With all the controversy surrounding the NFL players taking a knee during the National Anthem their is one complaint that I hear more than any other, that taking a knee during the National Anthem is disrespecting the flag and the veterans who fought and died defending that flag. I hear the same people telling me I must respect Donald Trump just because he is our president.

I have yet to hear one veteran saying this. I am the daughter and sister of veterans who actually say they didn’t fight to defend the flag or the anthem. They fought to defend our freedom. That freedom includes freedom of expression.

That being said this idea that we have to respect the flag, the anthem and the president for that matter, blindly respect them just because they are symbols of America is deeply disturbing to me. In life people have to earn respect. I raised my children to never disrespect an adult but I also taught them that they do not have to respect every adult just because they are adults.  (Let me say here that not showing respect and disrespect are two very different things.) Every adult have to earn  respect, even from children. I believe that, that blind respect is why many children are abused and molested because they are taught that they cannot say no to an adult and that they must respect what they say.

There are and have been many countries whose leaders demand respect blindly. Countries that have their leaders faces plastered on the sides of buildings several stories high. These are the same leaders who starve, enslave and murder their own people. They must pay homage to flags that represent regimes like Kim Jong-Un or Mao Tse-Tung.

Just like people flags have to earn respect as well. I have respect for the American flag, for what it could and should represent but I don’t have respect for what does represent and that is a country with a president who is a white supremacist and misogynist.

Then there is the complaint that these athletes should not be expressing their political views while ‘working’. First and foremost this is not a political view. Yes they make millions of dollars and yes without the fans they would be nothing and many those same fans are calling for them to be released or fined or suspended. Many even call them ungrateful. Ungrateful? The fact that they are willing to lose it all, to sacrifice all that money, fame and fan adoration for a cause they believe in is worthy of my admiration alone. That’s what great men do, they sacrifice for the sake of others, they risk it all for what is right. If Thomas Jefferson had been such a man he would have suffered the economic loss to his plantation and released his own slaves before he wrote those words ‘all men are created equal…’, had he had the courage of his convictions maybe these athletes wouldn’t have to take the knee in protest today.

The very first public protest against racism by an athlete was during the 1968 Olympics, Tommie Smith and John Carlos stood on the medal platform after receiving their Gold and Bronze medals and raised their fists during the National Anthem, with Australian Silver medalist Peter Norman showing support by wearing the Olympic Project for Human Rights campaign button on his uniform.

They paid a heavy price for their action by being barred from the Olympics for life and the backlash here at home was loss of employment and they even faced death threats.

If the Olympic committee would have acknowledged the struggle for racial equality instead of banning two great black athletes maybe these athletes wouldn’t have to take a knee today.

I admire these athletes for the stand they are taking. I don’t admire Donald Trump for chastising them, he is the embarrassment to this country not those football players, those football players do us proud.

The Salute

 

 

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Steve Bannon; Fired or Reassigned.


What the news reported is that Steve Bannon was fired or let go, or that he was forced to resign The manner in which he left the Trump administration isn’t the only a factor here. The reasons why he left the point that matters here.

Bannon and Trump have been ‘friends’ for a long time. Trump had nothing but kind words about Bannon after he left. Trump doesn’t do niceties. They had no falling out nor was Trump pressured into letting Bannon go. Trump doesn’t do anything unless there is something in it for Trump.

Bannon had no business being any where near the White House in the first place. This is a man who is undeniably a Nationalist, racist and misogynist. His magazine speaks for his views. He was given a key position in Trumps administration and a very high security clearance. What his position really was I am unclear of. I doubt the role of Senior Adviser requires a top security clearance that allows you to sit in on highly classified meetings.

So now Steve Bannon has 6 months of learning the ins and out of the workings or the White House, he has 6 months of clearance to classified information, 6 months of networking among the Washington politically elite.

Now he is back out in the real world and returned as the editor for the American editions of Brietbart Magazine which here in America at least is a White Nationalist rag. If we think he was dangerous in the White House, think about how dangerous he will be out of it with an unobstructed view of Capitol Hill.

He was let go supposedly because he was hurting the Trump White House. But one should read between the lines on this one. I think he was let go to better help the Trump administration. He is no longer expected to be politically correct, he is no longer under the restrictions of Constitutional governing, he is no longer required to follow Presidential protocol, he is no longer the rest of the administrations responsibility or concern in a legal sense. He can no longer be held accountable as a government official for any of his actions, his beliefs or his advice to his good old buddy President Trump.

We cannot afford to let Steve Bannon slither under the radar without anyone seeing him coming. Mark my words. There are more things going on in Washington and on Capitol Hill than are dreamt  of in our nightmares.

Salt and Fire


This film was directed by Werner Herzog. I know him from his film Dinotasia but he does a variety of off the cuff films that bring awareness to various historical events.  Lawrence Krauss has a supporting role in the film, his film debut was quite entertaining.

The films intention was to bring awareness to climate change. This was meant to be a different point of view than the film Before The Flood but about the same subject of climate change.

I found the film hard to follow. I was left with a feeling of ‘what was that all about’. With the dialogue that followed I understood what Herzog was aiming for but I personally felt he fell short. Jeffrey Sachs was also on stage for the dialogue, he is an economist who currently works in Washington with Congress providing advice that isn’t very often listened to regarding the need for funding to fight climate change. He was very outspoken about the refusal to acknowledge this disaster on Capitol Hill. Krauss was as I said entertaining in the film and I loved it.

It was worth going to see because Krauss was in it but I didn’t think much of the film otherwise to be honest. Still a great cause to bring awareness to climate change and props to Krauss for doing so.

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Before The Flood


This film was directed by Fisher Stevens, I remembered him from the movie Short Circuit. Leonardo DiCaprio narrates and travels the world speaking to experts and speaking before large audiences about climate  change. It is a very powerful deliverance of the dangers of ignoring this disaster. There is continuously stunning footage how the world is slowing warming and offers strong evidence and scientific data to back up these claims. DiCaprio is admirably using his celebrity status to promote awareness for this cause. I found the film informative and captivating, even for someone who is painfully aware of what is happening there is more too see here.

Krauss had a great conversation with Fisher Stevens following the film. It is very obvious that bringing awareness to climate change is something both Stevens and DiCaprio believe in wholeheartedly and that they are not in this for the fame or the glory but for the good of mankind.

And as always Professor Krauss was warm, friendly and enthusiastic after the event at the book signing. I am out of books for him to sign but he did sign my program and graciously took a photo with me.19401891_10214004907145158_2225545743545626441_o

Race Baiting


Race baiting; when someone proclaims Black Lives Matter for example, and your initial response is All Lives Matter and you believe there is only one race, the human race then then you think that saying Black Lives Matter is race baiting. But we human beings cannot interact with each other as one dimensional beings. We are more than just one race; we are individual people with ethnic, cultural, religious, geographical, societal, governmental, educational and many other differences between us as people, as a culture, as a religion, as a community; a town; a city; a state; a nation, as a society, as a governmental system, in educational opportunity’s and many other aspects of life. It is the richness of mental stimulation, the awe and inspiration of the world around us, the sheer joy of human sexual and emotional intimacy, personal satisfaction and fulfillment. But it is also the horror of human cruelty, the despair of oppression, the hatred and in humanity with which we treat one another.
Race baiting; if you hear me saying Black Lives Matter and your response is All Lives Matter and you think I am race baiting think about which way you are looking at it; not which way I am meaning it.

An Eyeopener…..I, Racist


This was posted on Facebook by a very dear friend of mine. Left me in tears, speechless and as a white woman feeling a responsibility to try to share this with as many people as I possibly can.

 

What follows is the text of a “sermon” that I gave as a “congregational reflection” to an all White audience at the Bethel Congregational United Church of Christ on Sunday, June 28th. The sermon was begun with a reading of The Good Samaritan story, and this wonderful quote from Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Americanah.

Credit for this speech goes to Chaédria LaBouvier, whose “Why We Left” inspired me to speak out about racism; to Robin DiAngelo, whose “White Fragility” gave me an understanding of the topic; and to Reni Eddo-Lodge who said “Why I’m no longer talking to white people about race” long before I had the courage to start doing it again.


couple weeks ago, I was debating what I was going to talk about in this sermon. I told Pastor Kelly Ryan I had great reservations talking about the one topic that I think about every single day.

Then, a terrorist massacred nine innocent people in a church that I went to, in a city that I still think of as home. At that point, I knew that despite any misgivings, I needed to talk about race.

You see, I don’t talk about race with White people.


To illustrate why, I’ll tell a story:

It was probably about 15 years ago when a conversation took place between my aunt, who is White and lives in New York State, and my sister, who is Black and lives in North Carolina. This conversation can be distilled to a single sentence, said by my Black sister:

“The only difference between people in the North and people in the South
is that down here, at least people are honest about being racist.”

There was a lot more to that conversation, obviously, but I suggest that it can be distilled into that one sentence because it has been, by my White aunt. Over a decade later, this sentence is still what she talks about. It has become the single most important aspect of my aunt’s relationship with my Black family. She is still hurt by the suggestion that people in New York, that she, a northerner, a liberal, a good person who has Black family members, is a racist.

This perfectly illustrates why I don’t talk about race with White people. Even — or rather, especially — my own family.


love my aunt. She’s actually my favorite aunt, and believe me,
I have a lot of awesome aunts
to choose from. But the facts
are actually quite in my sister’s favor on this one.

New York State is one of the most segregated states in the country. Buffalo, New York, where my aunt lives, is one of the 10 most segregated school systems in the country. The racial inequality of the area she inhabits is so bad that it has been the subject of reports by the Civil Rights Action Network and the NAACP.

Those, however, are facts that my aunt does not need to know. She does
not need to live with the racial segregation and oppression of her home.
As a white person with upward mobility, she has continued to improve
her situation. She moved out of the area I grew up in– she moved to an
area with better schools. She doesn’t have to experience racism, and so
it is not real to her.

Nor does it dawn on her that the very fact that she moved away from an increasingly Black neighborhood to live in a White suburb might itself be a aspect of racism. She doesn’t need to realize that “better schools” exclusively means “whiter schools.”

I don’t talk about race with White people because I have so often seen it go nowhere. When I was younger, I thought it was because all white people are racist. Recently, I’ve begun to understand that it’s more nuanced than that.


understand, you have to know
that Black people think in terms
of Black people.

We don’t see a shooting of an innocent Black child in another state as something separate from us because we know viscerally that it could be our child, our parent, or us, that is shot.

The shooting of Walter Scott in North Charleston resonated with me because Walter Scott was portrayed in the media as a deadbeat and a criminal — but when you look at the facts about the actual man, he was nearly indistinguishable from my own father.

Racism affects us directly because the fact that it happened at a geographically remote location or to another Black person is only a coincidence, an accident. It could just as easily happen to us — right here, right now.

Black people think in terms of we because we live in a society where the social and political structures interact with us as Black people.

White people do not think in terms of we. White people have the privilege to interact with the social and political structures of our society as individuals. You are “you,” I am “one of them.” Whites are often not directly affected by racial oppression even in their own community, so what does not affect them locally has little chance of affecting them regionally or nationally. They have no need, nor often any real desire, to think in terms of a group. They are supported by the system, and so are mostly unaffected by it.

What they are affected by are attacks on their own character. To my aunt, the suggestion that “people in The North are racist” is an attack on her as a racist. She is unable to differentiate her participation within a racist system (upwardly mobile, not racially profiled, able to move to White suburbs, etc.) from an accusation that she, individually, is a racist. Without being able to make that differentiation, White people in general decide to vigorously defend their own personal non-racism, or point out that it doesn’t exist because they don’t see it.

The result of this is an incessantly repeating argument where a Black person says “Racism still exists. It is real,” and a white person argues “You’re wrong, I’m not racist at all. I don’t even see any racism.” My aunt’s immediate response is not “that is wrong, we should do better.” No, her response is self-protection: “That’s not my fault, I didn’t do anything. You are wrong.”

Racism is not slavery. As President Obama said, it’s not avoiding the use
of the word Nigger. Racism is not white water fountains and the back of
the bus. Martin Luther King did not end racism. Racism is a cop severing
the spine of an innocent man. It is a 12 year old child being shot for playing with a toy gun in a state where it is legal to openly carry firearms.

But racism is even more subtle than that. It’s more nuanced. Racism is
the fact that “White” means “normal” and that anything else is different. Racism is our acceptance of an all white Lord of the Rings cast because
of “historical accuracy,” ignoring the fact that this is a world with an
entirely fictionalized history.

Even when we make shit up,
we want it to be white.

And racism is the fact that we all accept that it is white. Benedict Cumberbatch playing Khan in Star Trek. Khan, who is from India.
Is there anyone Whiter than Benedict fucking Cumberbatch? What?
They needed a “less racial” cast because they already had the
Black Uhura character?

That is racism. Once you let yourself see it, it’s there all the time.

Black children learn this when their parents give them “The Talk.”
When they are sat down at the age of 5 or so and told that their best
friend’s father is not sick, and not in a bad mood — he just doesn’t
want his son playing with you. Black children grow up early to life in
The Matrix. We’re not given a choice of the red or blue pill. Most white people, like my aunt, never have to choose. The system was made for
White people, so White people don’t have to think about living in it.

But we can’t point this out.

Living every single day with institutionalized racism and then having to argue its very existence, is tiring, and saddening, and angering. Yet if we express any emotion while talking about it, we’re tone policed, told we’re being angry. In fact, a key element in any racial argument in America is the Angry Black person, and racial discussions shut down when that person speaks. The Angry Black person invalidates any arguments about racism because they are “just being overly sensitive,” or “too emotional,” or– playing the race card. Or even worse, we’re told that we are being racist (Does any intelligent person actually believe a systematically oppressed demographic has the ability to oppress those in power?)

But here is the irony, here’s the thing that all the angry Black people know, and no calmly debating White people want to admit: The entire discussion of race in America centers around the protection of White feelings.

Ask any Black person and they’ll tell you the same thing. The reality of thousands of innocent people raped, shot, imprisoned, and systematically disenfranchised are less important than the suggestion that a single White person might be complicit in a racist system.

This is the country we live in. Millions of Black lives are valued less than a single White person’s hurt feelings.

White people and Black people are not having a discussion about race. Black people, thinking as a group, are talking about living in a racist system. White people, thinking as individuals, refuse to talk about “I, racist” and instead protect their own individual and personal goodness. In doing so, they reject the existence of racism.

But arguing about personal non-racism is missing the point.

Despite what the Charleston Massacre makes things look like, people are dying not because individuals are racist, but because individuals are helping support a racist system by wanting to protect their own non-racist self beliefs.

People are dying because we are supporting a racist system that justifies White people killing Black people.


see this in how one Muslim killer is Islamic terror; how one Mexican thief points to the need for border security; in one innocent, unarmed Black man shot in the back by a cop, then sullied in the media as a thug and criminal.

And in the way a white racist in a state that still flies the confederate flag is seen as “troubling” and “unnerving.” In the way people “can’t understand why he would do such a thing.”

A white person smoking pot is a “hippie” and a Black person doing it is a “criminal.” It’s evident in the school to prison pipeline and the fact that there are close to 20 people of color in prison for every white person.

There’s a headline from The Independent that sums this up quite nicely: “Charleston shooting: Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

I’m gonna read that again: “Black and Muslim killers are ‘terrorists’ and ‘thugs’. Why are white shooters called ‘mentally ill’?”

Did you catch that? It’s beautifully subtle. This is an article talking specifically about the different way we treat people of color in this nation and even in this article’s headline, the white people are “shooters” and the Black and Muslim people are “killers.”

Even when we’re talking about racism, we’re using racist language to make people of color look dangerous and make White people come out as not so bad.

Just let that sink in for a minute, then ask yourself why Black people are angry when they talk about race.

The reality of America is that White people are fundamentally good, and so when a white person commits a crime, it is a sign that they, as an individual, are bad. Their actions as a person are not indicative of any broader social construct. Even the fact that America has a growing number of violent hate groups, populated mostly by white men, and that nearly *all* serial killers are white men can not shadow the fundamental truth of white male goodness. In fact, we like White serial killers so much, we make mini-series about them.

White people are good as a whole, and only act badly as individuals.

People of color, especially Black people (but boy we can talk about
“The Mexicans” in this community) are seen as fundamentally bad.
There might be a good one — and we are always quick to point them
out to our friends, show them off as our Academy Award for “Best Non-Racist in a White Role” — but when we see a bad one, it’s just proof that
the rest are, as a rule, bad.

This, all of this, expectation, treatment, thought, the underlying social system that puts White in the position of Normal and good, and Black
in the position of “other” and “bad,” all of this, is racism.

And White people, every single one of you, are complicit in this racism because you benefit directly from it.

This is why I don’t like the story of the good samaritan. Everyone likes to think of themselves as the person who sees someone beaten and bloodied and helps him out.

That’s too easy.

If I could re-write that story, I’d rewrite it from the perspective of Black America. What if the person wasn’t beaten and bloody? What if it wasn’t so obvious? What if they were just systematically challenged in a thousand small ways that actually made it easier for you to succeed in life?

Would you be so quick to help then?
Or would you, like most White people, stay silent and let it happen?

Here’s what I want to say to you: Racism is so deeply embedded in this country not because of the racist right-wing radicals who practice it openly, it exists because of the silence and hurt feelings of liberal America.

That’s what I want to say, but really, I can’t. I can’t say that because I’ve spent my life not talking about race to White people. In a big way, it’s my fault. Racism exists because I, as a Black person, don’t challenge you to look at it.

Racism exists because I, not you, am silent.

But I’m caught in the perfect Catch 22, because when I start pointing out racism, I become the Angry Black Person, and the discussion shuts down again. So I’m stuck.

All the Black voices in the world speaking about racism all the time do not move White people to think about it– but one White John Stewart talking about Charleston has a whole lot of White people talking about it. That’s the world we live in. Black people can’t change it while White people are silent and deaf to our words.

White people are in a position of power in this country because of racism. The question is: Are they brave enough to use that power to speak against the system that gave it to them?

So I’m asking you to help me. Notice this. Speak up. Don’t let it slide. Don’t stand watching in silence. Help build a world where it never gets to the point where the Samaritan has to see someone bloodied and broken.

As for me,
I will no longer be silent.

I’m going to try to speak kindly, and softly, but that’s gonna be hard. Because it’s getting harder and harder for me to think about the protection of White people’s feelings when White people don’t seem to care at all about the loss of so many Black lives.

Online Sellers of Firearms Trust Buyer To Be Honest About Felonies


This is from a gun broker online site, It is in the list they provide on how to buy from them. The key words here are the last sentence…..

“Anyone who is legally allowed to own firearms, ammunition, knives, and gun accessories is allowed to buy or sell them here. It is your responsibility to be in compliance with all Federal, state, and local laws when using this site.”

Really just take someones word for whether or not they are a convicted felon? Really?
You know, when serving someone buys alcohol the seller is equally responsible if not more, they are required to see verification of age with a photo ID. When you go to a Casino they are required to do the same. If either of those places is found to have neglected to ask for a photo id, found to accept one that states the customer is not of legal age or presents an ID that is not considered valid the seller is held responsible.
Jesus Christ this country has it shit bass ackwards.
The loop hole is here, the online dealer doesn’t have to do a background check because it is not handing the gun to the buyer directly, they ship the purchased weapon to a local gun store that has a Federal Firearm License (which they do require a copy is sent to them to put on file). The buyer then goes to that store and picks up the gun. The local gun store does not have to to a background check because they technically aren’t selling the gun, they just have a package that they haven’t opened to hand to the buyer. The buyer only has to show a printed receipt with the package number to pick it up, no photo ID required. Not even proof of age. The only stipulation is that the laws of the state shipped to are followed.
For instance the state of Arizona only prohibits the shipment of stun guns and tasers.
Now, if the local dealer doesn’t even know what is in the package, as they do not open it, then again trust is placed in the buyer to be following the laws of the state when ordering the gun. The online seller is not responsible for not shipping forbidden weapons, buyer is trusted to check the their state laws before buying and trusted to not buy anything on the prohibited list.
I don’t even have the words for the anger this ‘Really’? factor.

Trump Tweets; Okay Moron Lesson On The EU


“Just arrived in Scotland. Place is going wild over the vote. They took their country back, just like we will take America back. No games!”

This is what he tweeted. This is why he scares the shit out of me. That short statement is a perfect example of just how not qualified he is to be President. He is absolutely clueless.

First, Scotland did not leave the European Union; Scotland voted to stay in. England left. But let’s put that incorrect statement aside for a minute; ‘they took their country back’ ? Who does he think had it? Even if they would have left the EU, what exactly does he think the EU is?

Well here it is in a nutshell, the European Union is not a government; a ruler or a monarch, political faction or any other type of leadership. It is like an Economic agreement between the countries of Europe. Before the EU everyone; The UK; United Kingdom which consists of Ireland, Scotland England and Wales had the pound sterling; Sweden had the franc; Italy had the lira, the Danish had the krone etc. Those countries that joined the EU; by way of votes from their citizens all now have one currency, the euro.

For countries that had a low rate of exchange this was an economic improvement but those with a higher rate of exchange it turned out not so much. In comparison if we did something like this with Canada and Mexico, Mexico would make out good but we however would not as their unit worth would be greater and ours would be less. It seems England didn’t improve economically in the Union so it left.

Back to Scotland being part of the United Kingdom which is one of the 16 countries that is ruled by Queen Elizabeth; or the English Monarch. Mr. Trump…….Scotland is still part of the UK and Scotland is still under English rule just like Canada, Australia, South Africa, Jamaica, Akrotiri and Dhekelia,Turks and Caicos Islands, South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands, Saint Helena, Gibraltar, Falkland Islands, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Antarctica, Anguilla, Bermuda, Pitcairn Islands and Indian Ocean Territory. I think I got them all……..

What a moron, if he should become the President I will be moving to one of those countries……

Trump Will Quit Before He Loses


I absolutely can see Trump walking away using some lame excuse about his companies needing him if he thinks he is going to lose. He will ride it out as long as he can but when the reality of a loss to Hillary hits him he will quit. Bet me.

Is It Really My Business To Know Your Worth?


I was raised to believe that asking someone how much money they had was rude. I was also raised to believe that someone who brags about how much money they are worth were rude.

I am in no way, by any means what-so-ever defending or sticking up for Donald Trump; and this applies to any or all political candidates, what gives anyone the right to ask demand to see tax returns to prove how much money they have?

Sure we have the right to ask this of those that are paid with tax payers dollars, like Senators, Congressmen and yes the President. We have the right to ask their salary for that office, not how much money they have from any other means. No right what so ever in my opinion.

Of course their are exceptions like if any of these politicians are guilty of some crime involving the money the make I don’t see how it is anyone’s business how much anyone is worth.

What Is Bernie Really Up To?


I have been a little thrown, a little confused and a little snippy at what I saw as absolute condescension from Bernie at Hillary by refusing to concede. The Democratic Party has officially endorsed Hillary as the party nominee; but the official Super Delegate vote isn’t until July 25th. True the majority have pledged they will vote for Hillary but Bernie is running on the momentum the popular vote is giving him and betting he can change some of their minds.

My thinking was that he is either overly optimistic; overly confident or just plain arrogant.He had private meetings with Obama before he came out and publicly endorsed Hillary and he has met privately with Secretary Clinton.

I have been expressing the view that Hillary should take Bernie as her VP to guarantee a Democratic win. But hardcore Bernie supporters are usually hardcore Hillary Haters and many of them have emphatically stated that they will not vote for Hillary under any circumstances and many claim they would go one step further than not voting at all and actually vote for Trump. After asking many of them why they matter-of-factly  express their contempt for her and even add that they would be angry or at least disappointed in Bernie if he did run with Hillary on the grounds that he would be compromising everything anti-corporate that he stands for. Some friends make the case that Bernie can serve best staying in the Senate; the Vice Presidency is a figurehead office. The VP is basically the voice of or speaker for the President; never his own.

I give weight to all sides of these arguments; but still feel bugged at Bernie for continuing his campaign; unless what Bernie is really up to is this:

He knows many of his supporters will not vote for Hillary; no vote is just as bad and maybe worse than actually voting for Trump. Maybe what he means when he says that he and Hillary are standing together as a party to prevent a Trump Presidency is that instead of running together and risk losing those or maybe more votes he is continuing his campaign because votes for him is better than no votes of Trump votes. He is betting the odds…..I hope he is a lucky gambler.

The Positive Patriotism of Hillary


I feel positive again about America, like I haven’t in a very long time. Like when I went to D.C. a few years ago for the first time. Standing there in front of the Lincoln Memorial and thinking about the character of the man that ended slavery, standing where MLK gave that speech while tears welled up in my eyes feeling what heart that man had; with just absolute awe and the first real Patriotism I think I have ever felt. I also felt deep rooted anger and contempt when I was at the Jefferson Memorial reading the engravings in the massive marble wall that read ‘all men are created equal’ knowing that when he wrote those words he owned hundreds of slaves; even fathering many children born out of his rape. and walking through the Holocaust Museum then going to FDR’s extensive memorial knowing that he did nothing for years while Hitler murdered millions of Jews. I have never read or heard any of the past Presidents speeches really but have listened to hours upon hours and read page after page of Obama’s, Trumps and the past Republican candidates; Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton’s debates, speeches and interviews.

When I am listening to Donald Trump, or Ted Cruz or Ben Carlson I feel, well almost dirty. I feel ashamed and disgusted. Kind of like when looking at the statue of Jefferson or Roosevelt. And all I hear is hate; hate for America or at least disappointment, mistrust and contempt for our President, racial bigotry for him and any other color of person other than white. I hear how fucked up everything in America is; every government program, every political office held by other parties, and how every immigrant is to blame for it all. I hear misogyny outright and I hear the scripture that they refer to as if they were speaking for god. I hear hate.

Hillary speaks with Pride in America, in Obama and herself. She has honor, integrity and a love for this country. What she lacks is that hateful contempt for the institution of government. She makes me stand up a little taller, take a little more pride in this country and gives me an all around sense of glory and a sense of responsibility for our place in the world.

As For The 2016 Presidential Candidates; Here Is Where I Stand


First let me say that I am a Hillary Supporter through and through, have been ever since the United Nations World Conference for Women in 1995, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xXM4E23Efvk  . Nothing she has done throughout her years as a Senator and her time as Secretary of State has or will change or lose my support. Everything that happened with Bill Clinton and women; the way she did or did not react or publicly deal with his womanizing ways (yes I believe he is or was a womanizer but do not believe he raped or sexually assaulted anyone. Monica was a big girl who by choice gave him that blow job, she was a willing participant.) Though it speaks to Bill’s character, Hillary’s marriage is none of my business; and as far as I know nothing that happened affected her ability to do her job. That being said, Benghazi? I fail to see how she is at fault for anything that happened that day, as far as I know she asked for more money to secure the Americans in the embassy’s that were attacked that day; yes there was more than one. The Americans that died, as sorrowful as that was, they knew the risks when they went there. They put their own lives on the line willingly as part of their job. Now, how the White House handled the press and what the public was told sure their was a lot of questions there but again; I fail to see how that was Hillary’s fault or responsibility.

Let’s get to the emails; I watch CSPAN, not the news. I think for myself by what those in question actually say not what the press or someone else says they said. Repeatedly those who are in charge of the investigation and all those who she answers to said that the use of a private email is not encouraged but it is not prohibited. She is not the first in a secure position to do so. Personally I probably would have done the same thing given how easy Snowden got hold of information, knowing the leaks within the government and such her private email was probably safer. And I have to point out that Congress is insisting she hand over Top Secret information; TOP SECRET being the key words here, most if not all of those asking for those emails don’t have the security clearance to read them. If they or those who side with them can’t find them, don’t know what is in them then she made a wise decision; she has kept them from eyes that are not cleared to see them.

I firmly believe that those asking are desperately trying to find something they can use against her, especially concerning Benghazi because they have so far found nothing to convict of.

Now we get to the election process. I am not arguing that the election process is at the very least flawed, the whole super delegate thing is very unfair; but that is not Hillary’s fault, she didn’t and isn’t the one responsible for it.

Many of those that hate her do so on the grounds that she is corrupt; that she is bought and paid for, that she caters to the 1%, that she is against the working class. I don’t see it that way; but admittedly I do not know how or who invests or donates to her that is corrupt or unethical. Is she wealthy? Yes, is that a crime? No.

Now on to Bernie; but first let me point out that Bernie and Hillary don’t differ much if at all on most policies; at least not the important ones. They both want harsher gun laws, they both want universal health care, they both want free higher education (except Hillary doesn’t believe it should be free to Trumps kids or even her own for that matter). They both support funding Planned Parenthood and both support equal rights and pay for women.

Bernie in my mind is what my grandma used to call ‘poor proud’. Poor proud is someone who lives like they are poor to prove they are like those that are when in fact they are living poor by choice, without actually knowing the struggle of the lower class and without experiencing the fear of not being able to feed your kids or of becoming homeless. He chose to live in a Sugar shack in college that had no electricity, running waters and had dirt floors; but he did so by choice not because he had no other choice or resources. Don’t let his poor proud act fool you, not only does he make 174,000 dollars a year as a Senator and his wife go somewhere around a 200,000 dollars severance pay after stepping down as president of Burlington College; this was close to here yearly salary. I don’t know how much the Sanders are worth but they are definitely not middle class.

I don’t agree with his free education for all; for those who need it but not for all. I also believe that if he accomplishes this it will lower the quality of higher education; it will be comparable to the poor quality of public education now. This goes for his free medical universally as well. I believe he has the best of intentions but I think he is unrealistic and as my grandma would say…he is poor proud.

But like Hillary he stands for the equality of women, our right to choose, stricter gun laws, cleaner energy, stopping global warming and lowering taxes for the middle and lower class. I don’t know more about his foreign policy other than that he voted against the war in Iraq and he stands against nuclear weapons.

Hillary is the only candidate who understands what is going on in Syria, and the Middle East. She is the only one who knows Foreign policy from the inside. She has already established relationships with other foreign leaders, she has negotiated with them and she understands who they are and what they want and what they will do. I fear Bernie’s higher moral ground attitude will interfere with his policies and his diplomacy with foreign policy.

This is where the thought of Trump in office terrifies me. I am not so much concerned with what he will do to or in the United States, it is what he will do to this country on a global scale. His arrogant third grade attitude; name calling, his bigotry, his misogyny, his lack of understanding foreign policy and his just bomb them all attitude will destroy any and all relationships that have been built with countries like Japan and Russia. His homophobic, Islamaphobic and white supremacy will alienate all foreign peoples and their leaders.

And his support of the NRA will lead to more mass shootings and violent deaths than the already unacceptable rate it is already. His lack of basic manners and his direct political incorrectness; his point to offend; his bullying and his just plain bad manners will only not offend others like him. His reality show on the road to the White House is a testament to the overwhelming number of ignorant people who think Jerry Springer an awesome show.

Yes I will vote for Hillary, and yes the fact that she is a woman adds to her appeal. Not just any woman but a woman who will fight to end the violence and oppression of women world wide. That is the issue that is at the top of my list of wants as far as change in this world; and she alone will not stand on protocol or policy and back down from the fight to end the violence against women.

Trump and National Security


A couple of days ago Donald Trump held a campaign rally in San Diego. He talked about how he would be back in San Diego this fall for a civil suit trial brought against Trump University; how he was able to call his ‘school’ a University is beyond me, and he mentioned the name of the judge that would be presiding over this trial. Gave the man’s full name, and race. He dropped the names of the prosecuting attorneys and the plaintiff’s in the case. He did so of course amid snide remarks about gender, race, personality and physical traits.

This is the man who Republicans want to trust with our nations top secret military information? This is the man who is already being briefed by the CIA on sensitive information? Really?

President Obama In Hiroshima


https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2016/05/27/remarks-president-obama-and-prime-minister-abe-japan-hiroshima-peace

Obama has always been a superb orator, this speech epitomized our President’s ability to stir emotions, pump up pride and to look ourselves in the mirror without denying our shame; our remorse or our self-respect.

There are those who heard his words at the Hiroshima Peace Memorial as an apology from the United States. Apologize he did not; what he did do was express remorse as a human being, not as a President. What he did was speak to and for humanity, not to a nation or a peoples. What he did showed was speak as the leader of a country that engaged in war to another country that was engaged in the same war, not as leader of the winning side to the loser on the other side. What he did was speak as a President who would not make the same decision to drop the bomb, not speak for another President who made the decision to do so. What he did was plead for the world to learn from that war, not beg nations to stop fighting them.

I wish Oppie could have been there to hear the leader of the Free world say to the rest of the world what he was saying all along.

Now that mankind has the ability to destroy itself, we need to make sure we never do.

Trump Talks To Kissinger To Learn Foreign Policy


Trump admitted he needed to learn about Foreign Policy, okay, so he reached out to the person he must have felt made the best policies of our; Henry Kissinger. The same Kissinger who as Secretary of State ordered the illegally bombings in Cambodia during the Vietnam war that killed hundreds of thousands of civilians; in a country not involved in the war. He also authorized the use of chemical weapons like Agent Orange in Vietnam which is a violation of the Geneva Convention; i.e. a war crime.

Kissinger is also wanted for questioning about his support of Chilean dictator General Augusto Pinochet who came into power after the CIA conspired to overthrow democratically elected leader Salvador Allende. Before Allende became president, Kissinger “I don’t see why we need to stand by and watch a country go communist because of the irresponsibility of its own people.” The attempt to prevent the presidency of Allende resulted in the assassination of Rene Schneider, Commander-in-Chief of the Chilean Army. According to the U.S. Senate, the CIA “decided to support and engineer the assassination of General Schneider in order to clear the way for a coup.” A $3 million civil suit was filed by Schneider’s family against Kissinger and former director of the CIA Richard Helms.

 

Kissinger’s involvement in Operation Condor, the political oppression of the people in Chile, is why lawyers fighting for Human in Chile have filed complaints against him.

“rightist military dictatorships in Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay and Uruguay coordinated efforts throughout the 1970s to kidnap and kill hundreds of exiled political opponents”; according to the International Herald Tribune, it is said this was done with the support of the Nixon and Ford administrations.

These are just a few example of Kissinger’s policies, just bomb them. Diplomacy escaped this man; and diplomacy is definitely not what Trump will bring to the White House.

 

The Bathroom Battle Won; Mic Is Dropped And She Has Walked Away


I am sharing a post I saw on Facebook. Like I said, drop the mic and walk away; there is nothing more to say;

This woman, Kasey Rose-Hodge, just shut down the whole bathroom conversation in magnificent style!

“Dear creepy heterosexual men guarding our bathrooms,

My entire life, I’ve been told to fear you in one way or another. I’ve been told to cover my body as to not distract you in school, to cover my body to help avoid unwanted advances or comments, to cover my body as to not tempt you to sexually assault me, to reject your unwanted advances politely as to not anger you. I’ve been taught to never walk alone at night, to hold my keys in my fist while walking in parking lots, to check the backseat of my car, to not drink too much because you might take advantage of me. I’ve been told what I should and shouldn’t do with my body as to not jeopardize my relationships with you.

I’ve been warned not to emasculate you, to let “boys be boys”, to protect your fragile ego and to not tread on your even more fragile masculinity. I’ve been taught to keep my emotions in check, to let you be the unit of measure for how much emotion is appropriate and to adjust my emotions accordingly. I’ve been taught that you’re allowed to categorize women into mothers/sisters/girlfriends/wives/daughters but any woman outside of your protected categories is fair game.

So to those of you who think you’re being helpful by “protecting” me and my fellow women, you’re like a shark sitting in the Lifeguard chair. I wasn’t uncomfortable until you showed up at the pool and the only potential predator I see is you.

Your mothers, sisters, girlfriends, wives and daughters don’t need you to walk them to the bathroom for safety. Your fathers, brothers, friends and sons need to walk themselves away from their own double standards. Women are sexually harassed and sexually assaulted on school campuses, on the street, at their jobs, on the Internet, in their own homes, in ANY public place. And it has been excused or ignored for so long because of what you and I are taught from the first years of our interactions with each other: You, as a male, are not accountable for your own actions. It’s MY responsibility, as a female, to not “provoke” you. But then you get to Knight-In-Shining-Armor your way through life for those in your protected categories and I am expected to applaud you. Why the outrage now over bathrooms? Why aren’t you outraged every single day?

If you’re telling me that there are high volumes of boys and men out there, in schools or in general, who are just waiting for a “loop hole” to sexually assault girls and women, we have bigger problems on our hands than bathrooms. The first problem would be your apparent lack of knowledge of how often it happens OUTSIDE of bathrooms, with no “loop holes” needed. This isn’t about Transgender bathroom access. This is about you not trusting the boys and men in your communities and/or fearing that they’re all secretly predators. Why do you have this fear? How many fathers have panicked when their daughters started dating because they “know how teenaged boys can be because they used to be one”? How many times have girls been warned “boys are only after one thing”? A mother can bring her young son into the women’s restroom and that’s fine but a father bringing his young daughter into the men’s restroom is disturbing because men are assumed to be predators and “little girls” shouldn’t be exposed to that.

So instead of picking up your sword and heading to Target or the girls’ locker room to defend our “rights”, why don’t you start somewhere that could actually make a difference? Challenge your children’s schools to end sexist dress codes and dress codes that sexualize girls as young as age 5. Advocate for proper (or any) sex education classes in all public schools by a certain grade level. Focus more on teaching your sons not to rape vs teaching your daughters how to avoid being raped. Stop asking “How would you feel if that was your mother or sister?” It shouldn’t take the comparison to clue you in to what’s right or wrong. Question why you’re more worried about your daughter being around men than your son being around women in bathrooms and dressing rooms. Stop walking by Victoria’s Secret with no problem but covering your son’s eyes if a woman is breastfeeding in public. Stop treating your daughter’s body as some fortress you’re sworn to protect as if that’s all she’s got to offer the world.”

– Kasey Rose-Hodge

Pass it on!

The Moral High Ground


I have been told in response to my theory that Hillary and Bernie need to be each others running mates to guarantee a Democratic win; or more importantly a Republican/Trump loss that it will never happen because they differ too much in methodology, domestic policy and basic principles when it comes to economics. Most Bernie supporters state they would absolutely not vote for her if he doesn’t get it and I have been told that Bernie Bots will never under any circumstances vote for Hillary if she get the ticket and Bernie runs as her VP.

Even though if you really look at both of them they do not differ that much in philosophy or policy; their big divide is economic and financial principles, or what I see as moral high ground.

Basically the problem between them is that Hillary is Rich and Bernie prides himself; he is what my grandma used to call ‘poor proud’. He chooses to be poor and prides himself on not needing money; or at least not spending money. Because Bernie has money. His wife brings in over 200,000 dollars a year in pension money from Burlington College; he makes 174,000 a year as a Senator. Bernie has money; Hillary just has more; and Hillary spends more money, money that she takes from corporate donors. Donors Bernie is too proud to take money from, but not to proud to make a point; a campaign slogan out of it.

But are those couple of differences, there really only only those couple they stand solid on common ground virtually every where else; are those differences so important that taking that moral high ground would open the way for a Donald Trump Presidency then its time for Bernie Bots to get off their high horses and swallow that anti-corporate pride. Though Bernie would probably be riding a donkey as humble men are supposed to.

But this was before Trump actually became the Republican nominee; the jury is in on this one. What say ye now? Now will you come down from that pedestal so the entire country does not fall into the sewer; that moral cesspool that would be a Trump Presidency?

If not then you have not the courage of your convictions. If not you have not the interest of this country at heart. If not you are no better than than the white trash that will be in the White House if you stand tall on that moral high ground that is anti-Hillary.

Trump’s Show Is Now A Reality


I haven’t posted anything about the current presidential campaign, not for lack of interest; concern or information but because I have actually  been rendered speechless. If I believed in god I would have prayed that Trumps run for the Republican ticket was really a reality show. I couldn’t bring myself to take it seriously.

But seriously thinking about it I imagine him meeting with foreign leaders, leaders whose name he won’t bother to pronounce properly and quite probably not even know what country they represent or where that country is. I imagine some of these leaders may be female, or Muslim, or even just not white; which obviously many of them will not be.

I imagine him ‘firing’ the entire White House staff from the maids to the entire administration and hiring beauty pageant runners-up to clean dressed in uniforms from Victoria’s Secret or designed by his wife; with the entire administrative staff looking like sexy librarians from a music video.

I picture how he will redecorate the Oval Office or the Press Room. I picture his sons being appointed Secretary of State and Speaker of the House. I picture him hosting the Miss Universe Pageant in the White House Ball Room.

I envision his press conferences where he will only answer questions from the pretty reporters.

I picture his entire Presidency be a 24 hour live reality show where we will see him in the hot tub with his daughter so he can show off her hot body he brags about or him doing photo shoots of her sprawled out Lincoln’s bed.

I can see him turning the billiard room into a casino for his inaugural dinner.

I think about Senator’s, Judges, Congressmen and important political allies living it up at one of his casinos on his dime when he wants a bill passed. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Secret Servicemen around him would be bouncers from his clubs.

But none of those nightmares compare to this reality; as the Republican nominee Trump now gets CIA briefings and control of party resources and worse the reality of him winning the Presidency and actually having a security clearance higher than anyone else in the nation. Think about this man having the power to launch nuclear weapons. Think about his man having the power and the authority to choose Supreme Court Justices and appoint Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense and Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Donald Trump, will have access to classified information. Donald Trump, the conspiracy theorist, the racist, the misogynist, the Islamaphobic, the incestuas; yes I said it; watch any interview he has ever done with his daughter, the name calling;  narcisist who is endorsed by the likes of Mike Tyson; a convicted rapist and David Duke known leader of the Ku Klux Klan. The same man who insists Obama is a Islamic Terrorist; and who accused Rafael Cruz; Senator Ted Cruz’s father of be involved in President Kennedy’s assasination. The man who has made such comments as it would be a “pretty picture” to see a female contestant from “The Apprentice” on her knees. an interview in Esquire in 1982, and that is didn’t matter what the media wrote about him because he had a hot girlfriend with a great ass. Referring to his daughter Ivanka In Rolling Stone he said “She’s really something, and what a beauty, that one, if I weren’t happily married and, ya know, her father…”

The most horrifying part of all this is the realization that like Hitler, Trump could be an elected leader; an elected leader of the free world.

To Pray or Not To Pray…That Is The Question


Recently the Church of Satan in Phoenix challenged the City Council when the tried to requested to say the opening prayer at a City Council Meeting. The City Council opens every public meeting with a prayer; a Christian prayer. The Council members reacted by holding an emergency meeting to decide what to do. They took a vote; not a vote on whether or not to let the Satanists say the opening prayer, this of course would have ended up in the State Supreme Courts where chances are the Council would have lost. They took a vote on whether or not to ban prayer all together at their Council meetings. The council voted 5 – 4 to ban prayer, rather than let the Satanists have their say. Talk about cutting of your nose to spite your face.

So who really won? Many say the Church of Satan really won, claiming that a ban on prayer is what they really wanted. Some say the Council and it’s Christian members one by not letting the Satanists say the prayer. I would say us Atheists and the Secular won this one. Let’s here if for no public prayer at Council meetings.

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