Just Two Snippets Of Snark Today …

Trump seems to be occupying a heck of a lot of space on my radar screen these days, pushing out most everyone else.  I hoped to write about something else today, but fools, idiots and Trump were all I could see on my radar.  So …

Another temper tantrum …

Trump is threatening to change the venue for the Republican National Convention in August.  Initially planned for an Arena in Charlotte, North Carolina, Trump’s complaint now is that North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper cannot promise that a packed arena will be allowed under the state’s rules to protect people from the spread of the coronavirus.

“I love the Great State of North Carolina, so much so that I insisted on having the Republican National Convention in Charlotte at the end of August. Unfortunately, Democrat Governor, @RoyCooperNC is still in Shutdown mood & unable to guarantee that by August we will be allowed full attendance in the arena.  In other words, we would be spending millions of dollars building the Arena to a very high standard without even knowing if the Democrat Governor would allow the Republican Party to fully occupy the space. Plans are being made by many thousands of enthusiastic Republicans, and others, to head to beautiful North Carolina in August. They must be immediately given an answer by the Governor as to whether or not the space will be allowed to be fully occupied. If not, we will be reluctantly forced to find, with all of the jobs and economic development it brings, another Republican National Convention site. This is not something I want to do. Thank you, and I LOVE the people of North Carolina!”

Now, I fully understand Governor Cooper’s reticence to commit to allowing thousands of people into the arena to mingle and share their germs.  However, think about it.  If the republicans who would attend are so ignorant that they would risk not only their own lives, but also those of their families … let them. Trump’s alternative venue is Florida, where Governor Ron DeSantis is one of the first to throw the doors to the state wide open and throw caution to the winds.  DeSantis, like Trump, has no concern for the lives of people, but only the financial well-being of the wealthy, the tourism dollars that would be put into the state’s coffers.

The only thing that puzzles me is why Trump even cares if there is a convention, for all those who would oppose him have been shoved out of the race by the GOP, so the outcome is a given.  Why bother, why spend all that money and put so many people at risk, when the conclusion is already signed, sealed, delivered?

Lost meaning?

Memorial Day in the United States, celebrated on the last Monday in May, is intended to be a day set aside to remember and honour those who died in service to the nation, those who defended not only this nation, but allied nations as well.  Instead, it has become largely just another day to grill out, drink beer, and socialize.  While you might expect this year to be different, with protections in place to try to protect people from the coronavirus, people don’t have too many brains these days.

People flocked to beaches and other public venues, acting as if their pleasure was the most important thing on earth, and not giving a damn about the lives of others.  Surprised?  I wasn’t surprised, but I am disappointed.  But then, what’s new … I’ve been disappointed in the human race most of my adult life now.

When you have a fool at the helm of the ship, though, the rest will follow.  Trump, in the spirit of patriotism, took the opportunity to mock former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’ weight, ridicule the looks of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and call former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton a “skank.”  What a way to honour dead soldiers, eh?  But then … being a draft-dodger, he’s already proven to us that he has no respect for the military. What a stalwart example he sets for the masses, eh?  No wonder the U.S. is so hate-filled … it filters down from the top.

Oh, and you know how demanding Trump was that the churches all re-open this weekend?  Well, that was a ploy to please his evangelical base, for Trump himself was out on the golf course again on Sunday morning. Not that I mind … I’m hoping that with all his layers of … er … blubber, the exertion will be too much for him someday, else he’ll get swallowed by a sand trap.

I came across these two cartoons yesterday while on my search for Jolly Monday ‘toons, and thought that, while not appropriate for the non-political Jolly Monday, they would be perfect for a snarky snippets post.


Tears of Shame

There are at least a few episodes in the history of the United States of which we are, or at least should be, deeply ashamed.  Slavery, our treatment of Native Americans, Jim Crow, Japanese internment camps, Hiroshima & Nagasaki, My Lai, and others.  One of those moments occurred eighty years ago today, when the United States government refused to allow the S.S. St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, to dock on its shores. St-Louis.jpgSome passengers attempted to cable President Franklin D. Roosevelt asking for refuge, but he never responded. A State Department telegram stated that the asylum-seekers must “await their turns on the waiting list and qualify for and obtain immigration visas before they may be admissible into the United States.”

The ship turned to Canada, but with no luck there either was ultimately forced to turn back to Europe.  Ultimately, 254 of the more than 900 passengers would fall victim to the Nazi Holocaust because of the arrogance of the United States and Canadian governments.

Eighty years later … what did we learn from our perfidy in 1939?  Not much, apparently, if one only looks toward the southern border of the United States, a border shared with one of our two closest (geographically) allies.  Turning away the S.S. St. Louis was cruel, but what is happening on our border is even more so, for we are separating children from their parents, locking them up in cages, treating them as animals, and thus far six of those children have died in U.S. custody.  And our government does not bat an eye.kids-in-cagesLast Monday, Carlos Hernandez Vásquez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan became the sixth child to die in Customs and Border Protection custody since the Trump administration began the fiasco at the border.  Felipe Gomez Alonso, an 8-year-old Guatemalan boy, died in a New Mexico hospital on December 24th, Christmas Eve 2018.  Jakelin Caal Maquin, a 7-year-old Guatemalan girl, died last December 7thJuan de Leon Gutiérrez, a 16-year-old Guatemalan boy died on April 30th.  An unnamed Guatemalan boy age two-and-a-half died on May 14th.

DarlynAnd then there was Darlyn Cristabel Cordova-Valle — a 10-year-old girl from El Salvador with heart defects who died in HHS custody last fall.  Her death was kept secret until just last week.  Acting Director of Homeland Security, Kevin McAleenan, testified before Congress in December, but did not notify lawmakers that Darlyn had died in Border Patrol custody three days before.  How many more have died that we don’t even know about?

What is being done?  Investigations and inquiries.  Well, folks, we’ve seen how well those go, haven’t we?  Does anybody trust the Department of Homeland Security to be forthcoming, especially after they covered up one child’s death for five months?  Does anybody trust Trump & Co to do anything to stop the madness? More to the point, how long until the next child dies?  And how many people are literally starving to death on our southern border because our government sees them as being somehow less than human?  Don Trump claims that there is a crisis at our southern border … there is a crisis, but it is not the one he pretends it is … it is a humanitarian crisis.  This nation is not the victim, but rather the persecutor.

Just as in 1939 when the U.S. government turned away nearly a thousand people fleeing for their lives, today we are turning away people … families, children … fleeing for their lives.  The difference is that today we are turning away, or imprisoning nearly 100,000 every month.  Do not ever make the mistake of thinking that the United States is a country of compassion, of humanity, for it is not.  It is rapidly becoming a nation of white supremacists, of arrogance, of somehow believing that the only lives worth saving are those of white Christians.  We have the blood of these six children on our hands, and who knows how many more to come.  Think about it.

Clockwise from upper left:  Juan de Leon Gutiérrez, Jakelin Caal Maquin, Carlos Hernandez Vásquez, and Felipe Gomez Alonso

Beyond Watergate

Once again, my fellow blogger Erik Hare of Barataria has knocked it out of the park. This post is in-depth, thoughtful, well-researched, and does not indulge in premature speculation. If you read no other article about the situation between the U.S.,Russia, Trump and the recent e-mail leak, read this one. Best I have read … Thanks, Erik!

Barataria - The work of Erik Hare

Our political system is under attack by a foreign nation.

Revelations that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) server was hacked by Russians known to be working for state intelligence is only the tip of the iceberg. Like the break-in at the Watergate offices of the DNC on 17 June 1972, it appears to be part of a coordinated effort to influence the election. Unlike Watergate, it is being run by Putin’s Russia – a vast “kleptocracy” of mafia known as the “Bratva” (brotherhood) that routinely conducts similar operations around the world.

View original post 1,541 more words

“Make America Racist Again” is Trump’s Rallying Cry

When did it become “okay” to be a racist?  I think the date is around 15 June 2015.  That was when Donald J. Trump declared his intention to run for President of the United States with his now iconic speech in which he put down Mexican people, saying “When Mexico sends its people, they’re not sending their best. They’re not sending you. They’re not sending you. They’re sending people that have lots of problems, and they’re bringing those problems with us. They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”  Somehow, at that moment in time, at the point where he said it and Americans cheered rather than jeered, it became “okay” to be a racist and to speak with a forked tongue.

During the little over a year since Trump’s official candidacy announcement, he has yet to give a speech whereby he doesn’t mock or put down some group of people:  Muslims, Hispanics, women, Asians, disabled people, and the list goes on.  And because Donald Trump can stand in front of a crowd of hundreds and spew his racist, bigoted hate-filled speech with little or no consequence, all those closet-racists who have been biting their tongues are now coming out of the woodwork in droves, turning our nation into one where there is no courtesy, no respect, and no tolerance for others.  It is this very attitude that has made it seem “okay” to some that a man running for the U.S. Congress puts up billboards urging citizens to “make America white again.” It is the attitude that has given rise to discrimination in venues across the nation, from workplaces to schools, from state governments to churches.

klan1When did it become “okay” to be a racist?  Let me tell you a little secret … it didn’t.  It has never been okay, it isn’t okay now, and it will never be okay.  It was not okay when we interned American citizens of Japanese descent during World War II.  It was not okay when we made black people sit in the back of the bus.  It was not okay when we burned crosses on the yards of African-Americans.  And it is not okay when a pastor contends that “racism, misogyny, homophobia are ‘biblical truths we stand for’.”

Am I blaming Trump for “Making America Racist Again”?  No, obviously we never actually got past racism to start with.  Trump is merely the catalyst that has brought it back out into the open, stirring the dual pots of fear and hatred in the process.  Trump did not create racism and hatred, he simply told Americans that it is “okay” to speak out loudly against those who are different, who are non-Caucasian, who are non-Christian, who are disabled or female or transgender or homosexual.  He merely gave the green light, the thumbs-up, to those who had been stifling their racism and other phobias under the guise of being ‘politically correct’.

rosa pThose who would allow Donald J. Trump to define this nation are not those with whom I have any common ground.  I have made numerous excuses for his supporters, some of whom I call ‘friends’, including they are sleeping, they do not bother to study the issues, they are caught up in the moment and will raise their heads out of the sandpit eventually, or they are simply not hearing the message through all the noise.  I am rather done with that, however, as I now believe that these individuals, whether they will admit it or not, never truly moved on from the days of Jim Crow laws, of lynchings, of cross-burnings and murders by the Klan, of strict segregation.  They never came to understand that their white skin, their European ancestry, and their Christianity does not make them superior, but that their attitudes make them, in fact, inferior.  Attitudes which might have lain fallow for decades longer had not Donald Trump told them that it was “okay” to be a racist.  No, my friends, it is NOT okay.  It never was and it never will be.

The Man With Small Hands Is Afraid, And The Lemmings Are Following …

Well, apparently Donald Trump’s fear-mongering rhetoric has been successful, at least among some.  I have to ask at this point, I wonder what happened to the brave men and women who founded this nation more than two centuries ago?  Where did the people go who, even though afraid, stepped up to the plate to fight against injustice during the Civil Rights movement in the 1950s-1960s?  It is obvious that their bravery and courage did not get passed down to future generations.

No less than four times inside an hour this morning, I saw the following meme posted by friends on Facebook:

“I stand behind you in line at the store with a smile on my face…and a gun under my shirt and you are none the wiser, yet you are safer for having me next to you. I won’t shoot you. My gun won’t pull it’s own trigger. It is securely holstered with the trigger covered. It can’t just go off. However, rest assured that if a lunatic walks into the grocery store and pulls out a rifle, I will draw my pistol and protect myself and my family and therefore protect you and your family. I may get shot before I can pull the trigger…but, I won’t die in a helpless blubbering heap on the floor begging for my life or my child’s life. No, if I die it will be in a pile of spent shell casings. I won’t be that victim. I choose not to be. As for you, I don’t ask you to carry a gun. If you are not comfortable, then please don’t. But I would like to keep my right to choose to not be a helpless victim. There is evil in the world and if evil has a gun, I want one too… “

Oh come on now … really???  I am more easily offended by this crap these days than I once was.  There was a time I could ignore it, discounting it as the work of bored people with small minds and nothing better to do. The Donald has had an effect on us all, even those who keep our brains well-oiled and active.  However, I do not give into his fear-inducing bluster, it merely makes me angry.  Angry at Trump because he is a braying ass, and angry at those who are falling into the trap that he sets for them.  Angry that people have forgotten their heritage as best defined by the words on Lady Liberty herself: “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! “  Trump is of German heritage … gee what if we had banned all Germans because one might have been a Nazi?

There are more than 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide today, more than 23% of the world’s population, and Trump and his lemmings are determined that each of those 1.6 billion are potential threats.  Trump screams “I don’t want them in my country!”  Perhaps I don’t want people with orange fake hair, small hands and ugly faces in my country, either!

Trump apparently has forgotten why Muslims come to this country to begin with.  The majority have come here seeking asylum from wars, terrorism and extreme violence in the Middle East.  They come here because to stay in Syria or Iraq would ultimately mean almost certain death.  They come here to try to keep their children safe.  Trump and others may despair of the violence in the U.S., but what we have experienced is nothing compared to that which our Muslim immigrants have been through.  They come here because they trust the United States to be true to its promise to provide a safe haven.  They gladly take the most demeaning and lowest paid jobs just to pay rent and keep food on the table.  They work hard and study hard to learn English, to learn the ways of this, their new home.  And they are kind, caring, sharing and loving people.  Are there bad people among them?  Sure.  Are there bad people among those who were born U.S. citizens and are of European ancestry?  Sure.  Are there bad people among Christians?  Sure.  But we do not, we cannot, throw out the baby with the bathwater!


When Trump screams and rants that we will only be safe when there are no Muslims in the country, he is showing himself for the fool that he is.  Relative to so many nations, this nation is very safe.  Incidents of terrorism are few and far between, and as I mentioned in an earlier post, we are in much more danger from gun-toting citizens than we are from our Middle Eastern guests.

Even Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan, showed some backbone and stood up to Trump’s hate-mongering when he said, “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party, but as a country. And I think the smarter way to go in all respects is to have a security test, not a religious test.  Muslims are our partners “ He went on to say that the United States is at war with radical Islam, not Muslims in general.

lemmingsThe goal of terrorism is to create a culture of fear.  President Obama may have said it best when he said that  the United States must not “fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush” and “imply that we are at war with an entire religion.” Obama said after a meeting with his National Security Council at the Treasury Department, “then we are doing the terrorists’ work for them.”  This is the truth, like it or not.  Earlier this week, in a statement that would become controversial and result in Trump denying press credentials to The Washington Post, Trump made remarks to the effect that Obama may have had a ‘connection’ to the Orlando murders.  He also called for President Obama to refer to the acts as ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’, which would only serve to further the environment of hate and fear Trump is creating.  Trump needs to go before his lemmings follow him over the edge of sanity on which he is tottering.

Barefoot and Pregnant?

I suppose it was inevitable that I would be writing, yet again, about Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.  Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water …

Why, I ask myself, am I so fascinated with the politics of Turkey and its president?  The answer, I think, is two-fold.  First, he is a western leader, a powerful figure on the global playing field, and a key player in the refugee crisis.  A leader who has shown the world his thirst for power and his intolerance for opposition — a very dangerous duo. But secondly, I believe that watching Erdogan’s behaviour can give us, here in the U.S., some idea of what we might expect in the unlikely event that Donald Trump were to be elected to the office of president in November.  Erdogan and Trump have many similarities, the most obvious being a narcissistic personality and a very thin skin when it comes to those who do not see eye-to-eye with them.  They both lash out and threaten those who they perceive as their ‘enemies’, whether real or imagined. So, think, as you read this, about our own albatross, da trumpeter, and see if you notice certain similarities.  What has Mr. Erdogan done now, you ask?

First, there is his stance on women.  In a speech on Sunday in Istanbul, he clarified his view of women.  Here, I think I will let his comments speak for themselves:

  • “You cannot bring women and men into equal positions; that is against nature.”
  • “Rejecting motherhood means giving up on humanity. I would recommend having at least three children.”
  • “A woman who rejects motherhood, who refrains from being around the house, however successful her working life is, is deficient, is incomplete.”
  • “In this country, for years, they [women] carried out the treason of birth control.”

In March, Erdogan declared the country should “develop its own unique values of gender equality”.  Well, based on the above quotes, I would certainly call it ‘unique’, though I am not sure where the word ‘equality’ fits into the picture.  It is reminiscent of a phrase coined in the early 20th century by Arthur E. Hertzler, a Kansas doctor who said “The only way to keep a woman happy is to keep her barefoot and pregnant.”  I understand that there are cultural differences between the ideas of the west and, say,  Asian, Middle Eastern, and African nations.  But, Turkey claims to be a western-style democracy, so I do not understand how Erdogan can rightfully have such misogynist ideas.

On 2 June, I published a post, Of Miss Turkey, Genocide and Divorce, about the German resolution which, if passed, would label the murder or displacement of nearly all Armenian subjects living in Turkey in 1915 as ‘genocide’.  Erdogan had warned that passage of the resolution would “ … damage future diplomatic, economic, business, political and military relations between the two countries.”  Well, Germany’s Parliament did, in fact, pass the resolution last week, and predictably, Erdogan is … well, perhaps ‘unhappy’ would be somewhat of an understatement.

Erdogan lashed out at the German Parliament, specifically at the 11 members who are of Turkish ancestry, saying, “What sort of Turks are they?”  He then called for each of those 11 to have a blood test to verify their Turkish ancestry!  WHAT???  I did not realize that a blood test could determine ancestral origins!  Now, as I said in the beginning, look for similarities between Erdogan’s rhetoric and that of da trumpeter, who has repeatedly questioned President Obama’s country of origin.  Need I say more?

Turkey also recalled its ambassador from Berlin … no surprise there, and I doubt that Angela Merkel is either surprised or overly-disturbed by that move.  However, what is disturbing is that Cem Ozdemir, one of the 11 Parliament members of Turkish descent, has received death threats since the resolution passed last Thursday.  This was apparently a result of a ‘tweet’ by the mayor of Ankara (Turkey) naming the 11 and saying they “stabbed us in the back”.  According to German media, it was retweeted by many Turkish nationalists, some of whom made death threats against Ozdemir, who was one of the initiators of the German resolution.  German Justice Minister Heiko Maas said he had also received many death threats from German far-right extremists.  Again, can you picture this type of a response from da trumpeter and his minions?  I can.

Further, Erdogan lashed out at Germany stating that Germany ” … should be the last country to vote on a so-called ‘genocide’ by Turkey.  First, you have to account for the Holocaust …”  The problem with his rant, of course, is that Germany does not deny the horror of the Nazi regime during World War II, and the Holocaust.  Germany has worked hard to overcome the legacy left to them by Hitler, and continues to do so.  Erdogan is trying to deny the Armenian Genocide.

Unfortunately for the world, Erdogan’s temperament and thin skin is almost certain to erode the EU-Turkey migrant agreement, and I cannot even begin to speculate at this time on what that will mean.  Well, actually I can, but I prefer not to just yet.

I think that for both Turkey and the U.S., this quote by Turkish author Elif Shafak says it all: “If we do not speak up now, tomorrow we might lose even the rights that we take for granted today.”

Another Unsavory Politician … LePage

MaineIn recent months, I have written about a number of politicians either currently or formerly in office, who defy the norms of dignity, fairness, impartiality and legality (Louis Gohmert, Sarah Palin, Dennis Hastert, to name just a few).  I once wondered what I would write about after the 2016 election ended, but I now see that the insanity extends far beyond just Trump, and it appears that I shall never run out of ‘blog fodder’. Today’s subject is none other than the Governor of Maine, one Paul LePage.

Donors to the National Resources Council of Maine (NRCM), a highly regarded environmental group, received the following letter from their governor this week:

I’m writing to make donors to Natural Resources Council of Maine aware of this organizations
true intent. While everyone supports a healthy environment, NRCM is doing it at the expense of
good-paying jobs for rural Mainers who are desperate for employment.

It is easy for out-of-state visitors, residents of wealthy coastal towns and those living in Southern
Maine to support the perceived policies of the Natural Resources Council of Maine. Since this
group of donors enjoy low rates of unemployment, nice homes and neighborhoods and thriving
and successful businesses, they may be unfamiliar with the harsh crisis facing rural Maine,
especially in Northern and Downeast [sic] Maine.

The job-crushing, anti-business policies of NRCM are preventing rural Mainers from getting the
kind of jobs they need to raise themselves out of poverty.

NRCM is the chief supporter of the preservationist movement that is holding Maine back. The
organization has blocked reasonable mining regulations that would provide high-paying jobs to
rural families in Northern Maine; promoted unilateral executive action to establish a national
monument — even though several local communities have voted strongly against it — that would eliminate hunting and timber harvesting from thousands of acres; and has proudly blocked any significant hydroelectricity development over the last 40 years. These policy decisions have
contributed to the decline of the manufacturing base that has been an anchor for rural Maine and has employed generations of. sportsmen and women.

Maine has traditionally balanced the stewardship of our environment, while also ensuring that
our population has economic opportunity. This balance is vital to providing opportunities for
prosperity to rural Mainers. If we support economic development at the expense of the
environment, we will have a natural disaster. If we support the environment over economic
development, we will continue to have severe poverty.

NRCM is not interested in a balance. It is an activist group that says “no” to every opportunity to
allow Mainers to prosper, and it is working to make rural Maine a national park virtually devoid
of human activity or meaningful employment. I would request that you carefully review
policy positions before donating to them in the future.

You may not realize that your financial support of NRCM pays for a lavish office building that is
just a block from the State House — a short walk for its highly paid lobbyists to push their anti-
business agenda on legislators — while residents in places like Calais or Millinocket or Mars Hill
cannot afford even modest, middle-income homes. NRCM recently spent your money to rent
buses and transport activists from Southern Maine to a meeting in Orono to push for a national
monument in the Katahdin region, something the Legislature and town after town in rural Maine
have voted to oppose.

Folks in rural Maine have neither the time nor the resources to attend these meetings or travel to
the State House and lobby for the good jobs they need. NRCM should not be leading the charge
to deny life-changing economic opportunity to poverty-stricken people in rural Maine.

I understand and appreciate your desire to support Maine’s environment and precious natural
resources. However, please understand that your financial support of NRCM is costing rural
Mainers good jobs and keeping them mired in poverty. I urge you to ask NRCM to take a
balanced approach that both protects our environment and provides prosperity for the people
who live in it. I firmly believe human life is the greatest asset on this planet.


Paul R. LePage

There are at least three things very wrong with this letter.  The first is that the names and addresses of donors should never have been used in this way, in fact, should never have been obtained by the governor’s office, let alone used in this way.  The governor’s office claims they obtained the names and addresses from the organization’s public documents, but the public reports actually contain only names, not addresses.  The second thing wrong is that throughout the letter, LePage bemoans the unemployment rate in Maine, but on researching this, I find that the rate of unemployment in Maine is 4.7%, precisely the same as the national average.  Third, Maine has a significant tourism economy that is largely driven by its natural beauty, clean air, fresh water, and uninhabited spaces. As such, it is imperative that Maine preserve its environment, which is precisely what NRCM is doing.

My research shows that NRCM, established in 1959, has been recognized and awarded dozens of times for its work on behalf of a wide variety of environmental issues.  They have a staff of only 24, with 16,000 plus supporters and volunteers.  Among their awards are the EPA’s Climate Award and the United States Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award.  Does this sound like the evil organization portrayed by Governor LePage?

This is not the first time LePage has been at the heart of controversy:

  • In 2011, he was criticized for refusing to attend Martin Luther King, Jr. Day events or to even meet with leaders of the NAACP. In response to the criticism, he replied, on camera, that they could “kiss my butt”.  Perhaps not criminal, but surely not smart, either.
  • One of his first moves as governor in 2011 was to ‘roll back’ certain existing environmental laws, claiming that there “hasn’t been any science that identifies that there is a problem”. He defended the restoration of BPA in bottles by saying, with a smirk, that the worst that could happen was that “some women may have little beards.”
  • For months he refused to allow his commissioners to testify before legislative committees and ordered state employees not to speak to the state’s largest newspaper chain.
  • His advice to students in the State of Maine? “If you want a good education, go to private schools. If you can’t afford it, tough luck. You can go to the public school.”
  • He has likened the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to the Gestapo and, when criticized for the remark, claimed the agency’s enforcement of Obamacare would cause a slaughter comparable to the Holocaust.
  • He told schoolchildren that Maine’s newspapers are full of lies and joked about bombing the largest of them, the Portland Press Herald.
  • LePage said he would like to lower the legal working age from 16 to 12


And the list goes on, but you get the idea.  I wonder if he was, perhaps, a graduate of “Trump University”?  Recently he made the comment that “guys by the name D-Money, Smoothie, Shifty bring heroin to Maine and half the time they impregnate a young, white girl before they leave.”  Does this remind you of a certain someone and his comments about immigrants from Mexico?

The good news is that this letter and his rant against NRCM has renewed support for the environmental group and many have said they plan to send additional donations. LePage’s current term will end in 2019, and he has expressed an interest in running for a senate seat in 2018.  Given his latest antics, it seems unlikely that he could win a race for senate or even for re-election as governor.  But then, who knows?  The voters sometimes seem to forget quickly.  Not surprisingly, by the way, he endorsed Donnie Trump in February.  Two peas in a pod?

Just Another Ho-Hum Moment …

On Thursday, 26 May 2016, Donald Trump, aka Little Donnie, aka da trumpeter, finally hit his magic 1,237 delegate count.  And the nation, the world, yawned and said ‘ho-hum’.  I mean, really, since his last two competitors, Ted Cruz and John Kasich, dropped out a few weeks ago, what was the alternative?  There was none.  So yes, he got his delegate count, and no, it wasn’t a tense or even particularly exciting moment; it was, in fact, rather anticlimactic.  Filosofa says, “HO – HUM”.

Marco Rubio stutteringly released his delegates, all 165 of them, to da trumpeter.  Ho Hum.

Once again, the GOP did too little, too late to stop a madman from destroying, not only the Republican Party, but possibly the nation as well.  Reince Preibus and his cronies sat on their collective asses and thought, as did most of us, that Trump was a clown, a buffoon, and America would never be so stupid as to ….

cry3So now, shall we sit on our collective posteriors and let this illiterate, megalomaniac, bigoted madman take over our nation, while we politely yawn behind our hands … ho-hum? Shall we sit back, enjoying our margaritas by the pool, and let this madman destroy our alliance with our neighbor to the south, Mexico?  Shall we sit back, watching our kids play soccer, and let this second-rate businessman declare war on all Muslims, all 1.6 billion of them (approximately 23% of the world’s population), while we politely say ‘ho-hum’.  Shall we stick flowers in our lapels and cheer for this raving lunatic for ‘keeping it real’, and ‘telling it like it is’?  Will we go shop for swimsuits to enhance our summer tans as a maniac burns the earth with his ‘scorched energy’ platform? And shall we watch ‘The Bachelorette’ and ‘King of Thrones’, while Herr Trump takes away the freedom of the press, murders innocent children simply because they may or may not be related to terrorists, and ‘bombs the shit’ out of innocent civilians throughout the Middle East?

It was inevitable, once all 16 of the other GOP candidates dropped, or were forced, from the race, if one can call it a ‘race’, that Trump would gain the Republican nomination.  But as yet, it is not inevitable that he will win the election.  Ever ask yourself why all the other candidates caved so easily?  Look at Bernie Sanders, on the other side of the aisle.  He has virtually no chance of winning the party nomination, yet he is not giving up, not giving in, he is committed to sticking it out all the way to the convention.  Just days before dropping out, both Ted Cruz and John Kasich vowed they were going all the way, but almost silently they fell by the wayside.  WHY?  I am not a conspiracy theorist … au contraire … but something here simply does not smell right, especially in light of the Republicans who have sworn never to support Trump, yet now are endorsing him.

cry4Never before in the history of this nation has there been a candidate less qualified to serve as Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces.  Just as Trump’s candidacy was built up by unwarranted and excessive media coverage, I believe the media now has a responsibility to educate the people about this ‘man’.  If a candidate who runs for president is racist (see his express views on Mexicans and Muslims), misogynist (see his history of disrespecting women), and is someone who has no experience in government, no experience or understanding of foreign policy, and a business track record that is checkered at best, then the media has an express obligation to report and comment on these facts as they are. Donald Trump does not get a pass because he has millions of supporters. He does not get to argue that the statements he has made are somehow protected from judgment because they are offered in the context of a campaign. And he does not get a pass because he says he is a billionaire.

Donald Trump is neither a statesman nor an innovator.  He is not ‘the real thing’, but rather a cheap imitator, one who mocks Hispanics, women and the disabled.  A vote for Trump is a vote against women, Mexicans, Islam, and America’s national interests. A vote for Trump is, in fact, a vote against both sanity and humanity.

I do realize that with this rant I am ‘preaching to the choir’, as they say, since I think all my readers are too smart to even consider a vote for Trump in November.  I guess my hope is that a few will share these thoughts with their Trump-supporting friends, in hopes of at least giving them something to think about, maybe opening their eyes just a bit.  Whatever those of us with social conscience and humanitarian values do, we simply cannot afford to sit back and say ‘ho-hum’.  I have heard a few say ‘it doesn’t matter to me, nothing will really change’, but that is wrong … if Trump becomes president, I believe that over a four-year period almost everything that is good about this nation will change.  Think about it.

And I promise I shall try … try very hard … not to rant for the rest of the weekend, though … I cannot guarantee anything.

A Pricey Cartoon and a Madman

I had a really good cartoon by Tom Toles of the Washington Post that I planned to share with you this afternoon.  Having spent the last ten years of my accounting career in the publishing industry, I am ever conscious of copyright law, so I always try to cite or footnote passages I might use from a publication, and I request permission directly from the publisher if I want to use a lengthier portion of an article.  So, I requested permission to reprint Mr. Toles cartoon on my blog, and here is the answer I received:

“Hi Jill,

Thank you for your request.  We charge $35.00 USD + a $12.00 service fee for blog use.  Let me know how you would like to proceed.

Best regards, Raegan Carmona

Raegan Carmona

Manager of Permissions

Universal Uclick”

Needless to say, I am not sharing the cartoon with you, however if interested, you can find it at this link: Toles cartoon  (Note that I can post a link for free!)

So, on to other things.  On 22 April 2016, President Obama, along with leaders of 176 other nations, signed the Paris Agreement, an international agreement within the framework of the United Nations, to limit the effects of global climate change by controlling greenhouse gas emissions, among other things.  It is complex and would require an entire post or two to explain the details, but for now, suffice it to say it is a step in the right direction toward preserving our environment.  Among some who claim that climate change is a hoax, the Paris Agreement is not popular, but they are a very small minority.  Today, 97% of all scientists agree that global climate change is very much real, that climate-warming trends over the last century are almost certainly a result of human activities, and that it is essential that all industrialized nations take part in developing policies and technology to help prevent further damage to our atmosphere.

Yesterday, 26 May 2016, Donald Trump gave a speech in North Dakota in which he said, in part:

“President Obama has done everything he can to get in the way of American energy. He’s made life much more difficult for North Dakota, as costly regulation makes it harder and harder to turn a profit. Millions of jobs, and trillions of dollars of wealth, will be destroyed as a result. That is why our choice this November is so crucial. Here’s what it comes down to. Wealth versus poverty. President Obama’s stated intent is to eliminate oil and natural gas production in America. His policy is death by a thousand cuts through an onslaught of regulations. The Environmental Protection Agency’s use of totalitarian tactics forces energy operators in North Dakota into paying unprecedented multi-billion dollar fines before a penalty is even confirmed. America’s incredible energy potential remains untapped. It is a totally self-inflicted wound. Under my presidency, we will accomplish complete American energy independence. Imagine a world in which our foes, and the oil cartels, can no longer use energy as a weapon. But President Obama has done everything he can to keep us dependent on others. A Trump Administration will develop an America First energy plan. Here is how this plan will make America Wealthy Again: American energy dominance will be declared a strategic economic and foreign policy goal of the United States. America has 1.5 times as much oil as the combined proven resources of all OPEC countries; we have more Natural Gas than Russia, Iran, Qatar and Saudi Arabia Combined; we have three times more coal than Russia. Our total untapped oil and gas reserves on federal lands equal an estimated $50 trillion. A Trump Administration will focus on real environmental challenges, not phony ones.


“Here is my 100-day action plan:

We’re going to rescind all the job-destroying Obama executive actions including the Climate Action Plan and the Waters of the U.S. rule.

We’re going to save the coal industry and other industries threatened by Hillary Clinton’s extremist agenda.

I’m going to ask Trans Canada to renew its permit application for the Keystone Pipeline.

We’re going to lift moratoriums on energy production in federal areas

We’re going to revoke policies that impose unwarranted restrictions on new drilling technologies. These technologies create millions of jobs with a smaller footprint than ever before.

We’re going to cancel the Paris Climate Agreement and stop all payments of U.S. tax dollars to U.N. global warming programs.

Any regulation that is outdated, unnecessary, bad for workers, or contrary to the national interest will be scrapped. We will also eliminate duplication, provide regulatory certainty, and trust local officials and local residents.

Any future regulation will go through a simple test: is this regulation good for the American worker? If it doesn’t pass this test, the rule will not be approved.

Policy decisions will be public and transparent. They won’t be made on Hillary’s private email account.”

(For full annotated transcript of his speech, follow this link) Trump speech 26 May – North Dakota

Amazing, isn’t it, that in one brief speech, riddled with lies and misconceptions, he just vowed to destroy every positive step that has been made toward protecting and preserving our planet?  He plans to explore for oil and gas on lands where such processes would threaten wildlife and ecosystems, re-invest in coal mining and production, increase the burning of fossil fuels.  His ‘statistics’ have all been proven false, and his policies, as they are stated, would hasten the destruction of our ecology and the environment of the earth.  Given that the majority of nations across the globe recognize the dangers posed by greenhouse gas emissions and have banded together, via the Paris Agreement, in an effort to halt further destruction of our earth, for Donald Trump to pull out of the agreement would certainly not gain us any friends in the global community, and would make the U.S. the subject of scorn and derision. There are complexities that would make it difficult to simply withdraw from the Paris Agreement, but not impossible. Such an action would be a tremendous setback.(Note that, while he claims he will ‘cancel’ the agreement, that would be well outside his power, as he has no control over the other 176 nations who signed the agreement)

Time and space do not permit me to print the entirety of Trump’s speech in North Dakota, nor to address his various lies and misstatements, but this is as serious an issue as any facing us today, so I urge you to use the link above to read it for yourself.  U.S. citizens absolutely must see that Trump is indeed a madman who simply cannot be allowed to become president of this nation!

The Road to Toronto …

Sometime last year, probably in the fall, I joked that if Trump were elected president, I was moving to Canada.  It was a joke, and I meant nothing by it, as at that time I did not think there was a snowball’s chance in hell that da trumpeter would even get past first base on the path to the nomination.  I really believed he would drop out after the first round of primaries, so it was easy to joke and jest about his candidacy.  I laughed a lot way back when.  I laugh a lot less now.  And I think more seriously about moving to Canada. I have been wrong many, many times in my life, but never before have I been so wrong as when I believed my fellow citizens were too smart to follow the babbling buffoon, aka Donald Trump.

I am not alone!  After a discussion with my daughter the other night, we decided to look into the requirements to become residents of Canada.  When I began typing a phrase, “relocate to Canada” into Google, I only got the first few letters before it suggested the exact thing I was looking for … apparently many people have been looking into this!  And, Google provided me with over 23 million results to my search!  A few of the results:

  • Do Americans Really Move To Canada Because Of Politics? : NPR
  • Can Trump-Dodging Americans Really Move To Canada?
  • How To Move To Canada If Trump Wins – Refinery29
  • ‘An alternative exists’: the US citizens who vowed to flee to Canada
  • A guide for Americans who want to move to Canada if Trump wins
  • Want to Move to Canada If Trump Wins? Not So Fast | Rolling Stone

So those of you who reside in the U.S. and still have your sanity, you are probably curious about the qualifications for moving to Canada before next January.  Here is the short-list:

  • Visit Canada to determine where you would like to live (we have decided on Toronto, as it is the southern-most point, so more temperate, and closest to the U.S. in case we wish to visit)
  • Determine which type of permanent Canadian residency best suits your qualifications. (since my daughter is a nurse and I am a CPA, we will choose ‘skilled workers and professionals’)
  • Print the application form
  • Submit the completed application along with the applicable processing fee
  • Wait for the Citizenship and Immigration Canada office to process your application, receive an official Canadian Permanent Resident card.
  • Pack your stuff and rent a truck.

Simple.  One interesting thing to note:  if you have wedding gifts among your possessions, you must have gotten married within the past 3 months, or be planning to get married within the next 3 months, otherwise you will have to pay customs fees on them.  Now, this has me wondering … though my wedding was 40+ years ago, I do still have some of my wedding gifts, such as kitchen tools, pots and pans, etc.  (I take care of things and almost never throw anything away if it has even one more bit of use.) Does this mean that, since I received them as wedding gifts, I will have to pay duty on them?  Hmmmmm …. I will have to delve deeper into that.

Just a few days ago, I discovered that there is yet another option:   “Ireland Is Seriously Accepting Trump Refugees From The U.S. — Here’s Why”    The first line in this article is “Google has seen a spike in searches for “how to move to Canada” since Trump started his campaign.”  REALLY???? I wonder why?!?!  Anyway, the article is short, but a couple of the comments were fun:

  • “Let’s all move to Ireland and come back when America is no longer populated by idiots. Its [sic] should only take 100 years or so.”
  • “How high is this island? Is it going under water?”

Ireland is a beautiful country and one I would have liked to visit, but I think I will have to stick with Canada.  I am not rich, and I think it would take all my savings and then some to relocate to Ireland.  But for those of you who are younger and more adventurous than I … it might be something to consider!

Now, you may be wondering if I am serious about relocating or if it is merely another of my snarky anti-Trump-isms.  And the answer is … I don’t really know.  I am at least half serious. The values that are important to me, the ones I have built my whole life around, are human rights, equality for all people, inclusiveness, and most of all respect.  Donald Trump appears to be the antithesis of everything I believe in, and I am not certain that I want to, or even can live in a country led by a man who shares not a single one of these values.  I might argue (yes, I argue with myself all the time) that by staying, I could continue to fight against Trump and his policies; that if all the good people leave, what happens to the nation?  That is where the “I don’t know” comes in.  My voice in the cyber-world is very small, and for the most part I am already ‘preaching to the choir’, as most of my readers already share my beliefs and values.  So, am I making a difference?  Probably not much of one.  And my ability to make a difference in a world of Trump would be even less, as I believe he fully intends to find ways to silence his detractors.

So, all joking aside, yes, my family and I are giving serious consideration to a move in the event, unlikely I hope, that Trump wins the election.  Nothing, however, is set in stone, and I keep my fingers crossed that my fellow citizens will ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ before it is too late.  I still believe that common sense, morals, values, and all the rest reside in the hearts of most people.