Okay, I’m tired of the pandemic game now … can we play something else for a while?
I’ll tell you, I thought I’d be just fine with ‘social distancing.’ I’m not great with staying up late; social distancing is how I basically spend most Saturday nights.
And as the daughter of a hoarder, I was weeks ahead of most when the penny dropped, and people got into panic buying. Way ahead of you guys! I panic when I can see bare shelf in my pantry; I like to have at least six tins or packages of our favorite foods tucked away ‘just in case.’
I really thought the libraries being closed would be the straw that broke my spirit, but even there, I’m pretty much covered. Books, DVDs, CDs … I’m better than good. On top of that, there are all sorts of musical and theatrical libraries that have flung open their virtual doors to allow the locked down citizens to wallow in unfettered streams. (And yes – that includes Pornhub …)
Never been big on greeting people with hugs and kisses. The Real Housewives or Kardashian-style easy kisses gross me out. Hey, I don’t know where those lips have been! Like the Georgia Satellites, I’m good when you “keep your hands to yourself.”
With my flotilla of medications on hand, and being currently addiction free, I am, strictly speaking, good to go, as long as Shawn gets out to the shops to bring home some milk and fresh fruit and veg occasionally.
So I really should have no reason to worry. But guess what? I do. I’m worried about YOU.
How are you coping? Are you having problems being isolated, or are you enjoying the quiet? Do you feel like you’re going to be okay for as long as this goes on? Do you have someone you can count on to help you out when you need something – or when you just need to tell someone you’re afraid, and do they think this cough sounds serious?
And what do you miss the most?
Some people are frantic that they can’t get together with their friends and family. It can be painful not to have the comfort of our loved ones when we’re also dealing with so much uncertainty, and fear of the unknown. On the other hand, not everyone has a happy family. I wonder how those families are coping with so much enforced togetherness; are they enjoying a reprieve from the morning madness rush to get everyone up and out, or have they just substituted another kind of busy-ness?
Those who enjoy watching or playing sports, even pickup games, are finding it hard to have an enforced cessation of that diversion. And a lot of kids, who just a month ago were looking forward to summer vacation, are now discovering, to their surprise, how rich their school and social life was before lockdown.
Others wish that the music and theatrical venues would reopen. Three events that I was looking forward to have been cancelled, and won’t be rescheduled this year, which is maddening, but hardly fatal. I’m far more concerned about how those in the entertainment business are going to keep themselves fed and housed without an income. There will be benefits for those hit hardest by unemployment, but when you’re already spending most of your life behind the economic eight ball, things start tight and get really constricted very quickly.
I worry about those on fixed incomes as well; relying on a pension or a disability benefit is a tightrope walk for many, especially if anything disrupts the carefully laid plans of those who know there is just so much money coming in, and bills to be paid, crisis or not.
It was just last October that, following several economic studies, millennials were told that they need to prioritize putting at least 40% of their weekly income aside now, in order to have any kind of pension security when they’re seniors. Tell that to the kid who’s living in a corner of someone else’s basement, and frantically trying to find any kind of job that will allow them to pay for that AND their food.
The stats say that 44% of US residents could not cover an unexpected $400 expense. I’m not sure that there are that many less Canadians who could either, at least based on what I’ve heard people say in the past.
So yeah – I’m worrying about you. I’m hoping that people are coping without accidentally harming themselves or others. Keeping my fingers crossed that those who are healthy and able are sparing a thought for those that could really use a hand in getting through the crisis.
These are difficult times for everyone. We’re not used to this uncertainty in our lives, with no idea of how long it will last, or what changes will come as our dance with COVID 19 goes on. I know I’m going a little stir crazy, and I’m becoming prone to inappropriate laughter and/or tears, though my husband might disagree with that having had a sudden onset.
And though I utterly, thoroughly, completely abhor wearing any kind of face mask, it looks like masks will be in our public future for the foreseeable future, so we may as well get on that.
The plain truth is that we’re in this for however long it takes. We are helpless to change what’s going on in our countries, and must trust in our leaders. We can only control ourselves in this time. We know that many of us will get ill, many will recover, and some will not. But there’s little we can do at this point but wait and see.
Eventually the world will ‘re-open for business’ and, like Queen Elizabeth said in her special speech to the world today, “we’ll meet again, don’t know where, don’t know when.”
We have an opportunity to use this time to move from a reaction of fear, to a period of learning and into societal growth. I hope it’s an opportunity we choose to take.
America was never ‘perfect,’ despite the first settler’s early claims that ‘manifest destiny’ made anything Americans wanted to do, in the name of ‘a more perfect union,’ perfectly fine and utterly legit.
But while they might have contended that the special virtues of the American people and their institutions made colonialism, slavery, and the unchecked and wholesale, uncontested, swallowing up of the country ‘god’s will’ for the benefit of the powerful, these presumably lofty ideals, and ‘an irresistible destiny to accomplish this essential duty’ never held much water to the people whose lands were seized in the name of ‘the divine.’
Fast forward to February 2020, when the Republican party, lead by an immoral, craven Senate leader, and under the sway of a blatantly avaricious, sadistic, narcissist POTUS, took the whole idea of manifest destiny one step further, and crowned their leader Lord and King of America.
Although trump was charged with both abuse of power and obstruction of Congress, the Republican party, in a show of cowardice and cultism unparalleled in modern American history, chose to acquit, thereby finally allowing trump to claim what he always believed to be his due – to be completely above the law, and to ascend to the monarchy.
Analyzing exactly HOW this moment came about would drive a saint mad, but there’s no question that the combination of a virulent social media, combined with a mainstream media desperate for ratings, provided a lack of context and nuance that greased the wheels of weaponizing the words of not just the powerful, but the common man. Trump’s own abuse of Twitter, which he uses in lieu of press conferences or a state media, allows him to avoid actual interaction with those who might have, in better days, used their intelligence and knowledge of history to point out obvious fallacies and wrong thinking.
It boggles the mind, to think that anyone … ANYONE … thought that granting this limitless amount of power – to be above the law, incapable of committing a crime, entitled to scoff at Congressional oversight – should be given to the most corrupt, incapable, malevolent, sadistic, and possibly senile creature ever to soil the carpets of the White House. I am truly left speechless at that calumny.
I honestly can’t even think of any other president in America’s history who would either want or even ACCEPT that power; it is the power of kings, or of a god.
And sure enough, the morning after the acquittal, while attending the annual National Prayer Breakfast, trump did, indeed, take the time to let speaker Arthur Brooks and the other attendees know that, no, trump did not subscribe to the words of the New Testament or Jesus Christ. In fact, he did not believe that Christians should forgive their enemies. Instead, he would demand unholy retribution.
And as to the very concept of prayer –
“he targeted Speaker Pelosi, who has said she prays for Mr. Trump, saying, “Nor do I like people who say, ‘I pray for you,’ when they know that’s not so.”
“Explicitly rejecting the message of tolerance offered at the National Prayer Breakfast just moments before he took the lectern, Mr. Trump — without naming them — singled out Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who was sitting just a few feet away at the head table, and Senator Mitt Romney, the Republican from Utah who voted to convict him, accusing them of hypocrisy for citing their faith while supporting his impeachment.
“As everybody knows, my family, our great country and your president have been put through a terrible ordeal by some very dishonest and corrupt people,” Mr. Trump said.“ (The New York Times, Feb 7, 2020)
Meanwhile, back at the ‘ranch’ – there’s no one left to speak up against whatever the all powerful POTUS chooses to say or do. Furthermore, since the acquittal, and his subsequent retribution upon those who spoke up against him, it’s unlikely that anyone ever will again.
Based on our knowledge of who remains to give trump ideas and direction on how best to abuse this godlike power – McConnell, and Stephen Miller amongst the main proponents – AND the historic lack of original thought evidenced by the GOP in the past, I think we can count on what is to come in the next few months to resemble a medley of the greatest hits of Joseph McCarthy, Torquemada,Adolf Hitler, and the tenets of Putin’s beloved KGB, with nods to George Orwell’s 1984.
Trump Jr’s tweet on Friday sent a real chill down my spine. This stank of Big Brother, cruelty and an abuse of power by proxy.
The guardrails of U.S. democracy are definitely falling off.
Trump has begun his reign of terror; Friday was the ‘night of the long knives 2020,’ as Lt Col Alex Vindman AND his twin brother (who had nothing to do with the Lt Col’s testimony) were both frogmarched out of the White House like common criminals.
Within hours, Gordon Sondland, the loyalist whose ambassadorial position cost him a cool million-dollar donation, was also summarily dismissed.
Most of those who testified, called by subpoenas they did not ignore, have had to leave their posts, whether voluntarily or not. What was first bullying and intimidation has now become outright vengeance and retribution.
Yes, these actions violate a federal law. It is indeed illegal to retaliate against a witness, victim or an informant. But since trump is now above all laws, he can feel free to act with impunity. I’m gonna guess he’s just getting started.
We’ve seen how executive pique has punished the trump enemies – ask Puerto Rico what it’s like to try and survive natural disasters after incurring his wrath. Add the states of New York and California to the list – both are learning that there are a million ways to be hobbled when the Attorney General of the United States lives in the POTUS’ pocket.
While trump cannot fire elected officials, he can continue to make life hell for top Democrats, like Adam Schiff, Nancy Pelosi, Chuck Schumer, and more, and in the process force them to spend hundreds of thousands on lawyers to clear their names.
On the Sunday political news shows, loyalist Lindsay Graham seemed to be calling for a ‘thorough’ investigation of Joe Biden’s son, Hunter, which will, of course, be costly, exhausting, and ultimately cause just enough suspicion – even amongst the leftiest left leaners – to reconsider a vote for Biden.
Is it possible there have already been investigations started on the other candidates? Do Warren, Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Buttigieg, Yang, and Steyer need to worry? Because, this summer, once a candidate has been selected to run as the Democratic lead, you can bet your bottom dollar that Barr’s Department of (in)Justice will be on them like … you get the picture.
All blatantly political. All filled with malice, and an ego that can never be sated. All very third world, banana republic, where those who dissent are imprisoned. And all with the zeal of a convert who simply can’t stop flagellating those who might have different beliefs.
And, according to Alan Dershowitz, none of his actions will be illegal, now or forever, if he’s leading from his ‘heart,’ in believing that the use of government services and tax payer money to smear his opponents, is in the nation’s best interest.
Neither the DOJ nor the corrupt Republicans of the Senate will expect or coerce trump to obey any of America’s laws. His illegal retaliation against those who testified of his illegal actions will be ignored. It remains to be seen if Defense Secretary Mark Esper, or the Department of Defense, who swore to Vindman that they would see that he did not suffer retaliation or reprisals, will keep those promises. Even the DOD may find itself powerless against a fascist dictator, unhinged, and unchained from any form of accountability.
What you see every day becomes normalized, no matter how awful, no matter how evil. With trump, the evil is baked into the cake, as it has been since his childhood. A certain type of American citizen has not only accepted trump’s version of reality, they have revelled in it, delighted in the racism, bullying, and xenophobia.
Can those who are disgusted and angry with politics in America find a savior to vote for, to lead them out of this wilderness, in November? I don’t know. I hope so. But meanwhile, as these white nationalists with the group “Patriot Front” marched through Washington DC yesterday, it’s hard not to be mindful of the quote from Orwell’s 1984
“If you want a vision of the future, imagine a boot stamping on a human face – forever.”
In the last several years, I’ve written umpteen thousands of words about the trump presidency. I’ve tried my best to point readers and voters towards the truth of what so many warned us about – a rogue presidency ending in political, financial, and physical disaster for American citizens.
Three years into his disastrous reign, the damage being inflicted on the people, their institutions, and, sadly, their psyches, is no longer up for question. If there is to be any hope for the country in the future, it will require decades of labour, just to bring things back to where they were in November 2016, when Trump won the Electoral College, after losing the popular vote to Clinton by 2.8 million votes.
Whether America will ever get the chance to even start that repair, is now moot.
Despite the guardrails set in place by the Founders and the Constitution, trump has successfully kept two of the three governing branches under his thumb, coupled with his having put two trump loyalists in the Supreme Court, and installing a trump sycophant as Attorney General of the United States. With the entire system rigged against dissent, many hoped that there might be a few patriots remaining in the Republican Party who could look beyond their own wealth and best interests for long enough to rein in trump’s excesses.
But that was a lost cause; there are no heroes in the GOP, just a lot of evil, incompetent, long past their best before date, cowards.
Nancy Pelosi didn’t want an impeachment investigation during her time as Minority Leader. She often declared that she would prefer the next presidency be decided at the ballot box. Her reticence might perhaps also have been partially due to the line of succession; in the event that a president is successfully impeached and removed from office, the presidency then goes to the Vice-President, and if he is also impeached, goes to the Minority Leader. That could be construed a conflict of interest, if the articles of impeachment were deemed not to rise to a sufficient level of concern.
When Pelosi finally opted for an impeachment investigation, it was predicated by a whistle-blower’s suspicions, which were later corroborated by several witnesses, that the president had engaged in bribery, by withholding funds that Congress had voted to give to the Ukraine for their defence against Russian aggression. Trump insisted that he would not release those funds, nor formally acknowledge/host the new president of the Ukraine, until an investigation was announced that would look into possible corruption on the part of Hunter Biden, son of Joe Biden, who is currently the front runner for the Democratic party in the run up to the November 2020 election.
The funds were eventually dispersed, after the whistle-blower’s allegations emerged.
Despite the president’s denials, withholding those funds DID have a negative impact on the Ukraine.
“At least 13 Ukrainian soldiers were killed while President Donald Trump’s administration was withholding military aid from the country from mid-July to mid-September. The men, aged from 20 to 45, are among at least 78 Ukrainian soldiers killed in action up to mid-September this year in the east of the country, according to various local media and Ukrainian government reports.
It is impossible to say whether timely delivery of American aid would have helped any individual soldier. But their deaths are a potent reminder that while the Trump administration was wrangling over military assistance, Kiev was—and remains—locked in a deadly struggle with its Russian-backed separatist adversaries.” (Newsweek, Oct 2019)
Throughout the impeachment process, the Republicans in both the House and the Senate behaved like spoiled children being denied their candy; they impeded the process at every turn. Rather than mount a defense against the alleged crimes, they attacked the process itself, and the White House repeatedly refused to allow people in the administration to testify during the preliminary meetings. They also refused to release documentation that would have clarified much of the testimony.
They upped the ante during the trial itself, with trump’s ‘tv’ lawyers perjuring themselves endlessly, while Justice Roberts, Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, sat like a bump on a log in a dress, ignoring falsehoods and outright lies with a ‘supreme’ lack of interest.
Despite the brilliant outlining of the crimes with which trump was being charged, the Republican Senators in the Congress ignored what they could not deny, playing crossword puzzles, doodling, checking their (illegal) phones, or dozing during Democratic testimony. And when the time came for the Senators to vote on whether or not to allow additional witnesses, the GOP decided that they’d heard enough, and denied the request.
There has never been an impeachment trial, in the history of the US, that did not include witnesses, and proper evidence. The trial was rigged, from start to finish, with the aid of the president, the Senate, and the Supreme Court.
This trial made a mockery of justice in America. And, on Wednesday, when these same Senators vote to acquit the president of the charges, they will, in effect, raise the president to the position of King, establishing a trump monarchy as the government of the United States.
“If the president does something which he believes will help him get elected, in the public interest, that cannot be the kind of quid pro quo that results in impeachment, “ Dershowitz said.
L’Etat – c’est moi……
Incredibly, many of the Senators agreed that the president WAS guilty as charged, they just didn’t think it rose to the level of impeachment. Some said that they feared what an impeachment might do to the country. Considering what happened in Kentucky on Jan 31st, they might have had a point.
From Twitter: “Weirdest thing about guns in the Kentucky Capitol: if you have one, you’re told to walk around the metal detector. Others must pass through and get wanded.”
Also, and probably to be expected, many of the Senators blamed the Democrats for having insufficient witnesses or evidence, despite these lacks being wholly the fault of trump and the White House.
“We will never know how this impeachment trial would have unfolded if the House had waited to secure additional testimony and court orders. One thing is certain, however: The case against President Trump could only have become stronger,” wrote law professor and House Judiciary witness Jonathan Turley.”
Without being able to call witnesses, and without further requested evidence, there’s nothing left now but for the Republican party to vote on Wednesday, and do as they have said they would do all along – acquit him of the charges. Despite the oath that they swore, promising to perform honestly and with due diligence, and despite knowing – and ADMITTING – that he is guilty of the charges, they have opted to ignore his corruption, and, essentially, proclaim that the president of the United States is literally above the law. Trump becomes America’s first King.
And America is about to get royally reamed.
Wanting presidential accountability Is not about party. It’s not a ‘trump delusion syndrome’. It’s not about assessing how he’s behaved all of his life, unfaithful to the women in his life, screwing over those unfortunates who did work for him for which they’ve never been properly paid, or even that he’s been pathologically dishonest throughout his entire presidency.
No. It’s about looking at the facts, objectively, and seeing the truth – that the role of president needs to be held by someone who is better than this, but more than that, that the president must be held accountable for criminal actions.
Denying that accountability renders the rule of law moot. Elevating the POTUS to Monarch is exactly what the Founders tried so hard to prevent, in demanding accountability through impeachment.
“There is a story, often told, that upon exiting the Constitutional Convention Benjamin Franklin was approached by a group of citizens asking what sort of government the delegates had created. His answer was: “Arepublic, if you can keep it.”
How crazy could things get in a post-impeachment America? Well, just yesterday, Wyoming State Rep Rodney Garcia made a statement at a state party gathering in which Garcia’s concern about socialists ‘entering our government’ and socialists ‘everywhere’ in Billings, ended with Garcia insisting that the Constitution says to either shoot socialists, or put them in jail – despite his inability to point out exactly where in the Constitution this is written.
As Jim Wright, aka StoneKettle Station, wrote yesterday, we have to accept the reality that the Republican party is not just protecting their own seats, or being cowardly, they are profoundly evil. Just like all those who committed atrocities and horrors in the past.
“It’s easier to believe that the people who are right now selling out the Republic are doing so because of some vast complex invisible multinational conspiracy, than to believe they are just … bad people.
As if the Nazis needed to blackmailed into being genocidal monsters.
As if the Confederacy or the Klan needed be blackmailed into racism.
As if the Proud Boys had to be blackmailed into hating women.
As if all the people who’ve listened to Rush Limbaugh for the last 20 years only did so because Vladimir Putin threatened to kill their kids.
As if human nature wasn’t enough.
I don’t know.
Maybe it speaks well of you that you believe these are decent people who have to be blackmailed into doing terrible things.
Maybe you’re a better person than me, probably you are, in that you believe there has to be more than just hate and fear, ignorance, deliberate stupidity, greed, selfishness, and lust for power.
Evil has won. On Wednesday the Republican party will sell out the country when they vote to acquit a man they admit is guilty of the crimes outlined in the impeachment process. Trump will be acquitted, but he will still be impeached. That doesn’t go away.
There will be no show of integrity, duty, or courage on the part of the Senators casting their votes. And when, inevitably, more crimes are committed, more citizens are harmed by his hair-brained, demented ideas, more countries are denied access to the nation, and inevitably, tales of sadistic, horrific injuries are perpetrated against trump’s enemies, they will clutch their pearls, and deny their part in the atrocities.
American will continue its descent into a sinkhole of depravity. Good people will continue to be emotionally, physically, and financially abused by his policies. Attempts to fight back – legal, peaceful protests protected under the first amendment – will soon be deemed to be ‘against the nation’s best interests.’ Eventually protests will be banned, and protestors, most likely found guilty without trial, will discover their possessions forfeited under new laws that only serve those in power.
The early lessons learned from tormenting the likes of comedian Kathy Griffin will blossom into full-blown assaults designed not just to humiliate those who fail to show loyalty, but to grind them into total subservience.
It’s entirely possible that trump will simply cancel the 2020 elections, but whether he does or not, we can rest assured that a lack of prophylactic work beforehand to keep the elections from being rigged pretty much guarantees that the outcome is already determined, as surely as Russia’s have been for decades.
Meanwhile, on social media, some are demanding that the Democrats walk out on Wednesday’s vote to impeach, as a protest against the rigged trial. Others think that the invitation to the State of the Union should be rescinded.
But none of that matters anymore. The game is already lost. I wouldn’t bet the farm on a ‘blue wave’ where they’ll get to vote all the bad guys out. I wouldn’t bet the farm on there even being anything resembling a normal election.
All this kind of thinking does is push the battle along, to be fought months away from now. They’re saying, let’s not fight the battle now, while the war is raging, but somewhere down the line where, if Jupiter aligns with Mars, and the exact right, suitably virtuous, Dem is given the nod, well, maybe … maybe … maybe …
This all smacks of wishful, magical thinking.
Americans have to face the truth, and that is that Lady Justice is not just blind, she’s been raped and murdered, her broken body left on the steps of the Washington Monument.
Democracy dies in darkness, but this week, it was murdered in broad daylight, by the “world’s greatest deliberative body,” in the Upper house of the United States Congress.
Before we start pondering this wild new terrain they’re calling 2020, I need to know …
Why is Carnival Cruises using Jefferson Airplane’sWhite Rabbit as their new theme song? Is “Feed Your Head” a wink and a nod to the endless buffets? Or have they gone full hedonist and now include hallucinogens and your drugs of choice in the all inclusive, nonstop, eat til you burst smorgasbord? And that bartender mixing a cocktail – is he slipping something interesting into the pineapple and cherry garnished goodness of that woman’s rum punch? I don’t know if the song is meant to encourage a druggy intemperance, or if it’s meant to trigger the old hippie who, upon hearing the song, says to the spouse, ‘damn, the last time we dropped acid, this song was hot. How’s about we find us some electric Kool-Aid and blow the kids’ inheritance on crack and a Carnival Cruise?!”
Inquiring minds want to know.
Why is it that, no matter how many times Susan Collins pretends she’s thinking of going against the GOP to actually be bipartisan, we all believe that this time… THIS TIME … she’ll actually come through?
Inquiring minds want to know.
And why is it that the right to free speech ends when you yell ‘Fire!’ in a public place, potentially harming other citizens, but your right to ‘bear arms’ doesn’t end when you use those arms against other citizens?
Inquiring minds want to know.
This year has really started off with a lot of bang bang. You have to wonder about scale, about where you go from here, when, just three days into the new year, you’ve already assassinated the second most powerful person in Iran, apparently on a whim, on a wish to distract trump’s reality show viewers from the machinations of the Impeachment trial, and on the whispered prayers of some of your party’s most fanatically religious hawks
If you’re a reader of apocalypta, a student of history, and a political junkie, it’s not all that hard to see that the speed bumps visible on the road ahead are landmines, and that it’s time to watch where you’re placing your feet and your future.
Certainly, 40% of currently serving Republicans would agree; they’ve opted to retire from politics, rather than to stand up to the Mean Boy who wants to rule the world.
Trump’s cruelty is sadistic, the viciousness of a twelve-year-old boy torturing creatures smaller than himself, just because he can. He started his ‘reign of terror’ just one week after his inauguration by implementing a cruel Muslim Ban that affected tens of thousands of travelers.
“Executive Order 13769, titled Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist Entry into the United States, politically labeled as a Muslim banby detractors or a travel ban by supporters, was an executive order by United States president Donald Trump. Except for the extent to which it was blocked by various courts, it was in effect from January 27, 2017, until March 16, 2017, when it was superseded by Executive Order 13780. Executive Order 13769 lowered the number of refugees to be admitted into the United States in 2017 to 50,000, suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP) for 120 days, suspended the entry of Syrian refugees indefinitely, directed some cabinet secretaries to suspend entry of those whose countries do not meet adjudication standards under U.S. immigration law for 90 days, and included exceptions on a case-by-case basis. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) lists these countries as Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen. More than 700 travelers were detained, and up to 60,000 visas were “provisionally revoked”.”
Remember that? And how scary it was, and how pretty much everyone thought that this was way worse than what most people had envisioned, even under a maniac like Trump? Feels normal, almost business like usual now, doesn’t it?
After all, the outrageous acts that followed, mainly scripted by Trump’s trained Nazi,Stephen Miller, just kept getting more sadistic and insane as the years passed, didn’t they? Once you’ve started rounding up immigrants and refugees, and children are dying in freezing camps under unsanitary conditions, while your air and water are daily treated as commodities to be sold but not enjoyed by the nation, it’s a little hard to believe that the GOP once tried to start a Civil War because the last president wore a tan suit and didn’t put down his coffee cup to salute a soldier.
More than three years into this abomination immigrants, minorities, the DACA kids, journalists, and anyone who has dared to speak up against Trump have learned the hard way that he is utterly merciless, and terrifyingly vengeful.
“When it first came out it was viewed as being far-fetched. However, when I wrote it I was making sure I wasn’t putting anything into it that humans had not already done somewhere at some time.”
When Kathy Griffin took the publicity photos that wound up derailing her life, upending her career, and costing her hundreds of thousands of dollars, she only meant to comment on Trump’s own nastiness in painting prominent women as ‘bleeding from their eyes, their whatever.” Little did she know she was about to become the test case for how Trump could effectively and efficiently decimate his enemies.
This is what America has become: a place where in the wake of a single misstep, a single misspoken word, a career can be canceled. It’s now a place where the president of the United States can happily use the full power of his office to destroy an American citizen. Griffin’s booked gigs were all summarily cancelled, she was put on the no-fly list for two months, and remains on the Interpol border check list. Her lawyers confirmed that she was investigated by the Secret Service and the Justice Department. They considered charging her with conspiracy to assassinate the president of the United States, the sentence for which is life in prison.
All for the crime of taking a photograph of herself with a mask drenched in ketchup. Which, I may add, she was assured over and over was a perfectly legal act.
Do yourself a favour – take the phrase, “only those that have something to hide, hide something” out of your lexicon. It can and WILL be used against you.
In a recent column, musicologist Bob Lefsetz noted,
“As a Jew you grow up learning about the Holocaust, and you wonder, would you leave? Looks all rosy from the other side, especially if you know history, but are you willing to give up everything, your house, your friends, your money, in order to try and preserve your life? And the emphasis here is on “try.” It’s like a human version of “Let’s Make A Deal.” And I’m asking you, do you feel lucky? I don’t.
Kind of how I used to talk to Republicans. I always tried to see their side, keep it calm, but the funny thing is they never tried to see my side. Oh, they thought they knew it and it was incorrect, so they had no time for it. But in the age of Trump, I don’t suffer them anymore.”
Consider what Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch has gone through in the last year, both in the Ukraine, where she was serving, and in the last few months since she testified at the impeachment enquiries. The tales that she told of feeling ‘unsafe’ and of being whisked away in the middle of the night after her manager heard of threats against her seemed unreal, and possibly exaggerated. Since the inquiry, she’s received death threats for telling her truth.
And yet, recent information proves that she was very much in harm’s way, and completely unprotected – indeed, instead, targeted – by emissaries from her own country.
“All the president had to do was say he didn’t want me in the job, and I would have been gone.”
So why was Yovanovitch tormented, and threatened rather than just fired? And why did she ‘have to be’ removed? Sheer sadistic cruelty.
“Trump told his Ukrainian counterpart in July 2019 that she was “going to go through some things,” according to a rough White House transcript of the presidents’ conversation — a message Yovanovitch said she found threatening.”
One of the little bits of news that flashed by last year without really being noticed was something so petty, and yet so vile, that it was hard to believe it could possibly be true. And yet, there it was.
“Trump’s administration and the Social Security Administration have been working closely together to cut down on the number of false disability insurance claims they believe are being filed. And the Trump administration’s newly proposed plan apparently involves studying the social media accounts of disabled people to make sure they don’t look active.
Disabilities don’t all manifest the same way and definitely can’t be judged based on pictures posted to social media, a space where people tend to post images reflecting an idealized version of themselves and their lives. It’s cruel–not to mention inevitably ineffective–to essentially tell them they’re being watched to make sure they don’t appear too active, or possibly even too happy.” (New York Times, April 2019)
Forget about checks and balances – the mad king is hellbent on destroying every last bit of happiness, health, and positivity in America. Just because he can. And keep in mind, we never know who’ll be next to be punished by this monster who demands total respect and loyalty from others, while he is incapable of returning the favour.
I wish I could be more positive about this coming year; I truly do. But I can’t, because history, and a strong sense of self-preservation, tell me that it’s not just Americans that will need to stay on their toes to survive until November 2020, and the election that may or may not succeed in removing this gross abuser of massive power.
Iran could tell you – it is the world that must be on alert.
I don’t know Larry Cruse, but this post was brought to my attention a day or two ago, and needs to be read, far and wide.
“When Donald Trump says that he does not know Lev Parnas, I absolutely believe him. You can show me video after video, picture after picture, of the two of them together. You can show me articles like this, showing that Trump sent envoys to ask Parnas for his help. You could show me witness after witness who swears that the two of them were friends. It would not matter.
When Donald Trump says that he does not know Lev Parnas, I believe absolutely that he does not know him.
Donald Trump is a narcissistic sociopath. His entire circle of friends and confidants consists of exactly one person, himself. He has no affection, no loyalty, no sense of obligation, no sense of friendship, no empathy, no respect, no admiration, no deference, no consideration, for anyone but himself.
Have you not been listening to anything he has ever said!?!?
This is a man who turns in seconds on people who have stood loyally by his side for decades. A man who changes wives like most people change Kleenex. A man who is so distant from his children that he cannot tell the difference between a daughter and a lover, because, frankly, neither a daughter nor a lover would mean anything to him. A man who has never in his life had any interaction with anyone that he did not regard as transactional, and limited to exactly the duration of the transaction. The idea that he would “know” any of the people with whom he has had such relationships is at best absurdly naive.
The fact that he does not know Lev Parnas is obvious.
We joke that Trump is all about Trump. We joke at his class-clownish desire to be the center of attention in all things. But, in expecting him to own up to “knowing” Lev Parnas, we demonstrate our own horrifying inability to understand what that means.
Because a man who cannot feel loyalty to a spouse or a child most certainly cannot feel loyalty to a country. A man who has no friends cannot understand the basis for alliance between countries. A man who has no empathy cannot take care of the needs of our citizens. A man who measures every fact in terms of what is in it for himself at that specific moment, cannot serve the needs of anyone else.
A man who very clearly does not know the man who he tasked with destroying other lives lacks any of the emotional makeup that would normally be required of a president. He is, as his critics have said all along, “temperamentally unfit to be president.”
The reign of Donald Trump is not the term of a president. It is a deal, in which he gets to put taxpayer money into his pocket and his base gets a ruler with the power to put immigrants, people of color, and women, back into the subordinate role ordained for them by the Republican god.
Donald Trump will take everything he can from the deal, and when it is over, or when he gets a better deal, the man who does not know his own children, the man who does not know Michael Cohen, the man who does not know Michael Flynn, the man who does not know Lev Parnas, will not know America either. He will not know his base. He will not know the people who elected him.
The transaction will be over. And the man who does not know, anyone, will have moved on.”
Oh America. So many wanted to believe in the ‘shining city on the hill,’ and your declaration that your people deserved ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. ‘ Millions of immigrants looked for salvation on your shores, and believed that the poem, etched on the base of that sacred icon, the Statue of Liberty, and a gift from a country that knew well what it meant to overthrow a tyrannical monarchy and bask in a newfound freedom, was a prayer and a promise written just for them.
But beneath the anthems, the ‘rockets red
glare’ and the hands pressed to hearts, too many have learned that there lies a
nation built on genocide, slavery and a slavish devotion to capitalism that has
devolved into an insatiable greed and selfishness.
Now we know the dirty little secret of the
United States of America; all of the
high flying words, the protestations of freedom, the claims that all were
created equal, the vaunted checks and balances meant to assure the republic
would remain a democratic country, were nothing but lip service.
Well, at least according to FOX News, and trump and his henchmen.
” On August 12, 2019, Ken Cuccinelli,, acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, revised a line from the poem to outline a new immigration policy that would evaluate potential visa/green card immigrants on the basis of income and education, stating: “Give me your tired, your poor who can stand on their own two feet and who will not become a public charge.” In a subsequent interview, Cuccinelli also interpreted the poem as referring to “people coming from Europe” (wikipedia)
The framers of the U.S. Constitution knew well that the people could one day be fooled by cunning con men and those seeking to enrich themselves by abusing power, so they created a system that co-equally divided the powers and responsibilities of three branches; the legislative branch, the executive branch, and the judiciary branch.
They also put into place a system of checks and balances, that, combined
with the separation of powers, they hoped would guard against a tyranny imposed upon the people, in the event that
any one branch attempted to grab too much power.
But checks and balances only work when those charged with obeying them
are men of honour with a respect for the laws and institutions that are the
framework of a democratic nation.
As James Madison wrote in the Federalist Papers, “In framing a government which is to be
administered by men over men, the great difficulty is this: You must first
enable the government to control the governed; and in the next place, oblige it
to control itself.”
As prescient as the Founders were in their attempts to keep America from devolving to a monarchy or dictatorship, they couldn’t possibly have guessed that men like Mitch McConnell and Donald Trump, never mind the self-loathing white nationalists lead by Stephen Miller, would one day come to power, with an agenda designed solely to enrich themselves, while keeping the American people complacent and subjected to their will through fear, force, and/or intimidation.
Those who fled countries under the thrall of
dictatorship, or under threat of physical
or intellectual assault, believed that America’s
shores would, like the Gates of Heaven, usher them into a life where all men
had the opportunity to be free, and to seek to enrich their lives through a
lifetime of hard work, and dedication.
Apparently they were wrong.
“Dad, my sitting here today,
in the US Capitol talking to our elected officials is proof that you made the
right decision 40 years ago to leave the Soviet Union and come here to the United States of America in search of
a better life for our family,” he said. “Do not worry. I will
be fine for telling the truth.”
Even as those brave witnesses came forward in
these last two weeks to testify to the crimes and corrupt behaviour exhibited
by, not just the POTUS, but a cabal of his henchmen, in the Ukraine scandal,
those witnesses were having their lifetimes of dedicated civil service smeared,
and have since described harrowing incidents of harassment, threats and attack
on their very lives, and the lives of their families.
So, no, Lt Col Vindman, you are not ‘fine.’
Your dad was right to worry. You won’t be fine for devoting 40 years of loyal
service to your adopted country. Instead, the military must find somewhere to
shelter you and your family from the wrath of America’s
elected representatives, it’s president, and his cultist followers.
Lt Col Vindman, Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Jennifer Williams, former White House national security official Fiona Hill, and others from the former or current administration are being viciously attacked for daring to testify to the corruption and felonious actions of trump and his shadow government.
Whatever side of the political divide you may
be on, this case is ridiculously easy to understand. Trump attempted to force
new Ukraine president Zelensky to personally appear on the Sunday political
edition of CNN’s journalist Fareed Zakaria’s program
to inform the rest of the ‘free world’ that he (Zelensky) was about to open an
investigation into potential misdeeds perpetrated in the Ukraine by Hunter
Biden, the son of former vice president Joe Biden, who is currently a front
runner in the Democratic presidential nomination in the run up to the 2020
election. If Zelensky agreed to do so, trump would release over $400 million
set aside by Congress to aid in the Ukraine’s
defence against Russia.
By doing so, trump would then hold enormous power over Zelensky for as long as either of them were in power, since this would be an act of corruption perpetrated by a new president, swept in on a platform of anti-corruption.
It would also be a federal offence, as outlined in the Congressional Budget and Impoundment
Control Act of 1974, which was put into place after then
president Richard Nixon impounded tens of billions of dollars,
and refused to spend funds appropriated by Congress, particularly if the
impounding of those funds would cause programs he didn’t like to be gutted.
This precipitated a constitutional
crisis, as the Constitution, in it’s separation of powers,
granted Congress the power of the purse.
And so the 1974 Congressional Budget and
Impoundment Control Act was created, in order to limit the powers of an out of
Trump is a scofflaw, who believes himself above the law, and certainly that he is above such niceties as obeying federal laws, but that is precisely what he has broken. And he has compounded that felony with the impeachable act of attempted bribery, in order to solicit re-election aid from a foreign power.
In any other place or time, this would be
an open and shut case, and trump would be impeached, removed from power, and
However, trump’s America is a BizarroWorld of
GOP officials as corrupt as in any third world dictatorship, that is colluding
with a branch of Justice headed up by an Attorney General who is himself
implicated in the corruption, and aided and abetted by a cultlike following who
are prepared to commit any atrocity in the service and name of their GodKing.
So, this is not the America
that Lt Col Vindman thought it was. It’s not a country where those who devote
their lives in service to their country can feel secure that speaking the truth
will set them free. In trump’s BizarroWorld, only his truth is viable, and
anyone speaking against it must be thoroughly punished to the full extent of
his presidential powers.
Further, trump, in lockstep with the wishes of Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, wanted Zelensky to confess to a meddling in the 2016 elections by the previous government. This would then allow trump to ‘prove’ a debunked conspiracy theory, and to deny the conclusions of all of the American intelligence agency leaders, that Russia had interfered in the 2016 election, by shuffling the blame upon the Ukraine government instead. By doing so, trump could then insist that American sanctions upon Russia must be lifted.
Trump demanded, as was made clear on his call to Zelensky, was that Ukraine lend credence to
the Crowdstrike conspiracy theory. Not only did Trump make that demand,
but Nunes and others have been attempting to support that claim during
the hearings. And that is why Dr. Hill made her statement about
Republicans not believing in Russian interference: They are actively
working, right now, in concert with Trump, to “prove” that there was no Russian
interference. They are no longer willing to admit even the things they admitted
in that report they’re still waving around.
Every single time someone
mentioned “investigating the 2016 election,” what they really meant was “exonerating Vladimir
Putin and shifting the blame to Hillary Clinton.” And while it’s
understandable that no one wanted to use their five minutes to unwind this
ridiculous “Hillary hacked herself and hid the server in Ukraine”
theory that Attorney General William Barr is chasing around the world,
not taking that time allowed Republicans to pretend that they’re not actively working to clear Russia as well as
Trump. When they are. They really, really are.“(Mark Sumner, Daily Kos)
Yes … the lord giveth, and
the lord taketh away. The last two weeks of witness testimony at the
impeachment inquiry hearings have gladdened the heart of many who want to see
trump’s iron grip on America’s institutions and justice system broken, and for
him to suffer the consequences of his impeachable and felonious actions.
On the other hand, the
American public are not united in their need to see an unbridled and omnipotent
POTUS overthrown. There remains a firm 23% of Americans who will follow their
president wherever he takes them, even if where they’re going is to hell in a
And the timing isn’t great
either, when the American thanksgiving is right around the corner, followed by America’s most beloved holiday, the Black Friday sales.
Christmas will follow, and then much of the nation will be dealing with
inclement weather for several months.
Political junkies will follow impeachment proceedings as they occur, but for many Americans, lulled now into numbness by three years of constant tweets, executive orders, and ‘chopper talk’ pronouncements vilifying anyone against the trump juggernaut as ‘human scum,’ it may well be that trump slides into a second term handily, as have so many past incumbent presidents, and despite his crimes.
And if that happens …..
the rest of the world can only wish America ‘good luck.’ Because trump and his cabal have spent
the last three years destroying any vestige of what was once the great white
hope of the rest of the world. They have murdered Captain America, and put a slavering,
rapacious Golem in his place.
In time, the America we once thought existed will be a legend as outdated as tales of Atlantis.
Today’s column is a round up of ideas and issues that have zipped past us in the last few days.
Have you noticed that, the speeding up of events? In the last few years we have become accustomed to barely accommodating the horrors of a day before awakening to the new atrocities of the next. It’s exhausting, and it’s been taking a huge toll on the psyches of not only Americans, but of citizens in countries all around the world.
Apparently the Orange
Warthog is officially on a two week holiday, but unfortunately, his fingers
and tongue have not been disabled for the duration. And that means he’s busily
doing —- well, pretty much exactly as he does every day that he’s NOT
officially on holiday.
Even as he re-tweets conspiracy theories about the Clintons having murdered Jeffrey Epstein (because apparently the Clintons are magic who could somehow breach a high security prison under Attorney General Bill Barr’s protection) his head minion, Kelly Anne WrongWay is hitting the Sunday morning airwaves to confirm and abet Trump’s pell-mell race to full blown dementia.
It’s a full time job,
defending the indefensible. I hope it’s
well paid, because eventually, even Kelly Anne will pay the price every other
trump loyalists pays in the end; total degradation, a reputation in tatters,
and a book deal.
On many days I find myself really disheartened with the thinking patterns of so many people – in America, yes, but also here in Canada, and around the world. There was a time when I wouldn’t have included Canada in that scenario, but the results of the last several provincial elections, and the prospect of what is to come after our next Federal election, has me utterly discouraged.
So many seem to be shielding
themselves behind a combination of an innocent belief that the checks and
balances of other decades will hold, coupled with a disbelief that what is
playing out before their eyes is really happening. They are determined that
“It Can’t Happen Here,” even as it actually happens
Exhibit A. Was any kind of sense, common or otherwise, in play when this video pic was shot? Witness these two lumps of flesh, who seem to believe they are Klansmen of 1819, instead of police officers living in Texas in the year 2019, walking a handcuffed black man to the police station, as they sat astride their horses. Did no one think to check how many times these goons watched Django Unchained before assigning them horseback duty?
It seems that what I strove to digest a day or two ago bumps right up against the poison we’re asked to swallow today. After the horror of not one, but two deadly mass murders last weekend, both seemingly instigated by Trump’s racist and xenophobic rhetoric, there actually looked to be a glimmer of hope that these latest deaths might lead to some small attempt at gun reform in McConnell’s Senate.
Exhibit B...Our prayers for no longer fearing death by Wal-Mart Back to School Shopping were dashed almost overnight, when we were told that the NRA’s head, Wayne LaPierre, had already left a message for Trump while POTUS was out pimping for the cameras in Dayton (or was it Toledo?), warning that Trump’s base, whipped up by LaPierre, would be angered by any kind of scenario involving America’s gun fetish.
Exhibit C … Even as LaPierre was leaving his bile-filled message, ICE squads were putting together the largest raid against illegal immigrants in US history. They went after two poultry factories in Mississippi, where they arrested 680 workers, many of who were not only legal immigrants, but who had migrated there over the last few years from – oh! El Paso! which had just suffered the largest slaughter of Hispanics in US history.
Rather than alert the local schools and nurseries, who were welcoming the little children of these workers to their first day at school, the raid took no notice of the kids being left to find their way home alone, unknowing of when, if ever, they’d see their parents again.
Exhibit D … Acting CPB Chief Mark Morgan, on being asked to defend the timing and manner of ICE’s cruel raids, brushed aside the video of a little girl crying for her dad, by saying that the girl’s father was ‘a criminal,’ which Morgan seemed to think made the family’s suffering irrelevant.
Truth is, in the American
Justice system, a person cannot be branded a criminal, without due process, just
because they’ll work cheap, often at less than minimum wage, and do the jobs
that even the poorest American born citizens would refuse. This is a stunning
pronouncement from a government official, who has no legal right to call
‘criminal’ any human being in the United States, under their own laws.
Tellingly, the executives at these factories, who knowingly hired the illegal workers, and had been successfully sued for discrimination and poor working conditions, have not been charged for their part in the ‘crime.’ Well, they can’t be, really, can they? Because if they were, what would that mean for Trump’s many companies, that are known to also use illegal immigrants for their grunt work, in his hotels and golf resorts?
As conditions worsen for
people of colour in the United States, the Trump supporters claims that they don’t like
the man, but they do like the economy are beginning to wear thin.
There is no moral
distinction between those who are excited by Trump’s racism and those who plead
indifference to it, and it’s consequences. All the money in the world can’t put
a pretty face on the horrific cruelty behind the wealth they are reaping.
And here’s the real thing – while the hordes of Democratic representatives pursuing the presidency storm the boards in Ohio and other politically important states, Americans need to realize that they don’t just need to vote Trump out of power next November, they need to think about how they will vote this era of ‘trumpism’ out of power as well.
Since November of 2016, everything we thought we knew about politics in the US and the world has been changed
forever. As populist leaders lie their way into positions of power, flush with
dirty money and the support of the wealthiest people in human history, their selfishness,
and desire to overturn democratic norms, have badly damaged the pillars of
society we need to move civilization forward.
The irresponsibility of overturning everything previous regimes have put into place is, sadly, not coupled with an understanding or ability of how to put Humpty Dumpty back together again.
The next POTUS will have to have a spine of steel to face down the crippling changes put into place during these four years of Trump’s incompetence. The GOP are going to fight tooth and nail to try and keep the legal and financial gains they made by executive fiat, and there are bound to be not only legal impediments brought by 45’s appointed judges, and his stooges in the Supreme Court, but from all of the other departments, offices, and agencies that vowed loyalty to Trump.
And while fighting that good
fight, the 46th president is also going to have to face 45s millions of
supporters, who pledged themselves to him because they thought he’d fix their
lives, share his largesse, heal their addicted family members of opiate
addictions, kick out all the ‘bad’ people, and maybe even cure their cancer.
Even though he accomplished none of those things, and indeed, has left the country battered and bruised at the core, these supporters are still just as filled with anger, frustration, fear, and anxiety as they were three years ago. But they’ll be even madder that the next president couldn’t have given Trump just a little more time.. say four .. or six .. or eight .. or twelve more years to finally get them what they believe they are due.
The inequality that faced them in 2016, still faces
them now, in fact, for many, it’s worse. For the farmers, they lost $10
billion in agricultural sales in 2018, and another $20 billion in 2019. Now
has found other places to buy wheat and soybeans, those billions are never
coming back. What do you tell the farmers?
Those 50,000 coal miners who were told that ‘coal’s coming back!‘ and who therefore decided not to accept retraining in a more current field, have had to roll with the punches, as the country’s third largest mine filed for bankruptcy protection in May. What do you tell those miners?
While those who watch media other than Trump sanctioned FOX News have been following the collapse of these industries, and holding our collective breaths as the GOP administration threatens to remove America’s social safety net, his loyalists continue to believe that it’s just a matter of time until they are all living in a land of milk and honey.
Which is all to say that defeating Trump at the ballot box in 2020 will be just the first step towards pulling America back to the centre, and away from the far right where it now uncomfortably dwells. That fight will involve angry Republicans tossed from fat cat, lifetime terms in office, as well as a fight against every day Americans who can’t give up the Kool-Aid.
That may seem a daunting
task, but another four years under Trump would be far more horrific and
devastating to the planet.
Canada is inching up to it’s own appointment in Samara this fall, and I no longer feel I can say with any confidence that Canadians will do the right thing when they saddle up to vote federally in October. I can only hope that saner heads prevail than those that voted lately in Ontario and Alberta.
And now, I’m off to enjoy
what remains of summer. See you in September!
It was the worst terrorist attack against Hispanics in US history and the eighth-deadliest in modern US history.
Picture in your mind’s eye, a little 2-year-old, recovering from broken bones, who survived the mass shooting at an El Paso Wal-Mart after his 25-year-old mother used her body to shield him and save his life. His mother was fatally shot.
As that little boy lay in the hospital, in horrible pain, the Governor of Texas was leading off a press conference on the mass shooting in which twenty people were killed and 26 injured on Saturday. He called for people around the country who want to help – to pray.
“Lives were taken who should still be with us today,” said Gov. Greg Abbott. He then went on to blame a ‘mental health‘ issue for the tragedy.
If it’s a ‘mental health issue’, then that shooter is right out of luck. Texas is the lead state currently trying to overturn the ACA, thus stripping any kind of health care away from Americans without other forms of insurance.
It’s time to stop belittling those with actual ‘mental health issues’ and call this madness what it really is…a hate crime, committed by a home grown terrorist, born of easy access to guns, and a ramping up of racism, as preached by POTUS Trump.
White supremacy is an ideology, not a mental illness. It’s a creed encouraged by the President and his acolytes, and those Republicans who fear him have no choice but to obey his commands.
Abbott’s words are more than a little hard to swallow, considering that it was just a few months ago that Texas’ legislators and governor not only turned down measures that would impose rational controls on gun owners, but loosened existing laws.
“When you get 10 pro-2nd Amendment bills to the governor and he signs them all, I would rank it up there with one of the most successful sessions we’ve had since I’ve been doing this,” the Texas NRA lobbyist, Tara Mica told the Dallas Morning News.
On June 29th, the NRA’s Texas lobbyist announced that every single bill backed by the NRA and passed by the Legislature received the signature of Gov. Greg Abbott.
Amongst the many with blood on their hands, Governor Abbott takes his place beside Trump, McConnell, and every other Republican who refuses to put into place proper gun reform laws.
And I think we can now safely lay to bed the old trope that a good guy with a gun can always stop a bad guy with a gun; Texas is an open carry state, and many of the Wal-Mart shoppers were heavily armed.
Didn’t save a one of them, though. Guess most people just don’t go to Wal-Mart expecting to be invited to a gunfight.
When Texas loosens their gun laws, Texas residents are not the only ones affected; neighbouring states are also impacted. While in this case, the shooter was a Texan who drove over 650 miles to do his deadly duty, the semiautomatic rifle that murdered four people and injured 12 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival last week, was illegal to own in California – but was perfectly legal for the assailant to buy in Nevada, the next state over.
This is why America needs comprehensive, nation-wide, gun reform. 250 mass shootings in 216 days…
America – it is time to admit that you have a problem.
The Gilroy murders were just a week ago. Since then, there have been eleven more mass shootings. Lost in today’s new about Dayton, was a shooting at Douglas Park playground in Chicago, Illinois. Seven people were wounded.
On August 2, a man in Pomfret, Maryland shot and killed his in-laws, and wounded an 11-year-old boy sitting in a relative’s car before committing suicide. In Suffolk, Virginia, two men were killed and two women and a two year old were wounded in multiple crime scenes.
On July 31st, police responded to ‘shots fired’ at a senior living complex and found a wounded woman, along with two males and a woman murdered. In another Wal-Mart store, in Southhaven, Mississippi, a man killed two people and wounded a police officer ion July 30th.
On that same July 30th, four people were wounded during an attempted home invasion in Haskell, Oklahoma, while in Rosenberg, Texas a man shot and killed his ex-girlfriends parents, and wounded her, before committing suicide in a murder-suicide. And in Columbus, Ohio, five poeple were shot at a home they’d rented through Airbnb.
And if you haven’t already forgotten and moved on – as one does, when multiple slayings are an everyday occurrence, another five people were murdered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin on July 28th, when a gunman shot six people, four fatally, before killing himself.
All of this killing isn’t about ‘mental health issues.’ It’s roots lie in incompetence and political greed, coupled with fear that the NRA, who grades politicians on their friendliness to the NRA, and punishes those that won’t tow the line, will primary those who refuse NRA’s blood money bribes, and who dare to speak to the thousands of Americans murdered every year, thanks to the laxity of America’s gun laws.
Last night, many people went to bed shaken with the viciousness of this home grown terrorism, whipped up by their president, who was actually named in the shooter’s manifesto as being the inspiration for the attack. As they tried to rest, and hoped to unsee the ugly deaths and injuries of their fellow citizens, they instead awoke this morning to the news of another deadly attack – this time in Dayton, Ohio, where a gunman killed 9 people and injured 26 outside a bar after a person was denied entry.
Today, the ‘good Christians’ of America will fill their churches to mourn the dead of Dayton and El Paso. They will beat their breasts, as they murmur how their thoughts and prayers are with the dead and injured…
and then hours later they will be on Facebook, showing off their selfies with their masses of weapons, or bullying people of colour on Twitter, or maybe they’ll even attend a white supremacist or Trump rally, (same thing, really) puffed full of white pride, chanting ‘build that wall!,” “send them back!” and invoking the same racist filth their president delights in using to incite his followers to violence.
Praise the Lord … and pass the ammunition. What kind of a God favours guns, bigotry, xenophobia, murder, and racist scum like Trump? Not one I recognize.
Some of the dead and injured from the El Paso attack in a Wal-Mart were probably there getting school supplies for their children. Maybe they were fingering a nearly $200 bulletproof backback for their little one when the shots rang out.
Five of the top ten deadliest shootings in U.S. history have happened since 2016, and that’s no coincidence. Trump’s open racism has inflamed his base of angry, hate-filled, white males ready to commit murder for their leader.
“An audience member at a Donald Trump rally in Florida yelled ‘shoot them’ in reference to migrants at the border. Trump had asked the crowd: ‘How do you stop these people?’ After laughing at the response, he added: ‘Only in the panhandle can you get away with that statement'” The Guardian, May 2019
Since Trump first blew his racist dog whistle in Charlottesville in the summer of 2017, there’s been a persistent increase in incidents of racial violence. His enthusiastic support has led white supremacists to believe that they have permission from their leader in the White House to instigate racial violence, and a directive, if not a licence, to kill, without repercussion, based on his rhetoric.
The murders won’t end in El Paso; his minions took his ‘very fine people’ as a compliment. They are free to carry out his xenophobic mandate with his approval…
“Nineteen minutes before the first 911 call alerted the authorities to a mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Tex., a hate-filled, anti-immigrant manifesto appeared online.
It spoke of a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” It detailed a plan to separate America into territories by race. It warned that white people were being replaced by foreigners.
The manifesto that may be linked to Mr. Crusius described an imminent attack and railed against immigrants, saying, “if we can get rid of enough people, then our way of life can be more sustainable.” (The New York Times)
These are Trump’s words, Trump’s mandate, Trump’s orders to which they are marching.
” According to Facebook’s ad archive, Trump has run around 2,200 FB ads since May 2018 mentioning the word “invasion.” Scrolling through, all of them seem to be about immigration.” Twitter user Holly Lee.
As families in El Paso gathered at a school to regroup and count their dead and/or injured, ICE agents rolled up to check citizenship papers.
In Trump’s America, the mandate is clear. Even as he tweets for god to bless the victims of El Paso and Dayton, he fires back at those who dare to blame him for egging these killers on, saying that those who blame him or other conservatives should be ashamed of themselves.
“Hate crimes increased 226% in places Trump held a campaign rally in 2016, a University of North Texas study claims.”
As another twitter user, Raging Canadian Granny, noted, ” Obama would go on TV and address the nation. He would hug the families and give eulogies. He tried to make gun changes but the grim reaper stopped him.”
From Trump? Two sentences, squeezed out between golf rounds.
“God bless the people of El Paso Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.”
and then a whine about how unfair everyone is for noting that it was he himself that got these murderers to do his bidding.
Nothing but weak sauce, as ineffective as thoughts and prayers.
America deserves better. I hope she survives long enough to finally learn that truth