The Last Straw

 

A favorite movie from my youth was one called Billy Jack, the story of a half-white, half-Native American (um, Indian in those days), former Green Beret who, shall we say, has some anger management issues.

In one scene, Billy arrives in town to find some of his friends being bullied by some locals in a diner. After surveying the damage, he offers his heartfelt confession to the chief bully, Bernard, that he really, really tries to keep his temper in check. But when he sees these acts of cruelty inflicted on his friends, and I quote:

”I just go ber-serk!!!

Then he starts some serious butt-kicking.

That’s about where I find myself now.

 

I’ve witnessed a lot of events in our country, and our world, in the last year and a half, facilitated by people in Washington, DC, that have strained my limits of tolerance.

I’ve seen some completely boneheaded, irreconcilably stupid, downright reckless acts committed in the name of Making America Great Again.

And I have, for the most part, held my tongue about it, mainly because I thought the people behind these actions, along with the people who support the people behind these actions, care not one little bit about what I may think.

But, when I see picture after picture of immigrant children – children! – locked up in cages like a bunch of dangerous criminals, having been separated from their parents….

When I hear the President blame Democrats for this whole debacle, when any idiot knows that Democrats are the minority party in Congress, so they essentially have no power to enact or change anything…

And when I hear the Attorney General of the United States have the gall to cite the Holy Bible to justify these cruel and barbarous acts, and the Press Secretary (among others) then defend that Scriptural perversion…

Well, now I just have to speak up, because the next stop is berserk.

 

This is beyond outrageous. It’s beyond shameful. It’s beyond disgraceful. It reveals a country that has given up its decency, compassion, and humanity, in exchange for fear, prejudice, and hatred.

A country that has heard all the same old lies about immigration so many times as to believe them all, without question.

A country that has revealed to the world its true attitude, in all its wretched ugliness.

I don’t know the answer to the immigration issue. Apparently, nobody does, or it would be solved by now.

But I guarantee, there is nobody – absolutely nobody – who can convince me that this is it.

And I think it’s time for us all to just go berserk.

I Stand Corrected

 

“IF YOUR ACTIONS INSPIRE OTHERS TO DREAM MORE, LEARN MORE, DO MORE AND BECOME MORE, YOU ARE A LEADER.”

John Quincy Adams, American president (1767-1848)

The above quote is in my morning paper today, as the Quote of the Day, and it made me realize that, apparently, I’ve been wrong all this time.

I guess donald trump is, by Mr. Adams’ definition, one of the greatest leaders this world has ever witnessed. At least, when it comes to the qualifications Mr. Adams laid out, he certainly checks all the boxes.

I shall explain:

DREAM MORE: trump has Americans dreaming of a time, not so long ago, when this country wasn’t the unmitigated disaster it is now, and what it can become again, once he leaves office – the sooner, the better.

LEARN MORE: Okay, how much did you know about the environment before trump became President? Or health care? Or North Korea? Or tariffs? Or Stormy Daniels?

Well, here’s what we’ve learned about those things:

Environment – trump doesn’t give a $#!t about it.

Health care – Or this, either. At least, not when it pertains to folks on the outer fringes of society like, for example, women.

North Korea – It’s a little country led by a little “Rocket Man” whose button isn’t as big as donald’s. His words, not mine.

Tariffs – Despite what every economist and his mother says, trump is going ahead with them because, by god, they’re good for the economy, because AMERICA FIRST!

Stormy Daniels – A porn star who alleges an affair with trump, was allegedly paid $130,000 to keep quiet about it until after the erection, I mean, election, and now is suing because the alleged non-disclosure agreement was allegedly never signed by the alleged President. A guy so anxious to sign so many things, and he forgets about this one?

She signed the agreement under her pseudonym, Peggy Peterson. If she wanted to avoid any suspicion of having sex with donald, she should have used the name, Melania Trump.

DO MORE: Gotta give credit; this guy has done more to inspire Americans to action than anyone in recent memory. From a more vigilant and persistent press corps, to more numerous and determined voices of protest, to all those individuals and groups, newly emboldened by this President, who spew their hate-filled rhetoric unashamedly, and follow that up with despicable, cowardly acts of cruelty and violence.

Just remember, doin’ more ain’t always doin’ better.

BECOME MORE: Need anything be said here? trump inspires us as individuals, as well as a country, to become more caring and compassionate towards each other, and towards our planet, since he and his minions have absolutely no concern for either.

So, yeah, I guess trump is really one helluva leader.

Thanks, Mr. Adams, for ruining my day.

 

 

Those “Mentally Ill” Killers

 

I know I’ve dwelled on the subject of gun violence of late, but it’s really been on my mind. Way too many people, especially kids, are being shot to death; it’s an epidemic.

Our beloved leaders in Washington, however, are rendered impotent by their own partisanship, not to mention their allegiance to the National Rifle Association’s money.

Which is why, after this latest horror scene in a Florida high school, the focus is again not on the proliferation of and easy access to guns in America, but on mental illness.

I would simply ask the President, members of Congress, and anyone else who would seek to blame mental illness for all the gun violence, to at least consider the findings of an article published by Psychiatry Online entitled, “Mass Shootings and Mental Illness.” Here’s the link:

https://psychiatryonline.org/doi/pdf/10.5555/appi.books.9781615371099

Among the points it makes are:

“Mass shootings by people with serious mental illness represent less than 1% of all yearly gun-related homicides. In contrast, deaths by suicide using firearms account for the majority of yearly gun-related deaths.

“The overall contribution of people with serious mental illness to violent crimes is only about 3%. When these crimes are examined in detail, an even smaller percentage of them are found to involve firearms.

“Laws intended to reduce gun violence that focus on a population representing less than 3% of all gun violence will be extremely low yield, ineffective, and wasteful of scarce resources. Perpetrators of mass shootings are unlikely to have a history of involuntary psychiatric hospitalization. Thus, databases intended to restrict access to guns and established by guns laws that broadly target people with mental illness will not capture this group of individuals.

“Gun restriction laws focusing on people with mental illness perpetuate the myth that mental illness leads to violence, as well as the misperception that gun violence and mental illness are strongly linked. Stigma represents a major barrier to access and treatment of mental illness, which in turn increases the public health burden.”

Now, don’t you think, if psychiatrists were convinced that mental illness actually was the problem, they wouldn’t be presenting all this evidence to the contrary?

Gun violence is a public health crisis, but please, let’s not be so quick to brand it as a public mental health crisis. I’m fully aware that a lot of you will disagree, but the problem is, and has always been, the guns.

Period.

 

 

“Fuck you, I like guns.”

I know this won’t sway any of the gun lovers, but this is, by far, the best argument I’ve read for why assault rifles shouldn’t be available to just anyone. Look past the occasional dirty word; just focus on the big picture. This is the most important issue our country faces right now. Ask any student.

Anastasia Writes

Edited to add: I can’t thank you all enough for interacting with this post. I am actually surprised that it’s become this popular. This is the first time more than ten people have read anything I’ve written here. I’m probably going to turn off commenting soon because everything that can be said already has been. In general, I’d like to point out that this is an opinion piece. I wrote it on a 15 minute coffee break and posted it unedited. It’s raw, and that’s the whole point. The tone, the language, and the style are intentional. This was written for people like my mostly conservative Army buddies who will never click an article that is titled “Gun control is your friend”, and tend to assume those who support such legislation have never seen a gun before. I’m not a professional writer, nor a particularly prolific blogger until about three…

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Love Me Do

 

“THE FIRST DUTY OF A LEADER IS TO MAKE HIMSELF BE LOVED WITHOUT COURTING LOVE. TO BE LOVED WITHOUT ‘PLAYING UP’ TO ANYONE – EVEN TO HIMSELF.”

Andre Malraux, French author (1901-1976)

They were like death. And un-American. Somebody said treasonous. Can we call that treason? Why not? They certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.” 

donald trump, U.S. Fake President, on the Democrats not clapping during his State of the Union address

 

There you have it, folks. If you don’t applaud trumpy’s every word, if you don’t go “crazy wild”, as he said the sycophant Republicans did, then you are being un-American, even committing a treasonous act.

Well, you certainly couldn’t accuse trump of being un-American. The guy even applauded himself, for crying out loud.

I wonder how much clapping he’s done in the last couple of days, as the Dow Jones fell over 1,100 points Monday, right after falling over 600 points last Friday.

Now, you and I know, the President has little to do with the stock market’s rises and falls, but if donnie’s gonna take all the credit for the good news, as he has, he better be ready to take the blame for the bad news.

Has he? Not that I’ve heard. Now, the official line from the White House is all about the “long-term economic fundamentals.” Convenient, huh?

 

But, back to the bull$#!t about the treasonous Democrats.

trump has made it clear, America has no room for un-Americans, such as Mexicans, Muslims and, I guess, now Democrats. And the penalty for treason is imprisonment, perhaps death.

So, my takeaway from all this is, if you didn’t go “crazy wild” for donald trump’s SOTU address, you should be thrown out of the country, locked up or killed.

Land of the free, right? We’ve already seen this administration’s attitude toward protesters, accusing them of “terroristic acts.” It’s George W. Bush and, “You’re either with me or against me,” taken to an insane new level.

One other thing: Let’s imagine for just a second President Hillary Clinton was giving the SOTU address. Would the Republicans’ likely tepid response be just as un-American and considered to be treason? Just askin’.

As crazy as it drives you to hear this, donnie, everybody doesn’t love you. And, as much as you want to, you can’t punish everybody who doesn’t. That’s not how this works, bubby.

The above quote from Andre Malraux was the Quote of the Day in my morning paper, today. It immediately made me think of trump, and the kind of “leader” he has been. How he demands that everyone love him, lest they be punished.

You know what, though, donnie? I do love America. Very much.

But not you. Not at all.

 

Roll, Tide!!

 

There is a glimmer of hope for this country, after all.

The great state of Alabama has a new United States Senator this morning, and it’s not Roy Moore, the Republican candidate who allegedly pursued teenage girls for sex when he was in his 30’s. Doug Jones becomes the first Democratic Senator from Alabama since 1992, which gives you an idea of just how red that state is.

Jones didn’t exactly win by a landslide. There were lots of Alabamans who were still willing to vote for Moore, because at least he wasn’t (choke, gag, retch) a Democrat, which is right below dog turd on levels of respect in the red states.

Yeah. They’d much rather be represented in Washington by an alleged pervert. Who, come to think of it, would be right at home, there.

However, 22,000 Alabamans elected a write-in candidate, so while they still couldn’t elect a democrat, nor could they stomach the notion of voting for Moore.

Makes my Wednesday a little brighter.

Selling Myself Short

 

Legendary Texas sportswriter Blackie Sherrod used to open his column in the Sunday paper with, “Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to ____…”, fill in the blank with the name of some famous person, sports related or not, who hadn’t been heard from lately, then regale his readers with short, but brilliant, observations on a variety of topics.

So, in tribute to him, and because I don’t seem to be able craft any narrative much longer than a paragraph lately, here are a few short takes. Here goes:

 

Scattershooting while wondering whatever happened to Kellyanne Conway…

I’m so happy for the Houston Astros, who just won their very first World Series, and are now the reigning champions of Major League Baseball. ⚾️

It couldn’t have happened at a better time for the beleaguered people of Houston, whose recovery from the devastation left behind by hurricane Harvey is ongoing. They had something to rally around, to cheer for and finally, to celebrate. So, at least for awhile, Houstonians had a chance to forget all the troubles that still beset them, and party their Astros off. 🎉🎉

 

It’s come to this, I guess.

The New York City Marathon took place Sunday, mere days after a terrorist killed eight people in Manhattan by running over them in a truck. Several people participating in the race were understandably worried about such a thing happening again during the marathon, so the city and the police took the following precautions:

From the Associated Press:

“The security detail will include hundreds of extra uniformed patrol and plainclothes officers, roving teams of counterterrorism commandos armed with heavy weapons, bomb-sniffing dogs and rooftop snipers poised to shoot if a threat emerges.”

This was for a footrace, folks. I mean, good grief!

Fortunately, there were no incidents. Congratulations to the women’s winner, America’s Shalane Flanagan, and the men’s winner, Kenya’s Geoffrey Kamworor, and to everyone else who participated. And to New York’s Finest for keeping them safe.

You people are masochists, though, running that far. Just sayin’.

 

Well, the floodgates have opened, haven’t they? As predicted, Harvey Weinstein was just the beginning. We’re hearing story after story of men in positions of power abusing that power with women. Women are discovering strength in numbers, and speaking up about instances of harassment and abuse from powerful men, instances they previously stayed silent about for fear of reprisal.

I just read about former and current women in Congress being harassed by certain men in Congress, some of whom still serve. (Nobody was named specifically.)

Actions have consequences, even for powerful men. Time for all this hideous behavior to be called out and punished. Ladies, I salute your courage. Gentlemen, it’s time you were truly gentlemen. Way past time.

And that goes for you, too, Kevin Spacey.

 

donald trump has actually changed my opinion of him. He’s reinforced it. Exponentially.

 

Some people just…shouldn’t… be…parents.

Courtesy of CBS News:

“SAUKVILLE, Wis. — A Wisconsin woman is facing charges after her 9-year-old son was tied to the roof of their minivan to help hold down a plastic pool.

“Prosecutors allege (the woman) had her son hold down the molded pool they’d just picked up because it wouldn’t fit inside the van. CBS affiliate WDJT reports a driver called police after seeing the incident on Sept. 9 in Saukville, about 20 miles north of Milwaukee.”

She later explained to police, she thought it was okay, because her dad used to let her do that all the time. Proof positive that stupid is hereditary.

 

These are certainly different times we live in. I recall a time when the thought never even entered my mind that I might go to school, or to the mall, or to church, and wind up getting shot. There truly is no safe place left anymore. That’s a terrible feeling.

I guess no one is gonna get off their ass and do something about all the gun violence in this country until every single citizen ends up shot. Apparently, that’s what it will take.

 

Model Chrissy Teigen left a waitress in Ohio a $1,000 tip recently.

I know it’s too much to wish for, but I hope she catches a ride on my shuttle sometime.

Later, y’all.

 

 

 

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:

20170429_09200520170429_09240520170429_09245020170429_094044-1

 

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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