Then and now…

then

now

US confirmed 92,932 (3/27/20) cases of the virus

https://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/despite-governors-pleas-trump-questions-need-ventilators-n1170201?cid=eml_mra_20200327

waiting for images of toilet paper being tossed from a Trump political campaign train

expanding market share…the hidden agenda

studyofrhythumtone1. “I will be strongly pushing Comprehensive Background Checks.” That sounds like a worthwhile reform, though it would be a rather dramatic reversal for Trump, who, as Rachel noted on last night’s show, has weakened the background check system.

Indeed, the L.A. Times  reported this week, Trump administration officials “have quietly chipped away at the National Instant Criminal Background Check System, the federal system that stores consult to make sure buyers are eligible to purchase guns.” The piece added, “In his recently released budget for the coming fiscal year, Trump proposed slashing millions of dollars from the budget for the background check system.”

2. “…with an emphasis on Mental Health.” Again, Trump is the one who, shortly after taking office, took steps to make it easier for the mentally impaired to buy guns. What’s more, as the Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell explained last week, Trump’s proposed budget calls for significant cuts that, if implemented, would limit access to mental-health services for many Americans.

3. “Raise age to 21.” There seems to be a growing number of Republicans who can’t answer questions about why a young adult can buy an assault rifle, but not a beer. The NRA, however, has not yet signed off on the change.

4. “…end sale of Bump Stocks.” If Trump is serious about this, he could endorse the pending legislation banning bump-stock modifications. So far, he hasn’t

Cited: http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow-show/guns-pay-attention-what-trump-does-not-what-he-says

I am finding myself wondering if those who support guns in schools, churches, malls, etc. have they ever, personally, been in a war zone.   A quote from a very close friend:

Before I went to Vietnam, I went through six months of extensive weapons training, and then SERE (survival, escape, resistance, and evasion) training. Even so, I’m not embarrassed to admit, I still pissed my pants in my first firefight with the VC. Yeah, I came home, but some did not. Are we now expected to train our educators to the same standard? Why on earth would I want my daughter [an university instructor] subjected to the same terror? Would you? I do not.

Then I am beginning to wonder if the focus upon Second Constitutional is more about a distraction that comes from stirring up emotive distance while the gun industry is silently expanding their market shares.  The easing of the federal background checks, removal of criminal records, budget cuts, opening up gun ownership to “mentally impaired” individuals, easing interstate carry of weapons, and now arming school teachers…all in all has the hidden benefit of expanding the market share.  Did the NRA begin lobbying politicians as the gun industry saw potential loss of revenue due to market saturation?

Before I labeled myself as an independent or progressive, I am foremost a parent, a grandparent, and more recently a great-grandparent. My youngest grandchild will graduate from high school this spring. I worry, as do most conscientious parents, grandparents and great grandparents, about the availability of these weapons falling into the hands of an irresponsible person and using it against helpless teachers and students.

My world of friends and family is rather small…yet, my life history includes the loss of a childhood friend after being shot by his brother, two teen suicides, and the deaths of three young sons by their father.  I also have a dear, dear friend whose childhood family was taken hostage by her stepfather that ended when the police chose to use…not weapons, but tear gas.  No one was seriously injured throughout this ordeal; yet, I wonder would the ending to this trauma be even more intense for her and her family if there had been a gun in the home…

 

I am…

Civil rights community doesn’t need to look Farr for racism in Trump.

Excerpt from The Hill, 12.22.2017

Our decision to protest President Trump’s visit to the opening of the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum wasn’t simply about the insult of his presence to the legacy of civil rights, it was also about his ongoing war to recreate the barriers and protections so many gave their lives to tear down.

ernest withers, civilrightsphoto
Sanitation workers’ protest in Memphis, TN in 1968
Ernest Withers, Civil Rights Photographer


Through his refusal to condemn white supremacy and his policies to dilute the voting strength and political power of the poor, the middle class and communities of color, Trump has frightened civil rights communities in ways they have not felt in a long time.  It is with this same fear and dread that we look upon his current nominations to the federal courts.

civilrights
Students’ Arrest in Jackson, MS 1961 

…we stand on the verge of a watershed moment that could impede progressive issues for decades. [Thomas] Farr’s nomination represents the tip of the iceberg in what many consider our president’s attempt to remake America’s ideology in his own image. Trump’s judicial nominees, like those elsewhere in his government, are more than 90 percent white and overwhelmingly male. In fact, white males make up 81 percent of the nearly 60 nominees (14 confirmed), including at least four who were determined to be “unqualified” by the American Bar Association.

images
Protest against racial integration in schools, at the Arkansas State Capitol in Little Rock, August 20, 1959. U.S. News and World Report photograph. Public domain

If ever there was a time to guard the federal judiciary, this is it. These nominees share dreadful records on civil rights and are simply unfit to serve. Unlike policy or legislation, these judges are lifetime appointees with the ability to influence all aspects of jurisprudence for decades to come.

~ Derrick Johnson, President and CEO of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

I so need a “puppygate”

On December 9, 2016 a BBC article offered this question about Park Geundye’s impeachment, “Did a puppy bring down South Korea’s president?”

The impeachment of President Park is said to have been set in motion when a South Korean pop star, Ko Young-tae, faced the fury of Ms Choi’s (a long-time personal friend of Ms Park) condemnation for abandoning her daughter’s puppy at his home when he went to play a round of golf.

It seems that their relationship altered from that point on as he began to feel like Ms. Choi was treating him as if he was her personal slave. So, with more anger and resentment than a sense of patriotic duty, he  proceeded to collect evidence of Ms Choi’s interactions within the Park administration and eventually opened the door to the relationship dynamics between Ms Choi and Ms Park to the press.

In summary, it wasn’t economic scandals, broken campaign promises, emotional detachment, or the Sewol ferry tragedy in 2014 that ended her presidency…it was a puppy.

A puppy story anyone…just asking since this excerpt of stories from What the Fuck Just Happened Today that open the door on the integrity of the Trump administration doesn’t seem to be much of a concern for Paul Ryan.

Business is booming for a private prison company after it contributed to Trump’s campaign and moved its company meetings, dinner receptions, and golf outings to Trump National Doral. GEO Group, through a company subsidiary, gave $225,000 to a pro-Trump super PAC and an additional $250,000 to Trump’s inaugural committee. It also hired two former aides to Jeff Sessions as outside lobbyists. In exchange, Sessions reversed an Obama-era directive to stop using private prisons, which allowed the company to secure a deal with the government in April worth tens of millions a year. GEO’s stock price has tripled since last year. (Washington Post)

Foreign steel imports are up 24% since Trump’s “Buy American” pledge. In particular, a Russian steel company has won several pipeline contracts, including the Keystone XL. The biggest shareholder in Evraz North America is an oligarch and Trump family friend. (Bloomberg)

The head of Cambridge Analytica tried to work with Wikileaks to find Hillary Clinton’s 33,000 deleted emails. Alexander Nix, whose firm worked for Trump’s campaign, wrote an email to Julian Assange asking if the two could work together to find and release Clinton’s emails. Assange replied that he didn’t want Nix’s help. (The Daily Beast)

A two-person Montana utility company linked to the Trump administration won a $300 million contract to repair Puerto Rico’s electrical infrastructure. The private-equity firm that finances Whitefish Energy was founded by Joe Colonnetta, who contributed $20,000 to the Trump Victory PAC during the general election, $2,700 to Trump’s primary election campaign, $2,700 to Trump’s general election campaign, and a total of $30,700 to the Republican National Committee in 2016. Whitefish Energy is also located in the hometown of Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, who is friends with the Whitefish CEO Andy Techmanski. (Washington Post / The Daily Beast)

Senators didn’t know there were 1,000 troops in Niger. Lindsey Graham, who sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said “I didn’t know there was a thousand troops in Niger” when asked about whether Congress needed to vote on an Authorization of Use of Military Force for the mission that left four Green Berets dead. He added: “The military determines who the threats are, they come up with the engagement policy and if we don’t like what the military does, we can defund the operation.” Chuck Schumer also admitted that he didn’t know about the number of troops in Niger. (The Daily Beast)

The EPA blocked three agency scientists from discussing climate change at a conference. The scientists contributed substantial material to a 400-page report about how climate change is affecting air and water temperatures, precipitation, sea level and fish in and around the Narragansett Bay estuary. The EPA helped fund the report. (New York Times)

Trump’s voter fraud commission has left Democratic members in the dark about what it’s doing. Two of the commission’s four Democrats have written letters to its executive director, asking for basic information such as when the panel might meet again, what kind of research is being conducted, and when it might send a report to Trump. (Washington Post)

And the list goes on and on and on.

Oh, by the way, Mr. Ryan I do care about the questionable fitness and integrity of Donald Trump and his administration.  And, I wonder if you have a hidden puppy story that may bring about an end this daily twittering insanity.

 

Why again?

tourdefatweb

A mom whose family’s budget is struggling to meet their basic needs of shelter, food, transportation, education, and medical care inquires, “Why do I as a mother of an ill child need to keep coming back to you to ask you NOT to take away my child’s health care?”

Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado, “Because my campaign fund-raising is drying up…”

I wonder, “and RNC funds are being redirected to Trump’s Russia defense expenses?”

A nightmare

Feeling a bit unsettled today since it feels as though my life is being pulled through an insanity that could only be a nightmare: an onslaught of Executive orders issued with pursed lips and fanfare and without a review of Constitutional Law…an executive agency defying the ruling of a federal judge…Bannon being appointed the head of the National Security Council while Trump limits the roles of the director of intelligence and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff…and this seemingly never-ending nightmare goes on and on.

This emotional reactivity that has exploded on Twitter only adds to this nightmare.  We need to find a way to begin an effective dialogue between people of differing opinions. I fear we are too far down the road for this to even begin because elements that were put into place to ensure our  freedoms are being threatened: false news that ensures division among the population; gag orders that seem to restrict freedom of speech; the statement that the media is an “opposition party” seems like an attempt to block the freedom of the press; a weakening of “checks and balances”; a trivial need to validate the presidency through images and imaginary numbers; and most unsetting, the removal of the bipartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors opening up the possibility of the Voice of America being used as a propaganda tool.

What power do I as a single person have to wake up from this insane dream?  It is recommended that I contact those elected to represent me…senators and representatives…and I have done so, but I wonder why I don’t feel reassured that I will wake up any time soon.

This ain’t right!

The church of my childhood and of my mother, her mother, and my grandmother’s mother taught me that the body, the family, and the church were sacred and thus any choice I made in my life was to be drawn upon that guiding principle.

My choice to participate in this past election came after hearing how Trump used social media to shame women…and now to hear that the Mormon Tabernacle Choir will be performing at Trump’s inauguration brings my soul into a deeper disbelief that began on the darkest of dark nights…election night.

So…I have given my voice to “this isn’t right.” I may have to find some kind of resolution for the next four years, but I will not accept the church’s celebration of human negation and shame.  If your beliefs are similar to mine, please sign the petition at change.org.

https://www.change.org/p/the-church-of-jesus-christ-of-latter-day-saints-mormon-tabernacle-choir-should-not-perform-at-trump-inauguration?recruiter=20691342&utm_source=share_petition&utm_medium=copylink

Thank you.  My daughter, granddaughter, and soon to be great granddaughter also thank you for validating the right of all human beings to be respected and honored.