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There has been a movement growing in the U.S.  It is called the Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement.  It is used by U.S. companies that think the State of Israel has gone too far in its treatment of Palestinians.

Israel is our most staunch ally in the Mideast.  However, the question becomes just how far do we allow Israel to go in its treatment of the Palestinians.  Yes, I know they are fighting for their survival, but does ignoring international law help or hurt that fight for survival.

For example, why is it necessary for Israel to continue to build settlements in the occupied West Bank.  According to the treaties with the Palestinians the West Bank is supposed to “their” country.  If that is true, then Israel is illegally building settlements on foreign territory.

There are other examples of excessive force and even torture against civilian Palestinians.  So, there has been a quiet movement going on using BDS to show disapproval of these actions by Israel.  Problem is that too many politicians in this country don’t want to “piss off” the Israelis and are doing things to stop the movement.

The latest move was just done in New Jersey.  New Jersey is a mostly democratic controlled state that currently has a Republican Governor.  They passed an anti-BDS bill in June and Chris Christie just signed the bill into law.

What this bill does is enforce the state of New Jersey to investigate the “motives” of why a company refuses to do business with Israel.  They will then be able to “punish” that company.  The penalty will be the leverage of State Investment Council which oversees over $80 billion in pension assets.  The State Investment Council would be required by law not to invest in any company that is on the “black list” of companies.

In other words, what Republicans call “free speech” will be denied and punished if it used to express displeasure with Israel by a company who refuses to do business with Israel.   Boycotts have been used, especially in this country, as a form of expression against certain policies.

Boycotts are not violent.  They simply express the views of people and/or companies about policies and practices of governments.  New Jersey isn’t alone in this view of anti-BDS either.  New York governor signed an executive  establishing their own black list.

President Obama and all of the Presidential Candidates see BDS as something evil and shouldn’t take place.  The real irony to me is the Republican stand on this issue.  Remember, this is the same party that claims “religious freedom” means you can discriminate against groups like the LGBT community.  So how can they claim these anti-BDS bills are anything but an attack on “free speech”?

When he signed the bill, Christie said”  “Israel is the beacon of democracy in a region that is constantly in turmoil.”  He also called Israel “our one true friend in the region.”  That may be true.  But, does that mean we cannot criticize the country for Human Rights violations?

Look, the Jews and the Arabs have been fighting and killing each other for over 4000 years over the same stretch of desert.  If given the chance they will probably continue killing each other for the next 4000 years.  But, it doesn’t have to be that way.

Israel would have far better standing in the world if they were to treat their Palestinian neighbors humanely.  I am not saying they don’t have a right to defend themselves.  They do.  But, that right does not give them the right to inhumanely treat Palestinians by torturing them or by destroying their homes because Israel thinks someone in the family is a terrorist.  Nor, does it give them the right to build Jewish settlements on Palestinian land.

The BDS movement is not a “government sanctioned” movement, obviously.  It is a group of businesses who have decided not to do business with Israel until  these human rights violations stop occurring.  The anti-BDS movement setting up “black lists” of these companies is a violation of their rights under our constitution.

No company is or should be forced to do business with any country.  Nor, should they be punished for not doing business with a particular country just because the government doesn’t like their reasons.

It would be wonderful if all countries and peoples followed the laws.  It would be wonderful if all countries and people treated each other like human beings.  Unfortunately, that is not the way of the world.

That does not give the government the right to punish those who decide to act peacefully against countries who  openly violate those tenants.  With this anti-BDS movement going on, all Americans must ask ourselves if we really stand for the principles we claim to.

Black list laws like these anti-BDS bills say we do not.

 

 

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As I have written before, I tried to teach my children to learn to read, not learn how to read words.  There is a huge difference between the two.  In early elementary school, we all learn how to read words.  We learn how to pronounce them.  But, we do not learn how to read.

Reading is the one door that opens up the entire world to us.  It is the best mechanism to learn.  I helps us establish an imagination that makes us think and discover new things.  It is the foundation of every subject we take is school including history and mathematics.  If we cannot read, we cannot figure out any problem we face because we don’t understand them at all.

Reading is the best gift given to us by the gods or nature.  It allows us to look at our city, our state, our country, our world, and our universe with wide-eyed wonder.  By reading we learn others feelings, fears, hates, and loves.  We experience more than our own little world will allow us to know and understand.

When we read, we are listening to the words and what is in the mind of the author.  We see the author’s thoughts.  We understand the author’s feelings.  Listening to speeches should have the same effect.  When I gave lectures, I was reading my thoughts to the audience.  I never just read the words.

Yesterday, Delusional Donald stood at a podium and read words he called a “security speech”, but it is clear to me that he did not “read” the speech before giving it.  He did not understand the words that he was reading.  He did not see the meanings of those words.  They were simply some words that someone wrote for him, and he read them like he was seeing them for the first time.

There were a lot of areas we could talk about that were factually incorrect. There are a lot of areas where he wandered in and out of consciousness.  There were all kinds of areas we could debate.  But, there was one area that truly showed the real meaning of what he was reading and not understanding.  That portion came when he read “extreme vetting” and “Immigration tests” that will be needed to be passed before being allowed to immigrate to our country.

As part of Delusional Donald’s plan of extreme vetting, potential immigrants would be questioned or “tested” on their views of the U.S.

Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into our country. Only those who we expect to flourish in our country — and to embrace a tolerant American society — should be issued visas

A lot of people will say “what’s wrong with that?”  And, that is a fair question until you “read” that statement and not just the words.  His aides said, and he said as well federal agencies would use questionnaires, social media, interviews with family and friends or other means to vet applicants’ stances on issues including religious freedom, gender equality and gay rights.

Of course, we are going to have to “suspend” immigration from “certain areas of the world” until it is safe to resume it.  What parts of the world are in Trump’s mind is still a mystery.  But reasonable people understand whom he is talking about.

Unfortunately, here is where things go off the rails for those people who can read and who understand meanings.  Here is where Pandora’s box opens up very wide and shows the lack of judgement and understanding of the words he read.

Delusional Donald said:  “Those who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, will not be admitted for immigration into our country.”  He also said we would be watching those who immigrate and deport those who we find were lying or became “radicalized” after they got here.

That is also something he read and did not understand.  So, in order to clarify things we need to ask Delusional Donald some questions.  If we are not going to allow people into the country who do not believe in our Constitution, or who support bigotry and hatred, what do we do with all of the current citizens that do not support our Constitution or support bigotry and hatred?

To put it in plain language, what do we do with the Aryan Nation, American Nazis or the various sects of the Ku Klux Klan?  Are we going to round them up and put them in internment camps?  Are we going to send them to GITMO and try them in a Military Tribunal?  Are we simply going to deport them?

All of these groups and others have a long history of bigotry and hatred.  They are intolerant towards all non-white people.  The have attacked, beaten and killed Blacks, Latinos, Immigrants, Jews, Gays and even Catholics.  If we are not going allow people to enter the country who espouse to these “values” how can we allow these groups to remain?  They are the largest “domestic terrorist groups” in the country.

In previous speeches, Delusional Donald said that this “tolerance” includes LGBT rights.  If he really believes that, what do we do with all of the citizens who refuse to admit that the LGBT community should be granted the same civil rights as they get?  What about those who refuse to acknowledge that the LGBT community has the right to marry the person they love?

What are you going to do about people like Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Mike Pence (your running mate) and others who have been passing or trying to pass legislature to make the LGBT community “second class citizens” by allowing companies and businesses to legally discriminate against them?  What about citizens who fight against changing the laws to make it illegal to fire someone from employment just because they are gay?

For that matter, what do you do about your own party?  If you bothered to “read” the Republican Party Platform, you would have noticed that it is very anti-gay.  They want a constitutional amendment rolling back same-sex marriage among other disgusting items.

So, you see words do matter.  You can also see that if you just stand there and read words, you don’t know what you are reading because you never read the speech first.  If you are going to “define” what “American virtues” are for immigrants, you must also define what “American virtues” are for the citizens as well.

Are you that willing to set up a police state that we must now watch our own citizens.  That is the only way your “extreme vetting” will actually work.  Not only do you need to keep out those immigrants who don’t love our Constitution or are not as tolerable as you, you must also weed out those citizens who also fall into that category.

Delusional Donald needs to learn how to read.  Not just read words.  After hearing this speech, I am beginning to realize that Delusional Donald is a bigger threat to ultra-conservatives than he is to liberals.  Then again, if he is elected, he will change his definition of “tolerance”  and “American virtues”just like he changes his position on everything else.  That’s what fascists do.

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The supporters of Donald Trump are trying to convince you that he “speaks the truth” but that he “is not a politician and therefore doesn’t understand the niceties of running for office”.  They claim that is the reason so many of his remarks are not understood by the media and the American People.  They further go on to say we should “give him a break” for his “rookie mistakes”.

Sorry, I am not buying it.  I am not buying into the idea that Trump really doesn’t know how to run office or how to speak properly in public.  One of his supporters even said that “Trump is not a polished speaker, he is a business man.”

Well, I have been in business.  I had to give business presentations to lots of people.  If you are not a polished speaker, you don’t get anything you want.  That argument is as false as saying Trump never lies.

I firmly believe that Donald Trump means exactly what he is saying.  I believe that Donald Trump is not hiding any messages, he is stating them openly and daring us to do something about it.  He knew exactly that he was calling for someone to cause violence against his opponent.  There was no “hidden meaning” in his Second Amendment remarks.  There was no misinterpretation by the media either.

Last night he went one step further to assert the need for this action.  He said that President Obama and Hillary Clinton were the “co-founders of ISIS”.  He knows this comment will fuel the fire of any nut who wants to something “for his country” like the assassin of Rabin in Israel.

Hugh Hewitt even tried to let him off the hook this morning on his radio show.  Trump wasn’t buying the off-ramp and stuck to his guns.  Here is the conversation:

Hewitt:  I know what you meant. You meant that he created the vacuum, he lost the peace.

Trump:  No, I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do.

Hewitt:  But he’s not sympathetic to them. He hates them. He’s trying to kill them.

Trump:  I don’t care. He was the founder.

Hewitt:  They screwed everything up.  But by using the term founder, they’re hitting with you on this again.

Hewitt:  Mistake?.

Trump:  No, it’s no mistake.  Everyone’s liking it. I think they’re liking it.

Trump:  I give him the most valuable player award. And I give it to him, and I give it to, I gave the co-founder to Hillary. I don’t know if you heard that.

Hewitt:  I know what you’re arguing.

Trump:  Do you not like that?”

Hewitt:  I don’t. I think I would say they created, they lost the peace. They created the Libyan vacuum, they created the vacuum into which ISIS came, but they didn’t create ISIS. That’s what I would say.

Trump:  Well, I disagree.

Even when he is given a reasonable “off-ramp” Trump refuses to take it.  Why?  It sure as hell isn’t because he is “misspeaking” again.  He knows exactly what he is doing.  He is trying desperately to stir up as much hate as he can against Clinton and President Obama.

When I first heard the comment about ISIS, I thought he just didn’t understand foreign policy.  We removed our troops from Iraq because the Iraqi government told us to get them out.  They refused to allow any troops to remain in their country.  That means we had no right to leave troops in Iraq.

But, with his follow-up and doubling down of his accusations on Hugh Hewitt this morning, he proved that isn’t the case.  He knows that will just encourage someone out there to try to take action against one or both of these people he is accusing to be traitors.  And, he doesn’t care about the consequences.

The world heard this kind of talk before.  In Germany after the end of World War I people were looking for “scapegoats” for why Germany lost the war.  They believed that Germany did not lose on the battlefield, they lost because someone stabbed the country in the back.  They eventually settled on the Jews for that treason.

Hitler used that mantra throughout his rise to power.  He used the Jews as scapegoats for Germany’s loss in the war.  He stirred up hate and hostility.  He had his brown shirts terrorize the streets.

You may think that Trump isn’t doing the same thing, but you would be wrong.  Just last night in Florida, some protesters were being escorted out of a Trump rally.  People next to the stairs they were exiting on poured their drinks on them as they passed and tried to push them over.

Violence at Trump rallies is nothing new either.  It has been going on throughout the entire election process.  And, we have heard him egg on his followers while it was going on.  Saying things like, “they should be taken out on a stretcher” or “if I was nearby I would punch them in the face”.

This is an old playbook that Trump is following.  It has been used all over the world for generations upon generations.  The reason most people don’t want to admit it is because this is the first time it has been used to this extent in this country.  It is the first time a candidate running for the highest office in the land openly espouses violence against anyone who opposes them.

You can say what you want about Hillary Clinton.  You can call her stupid for using a private server.  You can say you don’t trust her.  You can say a lot of things about her.  But, one thing you cannot say about her is that she is spreading hate and violence wherever she goes.

You cannot say the same thing about Trump.  You cannot blame “the angry voter” for everything either.  That “angry voter” is behaving like he is because Trump is urging him to behave that badly.  He wants violence at his rallies so he gets free publicity.

He doesn’t care what the ultimate consequences of his talk results in.  He doesn’t care if some nut tries to use violence against Hillary Clinton or President Obama.  He is using the old playbook that pits us against ourselves.  As he stirs up hate and violence, he tells us he is the “shining knight on a white horse” coming to rescue us.

I won’t say Donald Trump has finally exposed himself to the world.  Anyone with eyes has seen this for a long time.  But, people like Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell can no longer sit in the wings and pretend nothing is wrong with their candidate.

In America, we silence people like Donald Trump at the polls.  We vote against such hate and fear mongering and declare we don’t need anyone to rescue us from ourselves.  We are a united people who understand that authoritarianism is not a solution for us.

We will continue to have our political squabbles.  We will continue to have our times of discord.  We will continue to argue about how to solve our problems.  But, in the end, we will all walk into a better future without the aid of a dictator.

Our voices will be heard at the ballot box.  We will solve our problems together.  We will make our future brighter than today.  And, we will do it without people like Donald Trump running things.  Our democracy and political discourse is what “American Exceptionalism” really is.

Vote in November and vote down the agents of fear, hate, doom and gloom.  Vote down Donald Trump and every Republican who supports him.  Only then can we have a brighter future.

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I keep finding it harder and harder to take Donald Trump seriously.  I haven’t seen a Presidential Candidate so repulsive since 1968 and George Wallace.   The difference is that George Wallace was an open bigoted racist who hated blacks and wanted Jim Crow laws returned in vengeance.

Donald Trump is different.  Donald Trump is openly a billionaire that thinks the “rest of us” should kiss his ring just because he is Donald Trump and has lots of money.  He wants you to believe that he is “one of you” and will be “your spokesman”.

But, if you look at his “big economic speech” in Detroit yesterday, you will discover that you, the middle-class don’t count.  Oh, he pretended to be speaking for you.  He said that he would give “unlimited tax breaks” for child care.  Problem is that most Americans would never get any benefit from those “tax breaks” for the simple reason that most Americans do not itemize their taxes.

Additionally, that “unlimited” part is intended to help the rich take a bigger “tax break” for their childcare.  It does not lay out anything like eliminating “private nannies” as being eligible for a tax break.  Finally, even if the middle-class did itemize their tax returns, the “tax break” would not equal the full cost of childcare.  Which means you will ge very little, if any, benefit from this “tax break” he is promising.

But the rich will get loads of tax benefits from the same “tax break”.  They pay a lot more for childcare than you do.  If they are allowed to deduct the payroll for nannies their deduction will be much more than yours.  So, once again they gain and you lose.

Another item he brought up was the Estate Tax.  Republicans call it the “death tax” and he was adamant about repealing this terrible tax.  If you think this will help the middle-class, think again.  Only about 2 people out of 1000 people actually need to pay anything on the estate tax.

That is because  you need to inherit an estate worth about 11 million dollars before you have to pay any taxes on an estate.  That amount of money means that the middle-class and the working poor don’t pay anything in estate taxes today.  When he said “The middle-class has paid taxes all of their lives and shouldn’t pay taxes when they die” he is lying.

You don’t pay any taxes when you die unless you have an estate worth over 11 million dollars.  Which means you don’t pay any taxes when you die.  But, the estate tax does affect the top 1 percent of the economic ladder.

Additionally, the vast amount of money in these people’s estate were never taxed.  It is often capital gains that were never declared because the stocks were never sold.  Therefore, no taxes were paid on that money so they aren’t being taxed “again” as Trump insinuates.

What Trump laid out yesterday was another “trickle-down” economic policy.  It was exactly what Paul Ryan and the Republican Party has been trying to shove down our throats for years.  It failed under Ronald Reagan, and it will fail again.

This is nothing more than Ronald Reagan’s policy one that is loved by Paul Ryan and apparently Trump.  However, there is one big difference between Reagan and this policy.  Reagan said you cannot give tax cuts “without paying for them”.  There was nothing in this economic plan to indicate that “pays for the tax cuts”.

As a matter of fact, revenue will be decreased by over $10 Trillion.  Yet, Trump says he is going to “build roads, rail roads, airports, infrastructure, and rebuild our military”.  Where is the money going to come from?

If you want to build just one International Airport, you will be spending somewhere in the neighborhood of at least $1 Billion.  That money has to come from somewhere.  Which means that the deficit will explode.

These are just a couple of examples of the fantasy world that Donald Trump lives in.  Problem is he wants you to live in it with him.  He has already gone so far as to claim that “I am afraid that this election is rigged”.  That is talk of a loser, not someone who really thinks he can win.

His plan for “energy” will eliminate the Clean Air and Water Act.  He wants to use “dirty” energy in order to save companies money rather than save the planet.  He doesn’t seem to care if you get sick from the water you drink or the air you breathe.  He said nothing about public education.  He said nothing about health care.  He really said nothing.

Even with the standard Republican economic policy now endorsed by Trump, Republicans are fleeing from the Trump Tent.  They are calling him everything except “fit” for the office.  In his usual flair, he says he doesn’t care.  He turns on these Republicans instead of trying to bring them back to the tent.  That is no way to “build bridges” and consolidate your Party to support your candidacy.

The polls show that he and Clinton are the least “trusted” candidates running against each other in history.  But, when it comes to telling the truth, PolitFacts shows that Trump is the one who lies the most.

Assuming that the national narrative about politicians lying is correct, let us assume that 25 percent of everything a politician says is untrue.  That seems like a reasonable number for a baseline.

In their investigations of facts in each candidate’s speeches, they have discovered that Clinton is untruthful in 27 percent of her comments.  It also discovered that Trump is untruthful in 73 percent of his comments.

What this tells me is that Donald Trump runs around in his black sedan tossing out lies wrapped up in candy wrappers.  He then tells you that he is the friendly stranger who will help you and, in fact, he “the only one who can fix things.”

Republicans are showing the rest of us that what we learned from our parents growing up was right.  We should run away from that “stranger in the black sedan.”  The only question left is how fast can you run?

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If there was ever a day in politics that could be described as a what the f… day, yesterday was it.  The things that went on were truly amazing.  The “spin”, especially from Republicans was unbelievable.  I watched the day progress, and I was stunned by the stupidity that came from everyone.

I am not one to “advise” anyone on how to run their campaigns.  But, maybe it is time for someone to try to put some sense back into this race.  I know that with Trump in the race, that is all but impossible, but let’s try.

First, I would make one suggestion to Hillary Clinton.  If she were to listen to me, I would suggest she look straight into a camera and flatly state:  “I made a mistake, and I vow never to make such a mistake again.”

Of course, I am referring to the email issue.  Stop trying to qualify or quantify what you did or did not do.  Those who believe you will believe you and those who don’t believe you will not believe you no matter what you say.  By even talking about it, you are making it too easy for someone to spot any little thing they can say you lied about.

Simply own the fact that you screwed up using your own server.  Don’t sugar coat it.  Don’t say you weren’t the first Secretary of State to use your private emails for business.  Don’t say the Director of the FBI says I told the truth.  Don’t try to excuse any part of the email issue.  Don’t say anything except “I screwed up and it won’t happen again.”

You can even say “even Donald Trump says everyone is entitled to make a mistake”.  Americans can and often will forgive honest mistakes.  So, come right out and say you made an honest mistake, learned from it, and will never do it again.  There will be those who don’t believe you, but that will always be the case no matter what.

By owning it, you might be able to move on and stop talking about it.  When asked after your “confession” you can simply state, I made a mistake and learned from it and won’t do it again.  Eventually, people will get tired of asking you and getting the same answers.

To those who think the “liberal media” has blown the Khan fight with Trump out of proportion, just shut up.  If the “liberal media” was really all that bad, we would have heard a lot more about Patricia Smith who stood on the stage of the Republican National Convention and said “I hold Hillary Clinton personally to blame for my son’s death.”

Mrs. Smith’s son was killed in the attack at Benghazi.  Yet, no one is hounding her about her comments.  No one is saying she has no right to speak her mind at a convention.  No one is saying that since she spoke at the RNC she is political fodder to be attacked.

Hillary Clinton and her campaign have stayed quiet about Mrs. Smith, as they should.  They have shown class and dignity that the Trump campaign apparently does not know or cares to show even to Gold Star families.

Speaking of Mrs. Smith, Fox & Friends should do just a little homework before they open their mouths.  I know no one at Fox does any homework to get things right, but they really blew it this time.

During both conventions, the cable networks CNN, CSPAN, MSNBC, Fox Business News and Fox News all covered the conventions all day.  Yesterday, the clowns at Fox & Friends made an accusation.  They accused of those “other” networks of not covering Mrs. Smith’s speech while they all covered the Khan speech.

Can we say oops?  It turns out that the ONLY networks that did not cover the speech live was none other than Fox Business News and Fox News!  See, Fox News broke for a commercial just before the speech began.  When they returned, they were doing a “phone interview” with Donald Trump.  They had the picture of Mrs. Smith talking, but there was no sound because what Donald Trump was saying was obviously more important.

I even wrote about this matter the day after it happened.  I watched most of the conventions on MSNBC, and I saw and heard the FULL SPEECH from Mrs. Smith.  No one watching Fox News heard the speech as it was being given.

I guess the best way to avoid the shame of not covering a story you could use as more propaganda is to accuse everyone of not covering it too.  This is Fox News idea of “fair and balanced”.

Trump supporters should shut up and stop telling everyone how they “love our veterans” because it is a lie.  Even though it happened at a Trump Rally, I was stunned to hear Trump supporters actually boo a mother of a serving Air Force man because she had the audacity to question Mike Pence about his thoughts about why Trump keeps disrespecting veterans, especially the Khans.

You and I both know that the majority of those boos came from arm-chair patriots who know nothing about sacrifice, like their hero.  They sit around, claim to be patriots, and then boo a veterans mother because she won’t bow down to their savior.

I think that proves beyond a reasonable doubt that Trump and his supporters really do not support our troops or our veterans.  There is no other explanation for such behavior.  Trump has not just insulted the Khans.  He has insulted all Gold Star families.  He has continuously disrespected our troops by calling them a “disaster”.  You cannot keep saying our military is a “disaster” and not be including the people who serve in that military.

Donald Trump and his campaign need to read up on fire codes in the areas they wish to hold rallies.  Trump on two different occasions this week has blasted Fire Marshals.  He claims that the Fire Marshals have “turned away thousands of my supporters” and kept them from entering the rallies.

The fact is that his campaign are told how many people would be allowed to enter an arena due to the fire codes.  They then give out more tickets than there is room for everyone to get in.  Then, when they are closed down because it would be unsafe to allow that many people into the arena, he claims it is all a fix and blames the Fire Marshals.

This would be funny except the Fire Marshals are doing their job.  They are making sure that people who attend these rallies are kept safe and have a reasonable chance to escape should a fire break out.  The proof was yesterday when Trump first claimed that five thousand people were turned away.  Later he raised that number to six thousand people.

For someone who claims to be a wonderful builder of “magnificent” buildings, he sure seems to not know anything about fire codes which would make me very hesitant to lease space in any of his buildings.

Finally, Donald Trump should actually use language that he can show to be true at least once in a while.  Yesterday, he was complaining again about the debate schedule.  He actually said he received a letter from the NFL complaining as well.

Here we go again.  The NFL says they sent no such letter!  At some point, you would think that a candidate for a major political party would actually figure out that what he says is heard by those he claims to support his position.  You would think that he would not say untrue things about an organization he thinks would support him.

No, he goes off on his usual half-brained talking points without caring if it is true or not.  That is really stupid.  Did Trump really think the NFL would say “oh, yeah, we sent him the letter” when in fact they did not?  I would suggest that Donald Trump actually say something true.  That would throw everyone off their feet and we may never know when he is lying or speaking the truth.

I know there was a lot more from yesterday, but I can only give so much advice.  As I have said, this is going to be a long election process.  I can’t wait to see what today will bring.

 

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We keep hearing Donald Trump tell us he has the temperament to be President.  We also hear about his “wonderful” brain that would make him a great President, too.  Then we have the team surrounding him giving him advice on everything from foreign policy to domestic policy.  According to all of this evidence, we should all vote for Donald Trump, so they say.

Yet, on Thursday night, an unknown man and his wife appeared at the Democrat National Convention.  They are the parents of a fallen hero.  They simply wanted to tell their story and that of their son.  The man did all of the speaking and near the end, asked Donald Trump “Have you ever read the Constitution of the United States?  I will lend you my copy” producing a mini version of the Constitution.

This man and his wife, as it turned out are Muslim and are immigrants.  Their son was a Muslim.  He gave his life in Iraq in Iraq and saved his men and several civilians as well.  The man’s name is Khizr Kahn, the woman is Ghazala Kahn, and their son was Capt. Humayan Kahn.  Capt. Kahn was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star and Purple Heart for his actions.

But, Mr. Trump, the same person who claims to have the temperament to become our next President, just had to lash out at the Kahns.  See, he took great umbrage at being asked if he ever read the Constitution or told that he has “sacrificed nothing”.  That was just too much for the self-contained Trump.

His first target was Mrs. Kahn.  He claimed that he wanted to hear her speak.  He hinted that she was “not allowed to speak” at the convention.  He even asked if Clinton’s speech writers wrote Mr. Kahn’s speech.  Mr. Kahn, it turns out, gave the speech without even using notes, that makes the notion that he had it written for him is dubious at best.

Then, he went on the talk shows, mostly at Fox News to tell Americans how he has sacrificed “so much” in his life.  His idea of “sacrifice” is that “I worked very, very hard” in my life.  Apparently, Mr. Trump thinks that “working very, very hard” during your life is akin to “sacrificing” for your country as Capt. Kahn did.

Oh, but it gets even worse in the Trump For President camp.  His spokesperson claims that this whole mess isn’t about the Kahns but about radical Islamic terrorism.  When asked about what that has to do with the Kahns, he simply repeats that it is about “radical Islamic terrorism”.  I guess a Muslim whose son was killed in the line of duty and his father speaking up about it questioning Mr. Trump over the incident is the same thing as “radical Islamic terrorism” to the Trump camp.

But, if think that was bad, you haven’t seen anything yet.  Another Trump surrogate got in the act.  Roger Stone moved the bar even lower.  He tweeted:  “Mr. Kahn more than an aggrieved father of a Muslim son, he’s Muslim Brotherhood Agent helping Hillary”.  And but he has proof.  He linked to a conspiracy theory website that claims Capt. Kahn was really killed before a secret mission was finished.

“Is it likely that Khan’s son was killed before his Islamist mission was accomplished? Only another type of investigation will determine that,” the author writes. “Do they ever mention how many soldiers have died because of Muslim traitors? Do they ever bring up how many Christians in the US military were killed? Yet the modernists and homosexuals continue to attack Christians.”

So there!  What more proof do you need?  It is clear to anyone without an ounce of brain tissue or common sense that the Kahns are really Muslim Brotherhood and Capt. Kahn was really a traitor!  So say the Trump camp.  Maybe someone else can answer this question, because I sure as hell cannot.  What is wrong with these people?

Over the weekend, John McCain blasted Trump for his personal war on the Kahns.  Ryan and McConnell gave very little attention to the matter except to say he shouldn’t have said anything about them.  Neither gave any strong condemnation to Trump’s actions or remarks.  And, Trump keeps going on and on and on……

After the DNC, Trump was so incensed about being attacked, he tweeted that “I wanted to hit them.  I wanted to some of them so hard their heads would spin.”  That really sounds like a man who has his emotions under control.  That really makes me want to run out to the polls and vote for Donald Trump.  NOT!

Since last week, Donald Trump has encouraged the Russians, or any other government, to wage cyber war against the United States and its citizens.  He wanted to “hit” the speakers at the DNC because he didn’t like what he heard.  He attacked the parents of a fallen hero of the United States Army.  He attacked a General who dared not support his campaign and spoke out at the DNC.  He even criticized Hillary Clinton, what a surprise, but not for what you think.  He criticized her for “not congratulating me on my historic victory and nomination.”   Say What?

All last week, the Democrats accused Donald Trump of not having the temperament or the sanity to be President of the United States of America.  They claimed that electing him would place a megalomaniac with thin skin and hurt feelings in control of the nuclear codes and that would be very dangerous.

And what does Donald Trump do in reply?  Does he offer up his policies and ideas to make our country better for everyone?  Does he offer any solutions to any problem other than “building that wall”?  Does he try to show us that he really is sane and has a good temperament?

No, he proves that the Democrats were absolutely correct.  He attacks a “Gold Star Mother” because he “wants to hear her speak”.  Well, Mrs. Kahn has spoken several times since that night.  And, she isn’t saying what Mr. Trump wants her to say, so he continues to attack her.  His surrogates even go on to say that Capt. Kahn was really a traitor who just happened to be killed before he was able to complete his mission of killing “Christian soldiers”.

If you are really an American who loves this country and wants to see it get better for our children and grandchildren, there is no way you can support such a heartless, amoral, evil person such as Donald Trump.  He stands for everything I served to fight against.  He stands for everything against the U.S.  He is worse than his orange skin and dead tribble on his head.  He really is evil incarnate.

The very nightmarish idea that he could become our next president is complete madness.  Yet, here we are living that madness.  If there is one thing in this country that really sucks, it is Donald Trump.  Only your vote can stop this madman.  His party seems to love him and want him as their standard-bearer.

 

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To quote Vince Lombardi:  “What the hell is going on out there?”  My parents took elections pretty seriously.  Every four years, they watched the conventions.  I remember my first convention on television in 1960.

I have paid attention to politics ever since.  I have found it to be interesting, and believe it or not, educational as well.  Although I consider myself a progressive, I am registered as unaffiliated.  That is something I have been since the first time I registered to vote in 1971.  At that time, the partisan divide in this country was not so huge.  Plus, until Richard Nixon went after the so-called “Dixiecrats” in 1968, the GOP was really the party of civil rights.  It was mostly Republicans that got the Civil Rights Bill and the Voting Rights Bill passed.  It was also Eisenhower who sent in troops to protect black high school students in Arkansas after segregated schools were deemed unconstitutional by the Supreme Court.

But, I haven’t seen such weirdness at a convention as this one.  I thought that things could never get to this stage.  That we were getting over our race and gender issues.  The weirdest one I witnessed was the Democrat Convention in Chicago in 1968.  I am not even talking about the demonstrations and riots outside the convention.  I am talking about the chaos inside.  I didn’t think we would see that again.

But, I was wrong.  This year’s Republican Convention tops the 1968 Democrat Convention of 1968.  This is so weird, I don’t know where to begin.  In day one there was a mild protest over the nomination rules.  In day two there was a mild protest from Alaska about how the votes were counted by the chair.

The speeches were pretty much what I have expected.  There has been nothing to spell out the policies the Republicans are going to run on, unless you count hating Hillary Clinton as a policy.  This has been a “hate Hillary” love fest.

Last night was no different.  There were the usual speeches claiming inheritance of the Party of Lincoln even though it is now the party that wants to go back to Jim Crow days.  There were more “hate Hillary Clinton” speeches.  But there was nothing about policies.

But, once again there was chaos.  More than one person did not endorse Trump during their speeches.  Everyone claims to be “shocked, shocked I tell you” that Ted Cruz did not endorse Trump.  And, that is what everyone wants to talk about.  I wasn’t shocked.  These two men absolutely hate each other.  But more on that later.

Marco Rubio sent in a video that was more of a “vote for me for Senator” than anything else.  You know the same Senator who misses about 60 percent of votes wants Florida to reelect him after he said he was not running anymore.  He mentioned Trumps name twice and NEVER endorsed him.

The one that is kind of a shocker is a speech given by retired astronaut Eileen Collins.  She gave a speech mostly prepared by the Trump campaign.  According to the transcripts, the prepared speech was supposed to end”

We need leadership that will challenge every American to ask, “What’s next?” We need leadership that will make America’s space program first again. We need leadership that will make America first again. That leader is Donald Trump.

Thank you and God bless the United States of America!

But that is not how the speech ended.  Instead, she ended the speech saying:

We need leadership that will ask Americans, Americans will ask again, “What’s next?” We need leadership that will make America’s space program first again. We need leadership that will make America great again.

I want to thank all of you. Thank you for what you’re doing. God bless America.

The line “That leader is Donald Trump” was left out by Collins.  I guess that is another OOPS on behalf of the Trump Campaign.

Newt Gingrich did his best to let America know that we have a third-rate military, we have record high unemployment, that we are coming apart at the seams.  His view of the country is downright gloomy.  It is also false.  As a veteran, I take great umbrage at the notion that our military is third-rate.  It is the best equipped, best trained, and made up of the best people in the world.

Mike Pence gave his acceptance speech.  In his speech he talked about national security as well.  He said that America will stand by its allies under all circumstances.  He said that our allies will “respect” us again.

Seems someone forgot to tell him that Donald Trump doesn’t seem to have the same feelings about our allies.  In an interview with the New York Times Trump before said before coming to the aid of the Balkan States if they were attacked by Russia, he would have to ensure they have fulfilled their obligations to the U.S.

In the interview he also said that he would not pressure Turkey or other authoritarian allies about conducting purges of their political adversaries or cracking down on civil liberties.  Mr. Trump claims that we “have a right to lecture”.

Those are two wonderful ideas to “gain back respect of our allies” as the GOP claims we need to do.  He wants to put conditions on when we will support our allies and if one of them are to wipe out say 500,000 people in a purge, well who are we to say not to do that.  Is that because he wants his own purge if he is elected?  Why else wouldn’t you condemn purges somewhere else unless you believe in them yourself.

There is also Al Baldasaro, a New Hampshire state representative and delegate and an advisor for the Republican presidential nominee.  In a radio interview he said:

I’m a veteran who went to Desert Shield, Desert Storm. I’m also a father who sent a son to war, to Iraq, as a Marine Corps helicopter avionics technician. Hillary Clinton, to me, is the Jane Fonda of the Vietnam War,” referring to Fonda’s 1972 trip to Hanoi that some Americans consider to be an act of betrayal.

[Clinton] is a disgrace for the lies that she told those mothers about their children that got killed over there in Benghazi. She dropped the ball on over 400 emails requesting back up security. Something’s wrong there.

This whole thing disgusts me. Hillary Clinton should be put in the firing line and shot for treason. (emphasis mine)

This whole violent theme is very disturbing to me.  This is the kind of thing you might hear in a Banana Republic.  Not in U.S. politics.  But, it is all to common in Trump’s camp.  Yes, the Secret Service is investigating this Bozo for his comments.

Before Mike Pence even took the stage, Ted Cruz took the stage.  He gave his usual “freedoms” speech.  The one where everyone has freedoms except those he doesn’t like.  You know people like immigrants, LGBT, women, and “liberals”.  Everyone was waiting with bated breath, except apparently me, for his “endorsement” of Donald Trump at the end.

OOPS here we go again.  Instead of endorsing Trump, he said everyone should “vote your conscience” for the candidate you like best.  In political terms that is saying you do not like the nominee and expect him to lose big time.  You are also telling your followers not to vote for the nominee.

Most of the delegates went nuts.  But then what is a Republican gathering if no one goes nuts.  It was reported that one lead delegate, it wasn’t reported which one, had to be restrained he was so angry at Cruz.  The New York delegation went totally berserk.  It was also reported that Heidi Cruz, Ted’s wife, needed to be “escorted from the floor” for her own safety.

Cruz was actually booed off of the stage as he left.  Which made Donald Trump very happy.  If I were a very cynical man, I would say the whole thing was staged by Trump and Cruz to rile up the delegates.  Let’s face facts, this has been anything but a wild show of love for Trump.

But, I am not going to believe that for a minute.  Remember, Cruz and Trump hate each other.  Sometimes I think they hate each other more than they hate Hillary Clinton.  Which would really be something.

During the campaign, Trump called Cruz every name he could come up with.  He attacked Cruz’ wife for her looks.  He even accused Cruz’ father of being with Lee Harvey Oswald handing out “communist” pamphlets in New Orleans and claiming he “may have had a hand in killing Kennedy.”

With all of that in mind, how could anyone actually believe that Cruz would endorse Trump to become President.  Instead of endorsing Trump, he gave a speech that tells everyone why he should get the nomination in 2020 after Trump is trashed by Clinton.

The odd thing is that the Trump campaign knew what he was going to say before he went on stage.  Trump even tweeted that he had the speech 2 hours before it was given.  So, the real question is why would they allow Cruz to take the stage right before Mike Pence?

Everyone agrees that Trump blew it when he rolled out Pence and announced he would be his running mate.  After introducing Pence at the press conference, Trump walked off the stage and wouldn’t even stand there while Pence was speaking.  I don’t know about Pence, but I would consider such actions as dismissive.

Then Trump allows the Cruz fiasco to be the last spot before Pence speaks.  After the speech, Trump did not shake Pence’s hand and pose for pictures together, he merely “blew him a kiss” from offstage.  I believe that is the first time I saw one candidate “air kiss” his running mate.

The other question is what the hell was Cruz thinking?  He knew he wasn’t going to endorse Trump.  He knew it would be taken as “burying the hatchet” – right in Trump’s back.  Did he think that he was going to be held up as some kind of hero?  Even the Texas delegation is angry at him right now.  One delegate said they wanted “answers” from Ted when they meet with him this morning.

I have been following politics for 56 years.  I have never seen a convention like this one.  I have never seen a campaign like this one.  The GOP wants us to vote for Donald Trump.  They claim he will support our allies.  But he says only if the have fulfilled “their obligations to us.”

They tell us he will “bring jobs back to America”.  Except of course his own families products.  They will still be made in Mexico, China, India, and Bangladesh.  They tell Latinos that Trump is good for them even though he calls them rapists and murderers.

They tell the LGBT that the party is “all-inclusive’ but keep passing laws that “exclude” them from society even making them “second-class” citizens.  They tell Blacks the same “all-inclusive” line but calls them “terrorists” if they dare take to the streets in protest against things like police brutality.

They talk about “religious freedom” but then say we should ban Muslims from entering the country and “watch” the Mosques here for “radicalization” practices.

They tell women how much they love them.  Then pass laws to defund Planned Parenthood which is the number one provider of cancer screening, birth control, and other women’s health issues.  They pass laws banning abortion and birth control  all in the name of “women’s safety”.

They tell Americans that it is a shame that jobs have been outsourced overseas.  Yet, it is their “free trade” policies that make it possible.  They claim to be all for education but pass budgets that slash education funds.  they claim to “love” our veterans but introduce bills to slash funds to benefit packages like the GI Bill.

While all of this “all-inclusive” speaking was going on, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals struck down the Texas Voter ID law.  There is a lot of claiming going on at this convention.  And, all of the claims are totally opposite of what their actions are.  Yes, this has been a weird convention.  It has been a weird election cycle.

My dad had a favorite saying when someone blew their horn on the road for no reason.  And, as I listen to each of these Republican speakers this week that phrase keeps popping up in my head.  That is when today’s Republicans speak, I keep wanting to yell “blow it out your ass!”

But I don’t have to, because that is exactly where they are talking from in the first place.

This convention has been marked with chaos and violence against opponents of Trump.  That should tell you all you need to know about the Republicans who want your vote.

 

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