Follow the money

money

Welcome to our new banana republic where the government runs roughshod over the people, and many of the citizens are thankful they can be abused.  It seems so wrong, people gleefully surrendering their liberty, yet here we are.  There are so many moving pieces, so much that is wrong, that it becomes easy to feel numb, easy to start thinking this is the way it has to be.  Life does not have to be like this.  It is incumbent on all of us to understand what is really going on and daily remind those in government that this is not ok, we are not going to sit by silently while our country and liberty is destroyed.

There is one basic principle that that we need to understand; one core motivation that brings almost everything into focus.  It is not power or religion, though those are key enablers.  It is money.  This is all about money.  Everyone in this horrible power grab is doing so for the money. Well some are doing it for bigoted reasons, but that a topic for another day.

Let’s start with the horrible healthcare bill in the senate that is about to be jammed down the country’s throat.  There is nothing about this bill that improves healthcare.  Yes, it will probably lower premiums, but this is accomplished by lowering coverages and raising deductibles.  So for less, and in many cases basically no coverage, premiums decrease.  That is not for the public good.  Isn’t that what our government is supposed to do, support and increase the public good, even when difficult.

What this bill really does is move the funds used to defray healthcare costs for the less fortunate of society and move it to the top 1-5%.    The people that can least afford to lose their healthcare are funding a tax reduction for the people that need it the least.  And this is retroactive – the tax reduction for capital gains (the taxes on buying and selling stocks) is retroactive.  This rewards the wealthy for past transactions.  How is this related to healthcare again?

But wait, there is more.  Insurance executive pay (including bonuses) over $500,000 will be receiving a large tax cut as part of this.  Again, how is this related to healthcare or the common good? It is not.  It is about making the rich richer and the poor poorer.  This is key.

But our elected leaders don’t benefit in this, the money doesn’t go to them you say.  Whoops, our elected leaders are either funded by the people who want these laws or actually benefit themselves.  If you don’t know who the Koch Brothers or the Mercers are, it is time to learn.  The Koch brothers spend nearly $1 Billion (!) on national elections to make sure the government is filled with people who will follow their agenda.  Like lowering taxes for the wealthy and eliminating regulations.  Let’s be honest, Koch Industries makes A LOT of money ($100 billion in sales according to Forbes) and these brothers make plenty.  They just want more.

The Mercers on the other hand seem just plain wacko.  You can get a good idea of who they are here and here.  Here’s a few key take aways.  They are the reason Breitbart, Bannon and Conway are behind Trump.  They had thrown their weight behind Cruz, but he is so vile he failed.  They have a few key agenda items.  One religion.  The other is a pending $7 Billion (!) dispute with the IRS.  What’s a few billion if you can save 7?  Their money and their goals permeate many of the actions you see taking place.  Like a tax cut for the rich being called healthcare improvement.  He’ll save 100s of millions with if this legislation passes.

 

So stop and think.  Why do these GOP politicians want so many laws that hurt so many citizens?  They have been paid handsomely to enact this legislation.  Or in other cases, they are just greedy.  Take Tom Price, the HHS secretary.  He was submitting legislation that benefitted companies he owned stock in.  In some cases he was buying the stock at a reduced priced prior to submitting the legislation.  This is text book corruption.  Or if you choose, he was stealing from you, because the stock market is a zero sum game.

Let’s not forget the DeVos/Prince families.  They donate so much money, its not secret they set the agenda for many politicians.  Betsy DeVos, the incompetent Secretary of Education, made no bones about deserving her cabinet post based on her contributions.  So her money is everywhere.  Her agenda is to get the money that goes to public schools funneled to private and religious schools (who cares about the separation of church and state?).  Oh and she also has large stakes in student loan COLLECTION organizations.  She’s rolling back regulations on these types of firms so she can profit.  Money to the church, taken from the public schools.  Money from highly indebted students going to her and her cronies.  She makes money while the haves get richer and the have nots are oppressed.

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And then there is the would be Royal Trump Family.  Every action they take is designed to make money for them.  Every trip to one of Dishonest Donald’s property is a tax payer paid infomercial.  Oh and he’s getting paid for going.  That’s stealing from you and me.  And we as tax payers pay for renting space in his gaudy, golden tower so his family can be protected.

His daughter, how is as evil as her father, attends meetings with national leaders.  Then, amazingly, she gets business favors, copyrights, licenses and donations.  Her husband is just as bad.  He has a debt load that is off the charts.  It is hard to tell, because he keeps leaving his debts off the governmental forms he is forced to fill out.  These loans come from banks under scrutiny from the US government.  Well, mostly the previous administration.  If this scrutiny can be dropped, the money saved will far exceed the hundreds of millions in loans outstanding.

Which brings us back around to Dishonest Donald.  He wants to be the wealthiest of the wealthiest.  When he was on the Comedy Central Roast, the only topic off the table was his wealth.  He once sued a writer who said (and later proved) that the orange one was not a billionaire.  Being wealthy is all he cares about.  Every action he has taken is motivated by the need to enrich himself at our expense.

And if you haven’t read this article on what looks like Trump Organization money laundering, you should.  I didn’t elect a man who seems to enjoy funneling money to Iranian causes.  Why yes that is illegal.  You know he was fined for “continued money laundering” too, right?

Let’s look at his evil travel ban.  It is a Muslim ban, because he believes, wrongly, that all Muslims are evil terrorists.  But if that was the case, why aren’t Saudi Arabia and Egypt part of the ban?  It is because there are Trump properties there.  When Iran and Somalia suddenly need a Trump golf course, remember this.

Follow the money.  It is enabling greed, corruption and oppression.  It is the motivation for everything you are seeing.  I thought we were better than this, but a vocal minority in this country loves it.  I weep for our future.

 

 

 

Implicit Value

Today I woke up to hear that GOP congressman in leadership was shot on a baseball field.  This is not normal, but yet it is.  We will not hear a call for gun control, because the NRA wants to make sure the gun manufacturers can sell as many guns as possible.  We will only be marginally outraged because it was done by a white man.  That is normal.  It would be far worse if a black man shot the southern white congressman.

A vote in house today was cancelled due to the shooting, which again is normal due to the tragedy.  It is also ironic because the vote was on deregulating gun silencers, presumably because Donald Trump Jr. told us his ears hurt after going hunting.  Really?  Silencers, the accessory of choice for hitmen and spies, needs to be a topic for our lawmakers?  We are finally in an upside down world.

A friend trolled me recently.  In a debate over issues he declared himself a secessionist. Appalled, I didn’t understand.  And then he made his point.  I think he’s right.  What do I, a liberal, open minded Californian, have in common with the typical adult from Mississippi, Alabama or most of the old south?  I believe all people are equal and deserve their civil rights.  In the south, they work hard to suppress the votes from minorities and the poor.  They see people as classes and objects and many are not afraid to say hateful things in public and glorify the days of slavery.  What do liberal Americans have in common with those who glorify and embrace hate?  Are we really one country?  Will we ever agree?

The last election wasn’t about emails or making America great again.  America was great, and we are doing our best to tarnish that shine.  The last election was about the soul of this country, it was about values, the values of our country.  Let’s put aside Russian interference and propaganda for today.  It was there. It had an effect; it is naïve to think otherwise.  One candidate made sure you knew it was ok to hate.  He had a history of unethical behavior – from racism to fraud to sexual harassment.  These are facts.  And they are facts that did not bother 43% or so of voters.

He held Nazi Germany style rallies where he incited hate.  He called for his opponent to be jailed over her use of a private email server.  He asked the people at the rallies to pledge their loyalty to him.  Not to the country but to him.  He suggested that people in attendance beat protestors and people of color and they did.  He demonized Muslims because of ISIS.  He made the press stay in a pen like cattle, belittling them.  He campaigned using slogans and images taken directly from white supremacy hate groups.  Anti-Semitic images and tropes were sent out regularly.

He embraced misogyny and encouraged his supporters to do so.  He made sure we knew he thought he should be king.  Many cheered for it and the loss of freedom.  Perhaps they did because people of color would be hurt more than the average white American. (Note:  I’m Jewish.  I’m not considered white by these hate groups.) And amidst this bonfire of hate he won.

So when the unethical self-styled dictator wins, the old normal is out the window.  Since the election we have seen several things that may seem normal now, but are not.  Actions that should make everyone take notice and scream “this is wrong!”  Yet, many people do not.  Here is a short list:

Immediately Congress tried to nullify its Ethical oversight department.

The justice department took every white hate group off their terror watch list.  But only the white ones.

The president/dictator decries every possible crime by Muslims and people of color and ignores hate crimes by whites.

The president/dictator made a holocaust memorial statement that never mentioned Jews.  It was straight from the Nazi speech guide.  They cheered.

The president/dictator has declared the free press an enemy of the state and the people.

The president/dictator ignored nepotism rules and placed his family on the white house staff.

The president/dictator refused to divest any of his assets and continues to profit as he takes money via his ventures from foreign governments.

The president/dictator includes his daughter in key international meetings.  Amazingly enough, she gets funding, licenses and copyrights from these governments after the meetings as if by coincidence.

The president/dictator installed a known foreign agent as his National Security Advisor.

The president/dictator fired the acting attorney general that made sure he knew NSA was comprised.

The president/dictator installed several cabinet members with the stated objective of destroying the areas they oversee.  The Environment, Health, Urban Development and Education to start.

The president/dictator installed other cabinet members that look corrupt such as Treasury, Commerce and Health.

The congress believes it is important to deny health care to the less fortunate so that the rich can get a tax break (Note: while I’m not in the top 2%, I will receive a significant tax break) and the middle class and poor can pay more for health insurance AND taxes.

Congress has decided that transparency is no longer needed.  They work behind closed doors and hold votes before the public and the Democrats in congress can see, read and understand the bills.

The president/dictator glorifies outlets that promote propaganda and hate.

The president/dictator plays golf at a property he owns every weekend, having the government (that’s you and I) pay him for the privilege.

Customs and Immigration officials now routinely hold, question and hassle people of color coming into the US.  This includes green card holders how are legal residents.

The president/dictator’s son in law left off meetings with Russian officials from his security forms.  Since we all know what these meetings were about, this was not an oversight.  It was purposeful and a felony.  Nothing has come of it.

The attorney general lied about meeting with Russian officials in his confirmation hearings.  Later he claimed he forgot.  He forgot a great many things in testimony recently.  If you forgot that many things you’d be fired from any job.  But today it is ok.

The Secretary of Education made sure we knew she paid for her appointment.  She wanted to get her money’s worth.

A man running for congress assaulted a reporter.  Many people now believe the press deserve to be beaten. And he won.

The president/dictator has his spokespeople lie to the press daily.

The president/dictator lies to the American people daily.

The president/dictator used a showy missile strike (it really didn’t accomplish anything) as dinner theater.

The president/dictator had alienated traditional US allies such as Germany and France, while glorifying dictators in Russia, Turkey, North Korea and the Philippines.

The president/dictator openly supported the racist, fascist candidate in the French election.

The president/dictator took the US out the world wide climate accord because, he wanted a better deal.

The president/dictator lied about the previous president spying on him.

With all of this, and I’m sure I have forgotten a few key items, it is no wonder our country is divided, with what seems like few common values.  To many, hating people of color is natural.  Hate crimes are on the rise.  Ethics have gone by the wayside.  Corruption by politicians is now open and accepted.

Recently a man started yelling at two Muslim girls on a Portland train.  When 3 men stood up for the girls, they were stabbed and 2 died.  There was no outrage from the president/dictator.  Race traitors like that deserve death, the white supremacists would claim.  He only made a statement days later when the outcry was loud.  No worry, the racists know he didn’t mean it.

I’m not a huge LeBron James fan, but the man has talent.  He’s also rich.  Yet his Los Angeles mansion was spray painted with hate recently.  It is becoming normal to see this and the outrage is less than it would have been a few years ago.  How can we not be upset?

When white men shoot others, it is an aberration.  When people of color do it, it is terrorism.  This is not new, but now it is more prevalent. Regularly we see videos of people screaming at minorities to “go home” and that they aren’t welcome here.  These are people who were born here, Americans.  America has always been a melting pot. What we didn’t know is that so many people resented that fact.  We now see that many just hid their racism and hate; they are thrilled to be invited into the light.  Racism is part of the new normal.  We have gone back to the 50’s.  How long before someone proposes segregation again?

We can see that the ethics in our leaders have fallen off.  Senators’ wives are given plum administration jobs and their criticisms stop.  We are a partisan country, where one party is about winning at all costs, ethics are for losers. And losers have no say.  We are seeing one party trying to rule, not govern.  This is wrong.

There have been more than 15 ethics waivers for White House staff members, including the one that allows Steve Bannon to continue to have input (let’s be honest, direct) Breitbart, a noted hate site.  When our leaders no longer care to at least pretend to be ethical, what happens to the populace’s idea of right and wrong?  Our societal norms are being destroyed.

Our shared values are no longer shared and we can’t ignore it any more.  One third of the country approves of the job the president/dictator is doing.  This includes inciting hate and removing our freedoms.  Ask the peaceful protestors facing long jail sentences for protesting the inauguration.  This includes the reporters in the area covering the protest.

This was a country founded on religious freedom.  You can believe and practice whatever you choose.  Currently, there are many initiatives underway to change that.  Allowing hate and discrimination under the guise of “religious freedom” is the first step.  This is a major religion forcing everyone to abide by their ancient texts.  Well, at least the portions they choose to read and accept.  This is troubling.

Ask the green card holders tricked into signing away their rights by ICE agents as they returned home.

Ask women in congress who are shut down by their male counterparts.  Women, especially black women, should know their place is the message being sent.

The power in Washington is enacting policies and procedures to redistribute wealth to the wealthiest, harm the poorest and keep minorities held down.  While our nation has never been perfect, and it has a very dark history in regards to race, this bodes poorly.  Our national values are disintegrating before our eyes.

Sadly, I saw this coming.  So did many others.  The majority of the country did not vote for it, yet many are excited by it.  We are about to become a banana republic, ruled by the extremely wealthy.  We now have to acknowledge that as a country we do not have shared values. Freedom was traded for hate.  Blind eyes cast for enrichment.  Many people’s values are formed and honed by the propaganda they chose like Fox, InfoWars and Breitbart.  Don’t be fooled each is based on and steeped in hate and oppression.  Each is an official propaganda outlet of the president/dictator.

It’s hard to ignore the fact that people I know both voted for this and still think it’s the right thing for the country.  I won’t embrace hate and I won’t embrace those that empower hate.  Its ugly now and it won’t end well.  History is written by the victors.  We may have to hope our history is written by another country.

 

 

This is Not Normal

This is not normal.  It is far from normal yet, in order to get through the day, we must each determine how we process and internalize this information.  Some of you ignore it.  Some of you will not believe what I write.  Many of you are repulsed and have been moved to action.  This is not normal.

The president of the United States is a liar.  Period.  I should not need to prove it to you.  It is well documented that he tells roughly 5 new lies per day.

The president of the United States loves dictators and killers.  Again, this is well documented.  He even invited Duterte of the Philippines to visit, knowing that he has personally killed people and ordered many other deaths.

The president of the United States breaks the laws and constitution of the United States each day.  He believes he is above the law.  He decided the anti-nepotism law did not apply to him and appointed his daughter and son-in-law to key posts.  Oh, they are volunteers you say?  Well she has a Chief of Staff and staff.  She sits in meetings with every foreign dignitary that can help her business.  The son-in-law seems to be responsible for everything.  Way more authority and responsibility than a volunteer.  Did I forget to mention that he lied on his security forms?  He’s left off meetings with Russians and business dealings and debts that should have been included.  As one person noted recently, a barber’s license is denied for less.  This goes beyond ignoring a law,

The president of the United States does not know shit about U.S. History.  Again well documented.  See his remarks on Fredrick Douglass and (notes racist) Andrew Jackson among others.

The president of the United States encourages racism and hate.  No?  Haven’t you seen his supporters taking pictures in the White House with the White Power sign?  I have, they aren’t hard to find.  He often uses the language of the neo Nazi’s and White Supremacists.  He is quick to comment on the perception of Muslims (even when he’s wrong) committing violence, but NEVER comments on white radicals killing people of color.  If you don’t see this, it is either because you hold similar feelings or choose not to.  Oh, and don’t forget the multiple fines he paid through his business for racial discrimination.  Just because the decree had no admission of guilt doesn’t mean he’s innocent.  And recently he endorsed the racist candidate in France for Prime Minister.  The US president does not generally comment on the free elections of other countries.  But since this one is known, outspoken racist it is particularly appalling.  Consider taking your blinders off, he is the Racist in Chief.

The president of the United States has worked hard to alienate our allies.  Mexico, Canada, UK, Australia and Germany among others.  That’s the trade he’s made to become a puppet of Russian authoritarian Vladimir Putin.  Hard to miss this.  He has never ONCE criticized Russia, where critics and loose ends are often killed.  Like several this year.  Of course you can choose not to see this and determine its normal to try and ruin the relationships with our neighbors and long time allies.

The president of the United States has not nominated over 500 people to key posts.  He blames the opposition party of stonewalling them.  You can’t stonewall what doesn’t exist.  He also fired every ambassador on his first day in office.  This is not unusual, but not hiring any more is.

The US Attorney General is a known racist.  He is anti civil rights.  He was too racist to be a judge under Reagan.  And for good measure, he lied to congress.  Twice.  Nevertheless, he is still the attorney general.  This is not normal. This is criminal.

The president of the United States fired every single US Attorney well after his inauguration. Probably because one of them was investigating him.  Nevertheless he hasn’t hired any replacements.  This is not normal.

The president of the United States appointed a spy to the top national security job in White House.  It is probable that he knew this when he appointed him.  When the issue was raised to him, he waited until it appeared in the national news to act on it.  I guess it normally takes 3 weeks to fire a traitor, that the previous president had fired. A+B=C  Nope, this is not normal.

The president of the United States requires us, the taxpayers, to pay $500,000 per day for his wife and child to live in a golden tower, away from him.  This is not normal.  It is very excessive.  As a “billionaire” a rational person might  think he would work to defray some of this personal expense.  That silence you hear is a “no”.

The president of the United States requires us, the taxpayers, to spend $3 million most weekends so he can play golf and entertain at his private club in Florida.  How much of that $3 million goes to his club and other business concerns?  How much more is generated by Foreign Governments spending money to meet him there?  I’m guessing at least $1.5 million each trip.  This is a clear violation of ethics and the constitution. This is not normal.

The president of the United States has declared today that the government should shut down in September to teach the opposition party a lesson, because hurting the citizens is the best way to help the country grow and prosper.  Seems more like a move a dictator would make.

The president of the United States thinks it is important to roll back the regulations that help keep our water and air clean.  I don’t.  I think this is criminal.

The president of the United States blames all his problems (and even some that are made up) on the previous President of the United States.  He says something along these lines several times a week.  Can you think of another president that criticized any of his predecessors?  Me neither.  This is not normal.

I could go on for a few thousand more lines.  You see what you want to see.  This is not normal and this needs to end.  Pay attention, this is the worst scandal of many lifetimes.  He can’t suppress everything.  He has no power over state laws.  The congress is clearly compromised. But the courts (other than that one illegitimate SCOTUS judge, the seat was stolen and more will come out) is not beholden.

You can choose to drink the cool aid.  You can choose to be an ostrich.  I value my freedom and yours.  What I’ve described above is not freedom.  It is the slide into authoritative fascism.  It is the need to recreate White Power.  You don’t have to listen to me.  But that is the choice you make.  You are still mostly free.  Today.  Will you still be free tomorrow?

 

 

The GOP Hates You

The GOP hates you.  Well, not if you are rich and white.  Not if you are a white woman that likes the fact old men want to control your health care.  But they hate pretty much the rest of us.

Women’s Healthcare

Somewhere along the line, the GOP decided that Planned Parenthood was the enemy.  Yes they facilitate and perform abortions, but making it illegal for PP to use federal funds for abortion was not enough.  They are intent on obliterating them because women should not have access to healthcare focused on their needs.  They want to make sure you can’t get birth control, cancer screenings and other key services focused on women’s needs.  Yep, they hate women who use Planned Parenthood. Why else would they work so hard to destroy this asset to women?

Death via Trump/Ryan care

Right now there is a huge debate going about the new health care initiative.  Let me boil it down simply.  The GOP (mostly Paul Ryan, but the leadership is behind him) need you to lose your health insurance.  That’s right you.  If you are older and have health issues, you know the population that needs health care, they are working hard to raise the rates beyond where you can afford them. They call this freedom of choice.  You can choose the health insurance you want, but if you can’t afford it, that’s your choice.  See what they did there?  The screwed you then made it your fault.

Then, one of two things happens – you lose your insurance and/or you die.  Period.  That is the goal.  Once you lose your insurance and die, there are fewer people buying insurance.  Those that do buy it are younger and healthier, lowering the risk.  As the risk reduces, so do premiums.  Paul Ryan thinks it’s a great plan to help you along to the grave so that insurance premiums can do down.  Yes, I’ve simplified this, but this is the core of what’s going on.  Insurance premiums go down, the rich get a tax break and the government saves money because they are not subsidizing the sick.  They want you to die. Period.  I’d call that hate, no matter how they spin it.

The air you breathe, the water you drink

Have you seen the water in Flint Michigan?  Yes, it is brown and full of lead.  It is dangerous and deadly.  Luckily the EPA, well mostly Dishonest Donald and Scott Pruitt, have decided that cleaning up the water supply anywhere in the US is a luxury we can’t afford.  They have cut the budget for the Great Lakes clean up drastically.  In fact, they are so ecstatic they have repealed a law so that the creeks and water supply in Kentucky can again be fouled with coal waste.  Yes, there might be 10-20 new jobs for people to dump the waste, but thousands if not millions of people will be exposed to tainted water.  Let them buy bottles right?

But why stop there?  Let’s ignore climate change and pollution.  Do you remember what NYC and LA looked like in the early 70s? I do.  Smog, smog, and more smog.  A lot like China now.  Luckily for us Trump and Pruitt think you deserve that again.  They must surely hate us if they want to poison our water and our air.  I think they believe it won’t be bad in their lifetime, so fuck your grandkids.  The rich will buy filtration.  Yes, they hate you.

Good Bye Civil Rights, Hello Corruption

It was very important to confirm Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III as Attorney General.  In fact 20 or so Democratic Senators voted for him.  (You should vote them out.)  Do you recall Mitch “call me turtle” McConnell telling Elizabeth Warren she could not read a letter from Coretta Scott King from 1986 about Beau’s rampant racism and civil rights violations?  I do.  From here on out, no one is to discuss what a racist Beau was in the past.

Instead, let’s focus on the racist views and actions of Beau today.  We are seeing a rise in hate crimes.  Brown people are being attacked and killed while being told to “go back to your country.”  Interesting.  All are legal residents and some are citizens.  You know what he has said?  Nothing.  Bob threats are made to Jewish centers every week.  What is being said?  Nothing.  Are you brown or Jewish?  Are you appalled at what’s happening?  He hates you.  Why else would he act this way.  By extension, so does every person that voted for him.  They all hate you.

Do you know what has being said?  That the DOJ will not support/pursue cases involving voters rights.  Since most voting rights cases involve those pesky brown people, it is a good thing.  If you value voting rights, they hate you too.

The DOJ will also not pursue the consent decrees with law enforcement agencies that were found to be guilty of excessive force.  Let’s pretend that never happened.  It is now wonderful for gung-ho cops to shoot first and ask questions later.  So what if few more undesirables get hurt or killed.  So what if brown people get profiled and hassled more.  They hate you.  They don’t care what you think.

But at least the DOJ will work towards the benefit of the country right?  Nope.  Doesn’t it seem odd that they fired all 46 US Attorneys nearly 2 months into the administration?  Doesn’t it seem odd that the one attorney they assured they would keep on was summarily fired as it came to light he was working on some corruption cases?  Oh and that his jurisdiction included Trump Tower? It’s a silly coincidence right?  You don’t care if corruption is taking place.  But if you do, like I do, they hate you.  This administration, supported by the entire GOP is about self-enrichment, not improving the country.  They hate you.  Don’t be naïve, even though they think you are.

Welcome Back Klu Klux Klan

Just this week, Representative Steve King of Iowa made several comments about how America is a white country and white culture.  I won’t repeat them, you can find a summary and analysis here.  It isn’t a secret that King would be more at home at KKK rally than at my Seder table, but the response from Washington is appalling in its silence.  Not one member of leadership has censured, rebuked or taken action on this disgusting behavior.  To make matters worse when King is questioned on it, he doubles down, affirming his position.

We shouldn’t be surprised that 1800 Pennsylvania Avenue is silent.  The white house wants  to “keep immigration levels, measured by population share, within historical norms.”  This is from a speech Trump gave in late 2016.  Make no mistake population share is about what immigration to the US.  None of those pesky brown people or Jews, let’s just keep the nice white Western Europeans.  Jews aren’t white.  Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, Dishonest Donald’s key advisors and policy makers, have not been shy about their feelings toward non-whites.  They hate them, believing other races and beliefs to be a cancer on white society.   Don’t be surprised, but if you aren’t white or actually care about the other people in our country, they hate you too.

The silence and tepid statements of “oh, we don’t like that” are dog whistles to the haters in the country.  The KKK and their ex Wizard David Duke applaud the White House often for their inaction and racist actions like the Muslim ban.

I could go on for days.  I haven’t even touched on Russia, the destruction of the public school system, the end of the National Endowment for the Arts and Humanities and the 24/7 commercial for Mar-a-Lago, filling Dishonest Donald’s pockets.

The GOP wanted this.  The GOP support this.  Make no mistake, they hate you.  The sooner you die, the better this country will be for them.

Is this what you want?

The High Cost of Change

You’ve read enough of my humble blog by now to know I’m far from perfect.  I’m opinionated and perhaps too direct too often, but I do believe at my core my ethics and morals are solid.  I’ve never needed to be bailed out and I try to do the right thing, as opposed to doing things right.  That last sentiment lead to the end of employment more than once.  That being said, I would take the same actions again in similar situations.  I want to be able to look in the mirror and be happy with who and what I am.

I sit here, troubled, as I am sure many of you are.  I think back on how I was raised.

I was taught to compromise, it is not my way or no way; it is not all about me and my desires.

I was taught it was wrong to lie.  Too many lies and you won’t be believed.

I was taught that honor meant something.  My word was important.  I’ve tried to keep it.

I was taught that people deserved respect, regardless of color or religion.  This included tolerance for other religions.  Just because I didn’t share their beliefs didn’t mean those beliefs were invalid.  We share a world.

I was taught that women were to be respected.  The words “equality” and “consent” weren’t used, it was a different time.  But I was not brought up to think I could paw (that was the word used) women just because I wanted to.  I wouldn’t be using pressure to extract consent.  I’d like to think I lived up to that standard.

I was raised to help.  I’d like to think I work to help others before thinking of my needs in many situations.  Again, I’m not perfect, but that thought is there.

I was taught that we don’t know everything.  Sometimes you have to wait to see the truth or facts that are beyond your knowing.  You aren’t always given all the information to process at once.

I was taught not be a bully.  I was bullied a bit at young age.  More than once I’ve stood up for those that were under some sort of attack.  Sometimes, the defense was ill timed or unwarranted, but I’d rather be wrong trying to help someone than stand by and let a bully take advantage of another.

I was taught it was important to try and leave the world a better place than you found it.  If I’m cleaning up my trash, I’ll clean up some of yours.

I was shown what prejudice and hate do to the world.  Being Jewish the Nazis, their values and their genocide was taught yearly and passionately.  Never again.  Never again.  I didn’t think it only applied to Jews.  It applied to all people.

Somewhere along the way, I learned it was important to stand up for what I believed in.  It is not always easy making a stand, but it is part of having integrity.  I’d like to think I have some.

It was hard for me to realize the people that raised me, provided me values and moral compass have disavowed each and every one these of things.  In one 90 second exchange, my father’s disgust for my views illuminated his position.  We’ll ignore the unsubtle racism he lead with.

“You are probably one of those people who says ‘not my president’,” He barked, each word dripping with revulsion and bile.  It was clear. His president.  HIS.

The one who lies.

The one who knows everything and makes sure he tells you he is smarter than you.

The one who is a bully and uses his position to embarrass others and manipulate the stock market, creating fear in any business he attacks.

The one who assaulted women and bragged about it.

The one who has used his wealth to intimidate others by being overly litigious.

The one who routinely doesn’t pay his bills, forcing others to endure endless lawsuits and  potential bankruptcy to attempt to gain the payment promised.

The one who had to pay $25million dollars to settle a fraud claim after raking in $175 million or more via a “university” that was more of a seminar selling the veneer of success, targeting those that could least afford to pay.

The one who’s integrity is void, showing conflicts of interest and corruption each and every day.

The one who claimed Mexicans were rapists and Muslims needed to be banned, showcasing his racism.

The one fined more than once for discriminatory business practices.

The one that was fined for on-going money laundering.

The one that wants to eliminate the EPA and ruin our water, air and climate.

The one that sold our government to Goldman Sachs and Russia.

The one that sold your children’s education to the highest donor, crippling public education so that that rich can get a discount on private school.

The one that sold women’s health and the right to choose to the religious right.

The one that will inevitably take away LGBTQ rights to appease his religious donors.

The one that insults our allies and embraces other bullies and dictators, ruining our reputation in the world.

The one that slanders the previous president regularly.

One that dog whistles hate.

The one that made common cause with Nazis and White Supremacists.

While this laundry list is overwhelming, it is far from complete.  For those of you that didn’t believe this last election was for the soul of our country and for the definition of who and what we are – read it again, slowly.  Each and every item takes away more of our freedom and future.  Each item on this list makes us less as of a productive, peaceful society and reduces our influence and leadership in the world.  Each item tears away some of my soul. But the last item is the final straw.  It is the final saw stroke on the frayed foundation of my being.

You might not know this, but growing up I was not allowed to watch Hogan’s Heroes.  It presented the Nazis as buffoons. It was impressed upon me that the threat and danger was real and should not be allowed to return.  Yet today, the man that said that embraces the administration that give life to the views and policies of Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller.  And their hate is not subtle.  It is about being white and Christian.  Nothing else.

So, in this abyss that I find myself, trying to decide what to do.  There is no discussion to be had.  Those that have fully embraced Fox News as their one and only source for news are lost to rationality.  I see no need to bang my head against that wall. I’ve tried and failed. After all, Obama was the devil. He gave us death panels and took away your guns.  You know, the guns you never bought.

We aren’t discussing taxes or foreign policy. This is not business as usual. Hell, we aren’t even discussing why withholding hearings on a Supreme Court nominee until “the right candidate” won was a major brick through the window of our government.  No.  This was everything.  It is everything.

I alternate between sadness and anger; it haunts my dreams and limits my slumber.  It’s my problem, but I don’t want to pretend that selling away the soul of our country and reducing our civil rights for the potential tax break isn’t evil.  It is to me.  I won’t visit and pretend that all is well.  I won’t call and act like I haven’t been betrayed.  I have.  Others have also been betrayed.

For now, I’ll remove myself.  Every action has a cost.  Sometimes you gain in karma or experience.  Other times you lose something precious.  No one said life was easy.  Neither is believing in and acting on your principles.

 

My Last Election Rant

As with most days, today I find the 2016 Election troubling.  I hear about how horrible Hilary Clinton is, how she’ll bring about a constitutional crisis and that her email server is the worst thing ever.  IT IS WORSE THAN WATERGATE.  We aren’t talking about taxes or the size of the government, we are hearing how she’s terrible and there will need to be a violent revolution.  Exaggeration?  I’ve heard two different sound bites of Trumpers saying they are willing to take up arms, be a patriot and “do what needs to be done.”  You tell me if I’m overstating the potential.

And then today the KKK newspaper, the Crusader, endorses Trump.  The “Trump  Campaign” repudiates the KKK endorsement.  Has Cheeto Jesus?  Has he ever said he respects all people and wants to see harmony in the USA?  No.  He wants the guys with yarmulkes counting his money, not the blacks.  He retweets people who espouse hate, anti-Semitism and see the diversity of our country as “white genocide.”  How is this a thing?  If he doesn’t support it, he sure doesn’t dismiss it.

I see too many references to Clinton as “C*nt”.  Really?  Let’s be honest, Everything Cheeto Jesus does encourages hate.  He calls on people’s fears and assures them at only he can save them.  He’s working by the axiom that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American Public.

He hates everything the Clinton has done in her career as a public servant.  Ok, he’s entitled to an opinion.  What has he ever done for the public good?  I cringe when he talks about being a job creator.  If he wasn’t making money off the backs of others there would be no jobs.  And how do we hold someone up as a “job creator” who refuses to honor contracts and proudly threatens to bury in people in legal expenses when they are upset about not being paid.  This is not about quality of service, it is about his need to increase his profits, or lower his losses when he mismanages his business.  After all, no successful business person will hold up a man with 4 bankruptcies as a role model.  That is the model of failure that got lucky.

But let’s get back to how bad Hilary is.  Yes, she used a private email server and was less than forthcoming about it.  I know as you read this you are perfect and never did anything wrong.  But, let’s be clear.  She wasn’t selling state secrets.  She wasn’t trying to make confidential information easily available.  In fact, the State Department Information Security processes were described as woefully inadequate.  So other than originally trying to stay out of the press, what the issue?  It wasn’t an ongoing criminal conspiracy.  Watergate was.  There wasn’t an order to break in someplace.  That was Watergate too.  There wasn’t illegal wiretapping?  Again that was Watergate.  So, let’s stop the uneven comparisons.  It’s demeaning and ridiculous.

Then there is Benghazi.  While I’m tempted to tell you to go fuck yourself, let’s look at a few facts.  4 lives were lost. That was a tragedy.  Congress cut the security budget; that was not on Hillary.  Trey Gowdy and his misfit witch hunt team have found no smoking gun.  There have been more inquires here than Watergate.  Oh, and many, many more State Department employees were killed under George W. Bush, but we don’t talk about that.

But, you say, Hillary is untrustworthy. Got it.  Let’s look at your heroes.  George W. Bush?  He and Cheney lied to get us into the war in IRAQ.  They abused the public’s trust by manipulating fear to start a war that we did not need to be in.  Thousands of lives lost.  No, I don’t think she’s fallen to that level.

How about George H.W. Bush?  Meh.  But he does bear the burden of knowing about Iran Contra and saying he did not.  I think that’s pretty bad.  Oh, you don’t remember Iran Contra?  Let me remind you.  The US government funneled money Nicaraguan Contras by selling weapons to Iran.  But Hillary negotiated with Iran.  Stop it.

Reagan?  He was President during the Iran Contra affair and it was shown he knew about it.  But he, like Cheeto Jesus, was Teflon, so the public ignored him while Oliver North took the fall.  Of course during Reagan’s administration over 130 officials were investigated, indicted or convicted.  That’s a record to be proud of.  Remember, Clinton has not been charged with anything.  Even today there may be nothing, but people are talking like she’s a mass murderer.

But I digress.  Trump blasts Hillary for “pay for play politics”.  Seriously, people, what other type are there?  What are pork barrel politics, if not a version of pay for play? What was Trump’s donation to Biondi about?  He brags about paying politicians.  Mitch “I’m a turtle” McConnell holds up the Supreme Court nominations because “the NRA needs to approve” them. And that’s not pay for play? That’s not corrupt?  Remember Hillary is accused of quid pro quo, accused of having a few meetings.  There is no proof. There is no indictment.  There still is no smoking gun.  But still the Republican Congress looks for it.  Clearly the Republican Congress thinks this is a better use of our tax money than infrastructure, creating jobs or embassy security.  Pay for play hints at bribery.  There is no proof of bridery.  Shit, there may not have been any meetings.  Next you’ll tell me the Clinton Global Initiative (where nearly 90% of every dollar goes to saving lives, not admin – check that against The United Way) is evil.

How about we stop talking about the monsters under the bed that Hillary must have put there.  There are no fucking monsters so stop acting like you are 6.  Own up and admit that you just don’t like an uppity woman that deigns to think she can be president.  That’s 90% of what bothers you about her.  You think she’s overreaching her station. She’s not in the kitchen making you a pie.  She thinks for herself and **gasp** she listens to others in a world where we prize men that stand and talk about themselves.  Yes she’s not perfect.  But she’s way better than most of our politicians.  And on political matters she’s far more truthful than most.  Of course Rush, Hannity and Alex Jones will poo poo Politifact.  Think for yourself.

I know, she’s no role model like our past Speakers of the House.  You know, pedophiles and serial cheaters.  Those are the people that judge her.  Glass houses are breaking all over the country.

Unlike most, I actually like Hillary Clinton.  There are aspects of her you don’t like. There are aspects to my personality you don’t like either and sometimes I’m not your biggest fan, but we get along.  Why is she held to a different standard? She’s not Teflon.  She cares.  She tries.  So don’t like me. Don’t like her.  But stop dragging her through the mud with half-truths and witch hunts.  Because, let me remind you about the alternative.

Donald Trump is facing a civil suit over the the alleged fraud he perpetuated with Trump University, stealing the money from those who could least afford it.  Fraud. That’s like lying isn’t it?

Donald Trump is going on trial for allegedly RAPING a 13-year old.  I know it is hard to fathom.  He only grabs them by the Pussy.

Donald Trump admits to being a sexual predator (he’s bragging about it) and more than 11 women have stood up to say that he did it to them.  I know that a partisan conspiracy.  Taking him on his own merits, isn’t this troublesome?  If we can open our eyes to the Evil that was Bill Cosby, why do we dismiss these egregious acts?

Donald Trump was indicted twice over racial discrimination practices with his company.  Paying large fines and “not admitting guilt” is not the same as being innocent.  I don’t believe he is innocent.

Donald Trump loves to repeat and retweet anti-Semitic and White Supremicist memes.  Last I saw, it was reported that he had retweeted 75 different people who believe in #whitegenocide.  And I’ll never believe his picture, taken from a racist website, with Hillary and the Star of David was not meant to be Anti-Semitic.  I believe Donald Trump is a Racist dog whistler, at the minimum.

Donald Trump support violence if he doesn’t get his way.  Remember when he encouraged people at his rally to incite violence, take them out on a stretch, etc.?  I do.  What about suggesting 2nd Amendment people to “take care of it” if Clinton gets elected?  No, I have never believed that was a joke. All the talk of a “rigged election” has people wondering about the potential violence after the election from his most ardent supporters. Words have consequences.  Cheeto Jesus doesn’t believe those consequences apply to him.

I don’t think it’s a stretch to think Donald Trump is at minimum being played by Russia to affect their goals.  He won’t say a bad word about them.  In light of National Security Agencies announcing Russia was behind the DNC and Hillary Campaign hacks, he says “I don’t know.”  But no one near Trump or his campaigns was hacked.  I do not believe this is a coincidence.  We are all vulnerable to hacking. Period.  Ponder that. (edit: and now we have been told the Campaign was in frequent contact with Russian officials…. why do we let that slide?)

Remember how Trump is engaged in a  (civil, class action suit) trial over the Trump U fraud?  Doesn’t it seem odd that NOW he wants to help the common man, the disenfranchised worker?  Why yes, he is offering the middle class a 1% tax cut.  He’s also offering the very wealth a 10% or more tax cut.  So if you make $50k, you will get an extra $35-50 a month or thereabouts.  But if you make $5m, you get an extra 40k (and probably much more) per month in benefits.  But let’s say you are that 1%, you know the people making $500m (you know, like all the Trumps), you just earned an extra 4-6m in tax breaks.  Really? Like they couldn’t survive the 400m or so they already took home?

When Trump brags about not paying taxes because the government would squander it, think about how he spends his money.  His home was described as the tacky furnishing of an Iraqi hotel lobby.  Have you seen his bathroom, covered in gold?  Who squanders what?

Donald Trump hates global markets.  But his clothing line is made in China and Mexico.  He’s not announced any plans to bring jobs back, just that he will.  And I want to be 6’2”. Wanting isn’t a plan.

Donald Trump wants to close our borders.  Not to illegal immigrants, but to all immigrants.  He wants to go back to racially proportionate norms.  Let me translate that.  No more brown people, but white people who want to come from Europe, you folks are ok.  And you wonder why the KKK supports him.

Not all Trump supporters are racists.  But to my knowledge all Racist groups support Trump.  That should bother many more people than it does.

Donald Trump runs a charity that he stopped funding in 2008, according to various press reports.  The charity was used to settle lawsuits, buy personal items and pay personal expenses.  Funded by donations from others, it seems.  And it was shut down by the NY Attorney General.  Hell, he’d never even filed the right paper work to make the charity legal.  But he’s smart enough to be President.

Donald tells it like it is.  He mocks the disabled.  He calls a beauty queen that gained a few pounds Miss Piggy and humiliates her on TV.  He tells Hillary “you’re the puppet.”  Whose puppet I wonder?  He mocks his political rivals (Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco, Low Energy Jeb – what is it with ‘L’?).  He has told us that Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers (oops a few of them might be good people he supposes).  He told us a Federal judge, born in Indiana, wasn’t fit to preside over a case because he was Mexican!  Seriously.

His battle cry is “LOCK HER UP!”  This is the fitting end for a woman guilty of the crime of being a woman who challenges him.  I wonder if he should have been locked up?  He’s been found liable or settled over 200 law suits over the past 40 (or so) years.  Remember he doesn’t settle.  That’s some sort of judgement or payment every other month.

I get it. There is so much shit swirling around Cheeto Jesus you’ve blocked it all out.  But should you? have we as a country lowered our standards so low that we would even consider this selfish, egotistical blowhard to babysit our kids, let alone the President of our nation?

So when you go to the polls, do you want to vote for the woman continually investigated and never charged (because mistakes aren’t criminal) or do you want to vote for the man about to go to trial fraud (the rape suite has since been dropped).  The man with what seems to be a fake charity so that others can pay his expenses.  The man who brags about degrading and assaulting women.  The man that lies, lies, lies – but it’s ok, he doesn’t mean it.  How much actual bad judgement, illegal behavior and selfishness will you ignore while you hold another to the standard that suspects she is evil?  Think about the world you want to create.

A Modest Proposal or Happiness is a warm gun

The recent tragedy in Orlando brought gun control back into the spotlight.  Immediately, liberals over reacted and started taking about what they perceive as needed gun control legislation, some even previously endorsed by the NRA.  Simultaneously, the gun lobby, NRA and Donald Trump – the great hope of America – reacted in the other direction, mobilizing their followers to make sure there were no restrictions on gun ownership in the USA.  After all the Second Amendment is the most pressing issue in the US today.

This is a recurring cycle.  A massacre happens in the United States.  Amidst the sadness over our loss and senseless violence, some people immediately blame the ease of access to guns in the country.  Those who oppose any legislation in regards to guns voice concerns over terrorism, mental health and the phase of the moon, for guns themselves do not harm others.  Politicians posture about making changes, while the NRA funds opposition. After much handwringing and rhetoric, nothing happens.  Slowly the cry for gun control legislation quiets a bit and other items dominate the news cycle.

Nothing happens until the next tragedy and then it is only talking points that lead nowhere.  Columbine, Aurora, Newtown, Charleston, Orlando.  Einstein said that insanity is “doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”  It is time to change our actions and end the insanity.

These arguments over guns, take away from the more important issues facing our country and our world.  We should focus on what we prioritize as important, and clearly that is not gun legislation.
The Second Amendment of the US Constitution gives Americans the right to bear arms and form free, albeit well regulated, militias.  Previously, the Supreme Court ruled that the right to bear arms does not mean that there can be no regulation or legislation over guns and other arms.  I’d like to propose that we abolish that Supreme Court ruling and we address the gun issue in a way that will remove it from the public discussion forever.

I propose that gun ownership be mandatory in the USA.  It can be done in such a way to spur the economy, reduce the distractions that take away from the larger issues facing this world, and unify the US into a new, more effective society.  With a few minor tweaks to how guns are bought and sold, this issue becomes moot.

Once that Supreme Court ruling is overturned, we define “arms” as used in the Second Amendment as “weapons”.  Period.  All Weapons will be deregulated.

 Guns will no longer be bought and sold as they have been

The US Government will be the sole purchaser of guns in the US.  Individual citizens may not buy or sell guns.  The US will work with US manufacturers of weapons to determine how many guns are needed and will be the exclusive buyer of guns.   A profit margin will be guaranteed to the manufacturer.  All guns (and their components) must be designed, manufactured and distributed solely in the US.

Because weapons cannot be bought and sold, does not mean that there won’t be a pipeline to criminals.  But, because every good guy will have a gun, criminals now know that any action that they take could, and probably will, lead to violence.  Many criminals will be killed trying to commit crimes, reducing the crime rate further than the simple deterrent of knowing there are weapons in every home and business.  Of course a few citizens will be casualties, but compared the innocent victims of recent massacres, these people will be martyrs to gun deregulation and hailed as heroes.   A new national holiday will be created in their honor, so that everyone can celebrate their personal sacrifice for gun ownership.  Society has already deemed that the death of 50 or so innocent civilians at any time is an acceptable cost, a national day of celebration, and relief from work seems appropriate.

As importantly, because US guns and weapons cannot be sold outside the US, there will be no fear of terrorist and US enemies gaining weapons to use against us.  What this also means is that we, as the US, can tell who our enemies are by who supplies our enemies with weapons.  This will galvanize and focus our military, increasing efficiencies.

The US Department of Arms will distribute weapons to citizens

There will be a new government department that is solely focused on arms.  They will oversee the gun manufacturers to make sure they make appropriate profits and adjust the profit margin up or down to be reflective of the economy.  The gun manufactures, their employees, their executives and their distributors will make a good income, but they will not be allowed to make super profits or become robber barons.  Prices will be set annually, and there will be significant oversight making sure there are no abuses.

The US Department of Arms will be a large government branch.  It will have armies of distribution workers, transportation options and economic over-sight analysts.  As this is all in support of making sure every citizen has the arms they are entitled to, this is the ultimate constitutional process.  This will reinforce each citizen’s understanding of the US Constitution and their belief in our federal government.

Economic Benefits

The new US Department of Arms will create a new economic growth cycle. First, staffing the new government agency will add tens of thousands of positions immediately.  While supporters of smaller government might be initially resistant, once people see that the department only distributes the guns mandated by this proposal and provides minimal oversight to distribution, redistribution, guaranteed gun manufacturer profitability and product quality, those issues should be overcome.   The rise in demand for truck drivers, maintenance workers and logistic experts will be a boon to the economy, staving off any looming recession.

Clearly, there will be no more gun stores.  But there will be a call for more shooting ranges, weapons training, kill tactics, self-defense and ammunition.  Overall, there will be more opportunities created.  Arms maintenance, safety and shooting will be new required subjects in our school, increasing the demand for vocational teachers.

Additionally, as the US weapons manufacturers will see their increased market place, they will expand, as will their suppliers.  A national think tank estimates the growth in jobs to be over 2 million in each of the next 15 years.

Arms will be distributed throughout a citizen’s life

Starting at the age of 1, US citizens will start receiving their weapons according to a detailed life plan.  No rational person will ever want for a weapon.  The selfish and greedy will always want more, but this will be a level playing field.  Much like aging, one’s weapon cache will grow over time and citizens will have the ability to modify their arsenal.  Initially people will receive their Arms at major life milestone – age 13, graduating High School, age 18, age 21 and every 10 years starting at age 30.  Extra arms will be issued upon marriage, birth of children, starting a career and opening a business.

There will be opportunities to add additional weapons for a Bar or Bat Mitzvah, Confirmation, Baptism, religious conversion, Quinceañera and other milestones.

On a citizen’s 16th birthday they will also be given 3 hand grenades.  The only weapons not distributed to the average citizen will be nuclear weapons.  Those will be distributed to local, state and national officials to be used at their discretion.  As they have been elected to do the will of the people, it makes sense that they should be in a position to exercise whatever that will turns out to be.

This begs the question of what happens to arms when a citizen passes on or leaves the country.  They may leave their weapons to a family member or members or bequeath them to an approved Militia.  If there are no arrangements made, their weapons will be collected and redistributed.

Well Regulated Militias

As the Second Amendment does call for the existence and formation of well-regulated Militias, there will be no hindrances allowed to prevent their formation.  Once a Militia is formed, it will be acknowledged by the government and given and extra 2 arms per member.  Weapons will be distributed semi-annually based on membership increases, insuring each Militia has the enough arms to be effective.

There will be no significant requirements to form a Militia and they can be formed for any and every purpose.  Some purposes include local defense, border defense, racial defense, religious defense, terrorist hunting and perhaps illegal immigrant deterrence.  Each Militia will determine what well regulated means to them as the government will not interceded, but will support each Militia equally.

, there will probably be Militias for the Jehovah Witnesses, the Catholic Church, various White Supremacist factions, Rotary, the ACLU, the Clampers, NAACP, Greenpeace, PETA, the Hell’s Angels, AARP, Mensa and other cultural free thinkers. Clearly, not every Militia will see eye to eye with every other Militia.  Over time, it is anticipated that there may be small skirmishes between these groups, but as this is by-product of allowing for free Militias, it is to be expected and accepted.

Legal Changes

Clearly, there will need to be some legal changes.  Open carry will be made legal across all venues.  School children will be mandated to take a weapon to school and no business may bar a patron carrying a weapon.  There will be good guys with guns everywhere:  in schools, churches, bars and casinos.

Self-protection and stand your ground laws will be expanded in light of the increased weapons in society.  There is no need for the courts to get bogged

Non-citizens may not own or carry a gun in the US.  This may help some the refugee concerns that are cropping up.  If anyone gets wind of a non-citizen with a weapon, they will be encouraged to report them to the police, so that the matter can be addressed appropriate.

Societal Benefits

As with any major change, there will several changes in society and many will occur quickly.  As everyone will carry arms, though some may choose not to, there will be more deaths.  Guns do not cause deaths, people do and people will die.  Those with mental health issues will probably be eliminated in the early days.  As they often intimidate and provoke others, they will most likely be killed in a series of “stand your ground” and self-defense events.  This will reduce the need for mental health efforts and free up professionals for more important and serious work.

In every society there are those that are clumsy and haphazard.  A great many of the uncoordinated and unobservant will ultimately either be killed through a series events placing them in avoidable harm’s way.  As these events could have easily been avoided, the dead will be a fault.  Some people won’t learn to use and care for their weapons.  The lack of attention will back fire on many, leading to their self-destruction.

There will inevitably more children dying.  Children often make poor decisions; some will choose weapons to solve their problems.  It is anticipated that bullies, braggarts and the socially inept will heavily impacted.  This will help improve the adults in society in later years as various problems are eliminated before they can start.  These events have the potential to improve the school system and education in the US as distractions and overcrowded conditions decrease.

Well-meaning and oblivious parents will probably meet an untimely end.  There is already a noticeable amount of toddlers accidently killing adults.  There is no reason for this pattern to dissipate in the near term.

Having arms on hand will provide alternatives to the lonely, elderly and terminally ill.  Over time, the number of people in these situations will find new ways to eliminate their personal issues, improving our society little by little.

In all the various scenarios that occur, some poor souls who should be shining examples in society will be eliminated.  These citizens will be martyrs.  Their names will be engraved on the various weapon depositories and monuments erected as reminders of how important the Second Amendment is.  Their sacrifices will be immortalized and appreciated.

Ultimately, these deaths will be the new millennium’s Darwinian exercise.  There will be a significant thinning of the herd and only the strong will survive.  This will be the ultimate technology aided natural selection, leading to a leaner, stronger US.   Guns will not be our focus, real problems can be focused on and our quality of life improved.  Isn’t that what we really want?

Today’s ideas are brought to you by John Lennon, Mark David Chapman. and the NRA.  Stay armed America.

 

Your Guns, Our National Shame

Last week, a radicalized Muslim couple slaughtered 14 people and seriously injured many more in San Bernardino Ca.  Rather than start addressing what problems this tragic event spotlights, Radical Islamic Terrorists and easy access to Guns, the right did two very critical things.  They made sure that they galvanized their base so that NO ONE, including OBAMA, takes away their guns and they moved to defund Planned Parenthood. Again.

Let’s get the easy stuff out of the way.

Yes, Planned Parenthood has a major role in abortions in the USA. More importantly, they are the single largest source of affordable women’s healthcare in the USA.  And the funding they receive from the US Government DOES NOT in any way, shape, or form get used for abortions.  So, this is a smokescreen at best and at worst a horrible swipe at women’s healthcare.  And remember, the video Carly Fiorina constantly talks about was no filmed at Planned Parenthood.  It is propaganda and patently inflammatory and false.  I am I the only one that finds this behavior shameful?

Second, has anyone ever really said “let’s take all guns away!”?  Nope.  Generally it’s a call to reform our existing laws.  Yes I know it the 2nd Amendment gives us the right to bear arms.  Is it unilateral?  All types of guns?  All types of weapons?  Does the NRA really believe that the San Bernardino shooters should have been able to stock pile over 1000 rounds of ammunition?  Who needs that?

Why is it that whenever the topic comes to gun control, it immediately becomes the hysteria that “you can’t take all my guns!”?  Keep a pistol or two.  Keep your hunting rifle.  Ban semi-automatic weapons.  Ban having large magazines for ammo.  Put a cap on the number of rounds a person may buy or have.  We are talking about the means to kill people.  Why do we believe that enabling people to do it better and faster is a good thing?  What happened to our national critical thinking skills?  Stop the partisan politics and take steps to make it harder to gain access to weapons of mass death. That’s what these are.

Yes, the bad guys will still get guns.  But look at last week.  No one thought they were “bad” till they started shooting.  Doesn’t that lead you to believe that there are others like them and that getting guns is too easy?  Take it a step a further.  Even if we had identified these people as potentially dangerous, even put them on the terror list, they can still buy guns.  If you are on the national “no fly” list, you cannot be prevented from legally buying a gun.  In what world does that make sense?

But back to the 2nd Amendment.  In the vernacular of the time, it allowed you to have muskets.  The masses lived in a 2 room house without electricity.  You were worried about a how a monarchy across the ocean might attack us.  There was no mass, efficient, global communications.  But yet we still need rationalize YOUR (not mine) need to have an arsenal of weapons in your home.  If you want to move to a hut in Africa (or another third world country) and worry about the local government, fine have your guns.  There, not here.  This is not our reality.  No matter what Texans think about the national government invading Texas.  That one always cracks me up.

You’ve seen the articles and memes; they incense you.  How dare we take your guns away.  Feel free, shoot your gun at the front page of the New York Times.  That’s and adult response.  For some reason every gun nut decides that we can only throw the baby out with the bath water.  A friend said to me, “I have a gun. I have never had an incident.”  GREAT.  You have one gun and you’d like me to equate that with people that have 20.  Nope.  Keep your gun.  Build limits.  Build regulation.  Be a responsible adult.  We don’t let our children gorge on ice cream till they die.  Why must we treat guns differently?

Last night a friend posted the wonderful “cut and paste” meme that swimming pools, bathtubs and cars (and several other silly things that can lead to death in an accident) are more dangerous than guns.  Lunacy.  Yes there are probably more deaths via auto accidents than guns.  There are more drivers than gun owners (I’m estimating).  But car related deaths are accidents.  Gun deaths are generally not.  And no, I don’t consider the kid crippled as an unintended victim of a drive by shooting an accident.  The gun was fired.  We have more regulations and requirements for driving and car ownership than we do for guns.  Does that make sense?  Couldn’t there be an equivalent licensing and training for gun ownership?  Why do we automatically rule it out?

And before I forget, I really scared that I might bring my swimming pool to a theater and hurt you?  Seriously can we just call that meme top 10 in terms of ridiculousness?

Oh that’s right it doesn’t prevent the bad guys from getting access.  Ok, but it might make it harder.  Why can we not make progress on the issue?  Should we stop treating cancer because we haven’t solved it 100%?  Of course not, that would be stupid and callous.  So is the NRA and their allies stopping any potential improvement in our national problem and shame.

Yes, shame.  We have had more mass shootings to date in 2015 than there have been days thus far.  Is that ok?  Let’s put it in perspective.  Every time there is a mass shooting, it is on you- you are ok with it.  How is it after Columbine, Aurora, Sandy Hook, Charlotte, San Bernardino and so many more we cavalierly endeavor to stop all efforts designed make a change for the better?  If you don’t support change in the guns laws these deaths and the next ones are on you. You don’t want a change, so there for YOU are endorsing this behavior.

And to be clear, in my opinion:

Every mass killing (more than 3) is an act of terrorism.  Period.  Not every terrorist is radical Islamic Fundamentalist .  If you block realistic change you are supporting Terrorism.  Its been more than 20 years since the killing in101 California in San Francisco and the Assault Weapons killing In Stockton.  We have made no progress.  NONE!

I’m not saying I have the answer.  I don’t.  But we know that inaction is allowing this to continue and I say ENOUGH!  Let’s do something.  Be heard.  Make some changes.  Stop the grid lock and let’s make progress.  I’m not saying we are throwing out the baby with the bathwater, the NRA is.  Let’s make some progress.

Of course tomorrow or the next day there will be another shooting.  We will all be sad about the tragedy and the gun lobby will prevent any movement.  Own that.  Stand up and declare “I am ok with those people being killed as long as I have my gun rights.”  Stop pretending your actions and thoughts mean anything else.  They don’t and don’t delude yourself that it means differently.  We see you.

SHAME ON YOU.

A Liberal Watches the GOP Debate, Objectively

I watched the GOP debate the other night.  It was every bit as entertaining as I hoped.  I learned a few things that I believe at least a few of you will enjoy.  Let’s get a few things out of the way first.

Yes, I am liberal

No I’m not close minded

Yes I believe Fox News is Bullshit Mountain

No, I do not believe everything they is bullshit, just way more than it should be.  As an example Bill O’Reilly covering the Falklands war is not bullshit.  Any mention of him being in a warzone, seeing a firefight etc. is.

Let’s look at my before and after of the 10 men on stage.

Jeb Bush
Before:  George Bush’s smarter brother.  Too religious for my taste.
After:  George Bush’s WAY smarter brother.  Very centrist.  Nice thought on education.  Every bit as religious as I expected.

Ben Carson
Before:  Smart Neurosurgeon who says odd things with no political savvy
After:  Savvier than I thought.  He is in favor of torture (really, what about the “do no harm oath?) and he later used the word secular as an insult.  (Note:  Seems like all GOP candidates believe they must adopt some sort of “I’m a good Christian” aspect to their platform to think they can win.)  I actually started to like Carson until that.  While I agree with his stance that race should be an issue, it is. I would have liked to see him really address that.  I think he missed a great opportunity to capture an issue that everyone else ignores and pretends is all hot air.

Chis Christie
Before:  He’s from New Jersey. He’s brash.  He hires political thugs.  He’s not Springsteen.  NEXT!
After:  He’s put some of his weight back on.  Seemed like a lightweight candidate to me.  His catfight with Rand Paul was fun, but showed him in a poor light.

Ted Cruz
Before:  A buffoon from Texas.  My Huckleberry.  May have tried to be funny with his machine gun bacon.  Made him look ridiculous to me.  And from Canada!
After:   OMG.  All that was missing was a call to round up the Jews and remove them from this good Christian land. I’m sure he appealed to many voters on the religious right.  I was offended.  When did President become a religious office?

Mike Huckabee
Before:  Former Arkansas governor who plays bass and hosts a TV show.  I hear people like him.
After:  Good sense of humor, smart and savvy.  Way too religious in my view.  Not as offensive in that way as Cruz, but too much for my taste.  And what hair!

John Kasich
Before:  Governor of Ohio.  Who?
After:  Smart, on the ball and a bit nebbish.  I could vote for him.  I wasn’t overly upset with his views and like his views on the economy.

Rand Paul
Before:  Ron Paul’s son. He can filibuster.
After: I liked his views on the NSA and privacy.  A serious senator.  Not a serious presidential candidate in my view.

Marco Rubio
Before:  He likes water and people like him.  Why?
After:  I see the appeal.  He can orate.  Very proud of his blue collar roots (and 100k student loans that I’m sure his PAC or speaking fees paid off).  He made sure that he appealed to the religious right with his very strong anti-abortion views.  Politically savvy and showed he would work with others of similar views (as in Jeb Bush).  Not as bad as George Bush.

Donald Trump
Before:  A horrid blowhard who has adopted the Fox News “Angry Old Man” stance and taken it to a new low.
After:  Seriously, do you want this guy negotiating with Russia or anyone else?  He gladly wore the sash of most likely to start WW3.  I think this is his ego saying I can out do the Koch brothers by buying myself the election.  I can’t imagine he’ll make the convention, let alone the ticket.

Scott Walker
Before:  Hey Kids!  Let’s bust a union.  Whatever.After:  He rides a Harley.  So?  I think he dies his hair and has the 2nd worst comb over in the group.  I guess they needed a 10th warm body.

Yes, I spent over 3 hours watching Fox News.  For the most part I didn’t find many things to call bullshit on.  I was very impressed with the focus group segment on the Megyn Kelly after show. Real people, real opinions and a few dingbats.  Nevertheless it was a clear demonstration that a GOP focus group in Cleveland have almost nothing politically with me.  But it was clear who like Rubio because he was attractive, in a non-political, creepy sort of way.

I really was disappointed to learn that the GOP really is the Evangelical Christian party.  Even Trump jumped on the Pro-life platform.  I took it as code for “I’m Christian Friendly.”  When did abortion become a key point for the GOP?  A plank yes, but a keystone blank? Wow.  Now if only this country thought politicians should tell women what they can and can’t do with their bodies.  Everyone wanted to defund Planned Parenthood.  I guess inexpensive healthcare and education for women is appealing to those with blinders on.  I call bullshit on that.  Especially since we are also funding “abstinence education.”  If you are for abstinence education, then I label you an ostrich as you missed the fact its 2015 keeping the sand out your nose.

And really, Trump thinks it is funny to tell a women she’d look good on her knees. In public. On national television.  A jokes aside, that is not something to say nationally.  What may have been funny in private is insulting in public.  Shouldn’t a president know that?

I decided to check the current rankings on 8/10.  On 8/9 Breitbart posted the results of an NBC poll.

  1. Trump                   23%
  2. Cruz                      13%
  3. Carson                  11%
  4. Fiorina                   8%
  5. Rubio                     8%
  6. Bush                      7%
  7. Walker                   7%

A point of interest is not that Paul, Christie and Kasich fell off, but that Fiorina jumped way up.  Maybe it’s me living near Silicon Valley, but HP’s board firing her does not make me feel like she should running our country. I’m sure she is a smart lady, but I’m concerned.

In the dull roar following the debate, one theme has been heard.  The concept that it was a set up for Trump.  Can I laugh now?  He isn’t a career politician.  He doesn’t want to be. He insults politicians and calls them stupid.  Yet in a political arena, he and his supporters cry “UNFAIR!”  Am I the only one that sees the irony here?  Trump wants the spotlight. He got the spotlight and then decided the heat burned. Maybe he should build a wall around his campaign and keep the barbs out with the “Mexicans.”

I think if he wants to be a politician, he should expect more of this, though I don’t think it’s the hatchet job he and his supporters think it is.  After all, Dan Savage was much more rough, albeit rightfully so, on Rick “don’t google me” Santorum.  Trump gets off easy in my book.

This liberal enjoyed the show.  There was lots of BS after the fact, only a few shovels worth during the actual debate.  I’m open minded, but I don’t think pandering to the religious right will win anyone my vote.  I’m all for religious freedom. I’m happy to vote for a religious person who keeps his religion to his or herself.  I already know 20% of the people in this country believe I am going to a hell I don’t believe in.  Ah the joys of politics.

I’m going to enjoy the next several months as the Trump sets the clown car afire and it burns itself out.