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

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.

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…

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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.

Some Republicans Leaving The Trumptanic

Donald Trump is a frustrated ‘man’.  He thinks he should have won a Nobel Peace Prize, mainly because he is jealous that President Obama won one in 2009.  Only four U.S. presidents have ever won the Nobel Peace Prize, and Trump is about as far away from one as anybody I can imagine.

And then, there is the fact that his ugly mug will never be carved into the side of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota, though he has long said he would like to see that happen.  He has illusions of grandeur that are just that … illusions.

And, of course, there is the fact that his poll numbers are tanking and the only way he’s going to win in November is “by hook or by crook”.  Even life-long republicans are stepping back from Trump.  The New York Times recently interviewed some republicans in swing states who enthusiastically voted for Trump in 2016 but either aren’t sure if they will this November or else are sure they won’t vote for Trump again.

Take, for example, Judith Goines of Fayetteville, North Carolina …

“I think if he weren’t such an appalling human being, he would make a great president, because I think what this country needs is somebody who isn’t a politician. But obviously with the coronavirus and the social unrest we’re dealing with, that’s where you need a politician, somebody with a little bit more couth. I’m ashamed to say that I’ve voted for him.”

Or Robert Kaplan of Racine, Wisconsin …

“He said he was going to, quote unquote, drain the swamp, and all he’s done is splashed around and rolled around in it.”

It appears that about 14% of those who voted for Trump in 2016 are less certain this time around.  6% say they don’t support Trump but say there’s “some chance” of voting for him again.  Some 2% claim not to support Trump, and don’t know if they will vote for him again.  Then there is the 6% who say there is “not really any chance” of supporting Trump.  The number of defectors is small, yes, and he still has a rabid base who will vote for him no matter what, but it is encouraging to see that some of those who voted for him last time are not so sure this time.

Many of those interviewed said they initially voted for him because he was a businessman, not a politician, and specifically because he was not Hillary Clinton.  But they largely say they have soured on his handling of the presidency. Several mentioned his divisive style and his firing of officials who disagreed with him, and especially his response to the coronavirus and to the unrest in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd in police custody.

The majority of them are not yet willing to commit to backing Joe Biden … that would be a stretch … but would likely just stay home on election day.  Take John Crilly, of Reeders, Pennsylvania, who voted not so much for Trump as against Clinton …

“What changed my mind? 120,000 deaths. He refused to realize, ‘Oh my god, there’s a virus coming our way; shouldn’t we do something, guys?’ Covid was the turning point. It’s the thing that touches home with everybody.”

Crilly says he cannot bring himself to vote for Biden, largely because of his age, but will write-in a local candidate’s name.  Then there’s Ariel Oakley of Grand Rapids, Michigan, who says she will vote for Joe Biden …

“With coronavirus, even just watching the press conferences, having him come out and say it’s all fake. I have family who have unfortunately passed away from it.”

Trump’s blatant racism in the aftermath of the George Floyd murder by police has cost him votes, as well.  Kelvin Pittman II of Jacksonville, Florida, is an African-American who voted for Trump in 2016, because “he was a great businessman.”  Pittman himself owns a small business and thought Trump would be the best option.  But now, in light of Trump’s response to Black Lives Matter protests and calling the movement a “symbol of hate” …

“It was kind of the last straw. It was like, this dude is just in it for himself. I thought he was supposed to be for the people.”

And others say it’s his personality that has turned them off.  I find this one confusing because his personality showed through loud and clear throughout his campaign in 2015-2016 … could they not see then that he was a bully when he told campaign workers to “beat up” protestors, and called his opponent at least 100 different ugly names?

The aforementioned Robert Kaplan, who voted for Trump mainly because he wanted ACA (Obamacare) abolished, says he was disappointed from the start …

“He’s an embarrassment. He’s like a little kid with a temper tantrum when he doesn’t get things to go his way. He’s very punitive — if you disagree, he fires you. He disrespects very good people in Washington trying to do some good. And I think it’s very disrespectful of the office to be tweeting all the time.”

The article in the Times is worth the read and has a number of polling charts showing what people like the least about Trump.  In all, I predict with 90% certainty that Trump will, once again, lose the popular vote.  However, my bigger concern at this point is the bag of tricks the GOP is using and will use to attempt an electoral win, but that is a topic for another day.  I’m just encouraged at the moment to see that some who voted for Trump last time have finally “seen the light”.

The First Amendment …

The First Amendment covers a lot of ground and has been interpreted and re-interpreted ever since its writing.  In the news this week are three things pertaining to the 1st Amendment that worry me in one form or fashion.


Freedom of the Press …

I had heard the name ‘Samantha Bee’, but had no idea who or what she was, nor did I much care … until this morning.  According to Wikipedia, Ms. Bee is …

“… a Canadian-American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actress, and television host. Bee rose to fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she became the longest-serving regular correspondent.”

You guys probably already knew that, though, didn’t you?  So why, you ask, did Ms. Bee buzz across my radar?  On her show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, on Wednesday, she made some very astute statements about freedom of the press …

“Look, I know, it’s not exactly a revelation that the president is always trying to undermine the media, but that’s the problem: We’re all so used to it that we act like it’s normal. And the more that we ignore anti-press sentiment in America, the more it will spread.  When Trump became president, he was crushed to find that the job comes with criticism and that the glowing PR he got from the business media isn’t typical of the political press. Since the media refused to love him back, Trump has chosen to do the mature thing and use his presidential power to destroy them.  The scariest part about Trump’s war on the press is that he’s winning. No one’s been able to stop his attacks, so we just go about our lives while they run constantly in the background like white noise — which is, of course, Trump’s preferred color of noise. … When Trump undermines the free press, he’s not just attacking journalists’ rights to do their jobs, he’s attacking your right to know what’s going on in the world.”

She’s right.  If not for the free press, we would know only what Trump wanted us to know.  We would not know that Russia was paying the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers and that Trump knew about this yet failed to act.  We would not have known that he attempted to blackmail the president of the Ukraine to ‘dig up dirt’ on his political rival, Joe Biden.  We would not have known any of the acts that Trump has committed against the people of this nation.  At all costs, we must … must support our free press!  We cannot become complacent and accept the denigration of the press as ‘normal’, for it is anything but normal … at least in this country.


Freedom of Speech …

The 1st Amendment includes many freedoms, including the aforementioned freedom of the press.  It also includes freedom of and from religion, and the one most-oft quoted, freedom of speech.  Over the past two centuries, that ‘freedom of speech has been interpreted by the courts to mean a wide variety of things.  Signs and symbols by hate groups such as white supremacists and neo-Nazis have been ruled acceptable because … freedom of speech.  KKK rallies have been deemed allowable under freedom of speech.  But, in my opinion, there simply must be limits.

This …nazi-flag-shooting… is highly offensive to all but the most ardent anti-Semitic white supremacists.  A woman was shot four times in the back in Garfield County, Oklahoma, for trying to remove one of the flags.

Now, I can tell you for a fact that if anybody in my neighborhood were to sport such a flag, I would not only remove it, but would douse it with lighter fluid then set fire to it.  The Nazi flag is a symbol of anti-Semitism, of hatred, around the globe.

The owner of the house and flags, one Alexander Feaster, was arrested and has been charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and shooting with intent to kill, and is due to appear in court later this month.  A neighbor said that he had been flying the flags for around a year, and they had been snatched from his home a few times in the past. They added that he would occasionally dress up in black uniform with a red swastika armband – an outfit reminiscent of Nazi SS uniforms.  No less than 15 guns were recovered from Feaster’s home upon his arrest.  Who the hell needs that much firepower?

The district attorney says he is considering possible charges against the woman, who is expected to recover from her gunshot wounds.  Why?  Trespassing?  Destruction of private property?  In this case, I don’t see it … it was justified.  However, I know at least two of my readers who will disagree with me, so it is only my opinion.


Freedom of/from Religion …

The 1st Amendment says this about the freedom of religion …

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

That’s all … just 16 words.  However, lengthy tomes have been written in order to interpret how this clause should be applied.  There are those who argue this is a Christian nation … it is not!  It is a secular nation, the foundation of which calls for a distinct separation between church and state.  This includes education.

A portion of our tax dollars is used to fund public schools.  PUBLIC schools, not parochial or religious schools.  If you want to send your children to a religious school, you do have that right … just not at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state of Montana could not use a provision in its Constitution to exclude religious schools from its private school scholarship program.  Although the ruling was narrow, applying only to the case before them, it is likely that religious groups in other states will be heartened by the decision and file their own cases against states.  By the end of next year, we could easily see a broader ruling stating that any state that issues vouchers or similar programs to help with tuition at private schools must also include religious schools in the process.

In fact, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested just that …

“I’m calling on all states to now seize the extraordinary opportunity to expand all education options at all schools to every single student in America.”

I’m betting that those who championed and cheered this decision will be horrified when some day a family uses their vouchers to send their child to an Islamic school, won’t they?  Meanwhile, though, I am offended and angered by this decision.  As a citizen, as a taxpayer, and as a non-religionist, I absolutely do NOT want my tax dollars supporting a religious school where children are taught every form of bigotry imaginable.  It is a gross miscarriage of justice that people of differing religions and of no religion must pay to send another person’s child to a school that teaches only one religion and teaches that it is the one and only right religion and the rest of us are wrong in our beliefs or non-beliefs.  This is, in part, why there is so much hatred in this country today.

You want to send your child to a religious school, fine, but not on my dime!

She Does NOT Belong In Congress!!!

Has the GOP completely lost its bloomin’ mind???  I am typically happy to see a long-time incumbent of either party replaced by new blood.  Mitch McConnell, for example, age 78, is the current best poster boy for why we need term limits.  Before him, there was Democrat Harry Reid who spent thirty years in the Senate, retiring only in 2017 at the age of 77.  So, typically I think it’s a good thing when a long-term member of Congress steps down or is replaced by the voters.  There are, however, exceptions.

scott-tiptonScott Randall Tipton has been serving as the U.S. Representative for Colorado’s 3rd congressional district since 2011, nearly a decade.  Long enough, in my book.  He has opposed LGBT rights, opposes abortion, opposes immigration, and in short has been outspokenly opposed to anything with President Obama’s name tied to it.  Other than that, I know little about Mr. Tipton, but ten years in Congress is long enough.  So, at first glance I was pleased when a younger woman won the Colorado Republican primary on Tuesday night.  Until I learned a few things about that woman, that is.

Tipton lost to Lauren Boebert, a 33-year-old mother of four boys.  Boebert is a Trumpian up one side and down the other.

“Colorado deserves a fighter who will stand up for freedom, who believes in America and who is willing to take on all the left-wing lunatics who are trying so hard to ruin our country. We are in a battle for the heart and soul of our country. I’m going to win this November because freedom is a great motivator.”

‘Left-wing lunatics’???  So that’s what I am, eh?  Perhaps I can get a t-shirt made.  But, bad as that little speech sounds, Boebert is even worse.  She not only supports the 2nd Amendment, but is a staunch, outspoken gun-rights activist.  She is also a businesswoman, owner of a restaurant called ‘Shooters Grill’ in Rifle, Colorado, where she encourages servers to openly carry firearms … while serving the public.  What do you expect in a town called “Rifle”, eh?  And in March, when Colorado’s governor ordered bars and restaurants to close due to the coronavirus pandemic, Ms. Boebert apparently thought he didn’t mean her or her restaurant, and she refused to close.  Even after receiving a ‘cease and desist’ order from the Garfield County Sheriff, she still refused to close her restaurant!

But wait … I still haven’t gotten to quite the worst of it.  Boebert is a supporter of QAnon, the far right wing conspiracy theory group that has made up so many fantasies about Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and George Soros that I’ve lost count.  They claim that there is some great “deep state” conspiracy to topple Donald Trump and all of his supporters.

Ideologically, Ms. Boebert is to the right of far right.  She claims that she would not have voted for the relief package that helped both individuals and small businesses stay afloat during the pandemic shutdown, and she has said that if she wins in November, she will align herself with the House Freedom Caucus, made up of conservative and Libertarian politicians in the House.  Oh, and she plans to attend a ‘Bikers for Trump’ event near Mount Rushmore over the Fourth of July holiday weekend, where she will ride her motorcycle wearing her maga hat.  Need I say more?Lauren-BoebertLast year, when Beto O’Rourke was considering a run for the Democratic nomination for 2020, he once claimed that he would seize all the assault rifles in the nation.  Personally, I think it’s a great idea, for nobody but fools and idiots have them, and they have proven themselves unfit to own any sort of gun, much less one that can mow down a crowd in under a minute.  However, Ms. Boebert took umbrage, saying …

“I am here to say: Hell, no, you’re not!”

Although Trump had previously endorsed Scott Tipton, he got fairly excited over Boebert’s primary win on Tuesday night, and tweeted his congratulations “on a really great win!”  Oh, my aching head.

If, after all this, you’ve got the stomach for it, watch a bit of this interview with Ms. Boebert, especially the part where she speaks about Trump, which starts at about the 2:40 minute point.

diane-bush

Diane Mitsch Bush

The Democratic candidate, also a woman, is one Diane E. Mitsch Bush, and currently she holds about a 5.5% lead over Boebert.  Come on, Coloradoans … pull your heads out of your asses and vote for Ms. Bush!  I am going on record as saying that Lauren Boebert is a grade-A selfish, pistol-packing bitch who we absolutely do NOT need sitting on Capitol Hill making the decisions that affect our lives and the futures of our children and grandchildren.  More than 58,000 people voted for this abomination of a person!  Is there something toxic in the water in Colorado that has killed off people’s brain cells???  Are guns really so important that they are willing to send this sorry specimen of the human race to Washington, to give her the power of … life and death?

More Tears Of Shame

A drug called remdesivir is the first drug approved by licensing authorities in the US to treat the coronavirus, and has been shown to help people recover faster from the disease.  Production of the drug, manufactured by pharmaceutical company Gilead, will take time, of course.  It will take even longer for the people in the EU, UK, Brazil, Italy, and other countries to get the drug … at least three months.  WHY?  Because Donald Trump has greedily hogged every dose the company will make for July, and 90% of what they will manufacture in August and September, leaving virtually none for any other nation!

Alex Azar, head of the Department of Health and Human Services had this to say …

“… Trump has struck an amazing deal to ensure Americans have access to the first authorised therapeutic for Covid-19. To the extent possible, we want to ensure that any American patient who needs remdesivir can get it. The Trump administration is doing everything in our power to learn more about life-saving therapeutics for Covid-19 and secure access to these options for the American people.”

BULLSHIT!

The “American people”???  What about the rest of the people in the world???  The people in the U.S. are no better, no more deserving than those in France, Ghana, or Brazil!!!  What Trump has done is to doom people all around the globe in order to gain accolades from the people of this country to boost his own chances at re-election.  Plain and simple … he doesn’t care about people – any people – but is only thinking of himself and his bid for re-election!  And no doubt there are some in this country who will vote for him simply because of this.

The United States, though having just over 4% of the world’s population, has nearly 26% of the total cases worldwide and 25% of the deaths from coronavirus worldwide.  That is largely a result of Trump’s bungling ever since the first cases of the virus hit the U.S. in January, his attempt to pretend that nothing was wrong, that the coronavirus was no more than the common cold, and that it would simply disappear overnight.  It is also a result of the arrogance of the people of this nation who refused to take proper precautions, and who even now are so eager to return to “having fun” that they are putting us all at risk.

However, simply because Trump screwed up, and just because the people of this nation aren’t too bright sometimes, is no reason for us to scoop up every dose of a medication that can help people!!!  We are no better … let me repeat that … WE ARE NO BETTER … than any person in any other country, and we are damn sure no more deserving of this drug than our friends in the UK or Germany!

Donald Trump has done a lot of truly horrible things in his 3+ year tenure, but this is by far the very worst thing he has done.

The drug, remdesivir, is under patent to Gilead, which means no other company can make it.  Experts are alarmed both by the US unilateral action on remdesivir and the wider implications, for instance in the event of a vaccine becoming available. The Trump administration has already shown that it is prepared to outbid and outmaneuver all other countries to secure the medical supplies it needs for the US.  This is all part of Trump’s “America First” ideology, but let me tell you … this is, whether some like it or not, a much larger world than “America”, and the people in this country are no more deserving than the people in any other country!

I can tell you that if by some chance I were to contract the coronavirus, I would refuse the drug remdesivir … I would tell the doctors to send my dose to the UK or Brazil.  I would rather die honestly than know that I had taken a drug, and in so doing deprived someone else of their life.

I am more ashamed today of this nation than I ever have been before.  I feel that each and every one of us owes a huge apology to the people in every other nation on the globe.  I hang my head in shame for what this country has done, for the horrible way in which we have treated our friends and allies.