Another Day Another Post

“I climb fences when i got fences to climb.” 

― John Steinbeck, The Grapes of Wrath

Steinbeck dove headfirst into the injustices of the world, who did not shy away from the gross inequality he saw around him, of negligence, of greed, of lies and laying blame at another’s feet. That kind of writing gives me a lump in my throat, rising bile of anger, I always found his words difficult to patiently wade through, knowing there were generally no happy endings.

For that stark honesty of his prose he was scorned in his beloved Monterey, reviled by the city council, fueled no doubt by rich landowners who disagreed with his exposure of the truths that he had seen with his own eyes, of how people were treated, of neglect and ignorance, of exploitation, how so many turned a blind eye. In those middle years of the 20th century, Steinbeck knocked down illusions many clung to.

Book after book, Steinbeck’s words pulled the covers off an America that many would have preferred to ignore, looking down their noses at the many scraping by, as they walked over them, looked down at them, believing the useful lie that told them it was their own fault for being born to poverty and squalor.

Watching a doc the other day on his life and work and this one story really kind of resonated with current events.

So, I guess in 1963, and after being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature, President Kennedy sent him and his wife to Russia on a cultural exchange program, in which KGB agents had been placed throughout the crowd – those agents apparently had wondered at how he could be a dissident AND be a patriot.

Which I guess is maybe at the core of what Russia perhaps even today doesn’t get, that America was born of dissidents. Well, and that patriotism is not merely blind loyalty to whoever is in charge. I mean, there wouldn’t even BE a U.S.A. without those early dissidents.

When the founding fathers came together to break from the constraints of Britain, they were questioning the status quo, and it was their goal to bring forward a more democratic union, a set of values they saw as the foundation of these United States of America they envisioned.

“Try to understand men. If you understand each other you will be kind to each other. Knowing a man well never leads to hate and almost always leads to love.” 

― John Steinbeck
Photo by namo deet on

Trump with his authoritarian desire to have his subjects loyal and subservient to his will, and his racist ideas, wishing to divide and conquer America through that division is unAmerican. To shut down the government in order to have his way is childish and dangerous. There is no crisis at the border other than one of Trumps own making when his administration and the GOP decided to lock up children and to separate families. The crisis is in the White House.

Well, not to mention that I doubt the man has ever been patriotic to anything but his own wallet.

Now the New York Times is reporting that the FBI in the early months of 2017 began an investigation into whether or not he was a Russian asset. Yes, let that sink in. The Federal Bureau of Investigation was investigating whether or not their own recently elected president was working for Putin.

Then barely 24 hours later the Washington Post reports Trumps been trying to conceal conversations he’s had with Russians.

Trump’s secrecy surrounding Putin “is not only unusual by historical standards, it is outrageous,” said Strobe Talbott, a former deputy secretary of state now at the Brookings Institution, who participated in more than a dozen meetings between President Bill Clinton and then-Russian President Boris Yeltsin in the 1990s. “It handicaps the U.S. government — the experts and advisers and Cabinet officers who are there to serve [the president] — and it certainly gives Putin much more scope to manipulate Trump.”

WaPo | By Greg Miller
January 12 at 10:05 PM

Just gives ya warm fuzzy, eh? President of the United States is working for the interests of Russia.

Personally, I’d go so far as to assert that perhaps it is not just Trump who is, em, what’s the word? Colluding? I don’t think it is just Trump who is helping the Russians, I think Putin has a few Repub’s in his pocket as well, or at the least, I wouldn’t be surprised. With Butina being charged as a spy and having sought out GOP lawmakers through the NRA, it is not such a stretch anymore to actually consider that perhaps there are more assets in the US government.

That said, and as scary as that is, I really think the Russians have underestimated the dissident nature of American’s, of their patriotic spirit and their ability to overcome even the gravest obstacles.

“For how can one know colour in perpetual green, and what good is warmth without cold to give it sweetness?” 

― John Steinbeck, Travels with Charley: In Search of America
Photo by Johannes Plenio on

And what the result will be of all this, I know not. Will America rise up from under the yoke of this deranged POTUS? I think so. But maybe one thing to remember, is that it is often these trials that help one to appreciate what you have when it is almost stolen from you.

Featured Photo by Min An on

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