A Snarky Bit Of This ‘n That

The Supreme Court has been hard at work, trying to wrap up their business before the two-month break coming up.  These days when the Court speaks, it usually raises my hackles, and raised hackles lead to a bit of ranting, ‘cause it isn’t healthy to keep it all bottled up inside, y’know.

I am thoroughly confused about the rationale behind yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling that restricts access to birth control for women.  Within the Affordable Healthcare Act (ACA), there was a mandate which says that insurance plans sponsored by large employers must include preventive care — including all forms of birth control approved by the Food and Drug Administration — at no additional cost.  Trump and his band of merry henchmen came along and decided that any company having a religious objection to birth control, can opt out of the mandate, leaving their female employees a little poorer after paying full price to purchase their own birth control, sometimes thousands of dollars.  For some it is cost-prohibitive.

But what confuses me is that the very people who are against birth control are also viciously against abortion.  This is like … it’s like putting two flavours of ice cream on the table and saying, “You may not have the chocolate.  You also may not have the vanilla.”  If these religious groups do not want women to have abortions, then isn’t the best cure a preventative one?  What the hell do these groups want?

The answer to that question, I think, is simple.  They want women to be forced back into servitude, having a baby every year, not having the opportunities afforded to men, such as furthering their education, finding a satisfying career, or virtually anything else.  They want, it would seem, to control women’s bodies, and in so doing, our minds.

And another thing … the earth is already overpopulated.  In 1800 the world’s population was around 1 billion people. Since then it has increased more than sevenfold to reach over 7.5 billion in 2017 and is forecast to top 10 billion by 2050.  Why in hell would we want to encourage unfettered reproduction???  With medical science now able to keep people alive longer, the birth rate is 3 times higher than the death rate.  Okay, wonderful that you can be cured of many diseases and live to a ripe old age, but somewhere human growth must level off, for the planet cannot support 10 billion people!  Especially since humans seem intent on destroying the planet in every imaginable way!

The Court screwed up on this one, and we women will pay a hefty price for decades!  Thanks, Justices Alito, Gorsuch, Kavanaugh, Thomas, and Chief Justice Roberts … thanks for nothing!

In another Supreme Court ruling, the Court contributed to Trump’s re-election campaign by saying that his financial records, including tax returns, could not be given to Congress for review until after the election in November.  It is my opinion that the Court, in so ruling, has increased Trump’s chances at re-election, for there is no doubt in anyone’s mind that there will be damning information found in those financial records that might convince some fence-sitters of his absolute dishonesty.

But, the news wasn’t all bad on this one, for the Court did rule that Trump not only lacks immunity from a state criminal investigation but also enjoys no special, heightened standard of proof.  In a nutshell, New York District Attorney, Cyrus Vance has been given a green light.  Well, actually a yellow light, for Trump can still plead for immunity in a lower court, and this could easily bounce around until after November 3rd.  I found humour in the fact that this was a 7-2 ruling, with both of Trump’s hand-picked Justices, Kavanaugh and Gorsuch, siding with the majority opinion.  Trump, needless to say, was not pleased …

“The Supreme Court sends case back to Lower Court, arguments to continue. This is all a political prosecution. I won the Mueller Witch Hunt, and others, and now I have to keep fighting in a politically corrupt New York. Not fair to this Presidency or Administration!”

Idiots abound these days, don’t they?  Ohio State Representative Nino Vitale seems to have a few damaged brain cells and be following a Trumpian agenda.  Yesterday, when Governor DeWine put into place a mask mandate for certain counties, including my own, where the virus is spiraling out of control, Mr. Vitale seemingly took umbrage and had some advice for his constituents …

“Are you tired of living in a dictatorship yet? This is what happens when people go crazy and get tested. STOP GETTING TESTED! It is giving the government an excuse to claim something is happening that is not happening at the magnitude they say it is happening.”

WHOA!  And this dude was elected into the state legislature???   As I said, idiots abound.toon

Only Two Snippets Of Snark …

Just a couple of short snippets tonight …

Laws and rules are in place for a reason.  Granted, some of them are ridiculous or outdated and most of us only laugh about those.  But, for the most part, we obey the laws and expect others to do the same.  This era of populism, this reign of Trumpism, however, seems to have given some the idea that it is okay to disobey the laws that are inconvenient for them.

Yesterday, the governor of my state, Mike DeWine, put into place a mandate that everyone must wear a mask covering mouth and nose when in a public venue.  Numerous other governors, in lieu of a federal mandate, have imposed similar ones.  So, everyone in those states is either wearing a mask or staying home, right?  Wrong.  Not only are about a third of the people simply refusing to wear a mask, but local authorities are, in many cases, refusing to enforce the ruling.

In my own county, the virus has spiked significantly in the past two weeks as a result of businesses opening back up and people being exposed more and more.  Yet, the county sheriff, one Richard Jones, has said …

“I am not going to enforce any mask-wearing. That is not my responsibility, that is not my job. People should be able to make that choice themselves.”


County Sheriff or Cowboy Bob???

Why hasn’t he been fired?  Enforcing the law is, after all, his job.  This scenario has played out all around the country.  Businesses are far more likely to enforce the rules of mask-wearing than local law enforcement.  But worse yet, people who choose not to wear a mask are getting violent over it … there is simply no excuse for this!  I cannot wear a mask, so I stay home!  Period.  I no longer even go into the grocery to buy my weekly groceries, but order online and pay $5 to have them picked, bagged, and I can drive by and pick them up.

This nation has many problems to solve, but until we act responsibly and with respect for others, we aren’t going to even be able to begin to solve them.  I am disgusted with those who care not one whit about the lives of their own families, let alone the rest of the world.  You want to risk your life, fine … go parachute jumping, or join the army and ask for duty in Afghanistan.  But nobody has the right to willfully and maliciously put others at risk for their own pleasure.

Typically, I would have no problem with the president of the nation weighing in on when schools should re-open.  But these are not typical times and we have no real president, just a fake who has only his own self-interest in mind.  And Trump is not merely ‘weighing in’, but is attempting to bully, browbeat, and dominate the conversation, as he does with most everything.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had issued strict guidelines that should be observed in re-opening schools this fall.  We should all listen, for the lives of our children are the single most important thing in the world to us.  But keep in mind that our children’s lives do not matter to Donald Trump.

Trump wants schools to re-open in full asap.  Why?  Because, he wants businesses to re-open and be booming long before election day on November 3rd, so he can point to a thriving economy.  Businesses need employees in order to be fully functional.  Employees have young children who cannot be left alone while mummy and daddy go to work.  Hence, the schools must reopen, in the mind (such as it is) of Donald Trump.  Just one more example of this nation’s narrative to put profit over people. And so …


Why the heck are one hundred and twenty-seven thousand people wasting their time ‘liking’ this post???  Do people really have nothing better to do with their time than like and re-tweet such ignorant, malicious tweets?

Now, there was a time when the president could bluster and bully all he wanted, but the CDC had integrity and would stand by what was right.  That was then, this is now.  There was a time we had a president who was intelligent and caring.  There was a time we had a functional Congress.  There was a time when we had an independent Judicial branch.  None of that applies today.

A few hours after the tweet, a press briefing was held during which Mike Pence said the CDC will issue new guidance on re-opening schools next week.  Meanwhile, CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield said that his earlier recommendations shouldn’t be used as an excuse for not returning children to classrooms.  What a cop out.  I would have resigned (in a very public manner) before I would have capitulated on such a critical issue.

There is nothing more valuable to this nation than our children … not industry, not entertainment, and for damn sure not Donald Trump’s re-election!  Our children are our hope for the future … they are our tomorrow.  I would like to think that states and school districts will make their decisions on whether or not to re-open based on the situation in their area, but … Trump has threatened to withhold federal funding from any state or district that doesn’t re-open, saying …

“We hope that most schools are going to be open. They think it’s going to be good for them politically, so they keep the schools closed.  No way.  We’re very much going to put pressure on governors and everybody else to open the schools, to get them open.”

Never mind that in nearly every state in the nation, the number of new cases has surged.  Never mind that re-opening bars, restaurants, beaches and hair salons was a stupid thing to do, but this … opening schools while the virus is raging … is beyond stupid.  I don’t have school-age children, but if I did, and if I were forced to send my child back to school, I would either homeschool or move.  I hope every other parent feels as strongly about this as I do.

Okay, friends, I now return you to your regularly scheduled lives.  Smile.  😖

Where Did Our Money Go?

Remember that $1,200 check you received from the IRS in April?  Didn’t last too long, did it?  Still, it helped … every little bit helped.  At the rate Congress is acting, you’ll be long dead before you receive another.  But look … many did benefit greatly and received hefty checks.  They are … well, let’s have a look …

  • Robert Jeffress of the First Baptist Church of Dallas, who has served on Trump’s evangelical board, was approved for a loan of $2 – $5 million.
  • The American Center for Law and Justice Inc, a nonprofit founded by televangelist Pat Robertson and also known as Christian Advocates Serving Evangelism Inc., was approved for a $1-2 million loan. Jay Sekulow, one of Trump’s cadre of lawyers who represented Trump during his impeachment trial, is listed as chief counsel on the organization’s website.
  • City of Destiny Inc. of Florida, where Paula White, Trump’s spiritual adviser, is listed as a pastor, was approved for a loan of $150,000-$350,000.

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) that was part of the larger $2.3 trillion relief package was intended for small businesses, to allow them to keep paying their employees even when shut down due to the coronavirus.  The keywords here are ‘small’ and ‘business’.  The churches mentioned here are wealthy in their own right.  And churches are not businesses.  If they are, in fact, businesses, then they no longer qualify for tax-exempt status, and should be paying taxes on their income.

Given the separation of church and state that is part of the foundation of our government, the government should absolutely not be giving money to churches … any churches.  Additionally, it is highly suspicious that all of the aforementioned churches’ leaders have close affiliations to Donald Trump.  This is our tax money, people.  We are throwing it all away … or rather, we are allowing Donald Trump to throw it away, to give it to those he thinks can help him in some way … like telling their congregations to vote for him in November.  In essence, part of the money that was to help small businesses, went into Trump’s campaign coffers.

Jay Sekulow, Paula White, Robert Jeffress, and Pat Robertson are all wealthy individuals who could have easily afforded to continue paying their staff.  None of them needed the money.  They are of a religion that many of us do not support or believe in.  And yet, we paid them … for what?  This opens a whole new can of worms in regard to cronyism and also defies the separation of church and state clause.  Worse yet, these religious organizations pay no taxes, so they have contributed virtually nothing, yet they are taking.  And, unless I miss my guess, their loans will ultimately be forgiven, which makes it not a loan but a gift.  I didn’t authorize giving my money to any religious organization, nor would I.  Once again, we have been robbed.

Religious organizations weren’t the only ones to receive money undeservedly.  Remember Kanye West, the rapper, who cozied up to Trump in the early days of his tenure?  Turns out he owns a clothing line called Yeezy, and thus he was given a loan of between $2 million and $5 million.  Mr. West has a net worth of $1.3 billion … I really do believe that he could have afforded to pay his employees out of his own pocket.

More than 30 Girl Scout chapters across the country received PPP loans. The Girl Scouts of Montana and Wyoming were approved for between $350,000 and $1 million each.  Now, I fully support Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts, I think they do good work.  But, with schools closed since March, no gatherings such as scout meetings allowed … why the Sam Heck do they need that much money?  Their troop leaders are all volunteers, not paid employees!


Gov. Jim Justice

West Virginia’s Governor Jim Justice is a very wealthy man … he is actually considered the wealthiest person in the State of West Virginia, with a net worth of $1.2 billion.  Justice owns a number of businesses, including coal, agricultural, and a lavish resort.  Justice and his family members received $6.3 million from the PPP program.

How’s that little $1,200 check looking to you now?

The list goes on and on.  As much as $273 million in federal coronavirus aid was awarded to more than 100 companies that are owned or operated by major donors to Trump’s election efforts.  Fast-food chains, oil and gas companies, and white-collar firms were all granted a slice of more than $659 billion in low-interest business loans that will be forgiven if the money is used on payroll, rent and similar expenses.  Money that was meant to keep those small businesses, the mom-and-pop bookstores and diners afloat during the crisis.

This is what happens when there is no oversight.  You’ll remember that Trump fired Glenn Fine, the man tasked with leading the group overseeing the entire $2.3 trillion package.  The United States now has $24.95 trillion in national debt, a sagging economy that will not recover this year, the people who could most afford to pay taxes, pay little or none.  There will come a day of reckoning, my friends.  Do you suppose Robert Jeffress, Jim Bakker, Governor Justice, Kanye West and the others will step up to the plate and offer to pay higher taxes to help bring the debt down?  Think on that one for a while.

Da Snark Just Won’t Stop …

I have a really bad habit of checking my phone for messages, notifications, and headlines each time I waken during the night.  Since for the past several nights I have been waking up every hour like clockwork, this means I get more news than I do sleep!  I think this is the reason I wake each morning filled with snark and it has to have somewhere to go, lest it overflow!

If there is another nation on the planet that has done as poor a job in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic as the U.S., it is Brazil.  In truth, Brazil hasn’t done quite as badly as the U.S., but they’re sure as heck running a close second.  Brazil’s president, Jair Bolsonaro, is another pea in the Trump pod, denying climate change, ruling from self-interest rather than common interest, has an ego the size of his country, and tolerates no criticism.

Like Trump, Bolsonaro has been skeptical of the coronavirus and the preventative measures that are required to curb its prevalence.  He has described the virus as “a little cold”, repeatedly waded into crowds of supporters, threatened to host a large barbecue to defy health measures, and as recently as last week attended a Fourth of July party at the U.S. Embassy in Brasilia without wearing a mask. A Brazilian court last month ordered Bolsonaro to wear a mask while in public.

Well, guess what?  Jair Bolsonaro now joins the 1.6 million people in his country who have tested positive for the coronavirus!  Sometimes karma just catches up with you.  This morning he told reporters …

“There’s no problem. It’s natural. There’s no dread. It’s life.”

Okay, then.  It couldn’t happen to a more deserving guy.  Well, perhaps there is one other who is equally deserving …

These days, there are so many ‘breaking news’ stories that it’s hard to keep up with them all, and today’s jaw-dropper may fade to the back of our minds by three days hence.  Remember just over a week ago when the news broke that Russia had paid Taliban operatives a bounty to kill U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan?  Trump had been briefed by the intelligence agencies but had kept quiet and not acted on the information.  He claimed he hadn’t been briefed, but there was ample evidence that he had.

To date, Trump has still done nothing … no sanctions against Russia, no promises to act in order to protect our military in Afghanistan and elsewhere, no … nothing.  Trump has, however, ordered an investigation.  No, not an investigation into Russia or the Taliban, but an investigation to try to find out who leaked the information!  It matters not that Russia is paying to have our military killed, but it only matters to Trump & Co who “ratted him out” for sitting on the information rather than acting on it.

Remember back a few years ago when we had a real leader in the White House?  Ah, those were the good ol’ days.

Well, folks, Trump and his family tried really hard to keep his niece, Mary L. Trump, from publishing her book. Not only did they fail, but now the publication date has been moved up from July 28th to July 14th, due to “high demand and extraordinary interest”.  That attempt to stifle rather backfired on Trump, didn’t it?

Two snippets from the New York Times article this morning …

mary-l-trump-bookEven at the start of Mr. Trump’s campaign, his sister, Maryanne Trump Barry, a retired federal appeals court judge, had deep reservations about his fitness for office, Ms. Trump writes.

“He’s a clown — this will never happen,” she quotes her aunt as saying during one of their regular lunches in 2015, just after Mr. Trump announced that he was running for president.

Maryanne Trump was particularly baffled by support for her brother among evangelical Christians, according to the book.

“The only time Donald went to church was when the cameras were there,” Ms. Trump quotes her aunt as saying. “It’s mind boggling. But that’s all about his base. He has no principles. None!”

As a high school student in Queens, Ms. Trump writes, Donald Trump paid someone to take a precollegiate test, the SAT, on his behalf. The high score the proxy earned for him, Ms. Trump adds, helped the young Mr. Trump to later gain admittance as an undergraduate to the University of Pennsylvania’s prestigious Wharton business school.

Mr. Trump has often boasted about attending Wharton, which he has referred to as “the best school in the world” and “super genius stuff.”

Hmmmm … no wonder the one with a super thin tolerance for criticism was trying to block the book’s release!

There is a pharmaceutical company, Novavax, based in Maryland, that has never yet brought a product to market.  And yet, the federal government has contracted to pay the vaccine maker $1.6 billion to expedite the development of 100 million doses of a coronavirus vaccine by the beginning of next year.

Think about that one for a minute.  The company has never yet been tried or tested, has never successfully produced a drug, and yet Donald Trump has decided to place the lives of some 330 million people in this company’s hands.  And he is giving away a massive amount of our money to do so.  And if you have any doubts, Trump will demand that the drug be for U.S. citizens only, which is probably a relief for people in other countries, for you and I both know this drug will not be properly tested before it is turned loose on a largely unsuspecting populace.

In May, the administration announced it was awarding up to $1.2 billion as part of Operation Warp Speed to the British drugmaker AstraZeneca, which has said that its vaccine could be available by October. Four other companies — Moderna Therapeutics, Johnson & Johnson, Merck and Sanofi — have also received federal assistance for their experimental coronavirus vaccines.

They surely are playing fast & loose with our hard-earned tax dollars, aren’t they?  And would you trust any vaccine that came out of a company that has never successfully developed a drug?  I wouldn’t.  I envision two years down the road, everyone who took the vaccine developing some form of cancer, or suddenly experiencing abnormal heart attacks or strokes.  No thank you, Donnie … could you refund my portion of the money you paid them, please?

Okay, I feel better now … thank you for letting me get all that off my chest!

Don’t Label Me!

I would much rather live in a world where everyone has equal rights.  I would rather live in a world where free education … a good education where young people are taught to think … is affordable and available to all.  I would rather live in a world where good health care is available to all at a very small cost to those who cannot afford it, and a higher cost to those who can.  I would rather live in a world where people have been taught since birth to respect everyone and everything … humans, but also the environment, all animals, trees, flowers, grass.  I would rather live in a world where people can disagree without fighting, without screaming and yelling, without threats of violence.  I would rather live in a world where people gladly stop to help a stranger or give up something – time or money or ‘things’ – in order to help another, whether person or animal.  I would rather live in a world where it doesn’t matter if you’re black or white, straight or gay, male or female, Christian or atheist, but where everyone is treated fairly and equally.  I would rather live in a world filled with love, than hate.  I don’t mind if nobody can afford to own a mansion or a private jet, as long as everybody can afford food, shelter, medical care, education, and as long as we are cleaning up our own environmental mess.  I would rather live in a world where people don’t worship money.  I don’t care if I can never afford a brand-new car, or designer jeans, or if I can never take a vacation to Monte Carlo.

Obviously, the world I would rather live in doesn’t exist anywhere on this planet, although a few countries, Finland and Denmark most notably, have come close.

So, because I want all these things, I am told that I am part of the “woke culture” and that this is a very bad thing to be.  I had, of course, heard the term ‘woke’, and in fact it was once used by my own congressman, Warren Davidson.  I thought he meant awake, and I corrected his grammar.  However, I simply thought the term meant being aware of … whatever the topic of conversation at that moment might be.  Apparently, I was quite wrong and am not too terribly bright.

Lately, I notice a number of new terms cropping up … words that have a meaning, but are suddenly assigned a different meaning by … nameless, faceless people … and then that becomes a cultural ‘thing’.  Now, I am too damned old to try to keep up with what is meant by a “Gen X” or a “millennial”.  Those are bad enough, but now we have these terms like ‘social distancing’, ‘woke’, ‘cancel culture’, and more.  C’mon people … say what you mean.  Woke.  Yes, I awoke this morning, or rather I was awakened by the body saying it needed the bathroom.  I woke Miss Goose up because I needed her to help with the house chores.  Don’t try to pin the label ‘woke’ on me and send me scurrying to try to figure out just what the Sam Hell you even mean!

Now, from a day or so of research, trying to learn just what is meant in today’s strange culture by “woke”, the nearest I can conclude is that a ‘woke’ person is one who calls for social justice, who supports Black Lives Matter, who supports Roe v Wade and Obergefell v Hodges, who believes in equality for all and is trying to make the world a better place.  If that is the right definition, than I am proud to say that yes, I have awakened and am an enlightened social justice warrior, or in today’s vernacular, I’m ‘woke’.

So, a reader claims that being ‘woke’ is a terrible thing, much worse, even, than being a trumpeter! Hmmm … something is wrong with this.  Let’s see if we can figure out why it’s better to be a corrupt racist misogynistic psycopathic liar than a person who advocates for equality and social justice.

One explanation I found is that those who are considered to be ‘woke’ are pretentious and cultural elites.  Huh?  Okay, I know what ‘pretentious’ means, and … I can honestly say I’ve never once had cause to be pretentious a day in my life!  And … cultural elites???  Heck, folks, I’m about as elite as … Jethro Bodine from the old Beverly Hillbillies show! I don’t own fancy clothes or drive a fancy car … my van is 20 years old and has 250,000 miles on it, and is only safe to drive no farther than I could walk home. In my lifetime, I’ve been homeless, I’ve been attacked, I’ve had a gun pulled on me, I’ve worked my ass off to get an education and take care of my three children, sometimes working three jobs … ELITE???  Hell no!

So look … don’t bother to consider whether I’m “woke” or not, for it really doesn’t matter.  Consider me a person who cares very much about many things:  the environment, animals, all people, equality for all, government that works for the people, not against them.  I want people to learn to get along, to accept each other as they are, and to value diversity.  I want an end to all forms of bigotry, from racism to homophobia to anti-Semitism to misogyny to Islamophobia.  I want people to care instead of hate.  I want our elected officials to work for us, not be lining their own pockets.  I want an end to guns, the sole purpose of which is murder.  These are the things that are important to me.  Don’t label me.  I am who I am, which is far from perfect, for I am sometimes grumpy, have a fairly low tolerance for willful ignorance and stupidity, and I have a sharp edge.  But what I do, I do with kindness, caring, compassion, empathy, and love.  I am not a label, such as democrat, liberal, snowflake, woke, or any of the other labels people so frequently use.  I am me … just that.  I do my best.

Never-Ending Snarky Snippets

snarky-4I just can’t seem to tamp down the snark these days … every time I see any news, it raises the hackles and the snark just rolls out.  Today is no exception, and the three four stories below are only the tip of the iceberg.

The purpose of an executive order is not to bypass Congress, though Trump is not the first ‘president’ to use them as a tool to accomplish their goals without the muss & fuss of waiting for congressional action.  Trump has abused the power many, many times, and is planning to do so again this week.

According to White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows …

“We’re going to get them done when Congress couldn’t get them done.  The interesting thing is this president will do more in the next four weeks than Joe Biden and his team did in the last 40 years. So, you just need to stay tuned.”

Somehow, this raises red flags, especially that last sentence … it sounds rather like a threat to me.  Rumour has it that the latest batch of executive orders will involve China, immigration, and prescription drugs.

Meadows also said, in the same interview on Fox & Friends, that Trump was right when he claimed that the coronavirus is ‘mostly harmless’.  Without actually presenting any data, Meadows claimed the data shows that for 99% of people, the virus is not harmful.  Hmmm … I wonder why, then, there have been more than a half-million deaths worldwide, 133,000 here in the U.S.?

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could actually trust our ‘leaders’, if every utterance by Trump & Co didn’t send up red flags?  Sigh.toon-1

Could it be that Trump and Fox are headed for a divorce?  Trump claims he’s done with Fox and urges his base to switch to OAN.  OAN stands for One America News, however it is anything but a news network … it is a right-wing propaganda network, pure and simple.  So, what led to this breakup?

On Sunday, Fox presented the results of their latest polls, showing Trump still trailing Joe Biden.  As usual when a network says something Trump doesn’t like, it is labeled ‘fake news’ by him.  In this case, he claimed he was leading in “real polls” but did not cite any such ‘real’ polls.

“@FoxNews gladly puts up the phony suppression polls as soon as they come out. We are leading in the REAL polls because people are sick & tired of watching the Democrat run cities, in all cases, falling apart. Also, now 96% Approval Rating in the Republican Party. Another 2016!”

Um, Donnie?  You might want to double check those numbers.  You are trailing Biden in every legitimate poll, and the 96% republican approval rate you cite is way off base.  Last I heard, it was around 85%, with only 57% of republicans saying they strongly approve of the job you’re doing.  And you wonder why we don’t believe a word you say.

At any rate, the switch to OAN doesn’t trouble me overly much, for they do not have nearly the exposure nor the credibility that Fox has (not that Fox has much credibility, either).  Most people never even heard of OAN until a couple of months ago when they started replacing Fox as Trump’s new love interest.

You may remember the controversy over the Dakota Access Pipeline?  The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have opposed the pipeline for years, saying it endangers Lake Oahe, a reservoir on tribal land that the pipeline passes under.  Today, Judge James Boasberg for the U.S. District Court District of Columbia ruled that the Dakota Access pipeline must be emptied and shut down while the Army Corps of Engineers conducts the environmental impact review that it should have completed before it granted an easement that allowed Energy Transfer Partners to build the pipeline bringing North Dakota crude oil to Illinois in the first place.  The judge gave ETP 30 days, until August 5th, to shut it down and empty it completely.  The environmental review is expected to take approximately 13 months.

And in other pipeline news, another highly controversial pipeline, the Atlantic Coast pipeline, has been canceled after numerous lawsuits by environmental groups had kept the project in limbo for nearly six years.  Duke Energy and Dominion Energy said that lawsuits had increased costs to as much as $8 billion from the $4-5 billion initially projected.  The project would have crossed the Appalachian Trail, a historic 2,190-mile hiking trail.

So, score two for the environment this week!

We are personae non grata, and rightly so.  Our failure to take the needed precautions to tamp down the coronavirus has led to a steep escalation in new cases, and last week, the EU announced it would not accept travelers from the U.S.  Canada had already closed their borders to us, and the UK is likely to follow suit.  And now … Mexico!  This is the ultimate irony, after Trump has spent nearly four years trying to ban Mexicans from coming into the U.S.  This is what I call poetic justice!toon-3The town of Sonoyta, just across the border from Lukeville, Arizona, has blocked the border from the U.S. due to growing concern about the surge of cases of the virus in Arizona. Sonoyta Mayor José Ramos Arzate issued a statement Saturday “inviting U.S. tourists not to visit Mexico,” and that people from the United States should only be allowed in “for essential activities, and for that reason, the checkpoint and inspection point a few meters from the Sonoyta-Lukeville AZ crossing will continue operating.”

Good for you, Mayor!  It was the right decision … but I’m beginning to feel a little trapped.  If the election should go wrong on November 3rd, and we all feel like leaving the country, will there be anyplace left where we would be welcomed? toon-2

If Liberty Dies in Our Hearts, no Constitution Law or Court Can Save It: A Meditation on Independence Day in the Trump Era

Our friend, Padre Steve, has done an excellent job in this, his musings about “liberty” … what it does and doesn’t mean, and how we in this nation have so often misunderstood what true liberty is. I hope you’ll take a few minutes to read this, for I think it has much value in relation to the state of this nation today. Thank you, Padre

The Inglorius Padre Steve's World

Friends of Padre Steve’s World,

I have been contemplating the ideas of liberty and freedom this week. I intentionally did not watch the President’s speech at Mount Rushmore for after what he did at Lafayette Park and in front of St. John’s Church on June 2nd showed me that when he speaks of freedom, he speaks of his own, and when he speaks of liberty it is for the few, and servitude for the masses, and yes those masses include the bulk of the men and women that blindly follow him. So instead I read the official transcript today and look at images and videos as well.

Nothing I read in it surprised me. It was as scripted as Leni Reifenstahl’s Film of the Nuremberg rallies, right to Trump making a flyover in Air Force One. After a series of platitudes invoking the President’s whose images are carved on that…

View original post 2,323 more words

On Trump’s Friday Night Speech …

On Friday night, Trump gave a speech to … well, he said to the nation, but in truth it was only designed for his base, to rile them and motivate them to return to the fold, to support him with everything they’ve got in November.  With his poll numbers sinking, the GOP and many republicans in Congress are becoming concerned, and this speech was naught more than a campaign rally intended to bring his poll numbers back up out of the tank.  A campaign rally, I might add, that cost the U.S. taxpayers millions of dollars at a time when the nation and the people are struggling financially.

We all know that Trump lies, he cheats, he threatens and bullies.  So, you might ask yourself why I asked you to read this speech last night, why I even bothered to read it myself.  Here’s the thing, though … his base will buy into every word he uttered.  Throughout the speech there were cheers and chants of “Four more years”.  Therein lies the danger.  If the election had been held last Thursday, Trump would have been slammed at the polls.  But by next Thursday, all bets are off, for this speech, filled with hate, lies, and hypocrisy, will resonate with the 40% of voters in this country who will believe anything, as long as it plays to their fears and prejudices.  That’s why I think it’s important for us to pick apart those lies … or some of them, for there are, after all, only so many hours in a day!

My comments and analysis are based on the portions of the speech I highlighted on Saturday … much of the rest was simply babbling drivel and not worth me wasting my time.  The numbers in this commentary are tied to the paragraph numbers on Saturday’s post.

#6 – The claim that the mysterious “campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children” is a) lies, fantasy, b) divisive. Nobody is trying to ‘wipe out’ history.  For better or for worse, our history is well recorded and will never be forgotten.  But many of those he calls “heroes” were men who were trying to preserve the institution of slavery … they were not heroes and do not deserve to be memorialized by statues and monuments, symbols of their hatred.  They are holding us back from creating a more just, more inclusive, fair and understanding society.  Weak or strong, what does it matter?  Trump’s clenched fist is not indicative of strength, but rather of a bully.  He speaks of values … yet his own are based on bigotry and hatred.

#7 – I do not know who “they” are that are driving people from their jobs and demanding ‘total submission’ from any who disagree with them.  Doesn’t sound like the democrats, liberals, or anybody I know.  Hmmmm … sounds more like the madman in the Oval Office, don’t you think?

#8 – As to Trump’s claims of an attack on our ‘liberty’.  Liberty?  Whose?  He speaks of the liberty of the privileged, particularly the white privileged.  For those who struggle to make ends meet, who are stopped by police simply because of the colour of their skin, who are killed by police for being black, that liberty is far less ‘magnificent’.  The “American way of life” in Trump’s world is racist, is misogynistic, is homophobic … we need to strive for a far better ‘way of life’.  As for the “far-left fascism” that he claims … I laugh, for he also claims that antifa, an anti-fascist group, is a huge threat from the left.  So, which is it, Donnie?  Am I a fascist or an anti-fascist?  In truth, Donald Trump’s way of governing is more nearly like that of Benito Mussolini, a hard-core fascist.  The rest of his comment on the topic is mindless babbling and not worthy of response.

#9 – So far, there has been no “left-wing cultural revolution”, but maybe it’s not a half-bad idea … let’s overthrow the Trump administration … throw them and their baggage out on the street and start fresh with someone who will remove the hateful monuments and tributes to the days of slavery, who knows how government works, and who has a heart, a soul, and a brain.  Yes, let’s have a cultural revolution!  Let’s vote Joe Biden into office on November 3rd and start to heal this nation!

#11 – ‘Hundreds’, he claims, have been arrested for attempting to take down the statue of one of our founding racists?  Four … not hundreds.  Four people were arrested in connection with damage to the statue of Andrew Jackson.  Ten years in prison?  I think not.  I wonder if he’s ever heard of the punishment matching the crime.  Ten years for perhaps writing ‘Black Lives Matter’ on a piece of granite is not going to get anyone a ten-year sentence.  More likely just a fine.  More threats and bullying … against We the People … the ones who pay his salary, the ones who fund all his golf trips and trips to Mar-a-Lago, the ones to whom he swore an oath.  Think about that one for a few minutes.  We are his sworn enemies, but we keep paying those taxes to ensure his lavish lifestyle.  Democratic Republic … or dictatorship?

#12 – Trump has his biases all mixed up.  Education in primary and secondary schools often whitewashes the history of this nation, glorifies the inglorious, and defines racists in a heroic light.  The founders of this nation did much that was good, but they were racists and misogynists and that needs to be taught as well.  They said, “All men are created equal”, by which they meant white men.  Not women, not blacks … white men.  Women and blacks have fought long and hard for our right to be treated as equals, and neither group is there yet.  Call a spade a spade … teach truth, not whitewashed, glorified fantasy.

#18 – So, to be clear, this radical ideology that would ‘demolish both justice and society’ … treating all people equally, ending racism, taking care of those who cannot take care of themselves, ensuring that every person has access to affordable healthcare, and ensuring that everyone, regardless of colour or gender, is able to earn a fair wage, narrowing the income gap … those things would demolish justice and society?  No, what is destroying justice and our society is having police killing unarmed black men just because they can.  It is having a government riddled with corruption that we are powerless to stop.  It is spending money to prop up the dying fossil fuel industry while we continue destroying our planet.  It is having a ‘leader’ in name only, yet one who proclaims he is ‘above the law’ in all things.  That, my friends, is tyranny.

#20 – When he says, “We embrace tolerance, not prejudice,” I want to scream.  Such hypocrisy is reminiscent of a third-world dictator speaking to an uneducated public.  But then, Trump is speaking only to his base, so … same thing.  This speech oozes racism, as have most of Trump’s actions over the past month (and before).  Trump is a racist, pure and simple, and his followers at this point are too, else they would not still be his followers.  When he speaks of “love of country”, I am sickened.  He has no love for any but himself.  The goal of the liberal thinkers in this country is not to end “America”, but to make the United States a country to be proud of, a country that takes care of the planet, of people, and helps others around the world.  Right now, I have zero pride in this country.

#22 – Trump calls those of us who disagree with him “bad, evil people”.  I may not be the best person in the world, but I am neither bad nor evil.  I only want everyone treated fairly and Donald Trump & his cohorts are fighting against that, as are those who continue to support him.

His masses will eat this speech up, and I believe that by the end of next week, his polling numbers will be on the rise … for no other reason than this lying, racist, phobic, fear-mongering, and divisive speech.  Oh, and by the way, with daily new cases over 50,000 per day now, it should be noted that Trump never once mentioned the pandemic.  Not once.  You can see what he thinks our lives are worth, yes?

Trump’s Tribute To Hatred & Divisiveness

What follows is a transcript of the 45-minute speech that Donald Trump gave yesterday evening at a very expensive ceremony at Mount Rushmore.  It is long, some 3,671 words, but I hope you will take the time to at least read the highlighted portions.  My commentary will follow later today, or more likely tomorrow. I have numbered the paragraphs for easy reference.

#1 – Well, thank you very much. Governor Noem, Secretary Bernhardt, we very much appreciate it. Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and a very special hello to South Dakota. As we begin this 4th of July weekend, the First Lady and I would wish each and every one of you a very, very happy Independence Day. Thank you.

#2 – Let us show our appreciation to the South Dakota Army and Air National Guard and the Air Force for inspiring us with that magnificent display of American air power, and of course our gratitude as always to the legendary and very talented Blue Angels. Thank you very much. Let us also send you our deepest thanks to our wonderful veterans, law enforcement, first responders, and the doctors, nurses, and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus. They are working hard. I want to thank them very, very much. We’re grateful as well to your state’s congressional delegation. Senator John Thune. John, thank you very much. Senator Mike Rounds. Thank you, Mike. And Dusty Johnson, Congressman. Hi, Dusty. Thank you. And all others with us tonight from Congress, thank you very much for coming. We appreciate it.

#3 – There could be no better place to celebrate America’s independence than beneath this magnificent, incredible majestic mountain and monument to the greatest Americans who have ever lived. Today we pay tribute to the exceptional lives and extraordinary legacies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. I am here as your president to proclaim before the country and before the world, this monument will never be desecrated, these heroes will never be defamed, their legacy will never ever be destroyed, their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.

#4 – We gather tonight to herald the most important day in the history of nations, July 4th, 1776. At those words, every American heart should swell with pride, every American family should cheer with delight, and every American patriot should be filled with joy because each of you lives in the most magnificent country in the history of the world and it will soon be greater than ever before.

#5 – Our founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity. No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America and no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation. It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence. They enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said, “All men are created equal.” These immortal words set in motion the unstoppable march of freedom. Our founders boldly declared that we are all endowed with the same divine rights, given us by our Creator in Heaven, and that which God has given us, we will allow no one ever to take away ever.

#6 – 1776 represented the culmination of thousands of years of Western civilization and the triumph of not only spirit, but of wisdom, philosophy, and reason. And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure. Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they’re doing this, but some know what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive, but no, the American people are strong and proud and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history, and culture to be taken from them.

#7 – One of their political weapons is cancel culture, driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and to our values and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.

#8 – This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly. We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children from this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life. In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. It’s not going to happen to us.

#9 – Make no mistake. This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress. To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.

– Memory of our national heritage.

#10 – True. That’s very true actually. That is why I am deploying federal law enforcement to protect our monuments, arrest the rioters, and prosecutors offenders to the fullest extent of the law.

Thank you.

#11 – I am pleased to report that yesterday, federal agents arrested the suspected ringleader of the attack on the statue of the great Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C., and in addition, hundreds more have been arrested. Under the executive order I signed last week pertaining to the Veterans Memorial Preservation Memorial and Recognition Act and other laws, people who damage or deface federal statues or monuments will get a minimum of 10 years in prison and obviously that includes our beautiful Mount Rushmore.

#12 – Our people have a great memory. They will never forget the destruction of statues and monuments to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, abolitionists and many others. The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets and cities that are run by liberal Democrats in every case is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism, and other cultural institutions. Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies, all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition. This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore. They defiled the memory of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Today we will set history and history’s record straight.

#13 – Before these figures were immortalized in stone, they were American giants in full flesh and blood, gallant men, whose intrepid deeds unleashed the greatest leap of human advancement the world has ever known. Tonight I will tell you and most importantly the youth of our nation the true stories of these great, great men. From head to toe George Washington represented the strength, grace, and dignity of the American people. From a small volunteer force of citizen farmers, he created the Continental Army out of nothing and rallied them to stand against the most powerful military on earth. Through eight long years, through the brutal winter at Valley Forge, through setback after setback on the field of battle, he led those patriots to ultimate triumph. When the army had dwindled to a few thousand men at Christmas of 1776, when defeat seemed absolutely certain, he took what remained of his forces on a daring nighttime crossing of the Delaware River. They marched through nine miles of frigid darkness, many without boots on their feet, leaving a trail of blood in the snow. In the morning, they seized victory at Trenton after forcing the surrender of the most powerful empire on the planet at Yorktown, General Washington did not claim power but simply returned to Mount Vernon as a private citizen.

#14 – When called upon again, he presided over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and was unanimously elected our first president. When he stepped down after two terms, his former adversary, King George called him the greatest man of the age. He remains first in our hearts to this day, for as long as Americans love this land, we will honor and cherish the father of our country, George Washington. He will never be removed, abolished, and most of all, he will never be forgotten. Thomas Jefferson, the great Thomas Jefferson, was 33 years old when he traveled north to Pennsylvania and brilliantly authored one of the greatest treasures of human history, the Declaration of Independence. He also drafted Virginia’s constitution and conceived and wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a model for our cherished First Amendment. After serving as the first Secretary of State, and then Vice President, he was elected to the presidency. He ordered American warriors to crush Barbary pirates. He doubled the size of our nation with the Louisiana Purchase and he sent the famous explorers Lewis and Clark into the west on a daring expedition to the Pacific Ocean. He was an architect, an inventor, a diplomat, a scholar, the founder of one of the world’s great universities and an ardent defender of liberty. Americans will forever admire the author of American freedom, Thomas Jefferson, and he too will never, ever be abandoned by us.

#15 – Abraham Lincoln, the savior of our union, was a self-taught country lawyer who grew up in a log cabin on the American frontier. The first Republican president, he rose to high office from obscurity based on a force and clarity of his anti-slavery convictions. Very, very strong convictions. He signed the law that built the Trans-Continental Railroad. He signed the Homestead Act given to some incredible scholars as simply defined ordinary citizens free land to settle anywhere in the American West, and he led the country through the darkest hours of American history, giving every ounce of strength that he had to ensure that government of the people, by the people and for the people did not perish from this earth. He served as commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces during our bloodiest war, the struggle that saved our union and extinguished the evil of slavery. Over 600,000 died in that war, more than 20, 000 were killed or wounded in a single day in Antietam. At Gettysburg 157 years ago, the Union bravely withstood an assault of nearly 15,000 men and threw back Pickett’s Charge. Lincoln won the Civil War. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation. He led the passage of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery for all-time and ultimately his determination to preserve our nation and our union cost him his life. For as long as we live, Americans will uphold and revere the immortal memory of President Abraham Lincoln.

#16 – Theodore Roosevelt exemplified the unbridled confidence of our national culture and identity. He saw the towering grandeur of America’s mission in the world and he pursued it with – in the world and he pursued it with overwhelming energy and zeal. As a Lieutenant Colonel during the Spanish-American War, he led the famous Rough Riders to defeat the enemy at San Juan Hill. He cleaned up corruption as police commissioner of New York City, then served as the Governor of New York, Vice President, and at 42 years old, became the youngest ever President of the United States.

#17 – He sent our great new naval fleet around the globe to announce America’s arrival as a world power. He gave us many of our national parks, including the Grand Canyon. He oversaw the construction of the awe-inspiring Panama Canal and he is the only person ever awarded both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was American freedom personified in full. The American people will never relinquish the bold, beautiful and untamed spirit of Theodore Roosevelt.

#18 – No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart. Can’t happen. No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future. The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice, but in truth, it would demolish both justice and society. It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance and it would turn our free and inclusive society into a place of a repression, domination, and exclusion. They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

#19 – We will state the truth in full without apology. We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on earth. We are proud of the fact that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and we understand that these values have dramatically advanced the cause of peace and justice throughout the world. We know that the American family is the bedrock of American life. We recognize the solemn right and moral duty of every nation to secure its borders and we are building the wall. We remember that governments exist to protect the safety and happiness of their own people. A nation must care for its own citizens first. We must take care of America first. It’s time. We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion and creed. Every child of every color, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of God.

#20 – We want free and open debate, not speech codes and cancel culture. We embrace tolerance, not prejudice. We support the courageous men and women of law enforcement. We will never abolish our police or our great Second Amendment which gives us the right to keep and bear arms. We believe that our children should be taught to love their country, honor their history, and respect our great American flag. We stand tall, we stand proud, and we only kneel to Almighty God. This is who we are. This is what we believe and these are the values that will guide us as we strive to build an even better and greater future. Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity so that we can no longer understand ourselves or America’s destiny. In toppling the heroes of 1776, they seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country and that we feel for each other. Their goal is not a better America, their goal is to end America.

#21 – In its place, they want power for themselves, but just as patriots did in centuries past, the American people will stand in their way and we will win and win quickly and with great dignity. We will never let them rip America’s heroes from our monuments or from our hearts. By tearing down Washington and Jefferson, these radicals would tear down the very heritage for which men gave their lives to win the Civil War, they would erase the memory that inspired those soldiers to go to their deaths, singing these words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, “As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, while God is marching on.” They would tear down the principles that propelled the abolition of slavery and ultimately around the world ending an evil institution that had plagued humanity for thousands and thousands of years. Our opponents would tear apart the very documents that Martin Luther King used to express his dream and the ideas that were the foundation of the righteous movement for Civil Rights. They would tear down the beliefs, culture and identity, that have made America the most vibrant and tolerant society in the history of the earth. My fellow Americans, it is time to speak up loudly and strongly and powerfully and defend the integrity of our country.

#22 – It is time for our politicians to summon the bravery and determination of our American ancestors. It is time. It is time to plant our flag and to protect the greatest of this nation for citizens of every race in every city in every part of this glorious land. For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our union, we must protect and preserve our history, our heritage, and our great heroes. Here tonight before the eyes of our forefathers, Americans declare again, as we did 244 years ago, that we will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people. It will not happen.

#23 – We will proclaim the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and we will never surrender the spirit and the courage and the cause of July 4, 1776. Upon this ground, we will stand firm and unwavering. In the face of lies meant to divide us, demoralize us and diminish us, we will show that the story of America unites us and –

#24 – We will show that the story of America unites us, inspires us, includes us all, and makes everyone free. We must demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Reverend Martin Luther King when he said that the founders had signed a promissory note to every future generation. Dr. King saw that the mission of justice required us to fully embrace our founding ideals. Those ideals are so important to us, the founding ideals.

#25 – He called on his fellow citizens not to rip down their heritage, but to live up to their heritage. Above all, our children from every community must be taught that to be American is to inherit the spirit of the most adventurous and confident people ever to walk the face of the Earth. Americans are the people who pursued our Manifest Destiny across the ocean, into the uncharted wilderness, over the tallest mountains, and then into the skies, and even into the stars.

#26 – We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglas. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright brothers, the Tuskegee airmen, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton, General George Patton, the great Louis Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Muhammad Ali, and only America could have produced them all. No other place.

#27 – We are the culture that put up the Hoover Dam, laid down the highways, and sculpted the skyline of Manhattan. We are the people who dreamed the spectacular dream, it was called Las Vegas in the Nevada desert, who built up Miami from the Florida marsh, and who carved our heroes into the face of Mount Rushmore. Americans harnessed electricity, split the atom, and gave the world the telephone and the internet. We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the moon.

#28 – And one day very soon, we will plant our flag on Mars. We gave the world the poetry of Walt Whitman, the stories of Mark Twain, the songs of Irving Berlin, the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, the style of Frank Sinatra, the comedy of Bob Hope, the power of the Saturn V rocket, the toughness of the Ford F150, and the awesome might of the American aircraft carriers.

#29 – Americans must never lose sight of this miraculous story. We should never lose sight of it. Nobody has ever done it like we have done it. So today, under the authority vested in me as President of the United States, I am announcing the creation of a new monument to the giants of our past. I am signing an executive order to establish the National Guard of American heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.

#30 – From this night, and from this magnificent place, let us go forward united in our purpose and rededicated in our resolve. We will raise the next generation of American patriots. We will write the next thrilling chapter of the American adventure. And we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legends, that nothing can stop them, and that no one can hold them down. They will know that, in America, you can do anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

#31 – Uplifted by the titans of Mount Rushmore, we will find unity that no one expected. We will make strides that no one thought possible. This country will be everything that our citizens have hoped for for so many years, and that our enemies fear, because we will never forget that the American freedom exists for American greatness. And that’s what we have, American greatness. Centuries from now, our legacy will be the cities we built, the champions we forged, the good that we did, and the monuments we created to inspire us all. My fellow citizens, America’s destiny is in our sights. America’s heroes are embedded in our hearts. America’s future is in our hands. And ladies and gentlemen, the best is yet to come. This has been a great honor for the First Lady and myself to be with you. I love your state. I love this country. I’d like to wish everybody a very happy Fourth of July to all. God bless you. God bless your families. God bless our great military, and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you.