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The Shoemaker Has No Shoes

Four Grounds to Impeach Trump

By my count there are now four grounds to impeach Trump. The fifth seems to be on its way.

  1. In taking the oath of office the president promises to faithfully execute the laws and the Constitution. But Trump is unfaithfully executing his duties as president by accusing his predecessor, President Obama, of undertaking an illegal (and impeachable) act.
  2. Article I Section 9 of the Constitution forbids government officials from taking things of value from foreign governments. But Trump is making big money off his Trump International Hotel by steering foreign diplomatic delegations to it, and will make a bundle of China’s recent decision to grant his trademark applications for the Trump brand — decisions Chinese authorities arrived at directly because of decisions Trump has made as president.
  3. The 1st Amendment to the Constitution bar any law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof. But Trump’s ban on travels into the U.S. from six Muslim countries — which he initiated, advocated for, and oversees — violates that provision.
  4. The 1st Amendment also bars abridging the freedom… of the press. But Trump’s labeling the press as enemy of the people and choosing whom he invites to news conferences based on whether they’ve given him favorable coverage, violates this provision.
  5. Article III Section 3 of the Constitution defines treason against the United States as adhering to their enemies, giving them aid and comfort. Evidence in mounting that Trump colluded with Russian operatives to win the 2016 presidential election.

The question is no longer whether there are grounds to impeach Trump. The practical question is whether there is the political will. As long as Republicans remain in the majority in the House (where a bill of impeachment originates), it’s unlikely.

Another reason why it’s critically important to flip the house in 2018.

~ Robert Reich (born:1946-06-24 age:70)

Impeachment measures political support in the house and senate. It is not an impartial trial. Republicans don’t care how depraved, corrupt, criminal or unconstitutional Trump is. They simply calculate if they personally will fare better with or without Trump. As Trump bragged, he can get away with murder. Normally, they vote along party lines. However, he will be impeached the day Republicans believe the voters will dump them at the next election for supporting Trump.

Imagine having an accountant as a client who insisted on maintaining his general ledgers using a word processor. You would do you best to persuade him that his data should be structured. He needs validation with cross field checks. You would persuade him he could do so much more with that data when stored in a database, including controlled simultaneous update.

Imagine taking on a software developer as a client. He insists on maintaining all his data (source code) with a text editor. He is not yet even exploiting the word processor’s colour, type size or fonts.

Think of what might happen if we started storing source code as structured data. We could view the same source code in many alternate ways, e.g. as Java, as NextRex, as a decision table, as a flow chart, as a loop structure skeleton (with the detail stripped off), as Java with various levels of detail or comments removed, as Java with highlights on the variables and method invocations of current interest, or as Java with generated comments about argument names and/or types. We could display complex arithmetic expressions in 2D, the way TeX and mathematicians do. You could see code with additional or fewer parentheses, ( depending on how comfortable you feel with the precedence rules ). Parenthesis nests could use varying size and colour to help matching by eye. With changes as transparent overlay sets that you can optionally remove or apply, you could watch in real time as other programmers on your team, working in a different country, modified code in classes that you were working on too.

You could use the full colour abilities of the modern screen to give subliminal clues, e.g. by automatically assigning a portion of the spectrum to each package/class using a pastel shades as the backgrounds to any references to methods or variables of that class. You could bold face the definition of any identifier to make it stand out.

You could ask what methods/constructors will produce an object of type X? What methods will accept an object of type X as a parameter? What variables are accessible in this point in the code? By clicking on a method invocation or variable reference, you could see its definition, helping sort out which version of a given method will actually be invoked. You could ask to globally visit all references to a given method or variable, and tick them off once each was dealt with. You could do quite a bit of code writing by point and click.

Some of these ideas would not pan out. But the best way to find out which would be valuable in practice is to try them. Once we had the basic tool, we could experiment with hundreds of similar ideas to make life easier for the maintenance programmer.

I discuss this further in the SCID (Source Code In Database) student project.

An early version of this article appeared in Java Developers’ Journal (volume 2 issue 6). I also spoke on this topic in 1997-11 at the Colorado Summit Conference. It has been gradually growing ever since. I have had quite a few requests for permission to build links here. You are welcome to create links, but please don’t repost the essay since the original changes frequently.

If you enjoyed this essay you might like this one on how to write like a newbie. There is a ton of stuff on this site quite unlike anything else on the web. Have a quick look at my home page or my Java Glossary which is a central place to find out everything you ever wanted to know about Java or perhaps my Gay & Black Glossary. If you want a bird’s eye view of all the things I’m involved in, see the CMP_home home page.

You might also enjoy the famous essays Worse Is Better and The Rise of Worse Is Better on doing the right thing.

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