Federalism v. states’ rights…

Over two hundred years ago, the country was in a crisis. States, mostly the old British colonies, had too much power under the old Articles of Confederation. A new Constitution was written that weakened states’ rights, establishing that in most cases that federal laws and regulations must be obeyed by the states. There have been pitched battles about states’ rights ever since, most notably during the Civil War. That racism and bigotry still exists in spite of the that war and the federal Civil Rights Act a century later, as well as the dilution of other rights, shows that the federal government still has a hard time enforcing a moral high ground…if that’s what it wants to do.

The Trump administration is trying to stand states’ rights on its head, pushing many federally mandated policy decisions back to the states as a way of washing their hands of the problem. From allowing insurance companies to charge more for elders and pre-existing conditions in the healthcare debate (Trump made a campaign promise not to do the latter) to pushing gun-carrying reciprocity (a person carrying a concealed weapon in a southern state will be able to do so in New York and California and other states with more reasonable and tougher gun laws), states’ rights have become a matter of convenience for Trump and his minions to carry out their fascist agendas.

These battles will probably be carried out in the courts where the Trump administration is trying to put extreme right-wing judges on the bench to eliminate one of the last dams protecting the citizenry against his fascist flood. I can just see California and other states with strong laws to protect the environment having to fight the U.S. Justice Department as it defends Trump’s program to eliminate environmental regulations and controls. The dizzying attacks on moral legal traditions use both states’ rights and federal oversight as a double-edged sword to chop down the progressive majority in this country and its insistence for a morally responsible government. Federally funded abortions were outlawed some years ago, but that didn’t stop Trump et al from defunding Planned Parenthood, for example, for the simple reason that they still perform abortions. At best Trump and his minions are motivated by vying for unfettered capitalism; at worst these are nefarious fascist plots to assume autocratic power in a nation that, as tarnished as it’s become, has stood for moral correctness in an often morally incorrect world.

From the perspective of freedoms, rights, and moral standing, everything the Trump administration has done so far is unconscionable. It’s almost as if Narcissus le Grand is out to destroy everything good in this country, replacing it with a despotic evil designed to buoy up an oligarchy patterned after the country of his one-time favorite person, Vladimir Putin (that flip-flop is evidence for mental instability). Unlike in the case of Putin, I have a hard time believing that Trump would ever order the death of opposition leaders and reporters, but he is a potential murderer all the same. His healthcare plan, still under debate, with threats of ending subsidies, will murder millions of Americans. His environmental policies will murder millions more, present and future Americans, and destroy flora and fauna that needs to be protected. The proposal for gun-carrying reciprocity and denial of federal counterterrorism funds to sanctuary cities will lead to more 9/11s, specifically in NYC, adding more murders of innocents to his list of victims. Anyone who supports such a program is complicit.

Trump’s immoral turpitude shows Il Duce cares about no one except himself and possibly his own family as the Trump family nepotism increases without bounds. We have a murdering maniac in the White House, folks! No wonder he channeled the Russian leader. I expect him to ride in shirtless on Pennsylvania on a horse one of these days, his mane of permed hair glowing in that D.C. swamp’s sun.

Every morning I wake up wondering if Trump is just a nightmare. Every morning he wakes up tweeting outlandish lies on Twitter. I’ve never seen anything like it. Can we rein him in? Will the country and the rest of the world ever recover? Germany managed to recover from Hitler; Italy managed to recover from Mussolini, the first Il Duce; and Spain recovered from Franco. Of course, fascists remain in all these countries, as they do in America, yearning for the “good old days.” Maybe there’s hope, but evil Trump and his minions have more tools at their disposal than those old despots, and he has the nefarious trio of Bannon, Conway, and Miller in place of Goebbels. One thing is for sure: they will use states rights’ or federalist strong-arming when convenient, in an all-out attack on the freedoms and rights of Americans. Stay tuned. The worst is yet to come.


Teeter-Totter between Lust and Murder. Detective Chen is framed for the murder of a U.S. senator. As her partner Castilblanco moves to prove her innocence, they uncover a complex plot involving the underbelly of NYC as well as the overbelly corresponding to the rich and powerful. #3 in the “Detectives Chen and Castilblanco Series,” this book is now on sale at Smashwords and is available in all ebook formats. Use coupon code XW55G. Coming soon this spring from Penmore Press: Rembrandt’s Angel, an international tour de force involving a Scotland Yard expert on art heists and an Interpol agent. Chasing down some dealers in stolen artworks suddenly becomes very dangerous!

And so it goes…


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