She … She Said WHAT???

Ms. Sarah Huckabee Sanders sold whatever soul or conscience she once may have had long ago, perhaps on May 5, 2017 when she held her first White House press briefing, standing in for then-Press Secretary Sean Spicer.  Mr. Spicer ultimately had the good sense to realize that he would not be able to sleep at nights if he continued telling the outrageous lies demanded by Trump, for he was possessed of a conscience.

Sarah-cartoon-2I largely ignore Ms. Sanders, for she is naught but a mouthpiece, says what she is told to say, and I cannot stand to look at her facial contortions nor hear her whiny voice.  However, this past weekend she was on a tear, and dear friend Ellen fed me just enough tidbits to pique my curiosity, so I had to go see for myself.  Sigh.  Where is that blood pressure medicine???

How doth she offend me?  Let me count the ways …

During an interview with Chris Wallace on Fox ‘News’ Sunday

Sarah-Sanders-Chris-Wallace“I don’t think Congress — particularly not this group of congressmen and women — are smart enough to look through the thousands of pages that I would assume that President Trump’s taxes will be.  My guess is that most of them don’t do their own taxes, and I certainly don’t trust them to look through the decades of success that the president has and determine anything.”

Grrrrrr.  Any single member of Congress is more qualified to review those taxes than Ms. Sanders, and we don’t need ‘thousands of pages’.  We’re only asking for six lousy years’ worth!  And Sarah … “success”???  The ‘man’ with more than 5,000 lawsuits in his career?  Think about that one, sweet cheeks.

“[Trump] is a person and a president of law and order. That’s his entire focus since coming in is actually restoring law and order to this country. … The president has asked them to do everything they can and everything they’re allowed to do under the law to stop the massive crisis we have at our southern border. It’s the same thing he says publicly day in and day out.”

Grrrrrrrrrr.  Law and order???  Did she really say ‘law and order’?  Trump believes himself and his minions to be above the law.  He incites violence, defends lawless organizations such as white supremacists and neo-Nazis, and she says he’s about law and order?  There was no crisis at the southern border until Trump fabricated one, then started stealing children from their parents and tossing them into cages, not even bothering to keep track of where they were!  Just last week Trump privately urged acting Secretary of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, to close the border and told him that he would issue a pardon if McAleenan ran into any legal troubles for doing so.  How is this ‘law and order’???Sarah-cartoonOn This Week with George Stephanopoulos …

Regarding Trump’s ignominious, hateful tweet about Representative Ilhan Omar:

“It’s absolutely abhorrent the comments she continues to make and has made and Democrats look the other way. I find what her comments to be absolutely disgraceful and unbefitting of a member of Congress and I think that it’s a good thing that the president is calling her out for those comments, and the big question is why aren’t Democrats doing it as well.”

Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.  If you could be bothered, Ms. Sanders, to read the entirety of Representative Omar’s CAIR speech, perhaps you could better understand that the single sentence your boss chose to focus on was taken completely out of context and that there was not a damn thing wrong with what she said!  She did something you never do … she told the truth!  Your boss put her life in danger, with a childish, juvenile act more befitting a 9-year-old than a 72-year-old who happens to be, for better or for worse, the leader of a nation.

Sarah-Sanders-3I’m certain that if I wished to dig deeper, I could find even more, but already I had to take a break from writing this post to de-stress by washing a sink full of dishes … don’t worry, I only broke a couple.  The job of a White House press secretary is to serve as a liaison between the president and the press.  Ms. Sanders is, rather, a puppet … a mouthpiece, who is so pre-programmed that when she is asked a question, the best she can do is condemn the reporter who asked it.  I suppose that if one lacks intelligence, the best defense is a good offense, and Ms. Sanders has that one down pat – she is very offensive.

Small & Feeble Minds …

I live in a community that is probably 35% refugees from Middle-Eastern countries.  Our neighbors to the right are refugees from first Iraq, then Syria and have become our closest friends.  We share meals and holidays, share our cultures, laughter and love.  In the days following 9/11, another Iraqi family down the street whose daughters were friends with Miss Goose came to our door asking if there was anything they could do for us and saying how very sorry they were for what had happened.  I was so touched.  The police had to place patrols in the parking lot of the local mosque 24/7, for the Muslim community began receiving threats.  It was a tough time for us all … including our Muslim brothers and sisters.

We’ve come a long way since September 11, 2001.  Or have we?  Last November, the people of this nation elected three Muslim women to the U.S. House of Representatives, which would seem to indicate that we are moving … have moved … past the bigotry and Islamophobia that seemed in some ways to define the days and weeks after 9/11.  However, at least one person in this nation seems to have a problem with those women, one in particular.  The person I refer to is Donald Trump, and the newly-elected representative is Ilhan Omar, a representative from the state of Minnesota.Ilhan-Omar-Time-magIt all started back in February when Ms. Omar made a comment criticizing Israel’s occupation of Palestine.  House Minority Leader and member of the House Freedom Caucus, Kevin McCarthy, jumped all over her comment, saying it was even worse than Representative Steve King’s support of white supremacy.  He claimed her comment was ‘anti-Semitic’ (it was not), and rallied the forces of AIPAC (American Israel Public Affairs Committee) to condemn Ms. Omar.  What happened next was a series of back-and-forth that isn’t worth the time and space to relate here, but suffice it to say that Ms. Omar made quite clear that she was not speaking against the Jewish people, but against the state of Israel overstepping its bounds by occupying Palestine.  For the record, I agree with her.

“I want to talk about the political influence in this country that says it is OK for people to push for allegiance to a foreign country. I want to ask why is it OK for me to talk about the influence of the NRA (National Rifle Association), of fossil fuel industries or Big Pharma, and not talk about a powerful lobbying group that is influencing policies?”

Then last month, Ms. Omar once again came under fire after giving a speech at an event hosted by the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), where she was speaking in response to the two mosque shootings in New Zealand, speaking about the lingering fear directed at Muslims since 9/11, and the rights Muslims have to speak out about being viewed with suspicion.

“CAIR was founded after 9/11, because they recognized that some people did something and that all of us were starting to lose access to our civil liberties. Many people expect our community to feel like it needs to hide every time something happens. But repeatedly we have shown them that we are not to be bullied, not to be threatened, we are not to be terrorized, we are strong and resilient, and we will always show up to be ourselves because we know we have a right to a dignified existence and a dignified life.”

Many of us knew this would get worse, we finally have a leader, a world leader, in the White House who publicly says ‘Islam hates us,’ who fuels hate against Muslims, who thinks it is okay to speak about a faith and a whole community in a way that is dehumanizing, vilifying and doesn’t understand — or at least makes us want to think he doesn’t understand — the consequences his words might have.”

And once again, the republicans and Donald Trump were off the rails, with one comment I read even referring to CAIR as a ‘terrorist organization’.  There is no need for me to repeat all the ignorant comments that came out of the depths of ignorance, but one person took the hate and bigotry a step further, possibly even putting Ms. Omar’s life in danger.  That person is Donald Trump.

On Friday, Donald Trump who calls himself a ‘president’, took one small portion of Ms. Omar’s speech out of context and re-tweeted a doctored video that I will not replay here, for it denigrates every citizen of this nation, including Representative Omar, but suffice it to say that it attempts to show her as being dismissive of the lives that were lost on that tragic day.  This is the work of a small and feeble mind.  When the ‘man’ at the helm of a nation of more than 300 million people resorts to such juvenile tactics, he incites violence by the other small and feeble minds in the nation.  Who, really, is the terrorist here?  It seems to me the one who calls himself a ‘president’ is as much a terrorist as were Mohamed Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, and Ziad Jarrah.

Predictably, the republicans and conservative media outlets went wild.  Ms. Omar has already been the focus of threats, including one by a Trump supporter who was recently arrested.  On April 7, Patrick Carlineo Jr., an ardent Trump supporter, was arrested for making violent threats in a phone call to Omar’s office. According to the criminal complaint, on March 21, Carlineo told one of Omar’s staff: “Omar’s a fucking terrorist. I’ll put a bullet in her fucking skull.”

Is this really the sort of nation we want to be?  Is this how we want to be viewed as a society?  The majority of us are capable of thinking for ourselves, reading or hearing Ms. Omar’s speech and understanding that it was a plea for inclusiveness, a condemnation of bigotry.  Sadly, however, there are people in this nation who, rather than use their own minds, prefer to believe what they are told.  In truth, we should be able to believe what the president of the country tells us, but under the current regime, it has been proven thousands of times that he lies to suit his own purposes.

I have the utmost respect for Representative Ilhan Omar, and if anything happens to her, her blood will be on the hands of one Donald Trump.  It’s time, people, to wake up and oust this abomination who some call ‘president’.

Meanwhile, Down On The Bayou …

Michael “Duke” Lowrie is planning to run for the Louisiana State House of Representatives in March.  Nothing too unusual in this.  Except that Michael Lowry is an outspoken, ruthless bigot.  In 2015, he posted the following on his Facebook page;

“So friend’s. The time has come that we must face and take action against this evil that has been placed before us. All day I have prayed and contemplated what to do. Many of you may or may not know but Shreveport Bossier was one of the cities on one of the islamist kill lists. Perhaps they despise our hospitality here and or our over the top support for our military. Regardless the fact is the islamist seek to kill us and make us submit to their false religion and god. There are many who worship, if you call it that, islam here among us. I do not believe they deserve the peace of our culture or the continued fruits of our society while following this religion. I for one will no longer knowingly go to or do business with any establishment that has someone who I know is a follower of islam working there. I will challenge every islamist I see to denounce their false god and religion. Those islamist here walk among us in stores and we act is if they are no different than any of us. Well im sorry they are different. Their religion demands you convert or die.

Friends I ask you to support me in boycotting any business that is owned or ran by islamist.

If you feel offended by this post you should promptly unfriend me and seek the friendship of the islamist.”

Just last week, Lowrie reiterated his position, saying he stands behind his year-old Facebook post, citing an alleged Daesh “kill list” which was long since de-bunked as propaganda.  “Many of you may or may not know but Shreveport – Bossier was one of the cities on the Islamist kill lists. Perhaps they despise our hospitality here or our over the top support for our military. Regardless the fact is the Islamist [sic] seek to kill us and make us submit to their false religion and god.” Hospitality?  Did he say ‘hospitality’?  Because frankly, given the attitude he conveys, and last week’s incident where a judge threw out an executive order providing equal rights for LGBT people, I don’t see much in the way of ‘hospitality’ in Louisiana.

The aforementioned law that was overturned by Judge Todd Hernandez did more than protect the LGBT community; it also protected state employees against discrimination based on race, religion, disability and age. It banned state agencies from discrimination, while offering an exemption for churches and religious organizations. All of which is now null and void in the state of Louisiana.  And the reason the executive order came before the judge in the first place?  Because the state’s Attorney General, Jeff Landry, a Republican who has described himself as a “campaigner for conservative family values” challenged it.

Last Thursday, Lowrie announced his intention to run for office in March and by Friday, he was being questioned over his prior Facebook post.  His reply was “We are a Christian nation. The threat of Islamic terrorism is real. Too many times, politicians are sometimes so afraid to speak the truth because of the PC culture in which we live. I’ll call it how I see it. We must tackle Islamic extremism head on. I believe President Trump will do that.”  No, Mr. Lowrie, we are a secular nation that welcomes all religions.  What part of the Constitution did you not understand?  And have you ever heard the term “separation of church and state”? Thus far, there are no other candidates for the seat Lowrie is seeking, thus he may run uncontested.

A visit to Lowrie’s Facebook page (link in first paragraph) shows more of his hateful bigotry, such as the meme below:

lowrie-2

However, I was encouraged by the majority of the comments I read that called him a racist, compared him to David Duke of KKK infamy, and said they would never vote for him.  Perhaps there is a degree of sanity in Louisiana after all, however if nobody runs against him … undoubtedly there are some who will vote for him, and he will slide into office, even without the support of the majority of the state’s residents.

In the past year, we have seen an increase in bigotry both in government and in society as a whole.  This increase is, in part, directly attributable to the bigoted speech of Donald Trump, among others.  No fewer than ten mosques have received threatening letters referring to Muslims as “children of Satan” and calling Trump the “new sheriff in town” who will “cleanse America and make it shine again” by eradicating the country’s Muslim population. “He’s going to do to you Muslims what Hitler did to the Jews,” the letters state.  Additionally, The Council of American Islamic Relations (CAIR) Chicago chapter received a letter riddled with pro-Trump material, anti-black slurs and anti-Muslim conspiracy theories. In part, the letter reads:

“Your comments about your fears for Muslims with a Trump presidency are unfounded. You have had your guy in the White House for eight years. He has done as he promised in 2008 on Meet the Press: reduced the U.S. military to a ‘level equal to that of our Muslim brothers.’ So it is QUITE ironic that you claim fear about Trump as president when we have just responded to 8 years of Islamic rule from a half-assed Negro, half-assed Muslim in the White House. No – you are NOT the victim. Sir: those who voted for Trump have been the victims of 8 years of rule by a Muslim fascist dictator, which is now over. When our next civil war comes, CAIR will be the focus of freedom-loving Americans, which you are NOT.”

The letter defies words. We simply cannot afford to continue to elect government representatives who are against diversity, who are driven by a hatred of those who are different, or who are committed to any form of discrimination.  It is the people in government who not only make the laws we must all live under, but also set the tone for society, lead by example, as it were.  I do not want any government employee who is a narrow-minded bigot in my employ.  Unfortunately, there is an element in this nation that seems hell-bent on making the United States a WASP nation, a nation of bigots, a nation of hate and fear.  I, for one, embrace the diversity, the richness of blended cultures in this country.  I have friends who represent at least seven different religions, at least three races, uncountable ethnicities, and each of them make my life richer, I learn from them and they from me.  I neither wish nor intend to live in a WASP nation.  We must stop NOW electing those who would make it so. This nation was founded on diversity … why do so many suddenly want to reverse the course?