Thursday, June 29, 2017

Trump Mocks Mika Brzezinski; Says She Was ‘Bleeding Badly From a Face-Lift’--What you must do do quickly!


https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/29/business/media/trump-mika-brzezinski-facelift.html?emc=edit_na_20170629&nl=breaking-news&nlid=75028030&ref=headline

Trump's presidency is obscene. It is obscene when I wake up in the morning to feel fear course through my body wondering what stupid tweet and idiotic comment will Trump utter next. Poor little hands Trump cannot take criticism directed at the president. Trump, what in god's name did you think holding the office of the presidency was about? Did you think it was about the nature of someone's face lift? Is that all you have to do, Mr. Trump, is comment on things that simply do not matter when according to you Syria is about to launch a chemical attack.

Did someone forget to teach you in your junior high civics class that the presidency is serious? This psychologically damaged human holds millions of lives in his hands. Does he realize he is in an office where he could obliterate the earth many times over and he is speaking about turning someone away from his Mir-A-Lago beach house because he did not like the looks of a surgical procedure of one of his would be guests (if that even happened? )

What in god's name has this nation done? It must be undone. How anyone could call themselves Republican and think he/she is worthy of respect is beyond me. To the American electorate: What you must do do quickly before this nation dissolves into a bath of incompetency before our very eyes and the planet sinks into the bowels of the universe.

Trump Administration Prepares To Start Enforcing Travel Ban--My Comment-Taking the Low Road

Link to the above story: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/us-sets-criteria-for-visa-applicants-from-6-muslim-nations_us_5954746be4b02734df2fe0e5?23t&ncid=inblnkushpmg00000009


My Comment:


Trump insanity rules once again devoid of rational thought! Few if any of the Islamic terrorist attacks in the US have been perpetrated by those who have no family or no other connections inside the US. On the contrary they have been perpetrated by those who have family, educational, occupational and other ties to the US as well as being born and living here. Family often are the last to know what their adult children are doing. Witness the Boston Marathon bombing as one example or the San Bernadino bombing for another. There are others. Look them up.

I aver Trump does not give a damn about terrorism or its victims inside the US because if he did he would (a) put Saudi Arabia on the list. 9 of the 15 9/11 hijackers were Saudi. Radical Wahhabi violent Islam was born in Saudi Arabia (b) go after those who in this country already have terrorist proclivities as seen on FB and other social media sites about whom the FBI knows and are legal residents of the US. Moreover, Drumpf's travel ban and round up should NOT be limited to Muslims but also include white uber violent supremacists and neo Nazis Trump welcomes into his ranks! The Oklahoma City bombing took down nearly all of the US federal building in Oklahoma and killed 168 people many of whom were children. Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols convicted of the bombing were influenced by white nationalist militia movement violent fanatics and anti-government right wing extremists.

For Trump it's all about the money which is why Saudi Arabia is not on the list and about doing something anything using hate of innocent persons of brown color even if it does nothing to prevent a terrorist attack. Moreover, a blogger wrote and I agree: "Anything to distract the country from his selling us out to the Russians and taking away our insurance to further enrich the rich. Knowing Trump's talent for overreach, I'm willing to bet that he exceeds the fairly narrow ruling of the Supreme Court. He keeps acting as if the Court gave him a complete victory instead of the really narrow one he got."
Yes, yet again, Drumpf takes the low road! So what else is new? RESIST!

NYT: Homegrown Extremists Tied to Deadlier Toll Than Jihadists in U.S. Since 9/11

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/06/25/us/tally-of-attacks-in-us-challenges-perceptions-of-top-terror-threat.html?_r=0

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Framingham Residents beware--John Stefanini running for mayor is no joke

There is controversy about John Stefanini, candidate for Mayor of Framingham. Since I am not involved in local politics I rely on my extremely trustworthy source who says John Stefanni was the driving force behind making Framingham a city winning by a slim very slim vote. He was also, according to my source, allegedly behind the ginormous salary specified for the first mayor, and now he is running for the seat he created. He had plenty of time, according to my source, to raise money in advance, as he knew what he was writing for the charter and simply had to wait for it to be voted in (by a very slim margin of under 1% of the vote.)

When he saw that there was a credible candidate, Yvonne Spicer, who would give him a run for his “money” he allegedly took Yvonne’s nomination papers and poster which were legally and properly placed in the library outer lobby, hid them behind a trash can, and then tore off the reprints of articles about Yvonne that were glued on the poster.

See the surveillance video and reporting of the incident by the Metrowest Daily News:

http://www.metrowestdailynews.com/news/20170522/video-shows-framingham-mayoral-candidate-removing-opponents-display

Yvonne got almost 1500 signatures in 12 days, and was the first candidate for mayor to be certified for the ballot. She was a teacher and department head in Framingham schools for a number of years - very well liked. Her former students (many in their 30’s and 40’s) are volunteering now for her campaign. Moreover, she is now a VP of the Museum for Science, and on commissions for the Governor and the State Treasurer. See also her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/yvonnespicerformayor/ and her web site (the splash page just went live) http://yvonnespicerformayor.com

If you have friends or relatives in Framingham I urge you to pass this email along allowing them to make their own choice knowing the facts as stated and not just voting for a familiar name. I believe in the utmost integrity of my source and therefore urge you to vote as I will for Yvonne Spicer and rid state and local government of what seems to be Trumpian-like noxious tactics.

TRUMP LIES!!

http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/06/23/opinion/trumps-lies.html
READ THE LINK ABOVE AND BE AMAZED!​

Truth or Consequences



The times we live in are, indeed, dangerous. Witness the NYT link below.

Cyberattack Hits Ukraine Then Spreads Internationally

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/27/technology/ransomware-hackers.html?emc=edit_ta_20170627&nl=top-stories&nlid=75028030&ref=headline&_r=0

Trump with his tweet about Syria planning a chemical attack, makes our political era even more perilous because we cannot know if Trump, the eternal liar, is telling the truth. The international community is stumped by the psychologically-unfit-for-the-presidency president.

The supposition is either Syria is planning another chemical attack on its own people or Trump could be feigning because Muller is getting close to the egregious allegedly Manchurian Russian agent we have elected to the presidency.

As Bill Maher would say "I do not know for a fact but I just know it's true" that Trump's tweet about Syria preparing a chemical attack and threatening a shock and awe attack against Syria and by proxy Iran and Russia as Syria's allies is his way of throwing us off suspecting him of collusion with Russia. He thinks we are all stupid like many of his supporters surely are but the electorate in blue is not fooled by him, suspect he lies constantly (See the NYT listing hundreds of his lies since he has been in office) and in view of that stretch our imagination to think that he thinks why would anyone suspect him of collusion with Russia when he threatens war with Syria, Russia's ally. The massive problem is we and the world do not know for sure. Even if this story is based on lies he still could attack and throw off Mueller's case against him by starting a HUGE war involving Russia to "prove" he is not in collusion with them. Our foreign policy, honed post World War II has been upended by Trump. Our allies, if they even are our allies in present time, simply cannot trust this major con artist and do not know if our electorate and Republican legislature who supports this immoral beast has lost its collective mind.

Trump, among a thousand other things, ruined our relationship with our NATO allies, split our nation in half, and destroyed a very difficult foreign policy that honed, post WWII, a balance of power creating, in most cases, some stability in a decimated bombed and blown up Europe.

I am not fooled by this cancer on our presidency. I hope our allies know the majority of our electorate does NOT support him and that his election was a fluke of an archaic voting modus operandi unique to the US, the inane outdated 18th century electoral college system. Trump LOST the popular vote by 3 million but won because of this dastardly unfair in modern times presidential system, along with gerrymandering and other voter suppression immoral Republican tactics.

We are in danger when, as economic conservative Edmund Burke, English 18the century philosopher said "All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing." DO NOT DO NOTHING. Face the truth with its deep and profound consequences. Whether it is the Republican sickness of its health care or Trump's crackpot ignorant and dangerous foreign policy RESIST this monstrosity Republican president and his sidecar of the Republican unethical and immoral legislature as you have never resisted before!

Monday, June 26, 2017

Who has the right to say "I Do?"


NYT: Justices to Hear Case on Religious Objections to Same-Sex Marriage"The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to hear an appeal from a Colorado baker with religious objections to same-sex marriage who had lost a discrimination case for refusing to create a cake to celebrate such a union."

MY COMMENT APPEARING IN THE NYT at http://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/26/us/politics/supreme-court-wedding-cake-gay-couple-masterpiece-cakeshop.html?comments#permid=23011710


Why Mr. Phillips admits that he could make other items which he would sell to a gay couple with the exception of a cake, I do not know. Yes, in my opinion, the argument against the plaintiff is similar to persons of color eating anywhere they choose. As long as that business serves the public that business cannot refuse to serve them as they are part of that public.

The understanding of human sexuality has widened. We know most do not choose to be gay. Most, I aver, would say sexual feelings have been felt since early childhood. Why would a homosexual want to encounter so much that is adversarial to live as he feels he should unless that feeling were so strong it could not be denied?

How is it fair, If by biological mandate one was made to feel an attraction solely to one's own sex, to deny one the joys that everyone else takes for granted in a culture? Mr. Phillips opened up his business to serve the public. Gays are part of that public like it or not. No one is asking Mr. Phillips to marry a man but merely to serve all gay or straight persons who enter his store.

What if the myriad of customers Mr. Phillips serves do not believe in HIS faith? Will a finding for the plaintiff by SCOTUS mean that Mr. Phillips may discriminate against, for example, Jews or even Unitarians who do not and may not believe in the divinity of Christ?

The finding of this case comes down to the fairness doctrine. What is fair in our arguably more scientifically modern secular democratic nation?

Sunday, June 25, 2017

DO NOT GET SICK!!


"The Senate bill, unveiled today, is not a health care bill. It's a massive transfer of wealth from middle-class and poor families to the richest people in America. It hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance industries, paid for by cutting health care for everybody else. Those with private insurance will experience higher premiums and higher deductibles, with lower tax credits to help working families cover the costs, even as their plans might no longer cover pregnancy, mental health care, or expensive prescriptions. Discrimination based on pre-existing conditions could become the norm again. Millions of families will lose coverage entirely.

Simply put, if there's a chance you might get sick, get old, or start a family — this bill will do you harm. And small tweaks over the course of the next couple weeks, under the guise of making these bills easier to stomach, cannot change the fundamental meanness at the core of this legislation.

I hope our Senators ask themselves – what will happen to the Americans grappling with opioid addiction who suddenly lose their coverage? What will happen to pregnant mothers, children with disabilities, poor adults and seniors who need long-term care once they can no longer count on Medicaid? What will happen if you have a medical emergency when insurance companies are once again allowed to exclude the benefits you need, send you unlimited bills, or set unaffordable deductibles? What impossible choices will working parents be forced to make if their child's cancer treatment costs them more than their life savings?

To put the American people through that pain – while giving billionaires and corporations a massive tax cut in return – that's tough to fathom. But it's what's at stake right now. So it remains my fervent hope that we step back and try to deliver on what the American people need."

Barack Obama June 22, 2017

By Alan Milner

"If you are on Medicare, and you think that you are safe from this chapter in the Republican plan to exterminate America's senior citizens, think again.

Medicare isn't going to cover your nursing home costs, if you ever need to go into a nursing home. Medicaid does that. The Republican health care plan, which was supposed to fix the Affordable Care Act is attacking the support system that protects our oldest citizens.

If the Republican attack on the American people becomes law, it will affect every American in a nursing home, and everyone who is related to someone who lives in a nursing home because the entire nursing home industry will collapse without the government subsidies, WHICH WILL RESULT IN EVERYONE BEING THROWN BACK OUT ONTO THE STREET.


In other words, by cutting Medicaid payments for nursing home care, the Republicans are destroying the only system we have for taking care of our oldest citizens who can no longer live on their own.

Alan Grayson was right. When you are no longer valuable as a worker or a consumer, the Republican party would like you to die quickly so as not to be a burden on them."

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

ISIS Destroys Al Nuri Mosque, Another Loss for Mosul [Iraq]

MY NYT COMMENT:

How amazing it is to hear the American military and/or ISIS assigning blame for just one more symbol of concrete blasted into oblivion. Would any US assign blame to the forces of 2003 who began a war in Iraq based on lies? Think about it. With no US invasion and "shock and awe" bombing there would have been no Iraq War based on lies, no Al Qaeda in Iraq or the Arabian Peninsula, no civil war in Iraq, and surely no ISIS there or anywhere for that matter.

In truth the responsibility for the mammoth violence that has descended on that part of the world from Syria, Egypt, and Libya to the Sudan and Mohamed Bouazizi the Tunisian street vendor who set himself on fire on 17 December 2010 prompting the massive revolutions all over the Middle East -- one state following another falling like a game of dominoes.

Sadly the fault of ALL of this carnage, I believe, can be traced to the obliteration of Iraq by US forces convincing yet again a gullible American public that Sadam Hussein had WMD when he had none and even that he may have been responsible for 9/11 when he was not. People get angry when one bombs them for nothing. The fault, as Shakespeare said in "Julius Caesar," is not in the stars but in ourselves!

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

A Facebook friend wrote this letter -- read and heed then



tell your friends especially if they have Republican Senators to tell them NOT TO DO THIS TO THE NATION!!!

Forward this if you like!

Alan Milner, a Facebook friend wrote a very very good opinion to his Senator, Bill Nelson. Alan is 100% correct:

Look, let's stop talking this mealy mouthed bull&^%

What the Republicans are calling TrumpCare is nothing less than the institution of the wholesale version of the death panels that Republicans used to say would be the result of Obamacare.

Well, that was a lie, and so is everything else the Republicans say about their "health care reforms."

As a Democrat, as a board member of a local Democratic Club, I am ashamed of the inability of the Democratic party to come out and say what must be said.

The Republican "health plan" is nothing less than the institutionalized murder of tens of thousands of poor people, those who cannot afford the exorbitant cost of private health insurance.

It is also this: A HUGE BIG GIVEAWAY TO THE RICHEST AMERICANS - AND THEIR FOREIGN ALLIES - AT THE EXPENSE OF WORKING AMERICANS.

Let's tell it like it is: Obamacare cost the US government approximately $660 billion dollars in 2016....almost exactly the amount of money required to underwrite the Republican tax cut proposals.

I really don't care about mealy-mouthed platitudes about the "unprecedented" manner in which the Republicans are attempting rewrite our health care system behind closed doors.

Let's call it what it is: murder.

Paul Ryan's proposal to replace Medicare with a voucher program is equally unconscionable, attacking senior citizens and relegating them to poverty and ill-health, unable to afford the level of care they were promised under the Medicare program.

Former Florida Congressman Alan Grayson had it right. The Republican Health Care program is very simple: Don't get sick, and if you do get sick, die quickly.

I congratulate you for standing up for seniors, for the poor, for the under-served.....but you have to do more.

Tell these morons that, without Medicare and Medicaid, the entire American health system will collapse because the patients will disappear, costs will increase, driving even more people out of the health care market.

And then remind them that if the poor do not get health care, the people who do not get that care will breed the germs that will trigger the great pandemic that will sweep across the planet. This has happened before in human history, and right now with huge population movement bringing new germs into new target areas, it will happen again.

Trade votes, browbeat any Republicans who still have a shred of personal dignity left in them. Chain yourself to the doors of the Senate....but do something that will make it inescapably clear that it there is going to be hell to pay in 2018 and 2020 if they persist in this insanity.

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Review: "Woman in Gold"

Did Europe of the 1930's and 1940's go insane? Predominantly white Europe was, historically, the most cultured of continents. It was a continent of great literature, beautiful music, and priceless art. It was a world of the great intellects, scientists, philosophers and culture. It was a world of a political reality the Trumps and Bannons, sadly of our world, would want to rule the world but it was a continent, then, one would consider anything but civilized. It was a continent at war with innocents and innocence. In the end Germany and its Axis power allies would kill approximately 50 million human beings but the true number as the American prosecutor at Nuremberg, played by Richard Widmark in "Judgment at Nuremberg" while he showed the moving pictures of the death camps said "the real number [so huge] no one knows."

The ability to rule the world then was going to be built on nothing less than the death of democracy and the emergence of totalitarian Fascist states that paid no mind to a suffering humanity they created and about whom they cared nothing. Fascism did not pay even philosophical lip service to a goal of universal acceptance, diversity and indivisible inclusion. It did advocate for the exclusion of those whom it dictated were the "other" and it did play out its determined credo to achieving its goals by any means necessary including the invasion of innocent nations, plundering of their natural resources, and crushing the innocents among those they considered the "other." Nazis stealing the precious possessions of the "other" was the bonus it accumulated toward achieving its goal of total subjugation and annihilation of the "other." The majority "other," of course, were Europe's doomed Jews.
 

The "Woman in Gold" starring the great Helen Mirren is the true story of a woman's attempt to obtain justice by retrieving a priceless painting the Nazis stole from her family who were killed by them. The summary about the painting of woman in gold by Gustav Klimt is indented below taken from Wikipedia:

Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer I (also called The Lady in Gold or The Woman in Gold) is a painting by Gustav Klimt, completed between 1903 and 1907. The portrait was commissioned by the sitter's husband, Ferdinand Bloch-Bauer (de), a Jewish banker and sugar producer. The painting was stolen by the Nazis in 1941 and displayed at the Österreichische Galerie Belvedere. In 2006, following eight years of effort by the Bloch-Bauer heirs, the painting was returned to the family; it was sold the same year for $135 million, at the time a record price for a painting.

The portrait is the final and most fully representative work of Klimt's golden phase. It was the first of two depictions of Adele by Klimt—the second was completed in 1912; these were two of several works by the artist that the family owned. Adele died in 1925; her will asked that the artworks by Klimt were to be left to the Galerie Belvedere, although these belonged to Ferdinand, not her. Following the Anschluss of Austria by Nazi Germany, Ferdinand fled Vienna, and made his way to Switzerland, leaving behind much of his wealth, including his large art collection. The painting was stolen by the Nazis in 1941, along with the remainder of Ferdinand's assets, after a false charge of tax evasion was made against him. The assets raised from the purported sales of artwork, property and his sugar business were offset against the tax claim. The lawyer acting on behalf of the German state gave the portrait to the Galerie Belvedere, claiming he was following the wishes Adele had made in her will. Ferdinand died in 1946; his will stated that his estate should go to his nephew and two nieces.

In 1998 Hubertus Czernin, the Austrian investigative journalist, established that the Galerie Belvedere contained several works stolen from Jewish owners in the war, and that the gallery had refused to return the art to their original owners, or to acknowledge a theft had taken place. One of Ferdinand's nieces, Maria Altmann, hired the lawyer E. Randol Schoenberg to make a claim against the gallery for the return of five works by Klimt. After a seven year legal claim, which included a hearing in front of the Supreme Court of the United States, an arbitration committee in Vienna agreed that the painting, and others, had been stolen from the family and that it should be returned to Altmann. It was sold to the businessman and art collector Ronald Lauder, who placed the work in the Neue Galerie, the New York-based gallery he co-founded.

This is a film about a small act of justice for a woman and a people who received no justice. It is one woman's attempt with her young attorney in America to achieve justice for her family and her even if it meant returning to Austria, a place she loathed, to walk down a torturous memory lane. Fighting for those valuable paintings was not an easy task but a necessary one. She was ready to stop the attempt but through her attorney's grit, sense of justice and, perhaps, his own desire to return to the living what he could not return to the dead, the legal attempt to return the art work continued. Vengeance was his and hers for the moment and his determination to achieve one small act of justice continued. Within seven years she would see justice prevail and perhaps lessen a bit the survivor's guilt she felt.

Justice in the form of this painting no matter how valuable could ever replace the millions of lives brutally taken or bring back the victims of the Nazi Holocaust to those who still mourn their loss but it was one small symbolic satisfaction for those who lost everything at the hands of armies of jackboots who had everything and what they did not have stole the rest. The painting, in the end, was justice given to Maria Altmann and the family she left behind, whom she loved but could not save.

Maria Altmann's attorney gave 7 million toward a new building at the Los Angeles Holocaust Museum. He said that he "tried to do good things with the money" and he did. Maria Altman died in 2011 at the age of 94. May she rest in peace for her family who knew no peace and may that painting stand as a testament to life against death, justice against injustice and love against hate so that we, the living may never repeat humanity's sins of our tortured historical past. I gave this film a 10-star review.

RESIST THE TRUMPIAN MADNESS!

For more detail one may click on this link: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Portrait_of_Adele_Bloch-Bauer_I

Friday, June 16, 2017

I Am Not Your Negro

This James Baldwin documentary is without a doubt one of the greatest documentaries regarding the black (and white) experience in America. I was glued. You, if you have not seen it, should do so. You can get it through Apple TV (for me tough tech to do) or you can purchase the rental or even the DVD through Amazon--Easy.

I was riveted to it and cried through it because I remember the times of which it spoke and it spoke to me. In the end Baldwin says "Not everything that is faced can be changed but nothing can be changed that is not faced." I believe, if you see it, it will speak to you too.

It should especially in this hour of Trump and his team of racist white supremacists deplorables be required viewing in this nation in every school of this nation. This must see is profoundly brilliant!



A New York Times Review:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/02/movies/review-i-am-not-your-negro-review-james-baldwin.html?_r=0

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Can't we all just get along?

This seems to be the question of the day as Congressional members of both parties put arms around their opposition in view of the Scalise shooting at a baseball park in Alexandria where Republicans and Democrats for a few hours get together, leave politics aside and simply have fun. He is still, sadly, in critical condition.

I often feel guilty for the passion with which I speak. In my earlier years I was a go along get along person. I formed my political left of center views in college and they have remained give or take a few more conservative times the same throughout my life. I still, though, feel the value of compromise as former President Obama did but was rebuffed
​​continuously.

Early on, as I pursued academics, I weighed both sides of the political spectrum honestly and deeply. I weighed them for years. I gave both the left and the right a philosophical try. The right remained, at that time, too nationalistic extreme and a side which could not question American foreign entanglements that killed thousands. Patriotism on the right meant that I had to accept what I thought was unacceptable and wrong because it was my country​'s policy​. That was not a good enough reason to kill other often innocent human beings for what reasons I did not know.

Conservatism was also uncaring of those who rece​i​ved tough breaks in life one of which was being born black in a culture reserved only for whites and who through no fault of their own needed help even to simply cast a vote or drink from a fountain. It was unjust in a nation that prided itself about freedom​, justice​ and equality. Until this day I am moved and tied to those in our nation who need help the most. The Democratic Party, certainly not perfect, at least became best place to achieve help for those who could not help themselves.​ The Democratic Party became my home.​

The policies of the right, though we are all Americans, are, as I see it, toxic to the bottom of a very unequally stratified society. It is more than obvious that President Trump has fueled the explosiveness we see now by the cruel, negative and harsh tweets whether from his computer or spoken charismatically from a podium. The president's ​business conflicts of interest are gargantuan. His ​constant lies​, ​toxic negative rhetoric screams to an already fearful nation.

My anger comes from the desperation I feel if my opposition gets their way. If they get their way millions will suffer without healthcare, social safety nets and many many will die. If not for the social safety nets the Great Recession of 2007 I would have been sent into the street because Wall Street failed which it so often historically has with little or no regulation to stop its often greedy and unsavory practices. My passion, comes from the sense that even my life along with millions of others would be threatened if right wing policies take hold and I have not even mentioned the social issues the Democratic Party ​adopts and ​has given shelter ​and support ​to those attacked minorities.

It is for these reasons and the reasons of climate change, an affinity for science and more which are the rationale behind my feeling of fear, desperation and anger at what Republican policies, if they prevail, will do and have historically done. The climate will change destroying the planet eco-systemically, middle class and lower class human beings will get sick, have no healthcare or other life-saving benefits and probably, in many cases, die. Whole swaths of humanity will again become the "other." I cannot endure that as we have come too far and fought too hard for the "other" to gain a semblance of equality.

I will try to share opinion with those who do not share my opinion. I will listen to them but they must meet people like me half way. Holding hands with the other side may feel good for the moment but if the policies of the other side help only the top 2% leaving the rest of us to punt, the laws of survival will dictate I must say vociferously no.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

The shooting of Majority Whip Scalise -- Who bears responsibility?

Violence never works to effectuate the causes one desires and who use it as a desperate weapon to mirror their anger to the world to get what they want. The man who shot Majority Whip Scalise, in my opinion, does not only a disservice to the Sanders's cause in which he allegedly believed but also to those of us who are unabashedly liberal and progressive Democrats who hold similar views but who would never compromise our righteous beliefs by committing violence that which would engender righteous criticism from those whom we consider opponents of policy that would assist the powerless and the poor.

We should all condemn the shooter's actions and also make crystal clear the extreme violent nature of the extremist right. I believe and one can see by viewing tapes of Trump's campaign how his words and, indeed, his actions served to engender so much fury of those who see violence as the only option that would show strongly they are against Trump's policy and leadership. Trump has been so malevolent, so mendacious, so unethical and so noxious that Trump, above anyone else, should look to himself for the violent tone set by him and his administration. It is that which would compel a person to violence against it as the only option for those who are among the desperate.

Trump made a home for the extremist right some of whom are anti-Semites, anti persons of color, anti women and who promote a nativist pro white agenda for people who have had all the rights to begin with. Again, I say to Trump do not criticize the speck in someone else's eye when you have a log in your own. Trump, as much as anyone else, needs to see the trouble is not, as Shakespeare said, in the stars but in himself!

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Civics 191 -- The Miracle and the Optimism -- Corrected Font -- Why Gmail changes fonts is beyond me. I hope this is sent corrected

The miracle is that seven principal Founders of our American Republic, Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, James Madison and Alexander Hamilton were the prime movers of our Federalist Republic among many others who were Constitutional signatories. The miracle is that nearly 230 years ago these men of varying origin, different ideas, and an argumentative penchant created the first American experiment in self government testing whether it was even possible that men some of moral integrity and some with a potential for moral hubris and turpitude could come together to create a document so brilliant and so miraculous it would stand the test of time and many other nations would seek to emulate it.

What is so miraculous about the essence of our Constitutional Republic? It is that a ​few men of the Enlightenment familiar with European history and its morally corrupt leaders and kings knew that man had the capacity to show the better angels of his nature but also knew man's tendency to abuse power, keep and not relinquish it when they, through birth or war, got it. They knew the corrupting ways of power and the money it gleans because they experienced it and saw it written into the marrow of Europe's historical bones. They knew power once achieved would not easily be relinquished and so the miracle really is a way they founded to divide government into three branches -- two branches of which were elected directly or indirectly by the people. Each branch would act as a check -- one branch upon the other. The birth of national genius was the separation of the powers of government into the Legislative, Executive and Judicial branches as they birthed a nation of limited government so that power could be restricted in time unchaining it and the people from its corrupting penchant.

To be sure the Constitutional document remained fluid to bend and stretch with man's ability to create social change. To be sure there were and have been disagreements, including a civil war fought over those disagreements, specifically slavery, but the Constitution could be amended and parts of it could be repealed. It remains 230 years later amended but intact.

Within it, some think, including the writer, the most important amendments would be referred to as the Bill of Rights or the First Ten Amendments to the Constitution. These precious amendments are the important restrictions of the state and in the powers of government, the entirety of which, I have no doubt, our current president has neither read nor could understand their monumental significance. In short, the Constitution with its Bill of Rights dictates Donald J. Trump is NOT a king. He is not the CEO of a corporation large or small but is, rather, one branch of this three branch system. The Legislative first branch is given preeminence over the second, the Executive and the third, the Courts, through, initially, Marbury v. Madison 5 U.S. 137 (​1803) gave the courts the power of judicial review. The Courts could overturn Congressional law and Executive power.

I am optimistic that our separation of powers is working, if sorely tested by this unconventional mentally disturbed
​and mendacious ​Trump presidency. It is a Republic if, Benjamin Franklin said at​ the country's birth, we can keep it. I think we have, are and in perpetuity will!

I offer, as I see it, the enumeration of the greatest part of our Constitutional miracle, The Bill of Rights (link below.) It has been emulated throughout the world and has kept us a free people. These rights are etched in the gravestones of Arlington, Gettysburg, Normandy, the Ardennes, WWI Belleau in Northern France and other places all over the world. Not even a malevolent, hateful, incompetent and corrupt Donald J. Trump no matter how much power he thinks he has will take them away but, sadly, he can try.

RESIST


https://www.aclu.org/united-states-bill-rights-first-10-amendments-constitution

Monday, June 05, 2017

A River Runs Through It and through my mind with part of a favorite poem

To retreat from the depressing, gory news and to turn my back on this presidency of hate I cannot watch and the violence to innocents that deserve no such violence at which I cannot look, I take leave of it for an hour, a day or maybe even days and direct my attention to other things that will comfort my sadness and disappointment of the harshness of our awful time where we speak at each other and not with each other each hating the other that solves, in the end, nothing.  I plead guilty to that.  I needed something to speak to me in softer tones about the questions we all have and the rationale we seek for our own life.

As I yearned for this I came upon in our 52 million channel search the Robert Redford directed and Brad Pitt staring film "A River Runs Through It."  I had seen it before and knew it said so much to me about things I think on often speaking to the eternal question we all have trying to give answer to the rationale for life despite the almost incomprehensible vicissitudes of it and the the incredulity of man's inhumanity to his fellow man's contribution to it.

It tells the story set in the early 20th century of a Montana family composed of two brothers different in every way but, though different and incomprehensible one to the other, loving each other nonetheless despite those differences.  I urge you to watch it if you can.  In my opinion it is a beautiful film worthy of thought.

There is a poem  within the film that is quoted. "Ode, Imitations of Immortality" written by William Wordsworth (1779-1850) which speaks to the drama of the film.  It happens to be one of my favorite poems that gives credence and reality to life.

Norman Maclean the writer of the semi-autobiographical book "A River Runs Through It" writes two of the most revelatory soliloquies of the father Reverend Maclean in one of his sermons after the death of his youngest son and of the surviving son Norman's summary at the end of the film pictured as an aged man fishing in the river both he and his sons had experienced in their youth. They say:
 Reverend:   “Each one of us here today will at one time in our lives look upon a loved one who is in need and ask the same question: We are willing to help, Lord, but what, if anything, is needed? For it is true we can seldom help those closest to us. Either we don't know what part of ourselves to give or, more often than not, the part we have to give is not wanted. And so it is those we live with and should know who elude us. But we can still love them - we can love completely without complete understanding.”

Norman: “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world's great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of the rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are theirs [his father and brother]. I am haunted by waters.”

We, as I understand the film, go through life only to see at the end, if we live long enough, most those whom we knew die, and so, how do we give credence to this if all that we ever knew and loved leaves us and in time we, too, leave the earth.  Our works, who we are, I think the film says, live on as eventually every living thing passes out of this earth but the reality of one's existence lives on as Norman says "in the basement of time" and a river runs through it carrying the words spoken indelible in the sands of time.

Ode, Intimations of Immortality (in pertinent part)

Then sing, ye birds, sing, sing a joyous song!         
And let the young lambs bound         
As to the tabor's sound! 175
We in thought will join your throng,       
Ye that pipe and ye that play,       
Ye that through your hearts to-day       
Feel the gladness of the May! 
What though the radiance which was once so bright 180
Be now for ever taken from my sight,     
Though nothing can bring back the hour 
Of splendor in the grass, of glory in the flower;       
We will grieve not, rather find       
Strength in what remains behind; 185      
In the primal sympathy       
Which having been must ever be;       
In the soothing thoughts that spring       
Out of human suffering;       
In the faith that looks through death, 190
In years that bring the philosophic mind.

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Trump is a bully. But not for much longer -- PLEASE READ it's GREAT!

By Murfester 35 DAILY KOS

BULLY:

a : a blustering, browbeating person; especially : one who is habitually cruel, insulting, or threatening to others who are weaker, smaller, or in some way vulnerable tormented by the neighborhood bully (Miriam Webster dictionary)

Is there anybody here that hasn’t had to face down a bully at some time in their life? It’s a scary and daunting proposition, for a couple of reasons. First, bullies are normally bigger than you are, the odds are in their favor, they can bluff because they know in their hearts that you’ll be intimidated by their size. And second, did you ever notice that bullies seldom seem to be alone, they’ve always got at least a couple of other “tough” guys with them when they shake you down?

Read the dictionary definition above again, I’ll wait. Notice what’s prominent? “ a “blustering, browbeating person” and “one who is habitually cruel, insulting to others”. Sound like the Tiny Thumbs Diktator? What’s missing? A penchant for the actual act of physical violence itself. Bullies prefer threats and intimidation, especially with backup, and especially in a public setting like a schoolyard or a bar, where there are others present that can be intimidated by proxy. But they don’t like an actual one on one fight, simply because that little kid might have a father or an uncle who’s a boxer, and getting their ass kicked by the little guy would not be a good thing for their image or ego.

Trump is a bully, a classic example. And he has his entourage, in face a couple of them. The neo racists and bigots love him, for saying what they themselves would never say if they were alone. When is the last time you read a news story or saw on TV where a guy in a white Ban Lon sheet walked up to another guy of equal size on the street and snarled “Alright sub human, lets GO! You and me, right now!” I’m 60 years old, and I’ve never seen or heard of it. If they do show aggression, it’s almost never fair. A sucker punch from behind, or jumping out of the dark with a board, some kind of an advantage. At their hearts, and on their own, they’re chickenshits.

Even without that pathetic band of losers, Trump has his retinue of cowards drawing strength from his braggadocio. Guys like Steve Bannon, who spews his venom from the safe, unreachable platform of Breitbart, or whispers like some fascist Wormtongue into Trump’s ear while he looks over his shoulder for incoming threats to himself. Or Jared Kushner, who bullies low income tenants from behind a phalanx of sleazy lawyers, while he’s the pseudo tough guy throwing the punches. Or Paul Manafort, who goes from Russian or Ukrainian tought guy to tough guy, basking in the tough guy status it affords him, “I point my finger, and you’re dead”, that kind of thing. How about “good ol’ boy” Jeff Sessions, who did his part to set up Trump’s sucker punch of Comey in the first place. Or the worst of all, the entire GOP congress, who sell their dignity and souls to the punk who will slap down all the people that they themselves don’t have the balls to take on.

Bullies do have one comforting feature, they go down. They go down because they don’t know when to stop. They somehow miss the fact that for most people there comes a point where an ass kicking is preferable to continuing to be bullied, our pride demands that a stand be made. I was bullied in 2nd grade. That stopped one day, when after hearing the angry taunts of my personal dybbuk behind me I felt a hand on my shoulder. Dropping my lunch as I whirled around, and I clocked him right in the stomach, then raised a fist at his nearest pal, I had finally reached the personal breaking point. I never saw them in the schoolyard again, but my success didn’t make me a bully either, the point was simply made.

But just like every bully in history, Trump finally fucked up. He finally picked on the one guy who was ready to drop the books and put up his dukes. He tried to bully Jim Comey. And the more that Comey ignored him, the more he kept pushing, showing off for his ass kissers. And this upcoming Thursday little Jim Comey is gonna drop that lunch bag, spin around, and he’s gonna smack Trump the bully right in the nose. And the whole schoolyard is gonna be watching live on TV. And Trump is going to stand there, with eyes the size of dinner plates, his fat mouth open, but for once with nothing coming out of it except spit, and then he’s going to turn tail and run, screaming out over his shoulder “Your ass is mine the next time I see you!” over Twitter. The spell of invincibility will be broken.

And it gets even worse for Trump. Because it turns out that Jim Comey has a big brother. His name is Robert Mueller, and he’s a nasty big brother. His little bro Jim already took care of the bully, but Mueller isn’t going to forget the other kids like Manafort, Kushner, Flynn, and chickenshit enablers like Devin Nunes. They are going to hear footsteps in their sleep. And if little sore snoot Donnie thinks any of these guys are gonna stand in front of him and defend him, then he’s just as stupid as every other bully that just got called out. He’ll be lucky if all they do is run away top speed. Some of them may well even crawl up to Mueller with their hands in the air, telling him what a great guy he is, and gee, they sure hope that he doesn’t think that they actually wanted to hang around with the bully, he was threatening them too!

There is a reason why every talking head and commentator on cable news is already hyping the Comey testimony next Thursday, look for the Countdown Clocks probably sometime on Tuesday, It is in fact a rare spectacle, one of the few times we actually get to see, “in person” over the schoolyard TV, the bully laid low, in front of the entire class. And all of the “He sucker punched me”s, and “I had something in my eye”s, and “He just got off a lucky shot, I’ll maim him the next time I see him”s in the world on Twitter will be seen for just what they are. The petulant, braying sour grapes of someone who just got his ass kicked in public. And I wouldn’t count on the SS twins, Spicer or Sanders coming to your defense either loser, everybody you know is going to want to stay as far from you as they can before Big Brother Mueller shows up at their door. Trump will finally be exposed for who and what he really is, a cheap, full of shit punk.

Friday, June 02, 2017

Bannon's War

I urge you to watch or if you have watched to talk about "Bannon's War" on Frontline.  It explains so much.
Bannon  is about creating chaos, about leaving our former allies in a state of worry and discord.  He wants this as he wants Russia and their white population to be aligned with us in his prediction of a clash of cultures between Islam and the Christian white nations.  He not only predicts this he wants it and wants to speed it up.  This is his insane philosophy
which is now being put into practice and insane of all things it seems at least for now to be working. He reveled in Trump's candidacy and probably knows much
too much now for Trump to let him go.  Trump can't or Bannon my guess is would spill the beans.  There is ZERO loyalty in that White House.  It's all for themselves alone and for no one else.  Bannon and Trump care nothing for anyone but themselves.  Russia is the beneficiary of all of this.
I wait for the economic collapse in fear but Bannon waits for it in hope.  Bannon wants discord among nations our allies and among us a totally split nation.  He will relish 16 million  thrown out onto the street when Medicaid is repealed.  He does not
care and wants only discord and chos.

Thursday, June 01, 2017

Legal Seafood

https://mail.google.com/mail/u/0/#inbox/15c651311f563b58?compose=15c6566d132264a9

Trump pulling out of the climate change agreement is no surprise to me see link above. Nothing surprises me that comes from the jerk president. I expected as much. The only good thing is that he just sealed Republicon fate for 2018 and 2020. Let them go defend the insanity. Bannon the near Nazi wanted a pull out as did Pruitt, who sued incessantly the agency he now heads, wanted the crackpot president to pull out but no one else did. Even his main love, his daughter, and her allegedly corrupt husband wanted him to stay in.

This is good for progressives because there is no way in hell anyone can argue with science and the 99% of all scientists who know and agree about the reality of climate change. They say climate change is here and man's contribution to it is reality. It is not debatable. Fossil fuels are killing the planet and if it dies so do we. Even the oil and coal companies know their business end draws near as other clean sources of energy replace the poisonous fossil fuels. The jobs are with clean energy. Coal plants are closing despite Trump's lies that he will bring back coal jobs. We know he lies about everything all the time. Now it will be up to the cities and towns across the nation to clean their own air, clean their own water and create their own jobs by creating alternative sources of clean energy.

When the ocean water comes up to Trump's Mar-a-Largo doorstep and into the fuhrer's golden calf house I hope Trump has a life jacket handy. He is an idiot and those who voted for him get what they deserve. Unfortunately the majority who did not vote for him must share those consequences. Good luck to us as storms in the mid west, south and across the nation become more intense, hurricanes like Sandy and Katrina will be more prolific, droughts will become more frequent as will floods, fires, water, food shortages and even diseases thought eradicated will erupt. Oh yeah, the god people will have more tornadoes even more than they have already had in tornado ally. Funny, one would think god would not do that to them. Keep believing in magic to save you. It will not and the universe will not give one damn about it because the cold hard fact is the universe does not care about you.

Evolution gave man a brain that keeps him at the top of the survival chain. It is up to him/her to use what millions of years of evolution took to create. If you do not believe that no problem because the earth will go on probably even better without man and his insane wars against each other over which god is a better god. This is all assuming man dies off first.

The earth is burning up and the ecosystem man depends upon for life is dying. Animals, fish and even insects are going extinct. We depend on them for life not vice versa. Man is not the center of anything. Simply Google the great barrier reef to see climate change impact on our oceans--you know the ocean we depend on when we go to Legal Seafood for dinner. Use your big brain to figure out what to do. Your survival, your children's survival and their children's survival (if we even get that far) depends on you and no one or nothing else can keep you safe!

Mighty Mouse

I never in my time and in this political post Obama era ever thought I would see a right wing extremist nationalist and his accompanying Nazi-like fascists in the executive branch who have brought with them the political dregs of our social order. 

Hillary Clinton gave a lengthy interview yesterday. One could hear her great intellect and compare it to a Donald Trump who is not the least bit curious to acquire some. Instead of making America great again he will succeed in making it the least again relinquishing our status to Germany and France as the leaders of the west. Moreover, if he takes us away from the climate change agreement we will supplant our leadership to China. You know China. The nation Trump said was the greatest currency manipulator.  Stock up on your gas masks for your children and grandchildren.  If you live in our major coastal cites buy a boat for them as well!

There is a know nothing residing at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Mar-a-Lago and New York City Trump Tower on the taxpayer dime. He has plenty in his retinue to create enough mischief under Trump's radar screen to cause this nation and even the world great harm maybe even irreparable harm.

Unless we can ultimately elect a wiser humane Mighty Mouse president with his/her sidecar of Democratic support to save the day and repair the most colossal damage since the war torn Europe of 1945 the answer to the question posed to Benjamin Franklin in 1787 after the construction of the Constitution by a Mrs. Powell: She asked "Dr. Franklin what kind of government do we have, a republic or a monarchy?" He answered "A Republic IF you can keep it." If we can keep it indeed!

RESIST!!! Take back the House and the Senate. Restore our checks and balances government the Founders were prescient to construct -- vote Democratic in 2018

Strange Trump

https://duckduckgo.com/…

Billy Holiday sang the "Strange Fruit" song -- linked above -- (about the lynching of innocent black men in the south) the best but I wanted to post a white person singing it so that we know the many in this nation perhaps the majority are humane, ethical and empathetic
to the suffering of others. We KNOW black lives matter. It is a beautiful but sad song telling the other side of the history of this nation to a time Donald Trump would want us to return because he and his hateful minions think to do so will make this nation "Great Again?" Really, Donald, you encourage those who gave truth to the deep sadness in the lyrics of this famous song are the ones to whom you appeal for support?

Donald, is a sad sad creature indeed! Welcome to your corrupt sick legacy, Donald. I cannot think of one ugly man who deserves it more!