Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

Donald Trump calls himself the “agent of change” in this election.  I guess in some way, that may be true.  Only I don’t see his “change” as one for the future but rather taking us back in time and changing away from the future we have started building under President Obama.

Yesterday I was reminded about my earlier comments about words mattering.  Trump used words yesterday that were somewhat frightening to anyone who loves our country, our form of government, our constitution, and our way of life.

At a rally in Florida, Trump announced that “we are going to change the government”.  I have to ask just what does he mean by that statement?  Does he mean he will end the “gridlock” being produced by his own party?  Or, does he mean change the government like getting rid of the current democracy for soething else?  Since I consider him a Fascist wannabe, I am guessing he means the latter.

From the rousing applause he got, I am guessing his audience thought the same thing.  Especially when you consider his comments about “getting rid of Hillary Clinton”.  Saying you are going to “get rid” of someone is very suspicious.

Then, all day yesterday, I kept hearing that meme about the “agent of change” and that during the debate there was no “gotcha” moment.  All of these nice political wonks all missed what I pointed out in my last paragraph yesterday.  The very idea that Trump believes that shooting at another country’s navy vessels is not an act of war and “wont’ start a war” is that “gotcha moment” that everyone is missing and not talking about.

It goes beyond that as well.  Trump has surrounded himself with people just like himself.  They are stupid people who are more interested in hurting and attacking other people than they are in talking about actual policies.

We keep hearing from the Trump Team that they are talking policies.  They are not.  They are making attacks against people who are supporting Clinton because they cannot believe anyone would actually support her.  More importantly they are attacks against people who have anything negative to say about Trump.

Yesterday, Trump himself could not help but double down on his attacks against that Miss Universe winner over her weight.  He went so far as to say “we had a lot of problems with her and Clinton is making her sound like Mother Theresa.”  Sorry Donald, but defending someone from your “fat shaming” attacks is not making her sound like Mother Theresa.

What that is doing is calling you out for your misogynistic behavior.  But that wasn’t enough either.  One of Trump’s minions on CNN compared the Miss Universe woman to a “terrorist”.  She even went so far as to say Machado was accused of threatening a Venezuelan Judge.  When it was pointed out that she was never charged with any crime and the vetting system to become a citizen is rigorous, she concluded that it couldn’t be very rigorous because of the recent bombings.  Well, what about that lawyer in Houston that shot nine people and had swastika labeled material in his car?  He was a natural citizen but apparently he isn’t a “terrorist”.

Then we have Trump saying how “restrained” he was because he didn’t bring up Bill Clinton’s indiscretions.  Like that has anything to do with this election since Bill Clinton isn’t running for any office.  Then, to double down, Rudi Giuliani said that Hillary Clinton is “too stupid to be President”.  Why?  Because she did not divorce Bill after everything came to light.

Maybe he thinks that she should have followed his lead.  She should have called a news conference to announce she was going to divorce Bill before she told him, just like Giuliani did to his wife.

Then the Assistant Campaign Manager said that Hillary Clinton was the “enabler” that allowed her husband to cheat on her.  I guess that makes Ivana Trump and Marla Trump enablers too since Trump cheated on them while he was married to them.

And remember, these people are representing the party that prides itself on being the party of “Family Values”.  I guess Family Values aren’t what they used to be.  If you forgive our husband for his indiscretions and stay with him in accordance with your marriage vows you are an enabler.  Instead you should hold press conferences to announce your divorce before you tell your spouse you are divorcing them.  Maybe even get married three times and tell everyone how you believe in “family Values”.  That is the new Republican definition of “Family Values”.

According to Donald Trump and his minions Blacks and Latinos live in hell.  Women are pigs, slobs, ugly, and just plain stupid.  Women are an inconvenience to businesses because they might get pregnant.  They have an awful lot of nerve expecting to be paid the same as a man doing the exact same work.

Finally, we have another wonderful surrogate for the Trump Team in Steve King of Iowa.  He recently said in a tweet with a picture of himself alongside European Fascist leaders “Cultural suicide by demographic transformation must end.”

The meaning is very clear.  This is a meme used by white supremacists that claim that immigrants, people of color, and Muslims pose a threat to “white purity”.  No one on the Trump Team has distanced the campaign from King’s comments which tells me they agree.

Donald Trump is not an agent of change.  Unless you consider an agent of change going back to our bigoted past of hating people of color, non-Christians, immigrants, and women as being “change”.

No, a vote for Donald Trump is really a vote for an “agent from hell”.  If that is what you want America to become, by all means vote for the idiot.  I plan to continue to fight against the very possibility that this “agent from hell” can win the election for as long as it takes to defeat him.

Words matter.  It is really time for America to listen to what this clown says.  Everyone with any sense of morality knows I am right.  We desperately need to stop this Fascist Dictator wannabe.  Vote down Trump and his fascist backers like King.

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If anything came to light last night it was the simple fact that Donald Trump cannot concentrate for more than 2 minutes.  I am sorry if that offends you, but he was terrible at best and a disaster at worst.

When the debate started I thought it just might be a good debate.  Trump actually had some good points about the TPP but that was about all he had.  After that 10 minutes, he faltered and went down hill like a speed skier on a downhill slope.

I was also concerned before it started that Lester Holt would cave in to Trump’s bullying.  He didn’t.  Actually, Holt did the best moderator job I have seen in quite a while.  He actually disappeared at times and let the two candidates go at it.  That was a good thing on his part.

The split screen was very good for the viewer also.  During the entire debate, the body language between the two candidates was stark.  Trump was fidgeting all night.  You could see he was being defensive all night as well.

The biggest difference to me was the lack of policy by Trump.  Yes, he offered his strongest part in trade, but he offered no specifics on how he would do something better.  He was even asked how his plan would bring back jobs.  He never answered the question and went into his 20 second sound bites about taxes instead.

Trump staggered all night.  He proved that his campaign was correct.  He didn’t prepare and that showed big time as the night went on.  When it got around to Foreign Policy, he flunked big time.

Sorry, but I felt like I was watching a Mafia Strong Man talk about his “protection racket” instead of someone talking about honoring treaties.  You do not uphold treaties based solely on money which Trump seems to want to do.

Let’s face facts.  The treaties we have with our allies have prevented World War III for 70 years.  When countries agree to support each other if one is attacked makes it hard for an aggressor to take the risk.  Now, Trump wants to change those treaties based on how much money each country pays.  That is absurd if not downright reckless.

When Clinton brought up his lack of releasing his tax returns and pondered if maybe he hasn’t paid any taxes, he interrupted with the comment “that makes me smart.”

No Donald, that makes you a tax cheat not smart.  This is a man who tries to present himself as the “spokesman for the people”.  The people pay their taxes.  They don’t have fancy expensive lawyers and imaginative accountants who make sure we don’t pay our share of taxes.

Bragging about the fact that you may not have paid any taxes is not being the “voice of the people” it is thumbing your nose at those people you claim to want to defend.  In other words, you are a con-man and it came out last night.

When he was challenged about his history of not paying people who did work for him his only defense was “maybe they didn’t do a good job”.  Say what?  Look, it may be okay to fight the bill if the job was lousy.  But, if you open the facility without making any changes to this so-called “poor work” you are a lousy businessman or you are lying about the quality of the work.

All of the instances where his company did not pay contractors is living proof that he does not care about the average people.  He only cares about his own pockets and making money off the labor of others without paying them.  If he had good reasons for not paying he should have given them last night.

After the debate was over, he claimed that he showed “great restraint” last night.  He said he was going to talk about Lewinsky, but did not because Chelsea was in the audience.  According to him, that is “great restraint”.

Please, someone out there explain to me how Monica Lewinsky has any bearing on this election?  Bill Clinton is not running for President, Hillary Clinton is the candidate.  She did nothing wrong in that incident.  If anything, she would be considered the “victim” in that incident.  And, whether you like her or not, she made the decision to stay with her husband after it all came to light.  Most people would call that “family values”.

On the other hand, Donald Trump has been married three times.  He has openly admitted to several affairs.  He even said this year when his buddy Roger Ailes was fired for sexual assault at Fox News that “all powerful men have affairs”.  If he does bring up Lewinsky in future debates, he will show just how much of a gutter snipe he really is.

There was one moment when Clinton did something I said she should do months ago.  When the email thing came up she said “I made a mistake and would not do it again.  I take full responsibility.”  She didn’t offer any excuses or try to switch the topic.  She owned it!  Something Donald Trump has failed to do over and over with many issues.

For example, when asked what he would say to the African-American community about his “birther” issue, he said “I have nothing to say”.  Of course he tried to tie the whole mess to Clinton’s campaign in 2008 which is totally untrue and proven to be untrue many times by many different fact check organizations.

Trump’s team has been trying to spin everything that would indicate Trump “won” last night.  He didn’t win, he was wiped out.  Even focus groups around the country of voters from both sides have said Clinton won the debate.  Hell, even Fox News said Trump looked terrible last night.

Of course, now Trump is claiming that he did poorly because he had “a defective microphone”.  He even said that he did not have the “sniffles” even though you could clearly hear him all night sniffling.  If he didn’t have the “sniffles” was he crying about his poor performance?

The fact of the matter is just this.  Donald Trump was Donald Trump.  And, anyone who objectively looked at the debate saw just how impulsive and reactionary he is.  I don’t know, maybe in business those are good qualities though I don’t think so, but in international relations with both allies and adversaries, those are not qualities I want in a President.

To bring this point home, even the Alt-Right was disappointed in Trump last night.  4Chan was all aghast with his performance and they actually turned on their emperor god.  That is not a good sign for Donald Trump.

It will be interesting to see how this goes forward.  Rudi Giuliani even said if he were running he wouldn’t participate in the next debate.  As usual, the right-wing is going after Holt for being “unfair” in his moderator job.  Holt actually did a good job as far as I have seen.

I guess trying to make a candidate actually answer the question is being biased according to the right-wing.  That says it all.  They want to be able to show up and just spout out anything they want true or not and not answer any questions with viable answers.

After 90 minutes of debate last night, we still have no clue about any policy that Trump says he wants to talk about.  He had his chance, and he failed miserably.  Is that because he wants to keep everything secret or because he doesn’t have any policies?  I think the latter is more in keeping with Trump.

Two people stood on that stage last night trying to earn our vote to become the next President of the United States.  One showed knowledge of the real world, and one showed no knowledge of how the real world works.  I know which one I think is best qualified, you must decide for yourself.

Just remember one sly comment that went unchecked last night.  When Clinton mentioned that “shooting an Iranian boat out of the water because their sailors made gestures at us would start a war”, Trump blurted into the microphone “it wouldn’t start a war”.

That comment is the epitome of stupidity and recklessness.  I don’t want anyone like that anywhere close to being the Commander in Chief.

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Tonight is the first of what we are calling debates.  Only time will tell if we actually see a debate or a farce.  To be honest, I will be surprised if we actually see a debate.

One thing I know for sure is that once it is over, one side or the other will complain about not being treated fairly.  That claim has actually begun already, especially from Trump’s campaign.

The loudest cry from Trump minions is that the moderator is not there to call out candidates for lying.  I thought that was exactly what a moderator is supposed to do.  I remember debates in high school.  If you told something untrue, you had better be able to back it up with facts or else.

I will say this, if one side or the other is afraid of being “fact checked” by the moderator, you can bet they are deliberately going to be saying untruthful things during the “debate”.  Why else would you be so afraid of someone saying “that isn’t accurate”?

The Clinton campaign wants the moderator to call out untruths.  The Trump campaign doesn’t want that to happen.  The best evidence that they are totally afraid of the truth is what Kellyanne Conway said about Trump’s remarks about Holt being a democrat, which he isn’t.

She said that Trump didn’t lie when he said Lester Holt was a Democrat.  Lying would mean that he actually knew what party affiliation Holt held.  In her twisted ways, she says that Trump was more ignorant about the fact of Holt’s political party and therefore not lying.

That tells me that Trump does not look up or try to justify anything before he speaks.  And, to me, ignorance of the facts is even more dangerous than lying.  The man is running for President of the United States, not the President of the Glee Club.

Which means he should know the facts before he spouts off about anything.  That also means that tonight he is more likely to say something untrue.  It will be up to someone to decide if he is saying the untrue things out of stupidity or simply lying.  Neither is a sign of a capable man trying to be President.

If Clinton says something untrue, I would expect the moderator to call her out on that as well.  There is no way we can make a decision as to whom is best to run the country if we don’t know which things being said are true or false.

These debates are supposed to help us understand the truth of their policies and position.  If we are led down the road of false statements and allowed to think they are true, then we are being cheated.

The other danger in this “debate” is the “expectations” of each candidate.  So far in this campaign, Clinton has been treated as a serious candidate and held to tough standards.  That is fair.

On the other hand, Trump has been treated as an amateur and held to a lesser standard.  If that is true tonight, all Trump needs to do is not screw up and show his temperament and he will appear to have won.  That is very dangerous.

If I was Conway, I would load him up on Valium so he keeps his mouth shut more than he opens it up.  That way he won’t go off on tangents and show he is not fit to be President.

I am not sure what to expect tonight.  Yes, the pundits have been falling all over themselves trying to predict what will happen.  But, I am convinced they have no clue either.

We will either see a debate about facts and policies, or we will see a total farce.  The biggest question is which Donald Trump shows up.  If a “serious” Trump shows up and tries to debate policies and facts, he will probably lose.  Clinton is a very good debater and will annihilate him on facts and doctrine.

On the other hand, if the usual Donald Trump shows up and starts spouting off with slanders and lies, how Holt handles those slanders and lies will be telling not only for tonight, but for the rest of the debates.

If Holt is going to ask Clinton questions about her emails and the Clinton Foundation, then he needs to ask Trump about his business ties, especially his overseas business ties, and his Foundation.   He cannot let Trump off the hook easily either.

Two very different people will be on stage tonight.  One is highly educated and works diligently to keep up on policies and facts.  The other likes to “shoot from the hip” and doesn’t care if he is telling the truth or lying.

I hope I am wrong, but I think if you are looking towards tonight and seeing a “great debate” between two heavyweights, you will be sadly let down.  We may see one of them implode on stage, but I am not holding my breath about that happening either.

No, I am afraid we will see the usual nonsense in this debate that we have seen in others.  The moderator and the press have already fallen into Trump’s “why are you picking on me” meme.  For the last 15 months everyone has known that Trump is an idiot and does not deserve to be running for President.

But, the media has allowed him to get away with his snake oil salesman pitch for so long, they don’t know how to stop it.  Every single “fact checker” group has said that Donald Trump is the biggest liar that ever ran for President.  They even put his lies at one every 185 seconds.

Is it any wonder that Trump and his campaign are so afraid of the moderator being a “fact checker”?  Sorry folks, but I am afraid that tonight will just be another farce staring that wonderful brain that gets everything wrong, Donald Trump.

If the media does not call out his lies and hold his feet to the fire, we will all lose come November.  Let the Tragic Comedy begin.

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If anyone really believed that Ted Cruz was a man of “principle” or had strong “moral fiber” that myth was put to rest today.  Ted Cruz, the lap dog of Donald Trump, rolled over and licked Trump’s Ass.

In a rambling Facebook entry, Cruz said he would “vote for Donald Trump on election day.”  That is a complete reversal of his “strong stand” during the convention and the next morning.

During the convention, Cruz gave a speech and never endorsed Trump.  As a matter of fact, all he said was that you “should vote your conscience”.  The next morning he said that he was “not in the habit of endorsing someone who attacks my wife and my dad”.

That was very obvious that Cruz was not going to “endorse” Trump .  Trump made jokes about Heidi Cruz’ looks.  He then went after Cruz’ father claiming without any proof that he was “associated with Lee Harvey Oswald” who killed JFK and was probably involved in the assassination.

That was supposedly the last straw for Cruz.  At a breakfast the morning after his speech at the convention, he said that the “pledge” he signed to support the nominee did not mean he would be a “puppy” who supported people who attacked his family.

Then, last week, Reince Priebus said that anyone who signed the pledge and did not honor it would face consequences in upcoming elections.  He hinted that the RNC might even change the rules so people like Cruz who had not endorsed Trump would face real tough challenges if they decided to run for President again.

Then Trump released a list of so-called Supreme Court nominations he would consider.  Mike Lee, the only friend Cruz has in the Senate was on the list.  All of a sudden, Ted Cruz had a come to Jesus meeting and decided he would vote for Trump.

Cruz is an unabashed power-hungry politician who wants to become President one day.  He is also afraid that he might get “primaried” in two years when he runs for reelection for the Senate because he was not endorsing Trump who seems to be popular in Texas.

This “endorsement” has nothing to do with who Cruz really thinks would be the best person this election to be President.  This “endorsement” is all about Ted Cruz and his future political ambitions.

Despite his wanting to be seen as a “principled” conservative who loves his country, he is nothing but a party hack with big ambitions and will do anything to get people on his side.  Even endorse the person who attacked his wife and father.

That is a weak and disgusting man in my opinion.  It proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Ted Cruz is nothing more than a lap dog to the power brokers.  He loves power more than his own family.  How pathetic!

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At the end of this month, the government will run out of money, and it will be forced to shut down again!  This time, it is clearly the fault of Republicans who are anxious to close down business and get on the campaign trail.

There have been a lot of riders placed on the bill while it was going through Congress.  However, one issue is standing out alone in its disastrous consequence for the American People.  That is the issue of Flint, MI.

To rewind a little bit.  We have discussed the poisoning of the water of Flint for some time here.  We talked about a bill that was making its way through the Senate that would have provided money for Flint and other communities with lead in their water.

The bill finally passed the Senate and moved over to the House.  As usual, the House put it in its famous drawer and it never saw a vote or even a debate.  It will never get a vote or debate in the House.

When Trump made his infamous and very uncomfortable trip to Flint, one of the Representatives for the area said that if he really cared about Flint, he should pick up the phone and call Paul Ryan to ensure he passed the bill.  Trump did not make the call, and Ryan did not pass the bill.

By the way, in order to make this bill possible and gain bi-partisan support, Democrats killed an energy bill that they had gotten passed in order to “pay for” the help for Flint’s assistance.  That is the reason it passed the Senate with high bi-partisan support.

But, since the bill was being ignored in the House, Senate Democrats placed a rider in the continuing resolution bill so it would pass and help the people of Flint and other communities that need that help to clean up their water.

Mitch McConnell showing his disdain for the people of Flint placed a “clean” continuing resolution on the floor as a “take it or leave it” bill.  This bill included relief for Louisiana, Maryland, and West Virginia that all suffered flooding in many of their communities this year.  However, the Flint money was left out.

The money for Flint was the only one that was “paid for” which the Republicans always say it must be.  The rest of the relief money has not been paid for and will increase the deficit.

No one is saying that these other states do not require help, they do.  However, please explain to me why they get money that is not “paid for” and Flint does not when that money is paid for.  How can we just turn our backs on people, especially children, who have been poisoned by their state and continues to be poisoned because they cannot get any money to replace those lead pipes?

Mitch McConnell and the entire Republican Party are showing very clearly they do not give a shit about the people of Flint, MI.  As far as they are concerned, I guess they should just shut up and die.

Paul Ryan is just as hateful as Mitch McConnell.  He is the Speaker of the House and he is the one that could and should bring the Flint Bill up for a vote in the House.  But, he won’t because he is too afraid of his wacko caucus.

Led by the crazy Freedom Caucus in the House of Representatives, the Republican Party has become the party that ignores the very people they are supposed to represent.  They have become the actual enemy of the American People.

If nothing else, you would think they would be rallying around their Republican Governor of Michigan.  No, instead they are throwing him under the bus in the name of “conservative principles”.  If people get sick and die, so be it.

In my 65 years of life, I have never seen a complete political party show such disrespect for the people of America.  I have never seen a political party tell people in this country to just die.  Until now!

I am very angry, in case you haven’t noticed.  Lead poisoning is a very serious matter.  These children face life-long potential health and mental problems due to this poisoning.  The money for Flint is designed to help the city replace all of the lead pipes so the contamination will end.

The actions of the House and McConnell show the Republicans don’t care if it is fixed or ended.  If there was ever a case that shows the total lack of concern for people from a political party, this is it.

I am pleading for everyone to call your Representative and Senator and demand that the money for Flint and other communities to be passed immediately.  If they refuse, they definitely need to be voted out of office.

If they won’t help Flint, they won’t help your community either.




fine, MI.

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I cannot believe that we need to talk about this again.  On Friday, an unarmed African-American man was shot and killed by police in Tulsa, OK.  In Charlotte on Monday another African-American man was shot and killed by police.  In the Tulsa shooting there is clear video that shows the man with his hands up when he was shot.  In Charlotte there is a conflict between the police and witnesses as to whether or not the man had a gun or a book.

The Tulsa shooting even has Donald Trump talking about being “troubled” by the shooting.  But, he would not say that it was even possible he was killed simply because he was an African-American.  He merely thinks the officer may have been afraid or “choked” and maybe she should not be a police officer.

Quite frankly, I haven’t heard him say much about the Charlotte shooting.  The reactions of the public over the two shootings are different.  In Tulsa, so far, there has been calm.  In Charlotte, there has been protesting.  That protesting has turned violent from time to time.   Last night a man was shot during the protests.  Witnesses say the man was shot by another man on the fringes of the protest who seemed to shoot randomly into the crowd.  The victim is on life support.

Some people think the difference between Tulsa and Charlotte and the reaction of the public is that simple fact that Tulsa video has been released and you can see what happened.  The Charlotte incident no video has been released, and quite frankly it is doubtful it will be released anytime soon, if at all.  The Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina is not too friendly when it comes to releasing video of police killing the state’s residents.

After last night’s violent protests, Chairman McCrory has declared a “state of emergency” in the city.  State Police and National Guard troops have been placed on alert and a curfew is “currently being seriously considered”.  The Chairman is furious that there has been property damage caused by some of the protesters.  He doesn’t seem to be too furious that police have killed someone of color.

The real problem is that this problem is not going to go away anytime soon either.  Both sides have gathered into their opinion corners and are hurling insults and playing the “blame game”.  No one really seems interested in coming to the truth of the matter, and trying to figure out a real solution.

There is a simple fact of life in America.  If you are an African-American male you are three times more likely to be shot and killed by police than if you are a White American.  The numbers do not lie.  Police in Charlotte claim the man had a gun.  They claimed that they were in danger.  We don’t know because they won’t release the dash-cam or the body-cam videos.

Even if the man had a gun, so what?  It is legal to carry a gun in North Carolina.  Just because a man has a gun does not mean he is going to shoot the police.  If that were true, why didn’t we hear about men being shot to death in Cleveland during the Republican Convention when they were walking around with open carry rifles?  We didn’t hear about those shootings because they didn’t happen.

We have seen many instances when a white man with a gun was “apprehended” and not killed, while unarmed African-American men were killed.  We have seen African-American men killed when they legally had a gun and even told the police they legally were carrying a gun.

Bigotry has been a problem in our country even before we became a country.  Even after we won our independence from England, we continued to have slavery for over 100 years.  Once the Civil War was over and slavery ended, we had Jim Crow laws for over 100 years.  We have only had civil rights laws and voting rights laws for all Americans in this country for about 50 years.

There was some hope that we could put an end to this with the advent of body-cams for police.  But, we have seen incidents where the camera was mysteriously not turned on before the shooting took place.  We have states like the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina pass laws that make it almost impossible to see those videos.

What most of America doesn’t know is that our Chairman and his Politburo has passed a law that requires a “court order” in order for someone to view the videos.  That law takes effect on October 1.  Wanna bet that the police chief in Charlotte figures out a way to withhold those videos until that date?

We also have politicians trying to make hay out of these tragedies.  Trump said he is “troubled” by the shooting in Tulsa, but his answer is to initiate a nation-wide “stop and frisk” policing policy that was tried in New York City.  The problem was that the police targeted African-Americans for the “stop and frisk” necessity and not many others.  A Federal Judge declared the “stop and frisk” policy to be unconstitutional.

The City abandoned the policy after the ruling.  Critics like Trump howled that crime would go out of control once that policy was scrapped.  It didn’t.  As a matter of fact, it went down not up.  Now Trump wants to make it national.  But, how would “stop and frisk” have prevented either of these two police shootings?  It wouldn’t have.

The man in Charlotte was accidentally targeted by police.  They were in the area looking for someone else they had a warrant to serve.  Yet, this man was the one killed.  Witnesses say he was sitting in his truck waiting for his kids to get home from school.  Now he is dead.

Trump’s call for “stop and frisk” goes hand in hand with his call to start “racial profiling” in order to stop terrorism.  The man has no comprehension about what our Constitution is about.  It appears that way too many of our police officers don’t either.

Supporting police officers does not mean you need to support those officers who shoot unarmed people.  Supporting police officers does not mean you need to blindly say that the victim “had it coming” or was “no saint” when things like this happen.  We all know that the vast majority of police officers are good people who do a very dangerous job for us.

But, just look at what happened over the weekend.  On Friday, an unarmed man was shot and killed by police in Tulsa.  On Saturday a bomb exploded in New Jersey.  Later that night another bomb exploded in New York City.  On Monday the bombing suspect was apprehended by police in New Jersey.  There was a “shoot out” but the suspect was “wounded” and taken into custody.  Later that day, another man was shot and killed by police in Charlotte.

Can you see the differences here?  In the bombing incident, professional police officers did what they needed to do to apprehend the bomber.  Local, State, and Federal law enforcement officers worked together and identified a suspect.  Police in New Jersey responded to a call by a citizen.  They were forced to use force, but they were able to wound the suspect and apprehend him.  Very professional behavior by very professional and brave police officers.

On the other hand, two people were shot and killed by police who did not display such professionalism.  How is it that police officers facing down a bombing suspect known to be “armed and dangerous” can apprehend a suspect without killing him and two separate incidents have police officers killing men who are not known to be armed and dangerous?

The answer is professionalism.  One of the biggest problems with our law enforcement is that there are no standards to become a police officer.  Each jurisdiction has its own set of rules and “qualifications” as to what it takes to become a police officer.  As I have written before, that means conflicts even between police jurisdictions.

Some police forces require a college degree to apply to become a police officer.  Others only require a high school diploma.  I am not saying that college makes for a better police officer, but it sure doesn’t hurt either.  Some police departments have “police academies” that each candidate must pass.  Others do not have such academies.  In many small rural communities, all it takes to become a police officer is to be related to someone who already is.

We have had way too many such incidents.  We have seen this tragedy grow and grow.  We have seen the waves of protests, some turning violent, and the waves of blind “support your police” arguments.  What we have not seen is a very serious discussion about the problem.  What we have not seen is a very serious discussion about race in our country.

When President Obama tries to talk about race, the right-wing calls him a racist.  When protest turn violent, the right-wing says “see you can’t trust them”.  When someone is killed the left-wing cry about “police racism” running amuck.  None of this is going to get to the heart of the problem.

We will never face up to our race problems in America until we can all agree that there actually IS a race problem in America.  We will never be able to come together and find solutions to our race problems until we all recognize that we all harbor prejudice of some kind.  We need a national discussion about race.  We need to put an end to “the blame game” every time something happens.  We need to understand that it is us, all Americans from every race, ethnicity, and religion, that are causing these problems.

When America can collectively look in the mirror and realize that the only thing we have to fear is our own bigotry, then maybe we can have that long overdue discussion about race problems in our country.  When we understand that we all carry both good and evil inside our souls then maybe we can confront our problems in a rational way.

But, we must realize all of this before it is too late.  We continue to see senseless tragedies like this and we continue to do nothing.  We continue to see protests and say what a shame.  We continue to hear the suffering of our fellow citizens but turn a deaf ear.  We continue to walk through life not recognizing that the people we hurt with our inaction are our fellow citizens.

Instead of solutions we look for fault.  Instead of dialogue we argue about how bad “those” are.  Instead of listening to the cries of the oppressed, we talk about “racial profiling” and “stop and frisk”.  We want easy answers to difficult problems.  That is the only reason someone like Donald Trump could win the nomination for President from a major political party.

That is not the America I know.  That is not the America I defended.  America has always risen above divisiveness.  It has always look for the better angels in all of us.  We have reached that time when all Americans must do so again.  The killings must stop.  But, it can only stop when we all respect each other as people.

The irony is that communities need police to keep us safe from evil.  The police need communities’ help to properly do their job.  We are interconnected whether or not we like it.  Communities need to respect police, and police need to respect the communities they protect.  All too often we are not seeing that respect from either side.

Robert Kennedy once said: “Some people see the world as it is and ask why.  I look at what the world can be and ask why not?”  We are at that time in history when we need to look at a country without the race problem that has haunted us since before our founding.  It won’t be easy, but it is worth the effort.  Only, it will take all of us to make it happen.  Instead of asking why, let us start asking why not.


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As mankind has marched through history from its earliest days right up to today, there has been one thing that was true.  The youth of mankind is usually going to be a little more “radical” or different than the generations that came before them.

If this were not true, there would have been virtually no progress in our species, and we would probably still be using stone tools instead of our modern technology.

It is also true that young people have swayed politics.  This has been true throughout time and history in just about every corner of the world.  The problem is that young people are not all in one corner of the political spectrum.

Like their parents and older generations, young people are a very diverse group of people.  And, just because they all share their youth, it does not mean they all share the same values.

Some young people need a cause.  Something that will spark their inner fire to work towards something.  Some are inspired just by the idea that they can make a difference in the world.  But, they are not all the same, and we are unwise to treat them as all the same.

Back in the 1960s, we had the baby boomer generation, which later was called the “hippie” movement.  According to what you read today, all of us were in favor a making love and not war.  All of us were left-wing “radicals” trying to trick our parents into believing communism was the best way.

That is a false statement.  As a matter of fact, I knew far more “conservative” young people than I did left-wing radicals.  But, everyone believed it was just the opposite.  You have to remember, our fathers fought World War II.  They were very patriotic and many of us were questioning their values.

The fact is there were far fewer radicals than conservatives.  I am often asked if the 60s were so radical, how come today’s conservative movement is made up mostly of “old angry white guys”?  That is because, these old angry white guys were the conservatives of our time.

It is crazy how things will morph over time.  For example, Woodstock seems to have become the image maker for many people of my generation.  If you listen to all of us old farts, you will soon discover that about 10 million people attended the Woodstock concert.  Of course, that never  happened, but over time it has become “cool” to say you were there.

I refuse to look back at those times and talk about the “good ole days”.  Because they really weren’t all that great.  I remember the protests, the riots, the civil unrest.  I remember the cusses hurled at those who “didn’t fall in line”.  There were lots of “good times” but there was also lots of “bad times”.

I remember my parents talking about the “good ole days” of their youth.  I have come to the realization that we like to use that term because it was in those days we are most comfortable.

However, when our youth questions us about those days and the times that weren’t so great, we become defensive because our comfort zone has been attacked.  Maybe that is why we see things on Facebook like a picture of an outhouse asking if anyone “remembers using one of these”.  Really?  An outhouse is the best thing you can remember?

I bring all of this up because today we have a new generation of young voters.  These are our children, or in my case, our grandchildren.  The political pundits keep talking like these people are a “voting block” like they are all the same.

Today’s young people are no more one “voting block” than our generation was.  In order to win their vote, we need to speak to them, and especially listen to them to determine what is important to them.

Because of Bernie Sanders we know that a lot of them are interested in income inequality, the environment, and college debt.  We are also finding out that the movement towards acceptance of the LGBT community is coming from these people.  Like our generation, our values are not necessarily their values.

Still, if any politician wants to win their votes, you will have to earn them.  On the other hand, it is also important for young people not to tune out of the election just because you aren’t “thrilled” with the candidates.

You need to remember that today’s election is also about your future.  The winner this year will try to get legislation passed that will affect the future of our country.

For example, if we continue to pollute our world as we are today, many parts of Florida, and other coastal areas of our country will disappear.  They will be flooded by the sea due to rising sea levels.  If you happen to own a house on the beach, you are probably going to lose the house to the ocean.

I do not buy into the current bullshit being said about your young people.  Things like they are lazy and don’t care about anything but themselves.  I strongly disagree with those characterizations.

Our young people are just as interested, just as motivated, and just as smart as any generation before it.  In many cases they are more so that our own generation.

But, just like our own generation, no one wants to listen to those “damn kids” anyway.  They should be glad we were able to provide a living for them to mooch off.  The same nonsense we heard 50 years ago.

We are also hearing the same old tired slogans from the day.  Like “America, love it or leave it”.  Maybe not in those exact words, but in the same context like “if he doesn’t like America maybe he should try another country” if someone dares “protest” something sacred.

Not the exact same words, but the meaning is very clear.  If you don’t act according to the way I want you to, then you don’t love America and you must leave.

We fought that sentiment 50 years ago.  It is up to today’s youth to fight that sentiment again.  It is up to today’s youth to fight against all of the “isms” that eat at our hearts and destroy our democracy.

I find the majority of young people I speak with to be intelligent, loving, and caring.  They really don’t understand the hate towards others just because they look different, believe something different, or love differently.  They don’t understand why we can’t just accept people as people.

Unfortunately, just like every generation before them, this new generation will tune out if we don’t listen to them.  The usual rhetoric about this being another election between the “lesser of two evils” tells the electorate that everything is just status quo.

That is a lie.  There is always something that makes one candidate far more qualified than the other.  It is our responsibility to sit down with young people at universities and other places to hear what concerns them.  It is our responsibility to help them mold the world to their way of thinking.

Conversely, young people need to understand that they will inherit what this generation leaves them.  If they don’t like the way things are going, they need to get involved and help elect the candidate that most agrees with them.

I am not going to say this is the “most important election in history”.  Every election is always the most important in history because every election will influence future history.

When I was young, I didn’t want to hear about how bad things were.  I wanted to hear about how you were going to do something to cure our problems.  What you planned to do the uplift our nation and our people.

Today’s youth are no different.  They don’t want to hear about deporting millions of people.  They don’t want to hear about hating others for who they are, what they are, or who they love.

The youth of every generation questions the status quo.  They challenge the “way things are”.  They wonder what was so wonderful about the “good ole days”.

I say to them to keep questioning.  Keep challenging.  Keep refusing to accept things just because “that is the way it always was.”  I also say to them to participate in the process even if you think it is boring.  You can and should be our heroes.


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