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Archive for the ‘Race’ Category

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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We have seen another week come and go.  This weekend, there was a pipe bomb that exploded in New Jersey before a charitable race.  The reason no one was injured was because the race was delayed.  Later that night, another explosion rocked the Chelsea area of New York City.  Then, yesterday, or rather very early this morning, more pipe bombs were discovered in Elizabeth City, NJ.

In the explosion in New York, 29 people were injured.  There was also an attack in a mall in Minnesota.  In that attack, ISIS claimed “responsibility” only because the person wielding the machete said he liked ISIS.  Naturally, the media jumped all of that “announcement” from ISIS.

Before all of this happened, Donald Trump held what he called a press conference but it wasn’t really a press conference to announce that yes, President Barak Obama was born in the U.S.  Of course, he claimed that it was Clinton who started the birther issue, with is a blatant lie.

Reince Priebus told the other Republican Candidates who Trump beat in the primaries that they will back the dictator in waiting or face consequences.  The “dictator in waiting” is my choice of words.  According to the RNC Chair, if people like Cruz or Kasich or Rubio don’t get off the sidelines and openly support the nominee, there will be hell to pay for them in upcoming elections.

Then, Mike Pence announced that his “hero” was non other than Dick Cheney.  You know the Vice President under President George W. Bush who should have been tried for war crimes over his ordering of waterboarding and other “extreme interrogation” techniques.  The same Vice President who left office with a 13 percent approval rating.  That is the kind of Vice President Mike Pence aspires to become.

Trump called into his favorite TV network to boast how he had “called it” over the New York City bombings.  See, when Trump first heard the news of explosions in New York, he called them “bombs exploding” and when it was later confirmed they were indeed bombs, he just couldn’t wait to call into the Fantasy News Organization to boast how “I called it”.  Too bad he never mentioned the 29 people who were injured in the explosions.  Guess he didn’t call that part of the explosion.

We have people going around New York lighting Muslim women on fire.  There hasn’t been a serious injury yet, but people are actually walking around New York lighting the clothes of Muslim women on fire for no apparent reason except they are Muslim women wearing “those clothes”.  There have been at least four such incidents.

In Houston on Friday, a reporter for VICE News wanted to attend the Trump rally.  He tried to get the proper credentials for the rally.  The campaign never really said if he was going to get them or not.  The reporter went to the hotel where the rally was being held.  He asked if they had any press credentials for him.  The hotel had him arrested for trespass.  The Trump campaign claims they had nothing to do with the arrest, yet it was they who decided at the last minute not to allow open press into the event, only their “pool” press.

Last week, all the while Donald Trump was lambasting Clinton for her “basket of deplorables” remarks, one of his supporters was busy punching protesters during his speech.  Then, just to show how sincere they really are, another one “sucker punched” a 69 year old woman with an oxygen tank for simply standing outside protesting the rally.  Both incidents happened AT THE SAME RALLY.

A football player decides to protest against what he considers as problems with policing in this country especially when it involves people of color.  He simply kneels during the playing of the national anthem.  He doesn’t make any obscene gestures, he simply kneels instead of standing.  All of the armchair patriots, including Trump, begin howling about how he is disrespecting the military and veterans.  No, he isn’t disrespecting veterans or the military.  He is simply doing what we fight to protect.  His right to protest.  Trump said he “should find another country to try out”.

I swear, sometimes I watch the news each day and wonder what the hell has happened to our country.  But, if you listen very carefully to the candidates, their supporters, and the media, you can see what happened to America.  We have been fed a line of bullshit about religion v. non-religion, conservative v. liberal, straight v. gay, black v. white, and Christian v. Muslim.

We have been fed this line of bullshit for so long, people are actually starting to believe it.  The result is that we have the most racist, misogynist, xenophobic, and Islamophobic moron in history as the standard bearer for a major political party.  The real scary part is he could actually win.  Hell, he makes Andrew Jackson look like a Kumbaya kind of guy.  With the hatred Jackson had for Native Americans, I didn’t think anyone could make him look like a reasonable person.

No, we don’t need to “Make America Great Again”.  It is already great.  We don’t need to “purify” the races, that is total extreme Alt-right stupidity.  We don’t need to build that wall because that would harm our country and our economic growth.  What we really need is to take a deep breath, look around us, and remember that our Constitution was written to “form a more perfect Union.”  It was not written to bestow privilege upon the few and make the rest suffer.

Yes, sometimes I wonder when did America get a Lobotomy.  We are much better than all of this shit.

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Yesterday, Donald Trump put all of those words in action.  He showed he really doesn’t care about poisoning people, he doesn’t care if those people die, he is very interested in photo-ops that will help him get elected, and he disdains the very people he was supposedly there to support.

Yesterday, Donald Trump made a “surprise” visit to Flint Michigan.  The site of the worst lead poisoning of a population in our nation’s history.  I say “surprise” because his campaign never contacted the Mayor of Flint asking about a visit and a meeting with her.  They simply told her less than 24 hours before his visit that they were coming.

The Mayor was in Washington, D.C. trying to get the senate to finally pass the funding the city needs to recover from this disaster.  She was too busy trying to help her people instead of taking a picture with the Republican nominee.

This is the first time Trump has even mention Flint Michigan.  He did not mention it during his convention, he never mentioned it during the primaries, and never mentioned it before deciding he should go for a photo-op.

During his visit he toured the closed water plant.  He even stopped for a few words at Bethel United Methodist Church where the pastor had asked him to thank all of her parishioners for all the work they have done since the crisis broke out.

Instead, Trump started his comments with a political attack against Clinton.  The pastor, the Rev. Faith Green Timmons stopped him and said:

Mr. Trump, I invited you here to thank us for what we’ve done in Flint, not to give a political speech.

He did say that the crisis was brought on by people who didn’t know what they were doing.  But, I don’t think he understands that those “people” are all Republicans.  This crisis was brought on by Republican Governor Snyder when he decided that Flint could not govern itself.  He then put an Emergency Manager in place to run the city.

That Emergency Manager reported directly to the governor and no one else in government.  It was his decision to stop buying water from Detroit and instead use the water in the Flint River.  But, he also decided that $100 per day to add non-corrosive chemicals to the water was too expensive.  As a result, lead leached into the water from the pipes it was carried in.  The population was essentially poisoned with their own water.

To make matters worse, the State refused to even acknowledge the problem even when thousands of residents complained about “brown water” coming out of their taps.  They said there was noting wrong with the water.  This stupidity continued until a very brave doctor started testing children and found staggering amounts of lead in these children.

Lead causes many health and mental problems.  It can, in the right doses, even cause death.  Yet, now two years later, Flint still cannot drink their own water.  What did Donald Trump say he would do to help?  Nothing!

He did manage to get his name out there in an interview with a local TV Station.  During that interview, he said “this would never have happened if I was President at the time”.  Say What?

I am about 4 years younger than the Donald.  When we attended school there was a class called Civics.  In that class we learned how the government works.  We also learned that the Federal Government does not “control” the cities, counties or states.  And, since this mess was created by the State Government who refused to even acknowledge the crisis when it began, what would a President be able to do to stop it?  Nothing.  I guess Donald slept through those classes.

If you are wondering why Flint has not received any emergency funding to replace those lead pipes that are causing the problem, ask your Republican Controlled Senate?  The bill to do just that has been sitting in the Senate for almost a year.  Ted Cruz and Mike Lee had put a “hold” on the legislation.  Cruz eventually yielded, but Lee kept his hold until recently.

It now looks like it might actually get through the Senate.  But, then it has to go to the divided House where I am sure it will die an ugly death.  The ultra-conservative wackos will demand to see how it will be “paid for’ and Ryan will finally shrug his shoulders and place it in the drawer with the Comprehensive Immigration Reform bill, The Equal Pay for Equal Work, and the Transportation and Infrastructure bill.

All this time, the people of Flint are still forced to drink, bathe, and cook with bottled water.  And, the state still has done nothing to bring the water to the people.  The residents must go to “distribution centers” to get their water.  One woman interviewed said it costs her $20 each time she goes to the distribution center to pay for a ride.  Why can’t it be delivered to their doors?  It wasn’t their fault the water was poisoned.

Donald Trump’s solution to this problem was to go to Flint, take pictures, say a few words blaming anyone he could, and leave with his photo-op accomplished.  To make matters worse, he said this morning that the pastor “was a nervous mess” when she stopped his politicking.  I watched the video, she was not nervous, she was very firm.  The fact that someone stood up to him is what pissed him off.

He even said the people in attendance wanted him to keep talking.  What he didn’t say was the questions they were asking was about his history of racial discrimination in his buildings.  When they started shouting those questions, the pastor came to his rescue and, in his words, “got the hell out of there.”

What we learned from the fiasco photo-op Trump tried to have in Flint is that he does not care about those people at all.  He offered no solutions to their problem and offered no help to get the bill necessary for their very survival to get passed the Congress.

The people of Flint are suffering because their state elected a “businessman” with no experience to be governor.  He ran the state like a business and the people of Flint are paying the ugly price for that recklessness.  Can we afford to do the same thing with our country?

Donald Trump went to Flint Michigan yesterday and showed the people there he does not care their governor poisoned them.  He does not care if they suffer health problems or death as a result.  He showed his total disdain for the people of Flint.  But he did show he cares about politics an photo-ops.

If he were still in school, maybe the teacher would put him in the corner with a “dunce cap” on his head so he could think about his stupidity.  Unfortunately, this is the real world with real problems and this moron wants to be our next President.  And he asks “what do we have to lose?”  Apparently only our lives.  Which don’t seem to matter to the man who wants our votes.

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I could write about the pneumonia that Clinton is suffering from and how she should have “blasted out the news” as soon as she heard it Friday.  But, to be honest, I really don’t give a shit about her pneumonia or the fact she didn’t want to tell anyone about it.

I cannot think of a single person who wants to blast out their health condition except someone who simply wants to be the center of attention.  Normal people who get sick, just go on with their lives and try to work through their illness.

I could write about her “basket of deplorables” gaff.  But, she has already said she regrets using the term “half” of supporters.  Of course that isn’t good enough for Trump’s people.  Even though their candidate has NEVER apologized for any of the ridiculous comments he has made about several people.

Oh, he has said he “regrets” some of his comments, but won’t say which comments.  He has not apologized to a Gold Star family for his vicious attacks against them.    He has never apologized for his mocking a disabled reporter.  So, I am not going into his trap about the “deplorables” comments.

I also could write about his Foundation and its illegal activities, but I won’t, at least today.  I could write about his Vice Presidential running mate not calling David Duke deplorable, but I won’t.  Instead let’s look at two things that really define the state of our nation, at least from the conservative side.

The first is the Soviet Socialist State of North Carolina.  The NCAA has finally showed some guts and have cancelled their “championship” activities in the state, including the basketball tournament.

This is over the infamous HB2 Bill that says you must use the bathroom of our birth not gender.  In a statement, NCAA President Mark Emmert said”

Fairness is about more than the opportunity to participate in college sports, or even compete for championships.  We believe in providing a safe and respectful environment at our events and are committed to providing the best experience possible for college athletes, fans and everyone taking part in our championships.

The bill also says that local communities cannot pass their own legislation to protect LGBT rights.  Of course, the state’s GOP couldn’t pass this up without being somewhat “deplorable” all by themselves.

A spokeswoman for the North Carolina GOP called the NCAA’s decision “so absurd it’s almost comical” before launching a blistering attack against the organization.

“I genuinely look forward to the NCAA merging all men’s and women’s teams together as singular, unified, unisex teams,” spokeswoman Kami Mueller said in a statement circulating on Twitter. “Perhaps the NCAA should stop with their political peacocking ― and instead focus their energies on making sure our nation’s collegiate athletes are safe, both on and off the field.”

But, I think Chris Sgro, the executive director of Equality NC, an LGBT rights group that has fought against the law summed it up best.

North Carolina is ground zero for NCAA college basketball. It’s not something you should mess with.  We’re famous for three things ― beaches, barbecue and basketball ― and now Pat McCrory has stepped all over one of those with the worst LGBT bill in the nation.

Unfortunately, North Carolina isn’t known for just discriminating against LGBT.  It is also known for thuggery.  At his last rally in North Carolina, Trump ignored  the fact that one of his “supporters” was slapping people he considered as protesters in the face.

Then there is Governor Matt Bevin of Kentucky.  He gave a talk at the so-called “Value Voters Summit” over the weekend.  And boy, did he have some real “values” to share with the audience.

Here is what Bevin had to say about “values”.

I want us to be able to fight ideologically, mentally, spiritually, economically, so that we don’t have to do it physically.  But that may, in fact, be the case.

Bevin went on to say that he believed the U.S. would survive a Hillary Clinton presidency, but it might required bloodshed.

The roots of the tree of liberty are watered by what?  The blood.  Of who?  The tyrants to be sure, but who else?  The patriots.  It might be that of our children and grandchildren. I have nine children. It breaks my heart to think that it might be their blood that is needed to redeem something, to reclaim something, that we through our apathy and our indifference have given away. Don’t let it happen.

Bevin isn’t alone in talking about bloodshed.  Trump used the term more than once, especially in his famous comment about the Supreme Court when he said in August:

“If she gets to pick her judges ― nothing you can do, folks.  “Although, the Second Amendment people. Maybe there is. I don’t know.”

Sorry folks, but these are the people who are supporting Donald Trump to become our next President.  These are the people who in one sentence claims to love our Constitution and in the next is calling for violent action against their “enemies”.

From Donald Trump all the way down the list, these people do not respect the Constitution.  They do not support free speech, unless they are allowed to define what that is.  They do not support equality.  They do not care if you have a job or not.  They only care about power.  And, they will do everything possible to rile up enough people to even use violence to gain that power.

It is really simple.  There is “deplorable” and then there is “deplorable”.

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To be honest, I had a really hard time coming up with a title for today’s article.  I was trying to think of something snappy, but this is the best I could come up with.  See, the problem is that there is so much lunacy going on in the Trump campaign, it is hard to keep up with it.

That became clear the other day when I heard a “pundit” asked why Clinton seems to be asked over and over about her emails and the Clinton Foundation but Trump doesn’t seem to be hounded by his own transgressions.  The answer was that there are so many transgressions so often, the media doesn’t have time to follow-up on all of them.

I consider that a very unprofessional way to look at things.  A real professional investigative reporter would focus on one of the loony things that Trump says and hound him to death over it.  But, there are apparently too many lazy unprofessional reporters covering the campaign this time around.

I have to admit Hillary Clinton made a big gaffe last week.  When she said that “half of Trump’s supporters belong in what I call a basket of deplorables”.  That statement when in full context is correct.  However, you know as well as I do that quotes are never given in full context.  Plus, I don’t really believe that half of Trump’s supporters are really weirdos.

She is going to have to live with that quote for the rest of the campaign.  I don’t have a problem with that because she said it regardless of context.  On the other hand, Trump rolled off several quotes that were just as bad or even worse and no one is following up with questions or “hounding” him like they do Clinton.

If Donald Trump actually manages to win this election, we will be saddled with a lunatic for President.  I am not making that statement as a “medical” fact, I am merely pointing out what I believe his behavior conveys.  In the last week, he has said some outlandish things and has not been challenged about any of them.

Here are a few of the most outlandish things he needs to be called out on.

He said that he “could tell because I read body language well” that the Intelligence Officers who gave him his briefing told him that the current administration went against all of their recommendations.  The very first question I would have come back with is “did they offer you any recommendations”?  The reason that question is so vital is because Intelligence Officials when giving briefings do not recommend anything.

It is not the job of Intelligence Officers to offer any recommendations.  Their job is to offer Intelligence Briefings giving all of the known facts.  They do not parse with opinions and they do not make recommendations as to how to handle any situation.  That is for the President and his National Security Team to decide.  So, if Trump said “yes” they offered recommendations we would know he was lying.  If he said “no” we would have known the rest was simply made up to make him look smart.

There has been some pushback on this matter, mostly from the Intelligence community.  But, the media has seemed to let it slide and don’t ask Trump any questions about it further.  Why?

On Friday during his speech at the Value Voter’s Summit, he was talking about religion.  He even went on to talk about taking communion by saying he “drank some wine and ate the cracker”.  Everyone in that room should have known he was not a “Christian” as they define the term.  The bread used in communion is not a “cracker” and it is never referred to being a “cracker”.  It is unleavened bread and call the “host’.

But, the so-called “Value Voters” in the room lapped it up and no one challenged him.  I say so-called “Value Voters” because these are the same people who believe that same-sex marriage should be outlawed, believe the homosexuals are evil people trying to ruin our “way of life” and consider immigrants to be devil worshipers who should be banned from coming to our country.

According to Trump in his speech, if he loses this election, it will be the “last election held in this country”.  He claims that the Republicans would never win another election.  That is because if Clinton wins, she will open the borders and immediately grant “citizenship” to all illegals as they cross the border and ruin our “church structure” and our “culture” so Republicans will never win another election.

Of course, the fact that Republicans won’t even bother to talk to much less even try to win over minority voters has nothing to do with their pending defeats.  That would mean actually “earning” the people’s votes.  That is something that Republicans are loath to do.

Also on Friday, he said at a rally that “Hillary Clinton could walk in here right now and shoot someone in the heart in front of 20,000 people and not be arrested”.  Of course he is referring to the email “scandal” which isn’t a scandal and hasn’t shown any criminal activity on her part.  Or, it is referring to the Clinton Foundation’s so-called “pay for play” scandal which there is no proof of at all.

He forgets that the only foundation to be accused of and fined for “pay for play” was the Trump Foundation.  He also forgets his own comments of how he “could shoot someone on Fifth Avenue and not lose any votes.”  It is funny how he keeps coming around to someone being shot.  He uses that term way too loosely for me.  Yet, no one makes any waves about his comments or pushes back on them by asking questions.

The worst thing he said though was when he said “if Iranian little boats circle one of our great navy ships and makes obscene gestures at our great navy people, I will give orders to shoot them out of the water”.  How unhinged can you get?  This man is saying that if someone comes near one of our Navy Ships and flips the finger at us, we are going to shoot them out of the water.  Imagine, starting a real shooting war because someone flips the bird to us.

And, what did our “leftist” mainstream media do about those comments?  Nothing.  No one asked the idiot if he really meant we should start a war because some sailors flipped the bird at one of our ships.  No one asked him if he understood what that action would really entail.  They let it go by like every other stupid thing the man utters.

This man wants to become our President.  He has called Mexicans all rapist and murderers.  He has called for the complete ban on Muslims immigrating to our shores, though he has modified that statement by saying Muslims in certain areas of the world, not naming those areas.  He has gone to “twitter war” with the President of Mexico over whether or not the “wall” was brought up during his visit.

He brags that the Mexican visit went “extremely well” because a Minister of the government was “fired” over the visit.  Yeah, that is a great diplomatic victory.  Visit a country and get a minister fires.  He has praised an autocrat in Vladimir Putin as being a “great leader” in his country.  He went on Russian Television and denounced our media and political system as being rigged against him.  Then he claimed he didn’t know he was going on Russian Television.  Only he knew that Alan King worked for RT which is a Russian Government owned television outlet.

He has accused our generals as being “reduced to rubble” while speaking at the Commander in Chief Forum.  He also gave the real impression that he would “fire” all of them and name new generals.  Like he has the authority to do so which the President does not have.  He has questioned our continuing in NATO.  He said he “might not automatically defend a member if attacked by Russia” until he figured out if they had paid their fair share.

Then there are those wonderful “secret plans” on how to defeat ISIS and how to handle North Korea.  I am sure you can’t wait for him to be elected to see just how wonderful those “secret plans” will be.  You know they must be great because he keeps telling us “believe me”.

Those are just some of the topics that a real “professional investigative” journalist would be hounding him about on a continuous basis.  Yet, we don’t see that at all.  If you are wondering why this election is so close at this point in time, you just have to look at the coverage of the two candidates.

Yesterday, Trump and his loons got more fodder for their grinder.  Hillary Clinton left the 9/11 Memorial early because she became overheated.  It turns out she has pneumonia.  I am sure that we will hear all about her illness and how that is going to kill her real soon, so don’t vote for her.  Only, I have had walking pneumonia four times in my life and yet, here I am.

As you can see, this election is very strange.  The scary part is that if it continues with the media giving Trump a pass on his lunacy, he could actually win.  Then I am afraid, this could be our “last election ever”.  Not because of changing demographics, but because we will have elected an autocrat to be our President.  How long will it be before Trump would be on the phone getting advice from Putin on how to stop elections and take control?

If Donald Trump should become our next President, we will not have a Commander is Chief.  We will have a Lunatic In Chief.  That is really scary for the future of our country and the world.

 

 

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I have to admit something I rarely admit to.  After last night’s “speech” by Donald Trump, I am afraid.  I spent 20 years in the U.S. Coast Guard.  I have seen some of the most beautiful sights on the planet, like the Aurora Borealis dancing across a clear night sky over an ice flow in the arctic.  I have seen some of the most ugly and painful sights on the planet as well.  Like the results of a flash flood raging down a mountain into a small town at the bottom and digging through the rubble for victims.

I have seen death and destruction on massive levels caused by natural disasters.  I have seen the beauty of a rescue at sea when those rescued told us they were sure they were going to die that day.  I have witnessed beautiful scenes of peaceful and calm seas and the horror of howling winds and raging seas as high as 7 story buildings in the middle of a hurricane.

I was involved in risky rescues.  Drug interdiction operations.  Stopping people-trafficking operations.  I know what it is like to be shot at.  I know what it is like to face down mother nature in all of her fury.

I have witnessed and experienced all of these things.  Sometimes I was worried for my own safety at the beginning of some cases.  But, until last night, I was never really afraid.

Donald Trump’s speech was terrifying.  Many people who watched it understand what I am going to say about it.  Others will continue to cheer it.  Others will simply not really understand what they heard.

For the past few weeks, the media was falling all over themselves as to whether or not Trump was “softening” his stance on immigration.  Especially if he was softening his stance on deporting 11 million undocumented immigrants.  Many now are saying that he didn’t mention that mass deportation.  I say, they didn’t listen to what he said.

In a simple phrase he said “no one here illegally is immune from deportation.”  That tells me he plans on deporting all undocumented immigrants.  Especially when he talks about his “Deportation Task Force” within ICE.

There were a lot of things said during the speech.  Much of what he said was either an elaborate exaggeration or simple lies.  People caught at the border and released are not released because of some “immigration policy”.  They are released by court order.  We still do have something called “due process” even for immigrants.

Many were scared by his claims of millions of criminals who are illegally here and killing “thousands upon thousands” of American citizens.  That is a huge exaggeration to say the least.

But all of this isn’t what scares me.  We have heard this bluster from the very first day he walked off that escalator and declared that Mexicans are rapists and murders.  It is that kind of bluster that got him the nomination from one of our major political parties.

The thing that scares me is the simple fact that he is planning to ignore our Constitution and place “ideological tests” on anyone who wishes to immigrate to our country.  He claims this is to make sure people we “let in” will be able to “assimilate” to our way of life.

“Ideological tests” is a nice way to put it.  It sounds like he really wants to “help” people to come to our country and be successful.  But, anyone who has listened to him for the last 14 months knows what he is really saying.

“Ideological tests” is just a xenophobic way of saying “undesirables”.  It is saying that he and his cronies have a right to keep out anyone they don’t think fit their description of who should be allowed to immigrate to our country.

We heard him say the same thing before.  Only then he called it a “religious test” to make sure that any Radical Muslims can’t get in.  You remember his examples.  If you believe in Sharia Law you can’t come in.  If you believe in “honor killings” you can’t come in.

Our country has seen this kind of immigrant paranoia before.  In the 1850s the Know Nothing Party was extremely anti-immigrant.  Especially if those immigrants were Catholic.

The Know Nothing Party was extremely anti-Catholic and wanted to force all Catholics out of the country.  It was the Know Nothing Party that stole a marble block that the Vatican sent to help build the Washington Monument and threw it into the Potomac River which resulted in the project being suspended.

Their anti-Catholic rants didn’t work well in California that had a huge Catholic population.  There the Know Nothing Party turned their anti-immigrant policies towards the Chinese.

In the 1920s the KKK became mainstream.  They were anti-immigrant too.  They were also against African-Americans, Jews, Catholics, Mexicans, and basically anyone who wasn’t what was known as White Anglo-Saxon Protestant (WASP).

The Jim Crow laws were being enforced with vigor.  African-Americans were openly and legally being discriminated against.  Jews and Catholics were being discriminated against, only more subtly.  Immigrants were hated.  Especially the Irish and Poles who were mostly Catholic.

When Barak Obama was elected as our first African-American President, the whole mess began again.  It started with the “birther” issue and morphed into the idea that he was a “closet Muslim” hell-bent on destroying our country.

Today we see many states with voter suppression laws aimed at keeping African-Americans, elderly, and young people from voting.  Mainly because these groups tend to vote Democratic not Republican.

Muslims have replaced Jews and Catholics as the new hated immigrants.  After all, they are all terrorists coming here to kill us in our sleep.  Latinos are second on the list because, well they are Mexican and therefore all rapists and murders.

Donald Trump has latched onto the fears and hatred of his followers and made it a major theme in his campaign to become President.  He tells his feeble-minded followers that if we get rid of all the immigrants and keep non-white people out, all of their problems will go away.

But they don’t understand what he is saying.  Which brings us back to “ideological tests” for immigrants.  In his speech he said that “with the right people conducting these tests they will work 100 percent, believe me.”

My first question is who are these “right people”?  My second question is “what are the right questions”?  My third question is how often are these “questions going to be changed”?  My fourth question is “doesn’t this sound an awful lot like Hitler was giving his speech blaming the Jews for all of Germany’s problems”?

The real problem with so-called “ideological tests” is that they never stay constant.  They change over time with changing “flavors of the month” of whom to hate the most today.

That means a safe group today could become the next target.  It means that not only Muslims but Catholics, Jews, Hindus and Buddhists could be banned as well.  Maybe the next target for deportation will be atheists.

If we can have “ideological tests” for immigrants, what keeps us from using the same tests on our citizens?  What keeps citizen groups from being targeted as who to blame for our problems and therefore need to be deported?

Are we going to eliminate “birthright citizenship”?  Will all parents of newborns be required to provide their own birth certificates before getting one for their newborn baby?  Are we going to be required to carry “papers” to prove our citizenship to this “Deportation Task Force” upon being stopped?

Many of you will probably be thinking this suggestion is ridiculous.  And it is ridiculous – today.  However, once we start down the road of “ideological testing” everything is possible because we stop being the caring, compassionate people we claim to be.  A “pure” society requires “papers” to prove your purity.

Trump’s so-called immigration plan has way too many holes in it.  For example, he says that E-Verify will be effective all across the nation.  But, he left out what punishment employers who hire undocumented immigrants will face.  If that punishment isn’t severe enough, employers will ignore the law and keep hiring undocumented immigrants.

Maybe he left that part out because it could affect his own businesses.  There have been reports about his company hiring undocumented immigrants.  Like his project to turn a Post Office building in Washington, D.C. into a hotel.

Some reports claim that undocumented immigrants have been hired on that project.  Trump claims if it is true, they were hired by sub-contractors.  Like it isn’t his fault.  Only, by law a general contactor is responsible to ensure that sub-contractors follow all of the labor laws.  Therefore, it is his responsibility to make sure that isn’t happening.

Or, what about the allegations in the story at Mother Jones about his using young girls in his Trump Model Management Company who enter the country on a visa that does not allow them to work.  Yet, they work for the company.

One of the best ways to slow down “illegal immigration” is to take away the jobs they are coming to get.  But, that means companies like his own would have to abide by the law.  And that would cut into his profits.

He said companies should be required to hire citizens before immigrants.  So what about all of the “work visas” that his and his family’s companies have applied for so they don’t have to hire U.S. citizens at their work sites?  Are they afraid they would have to hire African-American and Latino citizens and pay a fair salary?

Trump said last night that 2 million illegals will be deported within his first hour of him taking office.  He tried to say they were all criminals.  I am wondering if in the second hour we will see the Statue of Liberty being removed from New York harbor.

Last night’s speech was very scary.  It contained all of the hallmarks of a white supremacy speech.  It was full of innuendos, lies, and exaggerations.  It told the audience that the only thing you have to fear is all of these damn immigrants.

It could have been given by any of the KKK leaders or any of the new Alt-Right activists.  This speech went way beyond nativism.  It hurled itself into the realm of utter hate for anyone “different” than you.  The problem is that you can one day fall into that “different” category.

I have been following politics for over 50 years.  I have seen and heard many political speeches.  But, I have never heard such a hateful rant masquerading as a policy speech in my life.  Hell, in 1968 even George Wallace wasn’t as openly hateful as Trump was last night and he was an avowed white supremacist.

Ever since the end of World War Two there have been discussions about whether or not Hitler actually died in the bunker or if he escaped.  Recently there have been television shows trying to claim he survived and escaped to Argentina.

I only mention that bit because last night we heard the immigration plan or rather the white superiority speech that will lead to the Fourth Reich.  Only it won’t be in Germany, it will be right here in America and Donald Trump will be our Beloved Fuehrer.

Trump was right about one thing last night.  This election may be our last chance.  Let’s hope we are smart enough to save our democracy and our country from tyrants like him.

 

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