Tuesday, July 4, 2017

What Trump has to do to lose his supporters

For his supporters to abandon him, the so-called President would have to do something WORSE than shoot somebody on 5th Ave. That would probably be something like behave with humility, be reasonable and consider others before oneself. And I am not joking when I say this, the greatest threat to his support from his base would be if he behaved normally, rationally and ethically.

Pence for President?

I need someone to explain to me that even if you support the White House agenda, how you can still support the so-called President when his ostensible replacement, VP Pence, would pursue the same or similar agenda? Exactly what would be the problem if he were removed and Pence was the President. I say this even though I disagree with Pence on just about everything. I also say this even though it is likely that Pence has lied about various things, such as whether he knew that Mike Flynn was a foreign agent until well after he was fired.  A liar is not a nut at least.  I would gain nothing from Pence being President except that the country would not be lead by a sociopath or worse.

He is obviously a misogynist; bragged about sexually assaulting women and has been accused of telling the truth about doing so; has tweeted races memes championed by white supremacists such as Stormfront; promoted the racist meme of Obama not being a citizen or being a secret Muslim; lied about the unemployment rate under Obama; lied about the size of the crowd in Washington DC for his inauguration; named Gen. Flynn as his NSA director despite being warned not to do so; lied about seeing a video of thousands of Muslims celebrating 9-11 on roofs in New Jersey; fired the FBI director in order to obstruct an investigation into the former NSA director and the Russia probe; lied about up to 5million people voting fraudulently in the last election and all of them voting for Clinton; lied about Ted Cruz and his father; lied about his support of the Iraq War; and so on.

Exactly why must he remain President when he is obviously unfit and the alternative is a more fit conservative Republican? It is time to use the 25th Amendment.

Obama, Trump and Russia

The news about the Obama administration trying to combat Russia's hacking in 2016 is an important story and many details about motivations are sure to be filled in. The main thrust is US intelligence discovered the hacking and that it was intended to hurt Clinton and help Trump and investigate what was done in response. There were public discussions of the Russian threat and covered in the news last year - but some ignored it or did not understand its import. One of those was, of course, the so-called President.

Here is the key point: if Obama announced in late 2016 that Russia was trying to hack our actual voter files in numerous states and help Trump, it would have been seen by many as mere "partisan politics" designed to help Clinton and hurt Trump. So they did not publicize this.

The Obama administration noted "that by August it was too late to prevent the transfer to WikiLeaks and other groups of the troves of emails that would spill out in the ensuing months. They believe that a series of warnings — including one that Obama delivered to Putin in September — prompted Moscow to abandon any plans of further aggression, such as sabotage of U.S. voting systems."

Also a number of cyber weapons were planted by the U.S. in response in Russian systems as well. But it was too late and probably not possible to do anything about the flood of fake news coming out of Russia or the bots they used to spread this news. News or ideas, like those of Al Qaeda or ISIS, are difficult to eradicate.

But now the graceless so-called President attacks Obama for not using the Russian hacks to effect the Presidential race - he criticizes Obama for not publicizing the fact of Russian interference in our election that the so-called President still refuses to acknowledge!

The so-called President wants to have it both ways: he wants to deny the fact of the Russian hacks while criticizing Obama for not doing something about the hacks. Also, the so-called President is behaving as if he is just learning about all of this when he has had access to security briefings since he became the nominee and and certainly since he became President 5 months ago. What is he talking about? From the Washington Post: "Trump tells Fox News contributor Pete Hegseth in an interview set to air Sunday that he “just heard today for the first time” that former President Barack Obama “knew about Russia a long time before the election, and he did nothing about it.”" Wait a minute - you, the so-called President have had access to this info for 5 months, probably more and you found out only now?

This is the most incompetent person ever to be President.

Was Rep. Scalise possibly a homophobe and David Duke wannabee, saved by a black lesbian?

The world is so strange - you can't make this stuff up!

One of the hero cops who most likely saved a number of Republican Congresspersons lives yesterday is a married black lesbian woman, Crystal Griner. She was shot and injured in the gunfight but will recover. One of the lives she hopefully saved is that of Steve Scalise who had been in critical condition but recovering.

Will Mr. Scalise learn anything from his experience? Will the so-called President who visited the officer in the hospital? Go see http://www.cnn.com/…/trump-hospital-visit-scalise/index.html  .

So should Office Griner have less rights than other Americans Rep. Scalise and Mr. so-called President? If so, you have the chance to tell her that to her face - why don't you?

Trump & Comey

The so-called President and his surrogates are trying to make a big deal that Comey has confirmed in his just released statement (6/7/17) to Congress that he indeed told the so-called President 3 times in private that he was not under investigation. Of course, this is irrelevant info that the Administration knows the base will think is important. They, of course, WILL think it's important because the so-called President believes, according to his own stated opinion, they have no ethics or moral grounding. More on that later.

Here is what Comey said to Congress back on March 20, 2017: "I have been authorized by the Department of Justice to confirm that the FBI, as part of our counterintelligence mission, is investigating the Russian government’s efforts to interfere in the 2016 presidential election and that includes investigating the nature of any links between individuals associated with the TRUMP CAMPAIGN and the Russian government and whether there was any coordination between the campaign and Russia’s efforts. As with any counterintelligence investigation, this will also include an assessment of whether any crimes were committed."

As you can see, Comey said the investigation was directed at the Trump Campaign. Duh. Why did he not announce publicly that Trump was or was not the target? Comey wrote in his statement today that he "did not tell the President that the FBI and the Department of Justice had been reluctant to make public statements that we did not have an open case on President Trump for a number of reasons, most importantly because it would create a duty to correct, should that change."

In other words, if something were to change, Comey did not want to have to announce that the so-called President was now under investigation.

So the point of the so-called President not being the announced target is not all that important. His CAMPAIGN has been the target and has always been the target and no one has said otherwise. To make a big deal out of this is to make a big deal out of nothing.

The so-called President's attorney has said "The President feels completely and totally vindicated. He is eager to continue to move forward with his agenda.” Here's how we will know this is a lie; when the so-called President and his surrogate do not behave as if they were totally vindicated when Comey testifies.

Finally, the so-called President's supporters will be unfazed by all of this. They will claim he is vindicated, the victim of a witch hunt and that this is all fake news. It does not matter what they say because, as the so-called President has pointed out, they have no ethics or moral grounding: "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and wouldn’t lose any voters, ok? It’s, like, incredible.” http://www.snopes.com/donald-trump-fifth-avenue-comment/

Why would he think this would be the case? Why would he think that he could commit murder (if it were self-defense this would hardly be an "incredible" assertion) and his supporters would not care? Stupidity might work but more likely it is because the so-called President believes his supporters have no ethics or morals; what they have is blind faith. And that's just fine for an egomaniac and narcissist. Those are HIS words.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

FGM (Take the Knife Away)

Inspiration for songs can come from many places; it's nice when inspiration comes from a loving or some other uplifting source but often it comes from a place of sadness or outrage.  A story in the news last week reminded me of a song I wrote a few years back that is as relevant as ever.

The song is FGM (Take the Knife Away) and was on our "Out of Many, One" CD.  You can hear this song here streaming on YouTube:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LU3popU1eqc&index=46&list=PL7-2FnjsTc1SK-B2GADW7YCNfulb5iqKT .   It is also on my band's (UniversalDice) web site http://www.universaldice.com and on Spotify and many other sites.

The story that arose last week was the first potential prosecution in the U.S. for the practice of Female Genital Mutilation.  Rather than go into details, you can read the story at http://www.cnn.com/2017/06/14/us/female-genital-mutilation-case-detroit/index.html  .

This case involves a Muslim community but this practice is far from universal among Muslims. In fact it is also prevalent in Ethiopia which has a large Christian population and even existed among Christians in pre-revolution America but the most common thread is religiously or ideologically inspired repression of women.  Since the surgery is typically performed on minors unable to give informed consent, it is a form of abuse, indoctrination and assault.  Instead of being a form of religious freedom, forcing this surgery on a minor is the opposite of freedom for that minor.  I would argue that performing unnecessary surgery of any type, especially one where the intent is to limit or destroy the ability to enjoy sexual relations as an adult, is perverse and should be illegal around the world.  Instead, in some communities, it is the expectation.

I would hope that most who read this would never condone such an act but I think there is an additional thing to consider; the idea that it is a form of religious freedom for adults, even parents, to force a religious practice on minors or to indoctrinate them into a religion.  That is not religious freedom; instead, children should be exposed to the evidence and their ability to reason should be nurtured so that when they become adults, they can make good choices.  That is the lesson we can all take from this.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Ideology again

I have written a number of times on Facebook and on my blog about the dangers of ideology (and religion, a type of ideology).  Included in the dangerous forms of ideology that I cited were - ALL ideologies, left, right, middle, up and down, religious and secular. 

Today an ideologue shot up a number of Republican congresspersons and staff practicing for a charity baseball game and police.  He was an ardent supporter of Bernie Sanders and progressive left wing politics.  His problem was that he was an ideologue to the point where ideological purity became more important to him that the actual results.  It was more important to this shooter that he remain ideologically pure than do the right thing.  Here is a clue: he complained incessantly about the so-called President - yet did not vote for the only candidate in the election who could have beat him: he refused to vote for Clinton.

According to the website Heavy, "In August 2016, after Sanders had lost the Democratic nomination, he posted on Facebook, “I want Bernie to Win the White House,” along with a petition calling for Sanders to join the Green Party.  He was anti-Hillary Clinton, according to his Facebook posts.  “Bernie is a Progressive, while Hillary is Republican Lite,” he wrote... In another post he wrote, “#ScreamAsOne #NeverVotingHill,” and “You’ve been warned DNC. I will NEVER vote Hillary. A nomination for Hillary equals a win for Trump. #NOTWithHer.”


Now I have no issue with those who think that Mr. Sanders was the better candidate or that he had a better chance to beat the so-called President.  This may be true.  But it is pure ideological insanity to NOT vote for Clinton then go on a murderous tirade against the victorious Republicans.  If he and other ideologues had voted for the only other viable alternative, we would not be in this situation.  Thanks for nothing. 

If anything, this shooter's actions, besides being despicable, will only serve to strengthen the hand of the very people he opposed.  But I'm sure he is now in his ideological heaven and would not care.  I hope he rots.