New White House H.R. Director …

melania-2Allow me to introduce the new White House Director of Human Resources … Melania Trump!  Yes, folks, Melania is now in charge, it would appear of decisions regarding employees of this administration.

mira ricardelMira Ricardel is a deputy national security advisor who has served in a number of positions during her career.  Earlier in the Trump administration, she served as a Special Assistant to the President and Associate Director in the Office of Presidential Personnel, and then Under Secretary of Commerce for Export Administration. Earlier in her career, she served as a foreign policy advisor to U.S. Senator Bob Dole and held higher-level positions in the U.S. Department of Defense during the Presidency of George W. Bush. On April 23, 2018, new U.S. National Security Advisor John R. Bolton named her as his incoming deputy. She is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.

Melania wants her fired.  But why???

Who knows?  It is said that when Melania wasted spent taxpayer money to travel to the African continent last month, the two women quarreled – some say over the seating arrangement on the plane, while others have differing explanations.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Melania, without evidence, believes that Ms. Ricardel was behind some of the negative stories about her.  Oh yes … silly me … I forgot that Melania is “the most bullied person in the world” or some such nonsense.

She also reportedly clashes with US Secretary of Defense James Mattis over “staffing decisions and policy differences”.  WHOA … wait just a minute there … Melania isn’t the policy-maker here!  We The People did not elect Melania!  Well, in truth, we didn’t elect her husband, either, but at least his name was on the ballot … I did not see Melania’s anywhere, did you?  But to the point … why would she even be putting her two-cents worth in on policy issues???  She’s a former nude model and as far as I know does not hold a degree in political science or foreign policy!  But then … neither does her husband. Oh, my head!!!

So … yesterday, Melania’s ‘office’ (why does she need an ‘office’ when she doesn’t do a damn thing?) released the following statement …

“It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she [Ricardel] no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House.”

I dislike John Bolton … immensely, in fact.  But, if there are issues with Ms. Ricardel, they are Bolton’s to work out, to decide on a course of action, not Donald Trump’s and most assuredly not Melania’s.  Has anybody in this administration ever heard the term “chain of command”?  And firing a member of the National Security Council because the prez’ wife didn’t like the seating arrangements on an airplane???  What the heck kind of Banana Republic has this nation turned into???

It was hard enough trying to keep up with one blathering, ignorant, narcissistic fool in the White House, but now we have at least two to worry about?  Where is ‘due process’?  Where is ‘chain of command’?  Where is … where is democracy?  Where is the idea that we elect people with the expectation that they will act in the best interest of the nation and its people?  Instead, we have a whiny bitch married to an incompetent president and between them they are calling all the shots.  What could possibly go wrong?

Rainy Day Snarky Snippets

I slept poorly last night, waking about every 20 minutes.  I awoke to a number of unpleasantries, such as a set of dirty sheets in the hallway because Princess Nala had an accident in Miss Goose’s bed, an extra large package weighing about 5,000 pounds being delivered in the rain, and a cat fight.  As such, I am feeling rather snarky this afternoon and so, you know what that means, right?  Snarky Snippets!


heineken-lager-beer-amsterdam-netherlands-10519080A portion of the population in the U.S. and Canada scoff at the notion of climate change.  Rather than believe all of the highly-educated scientists worldwide who have studied the data and done the research, they follow Donald Trump’s lead 🙄 and claim it is a hoax, it is a scam, or that “sure, the weather is changing, but that’s a natural phenomenon – remember the ice age?” No, actually I don’t … it was a bit before my time.  But take heart!  I have found something that is going to make those skeptics sit up and take notice!  Check out this headline from The Guardian

Trouble brewing: climate change to cause ‘dramatic’ beer shortages

Extreme heatwaves and droughts will increasingly damage the global barley crop, meaning a common ingredient of the world’s favourite alcoholic beverage will become scarcer. Key brewing nations are forecast to be among the worst hit, including Belgium, the Czech Republic and Ireland.

The researchers said that compared with life-threatening impacts of global warming such as the floods and storms faced by millions, a beer shortage may seem relatively unimportant. But they said it would affect the quality of life of many people.

“There is little doubt that for millions of people around the world, the climate impacts on beer availability and price will add insult to injury,” said Prof Dabo Guan at the University of East Anglia, one of the research team. “There is something fundamental in the cross-cultural appreciation of beer.

“If you still want to still have a couple of pints of beer while you watch the football, then climate change [action] is the only way out. This is the key message.”

This, even more than food and water shortages, even more than un-breathable air, even more than the threat of extinction, will be a wake-up call to Trump’s base!


I typically think that it is wrong for the media to critique a politician’s family.  Wives, husbands, and children ought to be off-limits, for they are not responsible for what their political spouse or parent says or does.  There are exceptions, however, in the case of either grown children or spouses when they act in ways that seem to invite criticism.  Melania Trump is one such exception.Melania-jacketWhen she went to visit the New Hope Children’s Shelter in McAllen, Texas, on 21 June, wearing a jacket (it was hot that day, no need for a jacket at all) that read, “I really don’t care, do U?” she came under fire by the press, and many of us were seeing red, myself included.  Her staff insisted there was no message intended, but nobody fell for that.  The jacket was ugly, and Melania typically dresses like a high-class call girl, so it was quite outside her ‘norm’.

Now we get the real story.  In an interview with ABC News on Saturday morning, she said …

“It was for the people and for the left-wing media who are criticizing me. I want to show them I don’t care. You could criticize whatever you want to say. But it will not stop me to do what I feel is right. I often asking myself, if I had not worn that jacket, if I will have so much media coverage. I would prefer they would focus on what I do and on my initiatives, than what I wear.”

So, first of all, her ‘initiatives’ amount to nothing.  She is against bullying, but thus far has done next to nothing toward ending bullying, and in truth, she is the exact wrong person to convey that message, for she is married to the biggest bully the world has ever seen.  Secondly, let’s think about something for a minute … she was on her way to visit a detention center where, because of her husband’s actions, 55 immigrant children were being held apart from their parents, and her primary thought is to send a message to the press and by extension, those of us who don’t support her husband.  Okaaaaaayyyy

In the same interview, she claimed that she is the most bullied person in the world.  Back up a minute … Hillary Clinton was slammed by the republicans, most notably Donald Trump, for her husband’s affairs.  It was claimed that she “enabled” him, although I always felt that what was really being said is the same tired old story that if a man cheats, it must surely be because his wife isn’t taking good care of him at home.  But has anybody blamed Melania for Donald’s affairs?  Not that I’ve heard.  Michelle Obama was slammed for wearing a sleeveless dress … a dress that was quite conservative but just happened to be sleeveless.  And yet … Melania, once a nude model, cries because her style of clothing is critiqued?  It sounds to me like somebody has some growing up to do!

As I said, I don’t typically believe in picking on the president’s family, but in this case, Melania is getting exactly what she deserves from the press.


More than once, Donald Trump has belittled Senator Elizabeth Warren for claiming Native American ancestry, even going so far as to routinely refer to her as ‘Pocahontas’.  Nice way for a nation’s leader to behave, right?  He even went so far as to renew his diatribe against her at a November 2017 White House event honoring Navajo code-breakers.Trump-Navajo-code-breakersIn July, Trump again returned to the attack, offering a $1 million personal donation to Warren’s favorite charity if she took a DNA test and it confirmed her Cherokee ancestry.

“I will give you a million dollars to your favorite charity, paid for by Trump, if you take the test and it shows you’re an Indian [sic].

This morning, Senator Warren called Trump’s bluff and released a genetic analysis done by Stanford University geneticist Carlos Bustamante who stated that the facts support her claim to Native American ancestry.  So, Trump picked up his pen and wrote a check, right?  Surely you jest.  Kellyanne Conway responded …

“I haven’t looked at the test. I know that everybody likes to pick their junk science or sound science depending on the conclusion it seems some days. But I haven’t looked at the DNA test and it really doesn’t interest me…”

And Trump simply denies he ever said it, despite the fact that his statement, made at one of his annoying rallies, was recorded by none other than Fox News!  Senator Warren has requested that he make the check to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center.  Any bets as to whether the check ever gets written?trump-native-Am-toon


Thus concludes another episode of Filosofa’s Snarky Snippets, as I have sheets to wash.  Have a great week!

Nightmare in America

A quick glance at tonight’s headlines prove that our world has gone nuts!

  • Trump takes credit for ending nonexistent violent crime wave

  • Taylor Swift endorses Democrat, enrages Nazis; “Aryan goddess” no more

  • Melania Trump doesn’t really care what U think about her offensive African safari outfit

  • Trump trolls women again, this time over Kavanaugh vote

  • Coal Is Killing the Planet. Trump Loves It

  • Trump Gives Dictators the Green Light

  • Trump uses swearing-in ceremony to apologize to Kavanaugh

Think back two or three years, if you can, to a saner time.  Would any of these stories have seemed ‘normal’ back then?  The ‘president’ of the United States making up a crime wave so he can take credit for fixing a problem that never happened, and then trolling women and applauding the death of the planet and apologizing to a man who deserves no apology?  Can you imagine Michelle Obama offending an entire race of people and thumbing her nose at her critics?  Can you imagine Michelle Obama wearing a coat that said “I don’t really care, do U?” to visit immigrant children who had been taken from their parents for no reason, and were being kept in cages?  The world is going nuts and the Nazis are offended because some young singer endorses a democrat????  Seriously???

No, don’t bother pinching yourself … I have tried that, and every morning when I wake up, I’ve hoped to find this was all a bad, bad nightmare, but the results are always the same, and after nearly two years, I’ve concluded that unless my name is Rip Van Winkle, this is the new ‘real world’.  It is not, as Aldous Huxley envisioned, a Brave New World, but simply a crazy new world, and one that is applauded by some who were apparently bored with sanity, for Trump’s approval ratings have been on the rise for a week and are as high as they have been since the first month he was in office.

What’s to love, you ask?  Well, apparently some growing portion of this nation has decided that they want a ‘leader’ who …

  • Screams and rages instead of engaging in normal speech
  • Treats women as second-class citizens and sex objects without apology
  • Commends white supremacist hate groups
  • Lies, and covers those lies with more lies
  • Ignores real crises and addresses imaginary ones
  • Verbally assaults allies while pandering to enemies
  • Cheats hardworking people, as well as the U.S. government he is the head of
  • Is a bigot and a bully

And I could go on, but you get the picture.  It’s hard to believe that just a few short years ago we had a President and First Lady who were dignified, intelligent, kind and cared about the people of this nation, isn’t it?  But some people must have found that too boring, too mundane … or perhaps just too black.  And so, each morning we wake and find ourselves somewhere between the Land of Oz and Dystopia.

The many faces of Donald Trump:

I have read a number of articles today that say Trump’s rants against Dr. Christine Ford, his unsubstantiated conspiracy claims against democrats, and his rants against women in general last week are actually helping the republican candidates running in the mid-terms.  Say WHAT???  Donald Trump … the so-called president of the United States, a nation of some 320 million people … stands on a stage and mocks a woman who is the victim of sexual assault … proudly parades an an alcoholic sexual predator and leads him to the Supreme Court … rants and rages against any and all women simply for being women … and this is HELPING the GOP candidates?  People … somebody has got their heads screwed on backward!  Somebody … lots of somebodies, apparently, have traded their bloomin’ brains for a box of flippin’ Cracker Jacks!

When Trump first took office, and for a while beyond that, I believed that he would be removed from office before he could do lasting damage.  I foresaw impeachment in the cards (remind me to get a new deck of cards!) and thought his ‘executive orders’ could easily enough be reversed by the next president, probably before the end of 2017.  Whew!  I was wrong, wrong, and wrong.  Here we are nearly at the end of 2018 and he has dug in deep.  What I hadn’t foreseen was that the members of Congress who were supposed to be overseeing him, would instead say “Yessir, Mr. Trump, sir … how far you want me to bend over … how high you want me to jump, sir, Mr. Trump, sir.”  Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnell, Jeff Flake, Susan Collins, Chuck Grassley … every morning they get on their knees and lick Donald Trump’s filthy dirty boots, and this nation will never be the same, for they have handed him the keys to the kingdom and he has shat all over it.

Meanwhile, we wake every morning with trepidation, wondering what new horrors await us, and we find our ways to cope with life in the Era of Trump.  Some drink too much, some take drugs, some beat their wives or children, some cry a lot, while some of us internalize and simply hope each night when we go to bed that we won’t awaken in the morning, for we know by now that the nightmare is here to stay.  This is the legacy of Donald Trump, folks.

 

Super-Snarky Friday …

Well, Jeff Flake and Susan Collins will vote to confirm Kavanaugh. surprise. not.  The Senate has the votes to confirm the jerk and by Monday, no doubt he will have donned his robes. And that is all I have to say about that. PPBBBBBTTTTTHHHH.


For those of you who may have wondered whether I retain the capacity of logical thought, allow me to share with you a conversation between me and myself this morning as I went about the Friday house chores:

Me: Chris’ birthday is on the 26th.  If it’s a weekday, we should send her flowers to her office.

Myself:  What day of the week is it?

Me:  I dunno.  What’s today?

Myself:  Friday.

Me:  No, stupid, I mean the date.

Myself:  I dunno.  Yesterday was the 4th.

Me:  (pulls cellphone out of pocket, clicks on calendar app)  Hey!  It’s a Friday … three weeks from today.

Myself:  Duh.


Juan Romero died on Monday of a heart attack.  He was only 68, one year older than me.  Who, you ask, is Juan Romero?Juan RomeroJuan was 18 years old in 1968 and was working as a busboy when Robert F. Kennedy was fatally shot in the kitchen of the Ambassador hotel in Los Angeles, California.  Juan has carried the guilt of Kennedy’s death with him his entire life, for he had reached out to shake Kennedy’s hand and as Kennedy stopped to shake hands with the young busboy, the shots rang out.

“If I wouldn’t have extended my hand, he wouldn’t have gotten shot,” he once told his daughter Josefina.  Of course, we all know better, and perhaps so did Juan, but he nonetheless carried the guilt for 50 years.Juan Romero-2


Melania Trump is touring Africa … nobody is quite sure why, other than she wanted to get as far away from her husband as possible – who can blame her?  Anyway, my friend Senam – he calls me his Big Sis and he is my li’l Bro – who lives in Ghana wrote to me a couple of nights ago to say that she was visiting Ghana, but that it was very low key … “Nobody really cares.”

Rather a fitting statement, don’t you think?Melania-jacket


Ben and Jackee Belnap of Salt Lake City, Utah are not very happy campers today.  They had borrowed money from Ben’s parents to buy University of Utah American football season tickets, and had been saving to repay them.  Finally, they managed to save the $1,060 (for football tickets???  What were these people thinking???) and had taken the money from their locked safe and put it on the counter so they wouldn’t forget it when they went to visit the parents.

Enter two-year-old son, Leo.  Now, at two years of age, I find this one hard to credit, but the Belnaps have already shown they aren’t the brightest bulbs in the pack, right?  Apparently Jackee had taught little Leo to use the family’s office paper shredder.  When Leo spotted that envelope full of cash cluttering up the kitchen counter, he decided to be helpful … and … yeah, you got it … Leo shredded the entire $1,060!  Where were Ben & Jackee?  Who knows, but they weren’t watching Leo!  Shredders are dangerous things … they can mangle fingers and other body parts.  In my opinion, being in full snark-mode today, this couple got exactly what the deserved.  And Ben’s parents will need to wait a while longer to get their money, but hey … they raised Ben, so maybe they get what they deserve too!


Maybe I do have one last thing to say regarding the Kavanaugh fiasco.  This morning, the a$$ in the White House declared that the two women who confronted Jeff Flake in the elevator last week were paid to do so.

“Don’t fall for it! Also, look at all of the professionally made identical signs. Paid for by Soros and others. These are not signs made in the basement from love!”

Way to go, Republicans, for voting this jackass into office.  Thanks a million.


And on that note, I shall stop for today.  I am obviously in no mood to play nice.  I hope you all have a great weekend and I’ll be back in the morning with Saturday Surprise!

Even Snarkier Than Usual Snippets …

As I write this on Thursday night, I am in a foul humour.  Everything in the news annoys and there is seemingly no such thing as ‘good’ news this week.  And so, here is my roundup of Snarky Snippets with a bit more snark than usual.


The Ultimate Hypocrisy …

Wednesday, 20 June was World Refugee Day, an international event designed to draw attention to the global refugee crisis. There could be no possible appropriate response by the United States, under the current circumstances, and silence would have been the best option.  But this is the era of Trump and silence is never an option, so Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued the following statement … a study in hypocrisy …World Refugee Day.jpg

It is one thing to be a bastard, another to keep reminding the world.


The Party’s Over …

The annual Congressional picnic was scheduled for yesterday on the White House lawn.  It was cancelled, just one day prior, by none other than Donald Trump who said it, “just didn’t feel right.” Wait … he feels?  Anything?  Whoa … could’a fooled me!  Anyway, of course there was some other reason.  The first thought was that he was paying back those who essentially forced his hand and made him sign an executive order promising to stop abusing children by separating them from their parents at our southern border.  And that may well be part of it, but there’s more.

Then some speculated that he was punishing Congress for not coming to a vote on an immigration bill that would also provide him with $25 billion to fund his ignoble wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.  And that, too, may be a part of it, but there’s more.

As taxpayers, you might want to note that the chairs and other amenities such as portaloos had already been paid for and delivered.  Steaks and other meats had already been purchased (yeah, you paid for them) and even pre-cooked.  I suppose the White House staff will eat well for the next few days, eh?

“I was just walking over to the Oval Office and I said, you know, it doesn’t feel right to have a picnic for Congress when we’re working on doing something very important. It didn’t feel exactly right to me. We’ll make it another time when things are going extremely well.”   (After you’re out of office, then?)

PAH!!!  It feels okay to him to denigrate our friends, to impose unreasonable and unnecessary tariffs that will hurt global economies?  It feels fine to him to have elicit affairs while he wife just gave birth to his son?  It feels right to him to abuse some 2,000 children seeking asylum with their parents?  And it felt right to him to attend a high-dollar fund raiser at his Washington hotel the same night? He actually has a conscience???  I think not.  The real reason Donald Trump canceled the annual Congressional picnic yesterday was …

… they told him he had to bring the potato salad!


Priorities, Anyone???

Yesterday, Melania Trump traveled to the U.S.-Mexican border to tour a facility where detained immigrant children are being held hostage by the U.S. government.  Now, much could be said here, but … what is the biggest talking point?  Melania’s bloomin’ jacket!!!  That’s right, folks, it matters more what she wears than what she says, does or thinks.  Well, since it’s doubtful that she thinks very much, scratch that one.

In truth, though, her jacket was a slap in the face … to the children she went to ‘visit’, to the immigrants seeking asylum in this nation, and to every concerned citizen in this nation.  Her jacket, a hooded green army jacket with white lettering on the back that reads “I REALLY DON’T CARE DO U?”, was beyond inappropriate.  It was ridiculous, it was abominable, and yes, it was very much a slap in the face. First Lady Melania Trump Visits Immigrant Detention Center On U.S. BorderThere was a time I pitied Melania, felt sorry for her having to be married to a narcissist like  Donald Trump, even though she deserves whatever anguish he puts her through, since she married him for money and citizenship.  But all bets are off, and I now think that Melania is every bit as selfish, narcissistic and uncaring as her husband.  Too bad she didn’t just stay in bed and watch t.v. all day, for her ’visit’ was further proof that humanitarian values do not exist in the White House today.  No word on the actual visit.  Nice job, Melania.  I want Michelle Obama back!!!!!!!


Oh … And About That Tax ‘Cut’ …

Good news, folks!  You won’t have to worry about what to do with those extra few dollars on your paycheck as a result of Trump’s ‘donor tax cut’ last December!  It has been taken out of your hands.  The average cost of fuel at the pump has increased by 20%, from $2.41 to $2.90.  Oh … and by the way, your health insurance premiums are going up, too.  And … um … with the new tariffs, expect to pay more for many things from fresh produce to beer and Canadian whiskey, thanks to Trump’s tariffs.  And … in the market for a new car?  Well, there goes your tax cut for the next 30 years or so.


Charles Krauthammer says he has 'only a few weeks left to live'Filosofa sends heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and co-workers of long-term Washington Post writer Charles Krauthammer who died yesterday from a year-long battle with cancer.  He was a conservative, but one of the good guys and he will be missed.


Well, now that I have managed to completely send your mood into a downward spiral, I am going to bed.  Have a great day, everyone!

Skewed Priorities …

Today, as more than a thousand people are injured and at least 52 dead in the Gaza Strip due to the opening of the new U.S. embassy in Jerusalem, and the violence continues, the following was the only “Breaking News” update to cross my screen this afternoon:

“Breaking News: Melania Trump, the first lady, had a surgical procedure for a kidney condition. It was successful, and she will stay in the hospital to rest.”

I received this notification from three separate media entities, but not a single one about the violence in the Middle East.  Yep, folks, our priorities are seriously skewed.

Shoes Are Not News …

Dear Free Press … You Blew It … Again

I applaud our press … they have kept us informed despite a secretive and contrary administration.  They have found resources where there might have been none.  They are our last best hope to remain free of the heavy hand of an unhinged dictator.  But this week they blew it.

stop-press4Credibility.  It’s all about credibility.  Too many, following Trump’s claims of “fake news” question the mainstream, legitimate press already.  They must maintain high standards, be their own fact-checkers, and most importantly, focus on what is important.  And quite frankly, Melania Trump’s shoes are not what is important.  Nobody cares if Melania wants to wear 6” stilettos to traipse through the flood water in Texas.  Well … nobody should care.  Those who do, wouldn’t understand real news if it punched them in the nose, so they don’t count.

Remember when First Lady Obama had the gall to … gasp … wear a sleeveless dress to some event or another during President Obama’s first few months in office?  The press was all over that one too.  Now, the New York Times and most other major publications have a ‘fashion’ section, and if they wish to analyze Melania’s shoes in that section, then fine.  But it should not, as it was five days ago, be front page news that …

“When is a shoe not just a shoe? When it is a pair of very high, needle-thin heels worn by the first lady of the United States on her way to the site of a natural disaster. Then it becomes a symbol for what many see as the disconnect between the Trump administration and reality; another example of the way in which this president and his family continue to define “appropriate” their own way; and an excuse for partisan name-calling.”

shoes-1.jpgMind you, I am not disputing the above statement, for it is the truth.  I am merely saying that it is not news, it is not sound journalism, it is not the most relevant issue of the day, and it does nothing for the credibility of the source, in this case the New York Times, though The Washington Post and others also jumped on the bandwagon.  Predictably, Fox News and others didn’t miss the opportunity to criticize …

“Politico, The New York Times, The Washington Post and Vanity Fair all went as low as they could go — all the way to the floor — to attack Melania Trump. Readers were astonished at how ridiculous the media were willing to be to savage team Trump.

Here’s how they decided to play footsie with Melania: Politico’s “Melania’s stiletto sideshow,”  Vanity Fair’s “What Not to Wear to a natural disaster,” and, the Times’s “a symbol for what many see as the disconnect between the Trump administration and reality.”

And of course a few comedians had their say …

“But people weren’t talking about the nuclear missile that Kim Jong Un tested, because Melania Trump apparently did something much worse, She went to Houston wearing high heels.” – Trevor Noah of The Daily Show

Focus, dear press, focus.  We need you to do better than this.  We need you to be reporting on the important news of the day, not on what Ms. Trump chooses to put on her feet. Frankly, I don’t care if Melania chooses to wear cute little bunny slippers … given her past profession, I am just happy to see her fully clothed!

The mainstream media may have learned their lesson, for yesterday, as the Trumps once again headed for a “do-over” photo op amidst the devastation of Hurricane Harvey, the above-named media outlets were silent on Melania’s fashion statement, though other, less reputable publications such as The Blaze, Mirror, and The American Spectator picked up the ball and reported on Melania’s “defiance” of the criticism earlier in the week, as she sported her ‘snakeskin stilettos’.  Personally, I have never understood why anybody would wish to try to walk in those things, but that’s just my opinion. I have enough trouble balancing on my flat feet!

shoes-2The mainstream media has always been under a magnifying glass, criticized when they get it wrong but rarely praised for getting it right.  Under the present administration, the scrutiny is even more intense, with daily attacks on the press by not only Trump, but many of his advisors and minions, not to mention the right-wing media outlets and conservative pundits.  It is more imperative than ever that the press leave Melania’s fashion choices to the fashion pages and instead keep the ‘news’ section for real news such as North Korea’s missile tests, Trump’s abhorrent staff picks, his attempts to destroy federal regulations, and his undermining of foreign relations, to name a few.  Focus on the connections between Russia and Trump last year, focus on the connection between Hurricane Harvey and carbon emissions.  Just don’t throw away your credibility, for our very freedom depends on you, our press, to shine the light in the dark corners. Shoes are not news.

Another Ho-Hum Day in Cleveland

Two down, two to go.  Two more days of the Republican National Convention being held this week in Cleveland.  Two days down and thankfully, there has been no notable violence, no shootings despite people running around with guns openly displayed, and no killings.  I am surprised in a most pleasant way!

Last night, Tuesday, the GOP officially declared Donald Trump to be its official nominee.  Yawn.  Who saw that coming?  Melania Trump gave a speech on Monday night … yawn … as I mentioned in an earlier post.  Then Scott Baio, a 2nd rate has-been actor most noted for his role as Chachi from Happy Days of yore, gave a somewhat mundane speech.  But the real fun is not so much in who is there as in who is not … and why.

Former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, as well as former Florida Governor Jeb Bush all declined to attend.  No surprise there, as they have all declined to endorse Trump.  But some of the reasons others within the Republican Party have given for avoiding the trip to the circus are too funny.  For instance, Senator Ben Sasse of Nebraska will instead be taking his children “to watch some dumpster fires.”  Now that sounds like a really hot time, indeed!  Arizona Senator Jeff Flake will be mowing his lawn (that must be some big lawn if it is going to take him the better part of a week!)  Senator Steve Daines of Montana is going fly fishing.  And Ohio Governor John Kasich will be in Cleveland, but not at the convention.  Instead, he will be speaking at U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.  Mitt Romney will be absent, as will Senator John McCain of Arizona, who had the unmitigated gall to be shot down over Hanoi in 1967, seriously injured, captured and held hostage for six years during the Vietnam War, thus making him “not a hero” according to Trump.  Gee, I wonder why he doesn’t want to come celebrate at the convention?  All in all, more than 20 senators and several House members, along with a half-dozen Republican governors, won’t attend the convention.  Never before in recent history have so many prominent party officials boycotted the event or found convenient other reasons not to attend because they either didn’t approve of or were uncomfortable with their party’s presumptive nominee. One would think this would send a message loud and clear to nominee Trump, but I imagine he is too busy polishing his trumpet to notice or much care.

So, the convention is left with a handful of Republican leaders, B-grade actors like Scott Baio and Willie Robertson of Duck Dynasty (I thought that show had died?).  And, of course, Trump’s illustrious family members.

women-rally

As part of the convention, a ‘Women Vote Trump’ rally was held.  Guess how many people showed up?  Nope, not that many.  Seventeen.  Yes, you read that right … seventeen … 17. Now isn’t that a huge surprise?  I mean, he has been such a sweet man with such a positive attitude toward women in general, right?

 

 

wbc protestbangsMeanwhile, on the outside looking in are the gun crazies and the Westboro church crowd … a crowd of five members.  The Westboro people held their usual, offensive signs, saying “We have a duty to warn. If we don’t warn and they go to hell, their blood is on us.”   Yawn.  But what brought a bit of humour to their protest was that there were some others there with signs mocking the WBC group, signs that read “God Hates Morning People” and “Bangs Are The Devil’s Children”.  Just a little good, clean fun, folks.  Some 40 police officers guarded the five WBC protestors … frankly, I think it was a waste of manpower, but then what do I know?

 

Activists from Black Lives Matter, Westboro Baptist Church and the KKK were in the square and, at one time, were said to be throwing urine at each other.  Yep, just good clean fun.  Yawn.  I really thought I would be busy this week just trying to keep up with the news coming out of Cleveland, but thus far, the convention itself is boring and the protests seem to have been much more peaceful than anticipated.  I am not complaining!  Let us hope for two more days like the last two, then we can put it to bed.

Da Trumpetress Spoke …

I have said many times that when it comes to politics and election campaigns, spouses and children are strictly off-limits in my book.  I stand by that, however … when a spouse or adult child knowingly and willingly puts himself/herself in the line of fire, then I make an exception.

melaniaI speak, of course, of Melania Trump’s speech at the RNC convention on Monday evening.  They say that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.  If that is true, then apparently Ms. Melania Trump holds First Lady Michelle Obama in very high regard, as one portion of her speech is taken directly from Ms. Obama’s speech in 2008, with just a few words changed.  In all fairness, it was only 131 words out of 1,366, or slightly less than 10% of the speech, not “most of the speech” as some social media sites claim.  Still, it is shameful. Why?

First, 1,300 words should not be difficult to write without having to steal them from another, especially if you believe in your subject.  My average blog post averages between 800 – 1,200 words and I write two of them almost every day, in addition to writing for an online publication.  Even at that, I am constantly having to trim my words in order to stay under my self-imposed limit.  Second, she has speech-writers who, I suspect wrote the speech, despite Melania’s claim “… I wrote it with as little help as possible. I’m excited.”  Personally, I don’t think her vocabulary is that large.  Third, Donald Trump has done nothing but criticize the Obamas and now his wife uses Michelle’s speech and presents it as her own?  Filosofa is confused!

“Their [her parents] integrity, compassion and intelligence reflect to this day on me and for my love of family and America.  From a young age, my parents impressed on me the values that you work hard for what you want in life: that your word is your bond and you do what you say and keep your promise; that you treat people with respect. They taught and showed me values and morals in their daily life. That is a lesson that I continue to pass along to our son, and we need to pass those lessons on to the many generations to follow. Because we want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them.”

That is the potion of the speech that eerily resembles Ms. Obama’s 2008 speech.  One argument I have heard is that “These are common knowledge principles (which means no one ripped them off from anyone). They are Biblical principles. They are not unique to Michele Obama or Melania Trump. Instead of getting worked into a feeding frenzy over who said them first, everyone should know these things and everyone should practice them.”  Perhaps so, however it would have been prudent for her to state those principles in her own words, rather than in the words of another.  So, was it plagiarism?  Of course it was.  Does it deserve more than a passing mention?  Not really, it merely highlights what most of us already knew, that Melania Trump is no great intellectual.  So, enough said about that topic.

The speech itself was tedious, repetitive and boring.  There was only one part that caused my mouth to drop open and my eyes to roll toward the back of my head: “Donald intends to represent all the people, not just some of the people. That includes Christians and Jews and Muslims, it includes Hispanics and African-Americans and Asians, and the poor and the middle class. Throughout his career, Donald has successfully worked with people of many faiths and with many nations.”  To this, I cry BULLSHIT!  Call a spade a spade … Donald intends to represent first, Donald, and second, white, under-educated males.  Nobody else holds sway.  Not women, African-Americans, Muslims, Jews … none of us.

Donald Trump has said in no uncertain terms that he will ban Muslims, that he will declare war on them, that he will seek to deport all Muslims from the U.S.  Is that what she means when she says he will “represent” them?  And he is going to build a huge wall to keep Hispanics out of the country.  Is that the form of representation to which she refers?  In the words of Republican author, Ben Shapiro, “Donald Trump’s nomination has drawn anti-Semites from the woodwork. I’ve experienced more pure, unadulterated anti-Semitism since coming out against Trump’s candidacy than at any other time in my political career. Trump supporters have threatened me and other Jews who hold my viewpoint. They’ve blown up my e-mail inbox with anti-Semitic conspiracy theories. They greeted the birth of my second child by calling for me, my wife, and two children to be thrown into a gas chamber.”  Oh yes, we are fast becoming a more peaceful society under the influence of Trump-mania.  Last December, Trump gave a speech to the Republican Jewish Coalition … a speech filled with anti-Semitic remarks.  He has put down African-Americans and Asians as well, on far too many occasions to list here.  And he will represent us all?  Be afraid.  Be VERY afraid.

Melania Trump did what she was expected to do, she supported her husband and attempted to paint him as a wonderful family man who would work hard to “Make America Great Again”, whatever the sam heck that means.  She was not particularly inspirational, not particularly well-spoken, but when it comes to Melania, nobody notices because they only notice her physical ‘beauty’.  Many commented on how great she looked, how beautiful she is.  She is a former nude model.  She was never expected to have brains.  In the end, she may well qualify as America’s #3 Bimbo.  We are not, however, voting for or against her, but rather for or (hopefully) against her husband.  But I leave you with one final thought:  If Michelle Obama, who was criticized for wearing a sleeveless dress, had been a former nude model, if Michelle Obama had her picture plastered all over social media wearing nothing more than a gun, a g-string and a pair of boots, would Barack Obama be President of the United States today?  Think about it.

Just Another Sunday Morning Rant

Just one day I would love to not have a reason to rant!  One 24-hour day … is that too much to ask?  This morning started out with a 3.5 mile walk in the sunshine, a shower, a cup of coffee, and …an e-mail from the Jerusalem Post about huge doses of anti-Semitism being flung around by none other than the followers of Donald Trump.  What a lovely way to start the day.  Read JP article here.

In April, GQ (Gentlemen’s Quarterly) magazine published a profile of Melania Trump written by journalist Julia Ioffe.  The day after the publication was released, Ioffe answered a phone call from an anonymous caller who played a Hitler speech. She received another call from ‘Overnight Caskets’, an Los Angeles-based casket company.. On Twitter, users posted photos of her face superimposed on a mug shot from Auschwitz. The Daily Stormer, a white supremacist site, attacked Ioffe in a blogpost titled: “Empress Melania Attacked by Filthy Russian Kike Julia Ioffe in GQ!” Ioffer has also received numerous death threats and other threats of violence or bodily harm, and has filed a police report.

The GQ article was fairly lengthy and an in-depth profile of Ms. Trump.  I read it and I am still scratching my head trying to figure out what the bigots and anti-Semites have found to complain about. Her GQ profile of Melania Trump revealed that the Slovenian model – and the billionaire’s third wife – has a half-brother who the family was not in contact with. The profile also included an interview with Melania Trump, who has since expressed her disappointment with the piece in a statement online. calling it “dishonest”, and claiming “Julia Ioffe, a journalist who is looking to make a name for herself, clearly had an agenda when going after my family.” Correction, Julia Ioffe does not need to make a name for herself, as she is already ranked among America’s top feature writers. A former staff member at the liberal New Republic magazine, she freelances for publications such as the New Yorker and New York Times.

Twitter comments abound with anti-Semitic rhetoric and disgusting pictures and cartoons, none of which will I repeat here.  I would have expected a woman who is married to a man who hopes to become the next president of the United States to speak out against the hate, but instead, Ms. Trump had only this to say, “I don’t control my fans … she [Ioffe] provoked them.” While I cannot vouch for the veracity of the GQ profile, on the surface, at least, it would appear that Ms. Ioffe did a great deal of research, spoke to a large number of former friends and associates of Ms. Trump back in Slovenia, and I suspect that most of what she wrote is verifiable, including the news of a half-brother.

I could expound on the vices of both Trump and his wife, but my point today is more about the mentality of the American people, or at least certain elements of them.  The only complaint I make against either Trump at this juncture is that they should be loudly objecting to the bigotry of their “fans”, rather than condoning such hate and filth.  But at the core, the citizens of this nation should be thinking about their values.  Is Trump Fever so debilitating that his followers have forgotten how to be kind, have sold their very humanity down the river?

Sheldon Adelson, is an American business magnate. He is the chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation which owns casinos, hotels, and other businesses too numerous and irrelevant to name here.  Sheldon Adelson is both a republican and a Jew.  He is also a Trump supporter. Thinking of the anti-Semite rhetoric that is spewing from Trump followers, consider the irony in this email to more than 50 Republican Jewish leaders from Mr. Adelson: “I’m asking for your support [for Trump]”. He told them he had met with Trump recently and is “specifically convinced he will be a tremendous president when it comes to the safety and security of Israel.”  (Of course, it is quite possible that Mr. Trump does not realize Israel is a Jewish state … )

I remain disgusted, sickened and disheartened by the bigotry and hate that is so loudly and commonly expressed by those who would support Trump for president.  However, I am able to find one bright spot.  As long as he, his wife, and his supporters continue to alienate more and more groups, it can only be hoped that by November the only people who can justify voting for him will be fat old white males, but he may even find a way to alienate them before all is said and done.  Then again … he has certainly done more than anybody else in the history of the nation to alienate women, but there are still some 30% of women who support him, so I guess I shouldn’t put too much faith in anything.

I have said many times that a candidate’s family should be off-limits to the scrutiny of the media and the masses.  I stand by that.  Except when the spouse of a candidate engages in throwing the first stone, then all bets are off.  In her refusal to condemn the responses to the GQ article, she has, at least in my book, declared open season on herself.  She is most assuredly not the person we need as a role model in the White House. Trump himself told Wolf Blitzer of CNN that even though he had not read the article, it was “nasty”. He then said that “wives should be off-limits”. Agreed, but … is this a bit of a double-standard, considering Trump’s comments and rude social media message regarding Heidi Cruz not so long ago? To those who would follow Trump, understand this: supporting your candidate does not give you carte blanche to fling racial slurs at the rest of us. Human beings do not act like this. Period.