Trump, Putin: Are You Good With This?

 

The shameless, obsequious display by our president in the presence of Vladimir Putin in Helsinki showed what a toady he is. Barely 24 hours later, probably in fear for his political life, Trump walks back words he uttered which indicated (for Putin’s benefit?) he didn’t believe Russia meddled in the 2016 election.

No, another “Oops, I didn’t mean it,” isn’t going to cut it.

This man clearly was never fit to be President of the United States and his actions show little mental maturity, discipline and conduct above that of a child, certainly not befitting the President of the United States.

We cannot continue this.  The “Give us this day our daily distraction” style of governing, the constant upheaval and commotion may have suited Donald when he headed his own company.  It doesn’t now. It’s worn very thin.  This is the government of the most powerful country in the world he’s heading, not his own personal kingdom.

The GOP has accomplished much dirty work behind closed doors while this distractionary Nero fiddles, and Rome burns. I hardly think his nomination was an oversight on their part.  What more perfect scapegoat than a political and Constitutional inerudite, possessing an oversized ego? We are in the grip of a cruel administration, yet amazingly, there are people who think Trump’s done a good job.

For those enamored of this man, either private citizen or politician, it’s time you started asking yourselves some important questions:  Do you consider yourself a patriot? (Do you know the difference between nationalism and patriotism?) Do you value the Constitution, the Declaration of Independence, The Bill of Rights? Do you believe that our president should vigorously uphold & defend The Constitution as he vowed to do in his Oath of Office?  Should the resident of the White House show respect for the workings and personnel of government agencies he heads? Is it important that our president acts in a manner appropriate for the highest office in this land in words and deeds, being truthful, respectful and diplomatic?  Is it not imperative that our Chief Executive concerns himself with the wellbeing of every human being residing within our borders?  Do you feel it’s crucial for our president to adhere to established long-standing international treaties & alliances to maintain world peace, preserve economic stability worldwide and protect the health of this planet and its citizens? Is it necessary for our Commander-In-Chief to defend this nation from attacks in whatever form they take? Shouldn’t he protect our citizens, the security of our Republic, and the safety of the entire free world from murderous authoritarian leaders?

If you’ve answered “yes” to those questions, but see nothing wrong with Donald J. Trump’s actions as president, you should do a serious check on your ethics. You also need to read up on the workings of our government.

Finally, Republicans must do a 180 here, grow some backbone, and take responsibility in censuring this petulant Frankenstein monster. History will remember their vapid response to the Trump administration’s heartless regime and blatant political nose-thumbing. Instead of cowering in their boots fearing a backlash from 45, they should be more afraid of the voters.

It is we who will determine their fate in November and beyond.

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This Is Not Who We Are

Trump Angel Families
With the motto: “Protect Our Communities” and “Secure Our Borders” as a backdrop,  Trump made it sound like every immigrant or asylum-seeker who crosses our borders is a member of MS-13 and will surely murder your family.

 

America:  Land of the free, home of the brave, welcoming those who come to our shores, showing pride in diversity and relishing the accomplishments of all, leading the world in protecting the rights of all its citizens.  This is what we are.

We are not hateful or fearful of immigrants, but under Trump’s ‘Murica, I guess we are. Sowing seeds reminiscent of Hitler, just one day after signing a sham executive order to end family separations of asylum-seekers at the border,  Trump, showcased families murdered by immigrants.  With mottos of “Protect Our Communities,” and “Secure Our Borders” as a backdrop,  he made it sound like every immigrant or asylum-seeker who crosses our borders is a member of MS-13 and will surely murder your family.

Hitler used the same techniques to vilify Jews in the late 1930’s.

 

This is Trump’s America, not mine, and probably not yours.

The hatred, the intentional lies, the division or our country, again, similar to that of Hitler.  Rule #1: Create scapegoats:  Muslims, Mexicans, or for that matter, any immigrant, welfare recipients, NBA players who “disrespect” our flag, (& further convolute that idea to “disrespecting ” our veterans), convince people that “we are being mistreated” by other countries:  it’s always the same tone:  they’re out to get us. We are the victim.

America IS better than this.  Every single one of us must get involved, speak up, run for office and, most importantly, VOTE in the midterms so that we can rid this country of the real poison,  the hateful grip of the inhumane GOP, once a proud, respected party, which has become the Party of Trump.

This is a festering wound.  It must be excised, drained and cleaned.  Otherwise, this great body of Democracy will be in grave danger.

 

“Give Us This Day Our Daily Distraction,” Trump’s Bluff Is Just About Over

He’s lied. From the start. He has no business occupying the office of the President. He is the “Liar-In-Chief,” but unfortunately this Time cover isn’t real.

To paraphrase The Lord’s Prayer: “Give us this day our daily distraction,”  seems to be the M.O. of the Oval Office.

Millions of American voters caught Donald Trump’s bluff at the outset.  We called BS from the first day he rode down the escalator to announce his candidacy.  He was a fake – we knew it.   Then, God help us, he was elected.

The man lied his way across the country.

Those who, because of his TV notoriety, really believed his bullshit,  celebrated his xenophobic, nationalistic, racist tendencies as “patriotism,” and honestly felt that a billionaire spoiled-brat rich kid was their savior and one of them.  Yeah…, right.

The Trump White House is nothing less than the ultimate reality TV show.  It’s a narcissist’s dream come true:  power, worldwide 24/7 attention, adulation by millions with a chance for Trump to exhibit, on a global scale, his infantile, vindictive personality.  Daily he tweets “Nah, Nah… Nah, Nah… Nah Nah Nah Nah Nah” like a 7-year-old to those he deems worthy of scorn which includes anybody who disagrees with him.  His inappropriateness and lack of restraint know no boundaries.

This is not a president. It’s a child in a man’s body.

The United States has become a pariah, a laughingstock.

It’s obvious to anyone who has even a minuscule inkling of how our government works that the man has no clue what he’s doing. He’s bluffing his way through his “presidency.” Daily he showcases his ineptitude by committing inane, ignorant faux pas peppered with outright lies.

This isn’t a presidency, it’s a shitshow.

In his tough guy routine, he’s pacifying his shrinking base by leaving a legacy (with the GOP’s help) of eviscerating accomplishments by the Obama administration, even those which truly help or protect the American people.  His supporters are so vacuous that they don’t realize their throats are being cut!

He’s busy fending off one scandal after another, screaming FAKE NEWS at every turn, disparaging journalism, our Justice Department, and the courts.  The revolving door at the White House is busier than Macy’s Herald Square during the holiday shopping season.

Then there are all the allegations of sexual misconduct with Stormy Daniels and others.

The warrant issued by a federal judge for Trump’s lawyer, Michale Cohen, regarding payments to Stormy Daniels, now reveals that Robert Mueller’s Russian investigation is slowly winding an increasingly incriminating noose around Trump’s neck and that of his closest allies.  The spider is reeling in the fly. The jig is just about up and Mueller is being meticulous in his evidence collecting.

One thing we can be sure of:  Another day, another distraction.

This country is weary, shellshocked, tired of the drama and sick of the bullshit.

We want our country back, our government to function as it’s supposed to without this dose of daily distraction and drama.

It’s time for Donald Trump and The Bullshit Circus to go.

Dear NRA: Get A Grip. We’re Not Coming To Take Your Guns

Dear NRA:

Understand that despite Wayne LaPierre’s hysterical rant at last week’s CPAC gathering, we are not coming to take your guns, nor are we going to abolish the “right to bear arms.”

All we want are some protections against further slaughter which has become so commonplace in only our American society.

Please understand this.

You & your  members are fond of waving the Constitution in everyone’s face citing that famous passage: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

You hold fast to antiquated wording in a document written pertaining to life 227 years ago. Things were very different. This life no longer exists in our world.

Please understand this.

We do have a “well-regulated militia,”  it’s the National Guard which traces its roots back to 1636.  Our 5 branches of the military, the best fighting machine on the planet; the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force and Coast Guard, are perfectly capable of defending “the security of a free state,” our United States of America. We have sophisticated technology which could detect an attack, a nuclear one, in seconds, inventions that the creators of the Constitution could never have dreamed of.

The life from 227 years ago doesn’t exist any longer.

Please understand this.

Regarding the “shall not be infringed” part, you’ve already been “infringed.” There are certain weapons that citizens are not permitted to have; machine guns, surface-to-air missiles, grenades, tanks and many others. The framers of the Constitution could not see how life would evolve, nor could they predict weapons used in mass killings.

Life of 227 years ago no longer exists.  Why can’t you understand that?

We are not coming to take your guns away.

You may still have certain guns to hunt with, do target practice or protect your home with, just not those guns which have become so popular with mass shooters: the AR-15 &its cousins which evolved from military use. What civilian actually “needs” a semi-automatic weapon, capable of shredding humans in seconds?  Answer:  nobody.  Ask former military, current law enforcement and trauma surgeons in ERs. They’ll agree.

We are not trying to “infringe” your rights by issuing rules concerning the acquisition of guns.  Just as there are rules for driving a car or flying a plane, or practicing medicine, there must be common sense requirements for obtaining and owning a firearm, too.

Please understand this.

We are not trying to take your guns away. 

We just want some sanity.

There is no sanity in the representation of the NRA when Wayne La Pierre or Dana Loesch get up in front of crowds & espouse farfetched ideas of a government takeover & impending terrorist invasions, or try to scare the crowd with keywords like “loss of freedom.”

The greatest danger to our citizenry are those very weapons you hold dear. The true reality is that the United States of America has the highest rate of gun deaths in the world and the NRA is doing absolutely nothing about it, adamantly opposing any and all common sense attempts to staunch the blood of innocents which flows daily.

In your attempt to defend the Constitution you have lost sight that the “right” of gun owners to own weapons of mass murder infringes on the “right” of our entire population to live without the fear of being killed.

The life of 227 years ago no longer exists.

Please understand this.

All we want is some sanity.

 

 

 

 

 

GUNS: A Check For 911 Calls To Local Law Enforcement Needed

The perpetrator in the Parkland, FL school shooting didn’t have any criminal or mental health records which would have shown up on a background check for a gun. That’s why he slipped through the cracks.

What he did have were numerous 911 calls to local law enforcement. On 23 different occasions over 10 years,  15 of these calls were made by his now deceased mother.  Most recently, in 2016 and 2017,  other people made calls warning of his behavior.  There’s even a record of a call he placed himself following his mother’s death.

(Source, New York Times 2/23/18):

“Three months before the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, a family friend dialed 911 to tell the Palm Beach County sheriff’s office about Mr. Cruz’s personal arsenal. “I need someone here because I’m afraid he comes back and he has a lot of weapons,” the friend said.

Mr. Cruz, 19, himself called the authorities just after Thanksgiving, describing how he had been in a fight and was struggling with the death of his mother. “The thing is I lost my mother a couple of weeks ago, so like I am dealing with a bunch of things right now,” he said in a childlike voice, sounding agitated and out of breath.”

“There were dozens of calls to 911 and the local authorities, some mentioning fears that he was capable of violence.”

“In a 911 call on Nov. 29, Rocxanne Deschamps, the family friend who took in Mr. Cruz after the death of his mother, expressed fear that he was going to get a gun after fighting with her son.  In Ms. Deschamps’s 911 call, she told the dispatcher that Mr. Cruz already had about eight guns that he kept at a friend’s house and that he had just been thrown out of the house after the tantrum in which he punched the walls, hurled things around her home and got into a fight with Rock, her 22-year-old son.”

Ms. Deschamps made it clear that her new houseguest was obsessed with firearms and had threatened both his mother and his brother. “That’s all he wants is his gun,” she said. “And that’s all he cares about is his gun. He bought tons of bullets and stuff and I took it away from him.”

More than once, Mr. Cruz was identified by those around him as someone capable of carrying out a school shooting.

Before she died in early November, Mr. Cruz’s mother, Lynda Cruz, had called the authorities numerous times over the past decade to report her son. She said he had hit her with the plastic hose from a vacuum, and once threw her against the wall after she took his Xbox away, adding that he suffered from anger issues as well as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder.”

This is why we need checks on calls to local enforcement agencies along with criminal and mental health background checks. 

For a long time, this young man showed many signs of being a danger to the community.  The evidence was there, clean and simple, in black and white, in the records of local law enforcement officials.  Because of a gun background check system that’s incoherently linked together, he was able to buy a firearm.

It would have been easy to check.

It wasn’t and 17 people died.

What About MY RIGHTS Not To Be Killed by A Gun?

WHAT ABOUT MY RIGHTS NOT TO HAVE TO LIVE IN FEAR OF BEING KILLED BY A GUN?

I am afraid to go to the movies.

I am afraid to go to a mall.

I am afraid to sit in a restaurant with my back to the door.

I am even afraid to be at work – a grocery store.

I am now afraid to go to a concert.

In fact, I’m wary of going to most public places.

2nd Amendment defenders who scream about their “rights” have forgotten that the rights of the entire citizenry of this country are being infringed and the safety of all citizens compromised.

The Tampa Bay Times reports:  Numerous gun rights bills–especially campus carry–show that Republican legislators are controlled by the NRA and do not understand that if certain limits are not placed on Second Amendment rights, public safety is sacrificed.

That’s it, right there.

 

 

GUNS: Vote Out The NRA, Gun Buyback, Psych Tests & Intervention at Schools

We can no longer allow our lawmakers to protect the NRA. Vote out the ones who are in their favor.

President George W. Bush let the assault weapons ban expire in 2004.

How many people would still be alive?

Think about that for a minute.

The United States is the only country where mass shootings like Parkland, Aurora, Newtown, San Bernadino, Virginia Tech, Columbine, Las Vegas and Orlando take place.

The United States is the only country which permits the sale of military-like weapons such as the AR-15 which was used in these mass shootings.

This cannot continue.

It has to end now.

The NRA holds the power of many of our elected officials.

In the Senate:

  • John McCain (R-AZ) has taken $7,740,521 from the NRA
  • Richard Burr (R-NC) received $6,986,620
  • Roy Blunt (R-MO)  has gotten  $4,551,146
  • Tom Tillis (R-NC) has been the recipient of $4,418,012
  • Cory Gardener (R-CO)  received $3,879,064
  • Marco Rubio (R-FL) has collected $3,303,355
  • Joni Ernst (R-IA) has netted $3,124,273
  • Rob Portman’s (R-OH) take has been $3,061,941
  • Todd Young (R-IN) has received $2,896,732
  • Bill Cassidy (R-LA) has been given $2,861,047

In the House, amounts range from 1 million on down.

VOTE THEM OUT – NOW.  Vote for candidates who are in favor of sensible gun control measures.

The NRA is a terrorist organization, a hate group. Their platform has changed from just advocating gun safety to siding with the right-wing conspiracy theorist agenda.  Watch this disturbing video of Dana Loesch calling for violence against those not on the side of Trump. She stops just short of telling NRA members, “the good guys with a gun,” to start an insurrection.  Frightening.

The NRA has not been behind one common-sense gun solution because they feel that any impediment toward gun ownership is against the 2nd Amendment. Bullshit! They’ve used scare tactics, added to xenophobia by insisting all citizens of this country should be armed to prevent terrorist attacks. Like our “president,”  they overlook the fact that mass shootings by WHITE AMERICAN CHRISTIAN MEN have killed more people than terrorist attacks.  These shootings are occurring on just about a monthly basis.

People are being massacred because of the lies of the NRA.

Make mandatory COMPREHENSIVE PSYCH TESTS for every gun purchase. This is in addition to background checks for criminal activity.  Checks for domestic violence or *any* reports to law enforcement of potential endangerment to the public which would indicate mental instability or social attitudes which may indicate an individual is a threat society or to a certain ethnic/religious group. (i.e. they may want to go shoot up a mosque or a black church).

You have to have a license to drive a car, right?  There’s a test for that.  Why not a psych test for potential gun owners? Sounds fair to me in light of the fact that the men who’ve committed these mass murders have been less than mentally balanced. Those who purchased their weapons (the Columbine murderers and Adam Lanza did not) passed the criminal background checks and look what happened. In last week’s case, law enforcement had been called to the (previous) home of the shooter 30-something times.  In a new system of checks & balances as suggested above, that would have shown up on the radar.

Mandatory 14-day waiting period after passing the psych test.

This next idea is a biggie and sure to piss off all the gun advocates, many NRA members, and Second Amendment protectors.

BAN THE SALE & POSSESSION of ALL MILITARY-LIKE WEAPONRY EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY. The Feinstein Bill lists over 200 weapons that should be prohibited.

NO MANUFACTURE or SALE of any ADD-ONS (bump stocks etc) which can convert weapons to automatic fire.

No weapon sold can have more than a 10-shot capability.

No more gun shows.  Lots of under-the-table activity goes on at gun shows either inside the venue itself or out in the parking lot. Read the article below, “I Am A Gun Owner.”  She’s right.  ABC News did a story a few years ago where they sent a man into a gun show with cash.  He came out with 10 guns in an hour; paid cash, no background check. ATF has identified gun shows as a major way for criminals to get guns. Flash enough cash – no questions asked.

Offer a gun buyback program.  If your gun was purchased legally (and the gov’t can get this info easily) — offer all gun owners of AR-15’s & similar guns a one-time chance to turn theirs in.

Make the possession of these weapons illegal.      Period.    Don’t want to give up your gun?  Fine.  You’ve just become a criminal, subject to a hefty fine (let’s make it…, oh, say,  $10,000 to start) and jail time.   When your arrest warrant for non-compliance with the law is issued it’s your last chance to comply. Show up at the local cop shop, turn in your gun and you’re off the hook. Otherwise, too bad. Go to jail, directly to jail, do not pass GO and do not collect  $200 dollars. If your gun wasn’t purchased legally, well, you’re really in deep shit. You’re a criminal, anyway.

Implement an “intervention” or “interrupter” program in every school, to identify students who show red flag signs of potential violence toward others.  This has been used in high crime areas where gang-related killings are the norm.  In a Chicago area where this program was used, crime dropped 73%.

Raise the age to purchase any gun to 21 in every state.

Finally – and I know this is a tough one:  Change the 2nd Amendment to reflect life as it is now, not as it was in 1791.  We’ve got the military (we didn’t have an army back then), people had to hunt for food (we have grocery stores now), citizens with their guns wouldn’t stand a chance against the military and one doesn’t need an AR-15 for home protection, or hunting, or target practice.

NOW — it HAS to happen NOW.

Enough!

RELATED:

Opinions from gun owners:

“I Am A Gun Owner & Here’s What I Have To Say About Gun Laws”

“Fuck You, I Like Guns”

ABC News: Easy Access – $5000 gets 10 guns, no questions asked.

We’ve Lost On Gun Control