No Merit Badge For This Guy

 

“Think of  it, Dave, a generation of twisted Boy Scouts, it was all your fault.”

from “The Booking Agent”, by comedian Shelley Berman, from the album, “Outside Shelley Berman,” 1959

 

The Boy Scout Motto is, “Be Prepared,” but I’m pretty sure they weren’t prepared for this.

President Orange Crush delivered a stirring speech at the quadrennial Boy Scout Jamboree in West Virginia on Monday. I would like to share with you just some of the unforgettable highlights:

“Tonight, we put aside all of the policy fights in Washington, D.C. — you’ve been hearing about with the fake news and all of that. (Applause.) We’re going to put that aside… I said, who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts? Right?

“You know, I go to Washington and I see all these politicians, and I see the swamp. And it’s not a good place. In fact today I said we ought to change it from the word swamp to the word cesspool or, perhaps, to the word sewer.

“Secretary Tom Price is also here. Today Dr. Price still lives the Scout Oath, helping to keep millions of Americans strong and healthy as our Secretary of Health and Human Services. And he’s doing a great job. And hopefully, he’s going to get the votes tomorrow to start our path toward killing this horrible thing known as Obamacare that’s really hurting us, folks.

“I have to tell you our economy is doing great. Our stock market has picked up — since the election November 8th. Do we remember that date? (Applause.) Was that a beautiful date? (Applause.) What a date…that incredible night with the maps and the Republicans are red and the Democrats are blue, and that map was so red, it was unbelievable, and they didn’t know what to say?

“So I have to tell you what we did, in all fairness, is an unbelievable tribute to you and all of the other millions and millions of people that came out and voted for Make America Great Again.” (Um, Donnie, none of these kids were old enough to vote…)

“And by the way, do you see the billions and billions and billions of additional money that we’re putting back into our military?”

And that’s just a sample, folks.

Who the hell wants to speak about politics when I’m in front of the Boy Scouts?

Except for one long, rambling, utterly irrelevant story about a former business associate who failed because he “lost his momentum”, his speech was pretty much all about politics, including yet another reminder that (gasp) he won the election!

trump’s supporters, of course, lauded his inspirational words. Meanwhile, thousands of Boy Scouts were left saying, “HUHH???”

This guy’s a riot, really. Good thing he’s not President, or anything.

Oh, yeah…

Hear That? It’s the World

 

President donald trump will go down in history as the greatest leader that ever was.

That’s right; I said it. You know why?

He will be the only person ever to end poverty, end crime, end racism, end sexism, end violence, end war, end all the problems of humanity.

How, you ask? Simple.

By ending all human life on this planet.

 

This past Saturday, I had the privilege of participating in the 2017 People’s Climate March. Not the one in Washington, D.C., that drew over 200,000 participants. (Go to http://www.peoplesclimate.org and look at the awesome pictures and read the inspiring stories from that day!) No, I was at one of the “Sister Marches”, in Dallas, Texas. The following pictures are from there:

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As you can see, we had a special guest.

It was an event organized by the People’s Climate Movement, held in cities across the country, and worldwide. As if Mother Nature herself wanted to drive home the point, the main march in D.C. was held in sweltering, 90-plus degree temperatures.

It was an amazing thing to witness. People of all races, religions, sexes, languages, etc., all came together for one day to acknowledge the reality of climate change, and to send the message that the people of this world care about what’s happening to the planet that sustains them, and are worried about the direction we are headed, rapidly.

And, they are not without reason. Here in the good ol’ USA, we have a President and an administrator for, of all things, the Environmental Protection Agency, who are both non believers in climate change, despite the overwhelming evidence of its existence, and who are both diligently working to accelerate it.

Exhibit A. From the New York Times, 5/29/2017:

“Since taking office, Mr. Trump has appointed one of the chief antagonists of the Environmental Protection Agency, Scott Pruitt, as its administrator and proposed slashing its budget by nearly a third, more than any other federal agency. He has signed several executive orders aimed at rolling back President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan, a set of regulations intended to close heavily polluting coal-fired power plants, and restrictions on vehicle emissions, among others.

“This past week, Mr. Trump signed orders intended to initiate reviews aimed at opening certain protected lands and waters to drilling, mining and logging. His advisers were still debating whether the United States would remain in the landmark Paris climate accord. And on Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency announced that it had taken down several agency web pages that contained climate data and other scientific information relating to climate change.”

And this is all just in his first 100 days!

If you want more details:

http://www.cnn.com/2017/04/29/politics/trump-epa-cuts-infighting-climate-change/

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2017/04/28/epa-website-removes-climate-science-site-from-public-view-after-two-decades/?tid=a_inl&utm_term=.228c2b16ecef

Exhibit B. The aforementioned Mr. Scott Pruitt, former Attorney General of Oklahoma, “a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda”, according to his own LinkedIn page, who sued the EPA 13 times while Attorney General, is the guy trump decided was the best fit for administrator of that very agency.

Isn’t that a riot? You couldn’t find a better fox to guard that henhouse!

Oh, and it isn’t just these two. We also have Senator Jim Inhofe, who once famously displayed an actual snowball on the floor of the Senate to disprove global warming. He’s merely one of one hundred eighty climate change deniers in the U.S. Congress. Their party affiliation is irrelevant.

So is yours, in fact. I don’t give a $#!+ who you voted for. You’re a human being; you depend on this planet for your life. As will the generations that follow us. This is no longer a spectator sport.

I saw a lot of kids at the march last weekend. As I took their pictures, I told them they were the reason us grownups were marching.

And, they are. It’s their future our “leaders” in Washington are seriously jeopardizing. Let them know that matters to you.

Mr. trump, Mr. Pruitt, Mr. Inhofe and all you other climate change deniers out there: The world has spoken. Loud and clear.

And the world won’t…be…ignored.

 

National Parks and Monuments versus Golf Courses and Oil Rigs

The absolute GALL!

Ends and Beginnings

park-oil“As families prepare for summer vacations in our National Parks – Democrats threaten to close them and shut down the government. Terrible!” – Donald Trump tweet 4-27-17

I got to be honest after reading this tweet and knowing about the executive order he just signed (see below) I am at an absolute loss for words.

“President Trump signed an executive order Wednesday calling into question the future of more than two dozen national monuments proclaimed by the last three presidents to set aside millions of acres from development.

In asking Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke for an unprecedented review of national monuments, Trump may force a question never before tested in the 111-year history of the Antiquities Act: Whether one president can nullify a previous president’s proclamation establishing a national monument.

Signing the executive order at the Department of the Interior Wednesday, Trump called President Barack Obama’s creation of national monuments an “egregious abuse use of…

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Got Plans Saturday?

 

Look out any window
Look out any open door
Look out any window
See what’s going on in the world around you

“Look Out Any Window” -Bruce Hornsby

Songwriters
HORNSBY, BRUCE / HORNSBY, JONATHAN

Published By
Lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., NORTH STAR MEDIA

 

Save the earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate!

– a magnet on the refrigerator at our house

 

Alright, look. I can put my opinion out there of all the ways I think this new administration is screwing up our country (and there are many, I believe), but for me, the mistakes with the most far-reaching repercussions have to do with climate change.

In case you weren’t already aware, over 90% of the world’s scientists agree that climate change is real, and that it is man-made.

Now, I know, on countless other issues, there is plenty of room for debate from either side, but when over ninety percent of the scientific community – people who know about these things – is in agreement on this issue, I sit up and take notice.

As should we all.

Unfortunately, we have a President who is on record saying that climate change is “a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” and recently signed an executive order loosening regulations on fossil fuel industries.

(Snowing in Texas and Louisiana, record setting freezing temperatures throughout the country and beyond. Global warming is an expensive hoax! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 29, 2014) I rest my case, Your Honor.

Not only that, we have the administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency on record saying that carbon dioxide is not a primary contributor to global warming, and who recently said in an interview the United States should exit the Paris Agreement.

Makes you wanna just yell at ’em, doesn’t it? Well, you may have the opportunity to actually do just exactly that.

Because this Saturday, April 29th, the People’s Clmate Movement will conduct its fourth annual People’s Climate March on Washington, D.C., as well as “Sister Marches” in cities all across America.

The People’s Climate Movement and March originated in 2014. As world leaders gathered in New York for the United Nations Climate Summit on September 23, 400,000 people took to the streets of New York the prior weekend to demand swift and decisive action regarding the climate crisis.

(Oh, and this wasn’t going on just in New York. Over that same weekend, 2,646 events took place in 162 countries around the world.)

This Year, the big March is going to be in Washington, D.C., right on President trump’s front porch. (AND, on his 100th day in office!) But, if you can’t make it there, don’t worry; there are plenty of events scheduled nationwide.

Go to https://peoplesclimate.org/ to learn more about the history of this movement, and find out where the nearest event is to you. You can RSVP to show up or, if you prefer, you can make a donation. Either way, I invite you to participate.

Myself, I plan to attend an event in nearby Dallas, to join my voice with voices all over this country and broadcast our concerns for the long-term survival of mankind on this planet, because that is exactly what’s at stake.

Oh, yeah, one more thing: share this with everybody…you…know.

 

 

Health Update

As I’ve mentioned before, I suffer from clinical depression.

I also have a lot of anger simmering just below the surface.

Reading the news lately has only worsened those conditions.

Therefore, for the sake of my own mental health, I will have to refrain from keeping up with current events for the foreseeable future.

I don’t like that; I try to be an informed citizen of the world, with at least some awareness of what’s going on.

But, the more news I read, or see, or hear, the closer I believe I’m getting to a complete breakdown. Seriously.  😖

And, no, the news I view is not fake, despite testimony to the contrary. Oh, if only it was.

Someday, hopefully, I can channel all this anger into some constructive, positive action.

But, at this point, it just channels into more anger. And I simply can’t take it.

I know I need help. I’m gonna see about getting some.

Wish me luck.

Redecorating the White House

This is a very good analogy, and one that I will find useful going forward.

Note To My White Self

I need to pace myself. As my friends of color remind me, the race for justice isn’t a sprint; it is a grueling marathon.  They worry that the surge of interest in justice and equality may be the fad of the day and not a cultural shift.  That is a fair critique.  When it comes to fighting for justice, most white people are out of shape.  Having never had to walk up hill or against the wind, we grow exhausted quickly.  So I need to pace myself.

I cannot attend every march, protest or meeting. I cannot read every article. I cannot generate outrage for every Trump action. I cannot focus on every injustice. My black daughter-in-law wrote these words to me after the election,

“This whole “racism” issue is new to you. For me, it is a constant in my life.  You cannot let your newfound knowledge and first-hand experiences…

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“Alternative” Universe

 

The earth is flat.

2+2=7.

Abraham Lincoln was a Backstreet Boy.

Meryl Streep is a man.

President trump’s Inauguration had the biggest audience in inauguration history.

None of these are falsehoods, mind you.

They are simply alternative facts.

 

Really, you just have to laugh.

On NBC-TV’s weekly news program, Meet the Press, White House counsel Kellyanne Conway was defending to host Chuck Todd the previous day’s statements by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer, who berated the media’s coverage of the crowd size at President trump’s Inauguration. (among other things)

“This was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, PERIOD.”, Spicer proclaimed. “Both in person, and around the globe.” Of course, that statement is not supported by any evidence, whatsoever. He went on to make other unsubstantiated claims about how many people attended the inauguration.

So, yesterday, when Todd confronted Conway about the “falsehoods” Spicer presented, she provided the following astonishing explanation:

“You’re saying it’s a falsehood, but they’re giving, Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts to that…” (emphasis mine)

Brilliant!!

Now, why didn’t I ever think of that?

Son, are you lying to me?

No, Dad, these are alternative facts.

Oh, okay, then. Just don’t ever lie to me.

We’re cool, Dad.

Tell me, how well would that have worked for you? Pretty sure I know. But, talk about an ace in the hole. Just say whatever you want, then explain it away as “alternative facts.”

Um, actually, those are called lies, Ms. Conway.

And Chuck Todd’s response? “Look, alternative facts aren’t facts. They’re falsehoods.”

Ah, but alternative facts sound much more truthful, don’t they?

I’m telling you, these people defy all anatomical limits with their head placement.

And that’s the facts.

 

Election Statement

Never done a reblog before, but thought this was worth it. Hope you do, as well.

Lori Greer in Portland

diocese-of-oregon

I was strengthened, comforted and challenged to read the words below in our church newsletter.

To me, this statement is a call to action that any person of any persuasion, religious or not, can follow.  

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The Road From Here

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I have thought long and hard about what to say regarding the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States.

Let me begin with a sports analogy:

Many sports fans, I’ve noticed, are willing to overlook a certain player’s behavior for the sake of a few more wins for their team. I mean, so what if he beats women, or gets caught driving drunk, or is charged with possession, etc., as long as he performs when it’s game time.

Sounds a lot like what happened in this election.

 

I didn’t watch the results on Election Day as they happened; I went to bed that night having no idea whatsoever who our next President was. First thing the next morning, I got out of bed to see who won.

My wife would tell me later, she was a little surprised by how calmly I delivered the news to her. I replied, I wasn’t really calm, so much as I was numb.

In fact, I was in a state of utter shock. I could not believe or process what had occurred. How the hell could this happen? I couldn’t make any sense of it at all. Most of the morning, I was a zombie, just going through the motions of my job, but feeling dead on the inside.

Eventually, I experienced feelings of devastation, depression, worry, revulsion, white-hot anger, embarrassment, shame, betrayal, confusion and about every other negative feeling you can name.

I wanted to lash out at all the Trump voters, leaving no doubt about exactly what I thought of them. I wanted them to know what a monumental mistake they made. I felt like calling them some creative names, along with some of the old favorites.

But I didn’t see that serving any useful purpose. Pretty sure those folks give not one solitary damn what I think of them. And all the yelling and screaming I did would not change the fact that Donald Trump is our President. Yours and mine. That’s the reality, much as a lot of us hate it. (And a lot of us – all over the world, I noticed – do hate it.)

By the way, just so you know, electing a businessman to lead your country is like hiring a pastry chef to overhaul your transmission. There’s a certain skill set to each job that does not translate to the other. Politics, like it or not, is better left to politicians. Would you honestly be comfortable putting someone in the cockpit of your aircraft who’s never flown before in his life?

That’s exactly what the Trump voters just did. Unfortunately, we’re all on the plane with them.

 

So, what happens next?

One of the few good things to emerge from this messy, embarrassing, completely forgettable election year, is the spirit of revolution, especially among the younger Americans, who were so inspired by the campaign of Bernie Sanders. (I was, too.) They see the need for change, and are ready, willing and able to work toward making change happen.

We need to encourage them. We need to join them.

Women, blacks, Latin Americans, Muslims, the LGBT+ community, and the middle class all have bullseyes on their backs, now. It’s on us all to stand up for their rights, their dignity, and their safety.

Donald Trump and his Republican Congressional cronies dismiss global warming as a myth, a hoax. We need to stand up for the protection of our planet from those who refuse to see the evidence staring them in the face of its accelerating decline.

These and other issues (Supreme Court appointments, health care, Middle East conflicts) will require our vigilance, our intelligence, and our toughness.

For the next four years.

Yes, we have to accept who our President will be, but we do not have to accept his agenda. We can rise up in organized, disciplined, informed, peaceful opposition, and let our singular voice be heard. Not an angry mob, but a determined, unified coalition of like-minded individuals.

I’m a middle-aged white guy with a blog. I will use those advantages to their fullest potential. This is way too important for me to do anything less.

I hope you will join me.

 

Interesting thing happened Wednesday, The Day After.

I was driving my shuttle van, as always, and the skies were cloudy, gray and gloomy. Much like a large part of America, after what had just occurred.

Late that afternoon, the sun began to break through the clouds.

Corny? Cliche? Yeah, sure, but I was taking my inspiration where I could find it that day.

Clouds only hide the light for so long. But, it always wins.

That’s a mighty good thing to remember.