Monday, September 25, 2017

Go, Tom Brady!

                                          Image result for nfl players taking a knee

Well, hell, I guess I'm going to have to start watching the NFL in a show of support for football players taking a knee during the national anthem.

In the meantime, all the boycotters should switch their loyalty to NASCAR, several team owners having issued statements saying any driver who didn't stand during the anthem would be fired. Of course, since we have no black drivers in the Cup series, I guess no one minds too much. Except our most popular driver, Dale Earnhardt Junior, who tweeted his support for the protesters. Dale is retiring this year and is rich as Croesus so he is probably the only driver rich enough and gutty enough and self-confident enough to jump into this controversy. Go, Dale!

One of the things I've heard people say about the protesters is that they are millionaire athletes so what do they have to protest about? And I can see how Trump and the Trumpsters would feel this way. In fact, the their attitude seems to be, "I've got mine, so screw you," so I guess it is difficult for them to understand that maybe the players care about those back in the neighborhood who haven't been so lucky. Those are the people who are stopped by the cops or beaten up or even killed for being black.

And no, I don't think all cops are bad. I worked for law enforcement for many years and I loved my deputies but some cops are bad. They're racist, they are violent. And the good cops often either cover for them or keep their mouths shut. And the legal system does the same. So do you really think the attitude black athletes should take is: "I got out, fuck you"?

And I've heard they should be grateful. Grateful for what? That we let them use their talent to succeed? Every superior athlete does the same: perseveres, works their butt off to get to the top and keeps fit to maintain their skill. They do what we all do. They use their ability in their profession and they get paid a lot because they can do something most people can't do.

I was a secretary, an excellent secretary, I think, but millions of people can be excellent secretaries. I never made a lot of money. Millions of people can't become quarterbacks so the select few are rewarded for it.

The arrogance of someone implying that these people should kiss our feet because we allowed them to succeed irritates the hell out of me.

And many conservatives accuse leftist protesters like Antifa and Black Lives Matter of being violent. That the part they hate, doancha know? If they would just peacefully protest and not loot and burn, it would all be fine (forgetting their own right-wing looters and burners, of course) but how much more peaceful can a protest be than taking a knee at a football game?

Since I've probably already made several of my friends mad, I guess I'll root for the Patriots and make them even madder. Tom Brady is pretty cute.

Monday, September 18, 2017

There's a Mountain Straight Ahead

                                               Image result for mountain

This is how I feel talking to Trump supporters. I say, "wow, look at that mountain right in front of us!" and they say, "what mountain. I don't see any mountain."

I'm flabbergasted. "Huh, it's right there ahead of us. If we keep going forward, we'll run right into it..

And they say, "nope, no mountain there."

"But its got trees partway up the sides and there snow is on the peak."

"You're spreading false news about a mountain that isn't there.

And at that point you might as well give up. They will never admit to the presence of a mountain.

I'm talking about a mountain of evidence, of course. Evidence regarding the myriad conflicts of interest that allow Trump to turn the White House into his own personal gravy train. The millions he makes off Mar-a-Lago (which doubled its membership fees from $100,000 to $200,000 when he became president). We pay him for the rooms, the food, the golf carts.the security, the travel. And he won't release his list of visitors even though, we the taxpayers are paying for them.

And his golf resort at Westminster. And Trump Tower and the way he parlays the Old Postal Hotel in Washington into the in place for politicians and diplomats who want to curry favor with the president.

And the mountain of evidence about the Trump campaign and administration that show he cheated on the American people with his paramour, Vladimir Putin. The hundreds of time they all lied about contacts with the Russians. Jared's meetings with a Russian banker. The meeting that they first said included only Jared, Don Jr, Paul Manafort and two Russians who only talked about Russian adoptions. Later, when the emails were released, it was made clear that it was the Trump three plus five Russians, all with connections to the Putin regime, and that the meeting was called to share dirt on Hillary in Russia's effort to help Trump win the election. - to which Don Jr responded: "I love it!"

And the evidence of hiring a foreign agent collecting money from several foreign entities as the National Security Adviser, then allowing  him to stay on for 16 days, attending classified meetings, after they'd been warned that he had been compromised by the Russians. (This is a situation the Vice-President lied  and lied about).

And the secret meeting in the Oval Office at which only a Russian photographer was present as Trump revealed classified information we'd received from Israel and called James Comey a nutjob.

And Trump's efforts to shut down the Russia investigation by first asking Comey to let it go and then, firing him when he wouldn't, even going so far as to admit his rationale on television.

I could pile up an actual mountain of paperwork describing all of Trump's transgressions but what good would it do. His supporters would look at it and say, "what mountain. I don't see any mountain."

Monday, September 11, 2017

United We Stand. Sure thing.

                            Image result for 911 memorial

I know this won't be a very popular attitude but to tell the truth, I'm a little sick of the way we wallow in 911 every year. Of course, I believe in honoring the courage and dedication we saw on that day and many days after but, honestly I think we took all the wrong lessons from the tragedy of 911. What is carved on this rock is all that needs to be remembered - United We Stand. That didn't last very long, did it? We hate each other more than we ever did before.

I have said practically from the beginning that 911 turned us into a nation of cowards. Yes, Al Qaida pulled off a coup because we weren't expecting it but it wasn't one they'd be likely to be able to repeat. We canceled our vacations and ran around looking for duct tape and our deputies here in my county were hired by to stand guard over our water Wabash, Indiana! Yeah, I bet the terrorists had their plans all made to strike Wabash.

We went to war in Afghanistan and stayed even after we knew Bin Laden wasn't there and even after we knew Bin Laden was dead and 16 years later we are still there with no end in sight. We went to war in Iraq for no good reason that anyone but the Bush administration could ever explain. We were killed by the thousands and we killed many more thousands and there we still are.

We created an expensive and secretive new agency, the Department of Homeland Security, that can listen to our phone calls and read our e-mails and God knows what else. That agency sent us in Wabash semi-loads of hazmat suits and gloves and masks. They probably eventually went in the landfill. God knows, we never used them.

We upgraded Guantanamo 'cause, you know, we were too frightened to even have the terrorists in prison on our shores. Ooh, that was too scary. And there Gitmo still sits today, still being used although their record of military tribunals has been much less successful than civil courts as far as meting out punishment.

We tortured and engaged in extreme rendition. We call ourselves exceptional but Abu Ghraib will forever be a blot on our reputation for exceptionalism. We abandoned everything we once stood for out of fear. "We doan need no steenken' principles." Acts that were against international law that we huffed and puffed about when other countries performed them were suddenly not so bad because it was us, the United States, that had been attacked!

I think 911 led the way to a Trump presidency with his lies about seeing Muslims in New Jersey celebrating the towers coming down. And his paranoia about immigrants and his Muslim ban. His division of Americans into tribal groups. Look at Muslims with suspicion. They are probably terrorists. Look at Mexicans with suspicion. They are probably rapists. Look at African-Americans with suspicion. They are probably thugs. He even thought that one underhanded Black man sneaked in from Africa to become our president.

We forgot the most important thing we should have learned in 911 - United We Stand - and remembered all the things we should have forgot.