Hey! What Happened To MY Freedom Of Speech???

Well, folks, I suppose it was only a matter of time until I was banned from Twitter, and last night it happened.  I don’t get on Twitter much … once or twice a day when I receive a notification that I have a message or that my work has been re-tweeted.  When I do get on, however, if I see something really annoying by either my representative in Congress, Trump, or somebody else, I am not above replying with a short, snarky tweet of my own.  Well, when I got on yesterday evening to reply to a message from a friend, the first thing I saw was this tweet by Ann Coulter …

“The country has been lost.  However I am determined to go down swinging by ruining soccer for as many people as possible.”

Now, you guys know that I’m not ‘into’ sports, and all I knew about soccer recently was that the U.S. Women’s team had won some big event, and that one of the team’s members is Megan Rapinoe who is a member of the LGBT community.  As I said, I do not follow sports and none of it meant diddly-squat to me.  Until I saw Coulter’s comment which I assumed was in reference to Ms. Rapinoe’s gender identity.  Turns out that is part of it, but there’s more … I’ll get to that in a minute, but I shot off a tweet in response to her comment …

 “My, but you are a stupid, bigoted woman.  An outright Bimbo, by my reckoning.”

Apparently, she took umbrage, for it was less than an hour until I received this email:

Coulter-tweet

I actually had a good chuckle over it.  According to Twitter, if I gave them my phone number and took down the tweet, my account would only be inactive for 12 hours, after which time all would be restored.  Or, if I felt that their decision was unfair, I could appeal and they would review the situation.  I wrote to them and explained that a) I spoke only the truth, b) there was no threat to Ms. Coulter, and c) I did not use any vulgar language, not so much as a single “f-bomb”, which I have seen countless other people do on Twitter.

Twitter wrote back an hour or two later, saying that they had “reviewed my appeal” and concluded that I was still in the wrong and in order to restore my account, I would have to give them my phone number and then remove the tweet.  Now, I will likely do that in a day or two, for I do have Twitter friends, and my posts all go to Twitter where they are often re-tweeted, but I’m leaving the tweet stand for now, for I am a stubborn wench and frankly, I’ve made worse tweets than that to Donald Trump and Warren Davidson, neither of whom attempted to take away my 1st Amendment rights!

Turns out that Coulter’s complaint about the women’s soccer team is homophobic, but it is also a result of the fact that two of the women on the team, the aforementioned Rapinoe and another team member, Ali Krieger, have said that they would not pay a visit to the White House, for the have (understandably) no respect for its occupant.  Apparently, there has been a back-and-forth Twitter battle between Rapinoe and Trump, complete with name-calling.  Surprise, huh?

Rapinoe has a history of civil protest, having taken a knee during the national anthem before a game, shortly after Colin Kaepernick did the same, saying …

“Being a gay American, I know what it means to look at the flag and not have it protect all of your liberties. It’s important to have white people stand in support of people of color on this. We don’t need to be the leading voice, of course, but standing in support of them is something that’s really powerful.”

Though I had never heard of Ms. Rapinoe until last week, I admire her, just as I admire Mr. Kaepernick, and much more than I admire Donald Trump.  No doubt we have not heard the last of the battle between Rapinoe and other team members vs Donald Trump, which is a pathetic statement of our nation and the man who is called “president” by some.

But, I think my right to free speech has been violated by Twitter.  If Ann Coulter can say that “the country has been lost” simply because a gay woman who doesn’t like Trump helped her team win the World’s Cup, and if she can threaten to “ruin soccer for as many people as possible”, why is it wrong for me to say she is stupid and bigoted, both of which are true, and call her a ‘bimbo’, which is a lot nicer than most of what she has called Ms. Rapinoe?

Is ‘freedom of speech’ now limited to only those who support Donald Trump?  Will Facebook or WordPress be next to try to stifle what I have to say?  Ann Coulter has, throughout her career, referred to immigrants as pedophiles, called LGBT people ‘mentally ill’, praised white supremacist Richard Spencer, calling him the white people’s answer to #BlackLivesMatter, and much more.  Her right to say those things is upheld, but my right to call her a bigot and a bimbo is not?  Actor Richard Belzer referred to Coulter as a ‘fascist Barbie doll’ … perhaps I should have tried that term.  She has called the French “a bunch of maggots”, and said that only property owners should be allowed to vote in the U.S.  And this is the woman that Twitter defends?  Something is seriously mucked up in this country.

Saturday’s Snarky Snippets

When I wake on Saturday morning to no less than 12 “breaking news” updates on my phone, you know I’m going to be in snarky-mode.  So, here goes …

Another hat in the ring …

Elizabeth-WarrenElizabeth Warren announced her entry into the 2020 presidential campaign this morning.  While I respect Ms. Warren’s political views, believe she is as well-qualified as any, and while a year ago I would have considered her as my choice, I have to wonder at her decision today.  Given the very public controversy that she stirred over her Native American heritage, or lack thereof, she doesn’t stand a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the democratic nomination, much less the presidency.  Frankly, I don’t relish the thought of listening to Trump and his faithful followers shrieking “Pocahontas” for the next 21 months! The more candidates who throw their hats into the ring, the more it dilutes the party unity, and that unity is going to be essential to winning an election next year.  I wish Ms. Warren had put country before ego.


He’s baaaaaaack …

roger-stoneLong time ago, July 2016, to be exact, I awarded Trump’s buddy Roger Stone (and his wife) my coveted Idiot of the Week award, and to this day he is still proving worthy of the title.  Stone, who has undoubtedly committed as many crimes as most any man alive, was arrested on January 25th, and indicted by Robert Mueller’s team on seven counts, including obstruction of an official proceeding, witness tampering, and making false statements.  You might think that would take some of the wind out of his sails, that he might ‘sit down and shut up’, right?  But no, this is Roger Stone who, like his buddy Trump, thinks he can do as he pleases and will never suffer the consequences.

Instead of silence, Stone went on a media blitz in a series of television interviews and Instagram posts, decrying the unfairness of his arrest, etc., etc., etc.  Judge Amy Berman Jackson, along with Robert Mueller, is considering placing a gag order on Stone, stopping him from publicly discussing his case.  In the Judge’s words …

“The upshot of treating the pretrial proceedings in this case like a book tour could be that we end up with a much larger percent of the jury pool that’s been tainted by pretrial publicity than we have now, and that’s what it’s my job to balance here.”

Stone’s attorneys argue against it.  On what grounds, you ask?  Because a) Stone doesn’t even have a Twitter account (he was kicked off Twitter more than a year ago for a series of expletive-laden posts aimed at CNN anchors), and b) Kim Kardashian has more followers than Stone.  Is there logic here?  I’m failing to see it.


More bad news …

Dr. Sean Conley, Trump’s physician …

“While the reports and recommendations are being finalized, I am happy to announce the President of the United States is in very good health and I anticipate he will remain so for the duration of his Presidency, and beyond.”


Will any be left standing?

A week or so ago, I read a column by George Will in The Washington Post that posited the most viable candidate in the large field of democrats seeking to unseat Donald Trump was Amy Klobuchar.

Amy-KlobucharHis points made sense, as Will’s points most always do, and I had added her to my list of potentials.  Then today comes the news that Ms. Klobuchar has a history of mistreating her staff.  It is even said it caused such concerns that in 2015, then-Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid spoke to her privately and told her to change her behavior, though Reid neither confirms nor denies.  Sigh.  Another one bites the dust.  It becomes apparent to me that there will be early and multiple attempts to discredit any and every democrat who plans to run in 2020.  Somebody, republicans and/or Russians, has already begun a concerted campaign to sling as much mud, to dig up as much dirt as possible on every candidate who appears to present a challenge to Trump.  It is gonna be ugly, folks.  I have to wonder if there will be any whose past won’t come back to haunt them over the next 21 months.  Shoot me now.


And on that note, I leave you to enjoy the rest of your weekend.Weekend

Saturday Surprise — Sukeroku!

It’s funny, for I was reading a story written by a friend/fellow-blogger a few days ago, a children’s story, and I mentioned that all she needed now was an artist who could turn her characters into whimsical pictures to accompany her words.  Then this evening, as I was bopping around the internet, trying to decide with what I might surprise you guys today, I came across some of the most adorable pictures imaginable.  The Japanese artist is known only as Gotte, and his (or her– not sure which) little hamster, the subject of his art, is Sukeroku.  The pictures depict Sukeroku in everyday settings & situations, and they are absolutely guaranteed to bring a smile to the faces of young and old alike!  If you enjoy these, you can check him out on Twitter,  Instagram  or on the artist’s own website.

And by the way … Jolly was bored, so I let him create the captions …  jolly

hamster-1

WHEEEEE!!!!

hamster-3

I’m late, I’m late, for a vewy important date!

hamster-4

Yum-yum-yum … er … what?  Not supposed to sample da goods?

hamster-5

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

hamster-7

Please, please, please … lemme drop it in da hole …

hamster-8.jpg

Me Hamtaro!!!  King o’ da hamsters!

hamster-9

Garçon … more bread please.

hamster-10

Wanna help me build a fort?

hamster-14-ahamster-14

Mewwy Cwistmas!!!

hamster-15

Sewf Portrait … d’ya think I’m any good?

hamster-16

Chores … sigh.

hamster-18

Gettin’ bootiful!

hamster-19

I loves a scawy movie …     

hamster-21

What kinda pie you want?

hamster-22

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

hamster-2

Nite-nite … zzzzzz

Have a great weekend, my dear friends!!!  

ASSAULT! … On Freedom of the Press

Donald Trump on Tuesday said he told White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders “not to bother” with press briefings anymore.

“The reason Sarah Sanders does not go to the ‘podium’ much anymore is that the press covers her so rudely & inaccurately, in particular certain members of the press. I told her not to bother, the word gets out anyway! Most will never cover us fairly & hence, the term, Fake News!”

Olivier Knox, president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, decried the growing infrequency of press briefings in a statement Tuesday, warning that the trend could set a dangerous precedent …

“While other avenues exist to obtain information, the robust, public back-and-forth we’ve come to expect in the James A. Brady briefing room helps highlight that no one in a healthy republic is above being questioned.”

This headline from The Washington Post seems fairly accurate …

The White House has transitioned from daily press briefings to monthly press beratings

Here’s what happens, folks, when an autocrat moves in and tries to assume power.  Little things, like repeatedly calling the free press the “enemy of the people”.  Little things like pulling a reporter’s press credentials because he asked tough questions.  Little things like calling every legitimate news story “fake news”.  Pretty soon, it seems commonplace and before long nobody thinks much about it.  Oh, those daily press briefings only happen on rare occasions now?  Hmmm … hadn’t noticed.

The first step on the path to authoritarianism is to make sure the press never has the whole story to tell the people.  Make it hard for them to get information, maybe even toss out a few scraps of false information.  Close the blinds and paint over the windows … no need for transparency … nothing to see here, folks.

The New York Times, which is not, by the way, the “failing” New York Times, as Trump has claimed, published a list:  The 551 People, Places and Things Donald Trump Has Insulted on Twitter: A Complete List  

Let us take a look at just the things he has tweeted about the mainstream media in general (just skim the list, for it is mostly repetitive, but I wanted you to see the volume of his denigration)

 “Fake News Media”“Fake News Media!”“Fake News”“Fake News Media”“Fake News”“FAKE”“Fake News”“tries so hard to paint the opposite picture”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Never in the history of our Country has the “press” been more dishonest than it is today”“Stories that should be good, are bad”“Stories that should be bad, are horrible”“bad!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“has it purposely wrong”“Please report news correctly”“Fake News”“Fake News Media”“totally out of its mind”“truly the Enemy of the People!”“Fake News Media”“FAKE NEWS”“THE ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE!”“Fake News”“disgusting Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake Media”“FAKE NEWS”“They never like to ask me for a quote b/c it would kill their story”“Fake News Media”“Fake News”“Fake News”“FAKE NEWS”“the Enemy of the People!”“Fake News”“FAKE NEWS MEDIA, crazy”“always seeking to make us look as bad as possible”“Very dishonest!”“Fake News!”“Nasty”“Hostile”“FAKE NEWS!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Disgraceful!”“Fake News”“keep purposely and inaccurately reporting that I said the “Media is the Enemy of the People.””“Fake News”“Enemy of the People”“false information not good!”“Fake News”“Enemy of the People”“dishonest reporters”“Fake News”“Fake News, Fake & Dishonest reporting”“inaccurate, and even fraudulent, reporting of the news”“Fake News Media”“the true Enemy of the People”“Fake News, Fake & Dishonest reporting”“purposely false and inaccurate reporting”“Fake News”“so bad and hateful that it is beyond description”“Fake News”“FAKE NEWS!”“FAKE NEWS (of which there is plenty)!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“hates to discuss the real facts!”“Fake News”“going Crazy – & they don’t know what to do”“going CRAZY!”“constant and intense Fake News”“totally dishonest”“Truth doesn’t matter to them”“they only have their hatred & agenda”“This includes fake books, which come out about me all the time, always anonymous sources, and are pure fiction”“Enemy of the People!”“Fake News”“They love to portray chaos in the White House when they know that chaos doesn’t exist”“Fake Reporting”“Fake News!”“fiction!”“Fake”“made up stories”“Fake News”“trying endlessly to make me look as bad and evil as possible”“Fake News”“worked hard to get Tiger Woods to say something that he didn’t want to say”“phony story”“Fake News Media!”“Fake News, of which there is soooo much”“Fake News”“the Enemy of the People”“So bad for America!”“Fake News”“don’t watch at all”“THE FAKE NEWS MEDIA IS THE OPPOSITION PARTY”“very bad for our Great Country”“much of what it says is FAKE NEWS, pushing a political agenda or just plain trying to hurt people”“Fake News!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“hates me saying that they are the Enemy of the People only because they know it’s TRUE”“purposely cause great division & distrust”“very dangerous & sick!”“Fake News”“refuses to report the lies and corruption having to do with the Rigged Witch Hunt”“FAKE NEWS!”“FAKE NEWS”“the enemy of the people!”“Fake News Media”“going CRAZY!”“totally unhinged”“In 7 years, when I am no longer in office, their ratings will dry up and they will be gone!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Enemy of the People”“driven insane by their Trump Derangement Syndrome”“Very unpatriotic!”“anti-Trump haters”“dying”“they try to distract and cover it up”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Corrupt”“Fake News”“always anonymous sources”“Wrong”“Fake News, Hypocrites!”“Fake News”“going Crazy!, They make up stories without any backup, sources or proof”“total fiction”“Fake News”“wants so badly to see a major confrontation with Russia”“the real enemy of the people”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“going Crazy!”“Fake News”“it is FAKE NEWS!”“the enemy of the people”“Fake News”“doesn’t want to report the truth”“Fake News”“constantly likes to pore over my tweets looking for a mistake”“Fake News is working overtime!”“Fake Media”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Total corruption”“Fake News”“the enemy of the people”“Fake News”“they put their own spin on it – truth doesn’t matter to them!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“only shows the bad photos”“Fake News”“once again, WRONG!”“Fake News!”“Fake News”“Our Country’s biggest enemy”“Fake News”“easily promulgated by fools!”“Fake News”“so unfair, and vicious”“Fake”“Fake News is really bad!”“Fake News”“desperate to distract from the economy and record setting economic numbers”“Fake News”“corrupt”“working overtime not to mention the infiltration of people, Spies (Informants), into my campaign!”“Corrupt”“Fake”“run the most highly sophisticated & dishonest Disinformation Campaign in the history of politics”“No matter how well WE do, they find fault”“corrupt”“Fake News”“Fake News”“got it purposely wrong, as usual!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“got it purposely wrong, as usual!”“Fake News”“made up, unsourced stories”“Fake News”“Much of the Media may be corrupt”“Fake News”“Fake News”“a disgrace!”“The Fake News is working overtime”“Fake”“Why do we work so hard in working with the media when it is corrupt? Take away credentials?”“FAKE NEWS”“Fake News”“going crazy making up false stories and using only unnamed sources (who don’t exist)”“totally unhinged”“the great success of this Administration is making them do and say things that even they can’t believe they are saying”“Truly bad people!”“Fake News”“going ‘bonkers!’”“so silent”“Fake & Disgusting News to create ill will!”“93% bad stories”“Fake News Media”“phony an dishonest press”“Fake News”“Fools”“Fake News Media”“Much of the media is a Scam!”“Fake News Media”“phony stories”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“dishonest and corrupt!”“Fake News”“among the most dishonest groups of people I have ever dealt with”“So much Fake News”“Never been more voluminous or more inaccurate”“Fake News Media”“crazed”“They are wrong!”“Fake News”“beside themselves that McCabe was caught, called out and fired”“Fake News Media”“they are lying”“Turn off the show – FAKE NEWS!”“being mocked all over the world”“They’ve gone CRAZY!”“Total Fake News!”“Fake News Media”“Fake News Media”“Fake News Media”“approval ratings are correctly at their lowest levels in history!”“untruthful”“Fake reporting”“FAKE NEWS”“very corrupt”“dishonest”“Fake News”“talks about anything negative or that can be turned into the negative”“contrived!”“So much Fake News is being reported”“They don’t even try to get it right, or correct it when they are wrong”“crazed that WE won the election!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“corrupt & biased”“losers”“lapdogs”“Fake News Mainstream Media”“screaming mental stability and intelligence”“Fake News”“Fake News”“DISHONEST”“CORRUPT”“Dishonesty & Bad Reporting”“Fake News”“very dishonest”“Fake News”“VERY dishonest”“unfair”“Fake News Media”“Phony and non-existent ‘sources’ are being used more often than ever”“Many stories & reports a pure fiction!”“Fake News”“loves to talk about my so-called low approval rating”“massive negative Trump coverage”“The Fake News”“refuses to talk about how Big and how Strong our BASE is”“They show Fake Polls just like they report Fake News”“only negative reporting”“Fake News”“Fake”“the Fake Mainstream Media will NEVER talk about our accomplishments in their end of year reviews”“Fake News Media”“Fake News Hate Shows”“Fake News”“working overtime to follow the lead of their friends, the defeated Dems”“Fake News Media”“untrue stories”“has become a joke!”“Fake News”“purposely false and defamatory stories”“Fake News Media”“They are out of control”“correct reporting means nothing to them”“Major lies written”“a stain on America!”“Fake News!”“Fake News”“FAKE NEWS!”“dishonest”“corrupt”“distorted in its political coverage of your favorite President (me)”“They are all bad”“FAKE NEWS”“their ratings are terrible, nobody cares!”“Fake News”“#FakeNews”“They are wrong”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Disgraceful!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“FABRICATE STORIES ABOUT ME”“FAKE NEWS”“Lost cred”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“going crazy”“Fake”“Fake News”“Fiction writers!”“Fake News”“has become so partisan, distorted and fake”“licenses must be challenged and, if appropriate, revoked”“going all out in order to demean and denigrate!”“Such hatred!”“Fake News”“story is totally made up”“dishonest”“Fake News”“one-sided coverage”“Fake News Networks”“just made up”“FAKE!”“Fake”“Fake News”“No matter what I do or say, they will not write or speak truth”“Fake News”“out of control!”“Fake News”“Fake News”“working overtime in Puerto Rico doing their best to take the spirit away from our soldiers and first R’s”“Shame!”“Fake News”“#FakeNews!”“Because of #FakeNews my people are not getting the credit they deserve”“FAKE NEWS”“anti-Trump”“Collusion?”“Fake News”“totally biased”“dishonest”“Fake News”“they know nothing about me & have zero access”“#FAKE NEWS!”“false reporting”“dying magazines”“Fake News”“Fake News”“a platform to hate groups”“turns a blind eye to the gang violence on our streets!”“Fake News”“very dishonest, Fake News”“worst”“dishonest”“Fake News reporting”“Fake News”“dishonest”“Fake News”“totally misrepresent what I say about hate, bigotry etc. Shame!”“Fake News”“truly bad people!”“Fake News Suppression Polls!”“Fake News”“refuses to report the success of the first 6 months”“phony”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“TOTALLY UNTRUE”“Fake News”“Fake News!”“Fake News”“Purposely phony reporting.”“Fake News”“Fake News”“LEAKS”“FAKE NEWS”“Fake News”“sick”“Fake News”“becoming more and more dishonest”“Even a dinner arranged for top 20 leaders in Germany is made to look sinister!”“Fake”“phony”“unnamed sources”“highly slanted”“fraudulent reporting”“#Fake”“DISTORTING DEMOCRACY in our country!”“when you hear the words “sources say” from the Fake Media, often times those sources are made up and do not exist”“Fake News”“Fake News”“Fake News”“will never cover me accurately but who cares!”“dishonest”“FAKE”“FRAUDULENT”“working hard to convince Republicans and others I should not use social media”“#FakeNews”“Fake News”“likes to say that I am not totally engaged in healthcare”“Wrong”“Fake News”“Fake”“hates when I use what has turned out to be my very powerful Social Media”“made up a phony collusion with the Russians story”“has never been so wrong or so dirty”“Purposely incorrect stories”“phony sources”“agenda of hate”“Sad!”“at an all time high”“Where is their apology to me for all of the incorrect stories???”“#FakeNews”“report the great economic news since Election Day”“FAKE”“working so hard trying to get me not to use Social Media”“They hate that I can get the honest and unfiltered message out”“Fake”“Fake”“works hard at disparaging & demeaning my use of social media because they don’t want America to hear the real story!”“fabricated lies”“#FakeNews”“fake”“fake”“#FakeNews”“Fake”“Fake”“Fake”“fake”“fake”“#FakeNews!”“Fake”“FAKE”“Fake”“did everything in its power to make the Republican Healthcare victory look as bad as possible”“Fake”“rarely reports Ocare is on its last legs”“Fake”“officially out of control”“will do or say anything in order to get attention”“FAKE”“refuses to state our long list of achievements”“fake”“FAKE”“almost always negative”“FAKE”“BAD!”“Fake Media (not Real Media)”“has gotten even worse since the election”“Every story is badly slanted”“Fake News”“Fake News”“now pushing the phony Russia story”“vicious”“inaccurate”“Fake News”“FAKE NEWS”“rude”“FAKE NEWS”“Russia talk is FAKE NEWS put out by the Dems, and played up by the media”“FAKE NEWS”“knowingly doesn’t tell the truth”“A great danger to our country”“Sad!”“FAKE NEWS”“fake news”“Fake”“FAKE NEWS”“the enemy of the American People!”“FAKE”“Dishonest”“FAKE NEWS”“makes up stories and ‘sources,’”“fading fast!”“fake news”“going crazy with their conspiracy theories and blind hatred”“FAKE NEWS, Very dishonest!”“FAKE NEWS”“lies!”“lied”“Very dishonest”“dishonest”“Dishonest”“fake!”“Dishonest”“Terrible!”“dishonest”“lies”“dishonest”“More dishonest than anyone knows”“distorted and inaccurate”“Serious bias – big problem!”“crooked”“typically false”“Very unfair!”“Very dishonest”“We are winning and the press is refusing to report it”“Don’t let them fool you”“in the tank for Clinton”“refuses to talk about the three new national polls that have me in first place”“has deceived the public by putting women front and center with made-up stories and lies”“dishonest”“distorted”“rigging election!”“rigging election!”“pushing false and unsubstantiated charges, and outright lies”“dishonest”“So dishonest!”“want me out of the race so badly”“totally one-sided “spin””“VERY dishonest”“just made up lies!”“never covered Hillary’s massive “hacking” or coughing attack”“It is being reported by virtually everyone, and is a fact, that the media pile on against me is the worst in American political history!”“dishonest”“corrupt”“dishonest”“My rallies are not covered properly”“never discuss the real message”“disgusting”“corrupt”“dishonest”“desperate to distract from Clinton’s anti-2A stance”“totally distort so many things on purpose”“Very dishonest!”“very dishonest”“totally biased”“distorted”“one-sided”“biased”“dishonest”“dishonest”“coverage this morning of the very average Clinton speech and Convention is a joke”“phony”“dishonest”“will find a good spinnnn!”“biased”“spending more time doing a forensic analysis of Melania’s speech than the FBI spent on Hillary’s emails”“so dishonest”“If I make a statement, they twist it and turn it to make it sound bad or foolish”“They think the public is stupid!”“Dishonest”“trying their absolute best to depict a star in a tweet as the Star of David rather than a Sheriff’s Star, or plain star!”“so totally biased”“dishonesty”“one big lie!”“totally biased”“biased”“phony”“on a new phony kick about my management style”“dishonest”“dishonest”“disgusting”“really on a witch-hunt against me”“False reporting, and plenty of it”“pushing the false narrative that I want to raise taxes”“unfair”“has not covered my long-shot great finish in Iowa fairly”“able to so incorrectly define a word for the public”“sad!”“dishonest reporters!”“dishonest”“always tough when they falsify”“won’t report!”“dishonest”“wants to surrender constitutional rights”“they only want negatives”“will not report the highly respected new national poll that just came out”“how will the media put a negative spin on this one?”“troublemakers”“despite the[ir] best efforts, the people are speaking loudly and clearly”“totally dishonest”“So sad!”“lies”

WHEW!  And that doesn’t include the filth he has spewed about virtually every journalist and media outlet who has ever criticized him.  Look back throughout history … has any president of the United States ever spoken so?  I think not.  Thus far he has stopped short of actually having journalists jailed, as other autocrats such as Putin and Erdoğan have done, but what he is doing is only one step short of that.  Never before in any democratic nation has a leader been so irresponsible in his dealing with the press.  And now, he has told the Press Secretary to ‘not bother’ communicating with the press, not bother providing information that enables We The People to know what our government is doing.

Remember last July, when Trump spoke to the VFW annual convention in Kansas City, where he said …

“Stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. … What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

Believe, in other words, only what he tells you to believe.  Believe only what the man who lies virtually every time he opens his mouth, tells you to believe.  Lies are truth, truth is ‘fake’.

Without a free press, folks, our boat is sunk.  Without a free press, we will live under a dictatorship.  Donald Trump was given the keys to the White House without the majority approval.  He has occupied that house illegitimately for two years now, and in that two years he has made a mockery of many of our institutions, many of our freedoms and protections, and the very foundation of our government, the document he took an oath, swearing to “preserve, protect and defend”.

No more daily press briefings.  Trump will tweet you what you need to know.  Nope, nothing to see here, folks …

Read At Your Own Risk …

WARNING:  The following is likely to cause severe nausea, headaches and anger.

On page A20 of today’s print edition of The Washington Post, there is a letter by an anonymous source claiming to be a 90-year-old man.  There is some speculation that Trump himself may have submitted the letter. The letter is listed as an advertisement and I could not find it anywhere in the online edition but had to follow a link to Twitter and from there was able to find the complete text.  Somebody with money to burn submitted the letter, for under WaPo’s advertising rate schedule, it would have cost tens of thousands of dollars to publish. While I realize and understand that the mainstream media has an obligation to give voice to all reasonable viewpoints, I consider this letter to be in poor taste and outside the bounds of ‘reasonable’, and not simply because I disagree with the premise of the letter.  The Washington Post has lowered its status in my view.  I leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Dear Mr. President,

In my opinion, on September 25th, 2018, you delivered one of the finest speeches ever given at the United Nations. For students of history, it was reminiscent of Winston Churchill as he faced (and often faced alone) the then threat of Nazism, and Ronald Reagan as he confronted “The Evil Empire” at The Berlin Wall.

Today, the greatest threat facing America, (along with free world), is “The Left’s” new religion of “Radical Liberalism”. Instead of tanks, artillery and aircraft, today’s Radical Left uses fear, threats and false allegations and ideologies to undermine the liberties and spiritual beliefs the West holds so dearly.

As with Churchill and Reagan, you Mr. President, are the only world leader with the courage and insight to identify, confront, and then expose “The Left’s” failed and corrupting ideologies such as “Globalism”, “Political Correctness”, “Multi-Culturalism” and the greatest hoax of all, “Man-Made Global Warming”.

The earth is governed by God’s law, not the whims of mankind.

The Bible says it best, when in Genesis 1, it reads, “… after creating man in his own image…. God blessed them and said unto them, be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth, and subdue it; and have domination over the fish of the sea, and over the foul in the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth”.

In simplest terms, God created the earth to serve man, and then provided the earth with everything mankind would need to grow and prosper. It’s man’s responsibility to manage those resources to nourish the world.

We can also thank God for the origin of the Rights, Liberties and Freedoms, expounded upon within our Constitution, as they are based on His Ten Commandments and grounded in the “unalienable rights” granted by our Creator.

It’s that word “Creator” that so scares the Radical Liberals.

The Radical Left try to fool as many people as they can into thinking “God is Dead”, because they know people who stop believing in God, will start believing in anything! Even junk science like “Man-Made Global Warming”, or repeatedly failed political philosophies such as Socialism! Just ask the people of Venezuela.

I know this won’t surprise you, Mr. President, but it should be noted that the reasons the Radical Left went “ballistic” in their all-out effort, to not simply defeat, but to destroy Judge Brett Kavanaugh and his family, was based on two key factors: the first is his belief in, and loyalty to our Constitution; the second, is that he and his family are devout Catholics who proudly acknowledge their belief in God. And then if that wasn’t enough to drive the Radical Left insane, America learns that the Kavanaugh family actually “pray together”, and in their prayers, they asked God to heal their father’s accuser.

There you have them. The two key elements that terrify the Radical Left. The first is the acknowledgement of the existence of God, and the second, is the invocation of the power of prayer!

There are many who may laugh at what I am about to say, but I don’t believe you will be one of them. Born and raised within the United States, I am a religious man of Lebanese decent. On November 1st, 2016, while visiting Lebanon, I travelled to the shrine of Saint Charbel (who has been credited with over 160,000 registered miracles attributed to his intercession) to pray for my miracle; the saving of America through your election as our President. I will always believe the Maronite Monk, canonized as Saint Charbel Makhlouf by Pope Paul VI, heard my prayers, granted my miracle, and put America back on a path to greatness.

Another gift your election has given our country is our First Lady, Melania Trump. She has brought a breath of fresh air to the nation. She’s a legal immigrant and naturalized American citizen who speaks six languages and who loves America, her history, her accomplishments and all for which she stands. On February 19th, 2017, the nation, and the world gained insight into the heart and soul of our First Lady when she was asked to speak at a campaign rally, but instead of the typical political rhetoric we’ve come to expect, she led your supporters in reciting “The Lord’s Prayer”. What a gift she is to us and the world!

Respectfully Sir, am I a fan of your “Twitter Diplomacy”? No. Am I supporter of the quickness and ferocity with which you attack your attackers? No. Have you conducted your Presidency with the same decorum as most previous Presidents? No. But then again, no President in modern history has worked so hard, for so long, to make good on so many of the promises you’ve made to America.

Even your political adversaries marvel at all you have accomplished, especially in lieu of the fact that no political personality in history has endured the impact of 90% or more, of negative news coverage, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With God’s help, you have not only survived, but thrived, and your successes have helped “the forgotten people”, both here at home, and around the world. Just as you have promised.

Mr. President, you may think you “chose” to run for President, but I am one who believes, you didn’t choose, …. you were chosen … just like God chose Moses to lead the Israelites out of Egypt!

May God continue to bless and protect America, as well as you, your family, and all the freedom loving people of the world.              

Signed,

A Reluctant “Anonymous”

​ARA@MyOpenLetterToPresidentTrump.org

Follow us on Twitter! @ToOurPotus

(Mr. President, I’ve lived almost 90 years on this earth in service to my God, my family and my country. Concerned for my personal safety and seeing the confrontations and violence the Radical Left unleash against those who speak out against them, my family pleaded with me not to disclose my identity for fear of such reprisals against them and/or myself. What a sickening, political reality in 21st Century America. However, hopefully Sir, one day we will meet, and I will proudly tell you my name while shaking your hand.)

barf bag

From Hero To Laughingstock …

I am quite certain that I’ve mentioned this before, but it bears repeating.  I once had tremendous respect for New York’s former mayor, Rudy Giuliani.  Nothing can or should take away from the fact that he, more than any other single person in the U.S., brought calm in a stormy sea, brought reason into chaos, and earned the respect of New Yorkers in the days after the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  His was the voice of reason, he was the one who said, “Calm down … BREATHE … we can do this … we can get through this.  Yes, we have been hurt, but … we are NEW YORKERS and we will be okay.” Nothing can take that away.  However, at some point between September 11th 2001 and August 19th 2018, the man lost his bloody marbles!!!

Giuliani frequently appears on the Sunday morning news shows to lie for defend Donald Trump, and yesterday was no exception.  Appearing on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, Giuliani proved once again that “Yes, I am an idiot”. After a question from Todd regarding the Mueller investigation …

“No, it isn’t truth! Truth isn’t truth!”

Say … huh???  Truth isn’t truth?  Kellyanne warned us some 19 months ago that there would be alternative facts, and later she even proved there is an alternative history, when she spoke of the “Bowling Green Massacre” that never happened.  So, it follows that if there are alternative facts, and alternative history, there must also be an alternative language, right?  Up is down.  Black is white.  Left is right.  Candy is healthy, and broccoli will cause your teeth to rot.  Truth is lies and lies are truth.  Donald Trump is wonderful, and Barack Obama was a lying, dirty scoundrel who was born in Kenya.  Applause, applause, applause …

They had fun with this on Twitter, of course …Tweettweet-2

tweet-3

And then, naturally, Andy Borowitz writing for the New Yorker got in on the act …

Putin Reportedly Close to Firing Giuliani

MOSCOW (The Borowitz Report)—Vladimir Putin is reportedly “very close” to firing Rudolph Giuliani as Donald J. Trump’s attorney, a source close to the Russian President confirmed on Monday.

According to the source, Putin allowed Trump to hire Giuliani in the first place because “it’s important to let Trump think that he has some autonomy from time to time,” but now the Russian President has apparently determined that “enough is enough.”

Over the next few days, the source indicated, Putin is likely to replace Giuliani with a handpicked successor, Arkady Lubetkin, a criminal-defense attorney who has represented several prominent Russian Mob figures.

After hearing anecdotal reports of Giuliani’s appearance on NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday, Putin initially theorized that the nonsensical nature of Giuliani’s utterances had to be chalked up to “an error in translation,” the source said.

After reading an official transcript of Giuliani’s statements, however, the Russian President was apparently “flabbergasted.”

“Pravda is not pravda?” Putin reportedly said. “What is this bullshit?”

Today, Giuliani attempted to extricate himself from his own words …

“My statement was not meant as a pontification on moral theology but one referring to the situation where two people make precisely contradictory statements, the classic “he said,she said” puzzle. Sometimes further inquiry can reveal the truth other times it doesn’t.”

Sometimes it is best just to learn when to keep one’s mouth shut, Rudy.

It is rather a sad statement on our present situation that 99.5% of our humour comes from our own government.  Equally sad when a man who was once a hero is now a laughingstock.

The day Donald Trump died

I stumbled across this post a few days ago, asked & received permission to share, and so I am sharing this one with you this afternoon. It is short, but the sardonic humour is, I think, excellent. Thank you, nkd, for permission to share!

Thoughts, Songs, Words

One day in the future, Donald Trump died, as people tend to do sooner or later.

His body was discovered in the master bedroom of the presidential palace at 6:00 a.m. (Eastern Time) by a White House aide, who was alerted by Twitter that the late president had not logged on to his account by 3:30 a.m., which had been customary for him to do so.

It was reported by anonymous sources that at the time of his death, the 45th president of the United States was still wearing his trademark red MAGA hat, along with his favorite white robe. 

It’s speculated that the president may have fallen when he tripped over a large United States Constitution that he had often complained was in his way.

Foul play is not suspected.  However, preliminary toxicology reports revealed extremely large doses of misogyny and narcissism present in his system, coupled with abnormally…

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Thoughts on Censorship …

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Note to Readers in Response to Comments:

Dear Readers …

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

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

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

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

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

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

Civil War II — Cancelled

As I reported earlier in the week, the U.S. was bracing for the onset of CWII (Civil War II) yesterday as the nation celebrated the Independence Day holiday.  Well, folks, you can come out now, for it didn’t happen and we seem safe, at least for the moment.  America’s numero uno conspiracy theorist, Alex Jones, had pronounced on his InfoWars program earlier this week that he had been informed by reliable sources that the democrats had a huge plan to start the second Civil War on the symbolic Fourth of July, overthrowing Trump and taking over the government.  Today, Alex Jones must be busily washing all the egg off his face, eh?egg on faceSome got some humour from the whole thing, at least.  Here are a few tweets …

The war isn’t going as planned. Our supply trucks are limited. I’m out of wine and sunscreen. The enemy burned all the books and there is no place to recharge my Kindle. The only music is an old CD of Justin Bieber. – All is lost. 

“My love, I’m unsure you will ever read this. I was captured at the battle of Starbucks and have been forced to watch the Dukes of Hazard for what feels like eternity. When I asked for water, I was given Budweiser, when I asked for bread I was given KFC.”

Dear heart, today we took a captive. We forced him to do hard labor. So far he has baked 75 gay wedding cakes. Adam and Steve’s battle-side ceremony was beautiful, they thank you for the toaster. 

Dear Ma and Pa, It’s Day 2 of the #SecondCivilWar. My comrades and I have set up camp in a library. There is absolutely no chance they will find us here. Love, Sam

My brothers and sisters: I regretfully report that I will not be able to make it to the battlefield for the #SecondCivilWar. I was drafting battle plans in a Starbucks when I was arrested for not buying anything. You must stay strong in my absence.

Dearest Parents, The mess hall has run out of avocados so I was forced to top my toast with jam. The fog of war is so trying at times that even my therapy unicorn brings no comfort. 😢 

Dear General Rodham, we have  gained on the enemy by building a wall of your emails, which they can’t get over.

We have snuck behind enemy lines and removed the gender-specific signage from their latrines. Now we wait for their bladders to explode.

I have to go to Ralph’s then need to shower but I can shower after the war I guess

Dear Alexa, we are pinned down and in urgent need of ammunition. Please send ASAP… but only if it qualifies for Amazon Prime’s free shipping.

Some people are saying that the war is over. Can this be true? Those of us in Texas remain sceptical, recalling the end of the first war, when the declaration of surrender got lost in the spam filter for two years.

And on it goes, for in the few minutes I spent on #secondcivilwarletters on Twitter searching for the above samples, over 100 more tweets had hit the site!  I am glad that most found the humour in the lies that came from Jones’ mouth, for it had been my fear that enough would take him seriously to arm themselves as they went to various festivities.  Since most of those festivities include massive amounts of alcohol, and since most people aren’t too level-headed after consuming massive amounts of alcohol, I was anticipating at least a few incidents.  Jones’ claims were ridiculous enough that one would think they wouldn’t be taken seriously, but then … remember Pizzagate?

An Ugly Voice — Peter T. King

I had no intention of writing about this topic again this week.  I was fairly certain it would come up again in the near future, for I don’t think the final word has been said yet, but I thought the topic was put to bed for a nap, at least.  Until, that is, the abominable New York Congressman  Peter King had to open his mouth and spew the most ludicrous thing I have heard and get the needle on my radar twitching and my fingers itching.  And what topic is that, you may be wondering?  The NFL decision to fine teams & players who refuse to stand for the playing of the national anthem before games.

My feelings on this are well-known and do not bear repeating, but an examination of Mr. King’s statement is definitely in order.  As I mentioned in my last post about this topic, Take A Knee, there was one team owner who stood above all the rest in the decision of the team owners.  Christopher Johnson, acting owner of the New York Jets, stood up for his players …chris johnson.jpg“I never want to put restrictions on the speech of our players. Do I prefer that they stand? Of course. But I understand if they felt the need to protest. There are some big, complicated issues that we’re all struggling with, and our players are on the front lines. I don’t want to come down on them like a ton of bricks, and I won’t. There will be no club fines or suspensions or any sort of repercussions. If the team gets fined, that’s just something I’ll have to bear.”

I applaud him for being the only one to stand heads above the rest, to have the courage of his convictions, to stand for his players.  But apparently Representative King viewed it a bit differently …Pete King.pngHe is comparing taking a knee rather than standing at attention for a stupid song to a Nazi salute?  He is comparing a peaceful protest against police brutality and racial injustice to a group of people who commited murder, who committed genocide, who committed crimes against humanity when they killed more than 6 million people???  What tree did this ‘man’ fall from?

I commented on his tweet:

“You are delusional, Mr. King, and not worthy of the office you hold.  Have you ever read the U.S. Constitution?  I suggest you do so, post haste.”

That was mild, compared to what I wanted to say, but Twitter has a word limit, and presumably a set of standards about language, so I restrained myself.  But let us ask a question here:  Is this the ‘new norm’?  Is what used to be admirable no longer so, and bigotry now what is looked up to?

I was encouraged that, with few exceptions, the comments to King’s tweet were along the lines of voting him out of office, which tells me that no, We The People have not become cruel, heartless, anti-freedom idiots.  But how did we come to this point, to this place where we are electing people to high offices in our federal government who have so little humanity, no empathy for humans?  And in New York, of all places!  C’mon, New Yorkers … you’re better than this!

Peter King photo.pngMr. King piqued my curiosity … people don’t just become this way overnight, after all … so I dug a little deeper.  What I found is an unapologetic racist, an intense Islamophobe, homophobe.  King has been in office since 1992, and it is the opinion of this writer that it is well past time to take out the trash.  Let us hope that there is a strong, viable candidate running against Mr. King in the 2nd congressional district of New York in November.