand how students can get under a teacher’s skin.  I know they will. I know that this idea is a catastrophe waiting to happen. I am completely opposed to teachers carrying weapons – even if they want to.  I also know that *some* teachers who carry (just like *some* cops) would do it for the wrong reasons.  They will power-trip, and it will go badly.  It will destroy any chance at a successful learning environment, and likely lead to more and more conflict.

Students: Kids are kids.  They are volatile, ever-changing, constantly pushing boundaries and testing limits. They always have been, and they always will be.  They need a safe, structured environment with caring adults to educate them and guide them.  Maslow’s Hierarchy is real.


Within this basic structure, you will find the answer to this issue.  The psychological component of this should feature Law Enforcement, on their side, keeping them safe.  Teachers in the classroom in a non-threatening way.  This is my solution.

Conclusion (my opinions):  We must address the issue of school shootings in a multi-faceted way. Gun regulation is a necessary thing at this point, but it won’t solve the problem.  Arming teachers is off the table, as it will create more problems than it solves, and severely damage the milieu of schools.  Schools need more resources to serve student.  We need school psychologists.  We need counselors.  We need social workers.  We need secure points of entry and metal detectors.  We need law enforcement present.  That law enforcement needs to be a partnership with schools that places a priority on schools, and dedicates and trains their officers with the skills to address the issues.

The Noose of Impeachment

There is, at this point, overwhelming evidence of the Trump Administration’s ties to Russia.  As much as he has lied about it, there is cumulative evidence to substantiate the claims of collaboration. Politifact did a clear write up of the essential claims and investigations going on.

Recently, a Ukrainian billionaire with ties to both Trump and Putin has been extradited to come to Chicago  in connection with the ongoing criminal investigation of Paul Manafort (Trump’s former Campaign Manager).

It is quite clear, who in Russia benefits from the Trump Presidency in the US. It’s also quite clear that the Russian propaganda machine was influential in the US election, specifically in their broad effort to demonize Hillary Clinton, including the spear-phishing attack on John Podesta, Clinton’s campaign chair, as well as the DNC.  In addition to the actual “hacking”, Russian agencies put out many “FAKE NEWS” propaganda pieces into the American social media scene.  Trump even gave some help to Jill Stein to ensure that Clinton wouldn’t pull off a Presidential win.

Interestingly, Jill Stein, Putin, and General Flynn all sat at the same table at an RT anniversary dinner…

A Private Intelligence dossier by a former British MI6 Intelligence officer was released and has since been corroborated on multiple counts.  Trump has repeatedly denied ties to Russia publicly, but the evidence says he’s lying.

Trump has not sufficiently divested himself of his monetary conflicts of interest to satisfy the Emoluments Clause of the Constitution and calls for his Impeachment have been ongoing.

In short, I honestly believe the case for Impeachment is undeniable, and it is just a matter of time.  The two chief elements are the clear conflicts of interest represented in Trump’s business ventures across the globe, and the fact that he is undeniably attached to Russia, who actually interfered in the US Presidential Election through influencing fake propaganda, misinformation, and cyber-attacks to get him elected.  It looks like the Impeachment investigations are beginning.

Impeach Trump sooner rather than later.

An Open Letter to the Electoral College:

To all Electors,

It is with heartfelt sympathy that I must sincerely tell you all that I do not envy you your positions.  You have an unpleasant task to perform. You have a duty and responsibility that is among the most important in the world.  Under normal circumstances, it’s a ceremonial job, perfunctory in our republic.  Here and now, however, it is not.  Your decision is substantive and critical.

Donald J. Trump is not fit to be President of the United States.  I would sincerely like for that to be untrue, but it isn’t.  His continued juvenile behavior, lack of knowledge of protocols and procedures, and ignorance of international politics is completely inappropriate for the esteemed office of President.

His victory on election night was bolstered by false news misleading good Americans along with Russian cyber-attacks to sway opinions.  I’m not a Hilary Clinton fan, but honestly, Mr. Trump is simply not fit for the job.  I understand the desire to push back against the “liberal” or “progressive” agenda that has pushed our nation to the left. I get that.  I’m not arguing here about policy issues.  This is personal.  It is about the personality of  Donald Trump which  is a terrible danger to both our domestic tranquility as well as to our global standing.

He isn’t even president yet, and he has caused international problems from China to Cuba with his use of Twitter.  His responses to individuals who criticize him are dangerous.  From Boeing, to the union leader Chuck Jones, to Megyn Kelley, Trump has sought to intimidate those who would criticize him.  He also has a following of zealous supporters willing to follow completely false information. This is how you get people shooting up pizza joints for no reason.  People are getting death threats because of Trump’s tweets.  Seriously.

Mr. Trump has opted not to attend intelligence briefings, while he responds to conspiracy theories comedy television shows.  Unfit to be Commander in Chief.

On top of all of these very legitimate reasons that President-Elect Trump is personally unfit to take office, the popular vote is clear. As unlikable as she is, Clinton received over 2.5 million votes more than Trump.  That is a full 2 percentage points.  Yes, I understand how the Electoral College is set up, and why.

This is it.  This is the time for the electoral college to step up and stop a dangerous demagogue from taking control of the most powerful office on the planet.

I hope enough of you find the courage to follow the lead of  Texas Republican Chris Suprun. This is the reason that the Electoral college exists.  Now is the time.  I’ll gladly accept any responses to justify your decisions.  I can only imagine what a difficult position you must find yourself in.  Be strong.  Take a stand.

Most Sincerely,






Clinton was the wrong candidate.

I was recently called out by a friend to post a more thought out argument for my assertion that Clinton was simply the wrong candidate.  I will admit that I am a biased source.  I was a Bernie Sanders supporter from the start.  I advocated for him, donated to him, and voted for him in the primary.  I believe that he would have won the Presidential election.  Of, course, all of this is hypothetical at this point, and we’ll never know.

Hillary Clinton started this race off with a preexisting condition. She was already hated by the right.  Not just disliked, but hated in a way that is generally reserved for puppy-killers. Many of my friends who supported her really don’t understand the hatred that was already there.  I tried to explain, but it fell on deaf ears.  Clinton supporters brushed it all off as a “Republican witch hunt” and didn’t acknowledge that it was there, and powerful.  They didn’t understand that a large portion of the electorate, whether or not it’s true, *believe* that the Clinton family has literally had their political rivals murdered.  The chants of “Lock her up” are rooted in this belief.  The nickname of “Killery” is not just some mean name to call their rival – they really believe it.  Clinton started off behind, no matter who the Republicans ran.  Regardless of the facts, the damage to her credibility was already done, before the campaign even started…but the Democrats ran her anyway.  The prospect of putting Hillary Clinton in the White House completely motivated voters who would have never voted for Trump otherwise to do so, for the sole reason of stopping Clinton.

The end result of this is that there were many voters, outside of his fanatical base, who held their nose and voted for Trump – simply because they felt that they had to stop the “Crooked Clinton” family from getting power…again.  Those who were disenchanted by both Trump or Clinton turned to Johnson and Stein in their protest to the establishment.  I posit that many of those voters would have embraced Sanders and gladly voted for him.

Below are 4 maps of election data.  The first is the electoral college vote, by state in the Trump-Clinton contest.  The second is the Democratic primary results in the Sanders-Clinton contest.  The third is the Libertarian turnout.  The 4th is the Green Party.




I believe that it’s a fair assumption to say that anywhere that Clinton won over Trump, Sanders also would have won, were he the Democratic candidate instead of Clinton.

Here are the first striking results: The heaviest victories of Clinton over Sanders in the primaries were in the South – where Trump carried every state aside from Virginia in the Presidential election.  Clinton’s stronghold did her no good.

In the areas where Sanders beat Clinton in the Primary, not only did Trump carry the state, but Johnson and Stein also pulled higher numbers.

I’ll leave it to the reader to evaluate these 4 figures in juxtaposition and form their own analysis, but I, personally, think this is very telling.  Bernie would have certainly carried some of those states.  Enough to get 270 electoral votes…

A Newsweek opinion article  by Kurt Eichenwald takes on this topic.  He argues that the DNC didn’t do anything to tilt the scales in Clinton’s favor in the Democratic Primary contest.  Interestingly, his first point is one that I was not even familiar with, about holding extra debates.  I think this is a red herring.  I wasn’t even aware of this issue, as a Bernie fan.  He does acknowledge that the DNC is in the business of raising funds, but he doesn’t mention that it actually distributed those funds in an inequitable way which highly favored Clinton over Sanders, as detailed in an official Press Release by the Sanders campaign in April.

One of the biggest real concerns, unrelated to e-mails, about Clinton has been money and nepotism.  There are many examples of this, going back decades.  Unfortunately, issues have been so propagandized around them, through the Bill Clinton presidency, impeachment hearings, and subsequent years, that any attempt at discussion about them is generally polarized into obscurity.  I’m not going to go into that argument, but I have spent hours and hours researching it as best I can.

Eichenwald says that Sanders’ plan for free college, “was basically telling the working poor and middle class who never planned to go beyond high school that college students—the people with even greater opportunities in life—were at the top of his priority list.”

Huh.  I’d interpret that as an invitation to join the ranks of “greater opportunities in life.”  The whole idea of free college is to provide that opportunity.  Does Eichenwald consider the fact that those Democrats “…who don’t attend—or even plan to attend—plan to attend a secondary school,” can’t afford it, and that’s exactly the problem Sanders was addressing?

Eichenwald asserts that the Republicans would have used that fact that, “In 1972, when he was 31, Sanders wrote a fictitious essay in which he described a woman enjoying being raped by three men” against Sanders.  Really, given the way things turned out, I don’t think this would have been much of a problem.  Gee, Sanders wrote fiction about it, look at what Trump has said, and is about to go to court for actually allegedly doing.The list goes on, but generally, Sanders has been seen as a man of integrity.  Any campaign with a shred of common sense could easily have deflected the points that Eichenwald lists, turning most of them into positives for Sanders, rather than negatives.

To take this a step further…

Choosing Clinton as the Presidential candidate not only lost the Democrats the White House race that they really should have won, but it also cost them Congress.

I received so much Propaganda for candidates in my mailbox that tied local Democratic candidates  to Clinton that I really wondered what was going on.  Now I get it.  The Republican party understood how much hatred there was for Clinton that they followed the strategy of tying everything they could to her name.

Here’s a look at how this strategy worked, here locally in Missouri.  See this petition on the “Friends of Roy Blunt” website.  This is an example of what Republicans likely did across the nation in their strongholds.

Not only was Clinton the wrong candidate to run for POTUS, but choosing her also weakened the Democrats in down-ticket races while motivating the Republicans and increasing their vote.

Sanders could have connected with the struggling, disconnected voters that voted for Trump.  He would have won.  He also would have revitalized the Democrats down-ticket turn out.









Not unexpectedly, there have been numerous protests across the US against Trump’s election. Most seem to be generally peaceful, if numerous.

Also, there have been multiple reports of racist incidents made by whites in reference to people of color in the 24 hours following the election.

It will certainly be interesting to see how Trumps rhetoric impacts the racial tensions in a nation already embroiled in a strained relation between law enforcement and minorities following multiple police shootings and controversies across the nation.   This also as the Dakota Pipeline protest has been continuing in with the Standing Rock Sioux tribe and allies standing against oil pipeline construction across the Missouri River just north of the reservation.