Posts Tagged With: Donald Trump

Where’s the Love

Growing up, I was always told I would be a preacher or politician. I am a gay Agnostic, so that pretty much eliminates both of those possibilities. But I have realized that I do have my little blog here to preach MY message. The LoveFew read, but I can feel I am trying to be a part of the civil discourse. Now, The Black Eyed Peas have a position of influence… and they are using that by releasing an updated 2016 version of their 2003 hit “Where’s the Love?” Celebrities appearances mixed with heart wrenching images makes me ask where is empathy, sympathy, and concern for others and our society. In 2003, I am ashamed to admit I remember more dancing to the song than listening to it.

Part of being Agnostic for me is I am ok with saying I don’t know. People confuse being Agnostic with being Atheist, but I feel Atheist have the same certainty there is NO God as Religious people do that there IS a God. Being Agnostic, I can say not only I don’t know, I can say – I don’t care. I don’t have to BE right… even though I do think I am right! (lol) Why do we have to have an absolute RIGHT side of EVERY issue? Living in the middle I get FRUSTRATED when Christians try to legislate how I as a gay man can live, and justify their “right” to not make gay wedding cakes because of THEIR beliefs. I am ANGERED by Islamic extremist that use terror as a means to associate that message with ALL Muslims to attempt to control lives of others. I am AGGRAVATED that we as a society look at issues only from our point of view and how it impacts us.

OmranThe photo of 5 year-old Omran Daqneesh sitting in the back of an ambulance in shock, wounded by a bomb that struck the building where his family lived is HAUNTING! I actually heard someone on tv say why had his family not fled, why did they stay in a war torn town. If I had been able to talk through the tv, I would have suggested the father may have seen the 2015 image of the lifeless toddler Aylan Kurdi on the beach of the Turkish resort of Bodrum, whose family had attempted to flee the Syrian war.

These images are events that happened about a year apart and in Mockthat year, US Presidential candidate Donald Trump was ranting about the threat of accepting Syrian refugees (and I like to remind people that this is also an asshole that feels it is acceptable to mock disabled people). He worries about the possibility of “terrorist” being able to use this as a way into the United States. I say the terrorists are here… they are the people cheering Trump’s hateful rhetoric. Britain is so frightened that they voted to leave the European Union based MOSTLY on fear of immigrants. How can ANY American look and these images and not be more terrified of the idea of doing NOTHING, not HELPING? When our society has become so cold, callused, and afraid of doing what is right, what is the danger of a Trump Presidency? We are accepting our fates to be isolationist that care ONLY about ourselves! I will FIGHT for what’s right and that, for me, means fighting Donald Trump’s candidacy. Even as much as I may not like Hillary Clinton… she does understand the basics of what’s right.

It’s not even like we have to look internationally to see issues that are no brainer issues that have become divisive. black-lives-matterWhy are so many white people so offended by the “Black Lives Matter” movement? It is as if they are so afraid of black people that they have to embolden the idea that there are NO bad cops and that “Black Lives Matter” hates cops. When the African-American population is disproportionately impacted by violence, poverty and incarceration, it is a sad refection on all people to act as if that issue does not exist. Americans HAVE such a need to react to “Black Lives Matter” with “Blue Lives Matter” or “All Lives Matter” because it is easier to be divisive and not listen, ignore or even blame the messenger. Or are they so color blinded that they think the idea of “BLACK Lives Matter” is to the exclusion of other races? Why are we as a society so afraid to agree that “Black Lives Matter” without having to dilute the message before listening or attempting to look or work on the issue?

B E AwareI am a white guy and what makes me a little different is that I can acknowledge I have benefits because of white privilege. I know when I am pulled over by a cop, I am privilegeuncomfortable, but not afraid. I KNOW there are great cops! But that does not blind me to the evidence that there are some BAD cops and that some of those “bad cops” have gotten away with murder or at least manslaughter. A crooked justice system that gives bad cops a pass only endangers the good, honorable, and admirable cops. I wonder if Americans were to answer honestly if they would admit that cops over use their authority to a point of intimidation? Innocent black men have died just in the process of being arrested for minor violations. But a lot of white America cannot even acknowledge this injustice or acts as if it doesn’t exist.

Etan

Ethan Couch

Two BIG white boy cases that OFFEND me to my core are Ethan Couch and Brock Turner. Ethan Couch killed 4 people driving drunk. He was drinking under age, had stolen the beer from WalMart, his blood alcohol was over 3 times the legal limit for adult drivers, speeding with 7 passengers in his father’s pickup (one of the passengers was paralyzed in the accident also), and tested positive for marijuana and Valium. Ethan’s lawyer argued that poor Ethan suffered from “Affluenza”. Affluenza has nothing to do with the flu… but basically is a condition brought on by

Brock Turner

Brock Turner

too much affluence, he grew up rich and did not understand his actions had consequences. He ended up sentenced to probation and therapy. Look Ethan Couch up on Wikipedia for even more details of his white privilege granted via the US justice system. While the 2nd guy Brock Turner needs less discussion, he was convicted of raping an unconscious girl and was only sentenced to 6 months in jail and only had to serve 3 of those months.

These 2 assholes were convicted and paid no real penalty. In 2015 alone, over 100 unarmed African-Americans were killed by cops… key word “UNARMED”. Only 10 of these incidents resulted in charges and only 2 led to convictions.* In the same year (2015) there were 36 non-accidental firearm fatalities for US law enforcement.** We all know ALL lives matter, but we should see that this issue unjustifiably impacts one community more than the other! But for some reason, people do not listen and find ways to justify status quo.

Status quo is not acceptable anymore! We have to find the love! I wanted a Hollywood ending for this post… I tried. I The futuresearched for more recent photos of Omran. I wanted to see a photo of him well, happy, running and playing. But there is no “updated” happy ending for these issues I am struggling to understand. But to keep me motivated to find the love… I need the haunting image of Omran. At times, that photo comes to mind and I think… Omran is someone’s child, brother, nephew, cousin, buddy… he is more than that photo. I keep thinking of that photo and as I play with my blonde-haired, blue eyed, great-nephews that also have Arab last names. I have to do something so that their world is better! I hope to influence them with good, principled ideas, and there are NO more cases of “Affluenza” (or asshole lawyers that even consider ignorance a defense)! I hope that they will know a better, welcoming, loving America and be a part of a society that WANTS to help and protect ALL lives – especially the ones that don’t have the same privileges as others regardless of color, nationality or socioeconomic status. I hope they will not understand why TWICE The Black Eyed Peas felt the need to sing, “Where’s the Love?”

Where

*http://mappingpoliceviolence.org/unarmed/

**https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2015/sep/04/police-deaths-2015-law-enforcement-safety

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Is America Great?

Allen Etzler

Is America great? It depends on who you are listening to. Trump’s presidential campaign is based on the idea that No… America is not great but he can “Make America Great Again”. Yeah again… because it is not great now. But Trumps reply about Colin Kaepernick’s protest of not standing for the national anthem was, “Maybe he should find a country that works better for him.” But I guess he is not willing to take his own advice? Since Donald Trump does not think America is great… maybe he should go find a country that works better for him. It may surprise people who know me when I suggest, maybe Donald Trump should stay, as well as Colin Kaepernick. They both are expressing an idea that America could be better. They can each work to Make America Better! Everyone should agree things could be better – for everyone. They each have their audience but there is no surprise for many here… I support Colin’s message more!

14079990_1062989783792518_4193278889116713697_nNow… I do take issue with memes like this that try to imply that ONLY soldiers can be heroes or simply being a soldier makes a person a hero. I find that offensive! What about school teachers, parents, community leaders, celebrities or heaven forbid… people who play sports? They can’t be heroes? Are they less a hero because they are not a soldier? Or is it a competition as to who is more heroier!!  (lol heroier is not a word but I hope you get its implied meaning!  lol) Colin Kaepernick has put his career, his reputation, his endorsements and the way Americans are about guns… he has even put his life on the line to stand up, or in this case sit down, for what he believes. I feel they have both made admirable decisions for their life. With this meme… my answer is they are BOTH heroes!

Why are people so offended Kaepernick did not stand up for the national anthem, but are NOT offended by the social injustices he is attempting to bring light to? I am white and I see, understand, and will “whitesplain” that African-Americans are disproportionately affected by violence, police brutality, arrests, and incarceration. I also know that most police are very dedicated and serve their communities admirably. Both can be true. We as a nation can and should be working together to make it better. I understand also that some people don’t want lights to shine on problems, they are afraid they may find they are part of the problem. Some prefer their shadows. We all need to spend a little time investigating our shadows and learning to HELP each other see the light on MANY issues.

Our biggest obstacle to making America better is most everyone has a side they defend without listening or caring about the other. Recently I was told that I had been brainwashed because my opinions were so different. But it did help me realize, I felt the same about her. She shined the light on my obstinacy. I want to be open to other’s ideas, thoughts, and opinions but too many of them I just see as wrong and BAD. I struggle to find a solution. As she stands her ground, Trump stands his, Kaepernick sits his and I try to find mine… I wonder if it’s possible?

Thomas Johnston 2020 – Make America BETTER!

Herbo

This was a great read on the topic also: http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2016/08/29/criticize-colin-kaepernick-but-support-donald-trump-think-again/89551082/

 

P.S. I am proud that the 49ers allow Kaepernick’s protest and support his right to protest.

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We ALL Lose

We All Lose

I have never been shy to share my thoughts about politics. That has not changed. What has changed is my FEAR about political outcomes. I have thought myself rational and even when faced with opposing views may have felt challenged but not afraid. What is frightening to me about this 2016 presidential election is that I can’t defend “my” own candidate of choice, I can only say that her opponent scares me more.

I have joked that I voted for the lesser of two evils most elections but the choices here are Obamathe most extremes of evil I have had to choose from. I like President Obama but grew frustrated with the stalemate between the executive and legislative branches of government. With either candidate… America will have even more of that. If Hillary wins without Democrats also winning control of the legislative branch NOTHING will change. I will also bet there will be paralyzing scandals. Donald has so little support from his own Republican party that if he wins… stalemate becomes standstill and then standstill will become a stagnate pool of festering malice!

Hillary Clinton is definitely qualified to be president, but she is SUCH a politicianimpeachment by nature, I don’t trust her. I expect her term(s) to be scandal filled, lest we forget history!  Her political ambitions make her seem to follow polls instead of having real leadership abilities. Where was she during the gay marriage debate? She was waiting for the poll numbers to show a 51% support before she could also support it. Her husband’s administration brought America DOMA (Defence Of Marriage Act – ruled unconstitutional by the US Supreme Court June 2015) AND Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (repealed in 2010) and his impeachment (without removal from office). Where as Donald Trump has NO qualifications to be president. Running a supposedly successful business is not a qualification to be president nor is being a reality tv star. If his business IS so successful, why won’t he release his taxes? Again, he can’t be trusted. He campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” is offensive. America IS great and someone that thinks it is not should not be running for president.

My biggest disappointment this election cycle is that I did have a candidate that I could Bernietrust, that I felt had true intentions to do good for Americans – Bernie Sanders. I resent Hillary and see her as power-hungry. She has a net worth over $80,000,000. Along side Bill’s $120,000,000 makes them worth $200,000,000. Politicians can’t be worth that and not OWE someone favors or relate to the everyday struggles of most Americans. Donald Trump’s wealth is disputed as to what he claims, what journalists report and what his supporters believe. Bernie Sander’s had a net worth of $500,000 after more than 25 years in politics, a lot by my standards but still not enough to have corrupt influences.

How many presidents were millionaires before taking office? In the last 100 years only 3 presidents had less than $1,000,000 before office: Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and Harry Truman*. That is 63 years since someone was even close to being representative of a typical American lifestyle in the White House.

ThroneIncome inequality is the greatest threat to our democracy and Bernie is the only candidate that campaigned on that issue. Now he is out, even for Hillary it is no longer addressed as a major issue. How can Donald Trump even pretend to understand an average American’s life and struggles? The photo on the right is when he and Pence were interviewed on 60 Minutes. Who the hell has such tacky, gaudy furniture? Oh… I see!  lol  What I see in the photos is also what scares me… Donald Trump has the same temperament to be president as Gadhafi and Hussein. The US democracy is like Citizens United, money = voice. So those without money are not heard and understandably lose interest in a representative government that no longer represents them.

PoorlyUntil Americans stop voting for president like they would a popularity contest, we will continue to be stuck with candidates that can and will say this, “I love the poorly educated.” Yes Trump not only said that out loud, he said it as part of his victory speech in Nevada, February 24, 2016.  So thanks to an uninformed populace, we have a choice between unqualified, Mean Girl Donald Trump and MS I will not be able to get anything done Clinton.

SupportMy fear of Trump is not only him, but his supporters. How can they not see his vitriol? Watch the video link below of him mocking a disabled journalist… they laugh! Trump says he is a great negotiator… is this the man you want representing the US in negotiations?

To sum this up… I am a disgrundled Bernie supported who begrudgingly supports Hillary because Bernie Sanders did not win, and Donald Trump scares me. My vote for Hillary will be a vote for the lesser of two evils. As Americans, we are losing democracy by continuing to vote for evil of any kind, but it’s my civic duty!  lol

https://embed.theguardian.com/embed/video/us-news/video/2015/nov/26/donald-trump-appears-to-mock-disabled-reporter-video

*(https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_United_States_Presidents_by_net_worth)

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Once the $150 a year cost is covered – 50% of EVERY donation will be given to a charity (the charity will not be ME)!  😀

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I Enjoy My Rage: Am I the Only One?

Republicans continue to attack the poor and seek to further benefit the rich! Where is Americans outrage over what the Republicans are allowing the tea baggers to do?  I once considered myself a fiscal conservative with liberal social leanings.  Now the Republicans are trying to pass their CRAZY “budget blueprint”, I am seeing that I cannot even call myself a fiscal conservative anymore by this far, far right fiscal thinking.  I am beginning to have RAGE against the Republican Party for allowing the tea baggers to be the tail wagging the dog.  Republicans are proving crazy is infectious!

The Republicans are alienating independents like me by catering to these nut bag tea baggers.  Even Donald Trump is gaining momentum with the “birther” theory as part of this “Tea Party” movement (I agree with Bill Maher – I will stop calling them tea bagger when they stop calling it Obamacare).  Showing this is a movement of nonintellectuals.

The “budget blueprint” that passed the House of Representatives today (Friday, April 15, 2011)1 calls for changing Medicare to a voucher system, cutting Medicaid and food stamps, all while not only keeping the Bush tax cuts for the wealthiest but also reducing the top corporate and individual income tax rates from 35% to 25%.  Where is the rage against this?

The Democrats by default come across as less fanatical and more level-headed.  “Democrats dismiss this strategy, saying that although some spending cuts are needed to rein in deficits, wholesale reductions in education, public works, research and other core government programs leave Americans unable to compete globally.” says Pat Dollard2.  While programs like Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security and the defense make up the majority of the budget, these programs can be improved, made more efficient or even reformed without throwing the baby out with the wash! Where is the rage from the poor?

GE made $14.2 billion profit and paid no taxes and in fact received a $3.2 billion tax benefit. 3 GE also employs a 975-employee tax department4 to insure they find as many loopholes as possible.  Why are the Republicans leading their fight by attacking programs that assist the poor and elderly instead of attacking the corporations they are trying to help even more with an even lower tax rate?  Why are they not trying to get the U.S. out of 2 very expensive wars?  My thoughts are the Republicans are influenced by the self-serving interests of the Tea Baggers.  The tea baggers are self-indulgent and have the idea, if it does not benefit me – cut it.  Where is the rage against Corporate America?

Wall Street bonuses increased 17%5 from an already astronomical amount, after the government bailout.  Why have the Republicans not besieged Wall Street in this “budget blueprint”?  Again, does it have something to do with protecting big money?  The poor are an easy target that find it difficult to have access to defend itself in a government that money = access!  The poor do not have access as demonstrated by my unsuccessful attempts to have an elected official listen to my concerns about E.R.I.S.A. and inspiring a blog Mr. Smith Still Needs to go to Washington6.  Where is the rage against Wall Street?

There was a time when it was political suicide to even mention cutting, changing Medicare or Social Security!  The idea of such  caused outrage!  Where are these groups now?  Are they allowing the Republicans to hang themselves?  Why aren’t the old school Republicans curtailing the Tea Baggers?  Where is the call to reform for Corporate America & Wall Street?  Where is the rage against the Tea Baggers?  In the past I would hear tea baggers say they wanted to “take America back” and I would ask, who are they taking it from?  Now I know, they want to take it from the poor and helpless so they have more for themselves.  I am glad my tax money does something to help the poor, sick and elderly because I do not have the money the tea baggers are trying to protect from the government.  I wish I could do more to help the poor, sick and elderly! Why don’t the Democrats harness this rage and take America back – from the crazy tea baggers (note: I am not using rhetoric, I am saying who I want America taken back from)! Am I the only one outraged?

Help me out… give anything… even if it’s only a $1

1 http://www.aolnews.com/2011/04/15/house-passes-6t-spending-cut-plan/

2 http://patdollard.com/2011/04/republicans-propose-6-2-trillion-in-budget-cuts/

3 http://www.nytimes.com/2011/03/25/business/economy/25tax.html

4 http://www.accountingtoday.com/news/GE-Bringing-Creative-Tax-Strategies-Light-57849-1.html

5 http://articles.nydailynews.com/2010-02-23/news/27057087_1_bonuses-wall-street-personal-income-tax-collections

6 https://thomasajohnston.com/2010/11/09/mr-smith-still-needs-to-go-to-washington/

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