I was in a local tire shop a couple of years ago and a young man, probably not twenty yet, walked in sporting a t-shirt with large letters proclaiming “FUCK JESUS!” While I’m not a Christian I was offended. Not so much for myself but for others present, friends, who I knew were. Correct or not, I challenged the youngster and asked him if he got out of bed that morning intent on pissing people off? He just looked totally stupid at me as if he hadn’t read and considered the content of his chest. I told him that while he had the right to wear his shirt I questioned if he had a justifiable reason. Was it appropriate for the environment in which he found himself? Speech has consequences and the consequences that kid potentially faced were far more serious than some old man asking him if he was trying to piss him off.
On January 7, 2019, a Michigan family, returning from a Florida vacation, was struck by a drunk driver, driving in the wrong direction on I-75 in Kentucky. The parents and their three children were killed in a fiery head-on collision.
I first became aware of this tragedy while watching the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. What caught my attention was at the end of the story Holt identified the victims as a Muslim family from Michigan. I had to ask, why was their religion important or germane to the story? He would have never said five Catholics or five Methodists died in the wreck. Why mention that these people were Muslim and what does it say?
Recently I watched a PBS presentation about the Camino de Santiago, a Catholic pilgrimage to a shrine in Northern Spain. Millions of people have made this pilgrimage over the centuries and most have their own reasons for doing so.
I found it interesting to listen to some tell their story and to watch each overcome the obstacles faced along the way. It was immediately obvious that faith and spiritualism played a huge part in their individual journeys.
A couple of days ago Donald Trump sat surrounded by his lackey cabinet and rambled for ninety-minutes about things he knows little of. The one thing I paid close attention to was his explanation of why the Soviet Union invaded Afghanistan. History records several reasons for the invasion including the desire to increase Soviet influence in Southcentral Asia and to support the failing communist government of Afganistan.
GOP Rep. Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania went on MSNBC recently and tore Donald Trump a new anal opening. He was especially critical of the government shutdown and Trump’s refusal to pass a spending bill. He also chastised Trump for bending to the will of far-right media personalities. There are at least two things wrong with Costello’s criticisms, first he won’t be a part of the incoming 116 Congress and secondly, for the past two years, his record of supporting Trump is 96%. Looks like he got real damned mad and real damned honest when he didn’t have worry about the Donald looking over his shoulder.
What follows is part of a New York Times article regarding the way in which the Trump family may have used its influence to obtain a bogus letter exempting Trump from the military draft.
“The New York City podiatrist who gave Donald Trump a letter stating he had bone spurs on his heels—which enabled him to dodge the Vietnam War draft—issued the document as a favor to Trump’s real-estate developer father, Fred, from whom his office space was rented, the doctor’s daughter has told The New York Times. “I know it was a favor,” said Elysa Braunstein, now 56, who said the implication from her father was that the future president did not have a disqualifying foot ailment. Braunstein’s surgical office in Jamaica, Queens, was owned by the Trump family until 2004. Braunstein said that after the letter was issued, her father received preferential treatment from his landlord. “If there was anything wrong in the building, my dad would call and Trump would take care of it immediately. That was the small favor that he got.” Larry Braunstein died in 2007. A second podiatrist, Manny Weinstein, who was also allegedly involved in testifying to Trump’s condition, was a close friend of Braunstein’s, she said. Weinstein lived in two apartments in Brooklyn owned by Fred Trump. He moved into the first space during the year Donald Trump received his exemption. In an interview with the Times in 2016, Donald Trump said a doctor provided “a very strong letter” about the bone spurs in his heels, which he then presented to military draft officials. He said he could not remember the doctor’s name. “You are talking a lot of years,” Trump said. He had been declared available for service two years earlier and underwent a physical exam, records show. Officials again declared him available for service in July 1968, by which time he had exhausted four education deferments and finished college. However, the last-minute diagnosis of bone spurs, which has been widely mocked, kept him out of military service.”
One of the great coffee shop discussions these days has to be, what does Putin have on Trump? Is there a pee pee video? Are there videos of Trump with Russian prostitutes (and are they as good as Putin claims)? Does Trump owe Russia yuge sums of money for backing his European and Asian projects? Well yesterday, I read an article that claims we now know what Putin has on Trump and the answer is simple.
Recently my wife and I were re-watching the 2009 blockbuster movie, Avatar. First time we saw it was with our entire family at an IMAX theater. Avatar on the huge screen is certainly candy for the eyes. But in reality it is just another retelling of the age-old tale about man finds paradise, paradise inhabited by nice but different beings, nice beings have something man wants, man rationalizes killing nice beings and taking their stuff, man destroys paradise, end of story.
The part of man is played by the owners of profit justifies anything big corporations and their army of highly paid, massively armed, and highly capable mercenaries. The part of nice beings is played by beautiful creations who live idyllic lives and are in perfect harmony with their world.
I’m old enough to remember when Ferdinand and Imelda Marcos ruled the Philippines until the people finally rose up and ran them out. Of all they stole from the nation’s treasury the attention focused on Imelda’s love of shoes and the 2,700 pairs of high-end shoes found in her closet.
Jim and Tammy Bakker were another couple whose fall from grace made the news in the 1980s. Their ill-gotten wealth came from bilking the vulnerable through their evangelical television programs. When the hammer fell it wasn’t just a closet full of shoes the investigators found. It was millions in collectible cars, jewels, furs, homes, planes, luxury air-conditioned houses for their pets, and high-end mascara for Tammy’s eyes.
Regarding Trump’s view of those wanting to come to America he seems to put them all into one big bowl and then plaster that bowl with a variety of labels. He likes calling them rapists, criminals, drug dealers, violent gang members, terrorists, animals, infestations of vermin or whatever demeaning term that should slither out of his forked tongue. . He does however, have a number of labels he likes to use. To Trump they are either rapists, criminals, drug dealers, terrorists, animals, or whatever demeaning label that falls off his slithering forked tongue. There does seem and exception. Trump likes very white people, preferably those from the nation of Norway. He much prefers Norwegians over people from “shit hole” countries.
Donald Trump is, regardless of what you want to believe, a compulsive liar. Case in point, during a June 15th press appearance he lied or mislead nineteen time before noon.
As the immigration issue has continued to become more heated the scope and frequency of his lies seem to be increasing. Another case in point is his claimed number of MS 13 members sneaking across the border. He claims there are thousands of them when, in fact the confirmed number has been slightly over 200. Politifact has kept track of Trumps lies and the total since his taking office is in excess of three thousand. His daily average has gone from 6.5 lies to over 9.
I recently posted a Facebook criticism of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy and how it was separating children from their parents as leverage to force congress into building his fecking wall.
As of this writing the number of incarcerated immigrant children is approaching 3,000 and whatever federal agencies have a hand in this none seem to prepared to handle the numbers, offer appropriate housing, medical care, psychological counseling, or have any system to prevent parents from losing track of their children
This zero toleration policy and the separation of so many innocent children is almost without parallel in American History. It is the creation of extreme political ideology and supported by xenophobia and the inherent racism of too many Americans. To justify the separating of parents and children the administration has even resorted to inaccurately citing cherry picked passages from the Bible.
Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III couldn’t have a more fitting name. He is a true son of the South and about as conservative as they come. For years I’ve listened to him speak in the US Senate and so far haven’t heard a thing I agree with. To me he’s just another product of a Bible belt state, Alabama. A person ironclad whose ironclad views cannot accept that there are Americans who disagree and are different from him. He has trouble accepting that those who are different are still entitled to the same rights and protections that he is.
There is adequate evidence to support the claims that Sessions is a racist and opposes LGBT rights. He is steadfast against a woman’s right to choice. He denies this even though he has said, “It is not legitimate that an American citizen feels that they are more likely to be arrested or held to account or stopped and searched than someone else simply because of the color of their skin…” How can anyone with an open mind and clear understanding of reality say that it’s un-American to claim people of color are treated differently? It’s been reported that Sessions once remarked about the KKK, ““I thought those guys were okay until I learned they smoked pot.
Sarah Sanders repeatedly lied in a recent news briefing that the Trump administration was simply enforcing existing (ten-year old) laws that require separation of parents and children at the border. I just did some fact checking on that and she is not telling the truth. There are laws about retaining people illegally entering the US but the separation of families and incarceration of children is a policy ordered by Trump and carried out by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
It is a heinous policy that violates the core of both morality and America’s historical claim of supporting human rights. Even when the US immorally incarcerated Japanese citizens during World War Two we at least had the decency to keep families united.
In her press briefing Sanders was called out about the administration’s lying about the separation policies. Both she and Jeff Sessions are being challenged and both have resorted to every argument in the book to support their behaviors. Most recently they both have turned to the Bible. Citing Romans 13 they claim that the law is the law and it is God’s will that the law be obeyed.
The first immigration law in American History was the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882. Over the decades there have been others and none were perfect. The failure to create a workable means of dealing with the ever-growing desire to live in this nation crosses all political lines. The Democrats have failed, the Republicans have failed, and hell, even the Flat Earthers have failed.
In over two centuries, however, nobody has failed as much as the inhumane clusterfuck that is now coming out of the Trump administration. We have an amoral man-child occupying the White House who apparently doesn’t have a problem taking hundreds, if not thousands, of children away from their parents simply because the parents are seeking a better place to raise those children.