A Sorry Tale Of Two Men …

With Donald Trump’s purge of many immigrants from this country, and what amounts to essentially closing our southern border, there are many low-paid, menial jobs in the agricultural industry that are left unfilled, and farmers large and small are crying for people to harvest crops and pick fruit.  Perhaps it is fortuitous, then, that so many people in the current administration will find themselves out of work come January.  I delight at the vision of Mike Pompeo, Betsy DeVos, Kellyanne Conway and others on a ladder under a tree picking oranges!  Yes, yes, I know these arseholes are all independently wealthy and don’t need to find other jobs, but still … give me my moment of pleasure here.

Now that I’ve had my moment of joy, there are two people on the snark radar today … Sebastian Gorka and Mike Pompeo.

gorkaIn January 2017, Sebastian Gorka was appointed Deputy Assistant to the “President” and Strategist in the Trump White House. He was a member of a White House team known as the Strategic Initiatives Group, which was set up by White House advisors Steve Bannon and Jared Kushner. The Strategic Initiatives Group never got off the ground, and Gorka failed to obtain the security clearance necessary for work on national security issues.

Gorka is a radical whose background and education are questionable, and who has ties to a Nazi-allied group in Hungary known as Vitézi Rend.  Congress, as well as the Council on American-Islamic Relations called for Gorka’s firing, along with a number of Jewish groups.

On August 25, 2017, Gorka left the administration, one week after Steve Bannon’s departure.  Gorka claimed that he had resigned because White House officials were “undermining” the Make America Great Again (MAGA) platform. The White House disputed his claim that he resigned and confirmed he was no longer employed there and did not have further access to the White House grounds.

Okay, gone, good riddance, right?  Let him show up on Fox every month or so to rant and opine, and on his own radio show, as long as he isn’t in our government, yes?  But wait … on Tuesday, it was announced that Donald Trump plans to appoint Gorka to be a member of the National Security Education Board!  Like a bad penny, he keeps coming back!

If you’re like me, right about now you’re scratching your head and wondering just what the Sam Heck the “National Security Education Board” does.  The 14-member board oversees a government program that awards scholarships and fellowships to students and offers grants to colleges and universities to address “the national need for experts in critical languages and regions.” In its mission statement, NSEP says one of its goals is to “produce an increased pool of applicants for work in the departments and agencies of the United States Government with national security responsibilities.”

Sorry, folks, but I don’t want Gorka within our government in any capacity, let alone one that pertains in any way, shape or form to education!  Thankfully, he can join the others in January looking for jobs picking fruit!

Mike-PompeoA year ago, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo launched the “Commission on Unalienable Rights”, a panel tasked with reviewing “the role of human rights in American public policy”.  At the time, I questioned the need and intent of such a panel, for knowing Pompeo’s evangelical religious views, I did not trust that it wouldn’t be more exclusionary than not.  I wasn’t alone, as advocates warned it could imperil LGBTQ and women’s reproductive freedoms.

Said Pompeo at that time …

“As human rights claims have proliferated, some claims have come into tension with one another provoking questions and clashes about which rights are entitled to gain respect. Nation states and international institutions remain confused about the respective responsibilities concerning human rights. We must, therefore, be vigilant that human rights discourse not be corrupted or hijacked or used for dubious or malignant purposes.”

Odd that, for I never felt any confusion as to what ‘human rights’ are.  I promptly forgot about it, in light of other more immediate concerns, until this weekend.  On Thursday, Pompeo and the panel released a draft version of their past year’s work, and it concludes that the two highest human rights are property ownership and religious freedom.  Property ownership???  Quite frankly, people who cannot afford sufficient food to feed their families, who cannot pay their rent, and who cannot afford to take their sick child to the doctor don’t give a tinker’s damn about owning property!  And just how consoling does Pompeo think it is to tell a starving person that, “Oh well, at least you have religious freedom”?  This reminds me of the “thoughts and prayers” they send when somebody’s child is the victim of a school shooting!

This nation and its government have many massive problems that need to be addressed … defining human rights might be a start if the people doing the defining weren’t wealthy bigots who have never missed a meal in their lives, or had to decide between paying the rent and buying food.  It might have had seriousness of purpose if they considered such things as equality for all, regardless of race, religion, gender, or sexual orientation.  But rather, the entire purpose seems to have been to continue to oppress the oppressed and give legitimacy to the wealthy and the evangelicals.

Pompeo acknowledged historical US failings, including slavery and the dispossession of Native Americans, but he argued that those wrongs had been remedied and was scornful of those who argued that they represented enduring flaws.  Pompeo, and apparently the rest of his panel, are so out of touch with the 99% of us who live in the real world that it’s pathetic.  This panel is naught but an attempt to deny women’s rights, to deny the rights of blacks and Native Americans, and to deny the rights of the LGBT community.  If you’ve got the stomach for it, you can read his draft here.

In his draft, he condemns the New York Times’ 1619 project … an excellent project I have mentioned on two separate occasions and that I strongly recommend.  According to the Times

The 1619 Project is a major initiative from The New York Times observing the 400th anniversary of the beginning of American slavery. It aims to reframe the country’s history, understanding 1619 as our true founding, and placing the consequences of slavery and the contributions of black Americans at the very center of the story we tell ourselves about who we are.


14 thoughts on “A Sorry Tale Of Two Men …

  1. If we’re going to discuss immigration then we need to discuss how America’s racist, uncredentialed, multbillion dollar, loosely regulated adoption industry has done nothing to help internationally born adult adoptees. Over 26,000 adoptees, primarily Asian, who were born overseas were never naturalized. As adults they cannot naturalize themselves. Some have been deported. They are people without a country and legally cannot vote, work, marry, leave the country, rent, obtain SNAP benefits, and more. This is my petition to help them. It’s going to the US Congress and an investigation of being asked to be performed by the US Supreme Court.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Admittedly, I wasn’t aware of this situation. There are many issues regarding immigration that we need to do a better job of, and this is another on my radar. Thanks for sharing!


  2. Jill, Steve Schmidt, former GOP strategist and Lincoln Project co-founder whose mission is to defeat Trump, confirmed a fear I have long had, before the 2018 mid-terms. The strategy of closing (or making it harder to enter) America to non-white immigrants is based on a scary (to the GOP) demographic study from the late 1990s. It was a multi-purpose strategy to address the projected decline in Republican voters over the long haul.

    The study revealed a strategy of wooing more voters, controlling more state governments, controlling sources of progressive thoughts (universities), and squeezing immigration from certain countries (Trump called them s**thole countries). A key tactic was ALEC, which is a consortium of businesses and conservative leaders, that provides cookie cutter language to states for laws to restrict voter rights and draft business friendly legislation, especially in the fossil fuel energy.

    Schmidt also noted a desire to control 2/3 of the states and call a Constitutional convention to make changes such as the state government appointing the two Senators. He said key goal in all of this is to assure a group of people who will no longer bein the majority, to still maintain control. That sounds scary, but that is the gist of what he said. When he said this, Schmidt noted it is mission-critical for America that the Dems retake the House in 2018 and defeat Trump in 2020.

    When I see people like you noted above, including Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller, Trump’s speech writer and immigration whisperer, I see these folks tactically doing what is part of this long term strategy. It is imperative to America’s democracy to remove this president and his whisperers in November. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Though it worries me that Mr Goirka will be in a paid Governmet job, it worried me more who wanted him who helped him since he lives as the worst sort of Nazi- by choice. As for Pompeo . Roll on Novemberhe has obviously given someboby his word that the Evangelical Church hold the sway of power in the government before he leaves. Roll on November.

      Liked by 1 person

    • You’re quite right … it is scary as hell!!! And some of it, I can see happening. I can’t see state governments ever appointing senators rather than them being elected, but then … in the past decade, I’ve learned never to say ‘never’, for so many norms that we thought could never be changed … have been. I think that once Biden is inaugurated in January (note that I’m trying to think positively here), his first move should be a massive housecleaning … OUT with any of Trump’s sycophants, the entire cabinet, the attorneys and the advisors. We have a den of vipers in this administration and they must be ousted! Thanks for sharing this … the stuff that nightmares are made of!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. 1619 an excellent project? Well, it is if you want to reframe history for a new ideology… then it’s terrific! But if you actually care about history, then… not so much. Or from Leslie Harris who was paid to fact check it and then ignored by her Times employers when she wrote:
    “the complicated picture of the Revolutionary era that the New York Times missed: white Southerners might have wanted to preserve slavery in their territory, but white Northerners were much more conflicted, with many opposing the ownership of enslaved people in the North even as they continued to benefit from investments in the slave trade and slave colonies. More importantly for Hannah-Jones’ argument (edit:the person who came up with and headed the 1619 Project), slavery in the Colonies faced no immediate threat from Great Britain, so colonists wouldn’t have needed to secede to protect it.” In other words, its central premise is historically WRONG.

    But far too many people simply don’t care about facts or actual history, which explain why the monuments of prominent abolitionists like Matthias Baldwin was defaced with red paint in Philadelphia. Demonstrators in the name of anti-slavery assumed the nineteenth-century white man must have been a slave owner to get a statue! In fact, Baldwin helped open a school for black children and donated a considerable portion of his fortune to the Union North during the Civil War. Other prominent abolitionist monuments have also been targeted like John Greenleaf Whittler in California and New York. As James Lindsay points out quite correctly, “Understanding that Confederate monuments were built because they memorialized slaveowners while monuments to Washington and Jefferson were established despite their participation in slavery is important for understanding what exactly the given monument was intended to symbolize and celebrate.”

    Accepting the ideological narrative of the 1619 Project as “excellent” demonstrates a commitment not to what’s true, not to what is historically accurate, not to further a deeper understanding of history and lessons it can teach us, but to a narrative that cares not one whit about those elements.


  4. Thank you, Jill. In this time when the world needs some of its strongest leadership ever, the United States of America is finally showing its true colours, blank, blank, and blank. Under the Trump Administration, all is has is the same useless sameold sameold. Facing Covid, facing Black Lives Matter, hell just facing being nice people to a world it once promised to be nice to, it has NOTHING!
    Please do not take this personally. You are as much a child of the universe as am I, and a lot of our contemporaries. But until we can rid our homes of the lice and vermin (my apologies to real lice and vermin) who are sucking the blood of our nations dry, we are not going to make any lasting changes.
    Wrong post, but yet every post is the right one, John Lewis led with his body. Can we do less than lead with our lives?

    Liked by 2 people

    • No offense taken … there are a lot of decent people in this nation, “children of the universe”, but the nation as a whole is headed on a collision course and is doing very little that is right at the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

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