Trump’s lawyer provided Bill Maher with proof Trump is not an orangutan

1) Maureen Dowd, “The Truth Hurts — Especially When Bill Maher Dishes It Out,” NewYork Times, May 18, 2024;

Back in 2013, I got a call from Bill Maher.

He was being hit with a lawsuit by Donald Trump and thought it would be “comedy gold” for my column. The host of HBO’s “Real Time With Bill Maher” had joked that Trump was the love child of a human woman and an orangutan — what else could explain the tangerine hair? Maher offered to give $5 million to charity if he could see the birth certificate of Trump, who had offered $5 million to charity for records to verify the birthplace of President Barack Obama.

Trump failed to see the parody and thought the joke was mean. The flamboyant mogul told his lawyer to answer Maher with a letter: “Attached, hereto, is a copy of Mr. Trump’s birth certificate, demonstrating that he is the son of Fred Trump, not an orangutan.” Then Trump sued Maher for $5 million, before dropping the suit eight weeks later. (The Trump representative who threatened to refile the suit was none other than Michael Cohen.)

Boycott big businesses which support Trump

1) Rob Copeland, “In About-Face, Wall Street’s Big Donors Warm to Trump; They may “hate the man,” as one put it, but major business players from coast to coast are increasingly on board for a second term after the first one alienated them, ” New York Times, May 15, 2024 (11:31 a.m. ET);

We feel so helpless,mwatching our democracy go down the drain.

We want to fight this trend, we want to fight Donald Trump and his fascist Republican supporters, but we don’t know what we can do.

Here is an idea. Boycott the businesses that Trump’s big business supporters come from or are still engaged in.

The big business leaders who support Trump or who talk about supporting Trump as if he were just another candidate are traitors to our democracy.

They are reminiscent of the big business leaders in Germany who helped bring Adolf Hitler to power and to sustain his economy and war machine.

The raw capitalism they espouse is soulless, and seeks only profit no matter what the cost to human beings and the millions of people who may be killed in tbe wars it supports.

They are traitors to American democracy. As patriotic Americans we must do everything in our power to thwart them and the fascist Republican movement led by Donald Trump which they support.

What can we do?

One thing we can do is to launch a massive boycott of their companies and former companies, and tgeir products.

We can take a pledge: We will not spend one penny in support of any of their companies or the latters’ products.

Fascism may triumph in America, but at least we personally don’t gave to help fund it.

What is needed are large contributions to set up an institution or institutions which would identify companies and their leaders or former leaders, and identify the products of these companies or their stocks and bonds.

This would be a disinvestment movement for democracy in America.

atgpupiscwould be a giant boycot of goods produced by companies led or formerly by fascistssupporters.

This would be a giant movement that might help avoid or minimize tge collusion of beg busiss and big business leaders with the fascist movement of Donald ztrump.

Donald Trump is not just another candidate. He ia an arch criminal who has committed many serios felonies in full public view, and who led a coniracy to overthrow the government of the United States.

Big business leaders who support him are traitors to our democracy.

We must oppose them with all pir might, and keep them from even getting close to power ever again.

SATIRE: Prince Otto von Bismarck surprises Berlin cabaret audience as he sings medley of popular songs on eve of German invasion of France

1) Antony Blinken spielt in Kiew „Rocking in the free World; Es ist der vierte Besuch von US-Außenminister Blinken in Kiew seit Beginn des russischen Angriffskriegs. Dieses Mal besuchte der 62-Jährige eine Bar und ging mit der Gitarre auf eine Bühne, um einen Klassiker von Neil Young zu spielen.,” Die Welt, den 15. Mai 2024 (10:30 Uhr)

2) “Antony Blinken plays “Rocking in the free World” in Kiev; It is the fourth visit of US Secretary of State Blinken to Kiev since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. This time, the 62-year-old visited a bar and went on a stage with the guitar to play a classic by Neil Young,” Die Welt, May 15, 2024 (10:30 am);

Biden’s red lines point to defeat

1) Paul McLeary and Erin Banco, “Ukraine presses Biden to lift ban on using US weapons to strike Russia; Kyiv watched as Russians massed on the border, but they weren’t allowed to use long-range missiles provided by Washington,” Politico, May 14, 2024 (05:03 PM EDT);

2) James Kilner, “Let us use US weapons to strike inside Russia, pleads Ukraine amid Kharkiv advance; Ukrainian soldiers ‘frustrated’ at having to stand by as Putin’s soldiers build up ranks behind frontier,” The Telegraph, May 15, 2024 (5:46pm);

3) “Antony Blinken spielt in Kiew „Rocking in the free World; Es ist der vierte Besuch von US-Außenminister Blinken in Kiew seit Beginn des russischen Angriffskriegs. Dieses Mal besuchte der 62-Jährige eine Bar und ging mit der Gitarre auf eine Bühne, um einen Klassiker von Neil Young zu spielen.,” Die Welt, den 15. Mai 2024 (10:30 Uhr)

4) “Antony Blinken plays “Rocking in the free World” in Kiev; It is the fourth visit of US Secretary of State Blinken to Kiev since the beginning of the Russian war of aggression. This time, the 62-year-old visited a bar and went on a stage with the guitar to play a classic by Neil Young,” Die Welt, May 15, 2024 (10:30 am);

5) “Ukraine soll offenbar selbst entscheiden, ob sie russisches Staatsgebiet mit US-Waffen angreift; Ukrainische Gegenangriffe mit gelieferten Waffen jenseits der eigenen Grenzen galten lange als Tabu. Nach Großbritannien rücken nun aber offenbar auch die USA davon ab. Setzt das Kanzler Scholz unter Druck?” DercSpiegel, den 15. Mai 2024 (17:36 Uhr);

4) “Ukraine should apparently decide for itself whether to attack Russian territory with US weapons; Ukrainian counterattacks with delivered weapons beyond their own borders were long considered taboo. After Great Britain, however, the USA is now apparently also moving away from it. Is Chancellor Scholz under pressure?” Der Spiegel, May 15, 2024 (5:36 p.m.);

International Law: The missing ingredient in U.S. foreign policy–PRELUDE

Policy Incoherence

United States foreign policy is characterized by a stunning policy incoherence, as it strives to counter Russian violations of international law in Ukraine including in particular its commission of war crimes and crimes against humanity on a massive scale, while it supports Israel and its commission ofcwar crimes in Gaza on a massive scale.

To counter Russian aggression in Ukraine over the course of what is likely to beca long, drawn-out war, a war that could lst for decades, the U.S. and the West need to secure the support of the many countries misleadingly grouped together as the “Global South”.

By its support of Israel in Gaza—and tge massive war crimes evident for all to see, such as the early total blockade of the Gaza Strip cutting off food, water, electricity, and fuel, and the bombardment of civilian infrastructure leaving over 34,000 dead (the majority of which were civilians, particularly women and children, the U.S. has manifested a hypocrisy and double-standard which maybwell make it impossible to rally the countries of the Global South to join the sanctions regimes which alone might cripple the Russian economy.

Biden has lost the Global South, at least for a generation or two.

This policy incoherence is the result of the absence of a critical ingredient in U.S. foreign policy. It is more than an absent ingredient. It is more like an active disdain for international law.

This disdain is not new in U.S. foreign policy. The invasion of Iraq in 2003 in flagrant violation of Article 2 paragraph 4 of the U.N. Charter marked the most recent veering away by the United States from the course of international law.

The so-called “War on Terror” signaled increasing deviations from International Humanitarian Law as the U.S. adopted idiostncratic interpretations of IHL (the law of war) not shared by most other countries.

Recent American support for Israel and its war in Gaza has drawn the U.S. even further from support for international law and towards Israel’s utter disdain for international law.

International Law

If President Biden and the U.S. appreciated the importance and usefulness of International Law, they might have taken the position that Israel must comply with International Law in general and International Humanitarian Law in particular in proceeding against Hamas in Gaza.

They might also articulated their criticism of the Hamas attacks on Israel on October 7, 2023 in terms of International Humanitarian Law and tgecwar crimes Hamas committed on that day and continues to commit each days as it holds be hostages.

They might have supported (though indirectly, since the U.S, is not a party to the Statute of the ICC and has not accepted its jurisdiction) the issuance of internatiinal arrest warrants for the head and leaders of Hamas Such action would largely foreclose current U.S. efforts to persuade or intimidate the Chief Prosecutor of the ICC not to issue such warrants against Benjamin Netanyahu and other top Israeli leaders.

Consequently, if U.S. policy were based on compliance with International Humanitarian Law, it might have blunted criticism of the U.S, being anti-Israel or pro-Palestinian. Moreover, on student campuses such a focus might have done a lot to dampen the antisemitism that erupted basically as a reaction to Israel attacks on civilians in Gaza, It might also have had a very positive impact on thecst

Such a policy, furthermore, would be completely consistent with U.S. policy opposing Russian aggression and crimes against humanity in Ukraine. While the countries of tge Global South might well remain critical of the U.S. for its support of Israel, they would not be able to call out the hypocrisy and double-standard of the U.S. calling out Russia for its utter barbarism in committing war crimes and crimes against humanity in Ukraine, while in effect looking the other way as Israel commits war crimes in Gaza.

There are “costa” associated with a policy of appreciating international law and using international law as a sword in conducting the foreign policy of tge United States, or any country for that matter.

These will be addresses in a future article on “Tge inconvenient aspects of upholding international law.”

A recent incident symbolized Israel’s current attitudes toward the U.N., the U.N. Charter, and international law including International Humanitarian Law. The Israel Ambassador to the U.N. General Assemby ostentatiously shredded a copy of the U.N. Charter while speaking at the podium prior to the vote on a General Assembly resolution supporting the granting of further rights to Israel in the institution.

Israel’s ambassador to the U.N., Gilad Erdan, argued that those voting for the resolution were shredding the U.N. Charter. The stunt was of a puece of Israel’s unrelenting attacks on the United Nation.

See Farnaz Fassihi, “U.N. General Assembly Adopts Resolution in Support of Palestinian Statehood; The vote comes after the United States last month vetoed a Security Council measure granting full U.N. membership to a Palestinian state,“ New York Times, May 10, 2024.

Distractions from the war to save civilization from Russian barbarism

Americans are distracted from the Ukraine war. That is, the war to save civilization from Russian barbarism.

American news media, even the best, are not good at picking out what is really significant in the daily torrent of news and explaining to audiences why a particular news development is really important.

Still, Europeans are closer to the war in Ukraine, and there is evidence that some of their leaders, including those in Britain and France as well as Poland and Eastern Europe are following the situation very closely and are beginning to react to Russian aggression and barbarism, which threatens not only Europe but the whole world.

British foreign minister David Cameron has announced a significant military aid package for Ukraine, and stated that he doesn’t mind if Ukraine uses British-supplied weapons to attack targets in Russia. President Emmanuel Macron of France has recently said that if the Russians break through the Ukrainian lines, France would have to consider very seriously a request from Ukraine to send French ground troops to the country.

The current situation is grave. The Russians are making significant advances on the grounds as their cities and critical infrastructure are subject to devastating attacks, all the more devastating due to inadequate sir defenses, Russian advances on the ground are largely due to the failure of the U.S. to supply urgently-needed munitions, particularly artillery shells, as a result of Republicans on the House holding up Biden’s $60 billion military aid package for six months.

Meanwhile, back in the U.S., decision-makers are distracted in the Ground-Hog-Day spectacle of debates over the livelihood of a temporary cease-fire in Gaza in exchange for a certain number of hostages, and the demonstrations on campus which at bottom are a reaction to Israel’s continuation of its war against Gaza, which has led to over 34,000 deaths since October 7, 2023.

Ground Hog Day includes, of course, the endless fascination of American withs the details of whatever Donald Trump is doing at the moment. In recent days he has been sitting through his first criminal trial. News coverage fails to remind viewers and readers, at every junction, of the specific crimes Trump is accused of and the overwhelming evidence supporting the charges.

One of the candidates for the presidency is an apparent master criminal who sought to overthrow the Constitution, but you would never know that from the news coverage. And if you are like the half of the population which has no memory–maybe it’s a much higher percentage, actually–you might think Trump is just another candidate.

Whatever happens in Gaza and the Middle East, it will be dwarfed in significance if Russia wins the war in Ukraine.

That is where leaders’ attention should be focused, as it is now in Great Britain and France.

American soldiers may pay the price in future years, as they did in World War II, but for now America’s leaders are simply whistling in the dark.

Endlessly distracted by the Ground-Hog-Day spectacle of international and national politics.

Everything repeats, day after day.

Until it doesn’t.