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Day 28

It may be apropos that December 7, 2016 was the day that Time Magazine named Donald Trump as their “Person of the Year”.  I say that on purpose.  78 years ago the “person of the year” on Time’s cover was Adolph Hitler.  One year later, that same person of the year invaded Poland and began World War II.

Then, 75 years ago today, the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor which drew our country into World War II.  At the time of Hitler’s naming, he had just finished the Munich deal.  He had already taken over Austria.  And, he had already passed the Nuremberg Laws that made Jews non-citizens in Germany.

Time has said that the person they name as their “person of the year” is the one who has had the most effect on history and the news whether it is for the good or bad.  Just Like Hitler, Donald Trump said “I am honored to be named as Time’s person of the year”.

This is the man who will be our next president.  He has advocated for the deportation of millions of people from the country because he considers them “illegals”.  He has said Muslims should be banned from immigrating to our country.  And, he has said that there should probably be a “registry” for all American Muslims.  Sound familiar?

World War II was the most deadly conflict in the world’s history.  It is estimated that somewhere between 50 and 70 million people were killed during the war.

It was also the time when America interred Japanese Americans for the duration of the war.  It was a dark chapter in our history.  There was no reason other than pure racism that said all “Japs couldn’t be trusted not to be spies”.  Sound familiar?

To justify the Muslim ban and the Muslim registry, Trump supporters are actually pointing to this illegal internment of U.S. citizens simply because of their race and/or heritage as the precedent.

Even as their families were forced to live in these internment camps, thousands of Japanese Americans fought in World War II in our military.  Today, we have thousands of Muslims serving in our military.  Sound familiar?

My father told me that he and his father were at a Bears football game on December 7, 1941.  When the attack of Pearl Harbor was announced, about half the stadium left.  Chicago was a huge Navy town at the time.

A year later my father enlisted in the Navy and served in the See Bees.  He fought in the pacific theater.  His generation went to war to defend our country after the surprise attack.  They went to war to defend democracy from fascism and totalitarianism.

In the end, our side came out on top.  Our side won the war.  But, during the war, and even before our country was totally involved, our citizens were not told about the hundreds of dead sailors that washed up on our shores on the East Coast.  They were victims of the U-Boat war.

After the war was over, Japanese were allowed to leave the internment camps.  Only in many cases, their homes were no longer theirs.  Many found others living in their homes and they would not leave.  Sound familiar?  Most Jews returned to their homes at the end of the war in Europe and found out they no longer owned their homes.

Before and after Hitler took power in Germany many civilians were attacked and beaten for being Jewish or communist.  Many others were beaten because they weren’t Nazis.  Today before and after the election we have civilians being attacked and threatened by Trump supporters because they are Muslim.  Sound familiar?

Tom Brokaw wrote a book about my father’s generation.  He called them “the greatest generation” because of the sacrifices they made during the worst war in history.  75 years ago today thousands of those men lost their lives in a surprise attack at Pearl Harbor.

But, even as these brave men went off to war, we had internment camps being set up for Japanese Americans just because they were Japanese.  We had African-Americans serving in “segregated” divisions.  We were not perfect by any stretch.

Yet, since that war we have seen civil rights grow to include all citizens.  African-Americans finally got the right to vote everywhere with the Voting Rights Bill.  Businesses were no longer allowed to discriminate against people based on race because of the Civil rights Bill.

We have seen women gain the ability to be protected and not discriminated against because they are women.  And, this year, we have seen the Supreme Court rule that same-sex marriage is legal.

Still, today we are seeing “conservative” run states try to roll back these civil rights.  The Supreme Court basically gutted the Voting Rights Bill which opened up a series of voter suppression bills in Republican controlled states.

We are seeing Republican Controlled states try to roll back Roe V. Wade with anti-abortion bills that will make it virtually impossible for women who wish to exercise their right to an abortion not be able to have one.

We see Republican controlled states passing anti-LGBT laws that reduces their rights to human dignity and protects anyone who wishes to discriminate against them simply because they are LGBT.

During World War II, Germany committed the atrocity of genocide in the holocaust.  They murdered 11 million people in concentration camps and gas chambers.  6 million of them were Jews.  The other 7 million included some prisoners of war, especially Polish and Russian, homosexuals, physically handicapped, mentally handicapped, and political prisoners.

Today we remember Pearl Harbor.  I also remembered my father who fought in that horrible conflict.  But, I also think about what happened then and what is happening today.

At that time the most horrific things done to people were done overseas.  Today I wonder what our near future holds in my country.  My father served in the Navy during World War II and the Korean War.  I served 20 years in the Coast Guard entering during the Vietnam War.  My youngest son served in the Marines and served in Iraq.

With what is going on during this transition, I wonder and worry what my country will look like a year from now.  To me, the similarities between the 1938 Time Person of the Year and the 2016 Time Person of the Year seem too close.

You must also remember that Stalin was also named Person of the Year by Time in 1939 and 1942.  Stalin was no better than Hitler.  He murdered millions of his own people in purges.  The Person of the Year is the person who dominates the news for good or bad.

We know what Hitler and Stalin did after being named Person of the Year.  We can only wait and watch what Trump will do.  But as I said earlier, if we fail to remember history, we are doomed to relive it.  Let’s hope we don’t relive it under Trump.

 

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Day 27

The year was 2010.  That was an off-year election for Congress.  Republicans ran on the promise that the Affordable Care Act would be “repealed and replaced”.  On that promise, the Tea Party grew to prominence.  Then everything fell apart for the nation.

Since 2011 the Republican controlled House of Representatives held 50 votes to repeal the Affordable Care Act.  They never once voted on any plan to replace the act.  The Speaker of the House kept saying they would “unveil” their plan “next year”.  It never happened.  The closest thing we got to the announcement was when Speaker Paul Ryan said that “we have a plan to have a plan”.  That was in 2014.

Now we are coming to the end of 2016.  We still don’t have any kind of ‘replacement plan” from Republicans.  They still plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act, but don’t have anything to replace it with.  So they plan to have a plan in three years.  In other words as Ryan already said, “they have a plan to have a plan.”

Their biggest assertion that the Affordable Care Act is bad is rising premiums.  But, they don’t say is that these rises are mostly on wealthy people and people who can’t get insurance through their employers.  It is extremely bad that people who can’t get insurance through their employers are seeing their premiums rise.  But, I don’t have any sympathy for the rich.  Especially when you consider that every plan the Republicans have floated include doing away with the subsidies or at least cutting the subsidies for the poor workers in our country.

Now the number two person in the House, Rep. McCarthy says the plan that Republicans will come up with will provide more people with insurance than the Act does.  He claims that will happen because they will do away with regional borders for insurance companies and better competition.

We heard that fairy tale with cable companies as well.  Did your cable bill go down or up?  What their plan really does is allow more takeovers between insurance companies thus eliminating competition nationwide.

McCarthy says that pre-existing conditions would also be covered, unless you were dropped by your insurance company.  If that happens, you will be left with nowhere to go for insurance unless you want to quadruple your premiums.  They are even talking about “high risk” policies that would increase your premiums and your out-of-pocket expenses.

The very idea of repealing the Act and letting it stay in place for three years is also very dangerous.  Why would any insurance company stay in the exchanges if they are uncertain of the costs they will have to pay out in the next three years without knowing what they will make after that?  They won’t.

What McCarthy is trying to say is that under their non-existent plan more people will get coverage.  Everyone will get better coverage.  And, pre-existing conditions will be covered without increased costs.  Guess we better get our barns built because we will all get a free pony, too.

This whole fiasco is living proof of Republicans are an abject failure to be a governing body.  They have complained about the Act for over six years.  They have never told us what their plan is and why we should decide theirs is better.

Just imagine being an executive for a large corporation.  the CEO says he wants to stop making something and replace it with something better.  Your answer is that we will stop making it and will have something to replace it with in six to nine years.  I doubt the CEO would be happy with than “plan”.  That is exactly what the Republicans have been asking us to accept.

If you are wondering why Republicans say they need three years to come up with any replacement it is because that will be after the next election.  They don’t dare take responsibility for 20 million people losing their insurance coverage before 2018.  They might lose their grip on power.

In typical Republican fashion, everything is so secretive that we need to let them repeal the Affordable Care Act before they tell us what they plan to replace it with.

It is time for this nonsense to stop.  It is time this country finally looks at universal health coverage.  Yes, it means your taxes might go up a bit, but your overall costs will go down because you won’t have to spend so much to stay healthy out-of-pocket.  Plus we will finally be free from insurance company’s control over our health care.

There is a long history where people are denied services because the insurance company says the treatment “costs too much”.  That is the insurance companies not the government.

It is time we stop this stupidity and pass universal health care.  We need to ensure all of our citizens get the health care they deserve and have a right to.  Everything that Republicans have spoken about for their new plan does not provide for the poor working people, nor the middle-class workers.

But, then as I said before, the Republicans don’t care if you go bankrupt over health care bills.  They don’t care if you must choose between keeping everything you worked for or staying healthy.  They don’t even care if you live or die.  All they care about is protecting the profits of their biggest donors, the health insurance companies.

If they cared even a little bit about us instead of insurance companies, they would allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices with pharmaceutical companies.  But, they won’t even allow that because it would cut into the profits.

The only thing Republicans have given us since gaining control of the House is nothing.  We can expect nothing more now that they control everything.  The Republican Party is the all talk, no action and no conscience party.  As a result, we all lose!

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Day 26

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Day 26

Yesterday, a man, Edgar Madison Welch from Salisbury North Carolina was arrested after he fired several shots from an assault riffle inside the Comet Pig Pong pizzeria.  He told police that he was “self-investigating” the Pizzagate scandal.

If you have not heard of this so-called conspiracy, it is a fake news story that has appeared on Facebook and other sites like 4Chan, and Reddit that is frequently used by the alt-Right site.  It claims that the pizza shop is really a conspiracy that provides children for sex to top Democrats in Washington, D.C.

Since this stupidity began, the pizzeria and its employees have received several threats including death threats.  Then yesterday, Welch walked into the pizzeria carrying his riffle in search of the “imprisoned children”.

This story has been debunked and debunked but it keeps appearing on the usual sites like 4Chan and InfoWars.  But it gets even worse.  Michael Flynn, Jr. the son and “advisor” to his father Ret. Gen Michal Flynn tweeted:

Until #Pizzagate proven to be false, it’ll remain a story. The left seems to forget #Podesta and the many ‘coincidences’ tied to it.”

Flynn, Jr linked to the account of Jack Posobiec, whose Twitter account describes him as the special projects director of a group called Citizens4Trump.

Posobiec claims the arrest of Welch is just a stunt to make the conspiracy look bad.  He tweeted:

Planted Comet Pizza Gunman will be used to push for censorship of independent news sources that are not corporate owned.

This part is rather problematic considering who this man’s father is and what position he is going to have in the Trump Administration.  Especially since Flynn himself has used hashtags that are also conspiracy theories like when on Nov 4 he tweeted the #spiritcooking which was referring to a conspiracy theory linking Podesta to satanic rituals.

This election we have seen an explosion of fake news take off on social media.  The explosion of such venom shows that people who read this garbage do not explore or research the sources or the story for their honesty.

This #Pizzagate thing proves just how dangerous fake news can be.  There are a lot of people blaming fake news for Trump’s victory and that is possible.  But the more serious problem with it took place at a pizzeria in Washington, D.C.  A lunatic conspiracy theory follower actually fired shots in a pizzeria full of innocent people with children.  He didn’t seem to care if he killed anyone or not.  Then, someone associated with the Trump Administration tweets it was all a fake news story and the man arrested was an actor.

Is this what our country is supposed to be?  Are we getting so lazy that we believe anything a wacko puts on Facebook or other social media site?  And, I am sorry to say, that so far almost all of it is coming from so-called “conservatives” and it is clearly being sucked-up by other “conservatives”.  Even Paul Ryan said “who cares” about Trump’s lies on twitter.  That is scary on its own.

What all of this is showing me is that we are becoming primed to follow Trump and his authoritarian government.  When fake news is believed more than real news, we are in trouble.

How long will it be before another “self-investigator” kills someone over these fake news stories.  Remember this, if you shared any of this garbage on your Facebook page, you will be partly responsible for those deaths.  That may sound harsh, but it is true.  Spreading fake news is just as bad as creating it, in my opinion.

One thing you can be sure of if the headlines in a story says:  “You Won’t Believe This” or “Must Read” or any such grabbing words, it is probably fake.  Even tabloids in the U.S. don’t use words like that in their headlines.

The best way to stop this nonsense and make it go away is for you to NOT believe it and stop sharing it.  Unless of course you want to live in a dictatorship.

The Comet Ping Pong pizzeria is a nice place.  It is a family based pizzeria that actually serves good pizza.  Their only “crime” is that some top Democrats actually get pizza from them.  That is enough for the wackos to blame it for anything under the sun.

These fake news stories are living proof that we no longer live in a society that is based on facts and truth.  We live in a society that is out to kill the other side no matter the consequences.   To me this is nothing more that terrorism.  Ask the employees at the pizzeria how they feel.

As Smokey the Bear says “Only you can stop it”.  Start using your brains and not hour hate to decide what is fact and what is fake.

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Day 24

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Day 22

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

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Day 21

As time has gone by, the laws concerning marijuana have changed around the country.  Some state have totally legalized pot.  Others have made it legal for medical purposes.

However, these law changes have placed a lot of people in serious limbo.  Even if you live in a state that allows medical marijuana your company may still be able to fire you for drug use if you actually use medical marijuana.

This is proven by the case of a football player for the Buffalo Bills.  Offensive lineman Seantrel Henderson has been suspended for the second time for his use of marijuana for helping him cope with the pain of Crohn’s Disease.

Crohn’s Disease is defined as “an inflammatory bowel disease … [that] causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract.” Crohn’s disease can cause “abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition,” by the Mayo clinic.

There is no cure for Crohn’s Disease.  One of the things that helps ease the pain according to medical studies is – weed.  “I’ve got doctors telling me this is the No. 1 medicine that would help your disease,” Henderson said in October, according to The Buffalo News. “You try to tell that to the league and it seems like they didn’t care too much.”

To deal with the pain, Henderson smoked marijuana.  Medical marijuana is legal in New York State.  As one source told NFL.com, “He needs cannabis. You can’t take pain killers with the way his intestines are.” The issue is, while the NFL allows medical exemptions for some banned substances, like Adderall, marijuana is not one of them.

“There is zero allowable medical exemption for this per the NFL; however, there clearly should be,” Brian Fettner, Henderson’s agent, said earlier this season.

Since this is Henderson’s second “offense” he is facing a ten game suspension without pay.  If he continues to seek pain relief from the one thing that works best without affecting his intestines, he faces a lifetime suspension.

Several years ago the NFL was being called The No Fun League for not allowing touchdown dances.  Since then we have discovered that the league knew about the links between its game and concussions and brain diseases and did nothing about protecting the players.  Now, we have a player with a serious disease being suspended for using the one thing, medical marijuana, to ease his pain being suspended.

I think the better description is the No Feelings League, especially when it comes to the health and safety of its players.  But this is what happens when a company decides that it is the sole authority to decide what is “medical” and what is not.

It doesn’t matter if you are talking about governments or companies, the will of the people are always secondary to the rules of the elite.  The NFL should be ashamed of itself.  They should apologize to Henderson and reinstate him and even give him back his pay from the four games he lost in his first suspension.

I hope that Henderson sues the NFL and wins big.  There is talk about how the NFL is losing viewers this year.  There a lot of reasons as to why it is losing viewers.  Maybe, just maybe, the fans are tired of seeing their stars being treated like property with no feelings, no rights, and no pain.

I gave up watching football years ago.  They don’t even play football anymore.  The players are treated badly.  If you care to do a little research, you will discover that injuries in football rose dramatically when players stopped playing fundamental football.

Sorry, but you don’t tackle someone by simply running into them trying to knock them out of the game.  And, the league has done nothing to end this farce.  Why?  Because they treat their players like gladiators and love the idea that this increase in unnecessary violence increases viewership.

Stories like this one make me glad I stopped watching years ago.  Yes, players make millions of dollars.  But, they are employees and it is the responsibility of the league to help protect them as much as possible.  If the NFL can get away with this, what makes you feel safe at your workplace?

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