Quotables

This just in: Trump has gaslighted me to the point where he can threaten violence if you don’t vote like he wants you to…and I just don’t care.

So how about something else for a change…

“He who will not risk, cannot win.” – John Paul Jones

“If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” – Wayne Dyer

“The amount of energy necessary to refute bullshit is an order of magnitude bigger than to produce it.” – Alberto Brandolini

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank

“Coincidences are God’s way of remaining anonymous.” – Albert Einstein

“Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” – Winston Churchill

“Only the dead have seen the end of war.” – Plato

“The difficulty lies not so much in developing new ideas as in escaping the old ones.” – John Maynard Keynes

“I’ve lived through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” – Mark Twain

“Be the change that you want the world to see.” – Gandhi

“I’m not upset that you lied to me, I’m upset that from now on I can’t believe you.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela

“The greatest accomplishment is not in never falling, but in rising again after you fall.” – Vince Lombardi

“For what shall it profit a man, if he gain the whole world, and suffer the loss of his soul?” – Jesus

“The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” – Richard Feynman

“Grief is the price we pay for love.” Queen Elizabeth II

“The difference between genius and stupidity is: genius has its limits.” – Alexander Dumas

“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience.  We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

“If you wish to make a pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.” – Carl Sagan

“You’re never too old to be young.” – Snow White

“Folks are usually about as happy as they make up their minds to be.” – Abraham Lincoln

“We don’t see things as they are, we see them as we are.” – Anais Nin

“North Dakota is so flat you can watch your dog run away for two weeks.” – Anonymous

“Study the past if you would divine the future.” – Confucius

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” – Charles Schultz

“My fellow Americans, we are and always will be a nation of immigrants.  We were strangers once, too.” – Obama

“In three words I can sum up everything I have learned about life – It Goes On.” – Robert Frost

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.” – Mark Twain

“That which does not kill us makes us stronger.” – Friedrich Nietzsche

“For every minute you are angry, you lose sixty seconds of happiness.” Ralph Waldo Emerson

Feel free to send me some of your favorites.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

And the Walls…came tumbling down

This just in:  I have to start with John McCain.  He was a great man.  I disagreed with him on a lot of issues but I always respected that disagreement.  I knew he was taking a position that he felt was right and what was best for the country and those that elected him to office.  He fought hard when he felt he was in the right and apologized when he felt he’d made a mistake.  My greatest sadness, however, is that he leaves no one behind to fill his shoes.

As for the latest in a long list of Trump failures…

Trump is now boasting about a trade agreement with Mexico.  I haven’t heard a lot about the details but it sounds like China has been somehow cut out of automobile manufacturing trade between us and Mexico.  I think I’m fine with that.  On the other hand, the Wall Street Journal says this deal may actually be worse than the original.  This is not hard to believe.  Recall that Trump wanted to repeal ObamaCare and replace it with the “Best Healthcare Ever”.  In the end, all he, and the Republican Party wanted to do was eliminate an achievement by the opposing party at the expense of the American People.

Also….

The deal maker that thought he might get the Nobel Peace Prize is watching an agreement with North Korea slip away.  In fact, it could be worse than before Trump touched it (Everything Trump Touches Dies).  We gave up an exercise with South Korea to get this deal rolling.  In the meantime, Russia and China are stepping in to support North Korea, belittling any “sanction” type efforts we may make to put pressure on Kim Jung Bowling Ball.

And as for the crumbling…

  1. Trump’s campaign manager is found guilty on 8 felony counts.
  2. Trump’s “fixer/lawyer” is found guilty on 8 felony counts and implicates Trump in one of them.
  3. Trump confesses to breaking campaign finance laws on Fox and doesn’t even know it.
  4. Trump family Chief Financial Officer has agreed to testify against Trump for immunity.
  5. National Enquirer owner has agreed to testify against Trump for immunity.  This is a biggie as this guy gets dirt on powerful people and then keeps it in a safe where he can use it later if needed.
  6. Trump Chief Political Advisor, Roger Stone, has agreed to testify against Trump for immunity.
  7. Trump’s son is in trouble for lying to Congress.
  8. Trump’s son-in-law was just fined for lying on documents related to real estate deals.
  9. New York is after Trump for financial misdealings with regards to his foundation.

And these are just the issues from the last 2 weeks.

But don’t forget.  Obama had scandals as well.  He once wore a brown suit.  That was Yuge!

I would bring up how Trump treated John McCain’s death but if you support Trump, I’m sure you found a way to make this okay in your mind.  Good for you.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

Please follow and like us:

The Tip of the Iceburg

This just in:  Yesterday, Michael Avenatti, the lawyer for Stormy Daniels, tweeted to Giuliani, “Buckle Up Buttercup.”  Basically, the ride has only just started to get good.

The “Trump Witch Hunt” handed in 16 more guilty felony counts yesterday; 8 from his long-time lawyer/fixer and 8 from his campaign manager.  Of these 16 felonies, only one really pointed at Trump.  Cohen said he violated campaign laws at the direction of a Republican presidential candidate in an effort to help that candidate’s campaign.

Small stuff, really.

Isn’t that strange?  The president is accused of being a co-conspirator to commit a felony crime and it’s really the least important and least illegal thing he has likely participated in for decades.

I predict Trump is going to face many, many more problems in the very near future.  I think he’ll be charged with money laundering, bank fraud, tax evasion and treason.

All of this illegal stuff, in my humble opinion, is really not why I dislike him so much.  I think he is a scumbag whose twisted personality is so foul it has reached out and affected the lives of every American.

He has made racism okay.  He’s set back civil rights and discourse back to the 1960’s.  He has damaged NATO which has been able to keep all of us safe for nearly 4 generations.  He’s aligned our country with the lowest of dictators and withdrawn our standing as the Moral Authority in the world.  He’s damaged international trade agreements that will lower the economic wellbeing of the entire world.  He’s actively worked to enable  exploitation of the planet; making it acceptable and even profitable.

And worst of all, he’s pulled back the curtain and exposed something I was in complete denial about – the fact that millions of Americans are completely okay with his behavior and even support it.  Nearly the entire Republican Party, that I was once a member of, has been exposed as enablers of Trump.  As he takes one swing after another at the world order pinata, Republicans gather around to scoop up their share of the ill-gotten candy that bleeds out.  So long as there is candy, they will help him do whatever he wants to do.

Why do I say this?  Watch the news today.  Count how few Republicans step forward to wash their hands of this clown.  Right now Fox News is talking about the 70 new jobs in Met Coal (used to make steel) in PA.  This coal mine has nothing to do with Trump but Fox acts like he just saved the world…while failing to notice Cohen or Manafort.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

Please follow and like us:

The Great Moderation

This just in:  Among Trump’s many, many problems, the fact that he is an uneducated child is one of the biggest.

I suspect that a lot of presidents have not been good at economics.  I don’t know this for a fact because they could appear knowledgeable by leaning on the expertise of others.

Trump has shrugged off this idea.  “He speaks his mind” is somehow seen as a strength even if what he says is babble.

For example, trade agreements are often seen as a good deal.  Sure, there is some give and take but in the end, we lock in a trading partner instead of losing them to say…China.  Trump, doesn’t agree with this.  He thinks agreements need to be one-sided where he gets all of the gains and the other gets the “privilege” of trading with us.  He is alone in this as country after country turns away from us in search of other partners.

Another example is the Executive use of tariffs.  Tariffs are a tax on ourselves.  Because Trump is trying to bully China or Canada or the EU, we will pay much more for products from those countries.  He’s pretending that if we make Chinese steel more expensive, we will buy steel from the United States.  It’s as if he thinks there are steel mills that are currently idle and just waiting for prices to change in their favor.  Of course, this is pure nonsense.  But, there is a “being a bully” component that seems to give Trump a woodie.

Now he is picking on the Fed.  To talk about this, I need to clarify a couple of terms.

Fiscal Policy is that policy that covers government expenditures. The government can choose to put more money into the economy, or take it out, based on what they want to do.  A tax cut is a fiscal policy.  It puts more money into the economy and thus stokes the fires of growth.

Monetary Policy is controlled by the Federal Reserve.  This is the policy of raising and lowering interest rates to control how much money is in the economy.  The Fed acts to “cool down” an overheated economy or to keep inflation in check.

From the late 1980’s to the mid-2000’s, the U.S. economy didn’t experience huge swings between growth and recession.  This period, known as the Great Moderation, is in large part due to the active role the Federal Reserve played using Monetary Policy.  They raised interest rates when inflation started to rise and they lowered interest rates if a recession started to look likely.

The tax break is causing inflation.  The Fed is controlling this inflation by raising the interest rates.  Higher interest rates increase savings and decreases borrowing and thus…takes money out of the economy.  Money is more scarce so it is more valuable therefore, the buying power of a dollar is greater and thus…inflation is stopped.

Now, if you read and understand everything I just wrote, you know ten times more about economics than Trump.

Today, Trump is trying to pick a fight with the Fed.  This is like a beaver arguing with NASA about the design of a rocket.

Vote in 2018.  Pick a candidate that knows how to use the talent around him or her to make sound choices.  Or, vote Republican and support the uneducated child that is running our country.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

Please follow and like us:

Hodgepodge

This just in:  I woke up this morning…inspired and yet mired.  There is just so much I want to get on the table that I find myself lacking direction.  So, I’ll throw stuff out there in no particular order.

Let’s start with a video of me doing my morning exercise…

Now a couple of political points…

Trump cancelled the security clearance of former CIA director Brennan.  Now, Brennan doesn’t need this clearance but the rationale is what concerns me.  Trump is doing this because Brennan is a political enemy.  Trump also listed several others that he was threatening.  In short, Trump is using his position to attack those that speak out against him.  What’s next?  IRS audits if you speak out against him?

A Republican Congressman this morning criticised Trump’s tariffs and the Brennan issue.  He then went on to say how happy he was about the great economy and rise in wages caused by the tax cut.  So, when it comes to something he had a hand in…nothing but good news…except the tax cut is doing nothing for wages.

For some reason, Trump calling Omarosa a “Dog” is still bothering me.  If my neighbor referred to anyone that way, I’d be disappointed in that person.  For the president to do this, knowing he is under fire for being a misogynistic racist shows a complete lack of understanding his place in the world.

Trump’s need to strike back at anyone that opposes him (instead of doing his job) reminds me of this…

And finally, I like good news and I like Reddit.  Here is a subreddit called “good news.”  People go here to post news that is actually good.  Check it out.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please follow and like us:

A world without Trump

This just in:  Trump just posted a tweet calling a black woman, “A dog.”

I’m sorry, but if you are okay with this…then I’m just going to walk away.  I’m not going to try and change your mind.  I’ll leave you to yourself.

And when I turn away…what do I find?

 
Time to save the world.
Up, up and away…
Jim

Please follow and like us:

Trump’s Fake Patriotism

This just in:  “Patriotism” is an idea one holds in their head and thus, is subject to interpretation.  What I think it is will differ from your thoughts and neither of us need be wrong.

So, he are my opinions about patriotism.

I think it is patriotic to be proud of your country.  We put a man on the moon.  I’m proud of that.

I don’t think it’s patriotic to be proud of bad actions by your country.  We are enabling hate and discrimination on an increasingly regular basis.  This makes me feel ashamed.  Saying so, does not make me less patriotic.

Avoiding paying your taxes is unpatriotic if you do so in a way that is illegal.  I think it is equally unpatriotic to side with a person that does this by saying, for example, “Manafort is being treated unfairly.”

Establishing a school for the underprivileged is patriotic.  So is donating your time to a charitable cause.

Obstructing an investigation into attacks on the very bedrock of our democracy (voting) is not patriotic. So is enabling that obstruction.

Taking a knee at an NFL game during the National Anthem to protest race discrimination is one of the most patriotic and brave things a person can do.  This is an action approved by the Constitution and draws attention to “hate” in our country with the hope that we will recognize it and eventually, overcome it.

Calling NFL players “unpatriotic” for taking a knee is “intellectually juvenile.” We all grew up in schools that had rival schools.  School spirit demanded we cheered for our team.  Then, we grew up.  We actually moved into neighborhoods where our rivals were from.  We saw they were just like us.  The rivalry, upon closer examination, was just a figment of our imaginations created to make things more fun.

Singing the National Anthem and standing at attention, and saluting the flag and being proud to be an American ….these are all patriotic things but…if you decide to not do them, you are free to do so…because you are an American.

Fostering hate in our country…unpatriotic.

Destroying our national resources to benefit a few…unpatriotic.

Collecting taxes and borrowing money to enrich the already, very rich..unpatriotic.

Calling immigration a threat instead of a blessing…unpatriotic.

Aligning our country with the worst dictators in today’s world…unpatriotic.

Accepting that tens of millions of Americans live in poverty so that we can enrich the very few…unpatriotic.

Weakening the longest and most successful military alliance in history thus making all Americans less safe (NATO) is unpatriotic.

Taking an oath to defend the Constitution and then making a mockery of it’s main tenets such as Freedom of Speech…unpatriotic.

Lying to Congress…unpatriotic.

This list goes on and on in my mind…maybe not yours.

In short…I think Trump is possibly the most unpatriotic person I could imagine…and yet, he’s the president.

He calls the kneeling NFL players patriotic for the same reason a homophobic person teases a gay person.  Trump knows he is a traitor and fears that you might notice.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

Please follow and like us:

Old White Males are the problem

This just in:  I’m an old, white, male.  For that, I apologize.  Anyway, I got up this morning with two thoughts in my mind: (1) Rep. Collins got caught doing something wrong that is not related to his being a Republican and (2) While we all have flaws, one political party seems to have institutionalized those flaws.

Let’s get started.

I suppose we are all flawed in one way or another.  I like this idea.  If we were all perfect, I think the world would be a very boring place.  This is especially true for me as I view life to be valued as a journey rather than a destination.

Every now and then, I drive from San Francisco to Bakersfield.  I can drive as fast as I want.  The traffic is rarely a problem.  There is gas and food along the way if I need it.  But…it is the most boring trip anyone can make.  There is absolutely nothing to see along the way.  Wait, that’s not quite true.  There is a lot to see; its just that everything you see is exactly like everything that you just saw.

I’d much rather drive by some trees or a tall building or a river.  I would much rather have each scene be different from the one before.

I think you get my point.  Flaws make us interesting and thus, life is more interesting.

Still, we don’t have to accept everyone’s flaws; especially if those flaws affect us as individuals.

Our politicians, being people, have flaws.  Their flaws seem to be bigger or more impactful than say, the guy that packed your groceries.  I’m not sure if this is because they are in the public eye and the flaws are thus magnified or…did their flaws drive them to seek positions of power where they could further exploit the benefits they gain from their flaws.

Probably a bit of both.

Some flaws seem to be fairly standardized.  Men seem to be the ones most likely to have some sort of sex scandal.  I don’t think this is related to political party.  In fact, I try to avoid jumping on a “stomp him in the ground” bandwagon when a person from the opposition party gets caught in some sexual impropriety.  Both sides have this issue and neither side supports it.

Greed is another flaw that seems to be more of a man-thing.  Greed itself is not a crime but feeding this need with illegal activities is.  There are laws to stop some actions because “helping oneself hurts others.”  You can get rich by inventing an anti-gravity machine and feed your greed.  You can’t get rich by stealing from your neighbor.

As usual, I’m rambling a bit to get to my point.  I do this because my point only takes shape in my head as I write.  Thanks for the patients.

The point is…I jump on Trump and the Republican Party all the time.  I don’t do this because they are old, white, males with all of their flaws.  I do this because they have institutionalized the practice of self-enrichment at the expense of those that put them in office.

Trump has affairs.  I don’t care.  He’ll eventually pay a price for that.

Congressman Collins gets caught inside trading.  I don’t care.  He’ll eventually pay a price for that.

Congress passes a tax law that benefits those few billionaires that are funding their campaigns and thus, lower the quality of life for the rest of the country and future generations.  I have a problem with this.

Congress protects a president that is ruining the economy, our foreign relations and the environment so that he won’t turn on them and cause them to lose their jobs.  I have a problem with this.

Congress tells me that “thoughts and prayers” are the best way to solve gun violence because the NRA is paying them to say that…I have a problem with that.

Trump and the Republican Congress has institutionalized a culture of corruption.

Yes, everyone has flaws and you can go back in history and find corruption everywhere.

But never have we seen our government act as if there were no “American Public” to serve and see their positions as an opportunity to satisfy their every whim.

Just for fun…Here is a list of recent presidents with my short description…

  • Trump – Mobster
  • Obama – Smart but naive ( I would vote for him again)
  • Second Bush – Nice but gullible
  • Clinton – Shady
  • First Bush – Great American (I would vote for him again)
  • Reagan – Strong, resolute (I would vote for him again)
  • Carter – Too nice
  • Ford – no opinion
  • Nixon – Fearful

Enough rambling for the day.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

Please follow and like us:

The Company Trump Keeps

This just in: “A man is known by the company he keeps.” – Aesop

Let’s pretend that we don’t know Donald Trump.  We have never heard of him and have not seen him in action.

All that we know is that he is in a position to surround himself with whomever he wants…and we know the company he keeps.

What would we think?

Here is a list of some of the company he keeps…

In New York, a city thick with lawyers, Trump hires Michael Cohen.  A self-described “fixer”, Cohen has been described as a mob-boss type lawyer.  He saw his job as fixing Trump messes.  For example, he’s the guy that set up fake corporations to funnel money to women that Trump had affairs with.  He is currently being investigated for Tax Fraud.  He also is being investigated for selling access to Trump once he became president.

Michael Flynn was picked by Trump to be his National Security Advisor.  Flynn lasted about 2.3 Scaramuccis (23 days).  He was fired after it had been discovered that he lied to congress.  Before taking office, he was seen at a table an event in Russia where he was seated with Putin.

Rex Tillerson was Trump’s first Secretary of State.  While he did nothing illegal, he spent his career in Big Oil and was awarded Russian Order of Friendship from Putin.

Paul Manafort was Trump’s campaign manager for about 5 months (15 Scaramuccis).  Manafort was a lobbyist with most of his fingers in Russian related dealings.  He is currently on trial for Tax Evasion, amongst a number of other crimes.

Wilbur Ross, is the current Secretary of Commerce.  Yesterday’s news brought out an article in Forbes describing a grifter scheme that Ross used to steal about $120 million from clients of his investment firm.  Note:  He denies this and has not been proven guilty or even formally charged.

Rick Perry is the Secretary of Energy.  As a presidential candidate, Perry said he would eliminate this agency.

Betsy DeVos is the Secretary of Education.  She is a mega-millionaire and major campaign contributor for Trump.  She is a fan of privatized education and is widely seen as grossly unqualified for the job.

Scott Pruitt was ousted as Trump’s administration of the Environmental Protection agency.  Not only did Pruitt work tirelessly to end environmental protections, he left office while being investigated for nearly a dozen different questionable practices.

While Trump has publicly criticized a number of world leaders, let’s look at a list of those he has praised.

About the Leader of North Korea:

“If you can do that at 27-years-old, I mean, that’s one in 10,000 that can do that,” Trump added. “So he’s a very smart guy. He’s a great negotiator. But I think we understand each other.”

He appears to admire Putin, one many consider the greatest military threat to the world today

He claims to have a great relationship with China’s Xi Jinping, who is the greatest economic threat to the United States and is currently responding to Trump’s tariffs, tit-for-tat.

He is an admirer of Turkey’s Erdogen, a man that may have staged his own coup in order to facilitate a “cleansing” of his military.  This is the guy that came to the United States and had his private guards beat up some Americans.

He is friendly with Duerte, the leader of the Philippines.  This is the guy that has authorized the killing of people believed to be dealing drugs.  This is not a “trial then guilty then shoot” type thing.  It’s more of a “shoot as soon as you suspect” type thing.

In short, the world leaders that Trump admires are the very same that the United States typically spends a great deal of effort protecting the world from.

I can’t really find someone on the other side of the isle for Trump.  There is no Ghandi out there that thinks Trump is great.

So…if this was all you know about Trump…how would you judge him?

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

Please follow and like us:

Team Work

This just in:  There seems to be a rise of Democratic Socialists which is being fought by Republicans as “Socialism!”  Note, many of these same Republicans claim they would rather be Russian than vote Democrat.  Go Figure.

Abraham Lincoln said, “The legitimate object of government, is to do for a community of people, whatever they need to have done, but can not do, at all, or can not, so well do, for themselves — in their separate, and individual capacities.”

Socialism definition: “A range of economic and social systems characterised by social ownership and workers’ self-management of the means of production as well as the political theories and movements associated with them.

Democratic socialists believe that both the economy and society should be run democratically—to meet public needs, not to make profits for a few. To achieve a more just society, many structures of our government and economy must be radically transformed through greater economic and social democracy so that ordinary Americans can participate in the many decisions that affect our lives.

Now, with that foundation, let’s ask ourselves…”Are we now a socialist country?’

You might answer “No!”  After all, refineries, airlines and local markets are not owned by “the people”.  If I owned a farm, it would be my farm, not the community’s farm.  GM, while publicly owned, it not owned by the people in general; rather it is owned by the people that bought shares.

So, there is a lot of evidence that we are not a Socialist country.  And, I might add, that I am not hearing any politician suggest that we should become a Socialist country.

However, we already are, to an extent, a Democratic Socialist country.  Our military is owned by the people.  Our roads are owned by the people.  Our fire departments and police are owned by the people.  In fact, take a look at our annual budget.  We collect from the people to spend on the people.  That’s it.

Take a look at the budget for 2015 (below).  This is all about us collecting money to do exactly what Abraham Lincoln said (above).

This is all Socialism to some extent.  We collect money and then do together what we cannot do as well ourselves.

We can quibble over the exact “word” to use to describe this but remember, it is what it is and using a word ending in “ism” does not make it bad.

This brings me to my point:  The United States needs to have universal healthcare.

Don’t tell me it can’t be done.  Done tell me that something every, other industrialized nation has accomplished is “too hard” for Americans.

I heard yesterday where the number of people over 65 declaring bankruptcy has tripled since 1990.  Most of this is attributed to healthcare related issues.

We can solve this.  Our taxes will go up but our out-of-pocket costs will actually go down.  No longer would people have to lose everything because a loved one got cancer in their later years and they spent every penny they had to spend just one more day with that loved one.

Republicans are against this because: (1) its not their idea and (2) they are corrupt and accept money to vote against it.

Democrats seem to be on the fence.  Some like it and some don’t.  Those that don’t like it fear backlash of raising taxes to pay for it.  They don’t believe the average person would understand that taxes will go up but medical expenses would go away completely.

In the end, we can take the Republican Path or that of Abraham Lincoln.  We can “Go it alone” or we can “Work together.”

I’m with Abe.

Time to save the world.

Up, up and away…

Jim

 

Please follow and like us: