4th Of July 2017 Thoughts
Today is Independence Day. From my earliest memories it was a day to rejoice in being an American, to celebrate freedom from tyranny, the freedom to live in a democracy where the Bill of Rights guaranteed certain unalienable rights: freedom of speech, religion and the press, protection from unreasonable search and seizure, protection of rights to life, liberty and property, and yes, the right to bear arms, a right needed in a time when they were used for hunting and survival and when local militias had been crucial in turning the tide against British rule, not to carry in Wal-Mart for scaring peaceful shoppers.
I was brought up during WWII and taught to be proud of my country and the democratic principles it stood for. That all men were created equal, and the hard fought for right to include women in the electoral process, even though they are yet to be included by an equal rights amendment.
But I am no longer proud. I see no cause for celebration. The concept of a democracy has been replaced by a theocratic oligarchy with a demented demagogue at its head. We are no longer a shining city on a hill but a mean spirited nation run by tweets from a bully pulpit.
Today, the day we should be celebrating our wonderful nation, created by the people and for the people, a decision hangs in the balance: will 22 million citizens be denied healthcare so the top 1% can have their taxes reduced? It is as simple as that. The savings for defunding Planned Parenthood, disallowing claims for pre-existing conditions, help for addicts whether hooked on prescription or other drugs, and the list goes on, will allow the richest of our fellow Americans to add another yacht to their collection, perhaps this one docked in Monaco while another still rests in the Bahamas . . . at the expense of our most vulnerable citizens . . . the poor and the elderly.
So no, I won’t celebrate today. Instead, I might shed a few tears. I’m old. I don’t have decades in front of me to watch the total destruction of a way of life. I hope I won’t see another world war started by a schoolyard bully and coward who did everything to escape the draft but seems to take pleasure in seeing others sent to war, who is today playing chicken with another madman across the globe who claims he can now hit anyplace in the world with his nukes.
I won’t be distracted by pretty fireworks and zealous praise for our country. Instead, I worry for my daughter, my grandson, my nieces and nephews and their children, for your children and grandchildren, and for all those who come after us into this New World Order specifically designed for the rich to grow richer and the rest of our citizens to exist to work for them for a pittance and die quickly and cheaply when no longer of use. There is nothing I see to celebrate in the current state of our nation.
Our country has turned its back on its citizens, quietly locking the doors that once led to freedom and justice, and all the while we were busy eating hot dogs and watching fireworks.
Thank You Mexico
To the people and the government of Mexico:
I want to extend both my humble apologies and my thanks.
I am and have been a happy permanent resident of Mexico for the past 12 years. I appreciate the welcome my adopted country and its people have given me and other Americans who have the good fortune to reside here.
It is with great embarrassment and anger that I saw the announcement issued by the man elected as president of the United States – by less than a majority of our citizens.
Please know that his statement and actions are not in line with my feelings and I am sure with the feelings of the majority of Americans.
Mexico is and has been not only our neighbor, but also our staunch ally and friend in need. I remember the Mexican army supplying aid to the City of New Orleans after Katrina when our then president failed to do so. Living on the border, I understand the cooperation between our two countries with regard to ecology, water, electricity and other common matters.
The economy of San Diego and much of Southern California depends on the open and free trade between our countries. Our farms have been harvested and our cities built by Mexican hands, our government, businesses, courts and professions have been enhanced by brilliance of people of Mexican descent. We would not have the measure of our success without open and viable borders with Mexico.
I find it unconscionable and unforgivable for any United States president to issue such threats to Mexico. He is NOT my president!
A grateful permanent resident.
The above letter I sent to various Mexican consulates. It is my honor to have Permanent Resident status in Mexico and maintain a pied a terre in California.
The photograph below was taken at the wall between Playas de Tijuana and San Diego County, California. It goes to the water. Each cross represents a Mexican who died trying to seek a chance for hope and a better life in the United States. Now the refugees are coming from Somalia and Haiti to Tijuana to wait for approval for entry by Homeland Security. Their hope is over. They will have no entry and no place to go. The kindness of the Mexican people has kept them alive with food, blankets, clothing and medical assistance. Where they will now go after the immigration freeze is a question with no immediate answer.
No Reason To Be Shocked America
We are witness to a revolution that has been fomenting since the end of the Civil War. America had forgotten those of the frontier, the people who forged their way across this vast country to build a better life for themselves. They found it for a while, but when the world moved on, they were left behind for the most part. In the South, they were ripped off after the Civil War by the carpetbaggers. Then they saw the black population succeeding when they were not. It was a bitter pill to swallow when those they had considered inferior pulled ahead through struggles and tenacity.
Middle America, the heartland where cities were built around factories, thrived as the industrial revolution increased along with exports and world markets. The 1950’s showed a country where progress abounded for anyone wanted to work for it, and the baby boomers were the products of enthusiasm, possibilities and the expectations of a better lifestyle than their parents.
The barons of industry, people like Donald Trump, decided in the late 1960’s that they weren’t making a vast enough profit if they paid their employees a living wage. With enhanced transportation, they could close those plants and go to places where the labor was cheaper. In their wake, they left behind destruction: ghost towns, unemployment and shattered dreams. Since then, those they dumped out of their complacency have had to fend for themselves. That hasn’t been working out too well. Business now looks for the techies, the ones who have kept up with the digital age. Jobs for the uneducated, jobs requiring strength and raw labor, became scarce. That is the reason use of fossil fuels and coal mining has been such a matter of contention between the parties.
In the 1980’s everything was picking up again, no major wars, the country was on an upward swing well into the 1990’s. Then new millennium arrived, 9/11, and the financial crisis. People were again dispossessed, lost homes by the millions and the final nail was put into the coffin of dreams held by the middle class. But the south and the mid-west were still suffering from the older wounds and the bitterness and hate passed down for generations. Just another reason to hate was piled on. No one cared much about them. They had been left to fester in their own ignorance and were discounted in their hate for a successful black president. The vitriol and bigotry being spewed on social media was largely ignored as being from cranks.
But Trump paid attention. It must have appealed to him when he kept up the birther argument to see how many ‘likes’ he got. Trump was also conversant with Hitler and his strategies. Unleashing hate, dividing people one against another is a very old and successful trick—divide and conquer. He used exactly that, and he won. He was correct when he said he could go out and kill someone on the avenue and he wouldn’t lose his following.
It’s hard for gullible people to see behind the curtain, even when the truth is staring at them from the speaker’s own words in recorded conversations. Like the woman who marries an abusive boyfriend “When we are married, I can change him, things will be different.” But that is never true. People always show you who they actually are if you only pay attention. Listen to the words and what they mean. Not listen only to what you hope they are saying, what you want them to mean. What you want them to do for you. It never happens.
No one in America has any interest in history. If it wasn’t on twitter last week and didn’t concern the Kardashians or some other no-talent public figure, it is of no interest. Most of America doesn’t know what WWII was or who Hitler was or what he did to his country. They have no clue he is the blueprint for the man who they have just elected as president.
We get what we deserve. The entire government is now controlled by right-wing ultra conservative religious fundamentalists. Trump was supported by the Klu Klux Klan, the Christian group formed after the Civil War by the anti-black, white supremacists and Evangelicals. Basically the philosophical equal to those who supported Hitler. Now those who were left behind during the digital, technological and financial success of citizens and immigrants on both coasts of the country.
America has just become a savage fascist country. Brutal. Revengeful. Sad. This is the death of the American experiment. If you want the proof that humans are not caring or kind, but petty, greedy and cruel, look who we have elected to govern us. We are liars to the core, thinking of ourselves as being good religious people of faith, caring about each other, families and children, but will follow anyone who appeals to our basest sociopathic nature, even if it goes against our self-interest. Look at the recent elections in the Philippines, Brexit and now Trump. The phenomenon is not unique to the USA. People are relishing throwing out those who dared to come to their countries to take advantage of a better life—exactly like the parents of all the citizens who just voted.
ISIS has accomplished what it wanted. Frighten people so much they would forget the good part of their humanity. Act against a whole religion they had been living in harmony with for generations. Make the world a grooming ground for potential terrorists.Turn neighbors and friends against each other. Have Mexican names discriminated against, have all Muslims looked upon as potential terrorists.
A scab has been picked off the festering wound that has gone on untended for over 150 years. The pus is out in the open for a shocked nation to see how deep the infection has gone. Trump has vowed to heal the injuries that have been suffered for so long. What remains to be seen is what he will be able to deliver and what changes will be made to benefit the entire country. Changes in Social Security, our Allies, medical coverage, taxes, the Supreme Court, a useless and expensive wall, police brutality, torture, international relations in a difficult time? All are in the offing. These are delicate matters to be dealt with carefully and with forethought of the consequences as they can impact our country for generations to come.
We shouldn’t be shocked. Instead, we should understand that all we have been taught as kids, to show respect for others, to be kind, help thy neighbor, and obey all the 10 commandments, have been nothing more than millennia long failed attempts to place restrictions on mankind’s basic nature – a vicious, narcissistic animal that loves violence, putting down the less fortunate, and cares for nothing other than itself. Sure there are altruists, but we have just learned they don’t have enough power to fight the rampant hate, even though they are in the majority and keep on trying. I guess that’s why some people are called saints.
Knowledge vs. Entitlement
The first presidential debate is over and done. I thought it was going to be more awful than it was so I was almost pleasantly surprised. Hillary did a proper job of setting forth her plans and her knowledge of the job requirements.
Everyone has their own opinion on who was the winner, but my take away is perhaps different. To my mind, Trump made the equivalent of the Howard Dean scream, and I’m surprised it hasn’t had more ink, or whatever coverage is in today’s world.
I thought the seminal moment came when Lester Holt mentioned that the last tax returns of Trumps that were available showed he paid no taxes. Trump acknowledged it with a flip, “I’m smart.” followed by a smirk. Then Holt asked him how he felt about not paying his fair share, and Trump shrugged his shoulders and remarked something to the effect that “It would only be wasted anyway.”
So, this is what the man thinks who wants to be the next president. He thinks he’s smart for not paying taxes. That means the rest of the country who pays are dumb. This man is living on the shoulders of the American taxpayer and is proud of it?
Wow! How do you feel about that you dumb Americans who pay your taxes while a self proclaimed billionaire pays nothing while he sucks benefits from all the government services you pay for?
The roads to his hotels, the safety of the people who travel to his resorts all are allowed to do so on the money you, the taxpayers have paid for roads, airports, police, firemen. The ports the government supports bring in the items for his hotels and businesses that he has made abroad. When he stiffs a business so it has to close or when he bankrupts one of his companies, the employees can have unemployment insurance to survive while they find other work, that you have paid for. The Donald’s workers and their children are educated in public schools. He benefits greatly, as does any large employer or businessman who caters to the public, from the basics of living provided by the government.
Donald Trump proudly admitted to 100 million viewers he is the biggest welfare queen!
He sucks the government dry and contributes nothing. He was fast to claim money from 9/11 even though he was not a small business damaged by the attack. He is fast to claim bankruptcy, a government benefit that allows legitimate business to be relieved of debt in many cases, or allowed to reorganize in others. When he has claimed bankruptcy, his employees and suppliers suffered but he still came away with money in his pocket. Those who financed him suffered but he shrugs his shoulders and says, “It’s just business.”
But all of that is the smallest of insults compared to the real slap in the face. If he had paid his taxes, he said it would be wasted anyway.
That slap goes to all you government employees, the military, the police, the fire departments, the schools, the dock workers who unload ships with goods for his hotel bought at reduced prices, the Secret Service who protect his sorry ass and his family. The waste is paying the cost of his private jet that he bills to the government as part of his protection and travel package.
The cost of medical for those who fought for this country, the benefits to their families, the cost of their armaments, fire departments and uniforms, police training, weapons, railroads that carry goods on tracks across the country, Homeland Security checking ports of entry, the CIA, NSA, FCC, and all the other alphabet organizations that make our country run, and that he gets the benefit of are all are waste in his mind.
The message was loud and clear if you listened. Taxpayers are stupid. He knows how to game the system. Everything the government pays for is a waste.
And this is the man people want as president?
It might be better for the country, and certainly cheaper, to put S & M parlors on medicare because a vote for Trump shows you are looking for the pain!
That’s my take away from the debates folks!
STOP the Killing! STOP the Rhetoric!
This old gal has lived through three major assassinations, and many major wars: WWII, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, 9/11 and the current fifteen year slogging through bodies after bodies in Afghanistan and Iraq. STOP! We have to stop the killing. Stop sending our brave men to die on foreign soils. Stop killing people in places we have no right to be. Stop killing our own people on our own soil.
Now we are facing a presidential candidate who openly advises his gun toting followers to kill his opponent if she happens to get elected. Granted, he didn’t use the word ‘kill’ but his comment was clear enough for any one of his goon squad followers to understand.
I, for one, don’t want to go through the assassinations again. Unless you have lived through a major assassination, it is hard to describe what happens to a nation. First, disbelief. How could such a thing happen in our wonderful nation? Then comes a deep sorrow. Even if you were not a supporter of the victim, a form of PTSD takes over and an overwhelming feeling of sadness that such a thing could have happened in our country to a nationally known figure—a president, a candidate, or a beloved leader. Please note that the Kennedy brothers and Martin Luther King were all liberal, striving for social reforms, trying to make our country a better place to live. Men who had positive messages. After the sadness came shame. We were ashamed for our country. Assassinations only occurred in 3rd world barbaric countries, right? America was civilized, the shining city on the hill where everyone wanted to come. What happened? How had we degenerated into a country that shot its leaders? The answer was right in front of us. People were angry. The American promise was being fulfilled for many, but there were also many who were living in poverty and had to have someone to blame. The African Americans were the obvious targets. They wanted equality and the embittered white men and women of the south had to keep them down in order to inflate their own self-worth. George Wallace’s rhetoric eventually led to the death of many civil rights leaders
Yes, I remember George Wallace was shot also. By Arthur Bremmer, a white man seeking fame. Wallace lived. Few outside of the south mourned the man of hate who spewed messages of violence. It was ironic that the man who preached violence against blacks and defended segregation with force, was killed by a white man with no political agenda.
Hitler’s similar speeches ended up with the murder of approximately eleven million Jews, gypsies, homosexuals and intellectuals.
Now there is another man preaching hate, violence, misogyny, bigotry, isolationism, and working hard at turning one group against the other. He is nurturing the seeds of violence with words like “the election will be rigged” and hopes the 2nd Amendment (gun toting) crowd will take care of things if Hillary is elected. He encourages chants at his rallies of jailing her, and sounds of ‘kill the bitch’ and ‘lock her up’ echo through the stands filled with his supporters. He makes continual offhand comments about violence to protestors. Taking his past comments into account, here can little doubt about his message.
In my opinion, probably 95% of his supporters are not going to take up guns and create a coup d’etat. But I’ll bet there is a 5% who really love to hate, love the feeling of power they get from their big guns, and want the hard on they get from just thinking about putting a bullet in the bitch’s forehead. Maybe only a ½% out of that might actually consider planning their kill.
But isn’t that enough? If Trump has two to three million hopped up supporters, and half of them have guns available, and only a half of one percent of those with guns want to plan and try to carry out an assassination, that means there can be 5,000 to 7,500 lunatics trying to figure out a way to kill Hillary. This is why this kind of running off at the mouth is so dangerous and should not be easily dismissed.
Gun deaths by homicide, suicide or accident peaked at 37,666 in 1993, before declining to a low of 28,393 in 2000, as the data shows. Since then the total has risen to 31,328 in 2010, an increase of 2,935, or eight more victims a day. The ban on assault weapons took effect from 1994 to 2004. The impact the ban had is clear. But in 2015 the total deaths is just under 33,000.
Taking Trumps 2nd Amendment crack as a joke is ill advised if you consider the number of assault weapons now owned by Americans—the current estimate between three and four million. An estimated total of three hundred and ten million (310,000,000!) weapons owned by the general public! There can be no joke when you are speaking to a group this large with both ownership and ability to carry out substantial damage.
It makes my head spin to imagine a man with this loose talk becoming president of the United States. He MUST be stopped. We MUST enact gun control.
I only hope all the candidates live to see the election. Trump MUST lose by such a landslide he disappears back into his gilded rat hole in disgrace. His supporters MUST be given a very clear message that what they support and how they support it is unacceptable in the country once referred to by their god Regan as “the shining city on the hill.”
Why I Speak Out
Hillary has never been my idea of likeable, but I’ve always respected her competence. To me, a vote is to hire someone competent to follow through on doing the things you believe a government should do. No one is perfect nor will they be able to follow through on all their promises. But we hope some progress can be made. Hillary has been a decades long fighter for women’s rights, families and social liberties. Teflon Trump refers to her as lying Hillary when, in fact, Trump is the one independent researchers find is a monumental liar and most of what he says is fiction.
I’m old enough to have remembered Hitler, WWII and its outcome. When Hitler and Mussolini took over Germany and Italy at a time of depression with the promises to make their countries great again, seldom could people speak out. The intelligencia were rounded up and incarcerated. No counter arguments allowed.
We are seeing the same thing today. Insults and threats to protestors. The Trump supporters hark back to the brown shirts and Hitler youth who would brook no dissent. Once Hitler came to power, the SS took over with ruthless brutality to all dissenters. If you believe it can’t happen again, you are living in a dream world. It can happen any place, any time. America is a democracy. That means rule by the majority of the people. Europe is seeing this now with the problems of Brexit in the UK, France is faced with the increased radical Muslim population wanting Sharia Law in areas where they are the majority. America could be faced with becoming a theocracy governed by the far right and our lives limited by their extreme Christian beliefs. Our country was stupid enough to re-elect George W. Bush, the worst president in the last century or more. We can be stupid enough to elect Trump unless we unite against him.
If Trump is elected, the entire face of the country will be forever changed. His Supreme Court appointments could put our social reform gains back to the 1950’s. We will be subjected to the disgust and antagonism of our allies for electing an untrustworthy and despicable man.
Unless we speak up, we are always in danger of losing our rights to do so. I believe this is one of those times. What Trump wants is unacceptable and against the very foundations of our country. I for one am willing to speak up. The only way to preserve our freedoms is at the ballot box. Vote!
Day 1 GOP Convention: The Deification of Teflon Trump
The first day of the GOP Convention is over. The Clowns haven’t disappointed. What is coming out of the Trump camp has actually moved the mess from the Clown simile closer to the loony bin.
It began with Melania Trump’s speech. It was heartfelt and her words were inspiring. But they weren’t her words. They were the words of Michelle Obama. Word for word, whole paragraphs. Melania isn’t a politician, she probably had someone writing the speech for her, but she should have been warned not to give too much information, she claimed the words and thoughts were her own and she had a little help putting it all together. That was before everyone realized those were Michelle’s words.
Clinton is now being blamed for Melania Trump plagiarizing Michelle Obama’s 2008 Democratic Convention opening speech. This is beyond even a head shaker. I’m waiting for the next shoe to drop, accusing Michelle Obama for plagiarizing Melania’s 2016 speech in Michelle’s 2008 speech. Why not? Time travel makes as much sense as the rest of the lies that are being bandied about. No one can justify stupidity and outright plagiarism by the Trump camp. But the apologists are saying it didn’t happen, and it’s Hillary Clinton’s fault people are calling Melania a plagiarist. Ummm, how does that work? Are they claiming Hillary wrote Melania’s speech?
The Trump camp’s response shows exactly who they are: liars, posers, scammers and cheats. Like Teflon Trump, they will do anything to cover up their mistakes and never own up to wrong doing. But the most important aspect this kerfuffle points out is the complete disrespect for their followers’ intelligence. Trump obviously believe his supporters are so ignorant, so stupid, they can’t see outright plagiarism when it’s in front of their noses. And maybe Teflon Trump is right.
But as an interesting side point, as Oscar Wilde said, “Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.” What could be a greater compliment to Michelle Obama than to use her exact words in such an important moment—the opening day of your husband’s leadership of the GOP and his bid for president? Perhaps Michelle should send Melania a note thanking her for such praise?
For a moment in time, I felt a little compassion for Melania, but it was fleeting. She got what she bargained for, a billionaire husband, warts and all. Every success comes with a price and I wonder at this moment if she feels the money and fame was worth the public humiliation she now endures. My question for the day, will Teflon Trump fire her for failing in this momentous event? He’s kicked out people for less. We shall see.
The other telling moment was Trump’s arrival in a blast of light. I’m wondering what the Evangelicals thought about that? Was it positive or negative? I almost laughed at the cheap carnival theatrics. Then I realized it gave several messages—one was hokey and very reminiscent of WWF bad guys taking the ring. Perhaps Trump thought to enhance his image of a big, bad man who was going to be . . . Be what? Savior? Tyrant? Demagogue?
But Trump’s other message? Not so benign. The blinding light and music arrival was also the way the Devil or Satan arrives in horror films. Think a flash and he appears. I’m sure he believes he’s a god, but the one he chose to represent might be a warning to all believers—here comes the anti-Christ, or the fallen angel, Lucifer. It was a move Hitler or Mussolini would have been proud of, if the technology had existed in their day. Trump followers burst into applause.
This is a man with no limits to his self-aggrandizement. He doesn’t just want to be President, he wants to be God, Emperor, and, like comic book villains, Ruler of the World!
Those of us old enough to remember this scenario have seen it before, and the results weren’t pretty. Trump isn’t a graphic novel villain, he is real, and so desperate for power and adulation he will do anything, say anything, to gain it. If by some insane juxtaposition of the stars, he gets his power, he has no intention of wielding it other than for his own financial and egoistic benefit. We have no superheroes to come and save us, the only ones who can save the world are we the people. We have the ultimate kryptonite at our disposal and we must use it. It’s called the vote.
How To Make America Greater
Trump vs. Kim Jong Un
There are times when you just have to sit back and let the world pass you by or you can’t get to sleep. Bedtime is my time to grind teeth in angst. Last night my angst came from doing my taxes and contemplating the impossible presidency of Donald Trump. But relief finally came when I stretched my imagination to a probable diplomatic meeting between a newly elected President Trump and Kim Jong Un.
I imagined the conversation might go something like this:
Trump: So Kim Jong, son of Il, funny and appropriate name, by the way. You do look a little ill. Are you not feeling well, little man? And you are a little guy. (Turns and looks at Secret Service contingent standing behind him and addresses them- How am I doing? We sure are having fun aren’t we?)
Kim Jong: What you mean by ‘little guy?’ Be aware and hold your tongue big fat greasy American with strange orange squirrel on head. You are in the presence of Supreme God Leader President For Life Of Empire Of North Korea. Smelly barbarian only serves for 4 years and can be thrown out unless voted in next term. Kim Jong Supreme Imperial Choice Of God is ruler for life.
Trump: Maybe, but I’m a billionaire and big businessman. Little guy like you probably has a teeny weenie too…and no supermodel to bang every night. I love to see her on her knees. (Turns and winks at Secret Service. One gives him a thumbs up.)
Kim Jong: As Imperial Supreme Leader I can have anyone I want in my bed. Beautiful women, pretty boys, orangutans…who or whatever I want. Maybe you even get on your knees for me. Hehehehe! (Turns and waves to ten thousand soldiers standing at attention in the square. There is a thunderous click as they all bring their heels together and laugh on command.)
Trump: You think that’s so hot? I have new ICBMS that are so accurate they can give you a haircut…not that you need it with that dumb flat top. (Grins at bodyguards and nods. What do you think boys? Like the way I slid the BM in on him? I warned I was gonna bomb the shit out of him, now I can bomb him with shit. Good joke huh? Isn’t it fun up here? Secret Service remain motionless.)
Kim Jong: Looks like he’s texting. One of his officers comes over and bends his ear close, then nods as he turns and straightens up before walking away. Kim Jong waves at the military in the square who click their heels again. He turns to Trump and speaks — I don’t think you are so funny, and you won’t either when my first nuclear bomb hits Hawaii. I have ordered one bomb for each insult to the Holy Imperial Sovereign of Sacred Land Of Beauty.
Trump: Turns and motions to one of the Secret Service men. Man walks over, opens a case and displays it in front of Trump who leans over and fumbles around inside.
Man With Case: Mr. President, Sir, you have pushed the red button and entered the code for Pyongyang.
Trump: So? I’ve had enough of this dumbass kid. I’m going to bomb the shit out of him like I promised.
Man With Case: Mr President, we have to get out of here, and fast.
Trump: What’s the rush? It will take hours to get the bombs here from the States.
Man With Case: Uhhh, Mr. President. The nukes will be launched from a submarine just off the coast in the Yellow Sea only a few minutes away. Didn’t you read the briefing the Joint Chiefs gave you before we left?
Trump: I don’t bother with that shit. I’m smarter then all of those assholes, especially the fat assed broad who thinks she’s an Admiral. And what the hell is that whistling sound I hear overhead?
We could be so screwed!