Republicans (and some Democrats) are calling for John Conyers to resign his seat in the House because of some clearly reprehensible sexual harassment and probably sexual assault while he was a member of Congress. Some Republicans are calling on Al Franken to resign because of his sexual misconduct (some of which he’s admitted) before he was elected to any office. But those same Republicans seem to take the position that it’s up to the voters of Alabama to decide if they want to elect Roy Moore to the Senate, despite compelling evidence that he’s a pedophile and sexual predator. Wouldn’t it be more consistent if they let the voters in Conyers’ district decide next year if they want to return him to Congress, and let Minnesota voters make the same decision about Franken?
During his presidential campaign Donald Trump boasted that he could walk out to 5th Ave and shoot someone and not lose any votes – apparently he was right, just as his history and his own words clearly indicated that he’s a serial sexual predator who hits on women, kisses them against their will, gropes them and grabs them by the pussy. So why wouldn’t he endorse Roy Moore for the U.S. Senate? Moore has supported keeping segregation in the Alabama constitution, he has written that women are unfit for office, he claims that anyone criticizing his pedophilia is a lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, or a socialist, “socialist” apparently being defined by Moore as anyone who is not a white male Southern Baptist Republican. Listening to the female governor of Alabama, it’s their choice if they support him, and no one’s business outside Alabama. I wonder if he’d lose much support if he formed a lynch mob and went after Muslims, African Americans or Democrats? Probably not. He’d probably still be in a dead heat in the polls if he molested a 14-year-old girl on Alabama public access cable. Fucking amazing.
Mike Flynn was fired by the Obama administration, and his security clearance was revoked. Trump was advised that Flynn was a security risk, yet Trump made him National Security Adviser, even though Flynn had already sold out to foreign governments, particularly Russia. Paul Mantafort is awaiting indictment for selling his soul as well – and managed Trump’s campaign.
Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump are using a private email server, both are White House advisers and on the federal payroll – after Trump attacked Hillary Clinton for doing the same thing, and continues to attack her.
Trump wants more violence and harder hits in pro football, at a time when football at all levels is working to reduce injuries, especially brain trauma. Aaron Hernandez killed himself at age 27, and yesterday it was announced that he suffered from stage 3 CTE.
We don’t have a president, we have a self-defined emperor – Caligula Trump.
My digestive system can only take Trump speeches in short bursts, but Friday night I took some Pepto and toughed it out longer than usual, watching and listening as he campaigned for Luther Strange in Alabama. Of course he never really campaigns for anyone but himself, he feeds off the frenzy of his followers, wallowing in their ignorance, hatred and blind adoration.
I’ve been trying to categorize our 45th President. Is he a narcissist? Definitely. Is he a sociopath? Arguably. I see elements of a televangelist preaching absurd interpretations of the Bible and lining his own pockets as he does so, as well as an old-time snake oil salesman, peddling toxic waste as a panacea for every ill in the country. “Drink my message, only I can make America great again!” I also see a carnival barker at a freak show, though in this case the freaks aren’t inside a big top tent, they’re sitting in Trump’s audience. Yesterday morning when I got up it finally hit me, what I really see in Donald Trump – a hybrid of Huey Long and Benito Mussolini; poor speaking skills, exaggerated and inappropriate gestures and pandering to the lowest elements in the audience, just as Long and Mussolini did. Long and Mussolini never had the best interests of their respective countries in mind, nor of their fellow citizens, certainly not of humankind. And neither does Donald Trump.
The current controversy stirred up by Trump is about NFL players who kneel during the National Anthem, and it’s amazing Trump is critical – this is the same Donald Trump who hid behind rich kid deferments throughout the Vietnam era. He equated his attendance at military school to active duty, ignoring the fact that his teachers didn’t shoot students who missed class or didn’t get good grades. He criticized John McCain, saying he preferred heroes who didn’t get captured. And he said his most difficult decisions during that awful time were about which starlet or socialite he was going to pick up at trendy clubs, then take them home and fuck them.
Nearly 9 million Americans served in the military during the Vietnam era, 2.7 million in Vietnam – Donald J. Trump was not among them, and apparently never gave it a thought. More than 60,000 Americans died in Vietnam, and some are still dying because of Agent Orange. And Donald Trump has the audacity to tell anyone how they can use their first amendment right to free speech, and tell team owners who they can employ? What a fucking hypocrite.
Why does it take the worst that nature can throw at us to bring out the best we are as people, as a nation? I read the story of the 31-year-old DACA immigrant from Mexico who died in Houston, trying to save people from the horrific floods. He wasn’t a “first responder,” he was a disc jockey – and he put himself in harm’s way to save strangers. Yesterday I saw the story about a Florida woman who needed a generator for her father’s oxygen generator, he’s too frail to move to a shelter. The last generator was already in the cart of a man ahead of her, and when her heard her crying and found out why she needed the generator, he let her take his cart and generator. He has a heavy Spanish accent and Latin name, clearly an immigrant – and the white woman he helped called him “an angel from God.” There were no borders between those people, on either side. This morning I came across a recent story; a teacher was buying classroom supplies out of her own pocket because her school district had run out of money. The total was $97 – and the man in line behind her handed a $100 bill to the checker. The teacher is white, the man is a black minister. Color differences disappeared.
I know there are countless stories like the three above, and there will be so many more during hurricane Irma. We won’t hear about most of them because acts of decency and kindness will be everywhere that disasters hit. During Harvey, Mexico offered help to flood victims in Texas, putting aside Trump’s idiotic call for a border wall that he wants our southern neighbors to pay for. When a massive earthquake hit Mexico as hurricane Irma strengthened and headed for land, Texas offered help to Mexico, setting aside the vicious racism and intolerance that we so often hear from some Texas politicians and Texans. And too many Americans.
There will likely be neo-Nazis, white nationalists and Klansmen who will refuse to help “people of color” in emergencies. I doubt there will be many of them who will refuse help offered by the people they hate, especially when families are at risk. To those people who hate – stop it! Stop hating, right now. We’re all facing these disasters together, whatever color our skins may be, whatever languages we speak or accents we may have. We are vastly more similar than we are different; we want our families to be safe, our children to prosper and be happy, their futures not limited by circumstances of birth or income.
To Trump and his supporters, followers, current and past administration, including but certainly not limited to Jeff Sessions, Stephen Miller, Sebastian Gorka and Steve Bannon, stop using immigration and race as political leverage, stop pandering to the cruelest elements in America, stop listening to the demons that haunt your own damaged souls. Find some decency, even if you have to borrow it, and stop hating right fucking now!
With all the controversy about statues and monuments to heroes of the Confederacy, has anyone wondered how many statues there are honoring King George of England, or British generals who fought against the Revolution? Zero………… there was a statue of King George, located in New York. It was lead, and pulled down in 1775 and melted to make more than 60,000 bullets that were fired at British troops. Why are we worried about honoring the Confederacy? It was a treasonous uprising that failed, and it was formed specifically to protect slavery. Most of the monuments under debate now were erected well after the Civil War, and they were erected to enforce Jim Crow, segregation and oppression. We currently have a president who cannot understand that, but who thinks he might someday be on Mt. Rushmore. If that ever happens, we would only have to carve out the part of a horse that goes over the fence last.
Donald Trump recently advanced the idea that one day he’ll be on Mt. Rushmore, but why wait – the time is right to honor him for who and what he is. We should find a child labor sweat shop in a third world country (The Donald and Ivanka are familiar with those) and contract the creation of a huge white sheet to drape over the Statue of Liberty, with a tall, pointed hat complete with eye slits. It’ll cover the Emma Lazarus poem about welcoming “huddled masses yearning to breathe free” – the Trump administration has made it clear they’re no longer welcome here. It’ll be the real Trump Tower. And we’ll put up a huge cross at the base and set fire to it, a perpetual Trump Flame to replace the “shining beacon on the hill” that America once was.
The Disaster Of A Trump Victory in November
It should come as no surprise that Donald Trump is out of control and seems hell bent on destroying America, and is completely indifferent to wrecking his own party along the way, win or lose in November; he is the Trump Tower that the Republican Party has been building for nearly forty years, starting with the Nixon campaign’s “dirty tricks” in 1968, moving on to using Joseph Goebbels’ “big lie” theory, i.e., tell a lie loud enough and long enough and people will believe it. Republicans in general and the ultra conservative wing of the party especially have spewed out incredible lies and distortions aimed at anyone opposing them, demonizing everyone they perceive to be “liberal,”, “progressive” or just a little left of center.
Just a few weeks ago the Republican convention trotted out Patricia Smith, who holds Hillary Clinton “personally responsible” for the death of her son Sean in the Benghazi tragedy. Her speech was painful, her story very moving, and letting her deliver that speech was cynical and morally reprehensible. She ignored the fact that repeated, highly partisan “investigations” could not place legal or even moral culpability on Hillary Clinton. The Benghazi tragedy was more investigated than the JFK assassination or even the 9/11 horror, and still the Republican attack squad could not place blame on Clinton. But convention shouts of, “Lock her up!” at times drowned out speakers, and one campaign official stated she should be put in front of a firing squad and executed for treason – and there was no rebuke from Trump or the Republican party.
When Khizr Khan spoke at the Democratic convention, his wife Ghazala at his side and in obvious emotional distress, his point was that Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigrants was immoral and unconstitutional. Trump responded with anger and counter attacks, claiming that their son, Army captain Humayan Khan, who died protecting his men and was given the Bronze Star and Purple Heart, was killed because of failed Obama and Clinton policies in Iraq. But Capt. Khan died in 2004, during the first term of the Bush/Cheney administration, and while Colin Powell was Secretary of State. The Kahn’s showed no bitterness, only unyielding grief; their son was the best this country had, and he was a Muslim immigrant.
Trump and the Republican party ignore clear, unbiased statistics about the declining crime rate, the improving economy, immigration impact and the unrivaled strength of the American military. Trump himself insulted veterans by accepting a Purple Heart medal to which he had no claim of any kind, and his claims of “sacrifice” for his country are skewed; profiteering and bankrupting out of debt repeatedly, hurting small businesses in the process, are sacrifices only in the mind of a narcissist. Trump and his party ignore systemic racism, sexism, hatred for the LGBT community, and income and wealth inequity, and seek election by creating divisions among us.
If Trump wins in November, our allies will pull back at the thought of an American leader devoid of any moral compass, wrapped up in his delusional, ignorant and intolerant polices, both foreign and domestic. Our enemies, starting with Vladimir Putin and other sociopaths like him, will rejoice. And if he wins, the majority electing him will get exactly what they deserve. Sadly, the rest of the country, those of us who tried to be an “informed electorate,” will be dragged down too. And this country will no longer be the “beacon on the hill,” it will likely deteriorate into a laughing stock. A Trump presidency will move us closer to climate disaster by ignoring clear and compelling evidence that we have to address global warming. But maybe that will be moot – the moment he takes office, the odds increase astronomically that we could soon face a nuclear winter.
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed
This week the media covered the fatal police shootings of two more young black men; one shooting was questionable, one appears to have been murder. Both were unnecessary. And the latest story is about a sniper attack in Dallas that left five white police officers dead, apparently motivated by frustration and anger, and based on race. Immediately the NRA and Republicans launched scathing criticism at Democrats in general and Barrack Obama specifically for “politicizing” the issue of increased restrictions on access to firearms. This issue is and always has been a political one, made so by the NRA and Republican supporters who are either equally irrational and fanatic, or simply in thrall to contributions and voter arousal.
The CDC is specifically precluded from spending any money on researching gun violence in America, and there seems to be no centralized tracking of gun violence, even shootings involving police officers. But more than 30,000 Americans die of bullet wounds every year, more than ten times the number of people killed by terrorists on 9/11. We are bombarded more and more frequently by horror stories like San Bernardino and Orlando, by too frequent police shootings of young black men, the list goes on and on. And still the NRA blocks effective action.
We allow dangerously powerful cars on public roads; Mustang GT 350s and 500s, Corvette Z06s, all the way up to Bugatti Veyrons; cost alone limits their frequency on public byways, but for anyone with adequate cash or financing and no training in driving them, those cars are available. They can all break any speed limit in second gear, some in first gear. They are the automotive equivalent of “civilian” versions of assault weapons, those military weapons that are semi- rather than full-automatic, and with limited magazine capacity. When the NRA calls for not limiting magazine capacities on firearms like the AK47 and M16 (AR15 in its civilian configuration), that is the equivalent of calling for Indy and Formula I cars on public roads; those cars are purpose built for limited use, just as assault weapons are designed for one thing; killing people as quickly and efficiently as possible. Fish and game agencies generally limit magazine capacity on firearms used for hunting game, but the NRA wants no such restrictions when it comes to hunting people.
When Lee Harvey Oswald killed John Kennedy in 1963 he used a mail-order Italian carbine (I won’t debate the conspiracy theorists here, that’s a separate issue), but the NRA opposed the legislation that put an end to mail order guns. The NRA position would have made it easy for an 11-year-old to save up his (or her) allowance and send off a money order to buy a gun to take to school. The NRA opposes expanded background checks that would make it much more difficult for those with histories of mental instability to purchase guns legally and conveniently. The NRA also opposes prohibiting gun sales to individuals on the “no fly” terrorist watch list, and blocks efforts to stop wide open gun sales at gun shows. The NRA constantly calls for lifting restrictions on carrying weapons in public, either concealed or in plain sight, claiming that if more citizens were armed, violent criminals would be stopped. When I hear that idiotic position I’m reminded of an incident that happened on November 29, 2009, in Lakewood, Washington; four police officers were sitting in a restaurant, working at laptops before starting their shift. They were all shot and killed by one individual. These were trained and armed police officers, all wearing bullet proof vests. One officer did manage to draw his weapon from the holster and return fire, hitting the assailant in the abdomen. The other three officers never returned fire. Again, these were four trained, armed police officers, collectively with more than 50 years of police experience. They were caught completely off guard. How would any rational person think private citizens, without any training, would be more effective?
It’s past time we acted to stop this gun violence; maybe the life you save will be your own, driving to work or sitting at your desk, or that of your child whose classmate gets access to an adult family member’s gun and brings it to school, and fires it accidentally. Maybe the life you save will be your minister/priest/rabbi/mullah, holding a quiet study session when an insane racist breaks in and opens fire. Maybe the life you save will be a niece or nephew, enjoying a night at a local club, gay or straight, cowboy or goth. Maybe the life you save will be a complete stranger – and that’s no less worth saving.
When I see all the absurd positions advocated by the NRA and other like-minded nitwits, I have to think…. what part of “well regulated” are you just too fucking stupid to understand?
An open email to President Obama;
Can you or someone in your administration tell me what moral line ISIS must cross before the entire world simply says, “Enough! Crimes against humanity will not be tolerated!” Obviously it didn’t happen when they caged a Saudi pilot and burned him alive, it didn’t happen with the public beheading of captured journalists, or with the public beheading of an octogenarian curator who refused to tell them where he had hidden antiquities. Now they have released a video of four captured Iraqis who were burned alive. There is growing evidence that ISIS has used chemical weapons, and will certainly continue to do so with any weapons of mass destruction at their disposal.
ISIS has instituted systematic rape of captured women and girls from ethnic minorities, and they are cataloging and warehousing them to be sold into slavery; some of the women have been fortunate enough to be ransomed back to their families, often with the help of a Canadian organization. Ransom proceeds are being used to finance their Jihad of terror, along with proceeds from captured oil fields, and the black market sale of looted antiquities. Archeological sites are being routinely destroyed, sites that date back centuries and even millennia, and are irreplaceable.
There are an estimated 4 million refugees from the conflicts in the Middle East; ISIS is not the only cause of that violence, but they are certainly a central player. And they do so without any ethical constraints. The world is at the point that Europe is being overwhelmed by terrified refugees, and people are drowning in the Mediterranean, trying to reach safety. And still the world stands by, even as the bodies of drowned children wash ashore.
I do not believe that America is or should be the world’s police force, but I do believe we have a moral responsibility to seek participation by the United Nations and put an end to this. Mr. President, you have sixteen months left in your Presidency; please be remembered as the President who led the world in ending this horror.
The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.