What Is A Government For?

When reading yesterday about Trump’s threat to cut off emergency aid to the state of California to assist in its efforts to recover and rebuild after the recent deadly fires, I had to ask … what is a government for, then?  It is highly questionable whether food stamp recipients will receive their food stamps next month.  Farmers are not receiving the subsidies they were promised to help ease the cost of the tariffs that have cut deeply into their revenues.  TSA workers who inspect people and luggage at airports to detect bombs are calling off the job, for they cannot afford to keep working without pay.  Inspections of the food we buy at the grocery store are curtailed.  And the list of services that we pay for, but are being denied, goes on … and on … and on … ad infinitum.

So what is a government for, then?  What is its purpose?  For starters, let’s take a look at the Preamble of the United States Constitution:

“We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

First off, note that it is “We the People” who established the government.  We the People give the government its legitimacy.  So, when the government no longer does those things … no longer promotes the general welfare, but rather only the welfare of a few wealthy people … then what purpose does it serve?  Is it truly a government of, by and for the people?

Look at that first point in the Preamble … “in order to form a more perfect union”.  This nation is divided as it has never before been.  I’m not sure that even the Civil War era was as divisive as the current environment is.  What’s worse, though, is that the ‘leader’ of this government is the very one who is causing the divisiveness!  The government is doing not one single thing to try to help bring people together, to “form a more perfect union”.

The second point … “establish justice”.  Justice?  The person in the Oval Office has declared himself to be above the law.  Time and time again.  So, think about this for a minute.  If the head of the government is above the law, if most of his political appointees are considered above the law … can there be justice in this nation?  I think not.

The third point … “ensure domestic tranquility”.  Can you even say that phrase without either laughing or crying?  Domestic tranquility?  What the Sam Heck is that???

Fourth point … “provide for the common defense”.  Let’s ponder for a minute … does constant and unwarranted criticism of our allies, denigration of such peacekeeping organizations as the United Nations and NATO make us safer?  Does the pandering to strong-arm dictators like Putin, Erdoğan, Kim, and Duterte make us safer?  Better yet, does the domestic hotbed that exists in this nation make us safer?  I think not.

Fifth point … “promote the general welfare”.  This is another that would be laughable, if only the laughter didn’t turn to tears.  General welfare???  800,000+ people not getting paid?  Food stamps reduced or eliminated?  Trash overflowing in national parks?  People losing their homes?  Food growers unable to meet their mortgage payments?  A nation in chaos does not … I repeat, NOT … promote the general welfare.

And finally, the sixth point … “secure liberty and posterity”.  Liberty?  From what?  Liberty from tyranny comes to mind, but we have the most tyrannical leader in the history of the nation, so that can’t be right.  Liberty to … go to work without pay?  To watch our infrastructure crumble beneath our feet?  To listen to the self-promoting lies of a madman?  And posterity … defined as “all future generations of people”.  Given the government’s stance on climate change and the devastating effects, there aren’t likely to be too many future generations of people.

I return to my original question:  What is government for?  Whatever it was intended to be for, it no longer fulfills those responsibilities.  What do we do about this?

Think about it.

Fool On The Hill — Mitch McConnell

The date was 23 October 2010 — nearly two years into President Barack Obama’s first term and two weeks before the first midterm elections of his presidency. Speaking to the National Journal, then-Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell made a now-infamous statement: “The single most important thing we want to achieve is for President Obama to be a one-term president.”  A statement that congressional republicans intended to do everything in their power to thwart President Obama could not have been any clearer.  But, listen to what McConnell had to say on Fox News earlier this week …

“Will Dems work with us, or simply put partisan politics ahead of the country?”

Say WHAT???

Here is McConnell’s OpEd, enhanced by Filosofa’s snarky comments in blue:

Sen Mitch McConnell (R-KY) There are worse pictures of him.Last Tuesday I was proud to see that the American people voted keep Republicans in control of the U.S. Senate. But we also learned that, come January, the Republican Senate majority will be dealing with a House of Representatives under Democratic control. What goes around, comes around, Mitchie.

Needless to say, the past two years of unified Republican government will be remembered as a period of historic productivity.  Define productivity???  You haven’t done a damn thing worthwhile!

Both houses of Congress have taken swift action to right-size a bloated federal regulatory state. The Senate has shattered records in confirming the president’s well-qualified judicial nominees, including two outstanding jurists to serve on the Supreme Court.  Um… Mitchie … ever hear of a little thing called “climate change”?  Those regulations were in place in an attempt to save our earth.  And one of your “outstanding” jurists is a sexual predator!

And together, we passed the first comprehensive reform of the nation’s tax code in a generation. Already, Americans’ paychecks are growing, consumer confidence is high and unemployment has reached a near 50-year low.  Have you looked at the federal debt/deficit estimates lately?  And do you realize that your damn tax reform robbed from the poor and gave to the rich?  Rather a reverse Robin Hood!

After this prolific run, I was not surprised to be asked over the past week about just how much the American people can expect from the next Congress under divided leadership. What can we realistically accomplish?  Restoration of sanity and accountability is my hope.

I have good news: reports of the death of bipartisanship in Washington have been wildly exaggerated. In fact, some of the most significant accomplishments of this Congress have been delivered with overwhelmingly bipartisan support.  Eh?  Such as?  Name one, please?

Under bipartisan committee leadership, we took major steps toward restoring regular order to our appropriations process. The Senate passed more funding measures before the beginning of this fiscal year than at any point in the last two decades.  Funding for what?  Certainly not to help the poor, the homeless, the ill.  Nothing that I can see that benefits the people in any practical manner.

The measures included the largest year-on-year increase in defense funding in 15 years, which put an end to the Obama-era atrophy of our armed forcesGeez, Mitchie … the U.S. already had the largest military budget in the western world!  How is that “atrophy of the armed forces”???  Ever hear the term ‘guns or butter’?  We. Don’t. Need. More. F***ing. Military. Toys.  Get it?  We need help for the poor, we need healthcare!

Working closely with counterparts in the House, we found common ground on rebuilding America’s crumbling infrastructure. In fact, America’s Water Infrastructure Act – designed to improve interstate commerce, water quality and flood safety – passed the Senate by a vote of 99-1.  Let me just pop over to Flint, Michigan and see how much help you’ve given them …

And in August, the Senate voted unanimously to expand Americans’ opportunities to receive technical and career-focused education.  Meanwhile, you’ve done nothing to improve our public schools, and have made a college education damn near out of reach for the average citizen!  There is much, MUCH more to education than technical and job training …

We’ve passed 22 pieces of legislation produced by the bipartisan work of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee. From improving the efficiency of Department of Veterans Affairs medical facilities to enhancing access to post-9/11 GI Bill educational benefits, each of these pieces of legislation was designed to help America keep its promises to returning heroes and their families.  Not what I’m hearing from the vets.  Have you talked to anybody from AMVETS lately?  I have.

And last month, the Senate passed a landmark package of targeted resources to combat the opioid epidemic. The legislation was produced by five bipartisan committees and included direct input from 72 different senators.  Whoopee.  Meanwhile, those of us who need medications such as insulin to stay alive, cannot afford them. 

Of course, these are just a few highlights of a Congress that has conducted as much serious, cooperative work as any in recent history.  Hah! Let me ask Chuck Schumer or Nancy Pelosi if that’s true …

So make no mistake. The Senate has proven its ability to reach bipartisan solutions to some of the most pressing challenges facing our nation.  I think you mistake the meaning of “bipartisan”.  I’ve seen naught but infighting and chaos in the 115th Congress.

And looking ahead to the coming year, there will be no shortage of opportunities to continue this impressive record of cooperation across the aisle and across the Capitol.  Opportunities, yes.  But will you put aside your love of all things Trump and join the democrats in holding him accountable?  Will you put the 99% ahead of the 1% just for once?  Will you act with the interests of the nation in mind?

What we can make of those opportunities will depend on our Democratic colleagues. Will they choose to go it alone and simply make political points? Or will they choose to work together and actually make a difference?  Look in the mirror and ask that question, Mitchie.

Last week, the American people made it abundantly clear that they prefer that Congress focus on making a difference.  Is this a new concept to you?

That message may have been lost on a few House Democrats, who have made clear their preference for investigations over policy results. After years of rhetoric, it’s hardly news that some are more interested in fanning the flames of division than reaching across the aisle.  Not ‘fanning the flames of division’, Mitchie … it’s called ‘accountability’.  Look it up in the dictionary.

But however Democrats interpret the latest message from voters, Senate Republicans will continue our commitment to delivering results.  Continue???  When did you start?

We’ll keep working to lift the burden on American job creators and small businesses. We’ll stay focused on helping communities across the country seize new opportunities and realize greater prosperity. We’ll seek new ways to make life easier for working families.  “Lift the burden”???  WTF???  The burden is on the poor and middle-class, not the big corporations whose so-called ‘burdens’ you seek to ‘lift’.

Most importantly, in the face of whichever tactics the far left chooses to employ next, we’ll continue to stand for the rule of law. We’ll continue to confirm more well-qualified nominees to serve on our nation’s courts.  Rule of law?  Where is that, Mitchie?  Where was rule of law when Brett Kavanaugh lied under oath?  Where was rule of law when you and your cohorts refused to ban assault weapons because you are in the pocket of the NRA?  Where, indeed, is rule of law in Trumpdom?

This is what the Senate’s Republican majority was elected to do. And we’ll continue to get it done.  Bull. You’ll keep right on licking the boots of the fool in the White House.

It is obvious to me that McConnell was doing damage control, making it clear to the Fox viewers, which likely includes Trump’s & McConnell’s followers, that whatever goes wrong in the next two years will be the fault of those mean ol’ democrats.  Mitch McConnell has been in Washington far too long … time for him to retire!

United We Stand???

If the old adage, “United we stand, Divided we fall” is true, the United States of America is in for a hard fall and one that will change the nation, perhaps for the better, perhaps not.  Not since the Civil War has this nation been so ideologically divided and has hate and mistrust filled every venue.

Senator Jeff Flake said last week that the general fiasco that the Kavanaugh confirmation process has turned into is dividing the nation.  While it is certainly widening the Great Divide, I would argue that the gap was already, before Anthony Kennedy announced his retirement, wider than the Grand Canyon.  There is no longer a middle ground, civil discourse has left for greener pastures and tensions have never in my lifetime been higher.

Today, there is “they” and “we” … you are either one or the other.  You may remember me mentioning my dear friend Brian, the only sensible republican I know.  Even he and I have given up on carrying on civil political conversations, for we value each other’s friendship and see how easily it could be shredded.  He rarely reads my posts any more, and I skim over his Facebook posts, unless they are humour.  Last night, however, my angst being at an all-time high, I did respond to this on Brian’s page …Brian's postAnd my response was, under the circumstances, I thought reasonable:

“We don’t make fun of Trump’s sobriety, though I might question it in light of his behaviour. We don’t make fun of Pence’s fidelity, but we are appalled by Pence’s harsh anti-LGBT rhetoric and bigotry. And we don’t mock Kavanaugh’s ‘virginity’, but for the fact there is credible evidence that he was not a virgin at all, but rather a party-boy. “We” don’t wish the next several decades of life-or-death decisions in this nation to be made by a man who cannot even control his temper in a professional setting and who has lied to the U.S. Senate. But then, ‘we’ don’t want a dishonest, misogynistic, temperamental ‘man’ in the White House, either, but for the time being we are stuck with it. Sorry, Brian, but sometimes I just have to speak out — no disrespect toward you at all.”

Brian was fine with it, one of his friends not so much, but that is neither here nor there.  The thing, I think, that offended me most was the “they” thing.  It’s like some highly contentious sports tournament where it’s They vs Us, Liberal vs Conservative, Democrat vs Republican, Blue Jerseys vs Red Jerseys with ugly maga hats.  My grandmother had a tattoo with a number on it.  Should we go that route and make everybody get a tattoo either in blue or red, so we can see at a glance what “tribe” a person belongs to?

Brian’s friend, who I will not name, shot back wanting to know if I support Hillary and then drew some imaginary line whereby he concluded that I must be racist!  In the words of my late friend, Brenda:  HELLO HANNAH!!!  (That was her form of an expletive) Or as our friend Roger has taught me to say:  FORNACAZONI!!!

one worldWhat are we doing to each other, people?  Ten years ago, I couldn’t have told you if any one of my friends was a democrat or a republican … it just didn’t matter.  Ten years ago, we didn’t talk about ‘tribalism’; we had family, we had friends, some closer than others, we had co-workers, but we didn’t ask people to qualify their eligibility for friendship by political party affiliation, or even religion or skin colour.  At least, most of us didn’t.  “They” was a term reserved for an enemy, perhaps the Russians, perhaps the Chinese, but we were all “We”.

I am so angry with “Us”, and by “Us”, I mean all of us, democrat, republican, male, female, every religion, every ideology.  Instead of listening, all we are doing is yelling, insulting and bullying.  Instead of trying to get our views across so that they can be debated, so that we can learn from each other, we are yelling and pointing fingers and blaming everybody, even dead people!  We all have some good ideas, and most of us also have a few really rotten ones, but unless we listen, we will never know.

This nation will not survive the Era of Trump if we don’t unify, if we cannot even talk to each other.  And yes, I definitely include myself in my anger, I accept my share of blame, for I am no better and by this afternoon will once again be ranting against “them”.  But how do we do better when we cannot even talk to each other?

How do we put the greater good ahead of our individual desires?  This nation has already crossed the line from a democratic-republic to an oligarchical-plutocracy.  We now have a government run by the very few ultra-wealthy.  Decisions made at the highest levels that will affect each and every one of us, are made by wealthy people whose only goal is to get wealthier.  Elections are subject to Russian interference, for Putin sees it as being in his interest to keep Trump’s boot-lickers in Congress and to keep the nation divided. Elections are also subject to nefarious games such as gerrymandering, voter intimidation and voter suppression to attempt to keep certain groups, such as the poor and minorities away from the polls, or at least dilute their vote.

So, how is our voice to be heard?  We write and call our elected officials, but at best we receive a standard form letter in response.  Today, we have more avenues of communication … instantaneous communication … than ever before, yet we cannot make ourselves heard by the people who ought to be listening.  And so, we fight amongst ourselves.  And such may well be the goal of those in power.  I began this post with a quote:  United we stand, Divided we fall.  I use another quote to leave you with another thought:  Divide and Conquer.divide-conquer

Let’s Talk!

It’s hard to believe it has been nearly two weeks already since I wrote the post Give-and-Take.  That post was the experiment I tried in response to a challenge by Lisa Jensen writing as The Snarky Activist, where we each tried to find one good thing to say about Donald Trump.  My goal was to try to start a conversation between right and left, conservative and liberal, republican and democrat.  A conversation where we listen … actually listen to the other side, and respond with respect, yet without sacrificing our own views.  The post was enormously successful, beyond my wildest imaginings, and the feedback (140 comments) was beyond encouraging.  Lisa and I discussed it and decided to try to turn this into a multi-post, joint effort project.

civil-discourse.jpgOne thing we decided was that the conversation would be more meaningful if we limited it to a single topic at a time, and get everyone on the same page.  I suggested, and Lisa concurred, that we would put it to my readers to choose the topic.  I initially put together a list of about 30 topics, looked at it, set it aside, and then tonight I pulled it up and looked at it again and just shook my head and started cutting.  I narrowed the field to six of the ones I think are high priorities.  You will note that there is an elephant in the room.  I have intentionally NOT put issues related to guns on the list at this time.  The Santa Fe school shooting has, I think, left us all too raw for the moment and I fear we could not calmly discuss anything related to gun regulation.  I know I couldn’t … not yet.  Soon, however, I do want to open this topic, most specifically a ban on assault-style weapons.  But not just yet.

purpose of disagreementWe have had a lull in this project, partly because Lisa was on a business trip all last week, and I have been battling a respiratory infection all week.  But I don’t want to lose the momentum, so I hope that by mid-week, we can open a new discussion on the topic you guys choose.  Please select two choices from the following topics.  If there are other topics you would like us to discuss either now or in the future, please let me know in the comments.  I am thinking one discussion every 10 days or so, and the format is still being considered.  All ideas are welcome … you guys are part of this project too!!!

I’m looking forward to hearing your suggestions, and also to engaging with everybody, doing our small part to try to narrow the gap that is tearing this country apart.  Thanks to all for your interest, enthusiasm and participation!

Many, Many Thanks, Dear Friends!!!

Dear Friends and Readers …

I was truly amazed and thrilled by the interactions generated by the post “Give-and-Take”.  This, my friends, is what civil discourse looks like.  Nobody likely changed their minds, their opinions or their ideologies based on the discussion, but … we talked to each other respectfully and more importantly we listened to each other!  I thank you, Lisa Jensen, for bringing this idea to Filosofa’s Word, and I look forward to more interactions, more meaningful dialogues where, perhaps we don’t change our minds, but perhaps we at least begin to understand one another.  I am so chuffed, for this far exceeded my expectations when I first seized upon the idea.

And I thank you all, my wonderful friends and readers, for your participation, for your thoughtful and thought-provoking comments, and your willingness to listen.  You guys are wonderful!

Lisa and I will be communicating about ways in which we might carry on with this sort of dialogue, and I will keep you all posted.  Imagine what this country might look like if everyone took part in these sort of dialogues, keeping an open mind, finding common ground, even if only small specks of it!

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I am still trying to read and respond to the comments, so please bear with me … I am old, slow, and somewhat over-extended in terms of time & energy at the moment, but I will respond to those I haven’t yet.

Love ‘n Hugs to all of you!

Civil-Discourse 1

Give-and-Take

Recently a new reader began following this blog, Lisa Jensen, blogging as The Snarky Activist.  Almost all of my readers lean toward the liberal-left, as do I, and none of us have a love of anything even remotely attributable to Donald Trump.  Lisa is different, in that she supports Trump and defends his policies.  For the past year, I have been hoping that somebody from the conservative-right, a Trump supporter, would join our conversations so that we could begin to understand, and perhaps be understood as well.  The few that did, were quickly shown the door because they could not seem to speak to us respectfully, but instead simply wanted to engage in name-calling and putting down our views without even listening.  I have no use for such and will not tolerate it.  But Lisa is different.  Her comments over the past several days have been well thought-out and respectful, and she has answered my questions regarding her views, and asked me questions as well.  This, folks, is how civil discourse works.  Lisa and I even found common ground … we both love wolves, and I suspect most other critters!

In a comment yesterday, Lisa gave us all a challenge:

Lisa-Jensen-2“I’ll leave you with this: Dems and Repubs won’t agree on everything but there has to be some give. I’d challenge you and your followers to find just ONE thing you can agree on that Trump has done for the betterment of America or the World. That of course means you have to accept he is instrumental in the good things that have happened. Be well today!”

Now, I gave this some thought and I would like us to try to rise to the challenge.  For most of my regular readers, as well as for myself, this will not be easy.  I strongly disapprove of nearly everything Donald Trump has done in his 15 months in office, and I can support my views with facts, as I frequently do.  But, admittedly, I have not looked to see if there was something … anything … he has done of which I could approve.  Since I would really like to try to gain some insight, some understanding, to do my very small part toward finding common ground, I would like to pick up the gauntlet that Lisa threw down for us and accept the challenge.  But I cannot do this alone, and I am asking you, dear friends, to join me in this.  I think that it can result in an educational experience for us all, and might even be fun.  But Lisa isn’t getting off the hook here, for I am laying down a gauntlet of my own, and asking her to find just ONE thing that President Obama did that was for the betterment of the U.S. or the World and should not be reversed.

None of us are likely to change our ideologies … there are significant differences between republicans and democrats, conservative-thinkers and liberal-thinkers.  But somewhere, we need to find a bit of middle ground, a place where we can at least respectfully ‘agree to disagree’. I hope at least some of you will help me out here, for I think we have an opportunity to engage in some meaningful discussion and perhaps, if nothing else, come to understand each other just a little better, find a small piece of common ground.

Thanks in advance to all who are willing to comment and participate in this experiment!

Note to Readers: I have purposely not answered comments on this post yet, for I wanted to give Lisa an opportunity to do so first, if she chose. However, she is currently dealing with a personal situation and it may be a day or two before she is able to get back to this. I will try to respond to comments on this post in the morning. Thanks to all who commented!!!

My Choice, Ms. Sanders, Is …

According to White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders …

“Look, at some point, Democrats have to decide whether they love this country more than they hate this president.”

Well, well, well.  Thank you so much, Ms. Sanders, for that apples-to-oranges comparison, and for explaining to me what I must do.  Aren’t you just the epitome of wisdom? Sanders-patriotismBut please allow me to explain some things to you, Ms. Sanders.

Quite honestly, at this point, I am not at all proud of my country.  Now, you will notice that I did not say I don’t like this country and what it stood for until recently.  I did not say that I don’t support the basis of our governmental system.  And I certainly did not say that I would like to see this nation destroyed.  Love?  I don’t think of my feelings toward this or any other nation as love.  I reserve love for the feelings I may have toward a handful of people, or my Significant Seven.

Many of the very things I hate today about this country are inextricably tied to Mr. Trump.  Allow me to name a few:

  • The wave of white supremacy that, while it did not begin with Donald Trump, has been legitimized and encouraged by him since he first began his campaign in 2015. Slugs and other slimy creatures are crawling out from under rocks and threatening the very diversity upon which this nation was founded.  Meanwhile, Trump is turning over even more rocks by referring to white supremacists and neo-Nazis as ‘very fine people’.

  • The lack of morals and values that has filtered down from the very top, from Trump himself. When the leader of a nation brags about his sexual exploitation of women, even sometimes young girls, when he flaunts his extramarital affairs and supports sexual predators within his own ranks, what sort of example does that set?  What does that say to our children and grandchildren about respecting others?


  • The denigration of the poor by Trump and republicans in Congress. The “let them eat cake” attitude of Trump’s hand-picked Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, Dr. Ben Carson.  The foolish attempts to dismantle the Affordable Care Act (ACA) simply because Trump doesn’t like President Obama, costing millions of people to lose access to health care.  And let us not forget the truly horrible tax plan of last year that almost exclusively benefits only the wealthy, including most republicans in Congress, and also Trump himself.


  • The near-total dishonesty that emanates from not only Trump, but also from all his minions, including yourself, Ms. Sanders. Trump’s lies started, in all likelihood, as soon as he learned to use words.  His lies to this country began on his first day in office when he claimed that the number of people who attended his inauguration was far greater than it was, and he hasn’t had a single day that he hasn’t lied to us about something since then.  You, Ms. Sanders, should be ashamed that you stand at that podium, day after day, and feed those very same lies to we, the people, of this republic.


  • The pitting of left vs right, republican vs democrat, liberal vs conservative. Trump has so divided this nation, more so than it has been at any time since the end of the Civil War, more than 150 years ago, by blaming democrats for everything that goes wrong and screeching his divisive rhetoric at campaign-style rallies and on Twitter, rather than addressing the citizenry in an appropriate manner.  He continues to blame the past administration for his own failures and continues to demand his masses chant “Lock her up” in reference to Hillary Clinton. This, more than the threat of terrorism, is a threat to our national security. Ever hear the quote “United we stand, Divided we fall”?  Think about that one, Ms. Sanders.


  • The denigration of the legitimate, mainstream press, while praising such conspiracy theorists as Sean Hannity and Alex Jones. When he calls the press, the honest press, “the enemy of the people”, he does a disservice not only to the legitimate press who make reporting of facts their business, but also to the people of this nation, for there are always some who are eager to believe him.  He is basically telling the American people to believe nobody but him, and that is a very dangerous stance.


  • The bigotry that has set civil rights back at least 50 years. He has supported hate groups, while denigrating the LGBT community with his attempts to keep them out of the military.  He has promoted xenophobia with his hateful rhetoric against Muslims and Mexicans, and his travel bans and calls for ridiculous multi-billion dollar border walls.  And he has even publicly, in front of perhaps millions of people, mocked a disabled man. How low, Ms. Sanders, can one get?


  • The blatant disregard for the climate science and scientists, while attempting to re-energize the fossil fuel industry which is destroying our planet. Almost every single scientist who has studied climate science agrees that the pollutants humans are putting into the air, soil and water are destroying the earth’s atmosphere and that by the time your grandchildren are adults, the planet may well be unable to sustain its population.  Yet, Donald Trump, claims it is all bunk (it is not) and continues to promote the use of very damaging fossil fuels.  He also made the U.S. an object of scorn and ridicule when he announced his decision to pull out of the Paris Climate Accords, making the U.S. the only nation on the entire planet to fail in helping preserve and protect our earth.


  • The hiring of the most un-qualified people for cabinet positions, that has already led to deterioration of our educational system, our trade policies, our foreign policy, our law enforcement community, our environment, our election process, and much more. It appears that he tried very hard to find, not only the most unqualified people for the job, but those who had a history of trying to shut down the very agencies for which they were nominated.


  • His already-proven obstruction of justice, collusion to ‘buy’ his way into the Oval Office at the potential cost of our national security. Top that off with his constant rhetoric that Robert Mueller’s investigation into this matter constitutes a ‘witch hunt’, and his dishonesty continues to grow much as did Pinocchio’s nose.

I could go on, but I have provided you sufficient evidence to support my answer to your question. When all of these things are taken together and given careful consideration, when I look around at our country today – the hate speech, the divisiveness, the violence – I would have to say, Ms. Sanders, that if you claim I must choose between loving my country, or hating Trump … I hate Trump for what he has done to the country I was once proud of.  I hope this answers your question.

A Man Walks Into A Bar …

I saw this story last night and I admit that I had a moment of cackling glee.  Well, perhaps more than a moment, even.

Judge rules bar was allowed to kick out Trump supporter

But then, fortunately or unfortunately, my wiser self, if I can be said to have one, kicked in and I realized that there is really nothing to love here.

The Story:

A man walks into a bar in Manhattan wearing his Donald Trump “MAGA” hat.  The man, an accountant by the name of Greg Piatek, began complaining about the service.  Now, I wasn’t there, so I don’t know if the service was slow, if the bar was packed and the staff overwhelmed, or what.  But after he complained, he was told to leave … which he did.  And then he went and found a lawyer and sued the bar.

The Hearing:

His lawyer claimed that he was thrown out of the bar because of his religious beliefs, saying that he had visited the 9/11 Memorial and wore the hat as part of his tribute:

“He was paying spiritual tribute to the victims of 9/11. The ‘Make America Great Again’ hat was part of his spiritual belief. Rather than remove his hat, instead he held true to his spiritual belief and was forced from the bar.”

And thus, said the lawyer, the man was discriminated against on the basis of his religion.  Filosofa cries “FOUL” on this one, for since when does wearing Donald Trump branded clothing qualify as a religious rite or ritual?

Manhattan Supreme Court Justice David Cohen ruled that the law doesn’t protect people from political discrimination, meaning the West Village bar did not overstep its bounds in kicking out the customer. The judge asked Piatek’s lawyer, Paul Liggieri, how the bar staff could have even been aware of Piatek’s ‘religious beliefs’, and the following conversation ensued:

Liggieri:  They were aware he was wearing the hat.

Judge Cohen:  How many members are in this spiritual program that your client is engaged in?

Liggieri:  Your honor, we don’t allege the amount of individuals.

Judge Cohen:  So, it’s a creed of one?

Liggieri:  Yes, your honor.

The Verdict:

And then the judge threw the case out of court, saying …

“Plaintiff does not state any faith-based principle to which the hat relates. Here the claim that plaintiff was not served and eventually escorted out of the bar because of his perceived support for President Trump is not outrageous conduct.”

Now … I fully agree with the judge and would have been appalled by any other ruling.  But, this case brings to light a deeper problem, I think.  This was an isolated incident, and likely there was more behind the story than is told in the media, such as rude behaviour on the part of Piatek.  But if we extrapolate, if we ask ourselves how this might lead to future incidents of this sort, it isn’t a long leap to envisioning a nation where there are ‘democrat restaurants’ and ‘republican restaurants’, where the partisan divide is taken far beyond the Twitter bickering of today.  Is this a world we want?  Do we want to have to wear a certain colour, hat, or badge to prove we are of a certain political belief in order to be allowed to enter a public establishment?  And, while the hat Piatek was wearing is, to me, akin to the red cape waved in front of a bull by a matador, I also do not wish to live in a world where people are thrown out of bars and restaurants simply for wearing the hat.  After all … I wear my Obama shirt in public, which I’m sure is just as annoying to some as the red MAGA hat is to me.

So, my glee was short-lived and now I am left with a conundrum.  The judge, in my opinion, could not have ruled otherwise, however does this open a door for more such lunacy?  Only time will tell.