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I am tired of Trump supporters telling me that Trump is a brilliant business man. He is not. He is a failing business man who routinely files bankruptcy when he can’t make his businesses work, stiffing his creditors and workers. He is a con man who spent his entire career sucking money out of the middle class to enrich himself. Trump University is just one example.

Trump knows the game of the rich class, and he is putting on a circus for the middle class to distract us from what is really going on. The ultra rich, and the corporate world, are benefitting from what is going on quietly behind the scenes while we’re all distracted by the dazzling magic show of blunders and corruption and outrageous stagecraft at this rallies.

He puts on the Immigrants are Evil public show, knowing fully well that none of his facts make any sense, immigrants have nothing to do with the problems of America, because he knows we can only be angry about one thing at a time.

It’s the deeds of Congress and his cabinet behind the scenes that we should really be worried about. Here are just a few of them:

  • Dismantling National Parks or opening them to exploitation by mining and logging.
  • Removing consumer protections imposed on banks and credit companies.
  • Instituting tax cuts that favor businesses and super wealthy individuals and are largely meaningless to the middle class.
  • Neutering the EPA, whose mission it is to protect the public from corporate pollution.
  • Dismantling the Department of Education and pushing our public funds to private for profit schools where we have no control over the use of the funds.
  • Increasing the military budget and thus feeding the military industrial complex. The increase of $80 billion this year alone is more than the entire military budget of Russia.
  • Removing civil rights protections.
  • Removing all our work toward research and protection against climate change. This is the worst crime of all, since it’s going to take decades to fix, and our grandchildren get to clean up the mess. This is a crime against humanity.

Watch the hand behind his back, not the circus in front of our faces.

We, the middle class, are getting hurt and exploited everywhere along the way. The debt is skyrocketing. Some day we will have to pay for all this, and Trump won’t be around to help with it.

Corporate America is doing great and the middle class is not getting the benefits. That’s why the stock market is rising.

When it all comes crumbling down, the rich aren’t going to be affected much. They’ll still eat and travel in helicopters. It’s the middle class that will lose everything – once again.

Trump will long be gone by then.

We will still be here.

 

 

Why is the Trump administration bombarding us with messages about immigrants being bad? They are making this huge deal about “open borders.” They are portraying immigrants as murderers, rapists, criminals, gang members, etc. They are parading people on stages holding up pictures of family members murdered by immigrants. Somehow, it’s made the country think that immigrants are something bad, criminal, to be avoided, to be punished.

The president keeps saying that we “want open borders” because we don’t think building a wall makes sense, or because we believe separating children from their parents at the border is inhumane and immoral. 

The president should take a class in Logic 101. I do not “want open borders.” Of course, our borders should be controlled and we need immigration legislation that makes sense.

Both statements can be true:

  1. I do not think we should have open borders.
  2. I do not think building a wall would solve any of our immigration problems.

To get his way, logical or not, Trump misstates reality and disseminates untrue facts.

Check out my post on immigrant statistics and note that immigrants in America are way better educated than American-born people, they start more businesses, and they have more college degrees. Of the 400 richest Americans (according to Forbes), 41 are immigrants. Even illegal immigrants (undocumented migrants as we call  them) have a place in our society by working in low-wage jobs in agriculture, food service and – yes – in Trump properties.

To solve the undocumented migrant problem, I believe we need to institute a proper guest worker program, so the migrants can live here legally while they are gainfully employed, contribute to our society and economy with their services, and pay taxes to support our system.

In the modern world there is no way to keep poor people out of rich countries. You can build walls, only to find that the people fly over the walls or dig under them. The solution is proper trade, fair integration, mutual collaboration on solutions, and yes, enforcing the laws of the nation.

Immigrants have made this country what it is today. Trump’s great-grandfather was an immigrant. Trump’s wife is an immigrant.

I am an immigrant, and I am proud of it.

Four young men hatch up a plan for a heist – stealing some of the most valuable books in the world, like one by Darwin, another by Audubon, all locked up securely in a local library/museum.

When you think of a heist, you think of Oceans 11, where a group of experts in various disciplines with nerves of steel get together, draw up detailed plans of every possible angle and contingency, and then execute the plan.

But the most well-rehearsed plan can go wrong, or very wrong. These young men are about to find out.

American Animals is a true story in the truest sense. It is actually narrated by the four real protagonists in real-life. Then, as they introduce section after section, the movie switches back to the actors who play out the plot.

This is extremely well done. The story is utterly entertaining. The sound track is superb. The cadence of the movie brings you along for the ride, all the way into the intense pressure of executing the heist itself, or rather, screwing it up.

American Animals is about four men who decide to do something extraordinary with their lives – and that’s exactly what they end up doing – albeit in a way, and with an outcome, that they didn’t expect themselves.

Definitely – go and see American Animals.

Sean Hannity

Hannity attended Sacred Heart Seminary in Hempstead, New York, during his middle school years and St. Pius X Preparatory Seminary high school in Uniondale, New York. He attended New York University, UC Santa Barbara, and Adelphi University, but did not graduate.

— Wikipedia

 

Rachel Maddow

Maddow earned a degree in public policy at Stanford in 1994. At graduation, she was awarded the John Gardner Fellowship. She was the recipient of a Rhodes Scholarship and began her postgraduate study in 1995 at Lincoln College, Oxford. She had also been awarded a Marshall Scholarship the same year but turned it down in favour of the Rhodes. This made her the first openly gay or lesbian American to win an international Rhodes Scholarship. In 2001, she earned a Doctor of Philosophy (DPhil) in politics at the University of Oxford. Her thesis is titled HIV/AIDS and Health Care Reform in British and American Prisons, and her supervisor was Lucia Zedner.

— Wikipedia

I have spent more than twenty years of my career helping human services and early education agencies all around the country with administration of childcare programs and everything related to it.

My customers are child advocates who have dedicated their lives to breaking the cycle of poverty in our country, and helping young children get out from under the yoke of economic oppression and sometimes misfortune. They are dedicated to the welfare and safe-keeping of young children, and they are passionate about it. Their work means everything to them.

I cannot imagine what it must feel like for them to be forced to be complicit with state-organized and state-created child abuse and human trafficking, because that is exactly what I think is going on in our country now.

These child advocates are now finding themselves in a position to have to search for care and safety for thousands of children who should be with their parents, but have been kidnapped by our government. This is a crisis entirely of our own making.

We have lost our moral authority.

The United States used to be John Winthrop’s Shining City upon a Hill, and we came after countries for human rights violations. Then it started to get shaky when Bush and Cheney started openly torturing people. McCain, a torture victim himself, spoke out against the practice. Once we tortured our prisoners, every American soldier, upon capture anywhere, would then have to fear to be tortured him or herself.

Now, with open racism, and state-enacted kidnapping, child abuse and human trafficking, taking children, even babies, away for their parents with no hope of reunification, we have lost all moral authority for decades to come.

It will be a very long time before the United States can lecture a rogue dictator for human rights violations. It will be a very long time before we can justify invading a country because it abuses its own citizens. We have given up this bargaining chip. It will be generations before our representatives, our presidents, can walk into a room again and command moral authority, and stand on the principle that the United States does the right thing.

I am disgusted with my government that commits crimes against humanity. I am disappointed with my fellow citizens who support these practices by propping up the Little Man in the White House.

Make America Great Again?

Right now, I am ashamed for my country!

The tweet by Trump above is an abomination.

Democrats don’t want illegal immigrants. Nobody wants illegal immigrants. Over the last 20 years, every Congress under every president tried to enact immigration reform, and none of them succeeded, due to political differences. This is not a “Democrat” problem.

Democrats, as everyone else, care about crime.

Democrats do not want more illegal immigrants because they are potential voters. This is utter drivel.

Insane, inane and atrocious nonsense coming out of the mouth of the president of the United States is an insult to every law-abiding, decent American.

Likening illegal immigrants to vermin (since only vermin “infests” something) is a racist insult to all human beings. Vilifying immigrants as the “problem” in our country is pure propaganda.

Trump and his ilk have created a divisive issue and problem where one doesn’t exist. Our country has a lot of problems, and illegal immigration is one of its problems, but it’s by far not its biggest problem. The idiotic border wall makes no sense. Separating children from parents makes no sense. Neither solves the immigration problem. Proper legislation and proper enforcement of that legislation solves the problem.

But the Trump administration is making it sound like this is the big problem of our time. They talk like Democrats want open borders. Nobody wants open borders. But saying it often enough and loud enough makes it sound like it is true and real.

They are pegging those who care about the child abuse occurring on our borders now as enemies of the country by wanting open borders against those who want to “enforce the laws.”

The whole argument is ridiculous, and it is meant to desensitize us.

I can’t help it now, I have to invoke Godwin’s Law again.

During the night of November 9, 1938, Hitler’s thugs, all over the country, raided Jewish businesses by breaking their windows and looting their stores. The night was called Kristallnacht, the night of broken glass, due to the shards of broken glass that lined the streets the next morning. They then blamed the opposition.

Jews were soon and openly treated as vermin who infested the German society. They used the same word that our United States president used in his tweet this morning: Infest.

Once a significant percentage of the population is supporting brutal policies simply by being quiet when they are carried out, the enactors and enablers become bolder and more brazen.

Today we are tearing babies away from their parents without any plan of reuniting them later. How is a deported mother ever going to find her infant child again, weeks or months after separation? Today we’re putting babies in cages. Tomorrow we’re letting them die. After all, they are the offspring of vermin, right?

And all this is being done in front of the watchful eye of the American public, and we’re letting it happen, and the Republicans in Congress are letting it happen.

I am starting to think of Republicans as repugnant.

To me, it looks like we have organized crime running the White House, enriching themselves at the expense of the country, systematically de-sensitizing us to brutality, first against the vermin crossing our borders, later against “Democrats” who “want open borders,” and then, in the end, they’ll come after people like me who do not agree with those tactics and politics, who speak their minds in public.

First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out–Because I was not a Jew.

Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

— Martin Niemöller, a Nazi dissident

As you can see in Trump’s tweet, he has been coming after the immigrants ever since he started his campaign. And he has got a significant portion of our population convinced that immigration is our problem. He has emboldened white supremacists.

He is now gradually setting up to come after Democrats, whatever that is. He is actually blaming the family separation activity on Democrats, and his supporters are eating it up. Watch it, soon we’ll start seeing atrocities committed against Democrats.

And then, they’ll come after the media and free speech.

It has worked before, all over the world.

Many years ago, when my now 30-year-old son was two or three years old, he was playing in the yard while I was working. Then I looked up and I couldn’t see him. I checked around the corner of the house. Nothing.

I went inside and checked all rooms. Nothing.

I ran outside, now serious adrenaline had kicked in. I raced around the entire house. Nothing.

I started yelling for him. Nothing.

I ran 50 yards down the street. Nothing.

Complete and utter panic.

I ran back to the house, grabbed my bicycle. I figured that every second counted now. I rode further down the street calling for him. Nothing.

I figured I had gone further than he could have wandered off and returned home. Ran all around the yard again, calling for him. Nothing.

Then, suddenly, he ambled out from behind the acacia bushes along the fence, and I just about melted. I don’t know how long the entire episode was. Three or four minutes?

Three of four minutes of utter panic, because I had lost my child.

I’ll never forget the agony I went through.

Racism

Racism isn’t getting worse, it’s getting filmed.

— Will Smith

I don’t understand what makes people do things like this to other human beings.

I don’t like child molesters.

I don’t like child cruelty.

I don’t like things like this being done by my government in my name.

When politicians quote verses in scripture to justify their dirty deeds, the society is usually in trouble.

What distinguishes the blabbering of biblical verses of Jeff Sessions from those of Taliban lunatics or ISIS murderers who quote the Quran to justify their crimes and atrocities?

Nothing that I see.

Our country is not supposed to be based on religious values. I don’t want our so-called leaders to rationalize their crimes against humanity based on religious value systems that many of us do not support or subscribe to.

“Hey, he is the head of a country and I mean he is the strong head,” Mr. Trump told Fox News’ Steve Doocy on the White House lawn Friday. “Don’t let anyone think anything different. He speaks and his people sit up at attention. I want my people to do the same.”

— President Donald Trump

It is obvious that our president is impressed with dictators. I wonder who he thinks “my people” are. I hope the doesn’t think I am “his people.”

It is simple, Mr. President: All you have to do is arrest and execute a few of “your people” when they don’t sit up at attention when you speak, and you’ll quickly see changes.

It was about 2011. Ross Ulbricht was a brilliant young American college student in Austin, Texas. His main area of interest and study was physics. He wanted to change the world. He tried to get accepted to the reality show Amazing Race with his sister but they didn’t make it onto the show. If they had been accepted, his life might have been completely different.

Ross was also a libertarian. One of his fundamental believes was that the government has no right to dictate what a person does with their body or what they put into it. For instance drugs, including illegal drugs.

That belief eventually gave him the idea to create a website called the Silk Road which turned into a highly successful bazar for buyers and sellers of drugs. Within a couple of years the site grew to serve the sale of over $1.2 billion in drugs, weapons, and even body parts and organs. Ross made tens of millions of dollars in commissions for himself.

In American Kingpin, the writer tells the story of how Ross got the idea, how the started the site modestly by selling magic mushrooms he grew in his own apartment, and how it eventually grew into a formidable criminal empire. The story is reminiscent of the rise of Walter White in Breaking Bad. The only difference is, Walter White is a fictional character. Ross Ulbricht is a real person, an all-American young man.

Does this person look like one of the most successful drug dealers of all time? Does this person look like someone who ordered people killed, Walter White-style?

While the reader observes his rise, he is also following the various branches of law enforcement that start closing in on him, one minor step at a time, until they eventually close the trap.

American Kingpin is a very readable book. Once I started I just kept turning the pages, almost like a thriller. I learned much about the dark web and how it works, and while I was following the hapless journey of Ross Ulbricht from innocent college student to drug dealer, I had to remind myself that this was a true story.

Of course, there is a website to Free Ross Ulbricht where you can learn much more about the Kingpin. People argue that his sentence was not fair. There are drug dealers in prison for life for having sold heroin and cocaine on the street. The “dirty” kind of drug dealing. Ross did it from behind a keyboard. Hmmm. People still died from his product.

You get to judge for your own as you read the book.

Trump has tweeted about the witch hunt going on.

Today Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort has been jailed following new charges of witness tampering. He’ll be held without bail until trial.

Trump has complained that due to the witch hunt many “lives have been destroyed.” Really? The lives of criminals like Manafort who consistently enriched themselves by money laundering, making false statements, filing fraudulent documents, bank fraud, and the list goes on?

It may well be that if Trump had never run for president, Manafort would be happily engaging in all those activities now.

It may also well be that if Trump had never run for president, his fixer Cohen would still be out there practicing law, threatening journalists, and palling around with Russian mobsters.

It may well be that dozens of indictments would not have happened, hadn’t it been for Trump running for president.

At the end of the day, those indictments, that will eventually turn most of the recipients into felons, were valid and justified. We have smoked out an empire of what looks like organized crime activity at the cost of the American public. Trump filed bankruptcy every time the criminal deeds of his fixers and followers were not enough to bail him out. Then the public got to pay.

So Trump wants us to believe these people are innocent. There were no crimes.

I say that these people now wish they had never engaged in business with Trump. Everything he touches eventually crumbles, recently more publicly than before. Everybody that works closely with Trump is getting disgraced at best, and cast off by Trump more often than not.

Let’s just hope our country and democracy are stronger than some of his businesses.

Some witch hunt!

Trump and Crimea

Trump Told World Leaders Crimea Is Russian Because Everyone There Speaks Russian.

Maybe that means that the United States and Canada, except for Quebec, should belong to England, since we all speak English!

Yeah! Go Trump!

 

 

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