“We’ve been waiting for you.” – Obama

This just in:  I miss president Obama.  I miss the sanity.  I miss the quiet that comes from knowing the man in charge is not an emotionally damaged child.

The quote that titles this post is Obama talking about the kids taking charge in the gun control debate.

While they are standing up and demanding action, I saw an adult on Facebook blame gun violence on bad parenting, lack of child discipline and not enough God.

I’m supposing he means “his God”.

I just can’t get behind the idea that we can “Beat the mass shootings” out of our children.

I just can’t get behind the idea that more Sunday School will will help.

I just can’t understand how the very people that think More Sunday School will help are actually the main supporters of a position that will ultimately lead to more “conceal and carry” in church to keep us all safe from those kids that were not beaten severely enough as children.

I am waiting for a few things myself….

  1. If you are a woman thinking of running for a political office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  2. If you are under 40 and thinking of running for political office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  3. If you believe in the sciences and want to run for political office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  4. If you believe in equality for all and want to run for office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  5. If you want to help those that need it the most and want to run for office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  6. If you are progressive, always looking forward and want to run for office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  7. If you prefer peaceful solutions over tanks and want to run for office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  8. If you think “ideals” not “money” are important for elected officials and you want to run for office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  9. If you think education makes us stronger and want to run for office…I’ve been waiting for you.
  10. If you think”content of character” is important…I’ve been waiting for you.
  11. If you think facts matter and want to run for office…I’ve been waiting for you.

However…

If you prefer fear; if you prefer opinion over fact; if you think the best way to lead into the future is to pull us into the past; if you think facts don’t matter; if you think the truth is optional; if you think Money = Free speech…then be advised…Your time it coming.  Your days are numbered and when you are gone…I will not weep.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The “hardening” of America

This just in:  The NRA and Trump (who received $31 million from Russia via the NRA) think that we need to “harden” our schools against attack.

I disagree.

I think gun control is the answer.  Here is a link to my ideas about gun control.

However, let’s go with the NRA/Trump idea…

Let’s harden our schools.  Let’s spend money on training and arming teachers. Let’s use metal detectors and auto-locking doors and name tags.  Let’s double the current spending on public schools with 100% of that increase going into “hardening” the classrooms of our kids.

Or…and I’m just saying…we could improve gun control.

However….let’s continue with the logical outcome of the Trump/NRA policy; one that basically says, “The only way to keep us safe from guns is to make sure more people have more guns.”

Once our schools are taken care of, let’s look at the next soft target.  I think we need to arm the cashiers at my local market and at the local mall.  Let’s arm all of the people in every public place so that the bad guy knows return fire is guaranteed.

Then we have my neighborhood.  I thought I needed a lock on my door but that is apparently not enough for the gangs of armed thugs.

Yes, we could make sure thugs don’t have guns but that is not in accordance with the Trump/NRA agenda.

So, I apparently need more than a lock and more than a 115 pound dog.  I need a handgun.

The bad guys know this so they get automatic rifles.

Not wanting to be “outgunned”, I now need an automatic rifle.

In short, I am being sucked into the Trump/NRA platform of fighting guns with even more guns.

Or…and I’m still just saying….we could improve gun control

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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NRA = Republican

This just in:  At a CNN town hall, a student confronted Senator Rubio and asked him to vow to not take any more money from the NRA.  Rubio’s response was that the NRA gives him money because they support his “agenda”.

In other words, the NRA has found that they support the “agendas” of all Republicans and it is just a coincidence that the Republican Party turns around and does whatever the NRA wants them to do.  Rubio actually said the money from the NRA does not influence congressmen.

Here is the NRA position on the gun issue: (1) Gun violence at schools is due to the fact that we have not “hardened” our schools to protect against crazy people and (2)  It’s terrible that a monster killed all those people in Florida placing the blame on the incompetence of law enforcement.

The president apparently supports this.  He actually wants to arm teachers in schools.  He has clarified this so that only highly skilled teachers would have guns.

I watched the president of the NRA screaming to his flock of faithful that “we must not allow those European Socialists to take back the House, the Senate or even the presidency. If they do, that will be the end of the Second Amendment!”

Basically fear speech aimed and the weak minded.  You know, the ones that believe this garbage.  The same ones that posted all the fake news about child actors pretending to be victims in Florida.  The same ones that call the victims in Florida and make threats because those victims dare to speak out about guns.

The more I think about the audience at an NRA rally, the more I think they might be the very people that represent the greatest gun threat to the people in our country.

Here are the 3 main arguments and my counter points:

(1) More laws will not prevent gun violence because criminals don’t follow the laws.  I say…if this is true of guns, then it must be true of all laws and we should therefore eliminage laws against murder, seat belts, speed limits, theft etc.

(2) This is a mental health issue.  This implies that since we have way, way more gun deaths in the United States than other countries…we must have way, way more mentally deranged people.  Note: Research has shown that about 4% of all gun related deaths in the United States are related to mental illness.

(3) It’s too soon to talk about this.  Let’s not talk about the latest mass shooting then.  Instead, let’s talk about the mass shooting before this one or let’s talk about the next mass shooting which, by my watch, is less than a week away.

Yes, there is talk about banning bump stalks and raising the age to 21.  This type of stuff is small potatoes…a token to pretend we are actually doing something.

In the end, the NRA is in the business of selling guns.  They bribe Republicans to help make this happen.

The safety of our kids means nothing to either….although….the NRA sees school safety as a way to sell even more guns.

Finally, I’m very proud of the kids in Florida; they way they are taking a stance when the rest of us, the adults in the room, stand by and do nothing.

They are the ones standing up and pointing out, “The King has no clothes.”

Soon….these kids will vote.  This gives me a tremendous amount of hope.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

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Connecting a Few Dots…

This just in:  Sometimes completely unrelated things happen in such a way as to appear that there may be a relationship, where there is not.  Here is a website that is dedicated to such things.  This is really interesting and I recommend you check out the link.

Now…

At other times, things that appear related may actually be related.

I want to take a minute to look at a few of these relationships.

Of course…this is all about Trump.

  1. Trump has clearly worked with Russia to get elected
  2. There appears to be a payback to Russia for their help when Trump refuses to implement sanctions against Russia
  3. Russia funnelled money to the NRA who in turn, gave it to Trump
  4. The NRA is one of the major funders of the Republican Party
  5. Only NRA funded Republicans, and NRA funded Trump appear to feel there is no solution to gun violence other than “thoughts and prayers”
  6. Russian bots immediately started posting fake news (gunman was a secret muslim) about the Florida shooter.
  7. Trump, in a message about Florida, didn’t even mention the word “gun”
  8. Fox News supports all things Trump and Republican

So, if I was to make a bed and fill it with members of the same team, that bed would contain: President Trump, Russia, the NRA, Fox News and the entire Republican Party.

It’s nice for them to all be in same place.  I can, at a glance, look at who I want to vote out of office later this year. (Trump in in until 2020 but a Democrat Congress will kick him out sooner).

Vote in 2018 and save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The Power of Your….One….Vote

This just in: Our elected officials are just that….elected.  Who we elect will dictate the direction our country takes at any given time.  If you vote, you are helping to put people in place that will take us in a direction you want to go.  If you don’t vote, you are letting others elect people that will take us in the direction others want to go.

So…if the direction of our country is important to you…you need to vote.

Here is a list of a few “different directions” and the associated political party:

Gun Violence:

Democrats: We could have sensible gun control that would not violate the Second Amendment but does help reduce gun violence in the United States.  This violence accounted for 38,000 deaths in 2016.

Republicans: We know guns cause gun deaths, however, the NRA funds most of our campaigns so we ignore the 38,000 deaths caused by our inaction in 2016.  Trump received record amounts from the NRA when running for president.  Last year he overturned Obama’s restriction on allowing guns to go to the mentally ill.

Healthcare:

Democrats: We need to take steps towards improved healthcare.  This includes controlling costs and improving care.  We know this can be done because all other industrialized countries have successfully take this issue on.  We like the “single payer” issue where taxes go up but all healthcare is now paid for automatically.  However, many of us lack the political will to follow through with this.

Republicans:  We once supported the “single payer” system but it is too close to what the Democrats want so we are against it now.  We like the “free market” system, not because it works but because people think it sounds “American.”  We actually don’t stand for any particular solution with regards to healthcare but we like the issue since it is politically divisive.

Opioid Crisis:

Democrats:  This is a major issue since 64,000 people died from it in 2016 and the number is expected to be much, much higher in 2017.  This is an “all hands on deck” issue in that every effort must be taken to address this.  We need treatment.  We need to have alternative pain medication (cannabis). We need to prescribe it more carefully.  We need to research other means of addressing this issue.

Republicans:  People should take aspirin instead of opiods.  We need to tell people to “just say no.”

The Economy:

Democrats:  We need to support the Middle Class as they make up 2/3 of our economy.  We need to promote international trade.  We need to address income inequality as it is a known societal disruptor.  We need to provide social safety nets for people that fall on hard times so they can get back on their feet.

Republicans:  If we give more money to the rich, they will hire more people to mow their lawns.  This is called trickle down economics. Social safety nets are for lazy people.  We don’t need international trade deals because other countries actively seek out the “privilege” of buying our goods.

The Military:

Democrats: Our military needs to be big enough to protect the United States.  We need to foster diplomacy since agreements across a table are less costly than agreements across a battlefield.  We need to work closely with our allies.  We do not need to be able to fight the whole world.

Republicans:  Telling people to be afraid is the core of our party.  “Be afraid and we will protect you” has proven to be an effective way  to get people to vote Republican.  A large army makes other countries fearful of us and thus, be more respectful.

Money in Politics:

Democrats:  They take plenty of money from lobbyists and allow that money to influence their policy making.  However, they actively push to eliminate/reduce money in politics.  They can’t simply, “not take money” and let the other party rake it in since money does influence elections.  They are reluctant participants in the “money for policy” mentality in Washington.

Republicans:  They have a history of creating policy completely disassociated with the needs of their voters but in complete alignment with their donors.  They not only love money in politics, they want even more and have come to be completely dependent upon special interest money.

Russia:

Democrats:  Russia is not our friend and needs to be watched carefully.

Republicans: Russia helps to elect Republicans.  That is all you need to know.

As you can see, there are very different directions our country can take.  I haven’t even touched on corruption, civil rights, global relations, global warming, education, science, honesty etc.

In my view, Trump and the Republican Party are the exact opposite of who I think we are as a country.

My fear is that I may be wrong.

My intent is to vote and to get other like minded people to vote as well.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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The Greatest Heist

This just in:  The Republican Party and Donald Trump are perpetrating the greatest robbery in the history of the world.

It started with the tax cut.  This cut gave an average American about $1,000 a year in additional disposable income.  This also gave the Koch brothers $27,000,000 in additional disposable income  PER WEEK!

I mention the Koch brothers because they spent the most money bribing Republicans to pass this law.  For example, a few days after the tax break became law, the Koch brothers put $500,000 into Paul Ryan’s (R) campaign fund.  It takes about 90 minutes for the Koch brothers to recoup this money from the savings they will be getting.

Keep in mind, these tax breaks are not free.  They are just borrowed money.  In short, every week, we borrow $27 million to give to the Koch brothers.  In total, we will have to borrow about $1.4 trillion to pay for what the tax break took from our national income.

Here is a picture of what $1 trillion looks like>

 

 

 

 

 

Now comes the Trump budget.  It calls for over $700,000,000,000 in defense spending.  This is nearly $6,000 per household!  This amount is far, far more than the next several countries combined.

Here’s the deal, spend money on the military and there is no return.  Yes, we get protection but if no one attacks, then the billions we spent on that extra ship might as well have been burned in a bonfire.

This budget will add Several Trillion to the national debt.

How will we pay for this?

Simple…

The Republican Party will cut Medicare, Social Security along with several other social safety nets.  In short, the people that need support the most, the elderly and the poor, will be left out in the cold.  The people that need the money the least, our billionaires, will be raking in the cash.

This is our National Republican Party.

Vote in 2018.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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Republican = Russian…and they don’t even know it

This just in:  Congress overwhelmingly passed sanctions against Russia last year to punish them for influencing our elections.

Trump has refused to implement these sanctions based on the idea that “The Russians have learned their lesson.”

At the exact same time, every national security agency is saying loud and clear, “Russia has not learned any lesson and is already trying to influence the 2018 elections.”

On a completely unrelated note:  Collusion between Trump and Russia to influence the last election is not a crime UNLESS….Trump offers Russia something in return for their help.  Something like….refusing to implement sanctions.

On the Fetish Page…

Somewhere in my youth, I heard the word “fetish”.  This is a term that I somehow have come to associate with the idea that some men find women’s feet particularly sexy.    Interesting.  I don’t get it but interesting none-the-less.

Today, “fetish” to me is a reminder that we all have secrets.  We all have these little things we keep to ourselves, about ourselves because we have determined that we are ashamed of them.

I don’t have a problem with this and my guess is that I’m about average when it comes to “dirty little secrets.”

However, there is a class of “dirty little secrets” that has become rather transparent.

That class is “Trump Supporter.”

When someone supports Trump, I immediately assume that several of the following “dirty little secrets” apply to them:

  1. They are too lazy to educate themselves about facts.
  2. They are gullible.
  3. They are fearful.
  4. They are bad at math and the sciences.
  5. They are selfish.
  6. They are short-sighted.
  7. They are racist.
  8. They are evangelical.
  9. They are poor (and will be taken advantage of)
  10. They are rich (and willing to take advantage of others)
  11. They watch Fox News.
  12. They are excellent at mental gymnastics needed to justify Trump’s actions.
  13. They are white, male and over 55 years of age.
  14. They believe in conspiracies.
  15. They believe that their failure in life is due to someone else.
  16. They gobble up Cherry Picked data that supports their position.

These are all things, that if they belonged to me, would be filed in my “dirty little secret” box.  I would be ashamed to let you know these things about me.

But…when someone says, “Gotta get me some more Trump!”  They are spilling this secret box for all to see.

And I pity them for it.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

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The Sky Is Falling!!!!

This just in:  Trump and the GOP are becoming the “party that cried wolf” as one scandal after another is shown to be nothingburgers.

About a week ago, texts between two FBI sweethearts referred to a “secret society.”  Fox News, the entire Republican Party and, of course, President Trump, took this ball and ran with it.  They claimed, with zero evidence, that this was proof the FBI was biased against Trump and his minions.

Turns out the “secret society” comment was just a joke.  100% of the panic surrounding this issue was fabricated to justify the numerous Republicans that got TV facetime claiming to get to the bottom of this.

This did not stop the Cycle-O-Panic from restarting yesterday when Fox News posted bombshell emails from Obama.  Trump, in accordance with his conditioning, tweeted his “bombshell”…which was debunked in a matter of hours.

The “memo” is probably the biggest nothing burger.  In short, the FBI has been investigating a Trump guy due to his activities with Russia.  They issued a FISA warrant which allows this “oversight”.  The process involves giving judges information and asking for permission to spy on someone.  It needs to be renewed, apparently, every quarter.

In the “memo”, it was determined that although the FISA warrant had already been approved 3 times, on the 4th time, there was some reference to the Steele Dossier (in addition to pages of other evidence).   No one actually knows what was told to the judges to convince them to renew the warrant a 4th time but speculation went like this…

CNN:  Why are you upset about this memo?

Republican:  Because it mentioned the Steele Dossier.

CNN:  What else was mentioned?

Republican:  I have no idea but I heard the FBI is against Trump.

CNN:  What does that have to do with the FISA warrant?

Republican:  It means, it means….No!  You shut up!

CNN:  What evidence do you have of FBI bad behavior.

Republican:  Someone told me they were bad…M’Kay?

CNN:  Who told you that?

Republican:  Another Republican.

So….another nothingburger.

The only amazing thing about this is that people vote for these clowns.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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And the Answer is…

This just in:  The United States has a very large population of uneducated racists that will believe anything they are told.

That is the problem.

Trump releases a memo that basically says, “Carter Page has been under FBI investigation for about a year because of suspected ties to Russia.”

Trump then holds this up and says, “See!  The FBI is biased against me!”

To me, this makes about as much sense as stubbing your toe and then screaming, “Carrots cause rabies!”

But people in rural America will only hear Trump and nod in agreement.

This morning, Trump tweeted about thousands of British that were in the streets protesting against their universal healthcare plan.  In truth, people were protesting that the government needed to spend even more to make the healthcare even better.

In short, Trump tweeted the exact opposite of what was going on because he wants to turn us against universal healthcare.  His supporters….they will nod in agreement that healthcare is bad…M’kay.

Trump is actively deporting people willing to take the most menial jobs; ignoring that we need those people to help our economy grow.

Trump only wants to bring in people that can take high paying job positions; ignoring the fact that they will be taking those from current citizens.

In short, he is kicking out low wage earners to bring in high wage earners and claims that this will create high paying jobs.  Jobs we don’t need as unemployment approaches record lows.

And yet…Trump supporters nod at his wise counsel.

This is a problem.

In a democracy, the people govern themselves.

In our democracy, the people are not qualified to govern themselves.  Unless, we consider counter-science to be something we want to strive towards,

Trump is not the problem.  Get rid of him and we still have 60 million people that think what he is doing to our country is a good thing.

This is sort of a bummer to me as I have no clear path forward from here.  Cut off the head and we still have a body rife with cancer.

Maybe the answer is not “get money out of politics” or “stop electing racists”.

Maybe the answer is as simple as “Improve education.”

The sciences matter.  History matters.  Economics matters.

Racism comes from entrenched beliefs in ideals that are demonstrably false.

Fix education and you may find that an educated population is, in fact, capable of governing themselves.

Up, up and away…

Jim

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