A View From The ‘Other Side’

I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was planning to sneak into republican territory to try to gain a better understanding of their ideology … and why they still support Trump after all the death and destruction he has wrought.  So far, I’ve been a bit slow in doing that, for I find I have a low tolerance for much of what I find on the Republican’s turf.  Today, however, an opinion piece by conservative writer Hugh Hewitt, a Washington Post columnist, raised my hackles sufficiently that I had to address it.  I won’t replay the entire piece, but you can find it over at The Washington Post if you feel so inclined.  What I will do is address a few of his more ludicrous statements.

The title of Mr. Hewitt’s piece was telling in itself: The case for Trump will come down to his record. It’s a strong one.”

I knew right then it was likely to make me growl, and I wasn’t disappointed.  A few snippets from his column, with my responses in blue

“With huge help from Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), Trump has put two justices on the Supreme Court, 53 judges on the federal courts of appeals, 144 and counting on the District courts, and more than 20 on the specialty courts. The Constitution has been buttressed.”  Change the word “buttressed” to “battered”.  I’m glad to see he assigns blame for this mess to McConnell, as well.  No wonder ol’ Mitchie has an ever-expanding ego!

“Trump’s tax cuts, along with the massive deregulation he orchestrated, led to 3.5 percent unemployment until the regime in Beijing acted with criminal recklessness toward a virus that has devastated the world.”  Trump’s tax cuts mostly went to the wealthy, and the unemployment was already low before Trump took office.  He does not get credit for that.  But more to the point … to blame China for “criminal recklessness” is the most ridiculous thing.  China did not, contrary to the conspiracy theorists, manufacture the virus intentionally in a lab!  The only ‘criminal recklessness’ that has led to more than 156,000 deaths in the U.S. was Trump’s horrific mishandling from day #1!  And that ‘massive deregulation’ has contributed to the further destruction of our air, water, and wildlife on planet Earth.

“Trump took a military operating in President Barack Obama’s last years at about $600 billion and moved that budget by his third year to $738 billion, with more in the budget coming soon. The Navy necessary to meet China on the high seas, all 355 ships of it, is being planned and built.”  Oh goodie … while people are homeless, going to bed hungry, and cannot afford health care, even more of our tax dollars are going to support an already over-bloated military so that we can start a war with China!  I sure feel better, don’t you?  The U.S. already has the largest military on the globe, and now we have a warmonger in the White House … what could possibly go wrong?

“Trump took the United States out of the unbalanced, absurd, doomed-to-fail Paris Climate Agreement and has instead focused on and delivered American energy independence. People have real job security in Pennsylvania as a result, if not in jetting off to Paris for follow-up seminars.”  One commenter to Hewitt’s piece said she’d like to have some of what he’s been smoking … I agree.  The environment is in real trouble and the Paris Accords were the last best hope for getting all nations to work together to try to preserve life on the planet, yet Mr. Hewitt is applauding Trump’s decisions that have made the extinction of most living species almost a certainty?  Are you growling yet?  And as for the coal industry in Pennsylvania … coal is on its way out, and nothing … nothing Trump can do is going to change that.  Retraining the miners in another industry, such as renewable energy, would have been much kinder.

“Trump’s border wall, proceeding apace, makes obvious sense. More than 200 miles completed, with Trump tweeting Thursday the length with [sic] be 300 miles by September.”  Of the 200 miles, only 3 miles is new, and the other 197 miles replaced existing border barriers.  The funds to build this ‘wall’ have been hijacked from budgets earmarked for other, more important things.  And the cost thus far has been over $15 billion.  Further … the experts have shown that such a structure will not stop illegal immigration.  More of our tax dollars wasted while children go to bed hungry at night!

“Trump has also stripped off the veneer of objectivity from the “fake news.” “Blue Bubble” journalists are the last to know the contempt in which they are held beyond the Acela corridor and outside Silicon Valley and Hollywood. They mistake their small audience share for success.”  Seriously?  ‘Small audience’???  The New York Times had, as of the 4th quarter last year, 3.43 million paid subscribers, and The Washington Post is estimated to have more than 2 million. 

I read around 30 comments responding to Mr. Hewitt, and of those, only one was favourable to Mr. Hewitt, the rest calling his words ‘a spoof’, ‘laughable’, and more.  The one positive comment simply said, “What a wonderful man.”  Not a single comment that I saw supported Hewitt’s premises, and several pointed out a few of Trump’s worst blunders, including his handling of the pandemic that has led to so much unnecessary loss of life.

I went into this in hopes of gaining understanding, but with such views as Mr. Hewitt’s, I am left to wonder how right and left can move closer to understanding each other and finding common ground.  How do we unite two sides that are so very far apart in their views and ideologies?  Is it a lost cause, and are we doomed to be a nation so divided forever?  If so, we will not remain a single nation for long, for the chasm in which we live today is untenable.  The United States of America is not by any stretch of the imagination ‘united’ today.

Snarky … Yes Again … Snippets

After a day off from snarking, I find the snark buildup is bubbling, threatening to overflow.  And so … here we go again …


Remember yesterday when I told you about Representative Louie Gohmert who had contracted the coronavirus and tried to claim he got it from wearing a mask?  Well, I knew Gohmert had been on my radar before, and right after I wrote that, another instance of his apparent insanity hit my inbox.

Last week, Gohmert introduced a resolution in the House of Representatives that calls on the U.S. House to bar all Democrats from the chamber because of the party’s historical ties to slavery and racism unless the party is renamed.  Say WHAT???

Said Gohmert in a Breitbart (go figure) article …

“Efforts by Democrats to destroy all public traces of their own history of supporting slavery, the Confederacy, and segregation in an attempt to shift blame onto Republicans must no longer go unchallenged. It is time for Democrats to play by their own rules, and accept the standards they have forced onto everyone else. They must divest themselves of their name that has denied so many the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

Now, we all know that this ‘resolution’ is going nowhere and is naught but Mr. Gohmert’s childish attempt to counter the removal of the confederate statues that he apparently loved from the Capitol building.  But for PETE’S SAKE, people of Texas!!!  Keep this arsehole in Texas!  Please, do NOT send him back to Washington, or I might just go bash his head in myself!

Congress cannot seem to come up with a single meaningful piece of legislation (thank you, Mitch McConnell), they are allowing critical safeguards for people in dire need to lapse at midnight tonight because they are too damn divided by partisanship and driven by egos to uphold their oaths of office, yet we have representatives … people whose salary WE THE PEOPLE are paying, playing these childish games, wasting both time and money … OUR money!  Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr …


The purpose of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is to oversee missions involving anti-terrorism, border security, immigration and customs, cyber security, and disaster prevention and management.  It was created in November 2002 in response to the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, and began operations the following year.  And yet, yesterday The Washington Post reported that DHS has compiled “intelligence reports” about the work of American journalists covering protests in Portland, Oregon.  Please take a moment to let that one sink in, my friends.  Journalists are NOT the nation’s enemy, but rather the free press is the one thing that stands between us and a dictatorship!

The DHS intelligence reports, which are unclassified, are traditionally used for sharing the department’s analysis with federal law enforcement agencies, state and local officials and some foreign governments. They are not intended to disseminate information about American citizens who have no connection to terrorists or other violent actors and who are engaged in activity protected by the First Amendment, such as a free press!  Said John Sandweg, who previously served as the department’s acting general counsel …

“This has no operational value whatsoever.  This will just damage the intelligence office’s reputation.”

The two journalists were New York Times reporter Mike Baker and Benjamin Wittes, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution and the editor in chief of Lawfare.  Baker co-wrote an article on July 28 that revealed an internal DHS memo indicating that the camouflaged federal agents sent to put down the unrest in Portland didn’t understand the nature of the protests they were facing.  Wittes posted, among other information, a DHS memo admonishing department personnel not to give information to reporters.

Once again, my friends, we are being treated as the enemy … our constitutional rights are being trampled!  The Department of Homeland Security is there to keep us safe, but instead they are endangering our very lives by attempting to harm our free press.


On Tuesday, Donald Trump showed us what he is made of.  With, as of this writing, more than 155,000 deaths in the U.S. due to the coronavirus pandemic, Donald Trump held a press briefing, the main purpose of which seemed to be to whine that Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx had higher approval ratings than he does.

“And yet, they’re highly thought of — but nobody likes me.”

Has it occurred to him that … he has cost this nation so much in terms of our democratic foundation, our human rights, our health, and our very lives that he is not at all ‘likeable’?  Apparently not.  Has it occurred to him that the presidency is not a popularity contest, but a serious responsibility — one that he has failed in over and over again?  Has it occurred to him that his constant criticism of all who disagree with him, his constant bragging about things he has no claim to brag about, and his continual shirking of his responsibility makes him an abomination rather than a ‘man’ worthy of respect?

Please take a moment … well, a few moments, actually, to watch Chris Cuomo explain to “Mr. President” [sic] why the people of this nation trust Drs. Fauci & Birx more than they trust Donald Trump … he makes his case well.

No, He Cannot Do That …

This morning, Donald Trump tweeted …

“With Universal Mail-In Voting (not Absentee Voting, which is good), 2020 will be the most INACCURATE & FRAUDULENT Election in history. It will be a great embarrassment to the USA. Delay the Election until people can properly, securely and safely vote???”

Put your mind at ease, folks … it ain’t gonna happen.

First, his claims about election fraud are unfounded and false.  The reality here is that he is dropping in the polls and isn’t likely to gain much ground in the remaining three months before the election, given the fact that the coronavirus continues to rage out of control, his federal troops are creating chaos in our cities, and he is his own worst enemy.

But more to the point, he does not have the power to postpone the election, the date of which was set by an 1845 federal law placing it the first Tuesday after the first Monday in November.  The date could move theoretically with action by Congress — but that would require agreement both by the Democrats who control the House and the Republicans who control the Senate. Neither side supports the idea.  Even the ignoble Mitch McConnell rebuffed Trump’s idea, saying that the election date is “set in stone.”

Representative Zoe Lofgren, chairwoman of the House Administration Committee, which has jurisdiction over elections, issued a statement saying …

“Americans have voted during the Civil War, in the midst of the Great Depression, in the shadow of World Wars, and in the wake of terrorist attacks. Americans will stand united to vote this November.”

Freedom House issued the following statement:

Washington  –  July 30, 2020 —  In response to President Donald Trump’s latest claims that mail-in voting will enable massive fraud in the November general elections, and suggestion that the elections be delayed, Freedom House issued the following statement:

“The president does not have the power to delay the elections,” said Michael J. Abramowitz, president of Freedom House. “The danger here is that he is using groundless claims about the integrity of mail-in voting to try to delegitimize the electoral process. Those of us who hold democracy dear must reject this ploy.”

“The president’s baseless attacks on the integrity of mail-in voting are grossly irresponsible and must end before any further damage to public confidence is done. It is extremely unusual, in the United States or anywhere in the world, for an incumbent leader to predict fraud in his own bid for reelection. President Trump has a duty to safeguard the electoral system while in office, and if he is concerned that state officials and the postal service are unprepared, he should ask Congress to allocate more resources without further delay.”

“The fact is that large-scale postal voting has been used safely for many years in several states, and electoral officials of both parties have moved to increase access to vote-by-mail procedures in light of the threat posed by COVID-19,” Abramowitz added. “While authorities should also ensure that in-person voting is safe and accessible, for instance by allowing early voting and extending voting hours on election day, mail-in voting has become an essential component of democratic practice in 2020.”

So, put your minds at ease, folks … the election will be held on November 3rd!

Short, Not-So-Sweet, And To The Point

Tonight’s post is short … I have a single rant and a poem, and then I am going to bed, for I am tired, angry, sad, and my left eye is swollen shut (no, I didn’t get punched — I petted the cat, then rubbed my eye).  I’ll be back later with renewed energy (I hope).


Gross misuse of OUR MONEY!!!

In the United States today, we have a rising national debt that is currently at $24.95 trillion.  We have a raging pandemic taking a thousand lives a day.  We have high levels of unemployment unequaled since WWII.  We have people being evicted from their homes.  We have people who cannot afford to buy food to feed their families.  We have so many needs in this nation right this very minute.  Meanwhile, Melania Trump is planning to spend OUR money to … wait for it … remodel the f**king Rose Garden!  With only 100 days left until the election, odds are she won’t be there to ‘enjoy’ it for long, and what is this going to cost us?

According to the New York Times

The project, which includes electrical upgrades for television appearances, a new walkway and new flowers and shrubs, is meant to be an “act of expressing hope and optimism for the future,” according to a set of prepared remarks Mrs. Trump will deliver to the Committee for the Preservation of the White House later Monday morning.

“Our country has seen difficult times before, but the White House and the Rose Garden have always stood as a symbol of our strength, resilience and continuity.”

Bullshit!  ‘Hope and optimism for the future’???  If Trump gets re-elected, there will be NO hope and NO optimism and NO future for this nation!

If Trump wants the Rose Garden renovated for the purpose of enhancing his campaign for re-election, let him pay for it!  The people of this nation cannot eat the flowers and new electrical system in the Rose Garden!!!  It will not provide much-needed equipment to hospitals to help with the overflow caused by the coronavirus!!!  It will not pay the rent, so a family won’t be thrown out on the streets!!!  Get your priorities straight, Donald and Melania, else get the hell out of the White House altogether!  Go back to Mar-a-Lago and redecorate as much as you like on your own dime and your own time!


First Trump Came …

You’ve all heard the famous Martin Niemöller poem, “First They Came …” many, many times, right?  The following poem is a modern version of that, written by Gideon Lichfield, MIT Technology Review’s editor in chief.  This is Niemöller’s poem rewritten for Donald Trump’s America, and published in Quartz in June 2016, even before the election that ushered Mr. Trump into the White House.  I think it speaks volumes today, more than four years later.

First Trump came for the women
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a woman.

Then Trump came for the people with disabilities
And I did not speak out
Because I did not have a disability.

Then Trump came for the African Americans
And I did not speak out
Because I was not African American.

Then Trump came for the Mexicans
And I did not speak out
Because I was not Mexican.

Then Trump came for the Muslims
And I did not speak out
Because I was not Muslim.

Then Trump came for the gay, bi, and trans people
And I did not speak out
Because I was not gay, bi or trans.*

Then Trump came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew.**

Then Trump came for the journalists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a journalist.***

Then Trump came for the judges
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a judge.

And now Trump is coming for the Constitution of the United States
And if I do not speak out, what am I?

* Actually I am one of those, and I didn’t speak out about that.
** And one of those, and didn’t speak out about that either.
*** Ditto.

I think he summed it up fairly well, don’t you?  Think about it.

The Week’s Best Cartoons: Trump’s Goons

There are many things wrong in this nation this week, but none so WRONG as the invasion of Portland and now Seattle by Trump’s forces. This week’s round of cartoons by our friend TokyoSand covers it well. Thank you, TS!

Political⚡Charge

ByLalo Alcaraz

There was a lot of news this week, but none bigger than Trump sending in unidentified federal agents to kidnap and harass citizens exercising their constitutional right to protest. The Portland Black Lives Matter protests have been going on for 50+ days now.

The nation’s great editorial cartoonists captured the moment like no one else can. Here are the best cartoons I found this week.

Trump Responds to the Portland Protests

ByKevin Siers, Charlotte Observer

ByMarc Murphy, Louisville Courier-Journal

ByPhil Hands, Wisconsin State Journal

ByAnn Telnaes, Washington Post

ByMatt Davies, Newsday

ByScott Stantis, Chicago Tribune

ByPat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ByMatt Davies, Newsday

ByMatt Davies, Newsday

ByNick Anderson

ByBill Bramhall, New York Daily News

ByChristopher Weyant

ByPat Bagley, Salt Lake Tribune

ByMike…

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Snarky Is The New Normal

Try as I might, I cannot seem to keep the snarky at bay these days.  I wake in the morning to an overflow of ‘breaking news’ on my phone, and it’s downhill from there … every story either causes my jaw to drop or an expletive to issue forth before I can stop it.  It amazes me, as I sit here looking out the window, that the grass is still green, the birds are still flying about and stopping to help themselves to the bird seed on my patio, the flowers still bloom, children are out playing and laughing … everything appears to be ‘normal’, just as it was before, just as it has always been.  But it is not … nothing is ‘normal’ in these troubled times.  ‘Twould seem that snarky is my new ‘normal’, so …


Assault on the 1st Amendment …

During the protests that have resulted since the brutal murder of George Floyd in May, law enforcement officials have assaulted and arrested journalists who were reporting on the protests.  When Trump sent unwanted and unneeded federal forces into Portland, the violence only escalated, as did the attacks on members of the press.  This, as I see it, is a direct assault on the 1st Amendment right to a free press.  U.S. District Judge Michael Simon agreed with me in his ruling this week that …

“When wrongdoing is underway, officials have great incentive to blindfold the watchful eyes of the fourth estate. The free press is the guardian of the public’s interests and the independent judiciary is the guardian of the free press.”

And with that, he issued a temporary restraining order not to arrest or assault journalists and legal observers for doing their jobs.  Trump & Co have said they will appeal the order.  This should concern us all, for if the press are stifled from reporting on such things as the brute force being used in Portland, Oregon, how do we know what is happening?  Or, as Attorney Matthew Borden, representing the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon, said …

“These are not accidents. These are not inadvertent shots. These are trained marksmen and these are the actions of a tyrant. They do not have a place in Portland, Oregon and they do not have a place under the First Amendment. If you do not have the press reporting on events first-hand, then you only have the version put forth by the government. And that’s what you have under a totalitarian state.”

If assaulting and arresting the press when they are doing their job, performing their duty to We the People, is allowed to become the ‘norm’, then we will no longer be a “free” nation, but as Mr. Borden said, a totalitarian state.  What will follow will not be pretty, my friends.


Like a bad penny …

You’ve heard the expression about a bad penny that keeps turning back up?  Sheriff Joe Arpaio is one such bad penny and yes, he’s back in the news and back on the campaign trail, this time running for Sheriff of Maricopa County once again.  The ‘man’ is 88 years old, for Pete’s Sake … shouldn’t he just crawl off into the sunset and die or something?

Arpaio-2In case you’ve forgotten, Sheriff Joe ran the most corrupt law enforcement department in the nation from 1993 until 2017 when he lost his re-election bid to a democrat, Paul Penzone.  Thing is, Sheriff Joe was convicted of criminal contempt of court in 2017, but soon thereafter was pardoned by his partner in crime, Donald Trump.  After losing his position as Sheriff, in 2018 he made an unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate.  He never got out of the starting gate on that one, came in with the lowest percentile in the primaries, and I thought surely that was the last we would hear from Sheriff Joe.  But no …

And Joe Arpaio has not learned a damn thing despite having been the target of numerous lawsuits charging abuse of prisoners, entrapment, racism and much more.  In his campaign announcement, he vowed to bring back things that the courts have either deemed illegal or his successor has done away with — immigration crackdowns, a complex of jail tents and other now-discarded trademarks.

“I’m telling you right now: I am going to do 90% of what I did during my 24 years. That’s the way it’s going to be.”

I don’t expect Arpaio to win … but let’s face it, we are living in strange times and if a television comedian can become president … need I say more?


Sinclair to do WHAT???

Most every city in the U.S. has a Sinclair Broadcasting channel, including my own.  Here in Cincinnati it is WKRC, channel 12 … a station that was once among the most reputable but has apparently slunk to sleaze.  This weekend, local television stations owned by the Sinclair Broadcast Group are set to air a conspiracy theory that suggests Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top expert on infectious diseases, was responsible for the creation of the coronavirus.

This sort of broadcasting is beneath even Fox ‘News’, let alone what was once a reputable media company!  This is something I would expect from Alex Jones or Breitbart.  The baseless conspiracy theory is set to air on stations across the country in a segment during the program “America This Week” hosted by Eric Bolling.

Bolling, by the way, is a former Fox ‘News’ host … no surprise there, eh?  I sincerely hope that Dr. Fauci files a libel suit against Sinclair, and perhaps Bolling personally.


Republicans wearing blinders?

It’s probably a good thing the Republican Party wasn’t in existence in the mid-1300s when the Bubonic Plague was around, else the entire human species might have died out then.  On second thought, perhaps that might not have been such a bad thing.  A recent PEW Research study shows that while 85% of democrats say the coronavirus pandemic is a major threat to the health of the U.S. population, only 46% of republicans see it as a major threat.  WTF???

good griefThere are, as of this writing, 4.3 million cases reported and very nearly 150,000 deaths in the U.S. alone, and the majority of republicans don’t think it’s a major threat???  We have more deaths than any other nation on the planet, and more than double the number of every other nation with the exception of Brazil, who have just over half as many deaths as the U.S.

Were the republicans brainwashed in the spring when Trump told them it wasn’t a big deal – 15 cases and they would soon be gone?  Or do they not see death as a threat to human survival?  What if we had a government run by non-republicans who take such things as a pandemic seriously?  Perhaps we would have had only 30,000 deaths and fewer than a million cases?  We will never know, will we?

Neither Snow Nor Rain Nor…

Louis-DeJoyLouis DeJoy is the new Postmaster General for the United States Postal Service.  His qualification for the job?  He bought the position by donating $360,000 to Donald Trump’s campaign fund, and another $70,000 to the Republican National Committee (RNC) just since January of this year.  In total, since 2016, he has donated over $2.5 million to Donald Trump and the RNC.  I have not been able to verify his net worth, but he lives in a $5.9 million mansion, if that tells you anything.  He is not a man who really needs that tax refund check or social security check to be delivered in a timely manner.

Oh, and an aside … DeJoy’s wife, Aldona Wos, has also been given a cushy job in the administration as U.S. Ambassador to Canada, with an annual salary of somewhere between $125,000 and $187,000.

Donald Trump has made clear his intent to privatize the post office since his inauguration. In 2018, Trump issued an executive order to create a task force to investigate the operations of USPS because it “was on an unsustainable financial path and must be restructured to prevent a taxpayer-funded bailout.” This “restructuring” involved a variety of measures including multiple increases in postal rates and the slashing of labor costs.

DeJoy moved into his position as Postmaster General in June, and since then has quietly been making changes that de-emphasize getting the mail out on time.  I have personally experienced several delays in receiving my mail, including one that caused me to be without crucial medication for a brief period.  I can only imagine what others have gone through.

mnuchin-2

Steve Mnuchin

I’ve written before about some of the troubles the USPS has had, particularly since the coronavirus pandemic hit, causing a loss of revenue, mostly from first-class mail and advertising mail.  While it’s nice to get less junk mail, I don’t like knowing what that means for the much-relied-upon postal service. Over two months ago, Congress approved a bi-partisan bill authorizing a $10 million loan to the USPS, but Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin has refused to release the money!

Enter Louis DeJoy, who should be standing by the USPS motto, who should be fighting Mnuchin and Trump tooth and nail to get the much-needed funding released by the Treasury Department, but instead he has cut all overtime for postal workers, and has said that if delivering some mail will cause them to be delayed on their routes, they must leave it behind and deliver it another day!usps-2There are two major concerns here.  First, that check or medication you were counting on to arrive today may not arrive until next week, leaving you in a lurch or worse.  Of equal concern, though, is that with just over three months until what is arguably the most important election of our lifetime, and many states offering mail-in voting in this time of pandemic, will we receive our ballots on time, and will they be received at the polling stations on time?  I have voted by mail for several years now, find it a great convenience, and have always had confidence that it was an efficient process.  This year?  I’m not so sure.usps-1My best guess is the issue of mail-in ballots is the main reason that Mnuchin, surely under Trump’s orders, is refusing to release the already-approved loan to the USPS.  In so doing, he is putting lives at risk, and putting our right to vote at considerable risk.  If the USPS has been ordered by its new Postmaster General to “leave mail lying on the floor” in some cases, then how can we possibly have confidence that our mail, our all-important votes, will be delivered?usps-3


Here’s one of the latest ads by The Lincoln Project, a group of republicans who have seen what Donald Trump is doing to this nation and are putting the good of nation ahead of party loyalty.

Trump’s Attack On Democracy

While Donald Trump claims to be the “law and order” president, he has broken the law and breached the U.S. Constitution more than a few times, especially last week in Portland, Oregon. Charles French provides us with a chilling assessment of where this could lead. Thank you, Charles, for this excellent post, and your generous permission to share it with my readers.

charles french words reading and writing

flag of america (Photo by Sharefaith on Pexels.com)

What happened the other night in Portland, Oregon should have all Americans who believe in the Constitution, Freedom, and Democracy outraged and frightened. Please do not divert the subject by speaking about “riots”. That is an issue that is addressed by local and state authorities, not the Federal Government.  The President does not seem to care about the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

The Fourth Amendment says, “The right of the people to  be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Having Federal agents, wearing police insignia without identification of person or office arresting people without warrants and taking…

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Trump’s Tribute To Hatred & Divisiveness

What follows is a transcript of the 45-minute speech that Donald Trump gave yesterday evening at a very expensive ceremony at Mount Rushmore.  It is long, some 3,671 words, but I hope you will take the time to at least read the highlighted portions.  My commentary will follow later today, or more likely tomorrow. I have numbered the paragraphs for easy reference.


#1 – Well, thank you very much. Governor Noem, Secretary Bernhardt, we very much appreciate it. Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and a very special hello to South Dakota. As we begin this 4th of July weekend, the First Lady and I would wish each and every one of you a very, very happy Independence Day. Thank you.

#2 – Let us show our appreciation to the South Dakota Army and Air National Guard and the Air Force for inspiring us with that magnificent display of American air power, and of course our gratitude as always to the legendary and very talented Blue Angels. Thank you very much. Let us also send you our deepest thanks to our wonderful veterans, law enforcement, first responders, and the doctors, nurses, and scientists working tirelessly to kill the virus. They are working hard. I want to thank them very, very much. We’re grateful as well to your state’s congressional delegation. Senator John Thune. John, thank you very much. Senator Mike Rounds. Thank you, Mike. And Dusty Johnson, Congressman. Hi, Dusty. Thank you. And all others with us tonight from Congress, thank you very much for coming. We appreciate it.

#3 – There could be no better place to celebrate America’s independence than beneath this magnificent, incredible majestic mountain and monument to the greatest Americans who have ever lived. Today we pay tribute to the exceptional lives and extraordinary legacies of George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Teddy Roosevelt. I am here as your president to proclaim before the country and before the world, this monument will never be desecrated, these heroes will never be defamed, their legacy will never ever be destroyed, their achievements will never be forgotten, and Mount Rushmore will stand forever as an eternal tribute to our forefathers and to our freedom.

#4 – We gather tonight to herald the most important day in the history of nations, July 4th, 1776. At those words, every American heart should swell with pride, every American family should cheer with delight, and every American patriot should be filled with joy because each of you lives in the most magnificent country in the history of the world and it will soon be greater than ever before.

#5 – Our founders launched not only a revolution in government, but a revolution in the pursuit of justice, equality, liberty, and prosperity. No nation has done more to advance the human condition than the United States of America and no people have done more to promote human progress than the citizens of our great nation. It was all made possible by the courage of 56 patriots who gathered in Philadelphia 244 years ago and signed the Declaration of Independence. They enshrined a divine truth that changed the world forever when they said, “All men are created equal.” These immortal words set in motion the unstoppable march of freedom. Our founders boldly declared that we are all endowed with the same divine rights, given us by our Creator in Heaven, and that which God has given us, we will allow no one ever to take away ever.

#6 – 1776 represented the culmination of thousands of years of Western civilization and the triumph of not only spirit, but of wisdom, philosophy, and reason. And yet, as we meet here tonight, there is a growing danger that threatens every blessing our ancestors fought so hard for, struggled, they bled to secure. Our nation is witnessing a merciless campaign to wipe out our history, defame our heroes, erase our values, and indoctrinate our children. Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders, deface our most sacred memorials, and unleash a wave of violent crime in our cities. Many of these people have no idea why they’re doing this, but some know what they are doing. They think the American people are weak and soft and submissive, but no, the American people are strong and proud and they will not allow our country and all of its values, history, and culture to be taken from them.

#7 – One of their political weapons is cancel culture, driving people from their jobs, shaming dissenters, and demanding total submission from anyone who disagrees. This is the very definition of totalitarianism, and it is completely alien to our culture and to our values and it has absolutely no place in the United States of America.

#8 – This attack on our liberty, our magnificent liberty must be stopped, and it will be stopped very quickly. We will expose this dangerous movement, protect our nation’s children from this radical assault, and preserve our beloved American way of life. In our schools, our newsrooms, even our corporate boardrooms, there is a new far-left fascism that demands absolute allegiance. If you do not speak its language, perform its rituals, recite its mantras, and follow its commandments, then you will be censored, banished, blacklisted, persecuted, and punished. It’s not going to happen to us.

#9 – Make no mistake. This left-wing cultural revolution is designed to overthrow the American Revolution. In so doing they would destroy the very civilization that rescued billions from poverty, disease, violence, and hunger, and that lifted humanity to new heights of achievement, discovery, and progress. To make this possible, they are determined to tear down every statue, symbol, and memory of our national heritage.

– Memory of our national heritage.

#10 – True. That’s very true actually. That is why I am deploying federal law enforcement to protect our monuments, arrest the rioters, and prosecutors offenders to the fullest extent of the law.

Thank you.

#11 – I am pleased to report that yesterday, federal agents arrested the suspected ringleader of the attack on the statue of the great Andrew Jackson in Washington, D.C., and in addition, hundreds more have been arrested. Under the executive order I signed last week pertaining to the Veterans Memorial Preservation Memorial and Recognition Act and other laws, people who damage or deface federal statues or monuments will get a minimum of 10 years in prison and obviously that includes our beautiful Mount Rushmore.

#12 – Our people have a great memory. They will never forget the destruction of statues and monuments to George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, abolitionists and many others. The violent mayhem we have seen in the streets and cities that are run by liberal Democrats in every case is the predictable result of years of extreme indoctrination and bias in education, journalism, and other cultural institutions. Against every law of society and nature, our children are taught in school to hate their own country and to believe that the men and women who built it were not heroes but that were villains. The radical view of American history is a web of lies, all perspective is removed, every virtue is obscured, every motive is twisted, every fact is distorted and every flaw is magnified until the history is purged and the record is disfigured beyond all recognition. This movement is openly attacking the legacies of every person on Mount Rushmore. They defiled the memory of Washington, Jefferson, Lincoln and Roosevelt. Today we will set history and history’s record straight.

#13 – Before these figures were immortalized in stone, they were American giants in full flesh and blood, gallant men, whose intrepid deeds unleashed the greatest leap of human advancement the world has ever known. Tonight I will tell you and most importantly the youth of our nation the true stories of these great, great men. From head to toe George Washington represented the strength, grace, and dignity of the American people. From a small volunteer force of citizen farmers, he created the Continental Army out of nothing and rallied them to stand against the most powerful military on earth. Through eight long years, through the brutal winter at Valley Forge, through setback after setback on the field of battle, he led those patriots to ultimate triumph. When the army had dwindled to a few thousand men at Christmas of 1776, when defeat seemed absolutely certain, he took what remained of his forces on a daring nighttime crossing of the Delaware River. They marched through nine miles of frigid darkness, many without boots on their feet, leaving a trail of blood in the snow. In the morning, they seized victory at Trenton after forcing the surrender of the most powerful empire on the planet at Yorktown, General Washington did not claim power but simply returned to Mount Vernon as a private citizen.

#14 – When called upon again, he presided over the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia and was unanimously elected our first president. When he stepped down after two terms, his former adversary, King George called him the greatest man of the age. He remains first in our hearts to this day, for as long as Americans love this land, we will honor and cherish the father of our country, George Washington. He will never be removed, abolished, and most of all, he will never be forgotten. Thomas Jefferson, the great Thomas Jefferson, was 33 years old when he traveled north to Pennsylvania and brilliantly authored one of the greatest treasures of human history, the Declaration of Independence. He also drafted Virginia’s constitution and conceived and wrote the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom, a model for our cherished First Amendment. After serving as the first Secretary of State, and then Vice President, he was elected to the presidency. He ordered American warriors to crush Barbary pirates. He doubled the size of our nation with the Louisiana Purchase and he sent the famous explorers Lewis and Clark into the west on a daring expedition to the Pacific Ocean. He was an architect, an inventor, a diplomat, a scholar, the founder of one of the world’s great universities and an ardent defender of liberty. Americans will forever admire the author of American freedom, Thomas Jefferson, and he too will never, ever be abandoned by us.

#15 – Abraham Lincoln, the savior of our union, was a self-taught country lawyer who grew up in a log cabin on the American frontier. The first Republican president, he rose to high office from obscurity based on a force and clarity of his anti-slavery convictions. Very, very strong convictions. He signed the law that built the Trans-Continental Railroad. He signed the Homestead Act given to some incredible scholars as simply defined ordinary citizens free land to settle anywhere in the American West, and he led the country through the darkest hours of American history, giving every ounce of strength that he had to ensure that government of the people, by the people and for the people did not perish from this earth. He served as commander in chief of the U.S. Armed Forces during our bloodiest war, the struggle that saved our union and extinguished the evil of slavery. Over 600,000 died in that war, more than 20, 000 were killed or wounded in a single day in Antietam. At Gettysburg 157 years ago, the Union bravely withstood an assault of nearly 15,000 men and threw back Pickett’s Charge. Lincoln won the Civil War. He issued the Emancipation Proclamation. He led the passage of the 13th Amendment, abolishing slavery for all-time and ultimately his determination to preserve our nation and our union cost him his life. For as long as we live, Americans will uphold and revere the immortal memory of President Abraham Lincoln.

#16 – Theodore Roosevelt exemplified the unbridled confidence of our national culture and identity. He saw the towering grandeur of America’s mission in the world and he pursued it with – in the world and he pursued it with overwhelming energy and zeal. As a Lieutenant Colonel during the Spanish-American War, he led the famous Rough Riders to defeat the enemy at San Juan Hill. He cleaned up corruption as police commissioner of New York City, then served as the Governor of New York, Vice President, and at 42 years old, became the youngest ever President of the United States.

#17 – He sent our great new naval fleet around the globe to announce America’s arrival as a world power. He gave us many of our national parks, including the Grand Canyon. He oversaw the construction of the awe-inspiring Panama Canal and he is the only person ever awarded both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Congressional Medal of Honor. He was American freedom personified in full. The American people will never relinquish the bold, beautiful and untamed spirit of Theodore Roosevelt.

#18 – No movement that seeks to dismantle these treasured American legacies can possibly have a love of America at its heart. Can’t happen. No person who remains quiet at the destruction of this resplendent heritage can possibly lead us to a better future. The radical ideology attacking our country advances under the banner of social justice, but in truth, it would demolish both justice and society. It would transform justice into an instrument of division and vengeance and it would turn our free and inclusive society into a place of a repression, domination, and exclusion. They want to silence us, but we will not be silenced.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.

#19 – We will state the truth in full without apology. We declare that the United States of America is the most just and exceptional nation ever to exist on earth. We are proud of the fact that our country was founded on Judeo-Christian principles and we understand that these values have dramatically advanced the cause of peace and justice throughout the world. We know that the American family is the bedrock of American life. We recognize the solemn right and moral duty of every nation to secure its borders and we are building the wall. We remember that governments exist to protect the safety and happiness of their own people. A nation must care for its own citizens first. We must take care of America first. It’s time. We believe in equal opportunity, equal justice, and equal treatment for citizens of every race, background, religion and creed. Every child of every color, born and unborn, is made in the holy image of God.

#20 – We want free and open debate, not speech codes and cancel culture. We embrace tolerance, not prejudice. We support the courageous men and women of law enforcement. We will never abolish our police or our great Second Amendment which gives us the right to keep and bear arms. We believe that our children should be taught to love their country, honor their history, and respect our great American flag. We stand tall, we stand proud, and we only kneel to Almighty God. This is who we are. This is what we believe and these are the values that will guide us as we strive to build an even better and greater future. Those who seek to erase our heritage want Americans to forget our pride and our great dignity so that we can no longer understand ourselves or America’s destiny. In toppling the heroes of 1776, they seek to dissolve the bonds of love and loyalty that we feel for our country and that we feel for each other. Their goal is not a better America, their goal is to end America.

#21 – In its place, they want power for themselves, but just as patriots did in centuries past, the American people will stand in their way and we will win and win quickly and with great dignity. We will never let them rip America’s heroes from our monuments or from our hearts. By tearing down Washington and Jefferson, these radicals would tear down the very heritage for which men gave their lives to win the Civil War, they would erase the memory that inspired those soldiers to go to their deaths, singing these words of the Battle Hymn of the Republic, “As he died to make men holy, let us die to make men free, while God is marching on.” They would tear down the principles that propelled the abolition of slavery and ultimately around the world ending an evil institution that had plagued humanity for thousands and thousands of years. Our opponents would tear apart the very documents that Martin Luther King used to express his dream and the ideas that were the foundation of the righteous movement for Civil Rights. They would tear down the beliefs, culture and identity, that have made America the most vibrant and tolerant society in the history of the earth. My fellow Americans, it is time to speak up loudly and strongly and powerfully and defend the integrity of our country.

#22 – It is time for our politicians to summon the bravery and determination of our American ancestors. It is time. It is time to plant our flag and to protect the greatest of this nation for citizens of every race in every city in every part of this glorious land. For the sake of our honor, for the sake of our children, for the sake of our union, we must protect and preserve our history, our heritage, and our great heroes. Here tonight before the eyes of our forefathers, Americans declare again, as we did 244 years ago, that we will not be tyrannized, we will not be demeaned, and we will not be intimidated by bad, evil people. It will not happen.

#23 – We will proclaim the ideals of the Declaration of Independence and we will never surrender the spirit and the courage and the cause of July 4, 1776. Upon this ground, we will stand firm and unwavering. In the face of lies meant to divide us, demoralize us and diminish us, we will show that the story of America unites us and –

#24 – We will show that the story of America unites us, inspires us, includes us all, and makes everyone free. We must demand that our children are taught once again to see America as did Reverend Martin Luther King when he said that the founders had signed a promissory note to every future generation. Dr. King saw that the mission of justice required us to fully embrace our founding ideals. Those ideals are so important to us, the founding ideals.

#25 – He called on his fellow citizens not to rip down their heritage, but to live up to their heritage. Above all, our children from every community must be taught that to be American is to inherit the spirit of the most adventurous and confident people ever to walk the face of the Earth. Americans are the people who pursued our Manifest Destiny across the ocean, into the uncharted wilderness, over the tallest mountains, and then into the skies, and even into the stars.

#26 – We are the country of Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, and Frederick Douglas. We are the land of Wild Bill Hickock and Buffalo Bill Cody. We are the nation that gave rise to the Wright brothers, the Tuskegee airmen, Harriet Tubman, Clara Barton, Jesse Owens, George Patton, General George Patton, the great Louis Armstrong, Alan Shepard, Elvis Presley, and Muhammad Ali, and only America could have produced them all. No other place.

#27 – We are the culture that put up the Hoover Dam, laid down the highways, and sculpted the skyline of Manhattan. We are the people who dreamed the spectacular dream, it was called Las Vegas in the Nevada desert, who built up Miami from the Florida marsh, and who carved our heroes into the face of Mount Rushmore. Americans harnessed electricity, split the atom, and gave the world the telephone and the internet. We settled the Wild West, won two World Wars, landed American astronauts on the moon.

#28 – And one day very soon, we will plant our flag on Mars. We gave the world the poetry of Walt Whitman, the stories of Mark Twain, the songs of Irving Berlin, the voice of Ella Fitzgerald, the style of Frank Sinatra, the comedy of Bob Hope, the power of the Saturn V rocket, the toughness of the Ford F150, and the awesome might of the American aircraft carriers.

#29 – Americans must never lose sight of this miraculous story. We should never lose sight of it. Nobody has ever done it like we have done it. So today, under the authority vested in me as President of the United States, I am announcing the creation of a new monument to the giants of our past. I am signing an executive order to establish the National Guard of American heroes, a vast outdoor park that will feature the statues of the greatest Americans to ever live.

#30 – From this night, and from this magnificent place, let us go forward united in our purpose and rededicated in our resolve. We will raise the next generation of American patriots. We will write the next thrilling chapter of the American adventure. And we will teach our children to know that they live in a land of legends, that nothing can stop them, and that no one can hold them down. They will know that, in America, you can do anything, you can be anything, and together, we can achieve anything.

#31 – Uplifted by the titans of Mount Rushmore, we will find unity that no one expected. We will make strides that no one thought possible. This country will be everything that our citizens have hoped for for so many years, and that our enemies fear, because we will never forget that the American freedom exists for American greatness. And that’s what we have, American greatness. Centuries from now, our legacy will be the cities we built, the champions we forged, the good that we did, and the monuments we created to inspire us all. My fellow citizens, America’s destiny is in our sights. America’s heroes are embedded in our hearts. America’s future is in our hands. And ladies and gentlemen, the best is yet to come. This has been a great honor for the First Lady and myself to be with you. I love your state. I love this country. I’d like to wish everybody a very happy Fourth of July to all. God bless you. God bless your families. God bless our great military, and God bless America. Thank you very much. Thank you.

The First Amendment …

The First Amendment covers a lot of ground and has been interpreted and re-interpreted ever since its writing.  In the news this week are three things pertaining to the 1st Amendment that worry me in one form or fashion.


Freedom of the Press …

I had heard the name ‘Samantha Bee’, but had no idea who or what she was, nor did I much care … until this morning.  According to Wikipedia, Ms. Bee is …

“… a Canadian-American comedian, writer, producer, political commentator, actress, and television host. Bee rose to fame as a correspondent on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, where she became the longest-serving regular correspondent.”

You guys probably already knew that, though, didn’t you?  So why, you ask, did Ms. Bee buzz across my radar?  On her show, Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, on Wednesday, she made some very astute statements about freedom of the press …

“Look, I know, it’s not exactly a revelation that the president is always trying to undermine the media, but that’s the problem: We’re all so used to it that we act like it’s normal. And the more that we ignore anti-press sentiment in America, the more it will spread.  When Trump became president, he was crushed to find that the job comes with criticism and that the glowing PR he got from the business media isn’t typical of the political press. Since the media refused to love him back, Trump has chosen to do the mature thing and use his presidential power to destroy them.  The scariest part about Trump’s war on the press is that he’s winning. No one’s been able to stop his attacks, so we just go about our lives while they run constantly in the background like white noise — which is, of course, Trump’s preferred color of noise. … When Trump undermines the free press, he’s not just attacking journalists’ rights to do their jobs, he’s attacking your right to know what’s going on in the world.”

She’s right.  If not for the free press, we would know only what Trump wanted us to know.  We would not know that Russia was paying the Taliban to kill U.S. soldiers and that Trump knew about this yet failed to act.  We would not have known that he attempted to blackmail the president of the Ukraine to ‘dig up dirt’ on his political rival, Joe Biden.  We would not have known any of the acts that Trump has committed against the people of this nation.  At all costs, we must … must support our free press!  We cannot become complacent and accept the denigration of the press as ‘normal’, for it is anything but normal … at least in this country.


Freedom of Speech …

The 1st Amendment includes many freedoms, including the aforementioned freedom of the press.  It also includes freedom of and from religion, and the one most-oft quoted, freedom of speech.  Over the past two centuries, that ‘freedom of speech has been interpreted by the courts to mean a wide variety of things.  Signs and symbols by hate groups such as white supremacists and neo-Nazis have been ruled acceptable because … freedom of speech.  KKK rallies have been deemed allowable under freedom of speech.  But, in my opinion, there simply must be limits.

This …nazi-flag-shooting… is highly offensive to all but the most ardent anti-Semitic white supremacists.  A woman was shot four times in the back in Garfield County, Oklahoma, for trying to remove one of the flags.

Now, I can tell you for a fact that if anybody in my neighborhood were to sport such a flag, I would not only remove it, but would douse it with lighter fluid then set fire to it.  The Nazi flag is a symbol of anti-Semitism, of hatred, around the globe.

The owner of the house and flags, one Alexander Feaster, was arrested and has been charged with assault and battery with a deadly weapon, and shooting with intent to kill, and is due to appear in court later this month.  A neighbor said that he had been flying the flags for around a year, and they had been snatched from his home a few times in the past. They added that he would occasionally dress up in black uniform with a red swastika armband – an outfit reminiscent of Nazi SS uniforms.  No less than 15 guns were recovered from Feaster’s home upon his arrest.  Who the hell needs that much firepower?

The district attorney says he is considering possible charges against the woman, who is expected to recover from her gunshot wounds.  Why?  Trespassing?  Destruction of private property?  In this case, I don’t see it … it was justified.  However, I know at least two of my readers who will disagree with me, so it is only my opinion.


Freedom of/from Religion …

The 1st Amendment says this about the freedom of religion …

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof

That’s all … just 16 words.  However, lengthy tomes have been written in order to interpret how this clause should be applied.  There are those who argue this is a Christian nation … it is not!  It is a secular nation, the foundation of which calls for a distinct separation between church and state.  This includes education.

A portion of our tax dollars is used to fund public schools.  PUBLIC schools, not parochial or religious schools.  If you want to send your children to a religious school, you do have that right … just not at the expense of the U.S. taxpayer.

This week the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the state of Montana could not use a provision in its Constitution to exclude religious schools from its private school scholarship program.  Although the ruling was narrow, applying only to the case before them, it is likely that religious groups in other states will be heartened by the decision and file their own cases against states.  By the end of next year, we could easily see a broader ruling stating that any state that issues vouchers or similar programs to help with tuition at private schools must also include religious schools in the process.

In fact, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos suggested just that …

“I’m calling on all states to now seize the extraordinary opportunity to expand all education options at all schools to every single student in America.”

I’m betting that those who championed and cheered this decision will be horrified when some day a family uses their vouchers to send their child to an Islamic school, won’t they?  Meanwhile, though, I am offended and angered by this decision.  As a citizen, as a taxpayer, and as a non-religionist, I absolutely do NOT want my tax dollars supporting a religious school where children are taught every form of bigotry imaginable.  It is a gross miscarriage of justice that people of differing religions and of no religion must pay to send another person’s child to a school that teaches only one religion and teaches that it is the one and only right religion and the rest of us are wrong in our beliefs or non-beliefs.  This is, in part, why there is so much hatred in this country today.

You want to send your child to a religious school, fine, but not on my dime!