Herb Strentz

Aides don't say Trump is above the law. They say he is the law

Herb Strentz reacts to a new low in public discourse about the 2020 election. -promoted by Laura Belin

Put this in the “counting-the-days” file.

United States Code Title 18, Section 871 deals with knowingly and willfully mailing or otherwise making “any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the president of the United States”.

The offense is punishable by up to five years in prison, a $250,000 maximum fine, a $100 special assessment, and up to three years of supervised release.

On the other hand, citizens in general and many public servants are fair game, as suggested by this news account:

Continue Reading...

Norman Vincent Peale talked the talk. Dietrich Bonhoeffer walked the walk

Herb Strentz reflects on two Christian spiritual leaders of the 20th century. One is viewed as an influence on Donald Trump. -promoted by Laura Belin

“Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in.”

That’s a line from the 1990 movie The Godfather Part 3. It is a curse and a statement of fact by the Mafia don, Michael Corleone, played by Al Pacino.

Well, thanks to the election, I thought I was out— “out” from the nonsense about Donald Trump being a gift from God, a 21st century version of the 6th century B.C. Cyrus the Great, King of Persia, anointed by Jehovah to rescue Jews from Babylon.  You’ll find Cyrus chosen by God in the 45th chapter of the biblical book of Isaiah. That makes it crystal clear: God chose Donald the Great as our 45th president!

Continue Reading...

Iowa's unstrung quartet — Chuck, Joni, Kim, and Terry

Herb Strentz envisions a musical inspired by top Iowa Republicans’ “unquestioning obedience” to President Donald Trump. -promoted by Laura Belin

We’ve had Broadway musicals inspired by American history, such as 1776 and Hamilton.

Now how about an Iowa take on the nation’s future with a political song and dance called Iowa’s Un-Strung Quartet? The musical would deal with U.S. Senators Chuck Grassley and Joni Ernst and Governors Terry Branstad and Kim Reynolds in their attempts to harmonize with the persistently off-key Donald Trump.

The dark humor driving the discord would be the fact that Trump does not demand loyalty from his aides and his supporters.

Continue Reading...

For those who deplore hatred, an alternative to hating Trump

Herb Strentz: I think I’ve found a way out, at least for me. I no longer “hate” the president. -promoted by Laura Belin

Many people are hesitant to say they “hate” Donald Trump. The hesitancy may spring from Biblical and other religious tenets, philosophy, wisdom and advice, going back at least 2,500 years to Confucius.

And, after all, the New Testament of the Christian Bible does call for people to love their enemy, to pray for those who persecute you, etc.

And there is even older advice about having to dig two graves if you seek revenge or hate — one for the object of your revenge or hatred and the other for yourself because of the self-destructive nature of revenge and hatred.

Continue Reading...

Trump food program letter: Treat or trick?

Herb Strentz reports on how central Iowa food banks are handling an unprecedented letter from the president in boxes for the needy. -promoted by Laura Belin

Halloween will soon be upon us, and there is a “trick or treat” aspect to a flap involving President Donald Trump. I’m not referring to his planned campaign rally at the Des Moines airport, but to a controversy surrounding aid to our nation’s hungry.

Here’s the deal: Given that COVID-19 has cost farmers much of their commercial market and exacerbated food insecurity for millions of people, the U.S. Department of Agriculture advanced a $4 billion Farmers to Families Food Box Program called the Coronavirus Food Assistance Program.

Here’s the misdeal: The boxes that program provides to food banks around the nation–and then to food pantries– now include a letter in English and Spanish and adorned by the usual grandiose signature of Donald J. Trump. He takes a measure of credit for the program and writes, “I prioritized sending nutritious food from our farmers to families in need throughout America.”

Continue Reading...

Hoover Library and Museum--Nothing to be depressed about

Herb Strentz reports on a recent visit to the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum and on the new challenges facing those who archive and exhibit presidential records. -promoted by Laura Belin

Herbert Hoover lived the American dream; Herbert Hoover endured the American nightmare.

That and more are documented in the Hoover Presidential Library and Museum in West Branch, an Iowa jewel and part of the Presidential Library system administered by the National Archives and Records Administration (covered in my last Bleeding Heartland article).

This post focuses on Hoover and West Branch as NARA goes digital to facilitate access to records. The shift likely marks the end of having any more presidential libraries like the one in Iowa, which has drawn some 4 million visitors since its dedication in 1962, and has offered special programs for some 555,000 people since 1997. Such programming continues in modest ways and will resume when COVID-19-related closures end.

Continue Reading...
View More...