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That line delivered by Lauren Bacall to Humphrey Bogart in the 1944 film To Have and Have Not is perhaps one of the most memorable in film history.

You are watching: You just put your lips together and blow


This scene was not part of the film’s original script, loosely adapted from Hemingway’s novel of the same name. Originally the sultry whistle scene was the 18 year old model Betty Perske’s January 1944 screen test for the film. Her delivery so wowed studio head Jack Warner and he insisted that Howard Hawks the film’s director sign the actress and work the scene into the production. Hawks signed Betty Perske and then changed her name to Lauren Bacall. Bacall and her co-star Humphrey Bogart began a romance during the filming of To Have and Have Not and were married in 1945.

In 1957 at the funeral for her husband, Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall put a whistle in his coffin.

Lauren Bacall’s whistleblowing question has almost nothing to do with the current Whistleblower — except perhaps for the concept. 

You do know how to whistle don’t you ...?

On July 25th, When Donald Trump tried to shake down Ukrainian president Vladimir Zelensky — holding up 391 million dollars in US Aid in exchange for slime on Joe Biden and his son and for ‘investigations’ of widely debunked conspiracy theories — at least a dozen US Government employees listened in on the call.

In that call, the pResident clearly violated his oath of office and abused his position for personal political purposes. That call was a remarkable act of hubris, coming less than 24 hours after the conclusion of special counsel Robert Mueller’s congressional testimony. 

I suppose Trump felt emboldened by Mueller. The Special Counsel had mutely declined to elaborate on his report — the one that outlined 10 instances in which the pResident had obstructed justice — with respect to his collusion with Russia to interfere in the 2016 US elections. Trump was not exonerated, but he wasn’t going to prison either, because both Mueller and Trump’s Justice Department felt constrained by a DOJ legal analysis holding that a sitting President couldn’t be indicted. Not exactly a get of jail free card — but a solid deferral until at least January 2021 and maybe 2025. 

Trump had also learned another important factoid during the Mueller investigation — there is a 5 year statute of limitations on obstruction of justice charges in federal court. So if re-elected in 2020, Trump could escape legal jeopardy for those obstruction of justice issues all together. With that kind of incentive, what wouldn’t D. J. Trump do to get reelected?

Given this, why wouldn’t Trump strong arm Australia, Ukraine, the UK, Italy, Ukraine, China and any other country to help him achieve that imperative? What’s to stop him. He can’t be indicted and thinks he won’t be impeached. He sees himself as untouchable — for as long as he remains in office. 

In the process, Trump is undermining our national security. Every one of the foreign leaders Trump attempts to enlist in his effort to get reelected holds that crime over Trump’s head — and now they all have leverage. Each of the foreign leaders he has propositioned have a sword of damocles hanging over the pResident. There is no telling what Trump will give up to keep them silent — between now and the 2020 election.

Which takes us back to the Whistleblower. Out of all those federal employees who directly heard the pResident abuse his office or learned about it shortly thereafter, it’s remarkably sad that only one person was willing to file a complaint. Those closest to the pResident know what happens to people who cross him, so they were maybe smart to remain silent. The Whistleblower’s life is never going to be the same again. They will be vilified, harassed, hounded, disparaged, threatened, and crushed — it won’t ever stop.

Right Wing media is now calling for the National Intelligence Whistleblower to be unmasked so that the pResident can ‘face his accuser.’ That might seem reasonable until you consider the lopsided power dynamics — and the pResident’s total disregard for the personal safety of his critics and his willingness to encourage vigilante justice.

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So what can be done about it. We’ll first, other whistleblowers need to step forward. We now have two. There must be more. There is safety in numbers. 

Then all of us need to get a Whistle and if the situation merits it, we need to put our lips together and give it a long loud blow. When anyone wants to know who the Whistleblower is — it was me and you and all the rest of us. Fish school for a reason — it impedes predation.