Archive for the ‘Culture’ Category

Day 30

I don’t usually write about the death of politicians or any other famous people for that matter.  However, John Glenn was someone very special and deserves to be remembered by all of us.

John Glenn left us for the stars at the age of 95.  When I was a kid, I watched him being named as one of the original seven astronauts for our country.  He was the first American to orbit the earth.  It was a three round orbit and lasted four hours and 55 minutes.

When he returned to earth he was called a true American Hero.  During the fight there were a couple of problems.  It was even possible that these problems could have resulted in him burning up in re-entry.  The odd part, and one that really shows just what kind of person he was happened on the launch pad.

While awaiting liftoff, his heartbeat monitor was registering his heart rate between 60 and 80 beats per minute.  Not something you would expect from someone being nervous, but someone being bored.

John Glenn fought in World War II and in the Korean War.  He left college after the Pearl Harbor to join the Navy’s aviation program.  He flew 59 combat missions during World War II and 90 during the Korean War.

John Glenn is best known for his time at NASA.  He is called a hero because he was the first American to orbit the earth.  But, what is being lost is all of this is it was John Glenn that was a key member that saved the Apollo Mission.

When we lost the three astronauts in the Apollo I fire, many people in congress wanted to scrap the mission as being too dangerous. Many people forget that it was John Glenn who testified before congress to explain the dangers involved and the fact that these brave men understood and were willing to face those dangers.

You may not remember, but it was John Glenn who saved our moon mission.  The bad part was that he never got a chance to go to the moon himself.  And, he deserved to go there himself.

When I was stationed in Washington, D.C. I had a chance to meet John Glenn.  Although the meeting was for only about 2 minutes and more of a greeting, I was struck by how he conducted himself.  He was a true gentleman and statesman.

The only regret I have is that I didn’t get an opportunity to talk with him for any length of time.  There were so many questions I wanted to ask him.  I never had a lot of heroes in my life except my dad, but John Glenn was a hero to me.

He and the rest of the Mercury 7 astronauts were heroes to many of us.  They opened our eyes to the real possibilities of the world.  They got us to look up and dream of the possibilities that mankind could reach.  They taught us to look to the stars and explore the universe.

Those of us who grew up in the 50s and 60s were captivated by the space program.  We watched every single launch we could.  Schools would actually bring in television sets during class to watch the lift-offs.  It was something every American was proud of.

When we finally landed on the moon, the entire world stopped everything they were doing and watched.  It was the men like John Glenn who made all of that possible.  To show the real courage of these people, you must also remember the pocket calculator you use every day has more computing power than the computers used to take us to the moon and back.

Glenn never stopped supporting NASA and has worked to keep it on mission to go to Mars.  John Glenn was a remarkable man.  Yet, he never seemed to take on the aura of someone “famous”.  He was a humble man who simply believed in what he was doing and in his country.

Don’t forget, Glenn was recently in Antarctica.  When he got sick, they airlifted him out.  He was 95 years old and willing to do some work in Antarctica.  That is about all you need to know to figure the kind of man he was.

Glenn was the last of the original Mercury seven astronauts.  Governor Kasich said:

As we bow our heads and share our grief with his beloved wife, Annie, we must also turn to the skies, to salute his remarkable journeys and his long years of service to our state and nation.

The White House said in a statement:

John always had the right stuff, inspiring generations of scientists, engineers and astronauts who will take us to Mars and beyond ― not just to visit, but to stay.  The last of America’s first astronauts has left us, but propelled by their example we know that our future here on Earth compels us to keep reaching for the heavens.

NASA called him “A True American Hero”.  They also wrote:  “God speed John Glenn – Ad Astra.”  Ad Astra is Latin for “to the stars”.

Somehow, I get the feeling that if we look at the moon tonight, we will be able to see John Glenn finally getting to walk around there.  His spirit is what led our nation to the stars and will continue to lead us there if we remember him.

I plan to look up tonight.  I am sure I will see him walking around and waving back.  I am not religious, but I want to echo NASA in saying “God speed John Glenn – to the stars”.


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Day 29

“I know more about ISIS than the Generals do.  Believe me.”  “The Generals have been reduced to rubble.”  “The Generals leading our military are losers.”

Those are just three direct quotes from our Slanderer In Chief (SIC), Donald Trump during the campaign.  I have decided to start calling him by his real title since he can’t help but slander people who say things against him like he did the other day with the Union Leader at Carrier.

So, now that he is filling out his cabinet who is he appointing to key positions?  Generals.  Why would anyone who thinks that our Generals are losers want them on his team?  Why would anyone who thinks he knows more than they do place them in positions that deal directly with our security?

I cannot say I know any of the three Generals so far named to his administration,.  However, I do know people who worked for Flynn and they absolutely hate the man.  It says something to me when the next President picks a conspiracy theorist as his Intelligence Director.  I thought that position required someone with actual intelligence.

A lot of people are concerned about the “over militarization” of the cabinet.  Especially in the positions they are being earmarked to fill.  There is a lot of concern about Mattis being the Secretary of Defense.  Our Constitution says that the military is to be under “civilian” control.  A retired four star General isn’t exactly what most people consider as “civilian”.  But, considering some of his other picks so far, Mattis may be the only adult in the room.

Now it is being reported that our SIC is going to announce his third General to head up the  Department of Homeland Security.  That choice is General John Kelly.

I don’t know a lot about Kelly except that our SIC picked him because he was in charge of U.S. Southern Command which includes Latin America.  Other than that, he really has no experience heading up a department of 22 different agencies including law enforcement, transportation security, and the Coast Guard.

If you are wondering how good of a job he will do, you are not alone.  I share your concerns.  Back in 2002 Retired Adm. James Loy was named by George W. Bush to head up the TSA.  I was very involved in security management at the time and was a member of ASIS International.  That group along with others offered suggestions as to how to best handle security at airports.

Unfortunately for all of us, we weren’t listened to very much.  Adm. Loy was a fine Coast Guard Officer, but unfortunately, I don’t think he did a very good job at TSA.

The problem comes from one simple fact.  Running a military organization is totally different from running a civilian organization.  In the military we sort of live in our own world.  We have our own criminal justice system.  We have our own rules.  We even have less “freedoms” than our civilian counterparts.

When a military leader attempts to head up a civilian organization, the military way just doesn’t work very well.  I believe that was the biggest hinderance to Adm. Loy succeeding better at TSA.

Should our SIC decide to start rounding up “illegals” and deporting them,  Kelly is the one who will be responsible to do so.  If our SIC orders that stupid wall of his to be build, it will be Kelly who will have to do it.

Problem is that he already stated that the wall probably won’t work.  And, he knows little to nothing about the legal implications of rounding millions of people for deportation.

I cannot remember a time in my lifetime when so many Generals were being selected to head up important cabinet posts.  Even President Eisenhower didn’t have as many Generals on his payroll as our SIC is going to have.

Then again, no one worried about Eisenhower establishing a militarized government either.  We cannot say that about our SIC.  If you want to militarize the government the best way is to put military people in top positions.  Especially if you believe the military would follow them even if they were breaking the law.

Our SIC has made some god-awful choices for filling out his cabinet.  I cannot say that Mattis and Kelly fall into that category.  Only time will tell.

It is going to be interesting though watching the infighting after our SIC takes office.  I wonder if our SIC knows that when appointing so many retired Generals, rank does matter to these people.  Flynn who will have the closest spot to our SIC’s ear is the junior officer of the three.

That could make for some interesting fights.  It will be interesting if the other two “pull rank” on Flynn when it comes to final decisions.  I bet Flynn comes up with some wild conspiracy theory about how Mattis and Kelly will be “out to get me”.

This could all be comical if it wasn’t so serious.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t trust our SIC.  Nor am I thrilled with his choices for his cabinet so far.  As a veteran, I really do fear for the future of our country under this clown.  I hope I am wrong for all of our sake.


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Day 28

It may be apropos that December 7, 2016 was the day that Time Magazine named Donald Trump as their “Person of the Year”.  I say that on purpose.  78 years ago the “person of the year” on Time’s cover was Adolph Hitler.  One year later, that same person of the year invaded Poland and began World War II.

Then, 75 years ago today, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor which drew our country into World War II.  At the time of Hitler’s naming, he had just finished the Munich deal.  He had already taken over Austria.  And, he had already passed the Nuremberg Laws that made Jews non-citizens in Germany.

Time has said that the person they name as their “person of the year” is the one who has had the most effect on history and the news whether it is for the good or bad.  Just Like Hitler, Donald Trump said “I am honored to be named as Time’s person of the year”.

This is the man who will be our next president.  He has advocated for the deportation of millions of people from the country because he considers them “illegals”.  He has said Muslims should be banned from immigrating to our country.  And, he has said that there should probably be a “registry” for all American Muslims.  Sound familiar?

World War II was the most deadly conflict in the world’s history.  It is estimated that somewhere between 50 and 70 million people were killed during the war.

It was also the time when America interred Japanese Americans for the duration of the war.  It was a dark chapter in our history.  There was no reason other than pure racism that said all “Japs couldn’t be trusted not to be spies”.  Sound familiar?

To justify the Muslim ban and the Muslim registry, Trump supporters are actually pointing to this illegal internment of U.S. citizens simply because of their race and/or heritage as the precedent.

Even as their families were forced to live in these internment camps, thousands of Japanese Americans fought in World War II in our military.  Today, we have thousands of Muslims serving in our military.  Sound familiar?

My father told me that he and his father were at a Bears football game on December 7, 1941.  When the attack of Pearl Harbor was announced, about half the stadium left.  Chicago was a huge Navy town at the time.

A year later my father enlisted in the Navy and served in the See Bees.  He fought in the pacific theater.  His generation went to war to defend our country after the surprise attack.  They went to war to defend democracy from fascism and totalitarianism.

In the end, our side came out on top.  Our side won the war.  But, during the war, and even before our country was totally involved, our citizens were not told about the hundreds of dead sailors that washed up on our shores on the East Coast.  They were victims of the U-Boat war.

After the war was over, Japanese were allowed to leave the internment camps.  Only in many cases, their homes were no longer theirs.  Many found others living in their homes and they would not leave.  Sound familiar?  Most Jews returned to their homes at the end of the war in Europe and found out they no longer owned their homes.

Before and after Hitler took power in Germany many civilians were attacked and beaten for being Jewish or communist.  Many others were beaten because they weren’t Nazis.  Today before and after the election we have civilians being attacked and threatened by Trump supporters because they are Muslim.  Sound familiar?

Tom Brokaw wrote a book about my father’s generation.  He called them “the greatest generation” because of the sacrifices they made during the worst war in history.  75 years ago today thousands of those men lost their lives in a surprise attack at Pearl Harbor.

But, even as these brave men went off to war, we had internment camps being set up for Japanese Americans just because they were Japanese.  We had African-Americans serving in “segregated” divisions.  We were not perfect by any stretch.

Yet, since that war we have seen civil rights grow to include all citizens.  African-Americans finally got the right to vote everywhere with the Voting Rights Bill.  Businesses were no longer allowed to discriminate against people based on race because of the Civil rights Bill.

We have seen women gain the ability to be protected and not discriminated against because they are women.  And, this year, we have seen the Supreme Court rule that same-sex marriage is legal.

Still, today we are seeing “conservative” run states try to roll back these civil rights.  The Supreme Court basically gutted the Voting Rights Bill which opened up a series of voter suppression bills in Republican controlled states.

We are seeing Republican Controlled states try to roll back Roe V. Wade with anti-abortion bills that will make it virtually impossible for women who wish to exercise their right to an abortion not be able to have one.

We see Republican controlled states passing anti-LGBT laws that reduces their rights to human dignity and protects anyone who wishes to discriminate against them simply because they are LGBT.

During World War II, Germany committed the atrocity of genocide in the holocaust.  They murdered 11 million people in concentration camps and gas chambers.  6 million of them were Jews.  The other 7 million included some prisoners of war, especially Polish and Russian, homosexuals, physically handicapped, mentally handicapped, and political prisoners.

Today we remember Pearl Harbor.  I also remembered my father who fought in that horrible conflict.  But, I also think about what happened then and what is happening today.

At that time the most horrific things done to people were done overseas.  Today I wonder what our near future holds in my country.  My father served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War.  I served 20 years in the Coast Guard entering during the Vietnam War.  My youngest son served in the Marines and served in Iraq.

With what is going on during this transition, I wonder and worry what my country will look like a year from now.  To me, the similarities between the 1938 Time Person of the Year and the 2016 Time Person of the Year seem too close.

You must also remember that Stalin was also named Person of the Year by Time in 1939 and 1942.  Stalin was no better than Hitler.  He murdered millions of his own people in purges.  The Person of the Year is the person who dominates the news for good or bad.

We know what Hitler and Stalin did after being named Person of the Year.  We can only wait and watch what Trump will do.  But as I said earlier, if we fail to remember history, we are doomed to relive it.  Let’s hope we don’t relive it under Trump.


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Day 28

The Federal Government has finally gotten off its ass and did something about our water.  They passed the Water Infrastructure Bill which was intended to help communities like Flint to replace their lead pipes.  The Senate passed the bill first.

Then it want to the House of Representatives.  You know the house that represents the American people directly.  This is the one body in our Congress that is supposed to be the direct voice of the people.  There are far more members of the House than the Senate.  Each member of the House must face election every two years in their specific district, where they are also supposed to live.

So, what could possibly go wrong with this bill?  Well, the Senate version contained a clause that said all steel, iron, aluminum, and any other material necessary to rebuild our water infrastructure must be made in America.  Considering that the American taxpayer is paying for this bill, that is a reasonable thing to expect.

That way the bill would not only help construction workers who will be needed to build the infrastructure, but manufacturing jobs that will be necessary to make the material they need.  We all know that Donald Trump is supposedly all in favor of such clauses that will bring “jobs back to America”.  He has said so over and over.

However, apparently, Paul Ryan didn’t get the memo from Trump about saving American jobs.  For that matter, Trump hasn’t got the memo about saving American Jobs either.

Paul Ryan decided that the “made in America” clause was not necessary and pulled it out of the House version of the bill.  Democratic Senators even tweeted Donald Trump asking him to talk to Ryan to keep the measure in the bill.

They tweeted him because they figured with his love for tweets, that was the best way to get to him.  He never replied to the tweets, and apparently never told Ryan that Trump thought it was a good idea to keep the clause.

So, when work begins on rebuilding our water infrastructure, just like Trump did when he built his hotel in Las Vegas, the country can purchase their steel from China not American steel mills.  And, if they do, you will be paying to support Chinese steel and ignoring our own steel workers.

Turns out the infamous Carrier Deal isn’t as good as Trump said it was.  He id not save 1100 jobs.  He save 730 which is fantastic.  The rest of the jobs he claims to have saved were never going to “move to Mexico” anyway.  Although 1200 jobs from Carrier plants in Indiana are still moving to Mexico.  Some great deal.

But, even putting that aside, Trump could not be bothered to save the “made in America” clause in a bill to rebuild our water infrastructure to help American workers.  He was asked for his support, and refused to help.

The omission of that one clause could cost American workers dearly.  If our own government won’t purchase our own products, why should anyone else?  Did Trump lie to us again, or did Ryan simply refuse to accept the premise that American jobs are worth more than Chinese?

In my opinion, both Trump and the Republicans were given their first real test about saving American Jobs.  They both failed miserably.  I guess the next thing we will see is that our military equipment won’t be required to be “made in America” either.  That will be great for our national security.

All of the rhetoric you have been hearing about how much Trump cares about American jobs have been lies.  Can you imagine the headlines Trump could have gotten if he had gone to war with Ryan over this one clause?  We might actually have been able to believe his rhetoric about our jobs.

But since he was apparently “too busy” to bother with this one clause, we know he is lying.  Yes, he might do something to save a few jobs for headlines to say how wonderful he is, but when it comes to saving potentially millions of jobs, he just can’t be bothered.  When it comes to spending American taxpayer money on American infrastructure, he can’t be bothered.

But then again this bill has nothing to do with making Trump richer by using his own companies.  Maybe that is why he couldn’t be bothered.  Trump hasn’t even taken office yet.  Still Republicans and Trump himself are showing just how unimportant our workers and products are to them.  Even when spending their tax dollars.

Part of the “pursuit of happiness” is having a job to pursue that happiness.  Under the last three Republican Presidents we lost jobs and unemployment went up.  Under the last two Democratic Presidents we gained jobs and unemployment went down.

I do not see anything from Trump yet that will break that Republican/Democrat cycle.  Especially since our Republican Controlled Congress can’t even allow a “made in America” clause in a bill using taxpayer money and Donald Trump doesn’t see the urgency to help keep that clause in the bill when asked.


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Day 27

The year was 2010.  That was an off-year election for Congress.  Republicans ran on the promise that the Affordable Care Act would be “repealed and replaced”.  On that promise, the Tea Party grew to prominence.  Then everything fell apart for the nation.

Since 2011 the Republican controlled House of Representatives held 50 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  They never once voted on any plan to replace the act.  The Speaker of the House kept saying they would “unveil” their plan “next year”.  It never happened.  The closest thing we got to the announcement was when Speaker Paul Ryan said that “we have a plan to have a plan”.  That was in 2014.

Now we are coming to the end of 2016.  We still don’t have any kind of ‘replacement plan” from Republicans.  They still plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but don’t have anything to replace it with.  So they plan to have a plan in three years.  In other words as Ryan already said, “they have a plan to have a plan.”

Their biggest assertion that the Affordable Care Act is bad is rising premiums.  But, they don’t say is that these rises are mostly on wealthy people and people who can’t get insurance through their employers.  It is extremely bad that people who can’t get insurance through their employers are seeing their premiums rise.  But, I don’t have any sympathy for the rich.  Especially when you consider that every plan the Republicans have floated include doing away with the subsidies or at least cutting the subsidies for the poor workers in our country.

Now the number two person in the House, Rep. McCarthy says the plan that Republicans will come up with will provide more people with insurance than the Act does.  He claims that will happen because they will do away with regional borders for insurance companies and better competition.

We heard that fairy tale with cable companies as well.  Did your cable bill go down or up?  What their plan really does is allow more takeovers between insurance companies thus eliminating competition nationwide.

McCarthy says that pre-existing conditions would also be covered, unless you were dropped by your insurance company.  If that happens, you will be left with nowhere to go for insurance unless you want to quadruple your premiums.  They are even talking about “high risk” policies that would increase your premiums and your out-of-pocket expenses.

The very idea of repealing the Act and letting it stay in place for three years is also very dangerous.  Why would any insurance company stay in the exchanges if they are uncertain of the costs they will have to pay out in the next three years without knowing what they will make after that?  They won’t.

What McCarthy is trying to say is that under their non-existent plan more people will get coverage.  Everyone will get better coverage.  And, pre-existing conditions will be covered without increased costs.  Guess we better get our barns built because we will all get a free pony, too.

This whole fiasco is living proof of Republicans are an abject failure to be a governing body.  They have complained about the Act for over six years.  They have never told us what their plan is and why we should decide theirs is better.

Just imagine being an executive for a large corporation.  the CEO says he wants to stop making something and replace it with something better.  Your answer is that we will stop making it and will have something to replace it with in six to nine years.  I doubt the CEO would be happy with than “plan”.  That is exactly what the Republicans have been asking us to accept.

If you are wondering why Republicans say they need three years to come up with any replacement it is because that will be after the next election.  They don’t dare take responsibility for 20 million people losing their insurance coverage before 2018.  They might lose their grip on power.

In typical Republican fashion, everything is so secretive that we need to let them repeal the Affordable Care Act before they tell us what they plan to replace it with.

It is time for this nonsense to stop.  It is time this country finally looks at universal health coverage.  Yes, it means your taxes might go up a bit, but your overall costs will go down because you won’t have to spend so much to stay healthy out-of-pocket.  Plus we will finally be free from insurance company’s control over our health care.

There is a long history where people are denied services because the insurance company says the treatment “costs too much”.  That is the insurance companies not the government.

It is time we stop this stupidity and pass universal health care.  We need to ensure all of our citizens get the health care they deserve and have a right to.  Everything that Republicans have spoken about for their new plan does not provide for the poor working people, nor the middle-class workers.

But, then as I said before, the Republicans don’t care if you go bankrupt over health care bills.  They don’t care if you must choose between keeping everything you worked for or staying healthy.  They don’t even care if you live or die.  All they care about is protecting the profits of their biggest donors, the health insurance companies.

If they cared even a little bit about us instead of insurance companies, they would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.  But, they won’t even allow that because it would cut into the profits.

The only thing Republicans have given us since gaining control of the House is nothing.  We can expect nothing more now that they control everything.  The Republican Party is the all talk, no action and no conscience party.  As a result, we all lose!

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Day 26

CANNON BALL, ND - DECEMBER 04: Fireworks fill the night sky above Oceti Sakowin Camp as activists celebrate after learning an easement had been denied for the Dakota Access Pipeline near the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on December 4, 2016 outside Cannon Ball, North Dakota. The US Army Corps of Engineers announced today that it will not grant an easement to the Dakota Access Pipeline to cross under a lake on the Sioux Tribes Standing Rock reservation, ending a months-long standoff. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Yesterday the Corps of Engineers denied Energy Transfer Partners their permit to place a pipeline beneath Lake Oahe.  That is a nice temporary victory for the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.  I say temporary because after January 20, 2017 it will be up to President Trump to uphold this decision.  Which is doubtful at best.

I say doubtful because the next President happens to own stock in Energy Transfer Partners.  So, another of his conflicts of interests will rear its ugly head.  And since the CEO of Energy Transfer Partners has said that he is confident Trump will overrule this decision and allow the pipeline to proceed without being rerouted, it would appear the fix is already in.

In a statement on the decision, Jo-Ellen Darcy, the Army’s assistant secretary for civil works, said:

Although we have had continuing discussion and exchanges of new information with Standing Rock Sioux and Dakota Access, it’s clear that there’s more work to do.  The best way to complete that work responsibly and expeditiously is to explore alternative routes for the pipeline crossing.

Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault II said of the news:

We wholeheartedly support the decision of the administration and commend with the utmost gratitude the courage it took on the part of President Obama, the Army Corps, the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to take steps to correct the course of history and to do the right thing.

The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and all of Indian Country will be forever grateful to the Obama Administration for this historic decision.

National Congress of American Indians President Brian Cladoosby said in an email statement:

My hands go up to all the water protectors who have stood up to protect tribal treaty rights and to protect Mother Earth  Thank you for Standing For Standing Rock.

Of course Trump and his fellow Republicans don’t like the ruling.  Trump even in another of his tweets after the ruling said “I look forward to ending this anti-energy presidency”.

Somebody should remind Trump that when President Obama took office we had gas prices at $4.00 per gallon.  Today it is around $2.00 per gallon.  Half of what it was in 2009.

Also, our oil reserves are higher than they have been in decades.  Plus, we have more home-grown oil production than we have in decades and we rely less and less on foreign oil.  I would like for someone to explain to me how this all explains this “anti-energy presidency” Trump is talking about.  It sounds more like an energy friendly presidency.

Trump, Republicans, and oil companies are calling the ruling illegal.  They claim the ruling is not following the rule of law.  There is a procedure to follow when deciding on these issues.  When all of the facts are not in when a ruling is given, the ruling can change according to new information.  The protests showed that the people most being affected by the pipeline was never heard.  As a result, a new hearing and ruling were both legal and necessary.

I fully expect Trump to do everything he can to make sure this ruling gets cancelled somehow.  Plus, he is already looking at how to privatize the reservations.  He isn’t going to try to privatize the reservations for the sake of the tribes who live on them, he wants to privatize them so oil and gas companies can get permission to drill for oil and gas on the land without having to go through the full permitting processes that are needed on government property.

The closer we get to inauguration day the more we see that Trump is going to set up a country where corporations have more voice in how things run day-to-day than the people.  Everything he is doing so far is in favor of corporations and against the will of the people.

Even his threat to impose a 35 percent tariff on goods shipped in by U.S. companies that make the products overseas is just bluster.  Do you really think that he will allow a 35 percent tariff on his own products?  All of his products and all of the products sold by his children and wife are all made overseas.  Which means they should be part of any 35 percent tariff.  Yeah right.

The Standing Rock Sioux received an early Christmas present by the Corps of Engineers to protect their drinking water.  Unfortunately, that Christmas present may be revoked in 45 days.  The problem with pipelines isn’t whether or not they are the safest way to ship oil.  Nor is it that they continuously leak.  The problem is that at some point they do leak.  The only question is when and how much?

When that leak contaminates drinking water, it will take years before it will be safe to drink again.  Water is life.  Water is sacred.  We need to stop projects that will pollute our water.

This ruling is a step in the right direction.  But we cannot trust Trump to do or maintain what is right.  He is known for doing and maintaining what is best for his profits over everything and everyone else.

Trump recently tweeted that America Is Open For Business.  He should have said America Is For Sale To The Highest Bidder.  The one redeeming fact is that if he does reverse this ruling, the Standing Rock Sioux will be back to fight him.  We all need to be ready to fight him.  Our country is not and never should be for sale.



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Day 26

Yesterday, a man, Edgar Madison Welch from Salisbury North Carolina was arrested after he fired several shots from an assault riffle inside the Comet Pig Pong pizzeria.  He told police that he was “self-investigating” the Pizzagate scandal.

If you have not heard of this so-called conspiracy, it is a fake news story that has appeared on Facebook and other sites like 4Chan, and Reddit that is frequently used by the alt-Right site.  It claims that the pizza shop is really a conspiracy that provides children for sex to top Democrats in Washington, D.C.

Since this stupidity began, the pizzeria and its employees have received several threats including death threats.  Then yesterday, Welch walked into the pizzeria carrying his riffle in search of the “imprisoned children”.

This story has been debunked and debunked but it keeps appearing on the usual sites like 4Chan and InfoWars.  But it gets even worse.  Michael Flynn, Jr. the son and “advisor” to his father Ret. Gen Michal Flynn tweeted:

Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story. The left seems to forget #Podesta and the many ‘coincidences’ tied to it.”

Flynn, Jr linked to the account of Jack Posobiec, whose Twitter account describes him as the special projects director of a group called Citizens4Trump.

Posobiec claims the arrest of Welch is just a stunt to make the conspiracy look bad.  He tweeted:

Planted Comet Pizza Gunman will be used to push for censorship of independent news sources that are not corporate owned.

This part is rather problematic considering who this man’s father is and what position he is going to have in the Trump Administration.  Especially since Flynn himself has used hashtags that are also conspiracy theories like when on Nov 4 he tweeted the #spiritcooking which was referring to a conspiracy theory linking Podesta to satanic rituals.

This election we have seen an explosion of fake news take off on social media.  The explosion of such venom shows that people who read this garbage do not explore or research the sources or the story for their honesty.

This #Pizzagate thing proves just how dangerous fake news can be.  There are a lot of people blaming fake news for Trump’s victory and that is possible.  But the more serious problem with it took place at a pizzeria in Washington, D.C.  A lunatic conspiracy theory follower actually fired shots in a pizzeria full of innocent people with children.  He didn’t seem to care if he killed anyone or not.  Then, someone associated with the Trump Administration tweets it was all a fake news story and the man arrested was an actor.

Is this what our country is supposed to be?  Are we getting so lazy that we believe anything a wacko puts on Facebook or other social media site?  And, I am sorry to say, that so far almost all of it is coming from so-called “conservatives” and it is clearly being sucked-up by other “conservatives”.  Even Paul Ryan said “who cares” about Trump’s lies on twitter.  That is scary on its own.

What all of this is showing me is that we are becoming primed to follow Trump and his authoritarian government.  When fake news is believed more than real news, we are in trouble.

How long will it be before another “self-investigator” kills someone over these fake news stories.  Remember this, if you shared any of this garbage on your Facebook page, you will be partly responsible for those deaths.  That may sound harsh, but it is true.  Spreading fake news is just as bad as creating it, in my opinion.

One thing you can be sure of if the headlines in a story says:  “You Won’t Believe This” or “Must Read” or any such grabbing words, it is probably fake.  Even tabloids in the U.S. don’t use words like that in their headlines.

The best way to stop this nonsense and make it go away is for you to NOT believe it and stop sharing it.  Unless of course you want to live in a dictatorship.

The Comet Ping Pong pizzeria is a nice place.  It is a family based pizzeria that actually serves good pizza.  Their only “crime” is that some top Democrats actually get pizza from them.  That is enough for the wackos to blame it for anything under the sun.

These fake news stories are living proof that we no longer live in a society that is based on facts and truth.  We live in a society that is out to kill the other side no matter the consequences.   To me this is nothing more that terrorism.  Ask the employees at the pizzeria how they feel.

As Smokey the Bear says “Only you can stop it”.  Start using your brains and not hour hate to decide what is fact and what is fake.

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