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Archive for the ‘Education’ Category

Day 193. 

The upcoming budget from our beloved leader’s administration is a perfect example of fantasy in the real world.  This budget is the worst budget I have ever seen.  And, the arguments behind it are even more weird than the budget itself.

As is usual in a Republican budget, the poor and the working poor in our country are expected to take huge cuts to their benefits in order to give the rich huge tax cuts.  It is planning to remove billions of dollars from food stamps, WIC, Children’s health care, welfare, Pell Grants, Student Loans and a lot more.

It is also calling for huge increases in the defense spending and money for his stupid Berlin Wall.  The very wall that he claimed Mexico would pay for.   Then there is the trillions of dollars being given to the very rich in massive tax cuts.  And, of course don’t forget the trillions of dollars being handed out to corporations.

Some people are claiming that the elderly are not going to be hurt.  But, if you consider the fact that a lot of people in nursing homes get their money from Medicaid, they will be hurt by the massive cuts in that program.  How many will actually be thrown out of the nursing home they are in?  Medicaid is about to lose an estimated 800 Billion Dollars.

But, the argument they are using is pure fiction.  It is the usual Republican argument that people need to be removed from the social net and put back to work.  Yet, even though that sounds admirable, where are the jobs going to come from?

Beloved leader believes that his budget will grow the economy by over 3 percent.  That is also a fantasy.  And here is why.

We heard a lot of talk during the campaign about jobs being shipped overseas.  That was true.  However, what you didn’t hear was how many jobs have been lost due to automation of those jobs.  Most of the manufacturing jobs in this country have been lost to robots.  And, as the manufacturing industry grows, fewer people are being hired because the new factories are being automated as well.

That is really old news.  We have discussed automation before.  But, it is just beginning to ramp up.  The next industry to be hit with massive layoffs because of automation is the retail industry.  We are already losing massive amounts of jobs in that industry because of the internet.  More and more brick-and-mortar retail outlets are closing and losing business to the internet.

And, it is going to get much worse in the very near future.   According to a 56-page report by the investment advisory firm Cornerstone Capital Group roughly 6 million to 7.5 million retail jobs “likely will be automated out of existence in the coming years, leaving a large portion of the retail workforce at risk of becoming ‘stranded workers'”.

Retail cashiers will be hit the hardest with an estimated 73 percent of them being laid off due to automation.  Most cashiers in this country are women. The losses will also disproportionately affect the working poor, since most hourly retail workers live below the poverty line. About 16 million people, or one in 10 American workers, are employed in the retail industry.

“This in-depth examination of retail automation gives investors insights as they consider investment risks and opportunities,” Lukomnik of Cornerstone Capital Group said in a news release. “While the findings are important to investors, they should sound the alarm for economists and political leaders. The shrinking of retail jobs in many ways threatens to mirror the decline in manufacturing in the US. Moreover, in this case, workers at risk are already disproportionately working poor, so any disruption may cause strains in the social safety net and stresses on local tax revenues.”

The automation services that are disrupting retail employment can range from tablets where customers can check out without the help of a cashier to more complicated technologies like the robot that Lowe’s is testing that can interact with customers in stores and help them find the items they need.

Automation is also impacting the restaurant industry. The CEO of Taco Bell’s parent company said in March that machines could replace human workers in 10 years.

“I don’t think it is going to happen next year or the year after, but I do believe that probably by the mid ’20s to the late ’20s, you’ll start to see a dramatic change in sort of how machines run the world,” Greg Creed, CEO of Yum Brands, told CNBC. Yum owns a handful of fast-food companies including KFC, Taco Bell, and Pizza Hut.

Between the growth of the internet and the automation of jobs in the retail and restaurant industries, jobs will be lost in the millions.  Most of these workers are paid at or just above the minimum wage and the employees are considered the “working poor”.

Many others are working in the industry because they need more flexible hours to care for their families.  And, many are older people.  The retail industry employs lots of people across all spectrums of society.  And, they are all at risk of being “automated” out of work.

And, this is not their fault.  They are not sitting at home waiting for a government check, yet.  These people are hard-working people trying to support their families and trying to just survive in today’s world.

They are the very people that Republicans claim are eating up government money because they are lazy and don’t want to work.  Worst, these are also the very people who keep voting Republican and voted for trump because they promised more jobs.  Looks like that was just another empty promise unless you consider giving a robot a job as creating jobs.

That also brings us to the fantasy that the economy will grow over 3 percent.  How can the economy grow if fewer people are working?  Who is going to spend money and help the economy grow?  The fewer people working, the less money they will spend simply because they don’t have any money.

Using simple basic economics, that means there will be less demand for products.  Less demand means more supply and a downturn or recession in the economy.  Meaning the economy will not grow by 3 percent.  It won’t even grow by 1 percent.

Couple that with the massive spending increases in defense and border protection along with the massive tax cuts, the deficit has nowhere to go but up.  Meaning that the economy will probably slow down even more than by the simple rules of supply and demand.  We may even be looking at another crash of the economy.

Through its actions so far, this administration has proven itself to be a friend of the very rich and the enemy of everyone else.  They are trying very hard to eliminate the poor.  Not through actions that will help them get training they need to compete in today’s economy, but through blaming them for the economic problems.

People who need assistance have been demonized for generations by this Republican Party.  There are more and more Republican controlled states that want to drug test everyone who gets assistance because as we all know, people on the social safety nets are simply lazy drug users who don’t want to work.  They are placing all kinds of obstacles on the poor to get the money they need to just survive.

Don’t you find it funny that there is never a proposed drug test before the rich can receive those massive tax cuts?  That is because we all know that inherited fortunes means the inheritor is a good person and never uses drugs.  Yeah, right.

Ever since at least 1968, the Republican Party has been waging a war against the poor.  They believe that the poor should just be happy to live in the gutters and watch how the rich live.  They don’t believe in fair pay for workers, hence their hatred of the minimum wage.  They believe that if you cannot afford health coverage, you don’t deserve it.  They believe that only the wealthy deserve a college education and that the poor should just be servants to the rich.  Servants don’t need a college education.

The budget that will be rolled out today is a blueprint of this agenda of the Republican Party.  Beloved leader has taken it even further.  We have had all kinds of presidents in my lifetime, but this one is the most anti-poor president I have seen.

Of course, if this horrible budget does manage to get through Congress, and Republicans are itching to change the rules to insure their agenda goes through, then maybe it will be good for America.  Beloved Leader’s voters will be hit extremely hard by this budget.  Maybe, just maybe, they will finally see the light and realize just how horrible he is.

The down side is that we need the Clown in Chief to crash the economy which he seems hell-bent to do.  In that case, we all lose, again.  There is an old saying in this country that goes back years and years.  That saying is:”  “If you want to live like a Republican, vote Democratic”.  The economy has done much better under a Democratic President than a Republican President.

As the economy continues its steady growth under the policies and regulations the Obama Administration put in place after the crash of 2008, beloved leader and his administration is doing everything in its power to return to 2008 and a bad economy.  This proposed budget is a step in that direction.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

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Day 192. 

Yesterday we heard from our beloved leader as he gave a speech about Islam in Saudi Arabia.  He called on all Muslim states to “weed out this evil” of terrorism.  He said they should force all of the terrorists out.

Then we heard Mike Pence, his empty suite vice president talk about “tolerance” towards opposing views on college campuses.  Pence decried the intolerance towards speakers on college campuses around the country.

I find both of these comments to be very disturbing.  I find both of these comments to be extremely prejudiced.  Not because they were given by so-called “conservatives” but because of the lies they were telling and because neither of these “leaders” of our country actually practice what they preach.

We all know that terrorism and intolerance are both evil.  We all know that terrorism is also an outgrowth of intolerance.  Especially when you talk about religious terrorism.  In the Middle East and other parts of the world, there are Muslim Extremists who are totally intolerant towards other religions and as a result they engage in serious terrorism.

That is evil in anyone’s definition of the word.  They are not interested in anything except their own fanaticism and thus are willing to kill others simply because they don’t believe the same thing as these fanatics.  They need to be rooted out.

However, they are not alone in their religious terrorism practices.  We have plenty of religious terrorists right here at home.  The problem is that no one in the political world wants to talk about it and no one wants to do anything about it.  Especially our president and vice president.  Rather, they are encouraging the practice of religious terrorism in our country because this terrorism isn’t the result of Islam, it its the result of Radical Christianity.  It is also the result of “conservative” intolerance.

As it turns out, the State of Texas has become our own version of a Caliphate of hate towards anyone who does not follow the Radical Christian Terrorist beliefs.  They are not alone either.  They are joined by states like Mississippi, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and others.

The real danger is that these Radical Christian Terrorists are not all private citizens.  The real problem is they are actually in control of these state’s legislatures.  And, they are not afraid of their Radical Christian Terrorism being found out.  They are quite open about it and are very proud of it.

In the Caliphate of Texas, they are in the final days of their legislative session and are working very hard to pass their terrorist agenda into law.  And, their head terrorist is the governor and he is very willing to sign any terrorist bill into law.

At first they tried to pass an anti-LGBTQ law.  But that got stymied in their own legislature.  So, they have decided to tear the bill into parts and “add amendments” to necessary legislation so they can get their terrorist agenda into the law books.

Of course, they are masquerading these laws in the agenda of “Religious Freedom”.  Which tells you immediately that it is nothing more than a terrorist agenda.  The first big bill was HB 3859, that will allow state-funded adoption and foster care agencies to turn away applicants on religious grounds, denying parents who are LGBT, or even those who are Jewish, Muslim or atheist. It passed the Texas House and is now moving through the Senate, causing a great deal of concern because similar bills have been passed in other states, including in South Dakota this year.

This bill is nothing more that an open attempt to refuse the adoption of needy children to anyone who is not considered by these terrorists as “straight, homosexual, Christian” parents.  Then there is the insidious attempts to write discrimination into must-pass bills that have already been debated. An amendment added at the last-minute to a nursing care bill, HB 2950, for example, would bar the Texas Board of Nursing from punishing discriminatory actions if they are committed in the service of a nurse’s “religious beliefs.”

Under this amendment a nurse could cite his religious beliefs as a reason to refuse to care for a gay patient on the grounds that he believes homosexuality is a sin or is against his faith.  Likewise, a nurse who believes that men are the head of the household could breach client confidentiality to disclose a woman’s medical condition to her husband against her wishes.

Another amendment added to HB 2561, a pharmacy services regulatory bill, pharmacists could opt-out of the practices that are standard among pharmacists across the country, based on personal religious convictions. For example, a pharmacist could decide not to fill a prescription for hormone therapy for a transgender customer, claiming doing so goes against his or her religious beliefs about gender. Or, a pharmacist could use religion as justification to refuse to serve African-American customers because she believes the Bible mandates the segregation of the races.

There are two other bills that would regulate legal services, SB 302 and SB 303, that now have amendments which allow for religious refusal by state-licensed attorneys. If these bills become law with these amendments an attorney could deny his or her duty to inform a client about his or her rights in a divorce proceeding, for example, even trying to talk the client out of getting a divorce, all based on the attorney’s religious objection to divorce.

It is not hard to determine the true intent of these pieces of legislation.  They are intended to discriminate against and to scare all people in Texas who are not white conservative Christians.  These amendments and laws are intended to hurt people that the terrorists in the Texas State Legislature don’t like.  They are written and proudly put on display for all to see their intolerance against everyone not a white Christian.  In short, they are open displays of intolerant terrorism.  There is no other reason for them.

If you are going to write me that if you don’t like your lawyer, pharmacist, or nurse, get a different one forget about it.  If you are that intolerant of others, then you should not have chosen such a career in the first place.  There is no room in professions like these for intolerance.  Additionally, actions like these are in violation of the Ethics Oaths these professions are governed by.

Then we have another perfect example of intolerance on full display which is nothing more than a terrorist act.  This one comes due to the idea that the City of New Orleans is removing Confederate statues from the city.  This action is being taken after a vote of the city council.  Naturally, the white supremacists are up in arms and complaining the city is removing “our heritage” from city property.

In an attempt to stop other cities from taking such an action, the Louisiana Legislature is trying to pass a law that would make it ‘illegal” to remove such statues unless there was a “ballot” issue where the majority of the people vote to remove them.  Another attempt of a state legislature telling local governments what they can and cannot pass in their own jurisdictions.  Meaning, only the state can control a city’s monuments with the city paying for them, of course.

But the worst example of intolerant terrorism came not from anyone in Louisiana, but rather than a Missouri legislator.  On Saturday, Karl Oliver, a Republican member of the state’s House of Representatives described the “destruction” of Confederate monuments in Louisiana as “heinous and horrific” and compared leaders in that state to Nazis.

He said in his tweet:

The destruction of these monuments, erected in loving memory of our family and fellow Southern Americans, is both heinous and horrific.  If the, and I use this term extremely loosely, “leadership” of Louisiana wishes to, in Nazi-ish fashion, burn books or destroy historic monuments of OUR HISTORY, they should be LYNCHED!  Let it be known that I will do all I can to prevent this from happening in our state!

I find it ludicrous when any so-called conservative calls someone else a Nazi when they are trying to rid their community of white supremacist symbols.  After all, it was the Nazis who epitomized white supremacy.  Which tells me that erecting white supremacy symbols is more Nazi-ish than removing them.  Especially when the City Council votes to remove them.  They are the representatives of the city residents.

Plus, everyone who has followed my writing knows I consider these “white heritage” nuts to be traitors to our country.  They are more interested in pledging loyalty to a failed, losing party of a war, than to the country of which they claim to be patriots.

But, their view is the only view that matters to them, therefore, it is supposed to be the only view that matters to us.  That is the full definition of intolerance.  And, it is terrorism if you tell people if they disagree or remove a confederate statue, they should by lynched.

Far more Americans have been killed by Radical Christian Terrorists in this country than any other group, including Islamic Terrorists.  The difference is that when a Muslim commits a horrible act, it is automatically called terrorism.  When a Radical Christian Terrorist commits a horrible act, it is called a “one-off” or that person has “mental problems”.

And, both our beloved leader and our vice president are mum on all of this Radical Christian Terrorist activity.  See, you don’t have to “kill” someone to be considered a terrorist.  You merely need to make them afraid of going out on the streets, or in their own home, or know that they can be discriminated against simply because they are different.

The laws being passed in the Caliphate of Texas and other Republican controlled states are forms of terrorism because they formally make discrimination “legal”.  You won’t hear beloved leader or our vice president voice any condemnation of these acts either.  Beloved leader got elected because he ran a hate campaign.  Our vice president signed such terrorism laws while he was Governor of Indiana.

If beloved leader is really interested in “weeding out terrorism” he needs to begin at home.  If he really wants to make terrorism something to be afraid of carrying out, he needs to crack down on the Radical Christian Terrorists in our country.

If pence is really interested in ending intolerance, then he needs his own “come to Jesus moment” and start condemning the very laws that Texas is passing and the ones he signed into law in Indiana.

I am not holding my breath about either of these cowards doing anything different.  They are part of the radical Christian terrorists and they are very proud of that fact.  All of this is proof of the conservative Republican agenda to remove all non-white, non-Christian people from the country.  They want a white only, Christian only country.

Only once they get it, they will work to eliminate the Christian sects they don’t like either.  So, you are in the crosshairs too.  Unless you are part of the Radical Christian Terrorist organization.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 188. 

Yesterday the Department of Justice announced that they have ordered a Special Counsel to oversea the Russian Hacking and any possible collusion between them and any member of the trump campaign.  That announcement was met with hails of praise about the decision.

I agree that we do need a special counsel or special prosecutor because it is time we actually find out what happened, who may have been involved, and how we are going to make sure it doesn’t happen again.  And, quite frankly, the Congressional investigations are running at a snail’s pace with no sign they will pick up anytime soon.

We also had a report that Mike Flynn told the trump transition team that he was under investigation by the FBI before he took the position of National Security Advisor.  According to the report, Flynn told the now White House Counsel about the investigation on January 4.  Before the inauguration.

Which begs the question of how could trump still name him as National Security Advisor when he knew Flynn was under investigation for his time as an unregistered foreign agent for Turkey?

We also had a report that Kevin McCarthy, the second in command in the House Republican Caucus told a group of Republicans in 2016 that he thought trump was on Putin’s payroll.

On June 15, 2016 McCarthy said:  “There’s two people I think Putin pays: Rohrabacher and Trump.”   Some of the Republicans laughed but McCarthy quickly added “swear to God”.  These comments were actually taped by someone, and the tape was listened to and verified by The Washington Post. Rep. Dana Rohrabacher is a Californian Republican known in Congress as a fervent defender of Putin and Russia.

When the story first broke both Ryan and McCarthy claimed the conversation “never happened”.  But, when the Post told them they had the tape, they changed their story.  Instead of it never happening, they said it was a “bad attempt at humor”.

This took place exactly one day after the news broke about the hacking of the DNC.  And, right after Ryan and McCarthy came out of a meeting with Ukrainian Prime Minister Volodymyr Groysman, who had described a Kremlin tactic of financing populist politicians to undercut Eastern European democratic institutions.

Getting back to yesterday, when the news of the special counsel was first announced, trump seemed to be happy and claimed it would end in total clearance for him and then he could move on with his agenda.  In a written statement he said “A thorough investigation will confirm what we already know — there was no collusion between my campaign and any foreign entity.  I look forward to this matter concluding quickly.”

That story changed big time today.  In his usual Cowardly Lion manner, he tweeted this morning:  “it is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!”  Then just to make sure he threw red meat to his base he tweeted:  “With all of the illegal acts that took place in the Clinton campaign & Obama Administration, there was never a special councel (sic) appointed!”

Naturally he gave no indication of any of the so-called “illegal acts” by either Clinton or Obama.  The one thing you can say about the Obama administration is that they were not involved in anything “illegal”.  You may not like the man.  You may even hate his guts.  But, he was never at the center of any scandal nor did he get involved in any illegal acts.  Even Republicans called him “no drama Obama”.

But trump can’t stand the fact that his “team” appears to be neck-deep in Russian scandals.  His former Campaign Manager had dealings with “Russian backed Ukrainian government that was ousted by the people.  There are reports of his money laundering for Russians.  And then we learned that somehow he received a $3 Million mortgage that was mysteriously paid off for him.

Mike Flynn went to Moscow to sit next to Putin at a dinner for RT and was paid
$35,000 for his speech without reporting it.  He was a paid foreign agent for the Turkish government during the campaign and did not register as one.  He reportedly told trump team that he was under investigation before the inauguration.  Then he took the position of National Security Advisor and sat in on highly classified briefings that could have affected his client, and Russia.

As reported, there have been at least 18 undisclosed meeting between the trump transition team and Russian officials including ones involving Kushner, Sessions, and that infamous “phone call” about sanctions Flynn made.  Beloved leader call this a witch-hunt.  He calls this a hoax.  He calls this “fake news”.

To add insult to injury, beloved leader was as the Coast Guard Academy’s graduation ceremony yesterday.  During his speech he complained about how the media was out to get him.  He then bragged, again, about his victory.  He tried to tell the graduates to “fight, fight even when thing are against them”.

That is good advice since his administration wants to slash the Coast Guard’s budget.  They want to cut about $25 billion form the Coast Guard.  Including cutting all of the funding for new equipment the Coast Guard desperately needs.  Yet he had the audacity to claim that the Coast Guard was “necessary to help him fight to keep America Safe”.  Hard to do when you cannot afford the very operations that do that now.

And, all the while, we don’t hear anything of consequence from the Republicans.  Both Ryan and McConnell are fuming over the special counsel appointment because they didn’t want one named.  They both said so many times so they cannot be happy right now.  Still we hear the usual silence from them and their party.

Then we come to the final point.  Mike Pence.  As I wrote the other day, I believe Mike Pence is a co-conspirator in all of this.  I do not believe that Pence was lied to by Flynn but Pence was trying to cover for Flynn.  I believe he knew all along about Flynn’s actions and his not being registered as a foreign agent all the while working for trump and Pence’s campaign.

I further believe that in terms of domestic policy Mike Pence is far more dangerous than trump.  With the way trump behaves, we cannot be sure that he will rubber-stamp anything that Republicans in Congress put in front of him.  We know for certain that Pence will.

During his term as Governor of Indiana, Mike Pence was atrocious.  His poll numbers were at rock bottom which is why most people believe he even took the position as the running mate for trump.  He was the driving force behind the anti-LGBT laws passed in the state.  His track record of voter restriction, anti-LGBT laws and anti-civil rights are well-known.

He is a strong believer that rich people should pay less in taxes than you do.  He believes that health care is a privilege not a right and is in full support of the Americans Without Health Care Act.  If we wind up with a president pence after all of this, we can be sure that our country, domestically at least, will be far worse off than it is now.

As Grover Norquist once said, Mike Pence would be that President with “enough digits to hold a pen and sign everything Republicans put in front of him”.  Some are hoping that Pence will get caught up in all of this as well, and will be forced out.  But, that isn’t all that great either.  Remember the next one in line is none other than that unintelligent wank Paul Ryan.

When Richard Nixon was forced out over the Watergate Scandal, our country had one hope.  We had Gerald Ford sitting as the Vice President.  Ford was a moderate and there was hope that the nation would survive the scandal and get back to normal.  With Pence the sitting Vice President, I  don’t have that same hope for the country.

In the year 2017 we face a real problem.  We have an administration that has tried to “run things” like a dictatorship.  We have a political party, the Republicans, who want to dismantle our democracy.  We have another political party, the Democrats, that react to events rather than planning a real resistance that could put a stop to all of this.

What we really need is some people with cool heads and a plan to fight back.  What we need to have is people who love this country more than they love their party and power.  There are some Democrats who are remaining cool-headed and wanting to get to all of the facts no matter where they lead.  There are beginning to be cracks in the Republican side who want the same thing.

The problem is that there aren’t enough of them yet.  The leadership of the Republican Congress is still hiding their heads in the sand.  Or, should I say they have their heads up their asses.  As a result, we won’t know the extent of this problem for months if not years.

Only, it really doesn’t matter how this all plays out.  If trump is exonerated, he will remain in power and continue his authoritarian form of government.  He will be able to pass laws to “jail” journalists that write things against him, which is what he wants.  He will be able to destroy the country we all love.

If he is found to be involved in this mess, he will be forced out of office, if Republicans have the guts to impeach him and hold a trial in the Senate, and we will end up with president pence.  Which would be no better than having president trump.

Because the 2016 presidential election was a disgusting soap opera instead of a real campaign, we wound up with president trump and vice president mike pence.  As a result, we find ourselves in totally uncharted waters.  There is a major scandal hanging over the White House, and there are no heroes who will ride to our salvation.

To put it very bluntly, no matter what happens from here, we the American People are fucked.  We lose no matter how this plays out.  All of this played out in full during the campaign.  The very fact that trump refused to agree with out intelligence community that is was the Russians who hacked the DNC showed just where his loyalties lay.  His comment about hoping the “Russians would hack Clinton’s emails” showed that he liked the idea Russia was involved.  So, this was all foretold.

The best lesson to take from all of this is how important it is to actually participate in our election process.  Maybe if Americans took their responsibility to get out and vote seriously, we wouldn’t be where we are today.  If you didn’t vote last year and are looking for the real blame, look in the mirror.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

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Day 174. 

Beloved leader has nominated a person for Secretary of the Army, and I hope this clown burns instead of becoming head of the Army.  The name is Mark Green.  He is also a State Senator in Tennessee.  Beloved leader could not have named a worse choice if he tried.  Or, maybe he did try to name the worst choice.

Unfortunately, Green is an example of what I believe to be the real evil we all face in the world today.  That is Religious Extremism.  Green has introduced and/or supported bills that openly discriminate against LGBTQ.  He is also famous for saying the transgender is a disease and that he hates it so much because it is “my duty to crush evil”.

I suggest that if it is his duty to “crush evil” he should head to the nearest interstate highway, wait for a truck to come by, and fall in front of it so his evil will truly be crushed.  Harsh?  Maybe.  But he is a perfect example of just how evil religious extremism really is.

It doesn’t matter which religion you wish to talk about.   Religious Extremism is evil all by itself.  It causes terrorism.  It causes discrimination.  It causes division among people.  It is the worst form of evil there could possibly be because they hide in the fact that they are “religious”.

All across this country you see evidence of this evil playing out in laws.  You see so-called “Freedom of Religion” laws that are nothing more than discrimination laws aimed at certain groups.  These laws have only one purpose.  To make one group’s religious beliefs the law of the land so their version has total control over the lives of everyone else.

There are several states that do not protect LGBTQ people from discrimination in housing, employment, or even medical care.  It is possible in many states for a gay couple to get married on Saturday, post their pictures on Facebook on Sunday, and get fired from their jobs and thrown out of their apartment on Monday.

All in the name of “religious liberty” for the extremists.  If they claim “religious beliefs” as their excuse to discriminate, that is just fine with the extremists.  As Green would say, they are simply “crushing evil”.

There are members of Congress that want to introduce and pass a bill called the First Amendment Restoration Act.  It is simply another “you can discriminate against those stupid gays if you claim religious beliefs and no one will be able to sue you for it”.

Back in February, beloved leader was rumored to sign an Executive Order that mirrored the provisions in this hate filled bill.  Now, it is rumored that he plans to do the same thing tomorrow at the National Prayer Breakfast.  Instead of “protecting the LGBTQ community as he promised in his campaign, he is going to demonize them to gain support of the religious extremists.

During the campaign, he often used the term “Radical Islamic Terrorism” to place blame for all of the terrorism in the world.  He claimed that he would defeat it and that President Obama never would because he would not use the term.  However, one term that is never said by anyone, except maybe me, is “Radical Christian Terrorism”.

When members of a black church are murdered in that church, it isn’t Radical Christian Terrorism, it is a looney person.  When an abortion doctor is murdered in his own church, it isn’t Radical Christian Terrorism, it is a “lone wolf” with mental problems.  When Muslims are beaten on the street by Christians, it isn’t Radical Christian Terrorism, it is just some angry people taking out their frustrations.

The Republican Party has survived by clinging to the Radical Christian Extremists and allowing them to use their form of terrorism against the rest of the country.  They even applaud the actions by these terrorists.  Just listen to Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity.

Then, the other day Joel Richardson, author of apocalyptic Christian books claimed that all of the protests against beloved leader is the result of Satan.  He claims that people are not angry that beloved leader is an idiot and ruining the lives of millions of people, he blames Satan for causing the protests.

No, clown, it is people like you that Satan have influenced.  It is people who hide behind phony religious claims to discriminate, hate, and harm others that are the ones being influenced by Satan.

I was raised in a Christian family.  I attended private Catholic Schools through High School.  And, what I have seen from these religious extremists is anything but Christianity.  How can you claim to be Christian and not follow the teaching of the person who you claim to be your “Lord and Savior”?

I am often told by people that they know they are going to heaven because they have accepted Jesus as “My Lord and Savior”.  Yet, in daily practice, they continuously fail to follow the very teachings of the person they claim to love so much.

How can you claim to be Christian if you hate and want to discriminate against people of color?  If you really want to see the irony in all of that hate, Jesus was a person of color.  He was not a white man.  He had dark skin just like all of the people who lived in the region where he lived.

How can you claim to be Christian and still be willing to discriminate against anyone?  How can you claim to “love the sinner but hate the sin” as your excuse to discriminate against people?  That goes against his teaching that you should “not judge others”.  Be declaring that you can discriminate against LGBTQ community you are guilty of judging others.

How can you claim to be Christian and use terms like “users and takers”  How can you hate those unemployed and/or poor if you claim to be Christian. Wasn’t it Jesus who said “behold the birds of the sky.  They neither sow nor work the soil.  Yet, the father provides for them and how much greater are you than they”?

That doesn’t sound like someone who is advocating hard work.  As a matter of fact, the man did not hold a job himself.  He walked around the countryside preaching and hoping others would feed him and his 12 Apostles.

No, you cannot be Christian and discriminate, hate, and harm people who are different from you.  You cannot be Christian and believe that we are to “love our neighbors as we love ourselves” and hate, discriminate, and harm others.

I know that I have only used Christian teachings here, but that is because I know them better than other religions.  The fact of matter is that it doesn’t matter which religion you belong to, extremism is evil.  Extremism is only a tool used to acquire power over others.

Unfortunately, there is one political party that is very willing to appease this extremism in the name of votes and political power.  They are just as guilty of being evil as the extremists they want to appease.  That party is the Republican Party and they now control both Houses of Congress and the White House.

Our beloved leader has proven that he is just as guilty of this hate as the extremists he wants to court.  He has named the most openly racist person in my lifetime to be Attorney General.  He has named an extremely corrupt person to head up Health and Human Services.

In supposedly keeping his promise to drain the swamp, he has surrounded himself with Goldman Sachs heads.  The very bank that set up and led the economic collapse in 2008 by breaking banking laws and then getting away with it.

He has an open white supremacist as his chief political strategist.  He has named a corrupt man who is in the pockets of the fossil fuel industry to head up the EPA.

These moves have all been applauded by the so-called Conservative Christian Cult.  A group of religious extremists who want to establish an theocracy in our country and demolish our democracy.

When it comes to religious extremism, there is not morality.  The atheists I know have stronger morality than all of the Conservative Christians I know put together.  And, I know a lot more Conservative Christians than I do atheists.  Which I believe shows just how evil religious extremism really is.

With all of this in mind, it is essential that Green not be approved to become the Secretary of the Army.  We cannot allow such an extremist to have control over the best army in the world.  How can someone who claims that by discriminating against the LGBTQ community is “crushing evil” be in charge of a fully integrated Army?

How can we expect him to ensure that if a member of the Army who is LGBTQ is attacked, beaten up, or killed, he will do anything to punish the culprits.  How can we not expect that he would just say they were “crushing evil”.

But, that is the country we now seem to live in.  We live in a country where the religious minority are very willing to push their own beliefs on everyone else by getting their puppets in Congress to pass laws to codify their phony religious beliefs into our laws.

There certainly is real evil in the world.  That evil comes in the form of religious extremism.  As long as we have a Republican Party that is too willing to pass legislation to appease that religious extremism, we will continue to have a divided country.  It is the responsibility of Congress to pass laws to protect everyone in the country.  Including people who are different.

We are supposed to live in a secular country.  We are allowed to speak our minds.  We are allowed to believe in any religion we choose or none at all.  We live in a society that is supposed to protect the rights of everyone.  These Religious Extremists are fighting very hard to eliminate all of that from our lives.  They are fighting very hard to take control.

Sorry, but the real dangers to our way of life is not the so-called LGBTQ agenda.  It is not socialism.  It is not secularism.  It is Religious Extremism.  And, in this country, that means mostly, but all, Radical Christian Extremism.

These people are the ones behind things like the Muslim Travel ban.  They are behind the legal discrimination laws.  They are the ones behind the false freedom of religion laws.  They are the ones behind the killing of the separation of church and state.  Radical Christian Terrorists have killed more Americans since 9/11 than any other terrorist group.  Think about that for a minute.

We need to recognize this true danger to our way of life.  We need to put a stop to the Radical Christian Terrorists who are quietly and radically trying to change our laws for their own personal grab for power.  They are the true evil that our country faces every day.  They are the true terrorists that we face every day.

Please, believe in the religion of your choice.  Don’t believe in any religion if you don’t wan.  But, stay away from the extremists and help us defeat their true evil.  Otherwise, we will all lose and even you will fid yourself in their crosshairs.   Remember, evil is forever busy.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

 

 

 

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Day 171. 

The first 100 days of beloved leader’s presidency are finally over.  In those 100 days about the only thing we learned about beloved leader is that he is a total clown with no idea of what the hell he is doing.

The three main items about trump we have learned are Bluster, Incompetence, and Complete Ignorance.  If those are his three main traits, we are all in deep shit.  Included in those three traits is one more.  He is an absolute lousy negotiator.  He couldn’t negotiate his way out of a men’s room.

But, don’t just take my word for it, look at each trait individually.  The day after his inauguration, he complained that no one was giving him credit for “having the largest crowd in history at my inauguration”.  Photographs of his inauguration proved otherwise, but what the hell, he believed it so we should.

Just last night at a rally in Harrisburg, PA he bragged that the crowd set an “all-time record for the arena and that there are thousands of people standing outside who couldn’t get in”.  Only photographs showed the arena was not at capacity.  It holds about 7,000 people, and photographs from the event show about 15 percent of the seats were empty.

Look, there was a large crowd there.  They were even loud and supportive of beloved leader.  But, his bluster couldn’t allow that to come out, he had to openly lie to the people in the arena who could see it was not full.  Yet, they still cheered him and agreed with him.  I guess the arena was never full for any event in its history.  If that is true, then he was right when he said it was an all-time record setter.  If that is not true, then neither is his comment.

He loudly tells us that he is for the “little people”.  But, his first executive order was to increase the cost of mortgage insurance for first-time home buyers making it harder for them to get the mortgage they need.  I am sure all first-time home buyers are thanking him for his support every time they write their mortgage checks out costing them $500 per year more than if he had not signed that stupid order.

Then he allows his EPA chief to let Dow Chemical’s pesticide that affects the development of brains in children and fetus’ to be used on food crops.  This pesticide was banned from food crops under the last administration, but who cares if you child’s brain developes like it should.  Dow Chemical’s profits are far more important than your children’s development.

The EPA has also taken down all of the information about climate change from its website.  It thinks that there is no such thing as climate change so why bother with putting up all of that scientific information that shows they are wrong.

Then under his incompetence, we only need to look at all of the vacancies in the Federal Government.  Of the roughly 459 positions he is required to fill, less than 60 of them have been filled.  There aren’t even any nominations announced for the remaining vacancies.

Additionally, his empty suit Rex Tillerson said that he expects to lay off over 2,000 state department employees.  Beloved leader apparently doesn’t believe that an active state department with real professionals can stop wars.  Which is exactly what their job is.  As whimpering dog Mattis over at Defense actually said “if we don’t have an active State Department, I will need a lot more bullets”.  Even whimpering dog knows we need a State Department that engages with the world.

During his time in office, our beloved leader has managed to piss off our allies like Germany, England, France, Canada, and even Australia.  All the while he is praising the murderer Putin for being a “great leader” as trump likes to call him.

He and his administration told the American People that “we are sending a great armada to the South China sea to show North Korea we mean business”.  Only, that “great armada” was actually heading for exercises with the Australian Navy thousands of miles south of the South China Sea.  The Commander-in-Chief and his whimpering dog Mattis didn’t even know where his fleet was or what they were doing.

Mattis even told us that they made the announcement because the exercise was cancelled so they had to give a reason for cancelling it.  Only, it wasn’t cancelled, and the Vinson and her fleet didn’t head towards Korea until it was over.  How incompetent can you be?

In Syria, his administration said they didn’t mind that Bashaad was in power and that it was up to the Syrian people to decide if they should get rid of him.  Then, Bashaad used chemical weapons on his own people.  So, trump launched a handful of missiles at one of Bashaad’s air bases with very limited results and bragged about being “presidential” over the incident.  He claimed that he had to send the missiles because of the pictures of all of those “beautiful babies” he saw being gassed.  Yet, he won’t let any of those “beautiful babies” to come here to get away from the war.

Then we get to his total ignorance.  We have been staring down North Korea for about 70 years.  Beloved leader seems to want to draw another “red line” in the sand over North Korea.

North Korea has artillery aimed at and in range of Seoul where about half of South Korea’s population lives.  So, in order to show we mean business again, he ordered that a missile defense system be installed in South Korea.  Sounds reasonable especially considering we have over 30,000 troops stationed in South Korea.

Then, he fell back on his gangster mode and claimed that he told South Korea that they should really pay for the missile defense system.  He seems to have left out the part where he would pull it out if they didn’t pay, but the possibility remains loudly in the minds of the South Korean people.

Then, to make matters even worse, he said he would tear up the trade agreement we have with South Korea.  This ignoramus doesn’t understand just how bad he is making relations with one of our best allies.  Does he really think that the South Koreans will be so “strong” in supporting our moves against North Korea if he is going to “tear up” our trade agreements with the South?

Additionally, there are Presidential elections going on in South Korea since their last President was removed from office over corruption charges.  Does he really believe that the winner will be the one who calls out the name trump as a “great leader”?  Rather, it would appear that the winner will be the one who defies and distances themselves from trump the most.  Boy, isn’t that a smart way to win friends.

But, let’s be fair.  He has accomplished a lot in his first 100 days.  He failed to get his Americans Without Health Insurance Act passed because he is a lousy negotiator.  That is a positive for the country.

He was able to get his nomination to the Supreme Court approved.  Of course, his patsy Mitch McConnell had to change Senate rules to achieve that, so it really doesn’t count as a “victory” to me.

He has made “town hall meetings” for his party members almost unbearable.  As a matter of fact, many of his party’s members won’t even hold town halls anymore because they are afraid to face angry crowds.

He has placed a gag order on the employees at EPA so you can never find out about the real effects of climate change or the “sweetheart deals” that Pruitt is making with the fossil fuel companies.

He has removed worker protections from companies who do business with the government.  So if a contractor is guilty of sexual harassment, unequal pay for women, or has a horrible safety record, we won’t know about them and they will get to keep their contracts.

He hired, and then was forced to fire, an unregistered foreign agent to be his National Security Advisor.  Before he was fired, Flynn sat in on highly classified briefings even on briefings that were about the countries for which he was an unregistered foreign agent.

A total of 15 people of his administration have either been fired, resigned, or withdrew their names from consideration for high level posts.  That surely is a record for a president in his first 100 days.  And, we all know how much he loves records.

He has signed more executive orders in his first 100 days than any other president since World War II.  Remember when Republicans claimed that executive orders were nothing more than “a political overreach that flew against the Constitution”?  Funny, we don’t hear the same thing from them now that beloved leader is using executive orders instead of actual legislation.

Finally, he has managed to become the first president who is the subject of a counter espionage investigation concerning his campaign’s collusion with Russia in hacking our national elections.  He managed that in his first 100 days.

All of this shows that we probably have the biggest asshole sitting in the White House in our nation’s history.  The only thing he hasn’t done, yet, is follow his hero Andrew Jackson’s lead who tried make the east coast all white by shipping out all of the Native Americans who lived there.  Only, trump will ship out all Mexicans and Muslims instead of Native Americans.

He has named a fossil fuel company puppet as the head of the EPA.  He has named a public education hater to head up the Department of Education.  He has named an openly proud racist as our Attorney General.  He has placed former Goldman Sachs heads in positions to run our budgets and finances.  You know the company that was the lead in destroying the economy in 2008.

He named a person to head up the Department of Energy who doesn’t even know what the department does, and wants to “get rid of it” anyway.  He fired every District Attorney and has yet to fill one of those vacancies.

He gave a speech about not “tolerating anti-Semitism” in our country, but won’t name one White Supremacist or Neo-Nazi group as domestic terrorists.  Of course these groups all say they are acting as real Christians.  As he liked to say during the campaign, “our president won’t even say the term domestic Christian terrorist”.

The first 100 days of beloved leaders’ administration are finally over.  I won’t blame you if you think it has felt more like 100 years instead of days.  We are saddled with a do-nothing blusterous, incompetent, ignorant idiot in the White House.  Every time he gives a speech using his tele-prompter, I get the feeling I am listening to a first grader reading “see   spot   run”.

That is what we have learned about trump during the first 100 days.   The only question left is will we even have a country left by the 2018 elections?  Considering the first 100 days, that is a reasonable question to ask.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 169. 

We are almost at the end of the first 100 days of beloved leader’s presidency.  And, in typical trumpian ways, he has done nothing of any good for the 99 percent of Americans who are not rich.  Oh, his administration and especially himself, are touting the first 100 days as being the busiest and best 100 days ever in the history of the presidency.  But, bluster and lies don’t count, and they have accomplished nothing, as Sean Spicer would say, PERIOD.

Yet, they do continue to show just what they think of Americans.  Especially those who are not part of the elite 1 percent of the wealthiest in the country.  They hate us with a complete passion that even Paul Ryan has been smart enough to not display openly.

The latest example came from his “wonderful” tax reform plan.  Well, it was a one page list of wishes complete with absolute lies to make it sound wonderful.  It is really wonderful if you are part of the 1 percenters or if you are a company.  Then, you are overjoyed with what you saw.  If you are not part of one of those two groups, then maybe you shouldn’t be to excited over his wish list.

Oh, his is going to tell you that he isn’t helping the 1 percent too much because he is only bringing down the highest tax rate from 39 percent to 35 percent instead of the 33 percent he promised during the campaign.  But, there are two items in his wish list that will only affect those 1 percenters and bring their taxes down even more and not yours.

The first thing he wants to do is eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax.  That is a tax level that is currently at about 28 percent that was created to keep people, especially the super rich, from getting so many deductions from other loopholes, that they would be required to pay something.  The Alternative Minimum Tax cost trump himself one year $31 million dollars.  No wonder he wants to see it go.

This Alternative Minimum Tax only affects people who earn over $250,000 per year.  So, the 99 percent of the population that does not earn $250,000 per year are not affected by this tax.  It is estimated that eliminating this tax will slash revenues over 600 billion dollars over 10 years.

The second thing is the Estate Tax.  The Estate Tax was implemented because our country was so worried about “inherited” wealth creating an aristocracy that is so prevalent in places like England.  It was intended so people could inherit estates but not become so über rich that they never need contribute to society.

Today, families do not pay any Estate Tax on estates up to $11 million.  Meaning, only the super rich will be faced with estate taxes over that amount.  Again, the 99 percent of Americans do not gain anything from the elimination of the Estate Tax.  But, Republicans and the rich hate it so much they call it the “death tax” and say that you will lose your inheritance if it isn’t repealed.  That is a blatant lie as you can see.

If the Estate Tax were to be repealed, a whopping 5,300 people would be affected, and all of them with estates over $11 million.  Additionally, it is estimated that revenue losses would be about $174 billion.

There are some other little tidbits they don’t want you to know about.  They want to reduce the rate on capital gains and non-corporate business taxes all of which mainly benefit the rich.

Additionally, they want to eliminate the Affordable Care Act’s 3.8 percent surtax on the investment income of high earners, put in place to subsidize health coverage for low-income Americans.  That not only means a nice tax cut for the wealthy, but it would also mean low-income Americans would probably lose their health insurance.

There was one small crumb for the rest of us.  This plan says that the first $25,000 of income would be considered “tax-free”.  But, it doesn’t guarantee the standard deductions would remain in place.  If that is eliminated, for us, this plan would be a wash at best.

Then we have the corporate tax rate being cut down to 15 percent.  The one big item in this phase is that some owner-operated industries would now be allowed to pay the 15 percent corporate rate and not the 35 percent proposed rate for the highest earners.

What does that mean?  Well, for one thing, it means that trump himself would not be subjected to the 35 percent bracket.  He would be able to claim the corporate rate instead.  That goes for a lot of others in the Real Estate business, or even doctors, lawyers, etc.

The plan calls for three tax brackets for individuals.  Those brackets would be 10, 25, and 35 percent.  So, if you now make between $19,000 and $76,000 you currently fall in the 15 percent bracket.  However, there will be no 15 percent bracket.  So, where they draw the lines between brackets could have a positive or negative affect on your taxes.

For example, if they draw the line between 10 percent and 25 percent at $50,000 and you earn more than that, you will pay more taxes.  If you earn $50,000 or less, you may pay less taxes.  The problem is we don’t know where these lines will be drawn.

Yet, experts seem to agree that if this “wish list” of tax cuts goes through, the government will lose over $5 Trillion over the next 10 years.  Beloved Leader’s military build-up plan will cost about half of that total.  Meaning, the deficit will literally explode.

Of course this administration is claiming that these tax cuts will cause the economy to grow about 4 percent.  Their argument is the same as Reagan’s that once rich people have more money, they will invest in creating jobs.  Once companies have more money they will expand production meaning more jobs.  It is simply another example of “voodoo economics” that did not work under Reagan.

As for production ands jobs, let me explain it this way.  Production at our manufacturing plants has doubled since 1984.  That is right, production has doubled since 1984.  However, this production rise is being accomplished with one-third of the workforce that was needed before 1984.

See, free trade agreements are not the only thing killing manufacturing jobs.  The major culprit in killing manufacturing jobs is automation.  By using robots, companies can increase production, and reduce the workforce at the same time.  So all of the talk you keep hearing from Republicans about raising the minimum wage and “regulations” taking your jobs away is complete bullshit.  You are losing your jobs because companies can make more product using robots than using workers.  It is purely a bottom line position.

Beloved leader is no more going to “bring back jobs” than he is going to put coal miners back to work.  It is a fable they are selling, and too many people are buying it.  The real solution is to retrain our workforce to fill positions that cannot automate.  Or, by retraining them to properly handle, maintain, and program the automated assembly line.

That will not happen under trump and Republicans in Congress because that takes money, and since you are not part of the 1 percenters, you don’t deserve to have money spent on you.  As a matter of fact, it might mean no huge tax cuts for the rich, and that is totally unacceptable to Republicans.

In its first 100 days in office, this administration has shown its total disdain for the Average American.  They do not care about you.  They do not care if you have health insurance.  They do not care if you have the proper training to get a good paying job in today’s automated world.  The do not care if you only make minimum wage.  As a matter of fact, the lower your wage the better for them.

None of this is new.  Republicans have been singing this tune ever since Ronald Reagan.  The only thing new about it is we have an administration that doesn’t care if you now know the tune as well.  They are openly daring you to do something about it.  They know the only thing you can do is vote them out of office, and they are counting on you not to care enough to even show up to the polls.

And, that is why 2018 will be so important for the direction of this country and your welfare.  Only voters can stop the madness.

And, the shirts keep marching along.

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Day 165. 

The latest yelling about a war on free speech” comes after the University of California at Berkeley cancelled Ann Coulter’s speech for what they say are “safety concerns”.  We must remember that there is a group of anarchists that have caused violence during speeches at Berkeley before.  Maybe, the university is right, maybe it is wrong.

The question really isn’t about why the speech was cancelled, but whether or not it is another “battle” in the war on free speech.  I guess that depends upon our definition of free speech.  Which makes us look at just what free speech is.

We have seen lots of cases where this so-called war on free speech could be used by both sides.  But, it is the fringes on both sides that use the free speech argument the most.  In just the past year or so, we have seen many people blasted for their opinions on different issues.  We could call those attacks as a war on free speech.

There was a big problem when Milo Yianapolis tried to give a speech at Berkeley.  We also saw and heard all kinds of attacks against Kapernick just because he chose to kneel for the national anthem as a protest in favor of Black Lives Matter.

Those attacks are still going strong, and many conservatives are very happy that he seems to be having a problem landing on new team.  Couldn’t we call that a war on free speech?

Free speech is one of our fundamental rights a citizens.  The speech we use is not limited to “correct” speech.  I have written before that even hate groups like the KKK or the American Nazi Party have a right to hold rallies.  That is what free speech is all about.

Even still, there are limits to our free speech rights.  We do not have a right to cause disturbances or riots from our speech.  We do not have a right to cause public safety concerns with our speech.  For example, we cannot simply yell “fire” in a crowded theater just for fun and claim free speech.

We are even seeing this play out in the courts right now.  Three protesters at trump rallies are suing the trump campaign, their supporters, and trump himself for inciting violence at his rallies.  Even one of the accused trump supporters has said that he was encouraged by trump to attack the protesters.

The odd thing is trump isn’t really arguing against the claim of inciting violence, he is arguing that he cannot be sued because he is president.  You may argue that protesters do not belong at a political rally.  But, if that is the case, what about your free speech argument?

In 1968, I attended to protest at a rally for George Wallace in Chicago.  During that campaign, Wallace took great joy at protesters disrupting his rally because it put his name in the headlines.  He ran into a problem in Chicago that time.  Whenever he used his hate speech towards the protesters, they sarcastically cheered his hate.  As a result, no one was “thrown out” and there were no “violence” headlines at the rally the next day.  Needless to say, Wallace kept getting angrier and angrier as the night went along.

We are hearing that people like Bill O’Reilly are victims of liberal attacks just because he is a conservative and liberals are trying to shut up conservatives.  The argument goes that sponsors were bullied to pull their ads from his show by liberal extortionists.  They claim that liberals just wanted to stop a conservative from expressing his views.

That argument is bogus.  O’Reilly thought that his position allowed him to abuse and harass women.  He thought he could get away with it because he was “famous” and that meant he could do whatever he wanted.  Just like beloved leader bragged about in that Hollywood Access tape during the campaign.

Then you have the Kapernick argument.  If you are claiming that O’Reilly shouldn’t have been fired because he is a conservative, then Kapernick should be left alone too.  If you wrote a letter or complained openly about his protest, than you are doing to him exactly what you complain liberals are doing to O’Reilly.  You are trying to silence his political views.

Conservatives have tried to paint the Black Lives Matter movement to anti-American activities.  Even calling them “terrorists” on Fox News more than once.  Where is the cry about waging a war on free speech?

The biggest problem we have with our right to free speech is the speech itself.  In the 1960s protesters were met with violence.  Many times they were attacked by police just because they were protesting.  That was really the case in the Civil Rights movement.  But, the anti-war protests against the Vietnam war faced similar attacks.  As Mayor Richard J. Daily famously said on television: “The police are not there to cause the violence, they are there to preserve the violence”.

That sentiment still goes a long way today.  When violence breaks out over a conservative speech, the rioters are trying to “suppress conservative views”.  When violence breaks out when a liberal speaks, then the liberals are just a bunch of anti-Americans trying to cause trouble.  Yes, the same can be said in both directions, but today it mostly comes from the right.

In order to have a proper discussion and/or debate over issues, we need free speech.  We need to hear both sides of the argument and then decide which direction the nation should go.  However, we also need to have rational debate.

Ann Coulter is not better than any other right-wing fringe wacko.  The pundits try to place her more in the main stream, but her speech and her writings are anything but mainstream.  She has never had a good word about anyone who isn’t white, Christian, and conservative.  She is a white supremacist nationalist who hates anyone who is not white and wants to keep any non-white out of the country.  That is not mainstream.

Still, she is entitled to her opinions.  However, others have a right to their opinions, and if they decide to show up and peacefully demonstrate against her then they are exercising their right to free speech.  Yet, that isn’t how her supporters see the world.  They see the world as she can say whatever she wants, and no one can protest against her.

In our history, we had the fringe wackos on the left do the same thing.  There have been times when they argued they were right and everyone was wrong and therefore any protest against them should not be allowed.  Today, the pendulum has swung in the opposite direction.

Before you take sides in this so-called war on free speech, remember it works both ways.  You may feel like the victim today, but the other side was the victim before.  The only answer is for each side to understand that hate speech of any kind is not really political speech.  It is hate speech pure and simple.

Both sides have a right to say what they want.  I am not advocating for a ban on any form of speech.  However, if anyone is wanting to give a speech, they should expect blowback from those who disagree.   If you are not willing to accept that blowback, then you shouldn’t be giving a speech in the first place.

You should also be careful of what you say.  Yelling from the podium words like “get ’em out of here” or “I will pay for your lawyers” can and should be considered incitement to violence.  That is what the suit against trump’s campaign is all about.

We have a right to free speech.  We also have a responsibility to control our free speech.  You cannot have it both ways.  If you claim your side has a right to free speech, you cannot deny free speech to the other side.  If you agree that you can protest against a speaker, then you cannot argue the other side doesn’t have the right to protest against your speaker.

For example, when something like the resistance movement protests against your leader, you cannot simply call them “paid protesters” to dismiss them.  Neither can you reject someone’s right to give a speech, even if you disagree with the content.

The oddity to me is that Berkeley is known as the birthplace of free speech from the 1960s.  That same birthplace cannot tamp down on conservative views either.  Free speech must be allowed so anyone can express their views.  Yes, public safety must be taken into consideration.  We do not need violence just because some is giving a speech.

The point is that there really is no “war on free speech”.  There is simply a politicization about what free speech is all about.  That is the real problem we face today.  Free speech actually shows us where our problems lie.  It puts on full display the evils and the corruptions that we face as a nation.

The discrimination problems we face today are the same as we faced 100 years ago.  They are bases on race, sex, national origin, color and sexual orientation.  Immigrants are hated, especially if they are immigrants of color or non-Christian religion.  It is the same as it was throughout our history.

Instead of stopping these speeches, we should simply show up and peacefully protest against the views we disagree with.  We should let our voices be known as well.  That is the best way to stop the spread of hate and the formation of an authoritarian government.  When free speech is controlled by the government, we all lose.

Free speech can be controlled in many ways.  Not allowing a speech to take place is one form of controlling it.  Another way is to label the protesters as anti-American.

Protests are a form of free speech.  Marches are a form of free speech.  And, yes, hate is also a form of free speech.  In order for our democracy to survive in troubling times, we need to fight hate speech, but not with violence or trying to silence it.  We need it to be heard so we know how to fight it.

Throughout hour history, hate has eventually lost in the fight for our nation’s soul.  There is no reason why we should expect it to win this time either.  Unless we go off the rails and try to silence dissent.  Fight hate with love and we will win.  Fight hate with hate, and we all lose.

 

 

 

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