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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 24

The Republican Congress is so excited about repealing the Affordable Care Act as soon as President-elect Trump takes off, they are preparing how to take care of the insurers not the insured.  That is par for the course for the do-nothing Congress we have had to deal with for six years.

So, here is basically their plan.  They will repeal the Affordable Care Act, delay the replacement by up to three years, and bailout any insurance company that suffers financial loss because of their recklessness.

Republicans in the House are already talking to insurance companies about this bailout plan.  As usual with Republicans, there is no plan in place so if they go ahead and repeal the Affordable Care Act, our health care insurance business will probably go into free-fall.

Repealing the Affordable Care Act is bad enough.  But, not having a replacement ready to go is even worse.  Once the Act is repealed what gives insurance companies incentive to stay with the program during the “delay” period?  Why should they take any risks if they don’t know what will replace it?

If the Act is repealed without a replacement plan ready to go, most experts say that the market will collapse because carriers will pull out of the plan.  Insurance companies could lose millions of dollars because of this collapse.  Millions of people would lose their insurance coverage.  It would be a mess.

Knowing this, Republicans want to pacify the insurance companies.  So they are looking at a plan that would allow the Trump administration to “pay the companies for their losses”.  Only, no one has set a “value” to those losses yet.

Imagine, the Republican Party, the “free market” party is already looking to bail out an industry because they don’t know how to do their own job.  On the other side of the coin, there is no “bailout” plan for any Americans who lose their insurance coverage because of the repeal and delay plan of theirs.

Despite the fact that premiums have gone up, the Affordable Care Act is actually a winner.  It has succeeded so much that only 25 percent of the American people are in favor of this “repeal”.

According to the American people polled, they would prefer that the Act be fixed where it needs to be fixed and left in place.  Besides, there are a lot of Trump supporters who only have insurance now because of the Act.

You must also remember that for the last six years we have heard Republicans falsely tell us they are ” only doing what the American People want.”  If that were really true, they would fix the Act and not repeal it since 75 percent of Americans want it that way.  The poll indicates that the vast majority of Republicans are in favor of fixing not repealing the Act.

Besides, if the insurance industry does collapse under this weird plan, what will happen to Medicare?  Ryan says that once they privatize it, only people under 50 years-of-age will be affected.  Will Ryan decide to privatize it now and make current Medicare patients go on the open market to help out his biggest donors, the insurance companies?

This “plan” of the Republicans is nothing short of governing by petty peeves and not governing according to the will or the needs of the people.  Something the Republican Party has been doing for decades.

We are on the precipice of a government run totally by Republicans.  They have ignored the “will of the American people” for so long, what makes you think they will change courses now?  They won’t and this ridiculous repeal, delay, and bailout plan is proof.

So, if you are one of those who voted for “change” you failed and your vote doesn’t count.  The change you voted for is not the change you will get.  The new administration will be full of Wall Street People and Lobbyists.  They have proven they don’t care about you, only how much money they make.

Cronyism, Corruption, Lies, Deceit, and Conflicts of interest will be the real agenda of the new administration and Republican controlled Congress.  Doesn’t that sound like the government we want?  NOT!

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DAY 21

The Affordable Care Act was passed almost eight years ago.  Despite the fact that it mirrors the Heritage Foundation’s own plan that was unrolled when Hillary Clinton was trying to get universal coverage, they claimed it was no good.

Since that time, they have cried that it “must go” as soon as possible.  Ever since 2011, they have promised a replacement plan.  They have promised and promised, and promised.

The last word on that came from Paul Ryan about a year and a half ago stating that they “have a plan to have a plan”.  We still haven’t heard what their plan is.

Now, Donald Trump is going to be President and they still don’t have a plan.  House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy admits they don’t have a plan.  When asked what would replace the Affordable Care Act if they repeal it in the first 100 days he said:

My personal belief — and nothing has been decided yet — I would [move through] and repeal and then go to work on replacing.  I think once it is repealed you will have, hopefully, fewer people playing politics.

After six years of running down the Affordable Care Act and promising us better coverage for everyone, they still don’t know what the hell they want.  Repealing the Affordable Care Act without having a plan ready to replace it is horrible leadership.  What will happen to all of those people who are now covered under the act and won’t have any coverage once it is repealed?

And, don’t forget, most of the people who were able to take advantage of the Act in order to get coverage voted for Trump.  Now they are facing losing their health care because the Republicans don’t have anything on the table to replace the Act.

To make matters worse, Trump appointed Tom Price who is the most vocal critic of the Act and is dying to repeal it replacement be damned.  This is the same man who complained that the Act should never have included birth control in its mandate.  He said there “is not a single woman in America that cannot afford birth control.”

It is estimated that over 20 million people will lose their health care coverage if the Affordable Care Act is repealed.  What is going to happen to those people?  Where are they going to find affordable care if they get sick?

There is another thing to consider.  Trump claimed that every American deserves affordable health insurance.  In other words, he wants universal health care coverage.  That is totally different from what Republicans are promising in Congress.

The only thing Republicans in Congress is promising is to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  They are not promising any replacement plan.  The new Congress begins on January 3 but McCarthy still refuses to give us any timeline or plan.  Instead he says “Look, we are going to start on this right away. I don’t want to get into timeline.”

Apparently McCarthy nor any other Republican has read Talking Points memo.  It says “any sort of delay between repealing Obamacare and replacing it could jeopardize the entire individual health insurance market and send insurers fleeing the market.”

The one thing that most Republicans agree on is repealing and replacing the Affordable care Act.  Only, they don’t have anything to replace it with so they are only interested in repealing it.

Like all of their failed policies, they say “we will repeal the Affordable Care Act.  Then we will get back to you some time in the future with a replacement, maybe.”  While you wait for their replacement, you may lose your health coverage.  You may then get sick.  Some may even die because they can’t afford health insurance.

All the while we wait for a replacement plan they promised us six years ago.  This is the Republican’s idea of how to run a country.

 

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Day 20

(Before we get to todays comments, let me explain the day 20 above.  One of the biggest memes of Trump’s campaign was he would “bring back American jobs”.  As you know, Donald Trump and his family have several products that they sell in the U.S.  These includes things like suits, shirts, ties, accessories, shoes, women’s clothes, and jewelry.

Since Donald Trump is now the President-elect, it is his responsibility to lead our nation.  Anyone who has been in a position of leadership knows the best form of leading is from example.

Since Trump and his family want to “bring back American jobs” and since the simple fact is that none of their products are made in America, I have been waiting for him to announce the change from the 12 countries where his products are made to bring them back to America.

It has now been 20 days since he woke up as the President-elect.  I will continue the count until he announces that his manufacturing jobs will be returned to the U.S.  Once he does that, I will restart the count until the jobs actually begin.  If you expect to make promises to the American worker, start at home with your own products.)

Since Donald Trump began announcing his cabinet and administration picks, he has shown beyond reasonable doubt that he intends to dismantle our democratic country.  I am not sure if he is trying to move quick so there won’t be a campaign in 2020 or if he is toying with that idea still.

I am not kidding about this either.  He is naming people who have been so un-American, in my opinion, that there can be no other reason for their appointments.  Plus, he is proving he is the liar that we all know he is.

During the campaign, he said Hillary Clinton should be in jail.  His reason was because of her private email server.  He, and conservatives in general, claimed it was illegal, which it was not.  They also claimed that she “compromised classified” information because it might have been on the server, and it might be subjected to a hack.

All investigations, including that by the FBI said there were no laws broken and therefore no criminal charges could be brought.  That did not quiet the critics who claimed that it was all a “cover up”.

Now, to prove just how much he meant his railings against Clinton, he has named on person to his intelligence team and is considering another person to be Secretary of State or head of the DIA or some other intelligence position who have compromised classified information.

The first, Mike Flynn was severely reprimanded for handing over classified information to NATO partners without permission from higher authority.  The matter was investigated by DOD and he was considered to have mishandled classified information, thus the reprimand.

The Second Gen. Petraeus who is currently on a two-year probation for mishandling classified information.  That was the result of a plea deal.  His crime was even worse than Flynn’s.  He actually gave some very sensitive information to his biographer, with whom he was also having an affair, then he lied about it.  The FBI discovered this highly classified information in a desk drawer in his house.

Now Trump wants these two men, who have actually been proven to not handle classified information properly to be put into positions that need to handle very sensitive classified information.

He named Jeff Sessions to be his Attorney General.  Jeff Sessions is an open racist.  He said the KKK is okay, except he doesn’t like some of them smoking pot after their meetings.  He has voted against things like the Violence Against Women’s Act, every Civil Rights bill brought to the Senate floor, wants a constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, fought against equality rights for disabled children to attend public schools, and a host of other things.

Trump now wants him to “enforce” the very things he hates.  There are effectively two ways to kill civil rights in this country.  First is to pass legislation that repeals those rights, and the second is to simply not enforce their provisions.  Trump appears to be using the second option.

It is the responsibility of the Department of Justice to enforce all of the laws of this country.  However, with Session’s record against human decency, we can be pretty sure he won’t enforce those laws he personally doesn’t like.  Do you really believe he will enforce what is left of the Voting Rights Bill?

Additionally, Sessions is very anti-immigration.  You can bet the first order will be to “round up” all of the so-called “illegals” in the country.  If you were wondering where Trump’s deportation force would come from, you now have your answer.

Sessions is also in favor of banning Muslims from immigrating to our country.  He favors a registry for all Muslims already here.  He is in favor of “monitoring” Mosques to make sure they aren’t “radicalizing” anyone.

Yesterday, it was announced that Rep. Tom Price will head up the Department of Health and Human services.  Remember those 50 bills in the House of Representatives to repeal the Affordable Care Act? He wrote every single one of them.

His “replacement” plan known as the Empowering Patients First Act is nothing more than an Empowering Insurers First Act.  His “plan” would gut Obamacare’s regulation of insurance plans, reduce the total financial assistance going to people buying private coverage and rescind entirely the law’s expansion of Medicaid for the poorest Americans.

Insurers could resume some of the practices that Obamacare now prohibits ― like selling bare-bones plans and, in some cases, denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions. Price’s proposal would offer people tax credits, but there’d be no guarantee the credits could actually pay for comprehensive coverage.

He also believes that homosexuality is some kind of abnormality.  As such, they should bed shunned and not allowed into “polite” society.  He favors the amendment to ban same-sex marriage and considers homosexuals to have “pre-existing” conditions which could cut them off of insurance under his plan.

He also expressed his belief that same-sex partners should not be allowed to help make medical decisions on behalf of their sick partner.  Nor does he favor same-sex partners having the same visitation rights as any other partner might have.

Furthermore, Price believes that Medicare should be privatized and Medicaid should be abolished.  Under his replacement plan for the Affordable Care Act, it is estimated that at least 20 million people will lose their health care coverage.  Of course, Trump promised not to change Medicare or Medicaid during the campaign.  So much for campaign promises.

Both Sessions and Price argue that children born to non-citizens should not have “citizenship birthright”.  Meaning if a non-citizen gives birth in this country, that child would not automatically become a citizen as the constitution says they would.

Then, yesterday, Trump announced that he believes that anyone who “burns the American flag” should go to jail and lose their citizenship.  I know that a lot of people don’t like the idea of burning the flag in protest.  But, it is a protected First Amendment right of Free Speech as ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court.

Of course to conservatives, the right of Free Speech only applies if they agree with what is said or done.  The fact that a dissenter could have those same rights is unthinkable to them.  They consider shouting at two Asian women in a diner and calling them names and telling them they should “go back to Tokyo” is free speech, but burning the flag in dissent is not free speech.

I served 20 years to defend our freedoms and the constitution.  I may not like seeing the flag being burned, but I refuse to “criminalize” the act.  Are we also going to make burning the President in Effigy a crime too?  Or maybe all of those Obama stunts like showing up a football game wearing an Obama mask with a noose around your neck?  Maybe that should be a crime too.  Or, all of those “funny” emails about the President we have had to put up with for eight years.

Sorry conservatives, you don’t have the right to pick and choose what rights people are allowed to have and which ones they are not allowed to have.  That is not in our constitution which you claim to love so much.

We haven’t even gotten into all of the conflicts of interest that Trump will face as President.  For example, did you know that the lease for his new hotel in the old Post Office building in Washington has a clause that says no one associated with the hotel can serve in public office?  Once Trump takes the oath, he will be in violation of that lease.

We are going to lose our freedoms under a Trump presidency.  The only question is how quickly will it all happen.  Will it be a gradual chipping or a quick repeal of those rights.  In either case, we all lose.

Trump does not have the mandate he thinks he has.  Yes, he wont the Electoral College, but he lost the popular vote by over 2 million ballots.  So, he is basically a minority government, not one with a mandate.

Yet, we are going to see our civil liberties eroded and we will find ourselves back in the 1800s with basically no rights except the right to rent our homes from the company who hired us and to purchase our supplies at their stores.  We will have the right to become poorer and more at the mercy of the one percenters.

If he goes ahead with his plans to abolish OSHA and the EPA we will have no workplace safety rules and no protection for our water and air.  We will have no right to unionizing and fair bargaining rights.  No, we will all live in those good ole days when the company runs our lives and throws us out of our homes if we become less “productive” or too old for their bottom lines, even if it kills us.  There won’t even be any unemployment insurance for us to fall back on until we can find another job.

This is how you dismantle a democratic country.

 

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This weekend we have seen just how badly the mainstream media want to make Trump seem “normal”.  That may sound odd to you, but I think it is the truth.  Not only do they seem to really want to normalize Trump, they want to do it on his terms.

On Friday Jill Stein officially asked for a recount in Wisconsin.  Naturally, Trump took to twitter to downplay the recount and called it a “scam”.  That is the problem.  Instead of talking to Stein and asking why she is asking for a recount, the mainstream media went off on the tweets.

Later over the weekend, Trump claimed that he would have won the popular election if there hadn’t been 3 million illegal immigrants who voted.  Naturally, he did not offer any proof for his claim.  Actually, his claim is based on a story written by Alex Jones of InfoWars.  A conspiracy nut that never tries to prove his points, just makes false accusations and call it “news”.

There are a lot of stories that could be covered that are much more relevant.  Like the infighting about Mitt Romney possibly becoming the Secretary of State.  Or the offer of the Secretary of HUD being offered to Ben Carson who as recently as last year called fair housing rules “communist”.  A very nice choice for someone who is going to head up the agency responsible to ensure fair housing practices.

Or, we could be talking more about Mike Flynn, or his choice for Secretary of Education, who thinks public schools should be closed down in favor of privatizing the education system.  Or his nomination for the head of the CIA who loves torture as an interrogation technique.

Or, there could be more stories about his nomination for Attorney General who has voted against every single civil rights bill that came before the Senate.  Or, that he voted against the Violence Against Women act.  Or the idea that he considers “hate speech” as protected by the constitution, but protesting against say an oil pipeline is more terroristic.

Or, even more troubling to me the idea that Kellyanne Conway says that Trump is “getting intelligence” reports from many sources.  This given as an excuse that Trump has not accepted daily intelligence briefings from the professionals.  So, where are all these “intelligence briefings” coming from?  And, are they even legal?

Or, can someone explain the “coincidence” of the very fact that three days after Trump speaks with the President of Argentina he suddenly gets the “permits’ he needs to build his building there?  Right after the call, Argentine press reported that he brought up the permits with their president.  Both sides said that wasn’t true.  Then three days later, there they are!

But, no, the mainstream media want to rant and rave about a lunatics tweets.  They have yet to figure out that every time that Trump is being cornered with his bad decisions, he goes on another twitter rant.

Trump uses his twitter account simply to distract the media from reporting on just how poorly he is selecting his cabinet.  He uses it to distract the media from reporting that Trump and his team are like rattlesnakes hissing at each other.  He uses it to distract the media from reporting that Trump’s team, including Trump himself, are basically incompetent.

Trump’s use of twitter is not an accident.  He successfully distracted the media all during the primaries and the general election.  The fact that the media was so quick to base all of their reporting on those tweets, helped him win in the end.

Instead of hammering him for his lack of policies and his lack of integrity they went after him for his tweets.  That gave him more ammunition to go after the media at his rallies.  The funny thing, or rather the sick thing, about those attacks on the media was that they were aimed specifically at the reporters who were not reporting on his tweets but on his poor policies.  They tried to hold his feet to the fire and make him answer questions.  Which he never did.

So, why didn’t the media point out that Trump refused to answer reasonable questions?  Why didn’t they report the fact that he changed his policy in mid-sentence?  Because they believed that some stupid tweet from a stupid person would unravel himself.

They never realized it was all a trick aimed at their own stupidity.  Now as we agonizingly go through the transition to a Trump Presidency, they have fallen for the same trick.  Instead of showing just how bad things will be under his administration due to his picks, they are once again running around writing about his dumb tweets.

Also, every time they spend time writing on his tweets, they are placing attention where it doesn’t belong.  They are actually making his meaningless tweets mean something.  In the meantime, Trump goes about his business to ruin our country.

Therefore, if I were in charge of a newsroom, I would place a ban on reporting on anything that Trump tweets for at least the next two months.  I would demand that my reporters vetted each of the nominations he has made so far, and on anyone he nominates in the future.

The number one tool of authoritarian dictators to gain power is distraction.  Hitler used it.  Mussolini used it.  Stalin used it.  Hussein used it.  And, every other dictator in history used it.

If the media does not wake up soon, they will help Trump distract the American people just long enough for him to put his authoritarian plan into practice.  Sorry, but I still believe that is his intention.  Until he proves me wrong, I will continue to believe it.  So far, his picks for his cabinet are indications that I am correct.

If I were you, I would ignore those stupid tweets from a very devious man.  I would concentrate on his cabinet choices and his plans for our future.  Besides, if the media would ignore his tweets, you would see a complete unraveling of our President-elect.  Nothing drives him more insane than being ignored.

So, ignore his tweets and watch the meltdown begin.

 

 

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Tomorrow when the sun rises it will be Thanksgiving Day in America.  However, I believe it is time to ask ourselves exactly what are we giving thanks for?  About 200 years after the first Thanksgiving Day was celebrated we became a nation.  The  Declaration of Independence declared that “all men are created equal.”

Now over 200 years later we are still questioning our commitment to that phrase.  Do we all really consider that “all men are created equal”?  Our history does not even pretend that phrase has been followed by our own government.

At the time of our revolutionary war we held slaves.  We continued to hold slaves for another 100 years until the Civil War.  We “resettled” all Native Americans from the east coast to the Oklahoma territory because we didn’t want those “savages” living among the nice white people who lived in the 13 states.

In the second half of the 1800s we basically conducted a war of genocide against all Native Americans.  It was our intention to wipe them out so it would be easier to steal their land.  Even when the Sioux signed the Fort Laramie treaty in 1851, the government broke that treaty in a very short period of time.

One of the areas that was ceded to the Sioux Tribes was the Black Hills.  That was very sacred land to the Native Americans.  Problem was gold was discovered there, and the government stole the land back from the Sioux.  That was the impetus for the so-called Indian Wars.

In the meantime, back east the Jim Crow era was beginning.  Segregation was the mantra for the southern states.  That era lasted up to the 1960s when the Civil Rights Law and the Voting Rights Law were passed.

We have gone through periods of true anti-immigrant policies and hatreds.  We have seen people discriminated against for things like intra-racial marriages, same-sex marriages, intra-religious marriages, and a host of other things.

The irony is that if the Native Americans did not assist the first settlers when they landed here from Europe, they would have starved to death.  They had no clue about agriculture in this country.  It was Native Americans who taught them the three sisters of farming here, corn, beans and squash.  Without this lesson, the settlers would have failed.

Without the evils of slavery, the south would never have flourished economically.  Their economic success was built on the backs of slaves.  Immigrants have also improved our country economically.  These are simple facts.

Today, are we seeing the nation that believes in “all men are created equal” or have we regressed back to the “bad ole days”.  When you sit down to eat your Thanksgiving Day meal, there will be Native Americans on the front line to protect the water in the Missouri River from another polluting pipeline.

They will be tear gassed again.  They will have rubber bullets shot at them.  They will have water cannons spray them with water in freezing temperatures again.  The irony is that they aren’t just protecting their water, they are protecting the water of up to 71 million people who get their water from the river.

As you eat your meal, there will be more hate crimes committed against Muslims, African-Americans, Jews and gays.  Hate filled graffiti will be spray painted on synagogues, mosques, black churches, schools, and playgrounds.  It will include slurs and swastikas.

We will have white supremacists do their Nazi salute when they sit down to eat their dinner.  We will have elderly people eating alone and they won’t be eating turkey.  We will have homeless people looking for a warm place to sleep.

This is not to say that everything is wrong with America.  It is a fantastic country, but it does have its problems.  And, those problems are not the direct fault of minorities, elderly, Native Americans, Muslims, Jews, or any other group.  They are societal problems that are caused by a lack of interest in what is right by too many people.

As we finish our desert we will have service members all over the world serving us and protecting us from our enemies.  They may or may not have a turkey dinner.  That will depend on where they are.  But, they will be ready in a second to place themselves in danger for us.  Yet, most of us won’t even think of them.

This will be my 66th Thanksgiving Day.  I will have some of my family around me for the day.  I will enjoy the day with these family members and will make sure to call the rest of them.

However, I will remember our service members, especially since I know first-hand what it is to serve away from your family on days like this.  I will also remember everyone else who is less fortunate than I am.  I will especially be watching what happens at Standing Rock.

It has been my wish that one day we will all truly be able to celebrate Thanksgiving Day properly.  We will be able to do that when we all adhere to the promise that “all men are created equal” understanding that also includes women.

We will have a true Thanksgiving Day when there is no longer any bigotry, hatred, and fear-mongering in our political discourse.  We will have a true Thanksgiving Day when we look at all of our citizens as equals under the law.  We will have a true Thanksgiving Day when our society removes the tainted glasses that allow us to see “differences” instead of similarities in each other.

Thanksgiving Day should be the day we celebrate “e Pluribus Unum” From Many One.  Americans are a unique people on the planet.  But, that uniqueness is in all of us regardless of race, sex, religion, national origin, or sexual orientation.  It is the blending of all of these differences in our people and nation that makes us unique.

I sure hope that we will soon be able to celebrate that true Thanksgiving Day.  We will all be better off when we can.  Until then, I hope you all have a good day with family and friends.

 

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A lot of Trump supporters are all upset because Trump yesterday said he won’t pursue putting his opponent Hillary Clinton in jail.  Many of his supporters are voicing huge disappointment over that announcement.

However, if you really want to know the truth, that is probably the least egregious broken promise on the horizon.  The rest of his broken promises will affect you, your parents, your grand parents, and the country as a whole.

Remember when Trump said that he wants to make sure the working class has a chance to get a head?  That he is going to bring back millions of jobs?  And, that he will make sure that people get a pay raise?

Trump announced a $1 trillion infrastructure plan.  People are licking their chops of getting one of those millions of jobs surely headed their way.  Only, it isn’t an infrastructure plan, it is a tax cut for construction companies.  This plan will create no new jobs.

The way it works is that companies can “invest” in construction jobs on the infrastructure, and then get a tax cut to recover up to 84 percent of the money.  Republicans are claiming this is a huge “jobs” bill.  Only, there is no requirement that any “new jobs” be created.

In fact, there is nothing that says that our roads are to be rebuilt under this plan.  What it really does is ensure that roads that would turn out as Toll Roads and Bridges that turn out as Toll Bridges might get built, but the rest of our roads and bridges will fall by the wayside.  The only way to rebuild our infrastructure is for the government to invest in rebuilding it.  Not waiting for some “company” to see an opportunity to make money off of tolls and take advantage of the tax breaks they would get.

Last May the Department of Labor issued an order dealing with overtime.  Today, if you make over $23,000 and are listed as a manager, assistant manager, or supervisor, the company can force you to work more than 40 hour weeks without paying you any overtime.

The new rule which is supposed to start on Dec 1 makes that threshold about $47,000.  Of course Republicans and the Chamber of Commerce went nuts, as usual.  It means that about 4 million people would have to be paid overtime if they worked more than 40 hours in a week.

23 Republican controlled states sued over the new rule.  Yesterday a judge in, where else, Texas put a temporary stay on the rule.  Additionally, the Republican controlled House has a bill ready to go to overturn this rule.  They don’t want the American people getting any kind of raise because that means it cuts into the profits of their donor class.  Trump has said he is in favor of this repeal.

So, “I will rebuild our infrastructure” and “help the working people”.  Promise broken.  No new jobs will come from his “plan” nor any overtime for the workers who make more than about $23,000 per year.

Remember when Trump said that Social Security would not be touched?  Well, the Republicans in the house already have a privatization plan ready to be introduced as soon as the new Congress takes office.  That means Social Security will be touched.

Remember when Trump said that Social Security would not be cut?  Well, the “experts” on his transition team are already floating the idea to cut Social Security benefits.  They believe that you always balance the budget on the backs of the needy and elderly.  So, “Social Security won’t be touched”.  Promise broken.

Remember when Trump said that Medicare would not be touched?  Well, once again, Republicans in the House are ready to roll out their privatization plan for Medicare.  Under this plan, seniors would be given a “voucher” for a certain amount of money and told to go on the open market and buy their own insurance.  Trump supports this idea.  He now says that “Medicare should be modernized” which means privatized.

There are several problems with this “plan”.  First, they aren’t saying if the “voucher” would cover the entire cost of the insurance they would need.  Second, there are no provisions for these vouchers to be automatically raised each year with the cost of insurance premiums.  Third, there are no requirements about how much “out-of-pocket” money seniors would have to pay out.  Fourth, there are no protections to keep prescription drug costs down for seniors either.

Then there is the idea that they want to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  That means the provision of protecting people with “preexisting conditions” will go away as well.  How many seniors do you know that do not have “preexisting conditions?”  Which means they will either be denied coverage, or forced to pay far more than the “voucher” promised by Paul Ryan and his gang.  So, “I won’t touch Medicare”.  Promise broken.

Remember when Trump said he would place his companies in a “blind trust”?  Or, rather would let his children run them?  Well, there is no sign yet of that happening.  As a matter of fact, it appears that he is trying to curry favors with foreign leaders already.

When speaking with Farage, a leader of a British Party, he talked about stopping the wind farm electrical sites, especially next to his golf course in Scotland.  He even admitted that he brought that up.

Then we have Ivanka in a meeting with the Japanese Foreign Minister.  There was no reason for her to be there except that she heads up the company’s foreign purchase department.  There is a report, denied by both parties involved, where Trump asked the head of the Argentine government to help him get the right permits to build his building there.

Trump took time out from putting together his cabinet to hold a meeting with his business partners from India.  He has basically shown no interest in divesting himself from any of his business interests.  Yesterday, he said “the law is on my side.  There cannot be a conflict of interest if it involves the President.”

That sounds an awful lot like Richard Nixon saying “if the President does it, it is not against the law.”  Remember what that led to?

So, “I will not be interested in my businesses”.  Promise broken.

The real problem with the last broken promise is that we may never know just how far his conflict of interest goes when dealing with foreign countries.  We still don’t know which government-owned banks he owes money to or how much money.

In one sense he is right.  There is nothing that says he must remove himself from his businesses.  Yet, there is the “emolument” clause that discusses conflict of interest and “receiving payments” from foreign countries as an expressed impeachment offense.

There are a lot of disappointments still to come from Donald Trump for his supporters.  The question is will they recognize that they were lied to and taken advantage of by a snake oil salesman, or will they continue their blind obedience to him?

His appointments so far and string of broken promises are not something that makes us confident in his Presidency.  He promised to “drain the swamp” in Washington.  Yet, his actions so far haven’t done anything to “drain the swamp” but rather make it deeper than before the election.

He is showing everyone that his campaign was exactly what we thought it was.  A series of falsehoods, lies, fantasies, and fraud just to get elected.  He is not interested in governing our country.  He is only interested in enriching himself by using the Office of the President to enhance his businesses.

If you voted for Trump because of what he promised you, you better get ready to be sorely disappointed.  To keep your promises you must have integrity.  Trump has proven throughout his 70 years on this planet he can’t spell the word much less live by it.  I predict there will be a lot of whining and complaining about Trump very soon.  And, it will be from his supporters.

 

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