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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 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Day 25

Donald Trump named Betsy DeVos to head up the Department of Education.  About the only thing that would have been worse is if he had named one of the Koch brothers.  It is quite possible that DeVos could totally ruin or make public education disappear completely.

DeVos and her husband have been arguing for voucher systems all across the country.  They are using phrases like “we just want every child to get a good education regardless of socioeconomic status”.  But, that isn’t what this is all about.

What they are really trying to do is make tax payers pay for religious education by sending children to “Christian” schools.  They are interested in placing “religious teachings” in our classrooms.  They have pushed for “intelligent design” to be taught in public schools instead of evolution.

DeVos managed to get privatized public education in Michigan.  It has been terrible, especially in Detroit where children need better education not worse.  In addition, they are the types of people that believe “competition” is necessary for education to improve.  Since when does “market-type competition” belong in education?

I know a lot of people are in favor of these voucher programs.  But what they don’t understand is that is blurring the line between separation of church and state.  They also don’t understand that private schools are not required as much as public schools to take in children with physical or learning disabilities.

Because they are “private” they are not required to adhere to integration rules either.  There a several “private religious” schools that have not children of color in attendance.

What this means is that if too many children are allowed to attend private schools using vouchers, there will be far less money left for the Public Schools.  That means that every child who cannot get into one of these private religious schools will get an even worse education than they are already getting.

The answer to our public schools is not vouchers and allowing millions to attend private schools on the taxpayer dime.  It is to use the money allocated to public education wisely.  It is to improve all sorts of areas like modernizing old crumbling buildings.  It is to provide a curriculum that will both challenge and help our children become successful in the future.

Look, I don’t have anything against private schools.  I am a product of private schools.  However, my parents paid for my tuition not the government.  If someone wants their children to attend private religious schools, that is fine.  But, the tax payers should not have to foot the bill.

You also need to look at the very fact that “Christian” schools are the largest benefactor of these voucher programs.  And, that is the purpose of the voucher programs.  Instead of building new Christian schools and setting up scholarship awards for poor children, the DeVos’ want to use taxpayer money to educate everyone in Christian doctrine.

They have decided that “to impact our culture in ways that are not the traditional funding-the-Christian-organization route, but that really may have greater Kingdom gain in the long run by changing the way we approach things, in this case the system of education in the country.”

Meaning, they want to do away with public education altogether and replace it with their version of “Christian schools” that every child will have to attend.  Can you spell indoctrination?

Public education has been the backbone of our education system.  It is necessary to ensure that all children get a good education.  Replacing it with “for-profit” schools or vouchers is not the answer to improving it.  We need to have a very serious discussion about education, how to improve it, and work together for the sake of all children.

Betsy DeVos is not the person who will lead that discussion.  She is not the person to improve our public education.  She is intent on destroying it and making it go away.  Neither she nor her husband are interested in educating our children.  They are merely interested in indoctrinating them into their narrow view of Christianity.

How much do you want to bet she isn’t in favor of using vouchers to send your child to a Muslim School.  If she is approved and her plans are put n place, you can chalk up “religious freedom” as another right lost to the Trump authoritarian government.

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Day 22

 

CANNON BALL, ND - NOVEMBER 24: Water protectors join hands in prayer at the end of the day's protest as police line the hill at Standing Rock on Nov. 24, 2016, during an ongoing dispute over the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. (Photo by Jessica Rinaldi/The Boston Globe via Getty Images)

The protesters, or rather Water Protectors, are getting threatened by several areas.  The Corps of Engineers has said they want the camp where they are staying evacuated because of the harsh winter weather.  However, they said they would not “forcibly” force the protesters off the land.

The governor of North Dakota has also ordered an evacuation of the land, also citing harsh weather.  But, he also said it was for the “safety of the people who live nearby”.  Then he said he would block all food and supplies from entering the area of the camp.  Finally, he said anyone who does not leave will be faced with a $1000 fine.

As you know, the Water Protectors are protesting the pipeline from going under Lake Oahe.  The lake is a reservoir created by a dam on the Missouri River.  The lake is also the main source of drinking water for the Standing Rock reservation and an additional 71 million people.

The tribe claims that the pipeline under this lake would potentially cause the pollution of that drinking water.  Furthermore, the tribe says that the work would destroy sacred lands.  According to reports from the Guardian, some of these lands and sites have already been destroyed by the company.

The pipeline is being built by Energy Transfer Partners LP.  President Obama asked the Corps of Engineers to explore an alternate route for the pipeline.  The company’s CEO said he would not reroute the pipeline even if the Corps says it should be done.

The help coming is from 2000 veterans.  They announced that they would act as “human shields” for the protesters in the event of a forceful evacuation.  There has already been plenty of violence during the protests.  Most of that violence was initiated by the police and not the protesters.  Yes, some protesters have caused sporadic violence, but the vast majority has been initiated by the police.

The veterans plan to be there from December 4 through December 7.  The Corps ordered the evacuation by December 5.  To add more fuel to this fire, the GOP has finally taken notice.  And, as usual, they are blaming the President.

“The ongoing protest activities ― which at times have turned violent ― are being prolonged and intensified by the Obama administration’s refusal to approve the final remaining easement at Lake Oahe,” Sen. John Hoeven said on the Senate floor.

What he is saying is that since the President hasn’t rolled over in favor of the energy company, he is to blame for the violence not the company, state, police, or anyone else.  He is basically saying in usual GOP fashion that people don’t have a right to protest if they believe a company is threatening their drinking water.

We are supposed to take the company’s word that “everything will be just fine, believe me.”  He along with the governor and the state’s congressman, Rep. Kevin Cramer (R), have previously called on Obama to deploy federal law enforcement personnel to subdue the protest activity.

In a letter to the president on November 23 they wrote:

We recommend you provide federal law enforcement resources immediately to state and local agencies in order to maintain public safety, which has been threatened by ongoing ― and oftentimes violent ― protest activity.  These resources are essential to prevent further destruction on and surrounding federal lands.

So far it has been the police escalating the violence.  They have been using tear gas, rubber bullets, bean bags, and percussion grenades often without any warning.  There have been injuries especially among the protesters because of this activity by police.  They have even used water cannons to spray the protesters with water in freezing temperatures.

The CEO of Energy Transfer Partners is confident that once Trump takes office his pipeline will be approved.  Maybe that is because it turns out that Trump owns stock in Energy Transfer Partners directly and stock in other companies that are partners of Energy Transfer Partners.

The land in question belongs to the Sioux Tribe by treaty.  Of course treaties have never meant anything to the government when it comes to Native Americans.

Before it gets tweeted or reported on Fox News the veterans are traveling on their own dime, so to speak.  They did raise money to help defray costs and food, but to put it in Trump’s language, they are not “paid protesters” trying to make trouble.

During the campaign Donald Trump promised to “drain the swamp”.  The very fact that he has ignored this situation at Standing Rock shows me he has no intention of “draining the swamp” but rather using that swamp for his own financial gain.

But, standing in their way are going to be veterans.  On their Facebook event page, the group says its aim is to “support our country” and “stop this savage injustice being committed right here at home.” Though their protest will be nonviolent, they urge participants to bring body armor, gas masks, earplugs and shooting mufflers since protesters have been injured by police force.  No drugs, alcohol or weapons will be allowed.

If Trump pays attention to this situation, he may learn what integrity, honesty, and duty are really all about.  But, I doubt he will learn anything from these men and women.

We all need to support the Standing Rock protests.  Please write, call, or email the President asking him to stop the pipeline from going under Lake Oahe.  If he doesn’t stop it soon, Trump will give it the go ahead so his stock goes up in value.  Drinking water for Native Americans or anyone else doesn’t count as much as dividends.

 

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DAY 20

Here we go again.  Another wonderful “white supremacist” shows that white supremacists are not so supreme.  The ignorance of these people is amazing, and I find it hard to understand how anyone can take them seriously.

This latest example of white supremacist stupidity comes to us from the University of Texas A&M.  Preston Wiginton a self-proclaimed white supremacist and member of the so-called Alt-Right shot himself in the foot.  Or rather he proved that race does not have anything to do with intelligence.

Wiginton has apparently invited that renowned racist Richard Spencer to give a talk at the university in December.  So, to make his point, Wiginton spoke to the university’s newspaper The Battalion.  This is what he said”

If we want to have a white state or a white community or a white homeland we should be able to have that.  We respect that for all people.  If we look at the NAACP, black people have the right to have that.  Why can’t white people have a WAACP.

Sorry, but every time I read that I burst out in laughter so bad my stomach hurts.  I don’t think I need to say this, but in case Mr. Wiginton is reading, NAACP stands for National Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Somehow, I think Mr. Wiginton thinks the N stands for Negro or worse.  It is also well understood that he has no idea what the AACP stands for.  Then again, no one is accusing Mr. Wiginton of being a member of MENSA.

But let us be fair.  Maybe he has actually seen the error of his ways.  Maybe he really does want to have a White Association for the Advancement of Colored People.

Somehow though I don’t think Mr. Spencer would be all that hepped up about giving a speech supporting that organization.  And, as of now, he is still scheduled to speak at the university.

I think that the white supremacists could find someone a little better equipped to speak for them than this buffoon.  Then again, Mr. Wiginton can’t say he was discriminated against by an African-American at admissions that he was better qualified over.  He obviously took a better qualified student’s position.

This is just a bit more proof that these white supremacists aren’t so supreme after all.  There is nothing supreme or special about these racists.  They hate just for the sake of hate.

Sorry, I need to read his comments again so I can end the night with some laughter.  What a moron.

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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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