Read At Your Own Risk …

WARNING:  The following is likely to cause severe nausea, headaches and anger.

On page A20 of today’s print edition of The Washington Post, there is a letter by an anonymous source claiming to be a 90-year-old man.  There is some speculation that Trump himself may have submitted the letter. The letter is listed as an advertisement and I could not find it anywhere in the online edition but had to follow a link to Twitter and from there was able to find the complete text.  Somebody with money to burn submitted the letter, for under WaPo’s advertising rate schedule, it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars to publish. While I realize and understand that the mainstream media has an obligation to give voice to all reasonable viewpoints, I consider this letter to be in poor taste and outside the bounds of ‘reasonable’, and not simply because I disagree with the premise of the letter.  The Washington Post has lowered its status in my view.  I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Dear Mr. President,

In my opinion, on September 25th, 2018, you delivered one of the finest speeches ever given at the United Nations. For students of history, it was reminiscent of Winston Churchill as he faced (and often faced alone) the then threat of Nazism, and Ronald Reagan as he confronted “The Evil Empire” at The Berlin Wall.

Today, the greatest threat facing America, (along with free world), is “The Left’s” new religion of “Radical Liberalism”. Instead of tanks, artillery and aircraft, today’s Radical Left uses fear, threats and false allegations and ideologies to undermine the liberties and spiritual beliefs the West holds so dearly.

As with Churchill and Reagan, you Mr. President, are the only world leader with the courage and insight to identify, confront, and then expose “The Left’s” failed and corrupting ideologies such as “Globalism”, “Political Correctness”, “Multi-Culturalism” and the greatest hoax of all, “Man-Made Global Warming”.

The earth is governed by God’s law, not the whims of mankind.

The Bible says it best, when in Genesis 1, it reads, “… after creating man in his own image…. God blessed them and said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have domination over the fish of the sea, and over the foul in the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”.

In simplest terms, God created the earth to serve man, and then provided the earth with everything mankind would need to grow and prosper. It’s man’s responsibility to manage those resources to nourish the world.

We can also thank God for the origin of the Rights, Liberties and Freedoms, expounded upon within our Constitution, as they are based on His Ten Commandments and grounded in the “unalienable rights” granted by our Creator.

It’s that word “Creator” that so scares the Radical Liberals.

The Radical Left try to fool as many people as they can into thinking “God is Dead”, because they know people who stop believing in God, will start believing in anything! Even junk science like “Man-Made Global Warming”, or repeatedly failed political philosophies such as Socialism! Just ask the people of Venezuela.

I know this won’t surprise you, Mr. President, but it should be noted that the reasons the Radical Left went “ballistic” in their all-out effort, to not simply defeat, but to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family, was based on two key factors: the first is his belief in, and loyalty to our Constitution; the second, is that he and his family are devout Catholics who proudly acknowledge their belief in God. And then if that wasn’t enough to drive the Radical Left insane, America learns that the Kavanaugh family actually “pray together”, and in their prayers, they asked God to heal their father’s accuser.

There you have them. The two key elements that terrify the Radical Left. The first is the acknowledgement of the existence of God, and the second, is the invocation of the power of prayer!

There are many who may laugh at what I am about to say, but I don’t believe you will be one of them. Born and raised within the United States, I am a religious man of Lebanese decent. On November 1st, 2016, while visiting Lebanon, I travelled to the shrine of Saint Charbel (who has been credited with over 160,000 registered miracles attributed to his intercession) to pray for my miracle; the saving of America through your election as our President. I will always believe the Maronite Monk, canonized as Saint Charbel Makhlouf by Pope Paul VI, heard my prayers, granted my miracle, and put America back on a path to greatness.

Another gift your election has given our country is our First Lady, Melania Trump. She has brought a breath of fresh air to the nation. She’s a legal immigrant and naturalized American citizen who speaks six languages and who loves America, her history, her accomplishments and all for which she stands. On February 19th, 2017, the nation, and the world gained insight into the heart and soul of our First Lady when she was asked to speak at a campaign rally, but instead of the typical political rhetoric we’ve come to expect, she led your supporters in reciting “The Lord’s Prayer”. What a gift she is to us and the world!

Respectfully Sir, am I a fan of your “Twitter Diplomacy”? No. Am I supporter of the quickness and ferocity with which you attack your attackers? No. Have you conducted your Presidency with the same decorum as most previous Presidents? No. But then again, no President in modern history has worked so hard, for so long, to make good on so many of the promises you’ve made to America.

Even your political adversaries marvel at all you have accomplished, especially in lieu of the fact that no political personality in history has endured the impact of 90% or more, of negative news coverage, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With God’s help, you have not only survived, but thrived, and your successes have helped “the forgotten people”, both here at home, and around the world. Just as you have promised.

Mr. President, you may think you “chose” to run for President, but I am one who believes, you didn’t choose, …. you were chosen … just like God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt!

May God continue to bless and protect America, as well as you, your family, and all the freedom loving people of the world.              

Signed,

A Reluctant “Anonymous”

​ARA@MyOpenLetterToPresidentTrump.org

Follow us on Twitter! @ToOurPotus

(Mr. President, I’ve lived almost 90 years on this earth in service to my God, my family and my country. Concerned for my personal safety and seeing the confrontations and violence the Radical Left unleash against those who speak out against them, my family pleaded with me not to disclose my identity for fear of such reprisals against them and/or myself. What a sickening, political reality in 21st Century America. However, hopefully Sir, one day we will meet, and I will proudly tell you my name while shaking your hand.)

barf bag

Civility???

I seem to be hearing the word ‘civil’ or ‘civility’ bandied about a lot lately, but while the word pops up frequently, the action seems to be slow to follow.  The republicans are worried that the democrats are becoming increasingly ‘uncivil’ … gee, I wonder why, after 21 months of being verbally brutalized by a bully and his cohorts!  But let’s look at a few things here …

tom wolf

Governor Tom Wolf

Tom Wolf is the current governor of Pennsylvania, and from all indications is a good one, liked and respected by the people of Pennsylvania.  A man named Scott Wagner is running against Wolf this year on the republican ticket.  Here is the ‘civil’ tongue with which Wagner speaks: “Well, Governor Wolf, let me tell you what, between now and Nov. 6, you better put a catcher’s mask on your face, because I’m going to stomp all over your face with golf spikes.”  Civility?

The Metropolitan Republican Club of New York City recently hosted Gavin McInnes, founder of the white supremacist hate group Proud Boys.  After McInnes’ lecture on Otoya Yamaguchi, his ‘Proud Boys’ took to the streets, brutally beating and kicking several individuals while shouting “faggot” and “[expletive deleted].”  Civility?

Notable democrats are calling for their party to get tougher ahead of the mid-terms.

“It is time for us as Democrats to be as tough as they are, to be as dedicated as they are, to be as committed as they are.” – Former Attorney General Eric Holder

“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about.” – Former Secretary of State and 2016 Presidential Candidate, Hillary Clinton

Neither of these even remotely call for violence, they do not use foul or vulgar language, do not refer to stomping on someone’s face or encourage beatings.  They are simply calling on democrats to speak louder, to stand stronger.  And yet, here is what Donald Trump claims …

“You don’t hand matches to an arsonist and you don’t give power to an angry left-wing mob and that’s what the Democrats have become. They would turn our country so fast into Venezuela. And Venezuela’s not doing too well, folks.”

“The Democrats have become too extreme and too dangerous to govern.”

“Radical Democrats want to tear down our laws, tear down our institutions in pursuit of power, demolish our prosperity in the name of socialism and probably worse.”

“They want to destroy people. These are really evil people.”

Let me show you a few pictures of Trump’s ‘base’ at some of his rallies …

angry trumpeter-1angry trumpeter-2angry trumpeter-3angry trumpeter-4

Who are extreme and dangerous people?  Who, I ask, are trying to ‘tear down our laws, tear down our institutions in pursuit of power’?  Who constitutes an ‘angry mob’?

Both democrats and republicans are angry these days.  This is a result of the ‘man’ who began 2016 by inciting violence in his campaign rallies, even offering to pay legal fees of any who would use physical violence against peaceful protestors.  This is a result of the ‘man’ who constantly taunts not only his political foes, but the free and legitimate press, and any who dare to question or disagree with him.  The divisiveness in this country, the lack of civility, didn’t just happen – it was manufactured with a purpose.  It was manufactured using lies, smoke & mirrors, and already-existing tensions that were prodded to an even higher level.

And now that same ‘man’ is trying to convince his base, some 30% of the nation, that the democrats are evil, that they are dangerous, that they seek to harm him and his through ‘mob rule’, and that they must be stopped at all costs.  He is turning the word ‘democrat’ into something that has horribly frightening connotations in the minds of his minions.  He has even convinced some part of them that men are the real victims in sexual assault cases!  The ‘man’ seems to almost hypnotize the previously sane.

The worst mistake that democrats can make today would be to play into his hands, to allow peaceful protests to end in violence.  Democratic candidates must not play Trump’s game of using rude, crude and vulgar language, or calling for violence, or of being so anti-Trump that they forget to tell the people what they stand for.  The stakes are high in just over three weeks. It is so important that we all keep our eye on the ball and not allow ourselves to be goaded into lowering ourselves to the level of today’s more radical republicans.  I still ascribe to what Michelle Obama said, “When they go low, we go high”.

The most important things on the agenda of every candidate for the next three weeks must be: convincing people of the importance of their vote, maintaining civility under all circumstances, speaking loudly and clearly to communicate their platform as well as their values.  Democrats will not get the votes of avid, die-hard Trump supporters.  That is a fact, a foregone conclusion, so we need not even bother to try.  Tune them out and focus on those who may actually listen … and think. vote-animated

President And GOP Busy At Work Gas lighting Public With Propaganda/ Fake News Campaign

I don’t know about you guys, but I’m getting sick of the lies and bullying coming from the White House and the republican camp in general. It is old, tiresome and not even a little bit funny. Friend Gronda has written an excellent post de-bunking all of Trump’s and his minion’s claims about the women and democrats engaging in ‘mob rule’ … please take a few moments to read and absorb how we are being fed lies, lies, lies, and more lies by the bully at the helm of this nation. Many thanks to you, Gronda!

Gronda Morin

Dear Media and fellow Non Trumpian voters, please discount/ pay no attention to the republican President Donald Trump’s claims about the women protesting the confirmation of the SCOTUS nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh during the first week of October 2018, as the equivalent of mob rule. At his rallies and elsewhere, he has been describing these women as being out of control, creating conditions for violence. This contrived outrage is in the same category of all his other lies, with no basis in fact and reality, but designed solely to motivate his base to action.

In short, this is his way of grabbing added media attention, as even FOX TV is no longer televising his campaign rallies because the ratings for these events have dipped. But he never gives up. For example, on the 11th of October 2018, Kanye West, the rapper, with his mental illness in full display, was trotted out…

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Look The Other Way …

How, we ask ourselves, did a sexual predator with a volatile temper and no knowledge of how government works, become the president?  How is this possible in what was once among the freest nations on earth?  Quite simple … we all have preconceived notions of what we want, and if something stands in the way of achieving those goals, we simply … look the other way.

A nominee for Supreme Court justice refuses to answer questions, is caught lying during his confirmation hearings and then is accused of having sexually assaulted one or more girls during his early years.  The republicans have been ordered by Donald Trump to confirm Brett Kavanaugh, regardless.  What to do, what to do?  Look the other way.

The human race, as well as most other living creatures, is on a collision course with disaster unless we make some tough choices in the very near future.  Massive amounts of scientific research provide evidence that the burning of fossil fuels is contributing to making the planet Earth virtually unable to sustain life at some point in the future. But it’s inconvenient.  Coal miners might lose their jobs, people might have to make sacrifices such as driving cars less, turning the thermostat down in winter, staying home more.  What to do?  Look the other way.

The investigation into already-proven links between Trump, his family and his campaign workers to the Russians who interfered in the 2016 election that put Trump into office is in danger of being shackled or terminated by the very subject of the investigation, Donald Trump.  Trump is panicked and threatening to fire people who will likely provide the information that will ultimately see him impeached.  What should we do?  Look the other way.

You see signs that your neighbor is beating his wife, but you’ve been friends with the couple for years, your children play together, and it would be so inconvenient to confront him, or to contact law enforcement.  What to do?  Look the other way.

The man who is tasked with defending the Constitution, frequently challenges the freedom of the press by referring to them as the “enemy of the people”.  What to do?  Defend our press, or … Look the other way.

More than 500 immigrant children remain separated from their parents because of a heinous policy of Trump’s administration earlier this year. These children are treated as criminals, housed in detention centers that are kept out of the public view.  Children!  What to do?  Look the other way.

There are signs that the president of the nation is becoming more and more authoritarian, taking power that he was never intended to have, threatening and bullying members of Congress, leaders of the Justice Department and others who are tasked with the job of protecting and defending the Constitution.  Protest is time-consuming and risky.  What to do?  Look the other way.

People are dying because they cannot afford adequate healthcare, as the president signs executive orders and bullies Congress to undercut the protections under ACA.  What to do?  Look the other way.  People have lost their homes because the president revoked a policy that would have reduced the cost of mortgages for millions of home buyers.  That’s tough, but it doesn’t affect you, so just … Look the other way.

Trump reversed a rule that would ban gun sales to those deemed “mentally defective” by the government.  The NRA is dictating policy through ‘donations’ to congressional campaigns, and by direct intervention in some states’ gun laws.  The U.S. has the highest incidence of gun-related deaths in the world.  What to do?  Look the other way.

And the list goes on … and on …

Yes, folks, by all means look the other way and assume that “it will all work out in the long run, for it always has”.  Look the other way and believe that somebody else will step in and do something.  Look how well that worked for the Germans and the Italians in the 1930s. Nothing to see here, folks, just move along with your lives.  Go coach that soccer game, socialize with your friends, post pictures of your most recent meal on Facebook, take a vacation, post your selfies on Twitter, and don’t let any of this disturb your sleep at night … just go enjoy the heck out of your lives.  Never for a single minute think that you or I might be complicit in the undoing of the nation. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow …

NRA Takes On … Thomas & Friends???

A few days ago, several readers made the comment that the world has gone mad, and I agreed with them.  Today, I am more convinced than ever that there is something toxic in the atmosphere that is turning people into raving lunatics.  The headline in the New York Times reads …

N.R.A. Show Puts Thomas the Tank Engine in K.K.K. Hood to Criticize Diversity Move

The story begins last Friday, when the kids’ show Thomas and Friends announced that it was adding new characters in partnership with the United Nations, as part of an effort to introduce its preschool audience to new cultures and issues.  The new characters are mostly female and international characters, including Nia, a train from Kenya.

Nia

Nia

The character Thomas the Tank Engine was invented more than 70 years ago by the Rev. W. Awdry, as a story for his son. Mr. Awdry turned the story into the first of many books in 1945, and in 1984, Thomas became the star of a new British animated show that was narrated by Ringo Starr. The show made its American debut in 1989 on PBS.

Apparently, NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch has a problem with Nia … or is her problem with diversity … or is her problem with non-whites?  Loesch hosts a program titled Relentless on NRA-TV (yes, for those who didn’t know, the NRA has its very own television network).  On her program last Friday she questioned the ‘need’ for diversity on Thomas’ show …

Dana Loesch“How do you bring ethnic diversity? I mean they had to paint, what I guess they thought was some sort of African pattern on the side of Nia’s engine? How do you bring ethnic diversity to a show that literally has no ethnicities because they’re trains? They don’t even have skin pigmentation. Was there some concern that the show had racist undertones?”

Obviously, Ms. Loesch has no understanding of ethnic diversity, the intolerance that exists in this nation today, or the need to teach children to value those of different cultures & ethnicities.  And so, Ms. Loesch, along with producers at NRA-TV, came up with this …thomas-tank-kkk

I don’t know about you, but when I first saw this image, I was speechless. This is a new low even for the NRA that, as we all know, has no values and cares not a whit about humans … only about money. But to target a very popular kids’ show??? Can anybody say “social conscience”?

What does Loesch’s grotesque distortion of a children’s cartoon have to do with gun rights? Nothing, according to the laws of common sense.  But of late, the NRA has taken its culture war cues from Trump and its segments are anti-Black Lives Matter, pro-cop, anti-media and pro-Trump.  It is no longer just guns the NRA is defending, but its way of life, its identity.  And apparently a children’s television program that promotes peace, understanding and love of others is offensive to Ms. Loesch and the NRA.

There is something ugly about all of this.  There is something vitriolic, toxic in Ms. Loesch and others such as Alex Jones, Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity, Ann Coulter who bring the message of hate and bigotry, even to small children.  I have been engaged in a back-and-forth discussion for the past week or so with a reader concerning whether there ought to be limits to free speech. This abomination by Ms. Loesch and the NRA further cements my viewpoint that when a person or organization fails to accept the responsibility that accompanies the right to free speech, it is further proof that there need to be some limits, some constraints.  Try explaining the above picture to your 4-year-old:

“Well, you see honey, there are some people who don’t like people who don’t look like they do, and so they put white sheets on their heads and go around setting fires on people’s property and killing people.”

Doesn’t make sense even to me, and I’m not 4-years-old!

Where do we draw a line, folks?  Surely even supporters of the 1st and 2nd amendments must be incensed by this?  Surely nobody can defend Ms. Loesch’ attack on diversity?  Or … can they?  Have we gone too far?  For me, the answer is ‘yes’.  What about you?Pooh-sad

A Dose of Saturday Snarky Snippets

Saturday afternoon … and all the news is about Paul Manafort’s plea bargain and Hurricane Florence.  While these are both very important stories, I cannot add much to what is already being said, so, I went in search of a few snippets beyond today’s headlines.


The last laugh …

nike-toonWhen Nike announced that their new ad campaign for the 30th anniversary of its “Just Do It” motto would feature Colin Kaepernick, the man who took a knee to take a stand against racial injustice, some portion of the nation went a bit berserk.  There were reports of people burning their Nike clothing & shoes, cutting holes in their socks, and all manners of rather stupid (considering they paid for those clothes & shoes) protests.  Boycotts were called for, and Donald Trump, of course had to get in on the act saying, “I don’t like what Nike did. I don’t think it’s appropriate what they did.”  Rather tame for him, come to think of it.

The rumour mill, aka ‘social media’, fed by people who have entirely too much time on their hands to think up stupid things to do, went wild.  Within days of the announcement, for example, it was reported that Nike scotched the deal after Kaepernick launched into an “anti-white rant” in public (false), that Nike lost an $80 million U.S. government contract because of the deal (false), and that former NBA star Michael Jordan had resigned from Nike’s board of directors in protest of the Kaepernick deal (also false).  Then on September 9th, it was reported by a junk website that Kaepernick was arrested for trespassing after running onto the field during the national anthem “as a publicity stunt” at an NFL game in San Francisco.  Also blatantly false.  Trump talks a lot about libel laws when somebody reports something unfavourable yet true about him … these stories about Kaepernick are what libel actually looks like.

And of course, the predictions by some were that Nike would be on the verge of bankruptcy within a year. Thus, it is with great joy that I report that on Thursday, Nike stock reached an all-time high, closing at $83.47, and gained yet another two-cents yesterday, closing at $83.49!  Additionally, Nike’s online revenue increased by 31% in the days after the announcement. Go Nike!

nike swoosh-2


NRA oopsie … 

In 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal law prohibiting corporations and unions from making expenditures in connection with federal elections.  Known as Citizens United, this case opened the door for massive amounts of money to be spent by big businesses and lobbyists such as the National Rifle Association (NRA) on advertising for individual candidates who they believe will, in return, vote in their favour once in office.  There are, however, some rules & limitations.

One such rule is that while such groups can raise and spend virtually unlimited amounts on an election, they must do so independently of the candidate. In other words there cannot be an agreement between, say, the NRA and a specific candidate.  And so, when the following conversation between republican senate candidate Matt Rosendale of Montana and an unidentified person took place in a bar one July night, it was in violation of the Federal Election Commission (FEC rules).

“I fully expect the NRA is going to come in… in August sometime. The Supreme Court confirmations are big. That’s what sent the NRA over the line. Because in ’12, with [Republican Senate nominee Denny Rehberg] they stayed out, they stayed out of Montana. But Chris Cox told me, he’s like, ‘We’re going to be in this race.’”

matt rosendaleChris Cox is the head of the NRA lobbying efforts, and sure enough, earlier this month, the NRA spent more than $400,000 on ads hitting Rosendale’s democratic opponent, incumbent Jon Tester over the precise issue that Rosendale mentioned—the senator’s votes on Supreme Court nominations.  Dirty pool?  You betcha.  Is anything likely to come of it?  It is extremely doubtful, for there is no evidence in the audio recording that Rosendale consented or encouraged the contribution. Just one more of the many tricks the GOP and NRA have up their sleeves.


‘Fear’-less library …

fear-libraryThe town of Berkeley Springs is located in Morgan County, West Virginia.  West Virginia voted 75% for Donald Trump in 2016, which says something about the state.  Nonetheless, there is a library in Berkeley.  The Director of the Morgan County Public Library is one Donna Crocker.  On Tuesday, when Bob Woodward’s book, Fear:  Trump in the White House, was released, Berkeley Springs resident Rob Campbell generously attempted to donate a copy of the book to the library but was turned down flat.  Crocker declined his offer, saying that they “… wouldn’t be putting books like that on the shelves anymore.”  Books like that???  Like what?  What year is this, again?

After a hue and cry on Facebook by residents who are apparently eager to read the book, Ms. Crocker’s decision was overridden by Connie Perry, the president of the trustees of the Morgan County Public Library.  Ms. Perry attempted to pass the incident off as just a ‘misunderstanding’, saying “It was an employee who . . . wasn’t aware of what she should have done.”  And yet … Crocker is the Director, not just any employee.  I strongly suspect Ms. Crocker made the decision based on her own political preferences, for when asked in a phone interview about her decision, she said “I don’t want to get in the middle of that. We have other Trump books.”book banning


And thus concludes yet another episode of Snarky Snippets. Have a great rest-of-the-weekend!

Not so Freaky Fridays anymore

As always, our friend Keith has a way of summing things up in a manner that commands attention without raising his voice (or beating the letters off his keyboard, as I have). His summation of the past week is spot on, and his question at the end of the post is one that should give each and every one of us cause to stop & think. Thank you, Keith, for permission to share your wise words.

musingsofanoldfart

It seems that news people recapping the week are in a continual, almost weekly, loop saying the President had a difficult week. One week it was the appropriate backlash on his Helsinki acquiescence to Vladimir Putin. Another week was the conviction and confession of two of his cronies. Earlier it was the detention of migrant children away from their parents. And, there are many others.

This past week started last Saturday with the funeral of a true hero and honorable public servant, an event to which he was purposefully uninvited. Not being invited to the national mourning of Senator John McCain was bad enough, but his modus operandi was appropriately criticized without mentioning his name by more than a few speakers.

By itself, this event would warrant a bad week, but it was followed by the release of excerpts from highly credible reporter Bob Woodward’s book on the disruptive White…

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Trampling the Constitution …

“I do solemnly swear that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”

These words are the presidential oath of office that every president takes upon being inaugurated into the office of president.  On 20 January 2017, Chief Justice John Roberts administered the above oath to Donald J. Trump.  In the past 24 hours, the same Donald Trump has threatened to break his oath not once, but twice.Constitution-1The first came on the wave of his rage over the Bob Woodward book, Fear, that is to be released next Tuesday.  Trump repeated his call for stricter libel laws … a threat he has made before.  What Trump is actually calling for, however, is a change in the very definition of the word ‘libel’.

Defamation is defined as the communication of a false statement that harms the reputation of an individual, business, product, group, government, religion, or nation.  Defamation falls under two categories:  slander & libel.  The difference is simple: slander is verbal or by gestures, whereas libel is written or printed.

There are several things a person must prove to establish that libel has taken place. In the United States, a person must prove that 1) the statement was false, 2) caused harm, and 3) was made without adequate research into the truthfulness of the statement. These steps are for an ordinary citizen. For a celebrity or public official, a person must prove the first three steps, and that the statement was made with the intent to do harm or with reckless disregard for the truth.

Trump has been referring to the legitimate press as “the enemy of the people” while at the same time praising Fox News and even Breitbart, neither of whom are known for fact-based, honest reporting.  And now, he wants Congress to enact stricter libel laws, by which he simply means, by his definition, anything printed that is critical of him.  This is not how it works, and it would be a blatant disregard of the 1st Amendment if it were.  As long as what the press prints is factual, or to the best of their belief was factual, they are well within their rights.

Despite the fact that Congress has been bowing to the wishes of Trump since day #1, I cannot imagine that they would even consider such a bill, so I am not concerned that the press will ultimately be shuttered from reporting anything critical of Trump.  However, that he even threatens it is very concerning, for it is but one more indicator of his intent to rule rather than lead.  To bring the government into the realm of autocracy.  Such disregard for the Constitution goes against his oath.constitution-2The second and equally concerning threat was made as a response to protests against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh on Tuesday.

“I don’t know why they don’t take care of a situation like that. I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protesters. You don’t even know what side the protesters are on.”

Now, the statement in itself is disturbing enough, and taken in conjunction with his rants about Colin Kaepernick’s peaceful protest against police killing unarmed black men, it makes an even more chilling thought.  “I think it’s embarrassing for the country to allow protestors.”  Again, I direct attention to the 1st Amendment that protects freedom of speech, including peaceful protests.  And again, I remind you that he referred to white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia last year as “very fine people”.  He did not suggest shutting down their freedom of speech.

What is, perhaps, almost as bothersome as what he said is to whom he said it.  He made the statement during an Oval Office interview with the Daily Caller.  Now, in case you aren’t familiar with the Daily Caller, it is a conservative website co-founded by Tucker Carlson of Fox News fame.  Mr. Carlson has more controversies under his belt than can even be tallied.  To give you one small example of his idiocy, he is against seat belt laws.  Like its co-founder, the Daily Caller is laden with controversy and is definitely not a legitimate source of news.  A few examples:

  • In 2017, The Daily Caller published a story claiming that a “peer-reviewed study” by “two scientists and a veteran statistician” found that global warming had been fabricated by climate scientists. The alleged “study” was a PDF file on a WordPress blog, and was not peer-reviewed or published in a scientific journal.

  • In March 2013 The Daily Caller posted interviews with two women claiming that New Jersey Democratic Senator Bob Menendez had paid them for sex while he was a guest of a campaign donor. The allegation came five days before the 2012 New Jersey senate election. News organizations such as ABC News, which had also interviewed the women, the New York Times, and the New York Post declined to publish the allegations, viewing them as unsubstantiated and lacking credibility. Subsequently, one of the women who accused Menendez stated that she had been paid to falsely implicate the senator and had never met him. Menendez’s office described the allegations as “manufactured” by a right-wing blog as a politically motivated smear. A few weeks later, police in the Dominican Republic announced that three women had claimed they were paid $300–425 each to lie about having had sex with Menendez.

Carlson Tucker is not much different than Alex Jones, it would seem, and anybody who reads and believes the Daily Caller should come see me about a bridge I have for sale.  For Donald Trump to treat the Daily Caller as a legitimate news source, while denigrating the 141-year-old Washington Post, and the 167-year-old New York Times, is an indicator of his intelligence, or lack thereof.

So, we have a president who, as I have said from the very beginning, is not satisfied with the office of president, but seeks to undermine the foundation of the Constitution by chiseling away at the rights and privileges that document gives us in order to expand and extend his power.  Surely Congress will stop him, right?  Um … well …

**  Endnote:  While I am writing a post, I rarely check news other than to verify facts or look up something pertaining to the post I am writing at the time, lest I lose my focus.  Thus, I was not aware of the anonymous letter from a senior administration official that was published in the New York Times late yesterday afternoon until I had finished writing this post.  I will have more to say about that later, once the dust has settled just a bit, but Trump’s comment that “the Times must, for National Security purposes, turn him/her over to government at once!” sends chills and signals another potential attempt to undermine the Constitution.  

The Phone Call …

Bob-WoodwardBob Woodward was 28-years-old when he started work at The Washington Post in 1971.  The next year, he and Carl Bernstein wrote a series of articles on the Watergate scandals that would ultimately be called “the single greatest reporting effort of all time”.  Woodward’s career as an investigative reporter has flourished, as well as his career as an author, with 12 number one national best sellers to his credit.  He has written about every president from Nixon through Obama, and now he has written what will likely be only his first book about Trump. The book, titled Fear, is scheduled for release next Tuesday, September 11th.

Fear-WoodwardWoodward interviewed numerous sources from the Trump administration and had tried hard to arrange a meeting or conversation with Trump himself, but it didn’t happen.  However, now that the book is already printed and ready for release, Trump finally decided to call Bob Woodward.  The Washington Post has published an annotated transcript of that conversation, and while it is too lengthy for me to reproduce in its entirety, I am providing a few excerpts.  You may wish to read the entire transcript, but frankly it is mostly the same thing over and over again.  Trump makes two points:  a) that nobody told him Woodward wanted to talk to him, and b) he is the greatest president ever.  Surprised, aren’t you?  The conversation has humour value, if nothing else.


BW: I’m sorry we missed the opportunity to talk for the book.

Trump: Well, I just spoke with Kellyanne and she asked me if I got a call. I never got a call. I never got a message. Who did you ask about speaking to me?

BW: Well, about six people.

Trump: They don’t tell me.

BW: A senator. I talked to Kellyanne about it two and a half months ago. She came for lunch.

Trump: Well, it’s too bad. Of course, you and I had a conversation a couple of years ago, and so that I think got you there a little bit. And we had a conversation many years ago, if you remember, in Trump Tower.

BW: Yeah, I do.

Trump: I still remember that.

BW: I spent a lot of time on this, talked to lots of people.

Trump: It’s really too bad, because nobody told me about it, and I would’ve loved to have spoken to you. You know I’m very open to you. I think you’ve always been fair. We’ll see what happens. But all I can say is the country is doing very well. We’re doing better economically just about than at any time. We’re doing better on unemployment maybe than ever. You know, I mean, if you look at the unemployment numbers, you’ve heard me say it. And we’re doing better on unemployment than just about ever. We’re having a lot of — a lot of companies are moving back into our country, which would’ve been unheard of two years ago. If the other administration or representatives of it had kept going, had kept — you know, if the other group had won, I will tell you, that you would have, I think you’d have a GDP of less than zero. I think we would’ve been going in the wrong direction. Because regulations are such a big part of what we’ve done, Bob.

BW: I’ve got to go talk to people and see them outside of the White House and outside of their offices, and gained a lot of insight and documentation. And it’s — you know, it’s a tough look at the world and your administration and you.

Trump: Right. Well, I assume that means it’s going to be a negative book. But you know, I’m some — I’m sort of 50 percent used to that. [Laughter] That’s all right. Some are good and some are bad. Sounds like this is going to be a bad one.

BW: Well, I talked to Raj [Shah] about it. I talked to . . . I talked to Kellyanne.

Trump: Well, a lot of them are afraid to come and talk, or — you know, they are busy. I’m busy. But I don’t mind talking to you. I would’ve spoken to you. I spoke to you 20 years and I spoke to you a year and a half or two years ago.

BW: Well, Mr. President, how can I spend all this time talking to people and — like Kellyanne and Raj and Republican senators?

Trump: Who were the senators? No, they never called me about it.

BW: Senator Graham said he had talked to you about talking to me. Now, is that not true?

Trump: Senator Graham actually mentioned it quickly in one meeting.

BW: Yes. Well, see. And then nothing happened.

Trump: That is true. That is true. Well, that — no, but that is true. Mentioned it quickly, not like, you know, and I would certainly have thought that maybe you would’ve called the office. But that’s okay. I’ll speak to Kellyanne. I am a little surprised that she wouldn’t have told me. In fact, she just walked in. [to Kellyanne] I’m talking to Bob Woodward. He said that he told you.

Conway: Yes.

Trump: About speaking to me. But you never told me. Why didn’t you tell me? I would’ve been very happy to speak to him. All right, so what are you going to do?

BW: Well …

Trump: So I have another bad book coming out. Big deal.  I mean, you do know I’m doing a great job for the country. You do know that NATO now is going to pay billions and billions of dollars more, as an example, than anybody thought possible, that other presidents were unable to get more? And it was heading downward. You do know all of the things I’ve done and things that I’m doing? I’m in the process of making some of the greatest trade deals ever to be made. You do understand that stuff? I mean, I hope.

BW: Certainly, I understand and I would’ve loved to go through a discussion with you about NATO, because this goes back to early in your administration and your concern about it, and the agreement that the countries have that they would increase their defense contribution, what is it, by the year 2024?

Trump: Well, you know last year, if you see the secretary, Stoltenberg, he said I believe $44 billion just last year, and that was from last year’s meeting. And this year it’s much more money they’ve agreed to put up. So it’s a tremendous amount of money. No other president has done it. It was heading down in the opposite direction. So I don’t know if you’re going to report it that way; probably not. But that’s too bad, but that’s all right, but you know, one of those things.

BW: Everything is going to be factual. And it is not a good thing for my business, if I may say this to you, Mr. President, to the presidency, or to the country, to not have real, full exchanges on these. And I broke my spear on it trying to get to you.

Trump: Well, other than Lindsey, who did quickly mention it, nobody mentioned it.

BW: You say Kellyanne’s there, ask her.

Trump: Nobody told me about it. Well, let me ask her. Why don’t you speak to Kellyanne. Ask her. She never told me about it.

BW: Kellyanne?

Conway: Bob, how are you? Hi.

BW: Hi. Remember two and a half months ago you came over and I laid out, I wanted to talk to the president? And you said you would get back to me?

Conway: I do. And I put in the request. But you know, they — it was rejected. I can only take it so far. I guess I can bring it right to the president next time.

BW: Yeah.

Conway: But I try to follow all the protocols, or else I’m accused of being somebody who doesn’t follow protocol.

BW: Yeah, well, about six or seven people. I tried. And I couldn’t have — you and I spent a whole lunch on it, Kellyanne. And I said, I want to cover the substantive issues in foreign policy and domestic policy. And you said you would get back to me. Nothing.

Conway: But anyway, I’ll give you back to the president. And I’m glad to hear that you tried through seven or eight different people. That’s good. You should tell him all the names. [Laughs] Thank you.

Trump: But you never called for me. It would’ve been nice, Bob, if you called for me, in my office. I mean, I have a secretary. I have two, three secretaries. If you would’ve called directly — a lot of people are afraid . . . Raj, I hardly have . . . I don’t speak to Raj. It doesn’t matter. Let me tell you what matters: The economy is the best it’s been in many, many decades. And it’s going to get a lot better. And the country is doing very well. That’s what’s important.

BW: Yes, sir. I thought I would . ..

Trump: We’re doing a good job. I’m just hearing about it. And I heard — I did hear from Lindsey, but I’m just hearing about it. So we’re going to have a very inaccurate book, and that’s too bad. But I don’t blame you entirely.

BW: No, it’s going to be accurate, I promise.

Trump: Yeah, okay. Well, accurate is that nobody’s ever done a better job than I’m doing as president. That I can tell you. So that’s . . . And that’s the way a lot of people feel that know what’s going on, and you’ll see that over the years. But a lot of people feel that, Bob.

BW: I believe in our country, and because you’re our president, I wish you good luck.

Trump: Okay. Thank you very much, Bob. I appreciate it. Bye.

Listen to the call   That is, if you haven’t recently eaten 😉

Ready For More … Snarky Snippets?

There is so much to write about that I don’t know where to start.  I have two posts started, but they are both a bit heavy on the research, so I decided that rather than strain my brain tonight, I would go with some more of Filosofa’s Snarky Snippets to start your Sunday morning!


He believed the “enemy of the people” b.s.

Many of us predicted it would happen, and it damn near did.  When Donald Trump repeatedly, hundreds of times, refers to the press as the “enemy of the people” and his followers, already looking for a fight, believe him, it is a recipe for disaster.  Last week, that disaster almost happened.

A 68-year-old man, Robert Darrell Chain of Encino, California, began making threatening phone calls to The Boston Globe on August 10th, the day the Globe announced a cooperative effort among media outlets to publish editorial responses to Trump’s political attacks on the media.

Robert-Chain

The face of a Trump supporter …

According to the New York Times

“In one call to the paper’s newsroom, Mr. Chain threatened to shoot the newspaper’s employees in the head, the F.B.I. said. Three days later, in another call, Mr. Chain said: “You’re the enemy of the people.” Using profane language, he threatened to kill “every” Globe employee.”

Altogether Chain made twelve threatening calls, one in which he threatened to shoot employees in the head.  It was at that point that the FBI was called in and Mr. Chain was arrested on Thursday.  As if right on cue, Trump tweeted …trump-tweetMr. Chain was 3,000 miles from Boston, where The Boston Globe is located, and quite likely would never have gone beyond the threatening stage.  Or … would he have?  Maybe, maybe not … we won’t likely ever know, but that isn’t the point.  The point is that sooner or later somebody will.  Somebody who doesn’t care if they are gunned down, as long as they accomplish the deed for their beloved Donald Trump.

Chain was released on his own recognizance later on Thursday, and as soon as he left the Los Angeles Federal Courthouse, he had something to say …

“America was saved when Donald J. Trump was elected.”

Saved from WHAT???  Sanity??? Mr. Chain is not, I am certain, the only one out there who would, as a zombie blindly following orders, attempt to kill journalists, thinking they were doing Trump’s bidding.  And who knows?  Perhaps they are.  All I can say for certain is that if one single reporter is killed “in the line of duty”, his or her blood will be on Donald Trump’s hands.

Hey, republican friends!  Will there come a time that you agree Trump’s mouth needs to be taped before he gets somebody killed?  Or are you still clapping for him?


When will they ever learn????

mark-harrisMark Harris is the Republican Party nominee for the United States House of Representatives from North Carolina’s 9th congressional district.  Mark Harris is also a former minister at the First Baptist Church in Charlotte, North Carolina.  And Mr. Harris is among the most bigoted people I have never had the pleasure to meet.

Harris is as anti-LGBT as they come, but that is not surprising in the Republican Party these days, and wouldn’t earn him space on this blog in and of itself.  But Harris is also an unabashed misogynist. The evidence …

  • “Many marriages could save beaucoups of marriage counseling money if they would just understand; husbands love your wives even as Christ loved the church. Wives submit [emphasis added] yourselves unto your own husbands as unto the Lord.” Submit???  Did you say, “submit”, Jack?

And regarding women having careers …

  • “But nobody has seemed to ask the question that I think is critically important to ask: Is that a healthy pursuit for society? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our homes? Is that the healthiest pursuit for our children? Is that the healthiest pursuit for the sexes in our generation?” And I suppose we should bring you your slippers and pipe when you come home from work, huh?

This isn’t religion … this is male chauvinism taken to the nth level, pure and simple.

50s homemakerThe estimated population of the state of North Carolina as of July 2017 is 10,273,419, of which 51.3% are women.  If Mark Harris wins this one … we will know the women were too busy baking cakes, cleaning house, and ‘submitting’ to go to the polls and vote.  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …


Is he finally going to pay?

Ol’ Alex Jones is back in the news, only not quite on the end he likes to be on.  For some reason (I would call it narcissistic arrogance) he thought that he could snap his fingers and make his troubles go away.  He is, after all, the one and only great Alex Jones!  But guess what?  His magic seems to have worn off and he is now being held to some of the same standards as the rest of us.Republican National ConventionJones’ attorney, Mark Enoch, had filed a motion to have the $1 million lawsuit filed by Leonard Pozner and Veronique De La Rosa thrown out on the grounds that he was simply “dispensing political speech”.  You may remember that Pozner & De La Rosa were the parents of Noah Pozner, one of the children murdered in the Sandy Hook mass shooting.  When Jones put forth his conspiracy theory that Sandy Hook was a hoax and the parents were crisis actors, Pozner and De La Rosa were harassed and received persistent death threats by Jones’ followers.  The couple has had to relocate 7 times since 2012 to protect their family, and finally decided enough is enough, bringing a defamation lawsuit against Jones.  Jones’ bid to have the suit thrown out was denied by district Judge Scott Jenkins in Austin, Texas.

This isn’t the only lawsuit that is currently pending against ol’ Alex.  Six other families, an FBI agent, and a Foreign Service Officer have filed their own similar lawsuits.

I seriously doubt Jones will see prison time, even if found guilty in every case, but perhaps the blow to his ego and his career will be punishment enough.  Then again, the fools who fall for his disgusting trash-talk may just put his pedestal a notch higher and his career could soar.  Stranger things have happened.


I could go on, but it’s late and I’m tired, so I’ll give you a break from my snarkiness for a bit.  Have a great Sunday, folks … I’ll be back with more later.