America & the Bizarro World of Trump – China & Russia

Heads up, this is a long piece… TL;DR   This is meant to be read in chunks…

 

Part I  A Strange America

So. What is happening to America and to democracy around the world? What happened to leadership that is democratic (not talking about the democratic party here)?  What happened to civility between individuals of American? What happened to respect and equality?

It should be pretty darn clear there is one clearly obvious nexus point for a great deal of this. All you need to do is look at who is sitting, undeservedly, in the White House… And many of us can guarantee that if the Electoral College had to do it again, they would not vote this person into the White House again (especially when the American people decidedly voted for someone else other than Trump – I believe it was Hillary Clinton, right…).

 

We live in Bizarro land. Yes, that is correct, we live in a world where the opposite of everything is taking place. If you have been choking on your own bile, every morning, ever since the 2016 Presidential election, there is a good reason for it – the ‘MOST’ wrong person is sitting in the White House.

As a result of who is sitting in the White House, here is a short list of what has been making you choke and gag, every day (likely all day):

  • Illegal insider trading taking place on the White House grounds (corruption, right?) – and no concern from the president…
  • We have an American ambassador Pete Hoekstra (Trump’s choice), to the Netherlands disputing his own words (this bullet is about a lack of integrity and honor). Hoekstra had stated in a 2015 conference on terrorism hosted by the right-wing David Horowitz Freedom Center – “The Islamic movement has now gotten to a point where they have put Europe into chaos. Chaos in the Netherlands, there are cars being burnt, there are politicians that are being burnt … and yes there are no-go zones in the Netherlands.” But in a later interview (Dec 2017) with the Dutch current affairs programme Nieuwsuur, Hoekstra stated that content was fake news – even though Nieuwsuur happily rolled the clip from the 2015 interview on air for Hoekstra. And no concern from the president as to this looks for America and its leaders…
  • Firing of Inspector Generals for no valid reason, other than they were doing their jobs to stop/prevent illegalities, fraud and other behind the scenes shenanigans – it seems, allegedly, this president has no regard for law and order and the watchdogs looking to remove current and potential corruption and illegalities…
  • Members of Congress and the Senate who, before this current president was voted in by the Electoral College, called the president to be by various monikers and endlessly mocked the large bodied and clownish person. But ever since this person got into the White House, these same Congressmen and Senators are kowtowing to this president, licking his boots (not literally BUT BLOODY WELL CLOSE) and allowing corruption of the law to take place (such as the emoluments clause where many believe this president is guilty of)
  • This current inhabitant of the White House relentlessly lambasted Obama for going golfing but look at what is taking place. This occupant of 1600 is going golfing at something like 22% of his time in office (he has reportedly been on the grounds of his golf courses or played golf elsewhere 266 times since becoming President, and that’s as of May 24, 2020), at tax payer expense and at his own country clubs (NOTE: there was no legal divestiture for his business investments/control) – remember how he famously stated in 2016 “I’m not going to have time to go play golf.”
  • Installing a new State Department secretary gutting the State Dept of most of the seasoned, experience, knowledgeable and respected bureaucrats – then not filling many of those positions. Do you remember that individual, that new secretary was Rex Tillerson… the oil CEO? Tillerson’s focus was not on diplomacy…
  • The current White House occupant plays down, disregards or ignores calamities that have struck America – remember him throwing toilet paper to people who needed it (in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria) and he believed it to be some sort of game.
  • What about ensconcing his unqualified children into very senior White House roles – what did they bring to the White House – or rather, what have they achieved that is worthy of talking about (no, not getting licenses in China to sell products) – many labeled these moves as nepotism but were unable to gain any traction on the violation of nepotism laws (we will need a future unbiased federal court to rule on this but that will be a long time out)
  • Can we talk about the 2018 elimination of the NSC directorate for global health and security and bio-defense that would have handled the CoViD-19 problem in 2020 with speed and efficiency (it was eliminated, allegedly, because it was an Obama creation)
  • Sheesh, this could continue on for page after page but you get the idea – we really hope so.

 

We, America, have someone who is supposed to be a world leader, sitting in the White House. Yet, instead of being that leader this individual has instead usurped: leadership, decency, democracy, a global role model status for anyone who wants to grow and be respected and become a leader themselves. (Note: the United States is not used in this paper because we are not a united country – we are more divided than ever before.)

We have people who want to flaunt the old 2nd Amendment, the right to bear arms. The 2nd amendment was completely relevant for the militia at the time when the British were prevented from taking over the American colonies in the 1700’s.

Yet today, we have many contemporary individuals today who have gun stashes of upwards of 20, 30 and 50 different weapons (with thousands of rounds) and these folks are not weapons’ collectors. As a former Marine, I actually like weapons as well but I have no need to collect weapons for fear of an invasion. Although, in case our government ever turns dictatorial, that will be will a different arms collection endeavor…

But. Who is going to invade America?

  • Has Russian been building up a secret army just off the coast of our country, but are so well camouflaged that we cannot locate or detect them?
  • Maybe it is the Chinese with their Communistic world view?
  • Or even worse, is it the poor hungry desperate immigrants without legal documentation invading America with their unseen deadly weapons?

We have a military now along with the National Guard, neither of where were present back in the days of yore.

Do not get me wrong, as a former Marine, if this region I live in allowed weapons, I would buy a few as well – just not 20 – 50 of them or go storming some local state capital flaunting the weapons…

 

Part II             Logic, Strategy and Diplomacy

If decent, logical, serious individuals “STILL” have to continue to convince the American public of the wrong doings or ill-conceived ideas and just bad thought processes of the current president and it is not sinking in – something is wrong with a large percentage of Americans.

We have a president who is, allegedly, illiterate, indecent, corrupt, discriminatory (okay – racist) and who’s IQ, also allegedly, is not in a very decent range of intelligence. Besides lacking leadership skills, this individual also severely lacks any real degree of communication and diplomacy skill sets. If he did, America would not be seen in the light it is across the globe.

This individual cannot string together a sentence that makes any sense.  Well, hang on a moment. It may make sense if ‘you’ went to the same high school and college with this person and ‘you’ had the same classes with this person. We have no idea how well this individual did in school at any point.

So, you did not do so great in high school or college or grad school (wait, this person did not go beyond undergrad status) – so what? Grades reflect what one learns up to that point, with or without good teachers or a good educational system. What matters is if you continue to grow and do better after not doing so well at any level. What matters is if you continue to be better in your life.

Forbes magazine put out a story, as well as others, in Feb 28, 2019 where:

  • Michael Cohen testified to Congress that, under directions from Trump, he sent letters to Trump’s high schools, colleges and the College Board (creator of the SAT),threatening them with legal action and jail time if they ever released Trump’s academic records. Cohen provided a record of one such letter sent to the president of Fordham University, which Trump attended for two years before transferring to complete his undergraduate degree at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. Trump’s high school has confirmed receiving an identical letter, while the University of Pennsylvania and the College Board declined to comment.

What is wrong is wrong…  That is not hard to see or to fathom.  If someone who is supposed to be a role model states: “Grab ’em by the p_ _ _y. You can do anything.” – that is not someone you are supposed to look up to or follow.  That is, unless you yourself are amongst the callous, gross, indecent minded imbecilic Cretin of the gutters. There is supposed to be something called, respect for others, no matter who they are. Wait a moment – there’s more. There is also:

  • decency,
  • equality,
  • honesty,
  • compassion,
  • empathy,
  • integrity,
  • ethics and
  • non-discrimination and
  • diversity

Where has all of the above disappeared to from this current administration. It is as if the mass majority of individuals the current president selects and installs into a senior office turns out to be a dishonest, greedy, corrupt individual.

  • Who in their right mind, in the top role position of the EPA builds a SCIF (a secure office) in their own office, when there is already an existing one, one floor away? Or has him/her chauffeured around in an armored vehicle when the position does not rate such a vehicle. Scott Pruitt wanted a ‘secure’ ‘sound-proof’ phone booth… That position does not require that kind of security.
  • What about taking private jet rides around the country, at tax payer expense…
  • What about going shopping on a federal jet, at tax payer expense (this was, allegedly, Mnuchin and his wife back in 2017 – recall Louise Linton’s extravagant and glorious exit and pose from the plane with the bags of purchased goods).
  • There is so much more that could go here as well and if you did not live and breathe solely in a filter bubble, then you will know that there is more. But if you isolated yourself to a safe zone of like-minded individuals, none of whom dared to grow and venture forth to look at other possibilities, at other avenues – then it is likely you only know one silo or one tunnel vision cone of information. What you believe may be completely wrong. But due to being in that filter bubble, it is difficult to convince you to expand and do better.

 

Part III           The World

What happened to America’s global role of leadership and statesmanship? Again, a certain specific individual is what happened. America has become a laughing stock of and to the world. Our allies are alienated because of this individual. Our leadership on the world stage has eroded horridly to lower levels. It is only through the guts and leadership of certain state governors and mayors and some business leaders and numerous American citizens doing all they can to keep our head and chin up in the world.

As we can see, there are numerous leaders in other countries who want to emulate Trump and the fake news hoopla. And they have been as well as gaining incredible autocratic and dictatorial powers where the citizens of those countries (Philippines, China, Russia, Hungary, Brazil, etc.) are simply screwed and cannot seem to get out of the rut they find themselves in because those leaders have the military to back up any areas that the dictators/autocrats desire.

 

Look at China

There is no freedom of speech, no freedom of choice there. China forcibly removes freedom at every avenue it can, in order to “preserve the safety of people within its borders and preventing threats to a stable society” in their country from other sources.  This is a complete sham and the Chinese citizens are not all aware of it – because of the Chinese leadership’s control of all media and avenues of travel.

You also have to take into consideration that the Chinese leader made himself, ahh, sorry, the Chinese National People’s Congress voted that there be no term limits on the current leader of China. How nice is that – Dictator for Life, sorry – what was meant was, President for life of a country with 1.3+ billion people. This outcome was determined as follows: Two delegates voted against the change and three abstained, out of 2,964 votes. Nice, eh…? Almost a clean sweep.

Remember the Hong Kong citizenry acting to retain its freedom in late 2019 and the Houston Rockets manager Daryl Morey tweeted an image that read “Fight for Freedom. Stand with Hong Kong.” (By the by – EVERYONE should stand with Hong Kong as they lose their right to total freedom; loss of a free press, free speech, free movement, facial recognition surveillance {even more than what we have in America} and become a more communistic country – for those that choose to stay in Hong Kong – many will find some way out of that island country over the next several years – an exodus.) Before he deleted due to comments and stress from various avenues of contention. But – NBA Commissioner Adam Silver finally came around and supports Morey’s right to free speech. Of course, in return, China was appalled and had the gall to come back with:

  • The Chinese-run television network said it was “strongly dissatisfied” with Silver’s remarks.
  • “We oppose Silver’s claim to support Morey’s right of free expression. We believe that any speech that challenges national sovereignty and social stability is not within the scope of freedom of speech,” CCTV said in its statement in Chinese, which was translated by CNBC.

In reality, how in the heck can China, a Communistic society (but they really want to be Capitalistic, don’t they…) DARE to say that free expression that challenges ‘anything’ is not within the scope of freedom of speech???!!!!  Not when the Chinese government does not allow its own citizenry to any of it. China controls the media. China controls the countries internet access and continues to tweak their ‘Chinese Firewall’ in order to censor everything that travels over the air or via cables.

  • People are not allowed to talk about leaders in a bad light, as other countries do.
  • Any word that the Chinese government deems to worthy of censorship is blocked from the internet and not allowed on any media. Here is a fairly good article on “68 Things You Cannot Say on China’s Internethttps://www.nytimes.com/2017/09/24/world/asia/china-internet-censorship.html or this other article “In China, you can’t say these wordshttps://share.america.gov/in-china-you-cant-say-these-words/
  • Take the Uighur (or Uyghur) situation in the XinJiang region. The Chinese government deems them to be dangerous and has razed many of the Uighur towns to the ground and put the people who once lived there, into camps (imagine something, kind of like a concentration camp – just not as horrific) but the Chinese calls them re-education camps where the Uighurs are required to shave their beards, removing that identity aspect. All movement is controlled by surveillance cameras (everywhere in Uighur inhabited areas, not just the camps) and identities. Uighurs are not even allowed to have certain tools because they could be construed as weapons. The Chinese have even gone so far as to engrave certain cutting tools with the owner’s identities on the tool AND then are required to take it out and return it like a library book (complete control of those tools) – controlled by the police.
  • People of China face public shaming for spitting in the streets (it can be caught on camera and put up on a large billboard – live video) – but wait, it does not end there. The citizens can be assessed points in the Chinese “Social Point System”, which started in 2014. It is about regulating individual and group behavior for activities such as: bad driving, smoking in non-smoking areas, not paying bills on time, spending too much on video games. Now, if you acquire too many points, you can be: banned from flying or catching a train; banned from luxury options (like 1st class seats); throttling internet speeds; being banned from the best schools (including your children). Think about that kind of restriction in the western world.
  • China wants to own the SCS (South China Seas) instead of sharing, stating that territorial waters belongs to China and not shared amongst, the Philippines, Taiwan, Malaysia, Indonesia, South Korea, and says, basically that
    • there is no ‘freedom of navigation’ in that area to foreign military/navies
    • and going as far as building man-made islands and militarizing them to support the Chinese claim, even though the Hague is on the side of the Philippines as to the waterways is not owned by China

So, for a leader of one country to put their Big Brother restrictions on citizens of another country and expect other nations to kowtow “their own” draconian methods of “lack of freedom of speech” or “lack of freedom of action” – what does that does mean, hmmm…? 

How can the leader of a country with all these restrictions say they have a stable society when the society is controlled by the government and military?

The people:

  • do not have any true freedom
  • cannot congregate
  • cannot vote bad leaders out either (so it seems)

What do you believe, does China have a ‘stable society’ or that free speech threatens another country’s national sovereignty?

            Chinese citizens will never see this paper within the borders of China because of the content of this paper.

 

Russian president – Putin. What can you make of this other president for life? He basically owns Russia and the people are somewhat locked into a state of hopelessness and are unable to do anything. It is somewhat hard to figure out how the people just do not create a national up-rising force Putin out, so we will not see that happen.

But how does a country’s President become a billionaire? It has been reported by several sources, one of which is the CIA that Putin has anywhere from $70 – $200 billion stashed away – yes, BILLION. Reportedly, he is at the $22 Billion mark. How does that happen, legally?

And do not get your hopes up to run against Putin because competition against him appear to have bad josh, bad luck. They die. They get poisoned. They gain criminal charges and if you have criminal charges in Russia, you cannot run for top offices, so they say. And let’s not forget the military and the underworld henchmen who just might, out of their love for Putin (yeah, right) take out the competition and it then becomes complete deniability for Putin and his party.

 

There is just so much more to be said about Putin, Xi, Maduro (Venezuela), János Áder (Hungary), Duterte (Philippines) and even more about Trump.

But where do we go from here? How do we do it? Well, education is one of the first steps – educating everyone and allowing everyone to vote is a second step. Ensuring EQUALITY is flat out the foundation and cornerstone of EVERYTHING from henceforth!  We all have to do better, not just in America but around the globe.

At the same time, we have to prevent other countries from interfering our countries elections. We have to prevent fake news from gaining ground (yes, the real fake news where there is no basis in reality and notalternate facts’ as Kellyanne Conway stated it), while at the same time barring harmful and dangerous conspiracy individuals/groups.

 

All we can do is – TRY.

Be better than others and lift them up in turn. Stop stepping on the backs of others just so you can put your face in the spotlight. Just do the right thing. Most of all, it takes courage – courage to stand up and be counted and help make everyone accountable. Take U, she is a child and look at what she has accomplished and it was not out of wanting to be in the spotlight, it was due to making people aware that the world has to change regarding climate change.

But, individuals like the one in the White House, he has no courage whatsoever. He does not stand up for inequality. He does not stand up with empathy for those going through disastrous changes in their lives. He for sure does not have the courage to stand up and face America’s lack of true justice.

The American president does even have the backbone and courage to stand up and fight, internationally and collaboratively on CoViD-19 instead of finger-pointing. What individual in their right mind cuts out the World Health Organization and throttles the CDC…?

And not least, where is the courage to stand up against Police injustice in America, specifically against Brown, Yellow and Black people of this country…

But he does have an affinity, allegedly, for reneging on promises, greed and alleged corruption (*Ask the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York back back in 1979-1980 about Trump’s promise to give them the Bonwit Teller’s sculpture.)

We have to ensure respect, diversity, non-discrimination and equality are the bedrock of this country – maybe then we will actually be a United States.

 

*Bonwit Teller and the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Bonwit Teller closed its flagship store in 1979 and sold the property for $15 million to a Long Island real estate developer. Despite his plans to demolish the old Bonwit Teller building, the buyer promised to preserve the Deco grillwork and bas reliefs at the request of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The buyer was none other than Donald Trump. In 1980, Trump demolished Warren & Westmore’s elegant Art Deco emporium to make way for his $100 million Trump Tower. In what became a sadly typical turn of events, Trump cut corners everywhere he could and bullied those who stood in his way. To pour the foundations, Trump enlisted S&A Concrete, a known mob front for Paul Castellano and “Fat Tony” Salerno. He paid 200 illegal Polish immigrants as little as $4 an hour to work 12-hour days, 7 days a week. The so-called “Polish Brigade” worked without benefits, hard hats, and sometimes even homes – during the 1980 transit strike, many were forced to sleep at the construction site. Then there were the lawsuits. He sued the city for a tax abatement on the property. He sued one contractor for “total incompetence” and threatened to sue a labor lawyer for $100 million.

The reasoning:

John Baron, a spokesman for the Trump Organization—who, the New York Daily News discovered, turned out to be Donald Trump himself in disguisetold the Times that “the merit of these stones was not great enough to justify the effort to save them.” He said it would have cost $32,000 to remove the sculptures and cited appraisals by three independent appraisers that found them to be “without artistic merit” and worth less than $9,000. Their removal, he said, would also have delayed demolition work by at least a week and a half. (Trump, as himself, later estimated the cost of preserving the panels at $500,000.)

 

Part 2 – Donald Trump: Taking America Backwards & Laughing Stock…. Very Sad

Continued from Part 1 @ https://patrick642nu.wordpress.com/2017/06/04/part-1-donald-trump-taking-america-backwards-laughing-stock-very-sad/

 

Medical Care – Universal Health Care[1]

For decades, there have been individuals who wanted to put something like Universal Health Care (UHC) into play, people such as; Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt (1901-1909), FDR (1935 & 1939), Harry S. Truman in 1949 as part of the Fair Deal to our last president (Obama). You can also check Wikipedia[2] if you wish but do your own reading and thoughtful introspection.

So, what’s the big deal about UHC, our future – that is what is at stake? At stake is a future of healthier individuals, across the country. It is a future where costs will actually be lower because early care will preclude major medical disasters later and there will be no monstrous medical bills to be picked up by the families involved and tax payers due to an escalation of emergency room visits…

My thoughts on what these past presidents and current UHC (or Affordable Care) leaders thinking is that we need to cover everyone to bring down emergency room visits; to bring down the costs of catastrophic medical situations so that down the road, we Americans, will not have such significant numbers of people across the country without coverage. We would have in the future, a greatly reduced number of Americans without serious medical problems because the medical problems would have been caught very early in life and prevented. And the problems would have been prevented at a significantly fraction of the cost, instead of letting it go festering on for decades, with each year seeing more of that families (and tax payers – think emergency rooms) money going down the drain when it could have been prevented due to long-term thinkers who have been trying to get UHC instilled into the American psyche.

Just imagine more people:

  • With healthy looking teeth so they can go and gain better jobs instead of being automatically assigned as a person of low income and low intellect and passed over for someone else who simply looks better
  • Walking around on healthy legs or prostheses instead of a stump and a crutch(es) or obsolete decrepit wheel chair
  • With the ability to see rather than being blinded due to malnutrition or bad school lunch plans and more

Do you not believe UHC would better everyone? Okay, think about an event occurring where you lose your high paying job and you were the primary bread winner with a great insurance plan. Well, your plan is gone and you suddenly find yourself in a medical catastrophic situation and it is going to be hugely expensive. What are you going to do? Bemoan the fact that you have UHC at that point.

Grow up people, stop thinking about yourselves because you have a better life – think about others out there who are not as fortunate as you.

Wouldn’t you want to see:

  • Every American in this country reaping the benefits of great health care 10 years from now? {That 10 year number is only an educated guess as to we could start seeing better health care efficacy…}
  • A dramatic reduction of emergency room visits 10 years from now, while at the same time – a significant reduction of tax payers paying for so many unnecessary ER visits?
  • No more prohibitively expensive and labor sapping hospital visits 10 years from now because preventive UHC took care of problems before they exploded into the problems they are today?

We can do that!!!! But we have to agree to do this now, as a country. We cannot just provide UHC for the elite and better paid Americans and continue arguing and kicking this can down the road, EVERY SINGLE BLOODY YEAR as we are doing now!!!! We can change that paradigm!

 

Laughing Stock?

Back to the U.S. becoming the laughing stock country. Is that true, what do you think? Remember, do your own research and analysis; do not rely solely on news folks (TV or radio), or talk shows, or conspiracy theorists and only your inner circle – expand your horizons.

Why can’t the U.S. spend more money, evenly, on all levels of education to ratchet up the education and knowledge of American students? Why can’t the U.S. be like Canada, Great Britain and Germany[3]? Education goes a long way in making for a better citizenry… And we, the U.S., we need to do better if we want to be ‘the’ world leader – we need better education to get there. Check out a Pew article[4] for some info on where we stand.

 

What about international diplomacy? You too must think this is a laughing stock situation, right? Look at the current secretary of state, Tillerson – a person who does not grant interviews and press conferences. He wants to do mostly behind the scene affairs. Do you believe that is an open and transparent way to handle diplomacy, not sharing information with the country he represents?

Oh wait-a-minute that does not really matter. Our president and OMB person (Mick Mulvaney) want to cut the budget for State Department and USAID because we do not require or need this kind of effort around the world. Surely you believe this is laughable too… Right?

 

What about cleaner air, well, no? Apparently we not require or need this either. Our latest president and EPA head seem to believe their own knowledge on climate change and disregard what scientists who have been studying this for years. We should let companies dump waste in rivers and pollute the air, sure why not…? That is quite laughable, the president and EPA head that is, oh and include Bannon in that lot.

 

What about all the extraordinarily significant amount of time the U.S. is spending on the current president, his family, inner circle of administration officials and business cronies staying at Mar-a-Lago and at Trump Tower? Do you not believe this is laughable enough? Why yes, it is. The U.S. is spending far too much time on illicit activities, ummm – excuse me, alleged illicit activities. And we are spending far too much money on all of this as a result.

And the end result is that, most of the other hard stuff is not getting accomplished. Here are some of the things not getting done like; infrastructure (roads, bridges, dams, levees, power grid, water, etc.) across the country, all of which need attention. Then there is the tax reform; there is equality in the work place which needs more attention.

Take a look at the rampant, vitriolic, unvarnished display of outright racism being displayed across this once great nation. This is worse than when the last president was in office. And remember, that last president did not spew nonsense and idiotic content such as “knock ‘em out,” or “grab ‘em by the p_ _ _ y” or even using 7th grade language for that matter – sometimes, just sometimes, using ‘plain spoken language’ can mean talking down to someone and insult that person’s intelligence….

What is going on? What is happening to this once great country? Why are so many people willing to condone this current president? Why condone someone who continues to willingly lie to the country, to the world – on multiple topics? And many people were (and are still) willing to continue listening to and believe in this individual even though what this current president promised will never happen again (think coal and massive manual manufacturing)…

More people in this country need to start thinking of each other, no matter their race, religion, age, gender, sexual preferences or what part of the country they live in. We are all here together, right now.  Look at each other, deeply look at each other and consider the travels and hardship they may have endured to get to where they are now (of course I’m talking about honest, hard work and legal efforts). And remember that no matter whom you see in front of you, or whether they live 2,500 miles away, that other person may be smarter than you and have better cognitive skills than you. These are people who are walking around right now – with or without:

  • a college degree (that other person who ‘looks’ unintelligent may hold several degrees including a doctorate for all that you are aware)
  • a family trust fund
  • the best looks
  • the best smile or
  • the best speech abilities / speaking mannerisms.

So take note, that other person just may be a better person than you – rich or poor though they may be…

 

[1] “A Brief History: Universal Health Care Efforts in the US,” 1999, www.pnhp.org/facts/a-brief-history-universal-health-care-efforts-in-the-us

[2] “History of health care reform in the U.S.,” retrieved June 3, 2017, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_health_care_reform_in_the_United_States

[3] “Best Countries for Education,” March 7, 2017, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/best-education

[4] “U.S. students’ academic achievement still lags that of their peers in many other countries,” February 15, 2017, www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/

Part 1 – Donald Trump: Taking America Backwards & Laughing Stock…. Very Sad

Part 2 continues @ https://patrick642nu.wordpress.com/2017/06/12/part-2-donald-trump-taking-america-backwards-laughing-stock-very-sad/

 

To Be An American

Let’s be clear up front here. If you wish to live in America and/or become an American, you have to follow the laws, rules and regulations in place to ensure we are all adhering to a basic foundation of governance. (Meaning = you’re not doing anything illegal or trying to take advantage of the system.)

It does not matter if you are a green card immigrant living in New Jersey or Dearborn, MI. It does not matter if you are a Militia member in Montana or Utah. It does not matter if you are a Sovereign Citizen. Nor does it matter if you are a citizen in Houston.

What matters to all of us is – we all must follow the rules. No one can live in this country and dictate their own set of rules such as:

  • Well, we have been letting our cattle graze public lands without paying access fees, why should we start or continue to do so, it is public land.” Or,
  • We are not going to pay taxes to the government – we have our own currency and we have our own laws.” Or,
  • We have a right to bear arms, as they did in the early days of this country when there was no adequate military or police force to protect us.” Or,
  • We come to America to live, to live in a country of freedom and democracy but oh, by the way, we are going to continue following our own religious laws (i.e. ‘Sharia’ and ‘Honor Killings’) and we will not work too hard on assimilating into the American culture. By the way, we want you to respect our religious tenets and cultural laws.” Or,
  • Our town, yes, we are a Sundown town and we only want our kind, our race here, so, if you’re not our race and here after dark, you might want to think twice about staying the night.

This cannot be the way of America. WE have to become the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA and in doing so, we must come together. We are supposed to be a progressive country, not devolving into olden days, days of cowboys and Indians when people of any color as well as women were treated as second class citizens. Think about Native Americans, Chinese who were forced into doing manual labor on the railroads and elsewhere and yes, even malicious treatment of Jews and Poles and other immigrants who came to America.

Think about the course of history surrounding women denied equality (and we are still not there yet on this point).

When anyone moves to America to become a citizen and pledges allegiance to America, you are bound to accept and follow the American way of life and its culture. This is not to supplant the culture, customs and traditions you bring with you but in addition. One cannot move to a new country and impose your homeland’s laws, views and aspects onto those citizens of your newly adopted country. If one does not wish to accept the new country’s laws, views, culture, traditions and all the rest, well, maybe you should return to your own country.

 

Reverse mode – U.S.A.?

What is going on? Are we, the American people, really going to permit this evolution of “going backwards” to continue to pick up steam?

First, remember, this current U.S. administration was not elected by the American people.  The Electoral College, via whatever machination they employed, selected this current president, even though the overall number of votes was not for him.

Second, this paper is not aimed at any party in particular. It does not matter if you are liberal, conservative, independent, green party or libertarian, we are all in the same boat, floundering because of who was put in the White House.

Thirdly, this president has made the claim that he does not want foreign leaders and countries laughing at the U.S. Well, it is a tad late for that. We have become, well, on the straight and narrow in becoming the laughing stock of the world. Our fortunes are falling, from world leader to falling in line with Syria and Nicaragua (climate change).

 

What are you Watching & Listening to…?

Another significant thing to keep in mind, something I always ensure that everyone understands;

  • “No, you do not have to believe me.”

The reason I say that particular phrase is because I want you, and everyone else, to do some of your own research. Reach out to different news outlets – “do not stay in your own comfort zone, listening to the same individuals or groups of individuals.” This is because it is a dooming cycle to remain in; you only hear the same content from the same people and you start becoming brain washed by listening to the same regurgitated content from the same types of sources. Do not take the following in a spate of anger but it is like being raised from birth in the church (any religion, pick one – from Catholicism to Wahhabism). All you hear is religion until you start acquiring more areas of knowledge and start doing your own concentrated thinking and determine your own line of reasoning as to what is what – B.C./A.D. or B.C.E/C.E.  

Watch and listen to other men and women on different news channels, network and cable; listen to different radio stations on FM, AM and satellite; watch or listen to news in local, national and foreign (to see how the American news comes across) news outlets; read different newspaper sources. The point is, listen to and watch different sources, do not get trapped in listening to only the folks around you or only your favorite news person – you simply must, absolutely must expand your horizon.

Then, do your own reasoning and thinking to make your own conclusions. You cannot just listen to someone, no matter how rich or famous (or how loud) they are, the onus is on you to make your own generalizations. You have to look down the road into the future to see what the possible consequences of your present decisions will engender. This is where the scenarios of; “if I make this choice, then this will happen” come into play. For non-computer folks, this is a primary programming aspect, the “if – then” statement.

You must remember, even if you believe you are the center of the universe, you have to consider what your decisions mean for jeopardizing the future of others. You must instill a better substitute to staring at your belly button; it is solely your fault in focusing in only on one source of news, such as Tweets that come out at 4am.

 

Leadership – Knowledge or Ulterior Motives…?

Here, let’s take a look at some of the individuals the current U.S. president wanted in office. Individuals that supposedly want to help the current president ‘make america great again.

Scott Pruitt, here is a man that sued, or at least attempted to, the EPA multiple times as a businessman. Since taking over as the EPA Administrator, he has had the EPA web site scrubbed of all real scientific evidence relating to climate change or global warming. Does that sound like something a reasonably sound person of any decent level of intellect would do?

Betsy DeVos, a woman who wishes to bring charter schools to all states. This is a woman who made the unintelligent statement on HBCUs[1]. “DeVos said HBCUs “are living proof that when more options are provided to students, they are afforded greater access and greater quality”. “HBCUs are real pioneers when it comes to school choice,” the statement said.”

HBCUs were somewhat the only choices Blacks had to go to…

DeVos wants to help break down the national common core. This is a point that many people continue to contest, they believe it is too difficult and unachievable and that each state should have their own standard of education. Here is the problem. If the states maintained their own standards, we are going to go in reverse, again. Some states will have better standards of education while others will have very poor standards. Humor me, just imagine, if you are a parent and you were relocating for better opportunities – would you:

  1. Go to a state that has poor standards and are near the bottom of the nation – i.e. these could be states in the mid-west and south or
  2. States like California or New York with better standards where your children will have a much more guaranteed chance for success

Mull that over and see if you still want a willy-nilly set of mish-mash standards across the country,  or a common, tougher, standard…. If you move from a state with poor standards to a state with excellent standards, your children will suffer the educational cost of catching up, meaning they may be placed in remedial classes… Education is not necessarily meant to be easy, such as all 2nd graders getting a trophy for 1st place.

Tom Price, here is another person with less than excellent standards. He wants to be a key player in getting rid of Planned Parenthood, an entity that is instrumental in many families around the country, an entity that is not solely aimed at abortions. Do we want our country to return to unplanned pregnancies and back alley abortions of the 70s?  This is a person who made dubious gains in money in the stock market from insider trading, sorry, making money on various investments due to congressional bills he sponsored and voted on.

Mick Mulvaney, I do not know what to say here. Is this a real person and is he really qualified to head up the OMB? Look at what he is proposing in making budget cuts for the Affordable Care Act, he wants to cut out big chunks and state that it really will not affect those who are covered.

Ben Carson, – okay, this is a real winner. He himself said that he was qualified to head up HUD because he lived in the projects at one time. Hmmm, not sure how to take that statement? Good? Bad? What?

Steve Bannon, do we want Bannon to stay in the administration now that nearly everyone in the country knows what Breitbart is about and Bannon’s mindset while he was running the company (and likely still running that “news” outlet)? This is a mindset that is not fit for the majority of Americans.

I could go on with many, many more of trumps’ selections he put in place for our administration but I just do not have the time or patience right now…

 

Divisive Country, Yes! United, No!

We started seeing an uptick in negative relationships across the board when our last president (good old Barack) was elected. This was most likely because he is not white, which was/is a huge problem for many people across the 50 states (and we may have this issue when {not if} a women is elected). I did not include ‘united’ because we are not a truly united states.

Evil content, divisive content started pouring out. Militias grew in numbers, even the KKK {a.k.a. 88} started growing again and who truly wants to deal with something like the KKK in this point in our history. Now, look at all the evil hearted content that used to be dying down (or so we thought) and/or covert. The current president seemed to have opened the flood gates for racial hatred, ignorance and flat out bigotry to flow. We have much more public evilness on display in all areas of our lives now. People (white) walking up to parked cars, if the driver appears to be Muslim, and creating a scene full of diatribes. People (white) in grocery stores telling (or yelling and cursing) Muslim appearing people to get out of the U.S. and go home because there is no Muslim in the White House anymore… Recall the recent bus scene where two men were stabbed to death and another wounded because they were trying to step in and stop a guy who was clearly (allegedly) out of his mind in verbally accosting two Muslim young women.

We are back to blatant racism and it is no longer covert, it much more overt. The expansion of public racism, we can safely presume, right, sprang from the election campaign of Donald Trump. Take that infamous rally where Trump stated, “knock him out” where a person (a white guy) sucker punched a black guy in the stands – and Trump stated later for all to hear that he would cover any legal charges (yeah, right).

Trump’s outrageous manner of speech, his “plain spoken” talk and ill-mannered  behavior (remember grabbing women by their ‘p _ _ _ _ _ s’ – never, NEVER forget that one) allowed many other ill-mannered, poorly behaved, ignorant individuals around the country to come forth to talk and act as if that style of behavior was acceptable. It is not! Racism continues to roar its ugly head as it ratchets up in the public, overt hemisphere around the country. This is partly to blame on the current president in the white house and a sizeable number of individuals surrounding him.

 

State of Affairs…?

Well, our government wants to relax fuel and emission standards for auto manufacturers instead of being stricter in what vehicles pump into the air (I used to run in L.A. and got sicker and sicker every winter due to smog – I bought a Nordic Track runner instead of running outside and within a year I was healthy again). And gaining better mileage is what everyone who drives a car or truck wants but no, our government believes this is too arduous of a manufacturing goal and hurts profits. Let me help you digest that a bit – profits over health, think about it.

Allowing the dumping of waste into rivers – in what universe is this okay? Who desires possibly toxic waste to seep into ground water tables and spread laterally? Do you want some factories waste content in your water system – remember, when storms cause waste water facilities to overflow, that contaminated water is likely going to end up in a neighborhood near you – if not directly in yours…

Relaxation of emission standards for factories, this is the direction our government to help businesses in also. Let them pump out less clean waste into the atmosphere. Is this lunacy to anyone besides me?

Climate change, possible move to more coal usage and pollution – recall that there is no clean coal solution yet. And no, you cannot continue to blame countries like China. China is shutting down coal plants and stopping production of more coal plants (China is in its 3rd year in a row of reduced coal consumption). Between 2015 when China was still going full bore on coal, the rise of pollution throughout the country has given the country pause to move away from coal to cleaner energy alternatives. Remember, do some research on your own.

 

We, America, by this point in time in history should have stamped out a massive chunk (yes, good word to use here) of racism and excised it from our ‘progressive’ path forward. But, we did not. Many people still believe that only one color matters and anyone else of a different tint or hue does not belong in America. Too bad these individuals have not gone out and had a DNA test done to see what their racial/genetic makeup is composed of. Take a look at a white cop[2] in Hastings, MI who did so and discovered he has Black blood in his genetic makeup (yes, he started being on the racist end of multiple comments and situations). Ancestry.com said he was 18% black. Hastings is 97 percent white… So, take a wild guess at how many KKK or Militia members have a genetic makeup much less than that Hitlerish (88) goal of being 100% pure, of any race. And you might be right… Unfortunately, it will be a long time before we discover that kind of info. But, we are too far on the path of evolution for that many people to be 100% pure blood.

Coming together ‘only’ for holidays like Memorial Day, the 4th of July or in times of disaster should be shameful for everyone. The time to come together is all year long, every single day. We should have everyone’s back and to be there for them when a hurricane comes their way; or when a plumbing flood snafu occurs at home; or when a neighbors’ kid is bullied because that bullied kid is gay or autistic – these everyday events are when everyone must come together, not just on some event like Rolling Thunder crossing over Memorial Bridge.

Does the above not cause a glimmer or spark of outage in your brain cells in realizing (for those of you out there who are truly thinking this through) that we are becoming a laughing stock in the world? It is not due to the American citizenry, or rather, not the majority of Americans, but to the current leadership in place…

 

Enough for now, I will add more to this fall from grace saga where America is becoming a laughing stock due to our current president…

 

 

[1] Historically Black Colleges And Universities

[2] “White Michigan Cop Files Racism Lawsuit After Ancestry.Com Revealed He’s Part Black,” May 10, 2017, http://www.newsweek.com/white-cop-sues-michigan-city-racism-after-ancestrycom-revealed-hes-part-black-607004

SHAME! ISIS & WEAK Support from Congress, Senate, EU & mid-East allies

Shame on our American Congress and Senate! I will come back to that.

It is sad to see the growth and atrocities of the terrorist oriented group known as ISIS (or ISIL or IS) continue, not unabated, but slowed down. It is not just Americans being beheaded; it is Brits and other mid-Eastern citizens too.

It is Syrians, Iraqis, Yazidis and Kurds being, not murdered, but exterminated!

Okay, back to that shame comment. Here we are with many of our Congress and Senate unwilling to make a sincere, heartfelt move to vote for allowing America to make strongER moves against ISIS. WAIT! I do apologize; let me revise that last statement.

It appears that many in our Congress and Senate want to “wait” until after this fall’s election cycle is over. In this manner, those who are reticent to vote for a move against ISIS can first survive their election race. This way, they would not have to worry about their vote being recorded on the books.

This, to me mind you, seems highly “un-American” that those affected (or afflicted) individuals continue to put themselves before anything else, inclusive of a better:

  • Health care system for all
  • Educational system for our children
  • Highway and bridge infrastructure system for all
  • Clean, green energy infrastructure to wean us off of gas and oil (not just from abroad but from within the US as well)
  • Etc. – it is a very long list that our Congress and Senate can work on.

But, those are episodes for other writings. 

What I currently understand is that these folks really are ready to fully engage – ‘after the elections, once they are voted in again.’

The problem here is, many constituents are very short sighted and selfish and do not look long term, down the road, for the country as a whole. So, we wind up with people in congress and the senate who are also narrowly focused on the short term…

In the meantime, ISIS goes on – very, very sad. 

Now, our EU and mid-Eastern ‘allies’ and “partners” should be even more ashamed. The U.S. did not single handedly create a growing ISIS, even though some snarky hot head will say we did.

This is a conflict of religion. A religious conflict of one extremely radical element with a desire to transform the entire region, if not the world, into what they envision the world should be – a strict adherence to Islam and Sharia law, no exceptions and with the death of all infidels, us. ISIS only wants one thing, a Caliphate.

 

Has diplomacy and communication failed America? Is force truly the ‘only’ answer and best method to curtail this type of situation? 

Maybe now is the time for us to pull back U.S. interests from the mid-East and possibly the EU, letting ISIS flourish and spread throughout the mid-East and into Europe and possibly even the western front of Russia?

If our EU allies and more specifically, our mid-East partners are unwilling to help quash this extremist brand of Islamists, should the U.S. realistically undertake so much of this fight any longer? We simply cannot be the primary force or the leading force in that region… 

Should we become the isolationists we once were prior to the beginning of the Great War (WWI)?

If we pull back all of our forces and much of our American interests as possible and resort to being isolationist again – we can focus on rebuilding America. We can help our own people to grow. We can stop dumping billions of dollars into the Middle East where centuries old tribal factions and sectarian consternation (or mayhem) continues on and on and on. And in the background, some mid-East countries (or leaders) continue to support the radicals.

If we pull back and become isolationists, we can focus on beefing up our airports, shipping ports, borders and coastal defenses to pre-empt any wannabe terrorist from entering the country, our home – where people supposedly stand together, for the American people…

And since there is only tepid overarching support from multiple coalition parties, should the U.S. just stand back in the distance and watch the Wahabis (or Wahhabis) kill off the Sunnis or watch the Shia kill off the Sunnis and Wahabis or some other configuration?

If we pull back, we can rebuild our currency coffers and reduce our national debt load. We can focus on making America great and wonderful!

 

Oh. Yes. You were saying, “What about the spread of ISIS and all the mass killings of men, women and children – and don’t forget the atrocities undertaken on the defenseless – and the wanton destruction of priceless historical artifacts?”

Well…. We can take the tack of Turkey, where they stated the U.S. would not be allowed to use any Turkish sites to launch American airstrikes. We could say in turn when ISIS becomes a bigger problem for Turkey that we prefer not to put U.S. troops in harms’ way by having them in Turkey, Turkey can fend for itself.

Or, we could take the tack of Egypt where they stated that they have their own terrorist problems to deal with. In that case, we could say that the U.S. has our own demons back at home to focus on, such as unhinged KKK members/groups, extreme sovereign citizens, out of control militias, etc.

As for Germany and France, shucks, I am not sure what to say about them. Maybe, we could just stand back and state we have our own problems as German/French ISIS members sneak back into those countries and cause mass casualties. Maybe the U.S. should just let Israel unload on Syria since Assad is unwilling to be a leader and step down from his dictatorial position.

I dunno….

 

In the meantime, tens of thousands of people will needlessly die or be forced to convert to that extreme religion. Along the way, women and young girls will be sold off and/or given away as unwilling brides. Or worse… 

Of course, our backing off and reverting to isolationist will not transpire. It will not happen because of oil in the mid-East and the great many U.S. interests throughout the EU.

Until we, the U.S., actually get to a clean, green energy economy and get people into congress and the senate who “want” to do the right thing instead of listening to the wild, vocal minority of their respective parties, well, we’re screwed basically and will continue playing a massive role of world policemen.

 

If other coalition partners are unwilling to do more to stop this heinous and cancerous growth of ISIS, it is only going to get worse and become costlier over time – in lives and the very, very tight budgets of all countries in the current state of global economy.

The biggest fly in the ointment is Syria, where everyone seems to agree is the nerve center for ISIS. If Assad is unwilling to allow strikes against ISIS and with Putin opening his yap (being Assad’s buddy and all) stating that any strikes into Syria is an act of war – then how will that region of the world ever get to a state of less terror???

 

We, the global community, are at a serious crossroad. How do we solve this ISIS problem if diplomacy has seemingly failed and religious differences continue to fester…?

Because it boils down to this, how does one deal with an unbalanced, unhinged person or group (ISIS)?