Is it Too late to Kill the Railroad?

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-by Bill Watkins 6/23/2017

Noise Pollution1

Does anyone else want to know what it was like around here without the railroad?

The noise, the metal, nature neglected, wildlife running for the hills.

I like homes and convenience, going to the market and store for goods, but would be willing to have less of it in return for more quiet.

Killing the railroad might go too far, so how about just slowing it down a bit.

If we slowed it down, the horns could be quieter—horns that should be tested anyway for the damage that could be done to pedestrian ears.

Pedestrians…

Jesus walked, Buddha, Gandhi and MLK getting lots of mileage and social change with their feet, so what about you?

Burning earth and going fast?

I asked a group of kids in Livingston the other day what their passions were, and top among them was dirt motorbiking.  #Loud #Fast #Dangerous.

The Jews in the desert attempted to Please the LORD in all that they did.  When Moses went up the hill, they screwed up and started worshipping false gods, got drunk.

But when it was good, they did everything to Please God.  Burning incense, having bar-b-ques, David playing music, singing and dancing—

All to Please God.

God does not like loud trains, motorbikes that scare wildlife and sleeping children.

Be quiet, America!!!!

First Impressions of Livingston

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-by Bill Watkins 6/18/2017

Livingston2 -- Work Walk Collage

Mixed bag, like anywhere in this savage land most call “America.”

You get by the roads, cement, asphalt and tracks—the cigarette butts and wayside bars to marvel at Mountains.  Wind.  Sky everywhere, and clouds that at once threaten and entertain, swirling at play,

Soccer fields with snow-capped mountain backdrops, old west saloon facades selling thrift and high quality art.

Book stores and hip; music abound.

Bad news travels slow until artists collide; a moment with talented Montana master, Sheila Hrasky shows me Picasso colored West, but I learn of tragedy.

Last year children ended their lives in suicide, so now I read—an adult or two drowning as well.

Shades of Los Angeles and a former life I led in Pasadena, California seems relevant.  I survived two overdoses and years of suicidal depression to come here—15 years sober full of hope, writings, dance and song!!!!!

The Devil is gone from my life, Coach Longfellow teaching me to be a hero in the strife!

Alcohol is a cold friend.  A backstabber up and down Main, Park or wherever deceived.

Walk out of the bar, turn from evil, and feel your pain…

(There is no joy without it, Montana)

The Search for Meaning

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Ancient Sins, Amends
and Justice

-by Bill Watkins 6/5/2017

Livingston2 -- Work Walk

LORD, help me communicate your message.

Amen.

***

I have left Los Angeles, California in search of meaning, poetic justice—taking my sins east someday across the ocean back to Europe.

I have decided to pass through beautiful Livingston, Montana for a year or two to gain a different experience, to become a man, prepare for England’s colder weather, and to get some financial standing.

410 years ago three Watkins brothers arrived in the land we now call Virginia—a land that was inhabited by a great people.  We, the English, named it what we wanted and called it ours.

We measured ourselves against the natives by skin color, dress and military weapons—saw an “advantage,” sought to conquer.

Our sins are vast.  Sins of judgment, murder, selfishness, ingratitude, ignorance, and self-righteousness.  Sure, we were chased there by religious wars, oppressive social structures and monarchy.

But also greed.  Vanity; the desire for fame and glory, riches—gold and spices.

A name to place in history as the man or men who discovered a new land or route around the world.

Notice no mention of “God” yet.  While our explorers spoke of “mission” and Bible and bringing God to the New World, our actions were GodLESS.

We lived by the gun and sword.  Died by it.  So many of us throughout history to now just on that Jesus-mentioned “wide path to destruction.”

Lao Tzu said “You cannot change the world.  It cannot be done.”

So why write a piece like this?  Why leave Los Angeles?

Why come to Montana, en route to Wales, United Kingdom—home of the Watkins family that stayed in Europe?

Meaning.

For this poet, meaning… For the world, this poet sets out with the gift God directly gave to drive truth into the wide path.

To split that path, and light the trail back to Heaven’s narrow road.

If I believe through fast and prayer that I may move a mountain from there to here, it shall be done.

If I know CIA killed JFK, then covered up the crime—I shall say so, demand truth, and move on to other dark chapters, light them with alacrity.

If I am sure that we owe amends to anyone related to American SLAVES, I shall write that fact—and push us to truth, action and needed reparations.

Hurting others is hurting ourselves.  Killing off Native America, is killing off Nature in this land.

We must stop, restore land to the Native peoples “won” through bloodshed, threats and broken promises—bring Karma back to the land…

The Great Spirit, often forgotten from big cities to the hearts of reservations—sad with despondent reservation, alcohol, depression—will and must rise again.

The Great Spirit will rise when the Native American people rise again, and the land will prosper.

A Third Political party will emerge.  One of peace and love for Mother Earth.

But first I must remove myself back to England.  Back across the sea, and take our sins with me.

I do so for the Cherokee.  For the Sioux.  For the Crow, the Blackfoot, the Tongva out west—all the tribes, together must rise as I leave with God’s spirit East from here to the land of the Celts.

I will take back, finally, the land’s Gold:

Native American Wisdom and Love for Land.

Europe will thrive when I bring this gold back to them.

And meaning will come to me, a life poetic that gave up comfort to honor God.

Message to American Youth

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Through Travelers’ Eyes

-by Bill Watkins 5/31/2017

ForTheGirls2

By “American” let us refer to first Americans first: The Native peoples who first populated this land.

Pause to consider your role, your peoples’ role in respecting this land, or cursing it with some version of a European gold rush.

***

Today I traveled south from Tongva Nation’s “Los Angeles” by train to a beach of my youth:

St. Malo community in South Oceanside, California.

St. Malo

There is a place in dreams, not far from the heart
of sand and song, the surf it moves us from
Pasadena to Oceanside in weekend shifts.

The soul searches and finds adventure of the
water kind, up and down motion, a fishline
bobbing for fish, rock-collecting on the shore.

It’s all free once there, hard work for some built houses,
others invited guests, the style French inspired
from a walled Brittany gem, quaint and far away

Despite the easy hour and fifteen it can take
to reach Cassidy and a break from hustling bustle.
We’ve arrived.  This is St. Malo!

Unload the car, get food ready, I’ll take this bed,
I can hear the waves, see them almost, let’s
sleep and dream of tomorrow’s activities…

Some sleep in the sun, some not until cooled by
saltwater, others volleyball, the tennis a perennial
favorite even paddle-tennis.  Kids learn to not do

is as fun as doing, the key to paradise always being
freedom.  Add to that a peace of mind, go further
or stop right there at an easy smile.

Hard to come by for many, but once there so easy.
Some listen to music, dance at the cabana, will
a romance start?  Only if prayer can yield honesty—

Some are not ready, but all just where we’re supposed
to be.  The sun comes up on the rich and poor, leveling
us all as human, gratitude the most sane of emotions
weaving like water on water proof cloth until the cracks
in us are found; made whole, we fill that hole we made
making a fort by the water.  Castles made of sand

“melt into the sea, eventually” said the poet, Jimi,
which is fine making room for more to be made, future
trips down the five, stumbling and bumbling down
the PCH Hill Street, a rainbow donut in the morning
steaks and s’mores reading favorite poets singing
songs at night, together we find life warm and worth
the mundane.

Frost and I settle gathering no moss rolling down
a zillionth poetic excursion away from life to find
its keys and truth:  Hope if in the Pacific be, may
it continue to rest with us on asphalt carrying beach
chairs, towels and umbrellas to the sandy break,

The quaint French scene in Socal blue, red and green,
the gold of sand at sun-up and down reminding us
it’s okay just to be….

St. Malo Image

Divorce is the great nightmare, the great deception next to “alcohol” consumption cooked up by the devil as yet another gold rush.

Deny it.  Refute it, best yet:  Rebuke it all in favor of One love, One God, and true Law.

Divorce

The disease of more grabs us late
at night, convincing us there’s
something better out there than what we have.

Women and men chase their tails
and other men and women around
in circles risking jail cells, nut houses
and all that rhymes with misery and
broken dreams.

Sexual security is on the line, “the right
to choose” so powerful and inviting
so why can’t I go back on a promise?

Abuse is another thing.  Child safety
and your own as we leave in quiet
darkness before he comes back home.

“I’ve had it with her binges,” he says.
Conveniently, he’s met somebody else.

The grass is never greener on the other
side, just vulnerable to the elements
as much as any other grass.

Children bearing the brunt, finding
ways to understand including drugs and
alcohol, the suicidal thoughts streaming
in with other questions about my existence.

“Maybe it’s not meant to be.  I was not
meant to be.”  They left me….

Ha!!!  I cringe when they ask on buses or
trains, “Where are your parents?”  Maybe I’ll
make up a story that they live happily
in my heart.  I’ll make it true by decorating
the grave of my alcoholic imagination until
revived, I walk out of the plot to
haunt poetry readings with humor and
good cheer, because…

Because I am proof that Mom and Dad were
here, and in me they were never divorced,
cannot be.

“Man cannot separate what God has bound
together.”  My parents are not divorced, and so
when asked for now on about the status
of my earthly creators, I shall say with that
Frostian sigh:  “Married these fifty years.  Struggling
to see it in a long imagist vacation into ‘Mo Betta’, the
disease of more and other people, places and things.
Festus and Bacchus, the Devil’s black hole.”

For ages hence I’ll say: here I am

***

“Man cannot separate what God has bound,”

So man or woman up, hear the sound, this your lucky day to turn that upside down frown twice up and down, and be the heart that thrills the child and the clown.

You cannot please two masters, worship two gods, and once you marry:

You have become one with another under God, which cannot be changed.  So choose wisely, pray to God, and stick.

Alcohol is a lie.  Find out what it is before you are deceived into another sad sip of toxic, flammable, volatile poison.

Feel.

Feel pain.  Feel joy.  Feel discomfort—give all your feelings to a Higher Power, and live a great day!  Make a schedule for it, God at the top, Sleep at the bottom, and fill in the gaps with love and enterprise.

Rebuke alcohol.  Sin.  Wrong.

Welcome love and light, marry the Wife or husband of your youth, be true to the first crush, be true to love always, and as I told a couple travelers today:

“Let’s stop blowing it.”

***

Sydney and Lauren were their names, and they were the prettiest girls I have ever seen on a bus.  I lost my footing a moment when I saw them, they were so out of place.

Angels is going too far; of course I first placed them as “dancers.”  A pro dance team on holiday, taking in the sights.

Then I noticed their extensive backpacks, telling me they were probably a couple German or Czech travelers.

I had to find out, so posed some questions rapidly, choosing English first.

Turned out they were masters of the language, being American, and being recent college graduates heading out from home to a bus, to a train, to LAX airport to catch a flight to London and a five-week European adventure!

I was in shock how pretty they were.

I still am.

When you grew up like me, drunk, stupid, hoping a sports achievement would attract a woman someday, or some drunk advance… Then you wake up, get sober—discover the glory of God and beautiful women trumping any escapes or forays into useless matters like “college” or Beer.

You stop there, though, with these two because they could be your daughters.

They were born the year I graduated from college, in 1994, and so I write this message—to them and to all young people, in the hope of saying something that might better you.

Do better than me!!

Don’t drink flammable liquids, pray to God, and tell the truth.

Admit to God, yourselves and the mate of your youth the love you feel.  Be innocent.  Express fully what you feel.

Sigmund Freud said the alcoholic has an inability to express love.

Don’t be that guy or gal.  Stop blowing it and tell your first love how you feel.

Apologize to the guy you flaked on, the girl who waited for you, but you got drunk.

Be who you are.  Simplify life, and set out not at the beckon call of the loudest caller—often the devil calling you to bummers and destruction.

Wait.  Travel.  Hike.  Seek ye and ye shall find.  Ask and receive; God, Higher Power, and Heaven itself await the truly good life lived one day at a time, God on top, sleep on the bottom—

Between the lines we live our amazing dreams…

Be.

Crime is Crime. Not Religious

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-by Bill Watkins 5/23/2017

In Alcoholics Anonymous I heard the term HALT for the first time, referring to “Hungry Angry Lonely Tired,” as in: beware not to get bogged down by those feelings.  To do so, would be to risk a relapse into alcohol consumption.

It is my opinion that all crime, no matter how law enforcement labels it, comes from five sources: the four in HALT, and the devil himself.

Crime that hurts people, is not a rational thing usually, so cannot be explained or fought with rational tools.

A bomb goes off and people die.  A tragedy happens, and the many stages of grief and loss begin, one of them being anger.  With that anger, a desire for revenge for many.

Revenge is also an irrational response, and does not rationally stop the behavior that created the anger that leads to revenge.

The big missing buzz word so far is love.  Love is the irrational response to all matters good and bad—hard to give when faced with bad, like crime, but of endless value.  Forgiveness is love’s proud and proper neighbor, ready to enhance and spread like misnamed “terrorism.”

Crime is crime.  Call it “terror.”  Call it an unfortunate response to Hunger, Anger, Loneliness and/or fatigue.  The devil spinning evil, like a hurricane hitting the southeast of America, a bad storm—a necessary flip of the coin, yin to yang, the opposite of goodness, love and peace.

Lao Tzu said “we cannot change the world. It cannot be done,” and I agree, but…  It is ours to try.

Let’s try with love not hate, with forgiveness not revenge, with hugs not bombs.

Arrest by Anger

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An LAPD Favorite

-by Bill Watkins 5/22/2017

Police Corruption

CPC 236:
False imprisonment is the unlawful violation of the personal liberty of another.

CPC 832.5 (a) (1) Each department or agency in this state that employs peace officers shall establish a procedure to investigate complaints by members of the public against the personnel of these departments or agencies, and shall make a written description of the procedure available to the public.

BPC 6068 Attorney Duties:
(a) To support the Constitution and laws of the United States and of this state.
(f) To advance no fact prejudicial to the honor or reputation of a party or witness, unless required by the justice of the cause with which he or she is charged.
(g) Not to encourage either the commencement or the continuance of an action or proceeding from any corrupt motive of passion or interest

***

Once I posed the dangers of involving anger in police work to a Sergeant at LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division headquarters.

He answered back with enthusiasm:

“Anger helps us.  I believe it is good for officers.”

I’ve personally been arrested by LAPD twice without evidence or probable cause.  The arrests were made when I stood on the Constitution, asserted my rights…

And they got mad.

***

For both arrests, by the way, I swiftly went to court and proved my factual innocence to a judge, and am still awaiting City of Los Angeles reimbursements for the troubles they caused me, financially and otherwise.

The total personal financial cost of LAPD mistakes to me:

$2500 in bail money.

Twenty total hours lost in actual time in my life; about fifty total hours of affect, as I lost two days due to a sleep-deprived jail stay in one of those illegal arrests.

If one wondered, the criminal code for arresting and detaining a California citizen illegally without probable cause is CPC 236, spelled out above.

But practice and code are two different things, and one would be very hard-pressed to find any filings of charges against police officers in this state for a CPC 236 violation.

Unfortunately, police—including the LAPD, are protected in a biased perversion of another big code: CPC 832.5.

That is the code used and abused by City and District Attorney offices to keep a corrupt cycle of “police investigating police” whirling and swirling.

The wording is key: “complaints by members of the public against” police officers…

Complaints.  Okay, “They were rude.”  “Unprofessional.”  “Made me feel bad.”  “Made me feel scared.”  “Did not say ‘please’ or ‘thank you.”  “The officer was discourteous and ordered me around too much.”

What about Criminal Charges???

“He hurt my shoulder.”  “They had no evidence, got mad, then roughly cuffed me and arrested me.”  Those are crimes, if true.  CPC 240 Assault, and CPC 236 Illegal Detainment.

Shouldn’t a differentiation be made between “complaints” and “criminal charges?”

Shouldn’t an independent investigator without ties to police officers investigate all criminal complaints against police?

If there is a professional standards issue, by all means—832.5 plays, and the Internal Affairs process can have their way, decide if officers did wrong.

But with criminal charges:

We need to budget and acquire a way to independently investigate a police officer—like any other citizen—of culpability in that crime.

Nixon was not above the law.  Trump is not above the law.  Neither should cops be above the law, and neither should city and district attorneys claim them as “clients” to create even more bias in the process.

The Attorney’s Oath must be followed.

Why Lawrence O’Donnell Should Stay at MSNBC

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-by Bill Watkins 5/19/2017

Lawrence O'Donnell

Frankly, I’m writing for an old principle brought up in the news this week repeatedly.  When the concept was discussed, it was done so with a negative light about it:

Loyalty.

A next door neighbor to loyalty is gratitude.

And while the suspicious Donald Trump throws the term around like a mob boss seeking favors, MSNBC’s veteran star, Lawrence O’Donnell, deserves the word’s best connotations.

The Last Word’s best.

I started watching Lawrence just this year, I won’t lie.  In fact, Ari Melber was guest hosting his show when I picked up the 10 pm EST slot habit.

Ari was great, a tough act to follow when Lawrence came back from a break, but ever since, I can see why Lawrence has been so successful.

O’Donnell not only engages, but is a consummate team player.  Has humility and grace.  Knowledge of law and policy.  A lawyer’s affinity for argument, goes farther than a moderate would go to make some points—but that is who he is, at MSNBC since their start in 1996!

Goes all the way back to the beginning of the channel.

Why I hope he and they work out a win-win deal for both parties as they discuss contracts this month.  There’s really no reason for someone like me to chime in on an adult’s relationship with other adults.  They will do what they do, but…

Lately in life and in business, I smell so much greed and ADD, that I fear decisions get made not from love but from… Greed and ADD.

The doom of men is that they forget.
—Merlin, Excalibur

Don’t forget, MSNBC.  Don’t forget how you started, and who chipped in, who supported and sacrificed, who does what the team needs to be done, who is an elder statesman who might want to move on on his own terms soon, anyway!!!

Because that is what a team player does.

Lawrence O’Donnell is skilled to be the number one guy somewhere.  But there he is on MSNBC, on deck after that channel’s number one, Rachel Maddow.

He revels in supporting her, is grateful for her skills, and tells her often not just as a newsman should, but as a Nice person anywhere should.

O’Donnell is a smile, a skill, a hobby, a fixture at 10 pm.

Within reason, and under God’s good guidance, I hope that he not greed and ADD, will decide when and how to leave.

Puritan America:

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Hypocrites and Perverts

-by Bill Watkins 5/19/2017

Holier than Thou

May your fountain be blessed, and may you rejoice in the wife of your youth.
—Proverbs 5:18

The Anthony Weiner case reminded me of a great American tradition: Hypocrisy.

That and our built-in age discrimination.

How many times does the Constitution hoist “age” as a qualification for office?

Three.  One must be twenty-five to run for Congress.  Thirty to run for the Senate.  And thirty-five to run for the presidency.

And one must be eighteen to be considered worthy of a vote in our process and many other rights of so-called “adults.”

That is discrimination.

Google defines discrimination as:  the unjust or prejudicial treatment of different categories of people or things, especially on the grounds of race, age, or sex.

Google defines prejudice as: a preconceived opinion that is not based on reason or actual experience.

A forty-year old man swerves to the voting booth, drunk and jaded.

“It’s okay, he’s the right age.”

A twelve year old has studied every candidate, has a favorite, knows the issues, wants to help…  But:

“I’m sorry, you are not the right age.”

***

There is a similar problem, the real “puritan” one that got me writing today:

Anthony Weiner.  A fifteen year old.  Distributing pornographic material.

That’s a puritan-style “offense” if I ever heard one.  I think that girl will survive.

In fact, that girl may have been a woman.  Not by law, but by nature.

Many want to throw stones at Anthony Weiner, and I say with that rebellious rabbi, that “he without sin may cast the first stone.”

We coddle our children out of their rights.

A woman is a woman, when she has working reproductive parts.

A man is a man, when he can produce a child.

That is the pagan view, the first people view, the pre-religion view, and I think it has more value and truth in it than puritanical laws that block love.

The devil wants to divide us.  “Call them terrorists!!  Call those perverts!!  Call those ones adults!!  Call those guys children!!”

The devil hates simplicity: Love defeating hate.  Good defeating evil.

Forgiveness, hope, sexual intercourse by consenting people.  A disaster for the devil, who wants us to fear and judge others.

Love is good, folks.  No matter the age.

Forgiveness is the best part of us.  So perhaps we can love each other.  Start with Anthony.  Or his supposed victim—actually a discriminated against young person!!

Freedom is spouted as a virtue by those who wrote the laws that make themselves free, while others suffer as their servants.

Free our children.

Free them to vote.  To have sex.  To speak.  To dance.  To sing!!!

Let’s come back, not to the religious God only…

But to the place with less words.  The rite of passage ceremony.  The recognition that we are men and women long before current laws deem us as such.

Top Ten Reasons Not to Fly Helicopters

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4th Amendment Flight

10. Enjoy Earth, don’t Burn It to Fly Over It.

9. Be Quiet.  Enjoy Quiet.  Trust Quiet and Peace.

8. Realize Life is as Much about What is Behind us as in Front.  Slow Down.

7. “Earth is the Right Place for Love.”  –Robert Frost

6. “Don’t know where it’s likely to go better…”  –Robert Frost

5. It hurts to fly loud machines, more than it helps.

4. Be nice to your Ears.

3. Don’t risk the addiction of fast, loud flight.  The PTSD.

2. “Earth is the right place for Love.  I’m not sure where it’s likely to go better.”  –Robert Frost, reprised

1. God wants you to slow down.  Listen to a Jack Johnson song.  Fall back in love with yourself and the Earth, the Great Mother.

Stop burning her, making noise, speeding past happiness.

Charges Against Trump

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The Argument for Impeachment

-by Bill Watkins 5/17/2017 edited 5/18/2017

Collusion Russia Trump1

There are matters under investigation by professionals at the FBI.  Pending matters that will bear in any Trump impeachment argument.

Extent of Trump involvement in coordinating the Russian infiltration of the 2016 U.S. election process is just not known at this time.

What is known?  And is what we know so far enough for an impeachment?

January 4th, 2017:

Dereliction of Duty, Security Breach, Vetting

According to multi-sourced reporting, Michael Flynn attorneys warn the White House transition team that Flynn was under FBI investigation for being an unreported foreign agent.

January 20th, 2017:

Michael Flynn is sworn in as National Security Advisor anyway.

January 27th, 2017:  (https://travelingpoet.net/2017/05/12/the-optics-of-trumps-january-27th/)

1. Dereliction of Duty

*Sally Yates makes a second in-person warning about Michael Flynn, which is ignored by the White House.

*Trump issues an unconstitutional travel ban—an order not likely to be enforced by Yates, allowing Trump “grounds” for firing her the following Monday.

2. Comey Dinner, Tampering with an Ongoing FBI investigation, Possible Obstruction of Justice

*Suspicious Comey/Trump Dinner planned and executed for the evening of January 27th, while travelers are stranded and detained nation-wide due to Trump’s unconstitutional ban unlikely to be enforced by whistleblower AG Sally Yates.

February 14th, 2017:

Obstruction of Justice.

According to a James Comey memo, reported on first by the New York Times just yesterday—Donald Trump pulled his FBI director aside in a personal meeting, asked him to “this this go,” referring to any Michael Flynn investigation.

This was a day after Flynn resigned under the pressure of a Washington Post piece that outed Flynn’s inappropriate talk with Russian ambassador Sergei Kislyac about U.S. sanctions.

March 22nd, 2017:

Nunes Dance – Obstruction/White House Involved

House Intelligence Chairman Devin Nunes runs around the White House, collecting top secret documents from White House staff, then claiming to inform the White House/Trump on the matter the next day.  (https://travelingpoet.net/2017/03/31/trump-coordination-with-nunes-obvious/)

March 25th, 2017:

Devin Nunes cancels a House Intelligence public hearing scheduled for the following Tuesday, where Sally Yates was due to testify, thwarting the Committee’s investigation into Russian interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election, and possible coordination between Trump’s campaign and that interference.

April 25, 2017:

According to sourced reporting, Trump reaches out to Michael Flynn, fired since February and still under FBI investigation—tells him to “stay strong.”

May 9th, 2017:

Firing Comey – Obstruction of Justice

Trump fires James Comey, chief investigator into Trump’s campaign.  Lester Holt’s (NBC) May 11th interview reflects Trump’s intent to fire the FBI chief over the Russia/Trump investigation.

May 10th, 2017:

Treason, Dereliction, Mishandling Classified Documents

Trump does a Russian tap-dance in Oval Office with Lavrov and Kislyac.

Trump allegedly gives classified information to the Russians, allows Russian photographers into the meeting, barring U.S. press.

May 16th, 2017:

Comey Memo leaks to the New York Times, more Republicans speaking of the need for an “independent investigator” to handle the Russia case.

Justin Amash (R, Michigan), Walter Jones (R, North Carolina) and Carlos Curbelo (R, Florida) are the first Republicans to talk of possible impeachment proceedings.