A Family Affair

America First is widely being seen as America Alone. That is a radical departure from previous policies, and that is fine but decisions are being made and announced by President Trump without first doing serious staffing and without even telling his staff. Major policies are announced at rallies, and by tweets, catching everyone flat footed. Staff members are feeling useless, and indeed they are.

There is serious concern that other troop deployments may be returning home, and while it is certainly true that we are stretched far too thin, still it took time, money and many decades to build up these relationships. It’s not so much that it is being done, it is the precipitous manner with which it is done. Trump supporters may cheer the chaos, but they don’t have to live with it.

In a fit of pique, Trump replaced General Mattis several months early with a Boeing Executive who never served in the military, and has no international experience. This does nothing to impress either the troops or our allies but may well make the Oval Office happier. General Mattis suffers not a whit from the president’s pique because Mattis’ historically earned status is assured, and Trump was apparently annoyed by press coverage of Mattis.

Does firing Mattis two months early make Trump petty? Of course not. We knew he was petty a long time ago.

Trump once touted “His Generals.“ He has none left, in spite of lifetime military men being determined to serve their country.

Chris Christie, Who has been Trump’s friend for decades says (paraphrased): Trump is a New York builder. If he steps on a supplier, they stay stepped on, but someone else supplies. In international politics, if you step on someone they are still there, lying in the weeds waiting to get you.

Trump has fired his “A Team” or they have quit. He is now surrounded by no-names with no experience…to match Trump’s no-experience.

It is now a Trump Family Affair.

We Were Not Listening

General Mattis is a great loss. Trump told us that he knows more than Generals…but then he also told us his military school attendance was the same as serving in the military.

(Both Trump claims are untrue.)

Of course, as General MacArthur proved, a president is Commander in Chief. And as history has proven, the General was correct in his plan to continue north to the Yalu River and completely crush North Korea. Truman settled for a draw at the 38th Parallel.

We are apparently returning to the bad old days when LBJ laid on the White House bedroom floor and picked targets in North Vietnam. All presidents appear to believe they are Generals, and that means as Commander in Chief they are heavenly imbued with military knowledge. That has not been so since Kings personally led troops, as King Henry V did at Agincourt.

General Mattis has been unhappy for some time, as his recommendations have been ignored. Mattis has believed himself superfluous and indeed he has been as Trump became his own General. Trump told us he would be, not just when he said he knew more than Generals, but when he told us he was his own primary advisor.

We can’t say we weren’t told, only that we didn’t hear.

Quick Hits

I watched Christmas with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir on PBS. Too much Mormon, not enough Tabernacle Choir.

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This is not shaping up as a good day for Trump, as he backs off threatening a shutdown of the government in order to “build the wall,” and he is shuttering his Trump foundation as the New York Attorney General announces that the foundation is found to have been used for political donation, to buy art for one of the Trump golf clubs, and other “shockingly illegal” acts.

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A winter storm to the north of us is bringing 12 foot sets into San Diego for serious surfers, and possible 40 footers into Monterrey! These are beautiful, and serious Surfers are out. We will hit 80 degrees tomorrow. Ahhh…San Diego Winter!

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Things are quiet at the Border. Rumors that it would be easy to get into the US drove the members of the Caravan to Tijuana, and reality has set in. Hopefully, this will slow the rate of Caravan formation as migrants return home.

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The Republican Party no longer exists as a viable entity in California. Republicans lost to a super majority in the Assembly and the Senate, the San Diego City Council is under Democratic Party control, and the president of the City Council is a gay Latina.

Government News Suppression

I had never heard of “News Suppression” in Western nations until I read in the WaPo this morning that news of the conviction of Cardinal George Pell for sexual abuse of two youth in Australia had been suppressed by the Australian government.

One newspaper protested the suppression by headlining, “CENSORED” on its first page. Cardinal Pell was until his trial began, the third ranking Cardinal in the Vatican. Apparently Pell is to undergo a separate trial on unrelated charges, and the Australian government believes that he could not receive a fair trial if news of the results of this trial were public. He will be sentenced in February. The newspaper printed a column under the headline saying they had news the people should know, but the newspaper could not print it.

Of course in the day of electronic news, Australians can subscribe to sources like the Washington Post where news may be suppressed by an Editor, but the Australian government holds no sway. That makes government suppression of the news stupid, and counterproductive.

Morning Rant

The clock is ticking.

Yesterday at 11 am a group of Caravaners, escorted by Tijuana police presented the US Consulate in Tijuana a demand, answer due tomorrow at 11 am.

The demand is that the US either give them Amnesty, or pay them $50,000 each to go home.

I suspect your attitude is similar to mine.

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Months ago I knew what the Congress is apparently learning today, that Google is a bad actor in cyberspace, putting their thumbs on the scale in favor of Democrats, immigrants and Democrats.

Google has 76% of all searches so their coffers are being filled by advertisers. Even if you use #2, it is a Chinese search engine! For months I have used Duck Duck Go. It is a decent search engine, but sometimes I backslide and use Google, but I hate myself in the morning.

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A usual, it seems scheduled break in a Tijuana sewer pipe has sent six millions of gallons of raw sewerage onto San Diego beaches each day since Monday. All beaches to the south of Coronado are closed.

This has gone on for many decades and although it is an international problem, our government has done nothing about it.

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San Diego now has a Republican Mayor but a City Council with enough Democrats to override him. We are slouching our way to being Baltimore or Newark.

Never thought I would see the day! The Council President identifies herself as a “Queer Latina” and three of the Council seats are held by the LGBTQ community.

Go figure.

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Chaos

I am not certain who will be the next sacrificial lamb to be the Presidential Chief Of Staff now that the Adult Supervisor has left the room, but the White House appears to be in some turmoil.

After denying payments to a couple of women, Trump now says yes he directed the payments but since they were from his checkbook, they were not campaign contributions. The question, of course is: Were the payments designed to further Trump’s presidential campaign?

Then Tillerson remarked that the president tried to do illegal things in foreign policy, and the president called Tillerson, Trump’s personal selection to be SecState, “dumb as a box of rocks” which begs the question, why would Trump pick someone as dumb as a box of rocks to be Secretary of State? And, is someone who was international CEO of Exxon/Mobile, a much bigger and more international than Trump ever ran, really dumb?

Trump, we are reliably informed, loves chaos. He must be very happy, but the question is, should the rest of us who are not in on the joke, be equally happy?

I know I’m not! Because of my personal history, my North Star is North Korea, and that is a complete “Fail.”

Uptick?

On a normal day, 120 illegal aliens are captured in the San Diego Area, which includes 60 linear miles of fence lines. The morning report is that there has been an “uptick” in arrests, primarily by those purposely surrendering in order to hopefully apply for asylum. Whether they may do so is unknown.

Our storm was particularly long and hard for San Diego, and the most recent eight hours were particularly hard on South Bay and Tijuana. The news has had nothing on the Caravan, and I suspect there is little to tell. Cold and wet has no doubt cooled that ardor. We are suddenly above our normal rainfall, which is good news, unless you are trying to jump the Border fence.

The Grapevine was closed for snow. Certainly the Tijuana River is choked with sewage from a failed Tijuana sewage plant, although the news hasn’t covered that. It happens every rain, so it is not news, although it has been happening for at least 40 years, and Tijuana sewage closes our beaches.

The Desert Sun newspaper has a great article today on the New River in Calixico, which is even more polluted than even the Tijuana River, but it notes “Millions of gallons of sewage have continued to spill into the Pacific Ocean from the Tijuana River, fouling San Diego beaches.”

https://www.desertsun.com/in-depth/news/environment/border-pollution/poisoned-cities/2018/12/05/toxic-new-river-long-neglect-mexico-border-calexico-mexicali/1381599002