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America's Fabric is Tearing

A Chinese American was brutalized and dragged off a United Airlines flight after all passengers had boarded by three airport cops in order to make room for a United employee.  He was a doctor en route to his office and patients, and traveling with his wife.  He held a perfectly legal ticket and seat.  He was doing absolutely nothing to engender such behavior by United or the Chicago airport police.  He was a traveler like all others.

But United’s friendly skies were not so friendly.  The company behaved like a union of thugs intent on going to any extent to attend to their needs over those of their paid customers.  Very stupid for United, and even sadder for America.

And, if you think China was going to ignore such brutal behavior and corporate misuse of power, you are wrong.  This is the biggest news item there today, fully replacing yesterday’s attention to Trump’s recent bombing of Syria.  That China is outraged by the abridgement of human rights within the United States says volumes about how much and quickly things have changed America.

While China focused on the abused passenger’s heritage, news in this country barely mentioned that the passenger dragged off the plane was an immigrant.  In fact, almost all the coverage, and there was lots of it, said absolutely nothing about the fact that abused passenger clearly looked different from the average (if there is such a thing) American.  United Airlines could see it, and clearly thought the man would be a good one to throw off the plane.

As a nation, we are losing our rich and distinctive social fabric and replacing it with ignorant and boorish thuggery.  I am embarrassed for America.  I am distressed for America.  I am scared.  I personally hope that United will go out of business over this action.  And, I hope America will see in this most unfortunate incident the flashing light that it is.  America’s very fabric is tearing.   

Wouldn't It Be Amazing ...

Wouldn't it be amazing if Putin plotted everything the last three days.  After all, this is a man who acts viciously and maliciously worldwide with impunity.  He has been knocking off his adversaries inside and outside Russia for months, if not years.

Bashar al-Assad is his dependent and is taking instructions from Russia.  Were the instruction to come from Putin to use chemical weapons on his own people, he certainly would do it.

Putin himself is dealing over the last several weeks with not only increasing opposition to his autocratic rule at home, but the increasing likelihood that his direct coordination with Trump in the US election is about to be exposed.

In order to save himself and his puppet government in US, Putin very well may have set in play the events to precipitate an attack by the US against Syria, knowing it would enable Trump to wag the dog.  By diverting attention from their pre-election coordination for just a few days, Putin might just be able to keep his puppet in place.

Yes, it would be stranger than fiction if Putin plotted this whole thing to save Trump from impeachment. 

I lived in Russia.  I practiced law there.  It seems perfectly possible to me.

Russia’s Billionaires May Demand Putin Call in his Chips

Russia’s billionaires lost trillions when Muammar Gaddafi fell in Libya.  Putin failed to protect their interest, but maintained his power, and hence his own status as the wealthiest man in the world, by promising it wouldn’t happen again.

To this end, Putin has backed Bashar al-Assad in Syria, where Russians have invested fortunes and extended credit at even greater rates than they ever did in Libya.  Putin has stayed true to his backers’ economic interests, even though the simplest rationale would have told him to cut bait and run long ago.

By manipulating the US election, Putin’s backers feel their oates and were especially excited to see their pal, Rex Tillerson as Secretary of State stand up for their interests. 

Six days ago, Tillerson came through for Putin.  He not only finally uttered something to the media, but when he did, he equivocated on the longstanding U.S. position that Bashar al-Assad must go.   He stated that it would be the US position henceforth that it would be up the Syrian people to decide whether Assad stays or goes.  In other words, the US would have no problem if he were to stay.

Assad again miscalculated.  He somehow figured that because he had used chemical weapons on his own people before, Tillerson’s comment gave him carte blanche to do it again.  (Barack Obama’s ineffectiveness allowed him to do this with impunity in 2013).

While the President may be in Putin’s debt, Trump is also apparently under the influence of strong women, like Nikki Haley and Ivanka herself.  These women, and now Trump, may not be so prepared to let the latest violation of the 1949 Geneva Convention on the Protection of Civilians in Times of War (the 4th Geneva Convention) without punishment.

Bashar al-Assad is a broken man and doesn’t seem to care whether he stays or goes.  Russia’s oligarchs aren’t broken.  They want Putin to keep America in line.