Living in a Safe Country

Today I went sailing in San Diego Bay with family and friends. In the car on the way home, the conversation went to “the good life” we’ve all been blessed with. How our lives are safe, we have intact homes, enough income to eat every day, and we don’t have to worry about anything seriously threatening our safety and well-being.

That made me think.

Say that a coup happened in the United States right now. A strongman took over our government by undermining its institutions, and by taking command of law enforcement and the military. It’s been done before in many other countries. If that happened, it would not take long before our way of life would collapse. Gangs would be marauding in our suburban neighborhoods, raping women, taking our food and valuables at will and threatening our lives.

Say you have a couple of small children, a six-month old baby and a three-year-old toddler. To keep them safe and give them a chance at a normal life, you pack up your SUV with the kids and a few belongings and you head up to Canada, where the government is still intact.

However, as you cross the border, you get arrested by the Canadian border authorities. They take away your baby and your toddler – who knows where to?  – and without obtaining any information about how to find you and reconnect you with your children, they send you back – without your children.

That is what our American government did in 2017, when they sent political refugees back to Honduras, Nicaragua and all the other countries people were fleeing – only after they took away their children with no plan to ever give them back.

Do we really live in a safe country?

How To Extract Maximum Money from Citizens

Somehow I am on Trump’s list of patriots. I get an email every day outlining some award, or opportunity to win a dinner with Trump, or a photo opportunity, or a golf date, like this one.

I kid you not, they come up with something different every day.
They promise baubles and they pander to my vanities. They tell me I am special. But there is never any substance, other than their obvious goal of extracting a maximum amount of money from me.

There is no objective. Trump is not running for any office. There is no ideology. There is no purpose. Trump is just trying to extract the maximum amount of money from the citizenry.

For example, the section below is an email I recently received – verbatim:

 

EPIC TRUMP EXPERIENCE

Save America Donald Trump Jr.

Friend,

Are you READY for the most EPIC experience with PRESIDENT TRUMP?

My father’s Trump Golf Classic is coming up, and he wants YOU to come. The moment our team told him about this upcoming event, President Trump was adamant you have the opportunity to experience it ALL.

WE WILL COVER YOUR FLIGHT AND YOUR HOTEL.
WE WILL COVER YOUR ROUND OF GOLF
YOU WILL MEET PRESIDENT TRUMP AND TAKE A PHOTO TOGETHER.

This is an experience like no other, and my father wants to share it with you. 

You need to ENTER NOW because spots are quickly filling up.

Please contribute ANY AMOUNT IMMEDIATELY to enter to win a chance to play a round of golf and meet President Trump. >>

You have always been one of my father’s VERY best Patriots, Friend, so you deserve this exclusive experience. This may NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN, so you must HURRY. Contribute RIGHT NOW to enter for a chance to join my father on his FAVORITE golf course.

Thank you,

Donald Trump Jr. Signature Headshot
Donald Trump Jr.

**NO PURCHASE, PAYMENT, CONTRIBUTION, OR TEXT MESSAGE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN.** Contributing or sending a text message will not improve your chances of winning. Void where prohibited. You may enter by contributing to Save America JFC by clicking here. Alternatively by clicking here or by texting “GOLF” to 88022 for one (1) entry. By sending a text message from your mobile phone, you are providing your written consent to receive calls and SMS/MMS messages, including autodialed and automated calls and texts, to that number from the Save America JFC. Text message and data rates may apply. Consent is not required as a condition of entry. Text STOP to 88022 to opt-out. Entries must be received between June 14, 2022, at 12:00 a.m. Eastern Time, and ends on June 22, 2022, at 11:59 p.m. Eastern Time. Odds of winning depend on the number of eligible entries received. One (1) winner will receive round-trip transportation and accommodations for two (2) collectively, the “Prize.” The Promotion is open only to U.S. citizens or lawful permanent U.S. residents who are legal residents (green card holders) of the 50 United States, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia and are at least 18 years of age (or the age of majority under applicable law). Winners must be 18 or older (or of majority under applicable law) and meet other requirements as described in the Official Rules. Promotion subject to Official Rules and additional restrictions on eligibility may apply.  Visit here for full details and Official Rules. Sponsor: Save America, PO Box 13570, Arlington, VA 22219. 

Contributions to Save America JFC are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.
Paid for by Save America JFC, a joint fundraising committee on behalf of Save America and the Make America Great Again PAC. Save America JFC, PO Box 13570, Arlington, VA 22219

Thank you for joining Team Trump. Thanks to your generous support, we’ll win BACK our Republican Majority in the House AND the Senate. To stay up-to-date on our latest efforts, President Trump needs you to sign up to become an Official Trump Text Member IMMEDIATELY.

TEXT TRUMP to 88022 to start receiving text messages from President Trump.

"We're going to take back the house. We're going to take back the senate. With your help, we are going to defeat the radical democrats" - President Donald J. Trump

We are emailing you at ***********@gmail.com to update you on critical information regarding President Trump’s efforts to SAVE AMERICA. President Trump is calling on YOU to take the next step and activate your Official 2022 Trump Gold Card. When you do, we’ll send you your own PERSONALIZED Gold Card. You can activate your membership by following this link.

Official Trump Gold Card >>>
ACTIVATE HERE >>

Please follow this link if you would like to opt out of essential campaign updates. If you would like to give feedback to the President, follow this link. Thank you again for your unwavering support.

A Dark Day for Freedom and Individual Rights in the U.S.

With the Supreme Court striking down Roe vs. Wade, things are changing in this country, for the worse, for the much worse.

But then again, we have observed this circus happening since 2016, where somehow we have let “conservative” values roll over our freedom. What did we expect? We have seeded the Supreme Court for years now just to make this happen, and it started with McConnell’s blocking the nomination of Merrick Garland. It’s ironic that these same “conservatives” are the ones who proclaim their freedom was taken away by an election that didn’t go their way.

The country is heading down a path of darkness forced by religious zealots. I have no problem with Christians being Christians, and Muslim’s being Muslims, as long as they stay out of interfering with my life and my freedom, all the rest of us who don’t buy into their delusions.

Here they have crossed this border. They are interfering, and that’s deeply disturbing.

What’s next?

How about we make all our women wear burkas because that makes us men feel better about the powers we have?

I hear their God hates genitals. Maybe we can bring in genital mutilation – of course for women only. And for witches.

Do you think I am angry?

You bet I am.

 

John Eastman – a Trump True Believer

I found this sentence in an article in Salon discussing the January 6th Hearings:

…The main player in this scheme was Republican lawyer John Eastman, who appears to have been a Trump true believer (as well as a highly credentialed, conservative, constitutional scholar) who offered his services to serve Trump’s pre-fabricated conspiracy theory that the election had been stolen….

— Source: Salon

My question is this: How does a highly credentialed lawyer, constitutional scholar and Ph.D. believe that Trump was even remotely a competent president and it would have been good for the country to have him serve another four years?

Anyone?

About the Peaceful Transfer of Power

All my adult life I have observed the quadrennial presidential elections. My chosen candidates did not always win. But I always enjoyed watching the festivities of the inaugurations. Invariably, some news anchor would comment that in this country, for over two hundred years, we have been able to witness the peaceful transfer of power. I remember bring proud of that, being proud of being a citizen of a nation that was founded on the principles of democracy and the peaceful transfer of power since the 18th century. There was no other nation like this on the planet, and there had never before been one.

We can’t say that anymore.

We can’t feel that way anymore.

That notion has been destroyed. And a little bit of our nation has died with it.

Overdramatization of a Riot?

The clip on the left is from Time Magazine, April 25, 2022, page 6.

U. S. Representative Marjorie Taylor Green stated that “The American people are fed up with this over-dramatization of a riot.”

I can’t speak for the American people, other than I am one of them – ex pluribus unum.

Say I took a crow bar, or a sledge hammer, or perhaps even a weapon, and I went down to my local municipal government building – and I am not even talking about the U.S. Capitol or any State Capitol. Then when I got to the locked door, I’d just beat it in. If there were security guards or police, I’d pepper spray them or beat them with the crow bar.

If I did that, chances are that I’d not survive, because I’d be shot down in hail of bullets. If I did survive, I’d rot in jail for the better part of a year until I got my trial, and then I’d lose and – at my age – spend the rest of my life in prison.

Now if I did this same thing along with the 2,000 people who have entered the Capitol on January 6, the whole thing would go away because it’s an overdramatization of a riot?

I am not buying it.

I am in favor of every one of those people that committed violence entering the Capitol that day to do their time.

Those in our government, particularly those elected officials, in the legislative and executive branch who incited this should also be held accountable.

Movie Review: Don’t Look Up (2021)

Kate Dibiasky (Jennifer Lawrence) is a doctoral student in astronomy. One night, when working with a telescope, she discovers a new comet. Researching the details with her professor, Randall Mindy (Leonardo DiCaprio), they come to the conclusion that the comet is larger than that of the Chicxulub impact event (see details here) that wiped out 75% of all flora and fauna on earth 65 million years ago. The problem is that the new comet is on its way to hit earth head-on in 6 months and 15 days.

The two understand that they have discovered a planet-killing catastrophe, and that mankind only has a little over 6 months to do something about it. They manage an audience at the White House with the help of the president’s chief science advisor, Dr. Oglethorpe (Rob Morgan). But when they arrive, President Orlean (Meryl Streep) is completely indifferent. Her political ambitions don’t allow the distraction of an imminent extinction event. Jason (Jonah Hill), the Chief of Staff who is also her son, even ridicules the astronomers and eventually they are sent away. Nothing will be done.

Thunderstruck, the scientists decide to turn the the media instead. They are invited to the popular morning show The Daily Rip, where they are also received as curious, cute scientists and not taken seriously. They are trying to make the  world just “Look Up” and see what’s coming.

Don’t Look Up is a satire, of course, and it is extremely timely. It portrays a White House full of sycophants, staffed by nepotism, with a President who is completely self-absorbed and clueless. Facing a catastrophic event coming up, nobody wants to bother with it. The negative message it creates in social media is simply inconvenient. The industrial complex quickly figures out how they could possibly get very rich off of this, the danger and risk to the world be damned. Nobody takes the scientists seriously. They become the villains.

And that, my friends, is the state of our world today.

Enjoy a good laugh while you’re watching, and don’t worry that it will make you want to cry because of the insanity of it all.

Honoring Colin Powell – Absent Trump

Photocredit: Reddit – https://i.redd.it/hwzombczctx71.png

Colin Powell passed away from cancer and complications arising from Covid-19.

Al the former presidents were there, but Trump was missing.

Here is Trump’s official statement:

Wonderful to see Colin Powell, who made big mistakes on Iraq and famously, so-called weapons of mass destruction, be treated in death so beautifully by the Fake News Media. Hope that happens to me someday. He was a classic RINO [Republican in Name Only], if even that, always being the first to attack other Republicans. He made plenty of mistakes, but anyway, may he rest in peace!

Source

Colin Powell was a classy man.

He made a huge mistake under G.W. Bush when he propagated what he knew was a lie to the United Nations and the world. Yes, that was the mistake his legacy will, unfortunately, always be tarnished by.

But Trump’s statement shows what kind of man he is: One I would not want in my backyard BBQ party. He would not be worthy of sitting in the front row at this funeral.

 

What is a Patriot?

Patriot

– a person who vigorously supports their country and is prepared to defend it against enemies or detractors.

On July 4th we see more American flags than usual, of course, and I have noticed that lately I have not reacted to seeing the flag with thoughts of patriotism, as one would expect. That’s because the flag is now often used by Trump supporters, calling themselves patriots, while flying huge flags on the backs of their trucks, at rallies or at stands where they sell Trump paraphernalia.

I am tired of reading about people, even in courts, calling themselves patriots for participating in the insurrection of January 6, 2021. I have displayed the definition of “patriot” at the top of this post.

We have a constitution, and a constitutional process. If we don’t agree with the interpretation of a law, or if we don’t agree with the outcome of an election, we can appeal to the judiciary. We can sue the various states, counties, or candidates, and if there was actual wrong-doing, we will win based on the evidence and that’s how we solve disputes in this country patriotically.

We don’t get to become vigilantes and physically and verbally attack journalists, political opponents, elected members of government or anyone else that does not agree with us. That is not patriotism, that’s assault. Its stands diametrically opposed to what is patriotism. It’s anti-patriotism.

When Clinton lost the election in 2016, and people complained, Trump supporters used to say “You lost the election, get over it and move on!” Move on the country did.

Trump lost the election in 2020 by a larger margin than Clinton lost it. It’s time to get over it and move on.

If there was wrongdoing, fraud, or anything else unconstitutional in the 2020 election, we can have recourse through the judiciary. That is the patriotic way to handle this.

Politics is Boring Again

I find it a relief to wake up in the morning without the urge to check the news for any bad shit that went down since the last time I checked. We had a weather disaster in Texas, and I followed the news. I donated some money to relief efforts for suffering Texans. President Biden declared an emergency for Texas and other southern states which freed up federal funding. The affected states were all states that didn’t vote for him in the electoral college. But Biden just did his job as president. He didn’t trash the states, he didn’t blame their governors or politicians, he didn’t hold up funding until they made statements to praise or support him. He didn’t tell Texas to fix their energy grid or they wouldn’t receive funds. He didn’t second-guess their efforts or motives.

He just did what the job requires. He didn’t use it to attract attention to himself. He just went back to work on the next thing.

Politics is boring again, and I sleep better because of it.

AOC’s Fundraising for Texas Hits Over $4 Million

When you read some of the responses below this tweet by AOC soliciting donations for Texas, there are some cynical and outright insulting comments by – of all people – Texans who are discrediting her motives and her efforts, including telling her to keep her money in her own district in New York.

She has, to date, raised more than $4 million for Texas and that’s getting a lot of attention.

I for one do not care about her motives. Her name is a brand, and she is using it for the benefit of suffering Americans. I personally donated $50 of my money to the effort. Without her call and publicity, there is no way this Southern Californian suburbanite (me) would have ever thought of making an effort to send cash to Texas. But I did, and I did it because of AOC’s call.

Somebody in Texas benefited from my modest contribution – and it would not have happened otherwise.

If Trump Does Not Get Convicted…

…Who Ever Will?

Does a president have to go on Fifth Avenue in New York and shoot a random stranger to get impeached and convicted?

 

Profile of Colorado Rep. Lauren Boebert

[Picture Credit: Wikipedia]
Lauren Boebert is the recently elected congresswoman for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district.

She is 34 years old, has four children, and with her husband owns the Shooters Grill in Rifle, Colorado.

The picture to the left shows her at work. She recommends her employees to openly carry arms.

She didn’t graduate from high school, because she had her first child during that time, but later got her GED. She is in favor of eliminating the United States Department of Education.

During the riots at the Capitol in January 6, she was live-tweeting the location of the Speaker of the House to her followers.

Link to Wikipedia

Where the Terrorists Are

 

We need more troops at our own Capitol, the head of our own government, to protect the inauguration of our new administration from domestic terrorists. Four years ago domestic terrorist attacks were rare. Now pretty much every member of Congress in our “homeland” fears for their lives, both in Washington and at home.

Is America great again yet?

The Irony of the Department of Homeland Security

Today, without explanation, Chad Wolf, the acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, resigned. I leave it to you to speculate why he might have done that.

Two points strike me as ironic. First, that the Chad Wolf was only the “acting” secretary, like so many others in the Trump administration. All the “best and brightest” jumped ship early when they smelled all the rats, and only sycophants took those jobs, often people who were not qualified and would not have made it through formal confirmation. That’s why I have been saying that we haven’t really had a government in the last few years. Today was the 642nd straight day of no confirmed Secretary of Homeland Security. This is by far the longest Cabinet vacancy ever in the history of the country. This is doubly ominous, considering that during those 642 days, the White House and the Senate were controlled by the Republican Party.

The second point is that the Department of Homeland Security is supposed to keep the homeland safe, right? What is more homeland than the U.S. Capitol?

After the attacks of 9/11, almost 20 years ago, we formed the Department of Homeland Security. It is now the third largest agency in the U.S. government, after Defense and Veterans Affairs. It has 240,000 employees.

In 2018, 777 million passengers were carried on U.S. airlines. In 2019, it was 925 million. So between 2001 and 2021, we carried about 15 billion passengers in U.S. airlines. And every one of those took off their shoes, because there was one shoe bomber that attempted to light his shoe with a match on an airplane. Because of that, 15 billion people took off their shoes at airport security stations over 20 years, due to the direction and regulation of the Department of Homeland Security.

However, we have one U.S. Capitol, where all our political assets get together and conduct the business of the people. If you have read the 1994 Tom Clancy book Debt of Honor, you will remember that Jack Ryan becomes President of the United States after an embittered Japan Airlines Pilot flies his Boeing 747 directly into the U.S. Capitol during a joint session of Congress, wiping out the entire government at once. I always suspected that the Osama bin Laden had read that book and got some of his ideas about 9/11 from it. After all, 9/11 happened 7 years after Debt of Honor was published. Also, you may have recently watched the more recent Netflix series Designated Survivor which starts on the same premise, an attack on the U.S. Capitol.

So there you have it: We created the Department of Homeland Security to keep the homeland safe, and while Trump is in office, the department is apparently hollowed out, has no confirmed leader, and is apparently AWOL during the only actual, physical, predictable, planned and publicized attack on the Capitol.

This must get investigated relentlessly, and people need to go to prison.

Perhaps, just perhaps, we should disband this behemoth agency that apparently does not accomplish much and start all over with appropriate counter terrorism initiatives. Obviously, we don’t need to worry about too many bin Ladens these days. We need to worry about bartenders in Nashville, unemployed welder/pipefitters in Seattle, ex-Air Force Lieutenant Colonels from Texas, and 34-year-old fathers of five children in Florida as the most series domestic terrorists.