A Few Thoughts on Current Political Developments

Oh Shit

After last week it is nearly impossible for anyone to deny that the Trump campaign tried to collude with Russia in swaying the election.

I’m not implying Donald Trump was personally involved or is directly to blame, I haven’t seen enough evidence to make that kind of judgment yet, but I do have something I think everyone should consider.

Trump either knew his campaign chairman was up to some shady business that could possibly lead to a number of charges, and either didn’t care or thought he could get away with it…

Or he had no idea Paul Manafort could be indicted on counts of conspiracy against the United States, conspiracy to launder money, unregistered agent of a foreign principal, false and misleading FARA statements, false statements, and seven counts of failure to file reports of foreign bank and financial accounts.

I’m not sure which is worse. That he knowingly hired people who would engage in such unethical behavior or that he would hire someone without knowing enough about them to be certain they wouldn’t engage in such unethical behavior.

Either way, is this the kind of guy we want making lifetime judicial appointments? For all we know Neil Gorsuch could be a Russian spy, a Filipino prostitute, a transgendered person or even Ruth Bader Ginsberg in disguise!

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Dear GOP,


No matter how much outrage you manage to muster about Harvey Weinstein we’re not going to forget that Donald Trump coined the phrase ‘Grab ’em by the pussy.’

And while we’re on the subject, one does not excuse the other. Both men are scumbags. It doesn’t matter who they donated to.

#covfefe

Oh Say Can You Stand

Freedom means something different to just about everyone. For some, it might be not having a nagging wife. Others prioritize financial independence or not being incarcerated. Many folks nowadays seem to equate freedom with owning fully automatic assault rifles with unlimited ammunition or not buying health insurance.

To me, the freedoms guaranteed in the first amendment* of the United States Constitution are the most important. In my opinion, without the freedom to say your government is wrong you have no freedom.

If you couldn’t tell where I was going with this, I fully support the right of NFL players to take a knee in protest. I wouldn’t want to live in a country where I had to stand every time the national anthem was played, or I saw a flag. And I certainly wouldn’t want to have to hang a picture of the leader in my home.**

Unfortunately, this means I also support the rights of neo-Nazis and klansmen to march around with tiki torches and shout about how they hate Jews. If freedom of speech doesn’t protect speech I don’t agree with it isn’t really freedom. (Of course, it shouldn’t protect hate speech. You shouldn’t be able to tell an autidorium full of your supporters to rough up protesters, but that’s a whole other discussion.)

But while I fully support the rights of players to protest their government and sypathize with their cause, I’m not sure I agree with the method.

I hate to say that. I’d really like to see the US have an open and honest discussion about the systematic racism and oppression going on every day. But that’s not what’s happening. Kneeling hasn’t started the conversation it needed to. It’s just driven a wedge into an already divided nation.

While I find it difficult to hear the stories of Freddie Gray, Michael Brown and Tamir Rice without feeling a sense of outrage at what appears to be injustice, others dig in their heels and say these people were thugs who got what they deserved.

While I worry about the world my daughter will grow up in when I see a video of a black teenage girl pulled out of her desk at school and slammed to the floor by an adult police officer, others say, ‘well you don’t know the whole story. She must have done something to provoke that.’^

 

Yes, I see many problems with policing in this country. And I see many problems with racism in this country. While I have eyes I intend to use them. Even Stevie Wonder can see what’s happening.

But while I salute those players taking a stand (or knee) I don’t feel optimistic that it will change anything. Just like Sinead O’Conner ripping up the picture of Pope John Pall II didn’t make a damn bit of difference, I don’t see the current protests doing much good. We’re all aware of the problem, but a surprising number of people just don’t care.

I sure hope I’m wrong. I hope we can start that discussion. If there’s any way I can help I hope someone will let me know. I’d like for this to be a country worth standing up for, but at the moment; I’ll take a knee.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*”Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

**Unless it was Bill Clinton. And he was nude.

^By the way, if you can give me a reason that convinces me it’s OK for a grown man to strike, slap, slam or otherwise beat on a teenage girl I will pay you all of the money and property I own. You may find it somewher near ‘reasons it’s OK to beat your wife’ or ‘good reasons to hate someone based on skin color’ or in the drawer titled ‘Things That Don’t Exist.’

Patriotism

Everyone keeps talking about patriotism as if it’s a basic need like air or water or a basic emotion that should have been portrayed in Inside Out.

But patriotism isn’t an emotion. It’s not an instilled value or a feeling of pride in one’s homeland.  Patriotism is a product; like computer chips and tampons.

Patriotism is a way for mediocre companies to get you to buy gaudy t-shirts, buttons and bumper stickers. And then wrap yourself up in a flag and pretend it’s fashionable. It’s the reason a two-hour Navy commercial called American Sniper was nominated for an Oscar. It’s the reason people buy watered-down hard rock from a band called 5 Finger Death Punch.

Patriotism is a way to get people to vote for something they might not agree with by saying it’s for ‘the good of the country.’ Or to get people to suffer some unnecessarily because their country requires it. Or to kill some poor sap who never did anything wrong but feel patriotism for a different country.

It’s a way for people who never contribute anything to society to feel good about themselves. Patriotism is a way to make people who were born in one area feel like they’re superior to people born in another area.

Patriotism is all of this and more. Available for only $19.95

 

Trump Blames Obama for Hurricanes, Wildfires and Drought

Palm Beach, FL – President Trump held a press conference yesterday amid the blowing winds of Hurricane Irma where he blamed his predecessor for multiple natural disasters facing the U.S.

“Look at this crowd, this is a great crowd,” he told the hundred-some people gathered in a shelter to escape the rains and winds outside. “This is a bigger crowd than Obama ever got for a photo op in a disaster area, but the lying media won’t tell you that.”

Trump then lashed out at ‘fake news’ outlets for about twenty minutes. He told the crowd that they could believe anything positive that was written about him in the press, but that any criticism was ‘fake news.’

He then made the statement that Hurricanes Harvey and Irma were part of a deep state conspiracy to try and undermine his presidency.

“You know,” he said. “There are a lot of Obama appointees still working at the National Hurricane Center and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. After all  that I’ve been through with my microwave being tapped and this fake Russian witch hunt it wouldn’t surprise me if some bureaucrats cooked up these storms to try to make me look bad.”

(From the Wisconsin State Journal, Madison.com)

He then stated that wildfires in the American West were started by Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, droughts in the Dakotas were started by Bernie Sanders and a giant fan, and his high cholesterol is the responsibility of former Commissioner of Food and Drugs Margaret A. Hamburg, M.D.

“Everything is a conspiracy. Don’t trust anyone! Except me. You can trust me. I’ll sell you the best car. It’ll be the best used car you’ve ever had. Definitely not a lemon. You’ll get tired of how not a lemon this car is.”

The president continued to speak for about an hour and a half and never seemed to notice the water seeping into the building and rising. Threatening to engulf him and his entire administration.

So Confused

Am I the only person who gets confused when I hear about Donald Trump sticking up for Christian values?

I’m really starting to worry that I bought a fake bible. Or maybe I just really fucking misunderstood the one I bought. I didn’t read it in the original Hebrew or Aramaic so maybe something was lost in translation. But you’d think the big points would carry over. You don’t figure there would be this much debate.

“A sex scandal led to his resignation from the ministry. Subsequent revelations of accounting fraud brought about his imprisonment and divorce. He later remarried and returned to televangelism.” -Wikipedia

I guess conservative Christians are saying a Trump impeachment will spark a second American Civil War. And a bunch of churches got together to write something called the Nashville Statement that is just some sort of anti-gay manifesto.

I know there’s a lot of war, smiting and other unpleasantness in the bible (Including homophobia, spousal abuse, incest and absolutely NO eating of pork), but I thought the general message was supposed to be “Love your neighbor as yourself.“*

I believe it was Haruki Murakami that wrote “Either I’m funny or the world’s funny. I don’t know which. The bottle and lid don’t fit. It could be the bottle’s fault or the lid’s fault. In either case, there’s no denying that the fit is bad.” Something is definitely not fitting with what I learned about Christianity versus how the Christian world is acting.

Can we just start using the term “so-called” in front of terms like “Conservative Christians,” “Televangelists” and “Religious Right.”

Murakami also said, “It seemed to me that this world has a serious shortage of both logic and kindness.” **

Current political rumblings have me in agreement.

 

 

 

 

*Mark 12:31

** Both are from his great novel 1Q84

 

A Little Late

 

I guess that by 2017 you’d think this is a conversation that we would have gotten over. Come on, the Confederacy fell over 150 years ago (after existing for only four years and never gaining international recognition). Even the Nazi party was defeated over seventy years ago.

Are you noticing a pattern here? White supremacists poke their heads out for a little while, start some trouble and get their asses kicked.

Have you noticed that none of the people from the alt-right who bemoaned all the ‘political correctness’ in our culture are bitching about the term ‘white nationalist.’

If you’re unsure ‘white nationalist’ is just a euphemism for Nazi or Klansmen.