Going high when they go low is admirable, but when you’re dealing with a mad dog, well, you’ve just got to stop him in his tracks (non-violently). I believe in the power of love, but I also believe in survival. And if you don’t think we’re now in a survival mode, you’re not paying enough attention.

On the national political landscape, that mad dog is Donald Trump. And, it would seem crystal clear now, the Republican Party, who Monday evening, behind closed doors, on the night before the new Congress is sworn in, gutted the independent ethics oversight committee. Do you need a more clear, more shameless declaration? Later the next day they backed off after a firestorm of protest, but their hand was clearly shown. As was our need to keep protesting.

On the local landscape, it’s the notion that Santa Monica is now more than ever for sale to the highest bidder. Come, come to Santa Monica, all ye with bulging bags of banknotes for campaign PACs, pick your opportunity sites, LUVE is dead. After fiercely protecting, for nearly 150 years, our cherished status as LA’s beach town,

a breath of fresh ocean air, sunshine and palm trees, we’re now floating

untenable, ridiculous arguments to justify overdevelopment that will block the sun and sea breezes, hide the palms, and tie us all up in traffic that makes Santa Monica just another ugly urban mess.


But if we act quickly, decisively and relentlessly, we do have hope. We have the numbers on our side, if not the bankroll. No good change in America ever came from the top down. I have the feeling already that these two disastrous events will be inspiration for an activism that has not been seen for decades.

Measure LV may have been defeated, but the cause it represents is far from dead, because that cause reaches down to the very roots and long proud history of Santa Monica. The rumblings are already widespread, and they won’t go away.

“For the loser now will be later to win

‘Cause the times they are a-changing.”

Speaking of mad dogs, the Mango Mussolini has chosen retired Marine general James “Mad Dog” Mattis for Secretary of Defense. Since The Donald appears to know very little about world affairs or military/defense, Mattis will bring much-needed experience to the administration. He has has many qualities to recommend him. However…

Mattis is only one of Trump’s inappropriate, divisive and downright scary choices

for his cabinet. Actually, they all are. Here are some of the things Mattis has proudly proclaimed (reader advisory: don’t read this aloud to the kiddies — salty sadistic soldier language here):


“The first time you blow someone away is not an insignificant event. That said, there are some assholes in the world that just need to be shot.” (Business Insider)

“I’m going to plead with you, do not cross us. Because if you do, the survivors will write about what we do here for 10,000 years… I come in peace. I didn’t bring artillery. But I’m pleading with you, with tears in my eyes: If you fuck with me, I’ll kill you all.” (San Diego Union Tribune)

“You go into Afghanistan, you got guys who slap women around for five years because they didn’t wear a veil. You know, guys like that ain’t got no manhood left anyway. So it’s a hell of a lot of fun to shoot them. Actually it’s quite fun to fight them, you know. It’s a hell of a hoot. It’s fun to shoot some people.” (CNN)

— Ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of your newly-elected president: the new leader of our military, the voice of US defense policy. Believe it.

Mattis also retweeted, during the campaign, the fake news of Hillary’s involvement in a child porn ring (since deleted).

I could trot out similarly shocking quotes and resumes for all Trump’s top picks to run our government. We need to resist them all. We need to bombard our representatives and others in Congress to not approve these outrageous, irresponsible appointments. We must also prevail upon them to not approve any of the dozens of federal judgeships, still open because the GOP did not act on Obama’s nominees.


Is this acting badly, same as we’ve criticized the GOP for? No. Mad dog. Mad dogs don’t play by rules. Republicans broke all the rules in their obstructionism, and that many Trump-nominated judges will tilt the courts so far right for decades to come that we won’t recognize this country. Voting rights. Abortion. All men created equal. Immigration (“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, the wretched refuse of your teeming shore.”)

That’s not America, not the way we’ve been operating since Constitution days. We cannot legitimize obstructionism as the way we “govern.” Sometimes, as in forest fires, you just have to fight fire with fire. We would only be demanding that the rules not be broken, that the fix be corrected. No presidential nomination for the Supreme Court has ever before been refused consideration by Congress. Ever.

I will do my best to alert you to opportunities to protect our Santa Monica residents from big-money assaults, and to oppose everything Trump proposes that is not for the good of the people. (And I will support everything he proposes that is. Not holding my breath, though.)

Sheesh. This stuff is preeminently important, but I intended to write about music. Maybe next Wednesday. Oh, and go to Library Girl this Sunday at 6:30 at the Ruskin Theatre at the airport. Excellent lineup, $10, free tacos, free parking.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: If there is so little advertising in any of our local newspapers from Third Street Promenade and other Downtown businesses, is that not an indication that those businesses know that locals don’t come Downtown anymore, because it’s just too much hassle?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “Come writers and critics, who prophesize with your

pen, and keep your eyes wide, the chance won’t come again” — Bob Dylan (“The Times They Are A-Changin’”)

Charles Andrews has lived in Santa Monica for 31 years and wouldn’t live

anywhere else in the world. Really. Send love and/or rebuke to him at