Your Weekly Dose Of … Laughter???

Just as I like to start the work week with a bit of fun, a dash of humour, I like to end it with the same, so for your viewing pleasure, I give you …toons.png










Have a nice, relaxing weekend, my friends!  Let’s hope Tubby the Tuba in the Oval Office goes off for a nice game of golf somewhere and leaves his tweeting machine behind so that we can find some air to breathe for a change.  Hugs to you all …

Even Snarkier Than Usual Snippets …

Lies, LIES, and more LIES!!!  Does anybody really believe a word the ‘man’ in the Oval Office utters anymore?  Does anybody still believe this is a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”?  Does anybody blame me for being MAD???  Our friend Gronda told me yesterday that I can never be too snarky for her.  And so, if you thought I was snarky before … welcome to the Filosofa of 2019 … the Uber-Snarkstress!!!

So many bloomin’ lies … where to start?  Remember this one regarding the ‘need’ for a border wall …

“This should have been done by all of the presidents that preceded me.  And they all know it. Some of them have told me that we should have done it.”

Turned out, just as we could easily have predicted it would, that of the four living former presidents, not a single one ever said that to him, or even discussed it with him.  Just another lie that suited his purpose at the moment.  But his lapdog, Mike Pence, found a rather unique way to justify it.

“I know the president has said that that was his impression from previous presidents, previous administrations. I know I’ve seen clips of previous presidents talking about the importance of border security.”

Um, no Mikey … seeing a president say something on television does not constitute a direct, private conversation.  And talking about ‘border security’ does not necessarily imply a wall.  Wow, Mikey … how low will you stoop to shore up Trump’s lies?  Does it not leave a horrid taste in your mouth?  🤢

One down, 19 to go!

“I continue to stress that there is no good reason for a shutdown. The reality is thousands of federal employees & contractors have no paycheck in sight, small businesses that rely on them are suffering & there’s no reason they should be held hostage to a political dispute. It’s important that we continue the debate on how we address border security & address the President’s top priorities, but it’s possible to provide for security & to address the humanitarian crisis on our border, while still doing our jobs to keep the government fully functional.” – Lisa Murkowski, Republican Senator from Alaska

True or false?  

Senator Lindsey Graham spoke with Trump’s potential nominee for Attorney General, William Barr, recently.  After the conversation, Graham was asked if he felt Barr could be trusted to protect the Mueller investigation.  His answer?

“They’ve been personal friends for over 20 years. His opinion of Mr. Mueller is very, very high in terms of ethics and character and professionalism.”

He went on to say that Barr’s and Mueller’s wives attend Bible study together and Mueller has attended the weddings of two of Barr’s daughters.

Not exactly a written guarantee, and I’m not sure I trust Lindsey, but still, there’s something a bit comforting in knowing that Barr & Mueller are friends.  Let us hope Barr has a conscience and doesn’t pander to the whims of the madman in the Oval Office.

Ever hear the term ‘separation of church and state’???

The headline reads …

North Dakota lawmakers want to require Bible study in public schools

North Dakota is one of those states that largely seems to go unnoticed, so I have to wonder if this isn’t simply a cry for attention … “Hey … Look at us … We’re going to defy the Constitution … nyah nyah nyah nyah nyah … “

“A group of North Dakota lawmakers — all Republicans — have introduced legislation that would require the state’s public schools to teach a unit on the Bible. The unit could be on the Old Testament, the New Testament, or a mix of the two, and would count toward students’ social studies credit requirements.”

YO — North Dakota ‘lawmakers’ of the republican variety!!!  Listen up … some of us are NOT Christians, do NOT ascribe to the bible, but still, we send our kids to school!!!  Just what are we … those of us who are Muslims, Jews, Hindus and atheists … chopped liver???  But wait … North Dakota is not alone!  A member of the Florida State Legislature, Kim Daniels, has proposed a bill, HB195, that would require — rather than just permit, as is the case now — high schools to offer an “objective study of religion.”  In 2017, Kentucky passed the “Bible Literacy Bill”, the purpose of which was to “provide to students knowledge of biblical content, characters, poetry, and narratives that are prerequisites to understanding contemporary society and culture.”

In normal times, I would look for all these cases to land in front of a judge quite quickly, but … these are not normal times.  However, in the interest of fairness, I think each of these states should also require equal time for the study of Cinderella, Rapunzel, and Little Red Riding Hood!!!

The temper tantrum …

Since when is it appropriate to react to a temper tantrum by giving the thrower of the tantrum lots and lots of attention?  Try that with your toddler sometime and watch what happens!  So, on Wednesday, Trump met with Pelosi and Schumer for the 895th time in two weeks, and predictably Trump said, “I want my wall … WAH!  Gimme gimme gimme my wall!”  Equally predictable were Pelosi’s and Schumer’s responses:  “NO!”

So, Trump slams his little tiny fist on the desk and storms out, slamming the door behind him.  And then … the parents of this brat … the media, go into full circus mode and report it multiple times in every single media outlet both here in the U.S. and abroad.  Every. Single. One.  Thanks, guys … thanks a lot for giving the spoiled brat in the Oval Office the attention he was seeking!  Oh, and by the way … Trump brought candy to the meeting … did he really think a pack of Skittles was going to be worth $5.7 billion???

This little temper tantrum should have been ignored, just as we are well-advised to ignore the fits thrown by our two-year-olds.  It should never have even been reported, let alone turned into “the breaking news of the day”.  We already know he is a hot-headed bully … we really didn’t need to be reminded.

And now, I shall stop and breathe for a little while, perhaps even read a book that has nothing to do with politics in hopes of stabilizing both blood pressure and heart rate.  Good Morning, my friends.

Pittsburgh Does Not Want Him … Does Anybody?

Last Saturday, during a Shabbat service at the Tree of Life Congregation Synagogue in a suburb of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, a man by the name of Robert Bowers entered the synagogue saying that “Jews must die” and shooting randomly at congregants, ultimately killing eleven.  His reason?  He blamed Jews for the migrant caravan that he has been told by none other than Donald Trump, is coming here to take jobs, kill people, and ruin the United States.  Sadly, Mr. Bowers isn’t very intelligent, so he believed the blatant lies that Trump spewed.

To set the facts straight, the migrant caravan is comprised of families – men, women and children – who are fleeing from the violence in their home countries, hoping to seek asylum in the United States, work hard, assimilate into our society, and make a better, safer life for their children.  Trump’s tales that they are criminals and even Middle-Eastern terrorists, that they were financed by George Soros in order to affect the mid-term elections, are nothing but lies made up in the scrambled mind of a madman.

That same madman now plans to visit Pittsburgh, ostensibly to offer his “thoughts and prayers”, but in truth for a photo op in the days leading up to the election.  Most of Pittsburgh, it seems, do not want him. At last count, more than 44,000 people had signed an open letter from the leaders of a Pittsburgh-based Jewish group who say Trump will not be welcome in the city unless he denounces white nationalism and stops “targeting” minorities.  Here is the letter:

President Trump:

Yesterday, a gunman slaughtered 11 Americans during Shabbat morning services. We mourn with the victims’ families and pray for the wounded. Here in Mr. Rogers’ neighborhood, we express gratitude for the first responders and for the outpouring of support from our neighbors near and far. We are committed to healing as a community while we recommit ourselves to repairing our nation.

For the past three years your words and your policies have emboldened a growing white nationalist movement. You yourself called the murderer evil, but yesterday’s violence is the direct culmination of your influence.  

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you fully denounce white nationalism.

Our Jewish community is not the only group you have targeted.  You have also deliberately undermined the safety of people of color, Muslims, LGBTQ people, and people with disabilities. Yesterday’s massacre is not the first act of terror you incited against a minority group in our country.  

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you stop targeting and endangering all minorities.

The murderer’s last public statement invoked the compassionate work of the Jewish refugee service HIAS at the end of a week in which you spread lies and sowed fear about migrant families in Central America. He killed Jews in order to undermine the efforts of all those who find shared humanity with immigrants and refugees.

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you cease your assault on immigrants and refugees.

The Torah teaches that every human being is made b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.

This means all of us.

In our neighbors, Americans, and people worldwide who have reached out to give our community strength, there we find the image of God.  While we cannot speak for all Pittsburghers, or even all Jewish Pittsburghers, we know we speak for a diverse and unified group when we say:

President Trump, you are not welcome in Pittsburgh until you commit yourself to compassionate, democratic policies that recognize the dignity of all of us.


Bend the Arc: Pittsburgh Steering Committee

It is time we all step up to the plate and hold Donald Trump accountable for what he says, for the lies he cannot seem to stop telling.  Yes, republicans, that means YOU, too.  If you continue to support his hate speech, his incitement to riot, then you must share the guilt, share the blame, when innocent people are killed because somebody, somewhere took his words seriously.  Words matter.  It’s time to stop the runaway mouth that is attached to the ‘man’ in the White House before more people die for no reason other than Trump thinks he’s funny.

Despite the letter, Trump and Melania are planning a visit to Pittsburgh today.  Perhaps Melania can wear her lovely jacket that says, “I really don’t care, do U?”  Nothing would surprise me about this pair of unconscionable, cold, cruel narcissists.  You know what would make my day?  If he and Melania landed, and nobody came to greet them on the tarmac, there was no waiting Mayor Peduto, no Governor Wolfe … nobody.  Nobody lining the streets cheering, nobody to greet him anywhere.  That is what needs to happen in order for him to see that there are consequences for his childish, dangerous behaviour.

A Snarky Wednesday …

I am snarky today … yeah, I know, I’m snarky most everyday.  There’s just so darn much to be snarky about these days, don’t you think?

Can anybody tell me why the Trump ‘team’ is still picking on poor Hillary Clinton?  In the wee hours of 09 November 2016, Hillary Clinton conceded the election to Donald Trump and went home to lick her wounds.  But Trump still uses “Lock Her Up” as a rallying cry at his campaign events (he began campaigning for the 2020 election the day after inauguration) and he never misses an opportunity to blame her for one thing or another.  And now his little minions are jumping on the bandwagon.

Nobody is quite sure what it is that Kellyanne Conway does other than play ugly on television and put her feet on the furniture in the Oval Office, but this morning she appeared on Fox and Friends (Fox has ‘friends’?  Who knew?) and slammed Hillary Clinton for … living?

What started it this time?  Yesterday, Hillary did an interview with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, and while she basically said nothing that we haven’t all been saying, about the lack of civility these days and the Kavanaugh fiasco having been highly politicized, it must have struck a nerve with the Trumpites, for Kellyanne showed her ugly side (wait … does she have another side?)

“Usually when she opens her mouth, respectfully, she offends at least one half of the country, and she did it again, but I think her discourse now is a little bit dangerous.  I don’t like the implications there. It’s one thing to call us deplorable, irredeemable, laugh at people who don’t have all the privileges that she has had with her Ivy League law degree and her marriage to a much more popular man who was actually was a two-term president that she’ll never be … I don’t like that kind of talk. I avoid it.” — KellyAnne Conway, 10 October 2018

Perhaps if Trumpites attended to their own dirty house instead of trolling Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and others who they perceive as “the enemy”, they might manage to run the government?

Donald Trump is said to be the author of an OpEd that was published today in USA Today.  Now, we all know that he is not capable of stringing whole sentences together and has zero grammar or spelling skills, so presumably he did not write it, but told somebody on his staff what he wanted to say, and it was written for him.  The subject was ‘Medicare-For-All’, the controversial proposal to expand Medicare to cover all Americans.  There are serious and legitimate concerns with the proposal, but rather than address those, Trump used his space to rant about democrats.  And, according to The Washington Post’s Glenn Kessler, nearly every sentence contained a false or misleading statement.  Wow – that’s a record even for Trump.


I won’t go into details, for the topic is complex, and Trump’s rambling OpEd was disgusting, but I have a few issues with this whole thing.  First, he has a venue to speak to the people that is more fitting than an OpEd in a mid-market newspaper, and that is what used to be known as a ‘press conference’.  Typically, when a president wants to reach out and speak to the American people, he calls a press conference that will be covered by every major news outlet and is more likely to be heard by all.  Second, Trump’s rants against democrats in general are unprofessional, unbecoming of the office he holds, and have become extremely tiresome.  Their only purpose is to rally the masses – his supporters – and to the rest of us they are offensive and disgusting.  Third, as the so-called president of this country, I should think he has better, more important things to do with his time.  In the past two weeks, all he appears to have done is hold campaign rallies where he rants against democrats, ‘write’ an OpEd ranting against democrats, and use the swearing-in ceremony of a Supreme Court justice to rant against democrats.  As one who contributes to paying his salary (no, he doesn’t donate it to charity or back to the government), I am deeply disturbed, for he is not doing the job for which he is paid.  Fire the bum!  And fourth, health insurance is a complex subject and one that Trump, by his own admission last year, does not understand.  Wiser men need to be studying this, not the man who has never had to worry about whether he could afford to purchase his medicine.

Hurricane Michael has already begun its assault on the Florida coast and has been upgraded to a Category 4 hurricane.  We have a number of fellow-blogger friends who live in Florida, including Gronda, Horty (Dr. Rex), Don Massenzio, Maryplumbago, Patty Richardson and many others.  Please keep safe down there, my friends … and let us know that you are alright when you can.

Advice to the Free Press …

I wrote a post last night that was intended to occupy this space this afternoon.  It was a blowing-off-steam rant, and while it might have felt good to write, and while you might have declared “Hear! Hear!!!” upon reading it, it was of little or no value other than as a vent for my own angst.  So, I scrapped it … well, actually I still have it and you may yet see it one of these days, but just not today.

Robert ReichInstead, I came across this video clip by former Secretary of Labor, Robert Reich, that I think has far more value than my rant.  Reich served under Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Bill Clinton, and has been the Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy at the Goldman School of Public Policy at UC Berkeley since January 2006.  He speaks with reason rather than rants, reminding me much of our friend Keith.

In September 2015, his book Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few was published. In it, he warned that widening inequality would generate a blue-collar backlash that could take the form of a demagogue who blames immigrants and minorities for the growing economic stresses felt by the working class.  Sound familiar?

Since Donald Trump took office in January 2017, Reich has produced a number of articles and short videos explaining the dangers he believes lie ahead under Trump and his team of wealthy cohorts. In this particular video, he offers 9 points of advice to the free press that I find to be both reasonable and imperative for the press to observe if they are to remain relevant in this “Era of Trump”.

The video is short, just 2 minutes 34 seconds, and I really hope you will all take the time to watch, for although you and I are not writing for The Washington Post or the New York Times, we are writing for a public audience, our voices, albeit small, are heard, and we have a responsibility also.  So, without further ado, I give you Mr. Robert Reich …

Sunday’s Snarky Snippets …

Just because it’s Sunday doesn’t mean my snarky side takes a break.  Au contraire … I think it actually kicks into overdrive on the weekends.  Last night, as I was trolling about the news looking for things of interest, I came across a number of annoying little tidbits, and so this afternoon, I thought I would share them with you, so that you can be annoyed too!  Isn’t that nice of me?

About time!

headline-2We’re all pretty sick and tired of hearing Trump refer to the press as “the enemy of the people”, especially when the press is the best friend we have right now.  (Actually, we’re all pretty sick of Trump, period) So far, this has been a one-sided fight, with Trump ranting mindlessly and the press biting its collective tongue for the most part.  But now that they have begun receiving harassing phone calls, threatening emails and death threats … they finally got fed up, and they’re ready to fight back!

“The Fake News hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE. I am providing a great service by explaining this to the American People. They purposely cause great division & distrust. They can also cause War! They are very dangerous & sick!” – 7:38 AM – Aug 5, 2018

In response, The Boston Globe has a proposal: The Globe has reached out to editorial boards nationwide to write and publish editorials on August 16th denouncing what the newspaper called a ‘‘dirty war against the free press.’’ As of Friday, about 70 outlets had committed to editorials so far, with the list expected to grow. The publications ranged from large metropolitan dailies, such as the Houston Chronicle, Minneapolis Star Tribune, Miami Herald and Denver Post, to small weekly papers with circulations as low as 4,000.

Some media outlets are exercising caution, however. As The Washington Post editor Martin Baron said, “The way I view it is, we’re not at war with the administration, we’re at work. We’re doing our jobs.”  But others, such as journalism professor Jay Rosen, see it differently:

“The problem, of course, is that there is war on the press being conducted by the president of the United States and his supporters. To say otherwise would violate a different commandment. Yes, it’s imperative to keep your cool. It is equally imperative to state what is true.”

The goal is not to start an all-out mudfest, but rather to educate readers to realize that an attack on the First Amendment is unacceptable.  I applaud their effort.

She’ll fit right in …

melissa howardMelissa Howard is a 46-year-old small-business owner from Lakewood Ranch, Florida, who is running in the Republican primary for the Florida House of Representatives’ 73rd District, near Sarasota. Ms. Howard’s political career in today’s climate is sure to take off like a rocket, for she has most of the criteria:  dishonesty, cheating, lack of values, etc.  Ms. Howard may have actually taken lessons from Donald Trump in lying.

Howard claims to have earned a degree in Marketing from Miami University in Ohio in 1996.  Only a few problems with that claim.  Miami University does not offer a degree in Marketing, and Ms. Howard attended Miami U from 1990 through 1994, without ever earning any degree – she failed to graduate!  Wow! She may actually be Trump’s illegitimate daughter, eh?

Her campaign accuses her opponent, Sarasota attorney Tommy Gregory, of making up the story, but Miami University general counsel Robin Parker verified the facts that prove Howard lied.  Case closed.

The face of the GOP???Todd KincannonTodd Kincannon was once a lawyer and was once the Executive Director of the South Carolina GOP. (It’s difficult to discern whether they are just nasty, or certifiably insane) He has never seemed, to those with a bit of sense, to be quite sane, but such is the face of the GOP today anyway.  A few examples:

  • During the 2013 Super Bowl, he sent out a flurry of racially-charged tweets about the then-recently murdered Trayvon Martin, Hurricane Katrina and black people. I will not quote them, for the language he used was filthy and not fit for repeating.  In an interview later that year, he said he liked to make those tweets to rile people and watch their outrage for fun.

  • In 2015, Kincannon was arrested on a domestic violence charge after his wife told officers that she was in fear for her life. The two had a fight after attending an event, and Kincannon screamed at her while he was driving, leading her to lower her window and yell at passing drivers for help.

  • In August 2015, the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended Kincannon’s license to practice law and transferred his client files to another attorney in order to “protect the interests of [his] clients”.

But the latest episode is … beyond anything I could have imagined.  On July 26th, he killed his mother’s dog, stabbing the 10-year-old beagle and cattle dog mix multiple times on the kitchen floor of his mother’s home.  Why?  According to what he told police when they showed up in response to a call from his father …

“I’m Jesus, I’m not making it up. I have a sign. I’m about to get crucified in the media. The reason I killed the dog is this, it’s real simple … I’m sorry, I think y’all are going to have to take me to the Psych Institution, I get that. But I’ll tell you from a legal standpoint you know, it’s in the State Constitution that God is sovereign and I honestly think he told me to do it.”

Words fail me.

The face of the GOP – once again!

Diana OrrockDiana Orrock is a national committeewoman for the Nevada GOP.  On July 17th, Caitlin Johnstone of the online publishing platform Medium, penned an article titled “Please Just F***ing Die Already” in which she wrote …

“A study by the Journal of Patient Safety says that somewhere between 210,000 and 440,000 patients die every year as a result of medical errors. If there was a God, murderous warmongering neocon John McCain would have been one of them.”

Diana Orrock apparently thought the article was so wonderful that she tweeted it to all her Twitter followers.  She qualified her decision in an interview with CNN, saying that she wasn’t wishing death upon McCain, merely agreeing with the sentiments of the article. She later tweeted an apology of sorts, calling her initial tweet ‘disrespectful’.  I’m sure she was ‘encouraged’ to issue the apology by wiser heads within the GOP.

It seems to me that the GOP’s new platform is foul language, disrespect, racism, dishonesty, and a lack of integrity all around.  Remember when “GOP” stood for Grand Old Party?  Now it stands for Galling Obnoxious Psychotics.  Is it any wonder, then, that many are leaving the Republican Party?

Bad Hair anyone?

I have to ask … is really bad hair a requirement for a populist politician, or is it a trait of the intellectually challenged?

Left to right:  UK’s Boris Johnson, US’ Donald Trump, Nobody’s Steve Bannon

And on that note, I conclude today’s Snarky Snippets, for I have a bad taste in my mouth and think I’ll go brush my teeth now.  Have a great rest-of-your-Sunday, folks!Sunday

Thoughts on Censorship …

I applauded the recent banning of Alex Jones and his InfoWars program by a number of social media outlets, notably Facebook, YouTube, Apple and Spotify.  Twitter has resisted the call by the media and politicians to ban Jones, saying that thus far he is not in violation of their terms of service.  Makes one wonder if they even have ‘terms of service’, doesn’t it? I noted this in a recent post, and a reader replied that he disliked censorship in any form and was perfectly capable of deciding what to see or not to see.  Which made me start pondering … again … sigh.

Alex Jones’ hate-filled lies and rhetoric pose a very real danger.  After his lies about Sandy Hook, families who had lost their children in that tragedy were threatened by people who listened to and believed Jones.  One family has had to move 7 times since 2012 in order to protect their remaining children from harm.  Words have very real consequences.

The First Amendment of the United States Constitution guarantees freedom of speech, but is it an absolute guarantee to unfettered and irresponsible speech?  I think not.  There are a few restrictions on free speech, as have been noted before, such as yelling “FIRE!!!” in a theater full of people, or “BOMB!!!” on an airplane.  It is the opinion of this writer that those restrictions are not enough.  With the privilege, or ‘right’ to free speech comes responsibility, and if we do not accept the responsibility, then we lose the right.

In a perfect world, it would be lovely to allow everyone complete and unrestricted free speech, but we do not live in a perfect world.  We live in a world where a percentage of the population is under-educated and will believe whomever yells the loudest.  We live in a world where ignorance abounds and there are those who delight in scandal, juicy gossip, and conspiracy theories.  This is the crowd that Alex Jones, Sean Hannity, Mike Cernovich and Jack Posobiec play to, the audience they can rile and incite to a frenzy.  This is not harmless entertainment, but more than once has led to violence and the threat of violence.

Censorship is a slippery slope.  Where do you draw the line?  Who decides where the line gets drawn?  I can well understand my reader’s concerns about censorship, for it would be all too easy for it to be taken too far.  But simply because something is hard, or is likely to offend some, doesn’t mean you shelve the notion.  To those who would argue against any degree of censorship, my response is that if people would think for themselves, learn to read between the lines, ask questions and be discerning, then we wouldn’t need to censor.  People like Alex Jones would be out doing real jobs to earn their living instead of feeding off the remains of the ignorant, for there would be no market for his brand of hate.

There is an argument that ‘censorship’ can only be applied to government, not private enterprise.  Again, it’s a slippery slope, and there is the potential for censorship by private companies to lead to discrimination against entire groups such as minorities or LGBT people.  This, too, must be carefully considered, for the potential lies just under the surface, waiting to bubble up in a nasty mess of bigotry and racism.

Facebook and the rest who have banned Jones have done so, not out of good conscience, but because the hue and cry against Jones was loud enough to get their attention and they saw visions of dollar signs flying away.  My guess is that once the brouhaha dies down, they will let ol’ Alex back in again, albeit quietly.  It is said that the InfoWars website gets some 10 million views per month.  More than 300 thousand people every day tune in to listen to an ugly man spew lies, filth and hatred.  This, folks, is what is wrong in society.  And because at least some of those 300 thousand people will believe Jones and then decide to take the law into their own gun-filled hands, I’m so sorry, but yes, we do need to censor this type of speech.

It is critical that decisions regarding any form of censorship be made by wise and well-informed people, people without a political agenda, people who are open-minded, fair and honest.  Where do we find such people?  NOT in the halls of government, but rather in think tanks and academia, I should think.  Certainly people with self-interest and the motivation of money, such as Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, are not qualified to sit on the panel.

Again, the reason we need censorship is the same reason that we need sensible gun regulations:  responsibility.  When a large portion of this nation refuses to step up to the plate and act as responsible citizens, placing the value of human lives above their own desires, when they refuse to ‘self-police’, then there need to be regulations.  Such regulations must be fair and invoke common sense, but they must exist.  Even some of the most democratic nations in the world have both gun laws and hate speech laws, and so must we.  Your thoughts?

Note to Readers in Response to Comments:

Dear Readers …

So many of you adamantly spoke against any form or degree of censorship, that I decided to respond to your comments collectively, rather than individually.

My goal with this post was to express my opinion and hopefully get some interesting dialog started.  I found, interestingly, that my friends from across the pond agreed that some degree and type of limitation on free speech is both necessary and desirable, while the majority of my U.S. friends are dead set against any limitation on the 1st Amendment. 

For those who believe that hate speech laws in other countries are typically used to silence opposition, I respectfully disagree, having over the years become friends with people from the Netherlands, Austria, Germany, and the UK, all of whom agree that the laws in their countries that make Nazi symbols and speech that is intended to incite violence, such as Alex Jones’ are fair and just laws and do not interfere with ordinary and responsible free speech.  This article in The Atlantic, written by a citizen of the Netherlands who now lives in Charlottesville, Virginia, tells the story from across the pond.  Remember that Europe has a much more direct link to the Nazis and Hitler, and are thus, perhaps, more sensitive to that sort of hate speech than we in the U.S.  

One reader said ‘goodbye’ to me over this post, which is certainly her prerogative, but does nothing to further civil discourse, but rather shuts down any attempt to see each other’s point of view.

As I tried, but obviously failed, to convey in my post, I do not like censorship either.  BUT … even less, I like that which endangers innocent human lives.  In my opinion, Alex Jones ought to be sitting behind bars for his role in inciting people to make threats against others.  Those who made the threats should be sitting right next to him in that prison cell.  Instead, they all run free while innocent people whose children were killed have to change their phone numbers and addresses to keep their families safe.  This is where I run into an ethical problem with unlimited free speech, and I sincerely believe that the framers of the Constitution, the Founding Fathers as we often refer to them, would be horrified at what is today protected as “free speech”. 

I sincerely do appreciate all the comments today, and have spent quite a bit of time pondering them and debating how to best respond to your opinions.  I certainly agree that this is a slippery slope, and not one to be taken lightly, but I must stand by my opinion that there simply MUST be consequences for falsehoods and speech that puts people’s lives and livelihoods in danger, for otherwise we are on a path toward anarchy, and humans have proven themselves incapable of handling unlimited freedom, I think.

One Of The Biggest Grifters Ever, Wilbur Ross, Works In The White House

Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross is, like almost every single one of Trump’s cabinet picks, a real piece of work. I knew this from the beginning, but upon reading Gronda’s post, even I was amazed at just how greedy and dishonest Mr. Ross is! Please take a few minutes to read this post and understand just how Trump has, instead of draining the swamp, filled it up with some of the vilest creatures that walk on two legs! Thank you, Gronda!

Gronda Morin

Image result for images of wilbur ross WILBUR ROSS

Remember the republican President Donald Trump’s promise frequently delivered to his fawning supporters while he was on the campaign trail, to drain the swamp in Washington DC. This is a promise that he’s not kept. Instead, he has filled the swamp with greedier insatiable swamp critters like the US Commerce Secretary, Wilbur Ross.

As per a 8/7/18 Daily Beast report, “Wilbur Ross could be “among the biggest grifters in American history,” according to Forbes magazine, amid new allegations that he may have wrongly siphoned off more than $120 million from business associates. An investigation, citing 21 people who have worked with the man who is now President Trump’s commerce secretary, claims Ross stole “a few million here and a few million there” from various companies.   Forbes reports: “All told, these allegations—which sparked lawsuits, reimbursements and an SEC fine—come to more than $120 million.” Ross’ former colleagues…

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And The Pile Of Lies Grows … As Does Pinocchio’s Nose

In my post yesterday, A Session with Sessions , I claimed in no uncertain terms that I firmly believed Jeff Sessions lied under oath on Tuesday, 13 June 2017.  I was fairly confident at that time that proof of his lies would be forthcoming, but I had no idea that it would come so soon.

On Tuesday, Jeff Sessions testified, under oath, that he did not believe he had any contacts with lobbyists working for Russian interests over the course of Trump’s campaign. Today, two days later, Richard Burt, a lobbyist who has represented Russian interests in Washington, confirmed that he attended two dinners hosted by Jeff Sessions during the 2016 campaign.

Not only that, but Burt advised then candidate Trump on his first major foreign policy speech, a role that brought him into contact with Sessions personally. The speech on which Mr. Burt corroborated was delivered … wait for it … at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington on 27 April 2016, the very date that Mr. Sessions denies having had any contact with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Well, he actually said he ‘doesn’t remember’ any conversation with Kislyak … I suppose there is a difference.

According to a report by The Guardian …

“Burt, who previously served on the advisory board of Alfa Capital Partners, a private equity fund where Russia’s Alfa Bank was an investor and last year was lobbying on behalf of a pipeline company that is now controlled by Gazprom, Russia’s state-controlled energy conglomerate, first told Politico in October that he had been invited to two dinners that were hosted by Sessions last summer, at the height of the presidential campaign.

Sessions, a former senator for Alabama who was chairman of the Trump campaign’s national security committee, reportedly invited Burt so that he could discuss issues of national security and foreign policy.”

Mr. Sessions … do you know the meaning of the word ‘perjury’?

Carter Page, a former Trump campaign adviser whose interactions with Russia are under FBI investigation and who is known to have been a liaison between the Trump campaign and Russian officials last year, said he found “the entire line of questioning to be near the pinnacle of witch hunt tactics. In the grand scheme of things, the severe civil rights abuses by Clinton-Obama-Comey regime carried out against myself and other supporters of the Trump campaign in their illegal attempts to influence the 2016 election will help clarify how irrelevant all these petty side-questions are.”

Who knew there was even a “Clinton-Obama-Comey regime”?  And who knew they were on a witch hunt to bring down poor Mr. Page and the Trump supporters?  Mr. Page, it should be noted, has written or is writing a book.

Truth:  that which is true or in accordance with fact or reality; a fact or belief that is accepted as true.

The concept of truth, of fact, has been blurred or completely lost in Trump’s world of alternative facts.  We can never believe a single word, without first checking to confirm the veracity, that is emitted from the mouths of Trump and his minions.  The dwindling number of Trump supporters still claim to believe, to hang on his every word, but … are they trying to kid us, or are they trying to convince themselves?

In less than five months, Trump, Sessions, Tillerson, Kushner and the rest have turned what was once a fairly stable democracy into a shambles, a joke.  There is no transparency, there is not even any longer a pretense of operating the government ‘of the people, by the people, and for the people’We The People have been shoved aside, not important in the grand scheme of things. Donald J. Trump is not a president, but a wanna-be king, and his hopes are that the likes of Vladimir Putin can help him find his crown. His goal was never to “make America great again” … it was always to “make Trump rich again”. And if achieving that goal requires lies, corruption, scandal and other crimes against the nation, so be it, for Donald aims to have his way.

lies.jpgLike an animal caught in a trap, Trump is lashing out at his critics.  On Thursday, he again tweeted that he was the victim of a massive “witch hunt”.  I know I am tired of hearing his “oh poor me” tweets of woe, but apparently even some of his own are tired of it.  Republican Senator John Thune was asked on “Morning Joe” Thursday if Bob Mueller is a man of integrity and whether he had done anything so far in the conduct of the investigation that lead him (Thune) to believe Mueller is conducting a witch hunt.  Thune’s response:

“No, he is a man of integrity, Mark, and he needs to be able to do his work. And I think it’s better for all of us if that work continues. It’s — obviously he is going to get to the bottom and he is going to find the facts, and I think that’s his role. And I think we ought to let him continue to do that and I assume at some point there will be an end to all this. He’ll have done his investigation and there will be whatever findings there are.”

Even Trump lapdog Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell could not support or defend Trump’s tweet, saying only, “I typically don’t comment on the president’s tweeting habits.”

I have nothing but pity and contempt for any who still believe, or claim to believe, the lies of Trump, Sessions and the rest, for they are the ones who wrought upon this nation the utter chaos under which we are now forced to live, and they have only themselves to blame for the destruction of our democracy, our society, and our sanity.