To Ban Or Not To Ban

I was embroiled in a debate the other night about Trump’s Muslim ban. I took the anti-ban position. My friend was more pro, and he explained his worry, or belief, was that Muslims would come and overtake this country, install Sharia Law and all other horror stories. First, there are already millions of Muslims in this country now and I haven’t heard of any extremist movements, and I am fairly certain that would make the news somewhere. I also doubt it would play out like that because honestly, do you think the Muslims can outpace the Latinos? The Latino population is set to become the majority in the not so distant future, and even still there will still be other races represented as well and I think our system of government is strong enough to deflect any extremist groups, other than Trump himself, clearly.

Now, I’m not a  bleeding heart begging everyone to think about our Muslim brothers and sisters, but I am saying there’s nothing to be gained with this ban. It’s a piece of totally ineffectual legislation. The bad people are going to come no matter what. They’ll just find another way; and let’s just say Trump gets his way and bans all Muslims. Then what? America is safe forever and we all live happily ever after in a mushroom field? Who will be the next threat to the American way of life? Who’s next on Trump’s hit list? When will this ever end? There is a problem here, but the ban is just a poorly applied band aid. This issue needs to be rooted out on a deeper level and singling out one section of the populace isn’t doing the job.

I was called a ‘white apologist’ for this point of view and while I take exception to it, I think maybe we white folks have a lot to apologize for; if you’ll pardon a brief digression at this point. America is a great nation, but it is not perfect and it has its share of blood on its ‘hands’.  Let’s just be honest okay? First, the ancestors of the Anglo Saxon ascendants- the Puritans, came to this land to escape religious  persecution. Let’s not forget this was ‘illegal immigration’. Of course there were no immigration laws back then, but still, if we’re going to be detailed about this,  it was illegal immigration. Once they landed here, they started persecuting. I guess it wasn’t so much that they hated the persecution, but rather they wanted to be doing the persecuting. They fought the natives and took the land by force and intimidation. They slaughtered the natives and expanded their colonies all in the name of their God. Then they sailed to Africa, kidnapped natives from there and brought them here to enslave and treat as cattle. After a bloody war, the Africans were freed, but still seen as sub-human by a good portion of the country. Then for decades after that, they fought for every right they enjoy today. They had to fight just to be seen as human beings, for God’s sake! Repeat this cycle with every other minority group. Remember the internment camps during WWII? Japanese Americans will  never forget. Has singling out one portion of society EVER solved anything? No. It has always caused more problems and for all this, I think we, as Americans owe the world many apologies. To stand upon our history and delude ourselves into believing everything was done for noble reasons is to openly deny the truth. America’s origins was not some altruistic endeavor, but it included a systematic genocide, enslavement of foreign races and flat out discrimination.

You’d think after all these centuries we’d be better. You’d think we would have learned our lessons but there are still people out there who would rather find simple answers and pick one person or group of people to blame for all the ills of the world. Someone to relieve them of the responsibility that the mess they find themselves in now is of their own making. I think the truly American thing to do is to own up and face the truth. Swaddling yourself in lies only breeds ignorance and hostility. I’m not claiming to know the solution myself, but so far as I’ve seen, this ban is only making things worse and since three of the countries not listed on the  ban are where the terrorists are known to be coming from, I really don’t see how the ban as it is now is going to be effective. This was clearly a power move by a president who knows he has no mandate but insists on flexing his power to put his ‘enemies’ in their place. Instead he’s only firing them up to fight harder. I know Hillary wasn’t a lot of people’s first choice, but no matter what you think of her, there is no way we would be in this quagmire  had she won the electoral vote. I can’t say if we’d be worse off or better off. There’s no way to know, but if these  past 3 weeks are a sample of what the next 4 years are going to be like, I think anything else would be a big improvement.

Campaign 2016

After this last debate, I am sure there are still Trump supporters convinced their guy will win. People who believe despite the atrocities this man spews, he is a better choice than Clinton. Have you googled her accomplishments? Have you done the real research on her or are you basing this opinion on all the rumors and unsubstantiated rumors that have dogged them for decades? When you go to the trouble of learning about her, you will discover she is a capable, intelligent and hard working person who has done amazing things and have helped countless people all over the world and still inspires. Perfect? No, but no candidate is perfect, but she will do something Trump will NOT do and that is fight for this country. Hundreds of papers are endorsing her. Papers that haven’t endorsed a Democratic candidate in literally hundreds of years. I think that in itself says a lot. I know, you say it’s all liberal media bias. Whenever things conflict with what you believe, it’s a lie. Sure she has a few black mars on her record, but there is nothing she could have done that would make Trump a better choice. She’s a liar, they say. She does lie. About 28% of the time, which is average for a politician. Trump, your boy, lies 80% of the time. He lied after the first debate about something he said during the debate. He lied about something millions of people heard him say barely an hour after saying it on camera and into his mic. You trust that? You honestly trust that!? All the failed business ventures, the late night Twitter rants. This man is a child and I honestly believe if he is elected, he will probably resign before his first year is up because he won’t be able to handle it. This isn’t hosting a reality show or being a suit. This is a 24/7, super important job that never ends and he just doesn’t have the fortitude. Although, to his credit, I agree with term limits in congress and the senate, but we don’t need him to get that done.

You say anything is better than Clinton, and I say, NO!!! We’re going to be fortunate to have her as our president. So much progress has been made in these past 8 years. We can’t slip back. I admit, I’m less concerned with foreign policy than I am with the war at home, but even still, if your complaint about her is still Benghazi, remember that the Republicans cut security funding for that embassy shortly before the attack, so there is plenty of blame to go around there.

The point is, she is uniquely qualified for this job and he is the exact opposite. It’s not even a subtle shade of quality. If you fall in the camp of being against marriage equality, conservation of our environment and all that, well, all I can say is the world is changing and you can only fight it for so long. If the problem runs that deep in you, maybe you should look into moving to a remote island where you can found your own civilization and you can create that narrow minded world you dream of. Until then, we’re all going to have to find a way to get along until that big asteroid comes and sets all accounts right.

H 4 P

So the first Presidential debate is about to begin and tempers are flaring all around. There are just two points I’d like to look at before this happens.

First, I keep hearing people complain about how both candidates are terrible and they aren’t even going to vote because of that. Well, I got news for you. That’s how you end up with two candidates you don’t like. It’s because you didn’t vote this has happened. I don’t understand how two people that are lightning rods for such hate could have managed to lock in the nomination. So few people have anything positive to say about either candidate, for one reason or another, so I wonder in a system where we vote for our candidates, how did they wind up on top? Someone voted for them. A lot of someones. The time for bitching about it is over. You don’t like who  is offered up for president? Next time get off your ass and vote.

Next, why wouldn’t Hillary make a great president? I hear so many people automatically say she wouldn’t right after saying Trump wouldn’t either. I wonder to myself how they make this assertion. What evidence do they have to prove Hillary is not fit for the job? She has legal experience, foreign policy experience, diplomatic experience. She’s an intelligent, hard working legal professional who has built a career of helping people and reaching out to the less advantaged. The Clinton Foundation helps people all around the world. I have read articles, seen testaments and have just researched the Hell  out of Hillary and while I agree she has no specific presidential experience, she has logged plenty of miles in that arena over the years. She has as much as experience as any other presidential candidate ever has before her. There’s no evidence to suggest she couldn’t be a great  president. Do you have any? Or have you based  your opinion of her only on some of the many rumors and lies that have been spread about the Clintons  since Bill left the White House? The honest to God truth is if there had been any illegal activity and any evidence to prove it, Bill and Hillary would be in jail; or at least paying out huge fines but the reality is they broke no laws and that’s that. What’s that? You say they just bought their way out of the trouble? Oh, okay. You can prove this? You have evidence of them paying people off? You don’t. Oh, I see. Well, how can you prove this accusation? You can’t? Oh. Okay. You just know because they have money and that’s how all people with money get out of trouble. You heard someone say they were guilty? Okay. And this informant is trustworthy? They haven’t been paid off by someone else with an agenda? For every powerful person out there, there’s an army of opportunists who are willing to lie their asses off for a decent paycheck. The point is we don’t know who is going to be a good president or who’s going to be a bad one, but to proclaim someone with Hillary’s credentials as a bad president off the bat is ignorant. People thought Obama was going to be bad(some still do) but he, factually, proved everyone wrong. He rebounded the economy, steered us out of the recession Bush got us into. He’s made huge strides in the civil rights arena now that we have legal same sex marriage. In my book that’s good. I want higher taxes for the rich. I want stricter gun laws. I want this country to pull its head out of the muck and accept the fact that God is not in charge of everything. A lot of people are making hay about Clinton’s 64% estate tax, but what many fail to add is that it’s for larger estates. Not everyone is going to be affected by it and those who are are rich enough to afford it. I know no one likes taxes, but the fact is government isn’t a magical beast that just makes money. You want that overblown military? You’re going to have to pay for it.

The final point is that no matter how bad a president you think Hillary will be, she WILL be better than Trump and that’s the important thing with this election. You don’t like Hillary, fine, but tearing her down doesn’t make Trump better. Not voting for Hillary is voting for Trump. It’s one of those difficult moments when you have to swallow that bitter pill, that is if it’s bitter for you. If you’re a reasonable person you will see this simply as voting for the more qualified candidate. Don’t worry, Hillary haters, you can vote her out in 2020 and hopefully by then the Republicans will have found a not-terrible person to run. Good luck with that.

It’s Going To Be Alt-Right

It must be an election year because if feels like the entire country is self-destructing and it gets worse with every day. No matter what side of the fence you live on, the one thing we can all agree on is that after this year’s election, nothing will ever be the same.

Trump’s path to victory is narrow and it’s not likely he will win, but even if he doesn’t, he still will. While the office of president may elude him, his mission to divide and forever scar this country has been realized. Because of his inflammatory rhetoric, a rabid level of racism, xenophobia and flat out hatred is spreading across this country like a virus. The hate groups that have lurked in the shadows are coming out into the light with no apology and a new, disturbing, sense of purpose. They see this as their moment to ‘reclaim’ this country; although the only ones with any real claim are the Native Americans.

This has created  a nauseating level of irrational hatred, similar to what helped fuel the Nazi party in Germany. After Trump leaves the stage, this cloud of evil will remain and sadly will only grow stronger as those who supported him will be even more angry because their savior lost. Look forward to generations of more violence and hatred while high ranking Republicans will fight to defend their right to enact their vicious attacks, urging on the flames of hate because that’s where votes come from.

What I hate the most is the hypocrisy of these people. They say the ‘bleeding heart liberals’ are easily offended and call anything that pays respect to others ‘politically correct’, as if that’s an insult. While on the flip side of that coin, let’s look at all the right leaning organizations who lose their shit whenever a gay couple gets married, or a transgender dares use a public restroom. Also take a look at the case of a 65 year old woman being punched in the face at a Trump rally for a simple comment directed at a Trump supporter. She challenged him with an opposing viewpoint and his response was to cold cock her in the face, knocking her down, over her oxygen tank. Who’s sensitive? I think both sides have their share of crybabies, so let’s walk away from that attack because neither side has anything to be proud of there.

Just a couple months away and we can put all this ugliness behind us, in time to deal with all the ugliness that awaits us in 2017. Buckle up!

Let’s Get Political

I’m trying to stay away from political posts, because they aren’t much fun, I know. I just have to break and put one more up. I was thinking about our country and how it’s set up in a way that virtually nothing ever can be accomplished. If one side has a great idea to make real change, the other side finds fault and does everything to stop it. Think about it. How much has our government really accomplished after 2 centuries? There have been victories here and there, but the big battles still loom. Healthcare. Tax reform. Immigration reform. Civil rights. It seems to never end. We have had these problems on our plate for decades upon decades and not only have they not gotten better, they’ve actually grown worse. Why? Well, here’s a theory of mine, but it makes a lot of  sense to me. Because our government has grown fat and lazy and complacent. I’m not talking just Republicans or Democrats. This isn’t a party issue. This is a politician issue. If you are reading this, please just humor me and think about these issues. Really think about it. You are aware that most congressmen and senators are millionaires/billionaires, right? When it comes to issues of health care, what do they have to say about anything? It’s not an issue that they have to deal with. First, they already have insurance from the government; AKA us! We are paying for their care.  We pay their salaries, despite the fact they make millions in the private sector. Those guys are never going to  have to deal with the reality of healthcare like we do because they can afford the best of care for the rest of their lives. How can they effectively legislate when they have no idea what it’s like to be in our shoes? Simple answer is they can’t. I don’t care what sob story they may have about how they worked their way up from humble beginnings. Where ever they came from doesn’t matter. Right now they are wealthy and over-privileged. Why do we allow wealthy men and women to rule over us like they were kings? Why do we allow this to go on? I think in ways we’ve also become complacent. We don’t fight like we used to. We roll over when we see the injustice and just accept that we can’t fight city hall, but that’s wrong. We can fight. We only have to choose to.

My broad plan would be simple. Take it all away. No more salaries for any congress members who make more than fifty thousand a year in the private sector. No more health benefits. They have to go and get their own insurance through the ACA just like everyone else in this country. Those who sit upon the seat of power have an obligation to live like their constituents. How else would they know their struggle? How would they know what they need? What they want? Any one who really cares about doing the job of running this country would accept these terms. Our politicians should not live above us in their ivory towers, seemingly immune to the same standards we are all  held to. They need to be part of our communities. They need to be us.

Where is our power BTW? They can hand down laws to tell us what to do, but where is our power to tell them no? Where is our voice? We get to vote every four years? Is that it? NO! The only way to get real change in the government would be to employ the ideas outlined above. That’s the only way they would ever care; if they were impacted as well. I’m tired of being told how to live by some exclusive club of millionaires. I wish there was some other way to make this endless waltz end, but there really isn’t. The only way we’d see real change would be to cut the purse strings and force them all to live in the real world with the rest of us. If you are reading this and agree, at least on the concept of this post, pass it along. Share it. Wake up the people! We do have a voice and we can be heard but only until we all speak together! Think about what I’ve said. Really think about it. How okay are you with a bunch of old, rich men sitting on Capitol Hill in their wood paneled offices with their personal staffs, making up the laws of the land not for the good of the people, but for the good of their contributors? Maybe this is a cynical and oversimplified view, but the fact is ‘Money talks. Bullshit walks’. Most people never find a ‘side’ to an argument until after they’ve been impacted by the problem. These politicians can’t legislate because they don’t know what it is to be  us. To be a paycheck away from losing your home. To sacrificing more than you can bare to keep food on the table and your young ones healthy and happy. They have nannies and personal assistants. They have snot nosed college kids lining up around the corner to be their interns, also known as academic slaves. This is wrong! They are civil servants. They are here to serve us, not the other way around. If you’re not one of ‘them’ then great. Happy for you, but the fact is most of Congress and the Senate work like this and everyone knows it. It’s just about time that we all did something about it.

New NRA Ad

Okay, I’m trying to keep my blog light, but I just saw a new ad by the NRA with some woman who got raped talking about how she was afraid of guns before she was attacked and now has seen ‘the light’ and has become a gun advocate. She claims that the right to bear arms is at risk in this election. First off, No it isn’t. Hillary is not after your precious guns anymore than Obama was. All that is being offered are some common sense gun safety laws that would keep military grade weaponry off the streets, close up the gun show loophole and enact more stringent background checks before the purchase of guns. I honestly don’t know what the NRA’s objections to these guidelines are. So much opposition to common sense laws that will keep everyone safe. If you’re on the no-fly list, why should you be allowed to have a gun. Too dangerous to fly but it’s A-OK for you to have a gun? I also don’t understand why the NRA makes such a leap in logic. Gun safety laws = taking our rights away to them. I get that they’re trying to hold onto their grip on our law makers. They don’t want to give up their power and if any gun safety measures ever get through, it’ll be a downward slide for them. They will lose their clout and the ability to control our congressmen and senators, but I think that would be good. Most of them are a bunch of uneducated, paranoid reactionary freaks who for their guns before thinking.  Is that the world we want? Do we want to go back to the wild west? Gun fight in the streets? Daily mass shootings? How many dead will it take before the NRA sees that something has to be done in order to protect the people? We need driver’s licenses to drive cars. Why not apply that to guns? Regular testing. Annual registrations. Keep on top of those out there who are carrying around tools of death, because that’s what they are. Guns are designed to kill and only kill. Anyone who really believes in gun safety should agree that these measures are not violations of their rights and are completely reasonable methods by which to ensure public safety. We are not animals ruled by our fear. We have the ability to reason and think. There also other methods of self defense. Pepper spray. Tazers. Basic self defense. I’d like to know what would have happened to that woman if she did have a gun and her rapist found it. Then you’d be raped and killed. A gun does not guarantee safety. In fact, its presence increases your chance of death. You think it won’t happen to you. You know better. There are plenty of people buried who thought just like you do. The average gun owner may be willing to bet their life on that weapon, but I’m not, and my life isn’t yours to wager on.

If You Didn’t Think Humanity Was Doomed Before,

What has happened to the human race? Were we always such monsters or did that come about via evolution? We’re supposed to be the best of all. We have the rare ability to think and make moral judgments, yet the choices we make time and time again make me wonder if we aren’t just evil to the core.
I have been hearing a lot of alarmist talk over the news that California, my home, only has one year of water left. Of course, if our Governor had half a brain, he would have seen this issue coming down the way and done something in the way of finding a solution instead of blowing the state’s money on a light rail system no one will use, but I digress.
I read an article a few days ago about how Nestle Corporation believes that the public has no right to clean water and are doing all they can to lock down as much water as they can so that they can bottle it up and make a profit off of it. I also read just today an article about how some of the big banks and billionaires are doing the same thing. They’re buying up all the water and all the land with water on it. They’re locking down water rights like there’s no tomorrow. The government is even doing their part in this wickedness by punishing private citizens from harvesting rain water that falls on their own private property. Some poor guy got locked up for 30 days for the sin of collecting rainwater that fell on HIS property. Alternatively, corporations are okay to go and buy up all the water and land they can get their claws on. A source from Esquire magazine was quoted as saying that water is the oil of the 21st century. The banks and rich folk are hoarding all the water and are using the influence to prevent the little people from getting on their own so that they can bottle and sell it for 10 times the cost when public supplies run out.
This is how the human race responds to a potential crisis? The rich and affluent hoard and scheme in order to ensure they can make money off the need of the people? Call me a crazy optimist, but I’d think this would be a situation where we would all rally and find a way to make sure everyone will have access to clean water. The rich could use their resources to find solutions to this problem. How about all the snow that fell in the east? Why couldn’t we have packed that all up and dropped it on the mountains over here? Just an idea floated by my cousin. Seems overly simple, but why wouldn’t that work? Cooling systems could keep the snow cold and it could be dumped right onto the mountains over here. Like air drops of water when there are fires.
I just don’t understand why the reaction to a potential environmental crisis is to exploit the situation for profit over the welfare of the people. This is a serious problem in this country. The rich have become cold and sociopathic. They don’t care what happens to anyone outside of their own sphere. Many don’t, but when they don’t care, it doesn’t stop there. They take it one step further and actually take actions that could harm the masses. I don’t know what the future of the world looks like to them. If those they consider beneath them are gone, what will they do? There won’t be anyone to work for them and make them money. There won’t be any servants to tend to them. They don’t seem to get that we all need each other. Whether directly or indirectly, our lives are connected so closely, if there was any major shift, we would all feel the pain. There is no immunity. Money offers no protection.
The government should also take note of this. If they align themselves with the rich and entitled, they’re going to learn they backed the wrong horse. What is a nation with no people? What is a politician with no support?
I’m just having some very sobering visions of a future where basic needs become luxuries controlled only by the very rich. It’s happening before our very eyes and no one sees it, or wants to; but you will see it when it happens, but then it’ll be too late. When will the human race finally start learning from its past mistakes? The problem is just starting now. We can fix this one. We just need to be wise enough to see it and strong enough to do what must be done.