Bully in Chief and Liar in Chief!

‘He is a bully’: Gillibrand hits back at Trump over demeaning tweet

Senator Gillibrand

Trump is not only THE Bully in Chief, he also is THE Liar in Chief. I am still waiting for one journalist to be honest and call this guy a Liar.  At least Senator Gillibrand has the guts to label this lowlife for what he really is. We have a President with NO integrity and a Senate full of politicians with not much more integrity. Do you think this poor excuse for a human being would still be president if even 1/4 of the Senate had the guts to speak out and call him for what he really is?  He no more deserves to be president than Benedict Arnold.  Time for more calls to impeach him.  Time for more Americans to speak out.  Let the waves of indignation and moral outrage roll down and sweep him out of office.

No bigger mistake has been made in the history of this country than the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency of the United States of America.

Time for Questions:

When will we impeach this lowlife?  What about the people who helped to put him into office?  Have they any regrets?  Are you speaking out?  If not, when will you add your voice to the chorus of people who have the courage and integrity to speak their piece?

f61cf2a6b0a0dfac39792e1d5998c996

Life is just beginning.

Trump is not the end but the beginning.  We are going to see more rights for people in the world, more justice, more compassion, more of what will make American’s proud just as soon as we dump trump.

 

 

 

The Secret Plan the Republicans Have to Help the Poor!

tax plan

The Republicans have a secret plan for eliminating poverty.  The basis of this plan is that if you eliminate the unfit you will not have any more poverty.  This strategy derives from theories first formulated in the middle of the nineteenth century.  These theories were subsequently labeled as “Social Darwinism.”  The online encyclopedia Britannica gives the following definition of Social Darwinism:

“Social Darwinism, the theory that human groups and races are subject to the same laws of natural selection as Charles Darwin had perceived in plants and animals in nature. According to the theory, which was popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the weak were diminished and their cultures delimited while the strong grew in power and in cultural influence over the weak. Social Darwinists held that the life of humans in society was a struggle for existence ruled by “survival of the fittest,” a phrase proposed by the British philosopher and scientist Herbert Spencer.”

Social DarwinismThere have been many theories proposed for the policies held by Trump and his Republican supporters.  They include “Greed Theory.”  The Republicans are held to be greedier than most people and only want to accumulate as much money as they can.  Another is “Hate Theory.”  This theory holds that since most Republicans are White European in ancestry, they loath and detest any people who are different then they are.  This includes Asians, Blacks, Indians, Latinos and any immigrants not from Europe.

The final theory proposed is what I call “Fear Theory.”  This theory holds that the motivation behind Republican policies stem from their innate fear that everything they have will be taken away by those who are less privileged.  Thus, we find Republicans building big houses behind big walls and in gated communities protected by private security police.  In addition, with the help of their friends in the NRA, they stockpile vast array of weapons in case of home invasion or an all-out assault by the underclass of America.

poor-beggar-rich-beggar-cartoon-allegory-illustration-beggars-41645010

The above theories assume a very pejorative and negative rationale for the actions of Trump and his allies in Congress.  I have come to a different conclusion.   Why is my conclusion and theory important?  Most of all because it does not ascribe any negative motivations to the Republicans.  My theory assumes that current Republican theory is derived from a set of basic assumptions first formulated in the late 1800’s.  Thus, Republicans are not greedy or hateful or fearful as much as they are misguided and misinformed.  I came to realize this fact through the intersection of two quite different events.  Here is how it happened.

Four or five times per week, I go for a run.  Down here in Arizona, I have been running in the Casa Grande mountains.  I usually get up in the mountains about the time of sunrise.  My runs are over hilly, twisty, rocky, mountainous and desert terrain.  My only companions this early are the cacti and numerous birds that populate the desert.  Occasionally, I see a coyote, javelina or long eared jack rabbit but mostly it is peaceful and quiet.  As the sun rises over the mountains, the blue sky is colored with red and yellow hues that create a pastiche of colors which are simply breathtaking.  It is hard not to think that I am in heaven when I am running in the mountains in the morning.

mountains in morning

I was on such a run about two weeks ago when I was struck with an inspiration.  I suddenly realized that everything the Republicans have been doing is based on one simple idea.  They want to create a system whereby the “elite” have the benefits of their status as superior beings.  Thus, healthcare should be for the elite and the poor can go to the emergency ward because they will not be able to afford insurance.  More of the poor will die but that is consistent with Social Darwinism.

“Their disappearance from the human family would be no great loss to the world.”
― Henry Clay

Education will become an elite system.  The poor will go to inner city public schools deprived of money and resources where they will be treated more like prisoners than learners and security guards will make sure they behave.  The rich will go to well-funded private academies where they will learn to take high paying jobs as captains of industry.

Social Security will be replaced by an elite system of stocks and bonds whereby the rich can use financial advisers to double and triple their contributions.  The poor with little knowledge or skills in the stock market will lose what they have contributed and soon find they have no retirement money.  More prisons will be built (and ironically will be government funded) to protect the rich and lock up any dissidents who dare to complain or who become public nuisances.

“The forces which are working out the great scheme of perfect happiness, taking no account of incidental suffering, exterminate such sections of mankind as stand in their way, with the same sternness that they exterminate beasts of prey and herds of useless ruminants.”  ― Herbert Spencer,

As much as I liked the above scenario, since it seemed to provide a good fit for the current Trump and Republican policies, there was still something missing.  I could not quite put my hand on it, but it still cast the Republicans as “bad guys” with evil motives.  Why should the Republicans be any more evil than the Democrats?  My theory did not explain this.

helping-othersAbout a week later, I was substitute teaching in a Casa Grande High School.  I drew an eleventh-grade social studies class.  The teacher had left an assignment wherein the students had to find certain terms and concepts associated with the second industrial revolution and write definitions for each of them.  Included among such terms as: robber barons, corporations, patents and trusts was the term “Social Darwinism.”  One of the students asked me to explain it beyond the simple definition she found on line.  I tried to recall my ideas relating to this concept from many years ago.  I gave her my explanation and then later I looked up the definition at Wikipedia.  I was struck at how well my memory had served me.  It was at that point that the proverbial light bulb or blinding light of inspiration hit me.  I suddenly realized that the Republican Party was not just trying to create elite systems but they were also trying to build on the theories of Herbert Spencer.  The following excerpt explains this theory very well as it applies to many current concepts such as: trickle down theory, privatization, corporate welfare and tax reform.

“Social Darwinists took up the language of evolution to frame an understanding of the growing gulf between the rich and the poor as well as the many differences between cultures all over the world.  The explanation they arrived at was that businessmen and others who were economically and socially successful were so because they were biologically and socially “naturally” the fittest. Conversely, they reasoned that the poor were “naturally” weak and unfit and it would be an error to allow the weak of the species to continue to breed. They believed that the dictum “survival of the fittest” (a term coined not by Charles Darwin but by sociologist Herbert Spencer) meant that only the fittest should survive.”  – Social Darwinism in the Gilded Age

social darwinismSo, there you have it.  Trump and the Republican Party are not greedy, hateful or fearful of others, they simply do not believe that you have a right to anything unless you are also rich and successful and White like they are.  Based on the concepts of Social Darwinism, they have the right to whatever you have if they can find a way to take it away from you.  If you cannot keep it, that means you are inferior.  If you are inferior, you have no right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.  According to Social Darwinism, the elite will eventually Trump the poor because they are stronger, smarter and more fit.  This will eventually result in a society wherein everyone is fit, and everyone is trying to screw everyone else.

“Truly, this earth is a trophy cup for the industrious man. And this rightly so, in the service of natural selection.  He who does not possess the force to secure his Lebensraum in this world, and, if necessary, to enlarge it, does not deserve to possess the necessities of life.  He must step aside and allow stronger peoples to pass him by.”
― Adolf Hitler

Today we have a Fake President, Fake News, Fake Christians and a divide in this country that rivals the divide that we had prior to the civil war.  We have a nation that has forgotten its roots and that has succumbed to the vilest theory to ever afflict humanity.

Time for Questions:

Do you think it would be better if the poor would just die and save us all the trouble of taking care of them?   What do you think we should do with the disabled and mentally challenged?  Should we start a eugenics program to get rid of them?  Who should help the poor, refugees, immigrants, hungry, sick?  What would Jesus do?

Life is just beginning.

“They said ‘specialist children’s wards,’
But they meant children-killing centers.
They said ‘final medical assistance’
But they meant murder.”  ― Ann Clare LeZotteT4

Freedom of Expression

I was walking down the street the other day and I saw three White guys beating the heck out of a Black guy.  The Black guy was down on the ground and the three White guys were taking turns pummeling him.  I rushed up and yelled “Stop, what the heck do you guys think you are doing.”  One of the White guys answered “what does it look like, we are beating the shit out of a Black guy.”  “What did he do”, I asked.   “What do you mean what did he do?  “He was being Black” came back the reply.

“Are you guy’s crazy?  You can’t just beat someone up for being Black.”   I retorted.

i-dont-give-a-fuck

The three guys huddled for a minute and finally one of the three (A guy with bright red hair and lots of tattoos) came out of the huddle and took me by the shoulder.  “Look he said, you look like a fairly intelligent guy.”  Two of my friends over there never went to college.  I went for a few years so they nominated me to talk to you. “

“What is there to talk about?  You have no right no beat up on this poor man”, I answered.

“Aahh, that is where you are wrong” said Tattoo Guy.  “We have every right.  In fact, we have a constitutional right to beat him up.”

“Are you serious or trying to kid me, I ask.”

“No I am not kidding” said Tattoo Guy, “I am very serious. It is our constitutional right.”

“OK,” I say, “I will bite, what is the right you think you have?”

“Well” says Tattoo Guy, “have you ever heard of ‘Freedom of Expression.’  The constitution struthays every American citizen has Freedom of Expression.  Thus, we are just expressing our free rights as American citizens to beat up on people we don’t like.”

“I am not sure that is what the Founding Fathers meant by Freedom of Expression”, I answer.

“Well, frankly we don’t give a fuck what you think.  Furthermore, if you keep interfering we might just sue you for violating our constitutional rights.”

“Hold on now.  I thought we were having a friendly conversation here.  Now you are threatening to sue me.  On what grounds?” I ask.

I could see Tattoo Guy thinking about my question for a while and then he answered “Well, since you are being so polite about it, we won’t sue you, at least not for now.”

“Wow, thanks” said I.

trump-and-pc“Look, said Tattoo Guy, we voted for Donald Trump and he respects our Freedom of Expression rights.  We are sick and tired of the PC shit you pussies and commies have been spreading in this country for years.  We are tired of watching what we say and do because we might be called rednecks or bigots or even racists.  It’s a new day for America.  We are going to make our country great again.”

“With Donald Trump as president, I can call anyone I want a nigger, kike, frog, wop, dago, spook, wetback, cunt, fag, pussy, greaser, Jap, slope.  It’s my Freedom of Expression” says Tattoo Guy.

“So basically you were sick and tired of having your Freedom of Expression curtailed by anti-hate laws and people who are sick of being insulted because of their color or sex” I asked?

freedom-of-expression“You are more or less on the right track” says Tattoo Guy.  “Used to be you could tell some nigger jokes, put up pinups of nude girls, even grab a few pussies once in a while and no one bothered you.  Then, all this PC stuff started and before you knew it, you had to watch what you said and did.  A White person’s Freedom of Expression went down the drain.  Well, no more PC now.  So can we please get back to beating the shit out of this nigger?”

“What about this man’s Freedom of Expression” I ask.  “Don’t you think he also has some rights?”

“Sure” says Tattoo Guy, “He can say whatever he thinks.  We don’t care.  Just as long as he doesn’t call us rednecks or bigots or racists.”

“That sounds like a double standard” I answer.

“I don’t think so.  You intellectuals think too much.  You need to do more and think less” says Tattoo Guy.

einstein“Well, what if I told you that I had a Glock Model 40 10mm in my pocket and that if you hit this man one more time, I will take it and blow your fucking brains out.  What would you think of that” I replied indignantly.

“That changes the entire nature of our issue here” says Tattoo Guy.  “We respect your Second Amendment rights to own and bear arms and use them in defense of your country and family.  May I ask if this Black Guy is part of your family?”

“Haven’t you ever heard of John Donne” I asks?  “Donne says”:

No man is an island entire of itself; every man

is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;

if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe

is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as

well as any manner of thy friends or of thine

own were; any man’s death diminishes me,

because I am involved in mankind.

And therefore never send to know for whom

the bell tolls; it tolls for thee.

“So you are sort of saying that this Black guy here is part of your extended family?” asks Tattoo Guy.

“Exactly,” I reply.

freedom-of-thought

“Well, that’s a horse of a different color then.  If you are related to us because you are White and we are White and he is related to you, even if he is Black, then he is also related to us, which means he is part of our family too.  That’s great, now we have a new brother.  How about if we all go get a beer together?” says Tattoo Guy.

“Sounds like a better idea than beating each other up or my blowing your brains out.  Do you know any good brew pubs?  First round on me” I reply.

Time for Questions:

 Do you think all such stories as mine have a “happy” ending?  What rights do people have not to be insulted or harassed because of their color or sex?  Do you think some rights might supersede other rights?  Why or why not?

Life is just beginning.

Freedom of speech does not include the right:

  • To incite actions that would harm others (e.g., “[Shouting] ‘fire’ in a crowded theater.”).
    Schenck v. United States, 249 U.S. 47 (1919).
  • To make or distribute obscene materials.
    Roth v. United States, 354 U.S. 476 (1957).
  • To burn draft cards as an anti-war protest.
    United States v. O’Brien, 391 U.S. 367 (1968).
  • To permit students to print articles in a school newspaper over the objections of the school administration. 
    Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 484 U.S. 260 (1988).
  • Of students to make an obscene speech at a school-sponsored event.
    Bethel School District #43 v. Fraser, 478 U.S. 675 (1986).
  • Of students to advocate illegal drug use at a school-sponsored event.
    Morse v. Frederick, __ U.S. __ (2007).

Freedom of speech does includes the right:

  • Not to speak (specifically, the right not to salute the flag).
    West Virginia Board of Education v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624 (1943).
  • Of students to wear black armbands to school to protest a war (“Students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate.”).
    Tinker v. Des Moines, 393 U.S. 503 (1969).
  • To use certain offensive words and phrases to convey political messages.
    Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15 (1971).
  • To contribute money (under certain circumstances) to political campaigns.
    Buckley v. Valeo, 424 U.S. 1 (1976).
  • To advertise commercial products and professional services (with some restrictions).
    Virginia Board of Pharmacy v. Virginia Consumer Council, 425 U.S. 748 (1976); Bates v. State Bar of Arizona, 433 U.S. 350 (1977).
  • To engage in symbolic speech, (e.g., burning the flag in protest).
    Texas v. Johnson, 491 U.S. 397 (1989); United States v. Eichman, 496 U.S. 310 (1990).

 

 

 

To Care or Not To Care? That is the Real Question.

In 1979, I was hired by Sister M. Giovanni SSND of the School Sisters of Notre Dame to teach at Guadalupe Area Project (GAP).  This was an alternative high school for kids who had been kicked out of the public school system.  I had gone back to school in 1971 after four years in the military and decided to get a teaching degree in Health Education.  I had just barely finished High School in 1964 and joined the Air Force in September of 64.  I had applied to a few colleges at the end of high school but due to my poor grades and even poorer conduct record, I did not even get rejection notices.  Thus, liking the Air Force uniform better than the Army or Navy uniforms, I joined the Air Force, hoping to see the world, kill some commies and “meet” a lot of interesting women.  I did not get much of the first two agendas but I did prove more successful at the third one.  Lots more successful than I had been in high school!  Was it the uniform or that I was coming from a “strange” land?

Upon leaving the military, much more disillusioned than when I had entered, I worked an assortment of odd jobs for three years until finally my first wife convinced me to go to college. She evidently believed in me more than I believed in myself or was tired of my complaining about all the stupid assholes I was working for.  Going to college might sound easy but with my abysmal high school record, getting in was easier said than done.  Fortunately, a kindly guidance counselor at my old high school said he would tell anyone requesting my records that they had been lost.  He opined that admissions people seeing my school records would not think I was anything less than “correctional” material.  In fact, I had been arrested a few times before turning 18 but most of this was not valid any longer since they were juvenile records.

Five years later, 1976, I emerged from Rhode Island College with a degree in Health Education.  After spending a year as a substitute teacher, I lost most of my desire to teach.  With the GI Bill being extended, I decided to enroll in a Master’s Degree program at the University of Wisconsin-Stout in Counseling Psychology.  Talk about the old adage of psych majors being screwed up.  I needed more counseling than any potential clients.  I started sending out applications for a job in counseling and received a letter from Sister M. Giovanni SSND that she was interested in my application.

I called Sister G (as she was affectionately known to one and all) and set-up an interview with her.  I was shocked and surprised when I found out that she was looking for a “teacher.” I explained that I was not interested in teaching but was interested in counseling.  Sister G. replied “Don’t worry; you will get lots of practice counseling with the students we have at GAP.”  I then said “Look Sister G. I am not a Catholic, I am an Atheist.”  She looked very serious at me and said: “I don’t care what your political or spiritual beliefs are as long as you are a good teacher.”  I was hooked.  I agreed to teach at GAP and stayed there for one year.

It was one of the most memorable experiences I have had in my life.  GAP teachers, volunteers, parents and students were all unique and dedicated. Maybe not all dedicated to learning but all dedicated to getting more out of life.  One of the best teachers was the art teacher named Sister Anna Louise Wilson.  She was a good teacher, devoted to her profession and devoted to her students.  One day after I had decided to leave, I took a short walk with Sister Anna.  I never quite felt that I had the impact or influence on the student’s lives that I would have liked to have.  I knew that Sister Anna did and I admired her for it.  I asked her “What does it take to really make a difference in their lives?”  She replied “you have to care.”

I thought about her comment then and I realized that I did not care.  I cared about the subjects I was teaching.  I cared about being professional.  I cared about continuous learning and I cared about mastering the craft of an educator.   What I did not care about was what happened to my students after they left school.  As far as I was concerned, that was their problem.  My task was to give them the knowledge, skills and abilities to fit in with a changing complex workplace.  Many years went by and countless times I have reflected on Sister Anna’s comment about caring.  I finally understand its relevance and importance.

Who makes a difference in anyone’s life? Do you care about the Nobel Prize winners, Pulitzer Prize winners or 20 greatest geniuses the world has ever known?  How many of them can you name?  But the people that cared about you are the ones you remember.  They are the ones who made a true difference in your life.  Caring is perhaps the most underrated and undervalued trait in the world.  Whether in politics, education or the workplace, the people that care are the ones that truly make a difference.  The concept is so important, you would think we would have academies of caring or schools where caring could be taught.  What does it mean to care?  Why care? What is caring?

“Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” — Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991);

When you care about something, you are taking a risk.  A risk that any expectations you have will not be returned.  A risk that the subject of your caring may not reciprocate.  A risk that your caring will result in disappointment or worse.  The subject of your caring is independent of your caring.  A hard reality is that caring opens the care giver to pain.  We would rather minimize the potential pains in our lives and so we develop some strict rules about whom we are willing to care for and when we are willing to care.  For instance, how often have you heard the phrase used “I couldn’t care less?”  Many of us have been burned once too often by “caring” and so we shrink our envelopes of caring until we have little potential to care.  I never saw a reason to care about my students because I was not really willing to risk the effort.  Even if I had realized that I needed to be more caring to make a difference in their lives, my self-protection envelope would have prevented me from trying.

Now I am older, sadder and perhaps wiser, or at least wise enough to understand the need for caring.  Whether in a nursing home, school, hospital or at work, caring is one of the most desired attributes we would like to obtain for ourselves.  The question is “how can we get more caring in this world, if we are not willing to give it?”  Everyone wants caring in their lives but we are much less prone to offer it to others.  The parable of the Good Samaritan comes repeatedly to my mind.

Time for Questions:

Who is our neighbor?  Who do we care about?  Do we only care about people who are just like us or do we care about those who belong to a different social class or religion or ethnic group or even another country?  Do we only care about our relatives and friends or do we extend our caring to strangers or others in need?  How do we develop more caring in our neighborhood and in our world?

Life is just beginning

A Friend Is?

I think friendships have become somewhat ephemeral and fleeting these days.  You may have 2,000 Facebook friends, but how many are “real” friends.  Perhaps it is time we reconsider what a true friend really is. 

A Friend Is:

  • Someone whom you can trust
  • Someone who trusts you
  • Someone who respects you
  • Someone whom you respect
  • Someone whom you like
  • Someone who is there when you need them
  • Someone who is there even when there is no need
  • Someone who will lend you money
  • Someone who will lend you things
  • Someone who is loyal
  • Someone whom you like to be with
  • Someone who spends time with you
  • Someone whom you can share problems with
  • Someone who listens to your opinion
  • Someone whose opinion you listen to
  • Someone who cares about you
  • Someone whom you care about
  • Someone whom you can share intimacies with
  • Someone who shares intimacies with you
  • Someone who lifts you up rather than puts you down

In the comments section following, I would love to hear what a “Friend Is” to you.  Please post your ideas on friendship.  Feel free to share this blog with others. 

Time for Questions:

What does friendship mean to you?  Who are your best friends?  Why?  How do you develop and keep a good friend?

Life is Just Beginning.

“It is one of the blessings of old friends that you can afford to be stupid with them.” — Ralph Waldo Emerson

“I would rather walk with a friend in the dark, than alone in the light.”   — Helen Keller

“What is a friend? A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”   ― Aristotle

Autobiographies from the Dead – Josh the Teenager

Another one of my blogs from a few years ago. This was a series I did based on dead people talking from the grave. Josh is a teenager who took his own life. I think we all know some kids who have tried or succeeded. Maybe my story will shed some light on their motivations or at least help us consider them more. There are many teenage suicides in this country every year.

Aging Capriciously

Each semester the Graphics Multi-Media Students select a global issue that is meaningful to them and then create a logo and infographic about their issue. Each semester the Graphics Multi-Media Students select a global issue that is meaningful to them and then create a logo and infographic about their issue.

For the next several weeks, my blogs are going to consist of “autobiographies” written by some very special people.  They have one thing in common.  They are all dead.  Some have a burial place and some were simply discarded like pieces of trash.  Their stories will be told by the deceased themselves.  They cry out from the fields, rivers and graveyards to speak.  I have heard their cries.  They want me to tell their stories to you.  They want you to know what their living and dying was for.  This week, Josh will tell you the story of his life and death.

Josh the Teenager

teen suicide by hangingThey are sorry now!  They are all weeping and crying.  They care more about me now that I am dead…

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Autobiographies from the Dead – Cindy the Wife

I am reposting a set of blogs that I did two years ago.

Aging Capriciously

For the next several weeks, my blogs are going to consist of “autobiographies” written by some very special people.  They have one thing in common.  They are all dead.  Some have a burial place and some were simply discarded like pieces of trash.  Their stories will be told by the deceased themselves.  They cry out from the fields, rivers and graveyards to speak.  I have heard their cries.  They want me to tell their stories to you.  They want you to know what their living and dying was for.  This week, Cindy will tell you the story of her life and death.

Cindy the Wife

beatenHe beat me.  He beat me.  He beat me.  I hurt so badly from the pain.  But the physical pain was nothing compared to the emotional pain.  I loved him.  Why did he hurt me?  He kept on beating me.  Finally, I yelled for him…

View original post 1,011 more words

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