Paying for Donald Trump’s Empire

This was originally written for Memorial Day weekend. I’m thinking about the things we justify by sending in our taxes. As I point out in my play HOW TO STOP THE EMPIRE WHILE KEEPING YOUR DAY JOB, being well-behaved worker bees isn’t getting us ahead and it isn’t a moral stance that can be justified. Well behaved worker bees make the empire’s excesses possible.


From the 2012 performance for Occupy. I updated the language to talk about paying for the judicial system that hasn’t prosecuted a single police officer for murdering people of color.

I also brought it up in my first-ever one-man show, A CLOWN, A HAMMER, A BOMB AND GODback 21 years ago. The subject then (and it’s still an issue) is the nuclear arsenal we continue to point at places all over the world. In theory, we aren’t pointing weapons at Kiev and the Ukraine anymore. But who knows? 


Ben Roberts as the Clown in 1999 in Amsterdam.

So here I am–I’m ten feet away from the silo that holds the death sentence for everyone within thirty miles of Kiev. None of us want that missile to fly over and blow up the city of Kiev. Do we? I said, DO WE?

Well, your name is on the missile. And so is mine. It says US right on it. If you’ve been paying taxes and living in the confines of the law, you can’t pretend you didn’t think the missile going off over Kiev was a good idea. You can’t even pretend, the way the German civilians did after World War II, that you didn’t know what your government was doing in your name. Even if you don’t read papers or watch television, you can’t say you didn’t know anymore. I TOLD YOU. After today, you’ll never be able to say you didn’t know.

You’re welcome.

We are not at the point where we are firing nuclear weapons at North Korea. We don’t seem to be ready to unload our massive arsenal on Syria. That also means we’re probably not ready to split atoms with Putin’s forces (though I’ve anticipated that moment for two years–see here).  So (as a college bud once said), who’s been pissing in my cornflakes? These two news stories popped to the head of my feed this AM.

This first story seems to be as good a start as any–ICE (the people trusted with the task of ridding the US of the wrong kind of immigrants, i.e., the ones from ‘shithole countries‘) have been separating children from parents as they deport the latter. Under the law, children born here to immigrant parents are not subject to deportation. So what ICE seems to be doing, under the orders of their leadership, is taking American born children away from their parents and deporting the parents. The kids are in a legal limbo, ostensibly for foster parentage. There seems to be outrage about this, but not enough to turn Trump aside. 

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The second story–we’re jailing First Nations Protesters who stood against the Dakota Access Pipeline. Two protesters have already had the wrath of the courts visited on them for the high crime of trying to protect their reservation’s water supply. You can find more about their court fights online. Here’s a meme about Red Fawn Fallis, who was just sentenced to 57 months in prison. She fired a pistol at attackers–but there are a number of allegations that haven’t been questioned about the incident. Then there’s Michael “Little Feather” Giron, who just accepted a plea deal for prison after his attorney wasn’t able to secure a change of venue (details in article).  

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In terms of the Immigration fight carried on by ICE, We’re all paying for the mayhem we’re inflicting on thousands of children and their parents. And if you want to get technical, the boomers paid for the mayhem that started it all. Reagan’s support of the brushfire wars in Salvador and Guatemala and Honduras set up disastrous consequences for those countries and their governance. We didn’t stop communism–we stopped all sorts of human progress. And now those countries are beset with issues that the locals must escape. They go north, negotiating their way through treacherous territory in Mexico and hoping to make the US border unscathed. They can’t stay home because of the gangs and the corrupt police, and they can’t stay in Mexico. Our rules heretofore have allowed asylum seekers to cross into the US and THEN seek out the US consulate. Not true anymore thanks to Sessions’ ZERO TOLERANCE policy. Sent home as a family if they’re lucky and not separated from their children. Sent home to face death or torture from the gangs.

And the First Nation people are defending one of the slivers of land we set aside for them after wars that reduced their numbers by millions. The current fight over the pipeline is simply the latest despoiling of land given by treaty. The UN has already weighed in on our treatment of First Nation people

Your tax dollars at work. 

If you want to have some ideas on how to resist, go to the website of NATIONAL WAR TAX RESISTANCE. They have some interesting ideas of how to resist the Empire that now belongs to Donald Trump. And they consider Trump’s militarization of our borders an act of war. 



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