Category Archives: Current Events-2016

Lives Worth Saving

 “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” by J.K. Rowling –

“I’d like to appeal to all our listeners to emulate their example, perhaps by casting a protective charm over any Muggle dwellings in your street. Many lives could be saved if such simple measures are taken.” 

“And what would you say, Royal, to those who reply that in these dangerous times, it should be ‘Wizards first’?” asked Lee. 

“I’d say that it’s one short step from ‘Wizards first’ to ‘Purebloods first,’ and then to ‘Death Eaters,’” replied Kingsley. “We’re all human, aren’t we? Every human life is worth the same, and worth saving.””

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“Draining the Swamp”

Trump wants to put term limits on Congress. While this is a noble cause, I think it’ll ultimately need a Constitutional Amendment to make it stick (Executive Orders are ficklethings which the other party will always claim is Executive Overreach).

I think that a more productive way to make Congress work better would be to make the salary of ALL elected officials be based on the average salary of their constituency. So, if a Congressman, for instance, wants a pay raise, they have to increase the average salary of their district.

And, since I don’t feel like making another new post, I shall add a comment here on a slightly unrelated topic: the next Supreme Court Justice. I saw a news article which said that Sen. Lindsay Graham recommends that Trump look towards the Senate for his Supreme Court Justice pick and that Ted Cruz would be excellent. While I know that the rules for picking a Justice are relatively loose, I don’t think having and using a law degree either for prosecution or defense is enough to warrant the position. I think that you should have to serve as a lower judge, first, so that the Senate has actual judgments to base their decision on, not just a batch of cases that the person decided to work on. Judges should be non-partisan and should be able to make fair judgments regardless of their personal opinions based on the laws. Prosecutors and Defense attorneys are inherently biased and while that’s an okay start for a lower court, the people on the  highest court need to have a broad selection of judgments on their resume.

Trump the Puppet

Have you noticed something about post-election Trump? He just doesn’t sound like himself. He seems pretty flat and not as animated as he was on the campaign trail.

Oh wait. There were times on the campaign trail when he did act like this. It was during those times when his campaigns were trying to make him seem more fit for office and made him read off a teleprompter.

For me, the big boisterous Trump is the real Trump. You can see him during one of those telepromted speeches during that moment when you can see in his eyes that he’s just said something that he likes and he gets really excited and repeats it 3 more times, going off script for a minute before returning to the puppet reciting his lines.

I guess his ability to be a puppet is a good thing because it means that he can be controlled.  But at the same time, Americans have an electoral college to elect the president for a reason. We don’t have a parliamentary system where we elect our representatives who then elect their leader. If we wanted a puppet controlled by Congress, why not just have a parliamentary system?

What is kind of hilarious is reading the opinions written by people who’d opposed Trump during the election who now want him to unite the country. In order for him to take their advice, he’ll have to alienate the people who voted for him. But those things that Trump got excited about during the campaign are the very things that they want him to now oppose.

Is Trump going to renig on building the wall? Probably not because it fulfills so many of the things he got excited about on the campaign trail: it’ll create jobs and keep out those pesky foreigners. But why couldn’t he build it as a private citizen?

Trump v. Clinton

Below is a comment I just wrote to someones blog. Her premise is that voting for Trump was an act of Love because he’ll do so much stuff for women and minorities even though he’s actually said some disgusting things about women and minorities and made few concrete promises about anything that would be guaranteed to help them.

But I didn’t bother commenting on that. It’s a waste of breath to debate what people think Trump might do that’s positive when the reality of what he’s actually said is so opposite. People can live in their fantasy world as long as they like; I’ll just roll my eyes.

No, my comment was on Trump’s tax returns and other financial data. Maybe I’m petty, but if there’s one lie I want Trump to be caught in it’s about his net worth and business practices. After reading Trump Revealed: An American Journey of Ambition, Ego, Money, and Power I have zero confidence in Trump’s business practices and it feels like that’s the ONE pass he gets (“Yeah, we know he’s immoral, liberal, etc, but at least he knows business“). I just don’t get how anyone who considers themselves to be a fiscal conservative could vote for Trump when it’s only his word that says that he is the great businessman he claims to be.

By the way, Trump is really paranoid about people speculating on his finances and to me that’s very telling. If he’s as good a businessman and as rich as he claims to be, why not prove this to the world? Why does he have to resort to (possible) fabrications? Please don’t say that he’s humble. Humble people don’t say “I donated Millions to charity. I’m so generous it’s ridiculous!” Humble people say: “Yes, I donated money to causes X, Y, and Z and let me tell you about the amazing things they do!” and then they go into specific details.

My point about his income is that the ONLY data that currently exists on his business practices indicate that he’s a shitty businessman. There is nothing to prove that he’s actually worth what he claims he is now especially when in the mid 1990s his bankers put him on a $400,000/year ALLOWANCE so that he could maintain his image so that the banks could sell his property for more money (let everyone pretend that his buildings were worth more than they actually were). The ONLY thing going for Trump is that he’s supposedly a good businessman and like I said, without proper financial statements, that’s a load of hot air.

Trump Airlines: customer survey cards said that what customers wanted was to get from point A to point B in a timely manner. Trump spent millions not on increasing efficiency, but on gold plated sinks and carpet so plush the flight attendants complained about how difficult it was to push the beverage carts. Trump told them to push harder.

Trump Taj Mahal: Even though he already owned and operated 2 casinos in Atlantic City, he decided to open this monstrosity. Before it opened, an industry reporter wrote an article that predicted record profits for it’s first 3 months then it would quickly go into bankruptcy because it’s operating expenses exceeded it’s earnings potential. Trump threatened to sue the writer’s employer if he didn’t retract the article or be fired. The writer was fired. One day after the Taj opened, gambling regulators halted the gambling operations because they’d lost over a million dollars in chips. Gambling was illegal there for a few days while the chips were missing. They were found when someone realized the bag they were in had been used to prop open the door of the counting room because it was too hot in that room because the room was too small for that operation. Why was the room too small? Trump didn’t want to spend the money to move walls to make the room the proper size. By the way, the regulators were being nice to allow that room’s door to be propped open in the first place since it’s supposed to be kept closed.

Trump’s other two casinos were doing okay in the market before the Taj was built. After the Taj, suddenly he had 3 casinos who had to steal each others customers in order to make bank. Meanwhile, Trump had installed one of his wives as the manager of one of the other casinos (I can’t remember which one) and she spent most of her time and the casino’s money remodeling. And then they went bankrupt.

At least half of the “TRUMP” buildings in the world aren’t owned by Trump. He doesn’t even invest his own money in them. Some other group of investors just get Trump to license them the use of his name. This cushy arrangement for Trump means that he gets to take in a fabulous salary and make important decisions about the appearance of “his” buildings all without risking his money. He pretends to be an investor while other people actually take the risk. In one case, the hotel/apartment building had to make bad financial decisions in order to keep up with Trump’s image demands (spending too much money on gold plated sinks, expensive Italian marble) because it was cheaper to comply than lose Trump’s endorsement. This was during the housing market crash. The building’s investors were having trouble making ends meet, so they requested that Trump let them skip paying his licensing fee for a month or two and they’d pay him with interest as soon as they could. Trump told them that if they didn’t pay him he’d sue, which would mean the investors would lose even more money, so they did what they could to pay him. Within a few more months, that building was looking for a new buyer and the investors, some of whom were folks like you and me deciding to buy a condo in that building in order to sell it for a profit later, were out a lot of money. But not Trump: his contracts ensure that he gets paid first as soon as things start heading south and with 8000 lawsuits under his belt, he’s not shy about going to court.

In fact, our President-elect will be in court on Nov. 28, 2016 to possibly finally settle the matter of Trump University, where Trump as spokesman promised folks that they’d learn how to be “just like Trump”. There are fears that what comes out of this trial will be enough to go for an Impeachment and he’s not even inaugurated yet.

Now, you wish to call Clinton a traitor because she didn’t release her emails. Well, her emails as Secretary of State never had a hacking attempt on them, while the State Departments servers are attacked thousands (millions?) of times a day. So, her emails were actually safer than other government officials just because hackers didn’t know where to look for them. Also, have you ever heard of this thing called a home printer? It is utterly ridiculous to call Clinton a traitor because her emails were on a private server when her emails COULD have been on the government server and she could have printed out all the juicy secrets and mailed them to whomever she wanted to in a non-descript #10 envelope. Maybe even with security tinting. It’s actually easier to tell when someone has done something wrong via a computer than when they’ve done something analog. Hell, she could have even skipped the printer queue and hand written the secrets she was so desperate to share and not left any digital trail. But there would be a paper trail, in a manner of speaking. So maybe she just verbally told the secrets to her buddies in a secret location where no cameras could catch her. If someone can prove that something nefarious actually came out of those emails, THEN there’d be a story, but as it is…there’s nothing, just as the FBI keeps saying.

I guess I’ll end on the Trump Foundation, which the state of NY has every right to take Trump to court over because he was illegally collecting money from donors when his foundation was only supposed to be spending his own money.

Proof that some people are morons:

I got this from the Washington Post.

— In next door Maine, Gov. Paul LePage (R) actually said yesterday that “authoritarian power” may be needed in the United States. “Sometimes, I wonder that our Constitution is not only broken, but we need … [Trump] to show some authoritarian power in our country and bring back the rule of law,” his longtime supporter said during a radio interview. “We’ve had eight years of a president, he’s an autocrat, he just does it on his own, he ignores Congress and every single day, we’re slipping into anarchy.” (Portland Press-Herald)

Umm…if Obama has been an “autocrat” and “ignores Congress”… wouldn’t that mean we’ve already had 8 years of “authoritarian power”?!? I think Mr LePage needs to pick up a dictionary and a history book. He’s obviously clueless.

Is Ann Coulter ProLife?

I really don’t think so. This is the second time she’s written with a negative tone about immigrants and “their expensive premature babies”. This whole chapter is on how WORTHLESS (her words, NOT mine) most recent immigrants to America are. I guess that for her, the only lives that matter are American, if and only if they’re like minded Conservatives (she seems to think liberals are better off dead, too, rather than wasting her time, space, and money).

“Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole” by Ann Coulter –

“So it’s lucky, in a way, that Democrats are the party of government workers. Unending immigration means we need rafts of government workers to educate non-English speakers, teach cultural sensitivity classes, arrest criminals, man prisons, clean up parks, distribute food stamps, arrange subsidized housing, and work in hospital emergency rooms to deliver all those premature babies.”

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On marriage

 “Notorious RBG: The Life and Times of Ruth Bader Ginsburg” by Irin Carmon, Shana Knizhnik –

“What Wiesenfeld meant by “alternative,” and what was hinted by RBG’s use of the phrase life partner was a marriage in which the woman didn’t lose herself and her autonomy, in which two humans shared their lives and goals on equal footing. It wasn’t so common anywhere, least of all among people who came of age in the 1950s.”

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From the Eugenics movement:

“The Ballroom: A Novel” by Anna Hope –

“I have no hesitation in saying, from personal experience, that nowadays the degenerate offspring of the feeble-minded and chronic pauper is treated with more solicitude, has better food, clothing, and medical attention, and has greater advantages than the child of the respectable and independent working man. So much is this the case that the people are beginning to realize that thrift, honesty, and self-denial do not pay.”

This sounds way too close to complaints made by American Conservatives who hate social welfare programs.

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Why I think Trump is popular

I think Trim doesn’t get his popularity from what he says, but for what people hear.

When Trump speaks, he really doesn’t say much. He often repeats short statements and clichés.He’s often very vague, rarely giving details or examples of evidence. And for too many people in the population this seems to be acceptable for a potential president. Why?

I think that everyone interested in politics secretly has their own plan for how best to run the country and for Trump supporters, his vague statements give everyone the freedom to insert whatever they want as his meaning. Essentially they are hearing what they want to hear because he’s not saying anything.

I think it’s interesting that the Bible does the same thing. Most of the passages I’ve read of the Bible says, essentially, “and then this happened” without any details of HOW it happened. This allows readers to insert magic as the cause, call it a miracle, and base their belief of everything on it. Isn’t it equally easy to insert a “normal” reason for how the “miracle” occurred? Think Jesus feeding a thousand people with 2 loaves of bread and 5 fishes. The Bible doesnt say HOW but most Christians insert a miracle rather than some normal occurrence (like maybe everyone denied to imbibe, thus all were fed, even if they didn’t eat–it happens at awkward parties). 

When there are no details, any explanation will work. And this is scary when we consider the future that is at stake.