Category Archives: Donald Trump

REBUTTAL: Greg Laurie Describes ‘Awkward Moment’ With Melania Trump During White House Dinner

The awkward moment: 

“Franklin Graham spoke right before me and I was told to go up right after Franklin and say what you are going to say and lead the prayer because the president is tired and wants to go to bed,” Laurie detailed. “So, I am waiting for my queue and Franklin was done, so I got up and walked to the podium. At the same moment, the first lady had gotten up out of her chair and she was walking to the podium as well.”

“I saw her and a I went and gestured her and said ‘Oh, please [go ahead and take the podium].’ She gestured back [to insist I take the podium.] Then, I gestured back, ‘Oh please [you go ahead],” he added. “It was a very awkward moment.”

Laurie told the crowd that he finally went ahead and spoke after the first lady again insisted that he speak.

So…someone didn’t understand the schedule…in the White House, where things are supposed to run like clockwork and where there is usually a program that lists the order of speakers. It’s not exactly rocket science. Most organized events have a program (charity dinners, graduations, awards ceremonies immediately cone to mind).

Or it could be that since Trump was bored tired, he told Melania to try to skip ahead of Laurie and close out the show early. I wonder what would have been said if Laurie had insisted Melania go first…

Since his sermon was based on Daniel 12, Laurie stressed that Daniel would also “try to help any king that was in power” whether that was Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar or Darius.

“I think when God puts people in power that we want to do what we can to influence them with what the word of God says,” Laurie said. “That was an honor to stand up there.”

Laurie implied that he may have been a bit overwhelmed by the fact that he was speaking to a room that included President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson, Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, and the countless prominent Christian leaders.

“I have to be honest with you, I couldn’t look at the faces of people. It was very distracting,” Laurie explained. “I [was] just [like], ‘I am not going to look at any of you. I am just going to look over your heads and sort of say what I believe the Lord is putting on my heart at this moment to say.”

Me thinks that if Laurie had been skipped, he’d have spun it into something about how he’s happily unworthy to speak before these “great men”. 

Can you imagine Thomas Jefferson feeling too unworthy to metaphorically stand up and spit in George III’s eye with the Declaration of Independence? Keep in mind that the “Divine Roght of Kings” was a thing in 1776.

An open letter to any agency arguing against the Trump Administration’s decision to separate families

When it came out that the Trump Administration was separating families at the border, I was heartbroken, but not surprised.

What did somewhat surprise me has been the level of chaos attached to the reunifications. Not so much the fact that they deported, what, 500 parents through various means, but that it would take hours or days to determine where the parents and children were in relationship to each other. It’s almost like they were using paper forms that were being filed in a cabinet!

My purpose for writing this letter is to highlight exactly where I think ICE and the Trump Administration should be the most damned:

When you check into a hospital, you are issued a hospital bracelet. It lists your name, birth date, and whatever other pertinent information necessary for your care (such as the color identifying what department you belong in and/or that you are a fall risk, dementia patient, etc). Most (if not all) hospital bracelets include a barcode or QR code that is scanned every single time a doctor, nurse, tech, whatever does anything. This is in addition to them verbally asking for your name and birth date to ensure that you are who they think you are. The scanned code links directly to your hospital medical chart and should link to your overarching medical chart if you are within your primary doctor’s system (and should link to your medical chart regardless of whatever affiliation the medical facility you are in has, but that’d make too much sense). In this way, with a few clicks of a mouse they can look at your medical history and see whether there’d be any harmful interactions with whatever procedures/medications they’re providing in the hospital.

(I’m pretty sure a bracelet system is done in most prisons, too!

This same technology should  have been used with the separated families.

Upon being incarcerated, each family should have had an account opened and it should have listed every member of that family. Each member should have been given a bracelet with a bar/QR code that quickly accesses the file of that family and which is regularly updated with the pertinent details of the individual members:

They scan Mom’s bracelet when Mom wants to know where daughter Suzy is. “Oh! Suzy is currently being transferred to San Diego. She’s currently on XYZ Bus. The attendants on that bus have a phone number of (123) 456-7890. Let me call them real quick to double check that she’s there.” [calls the number, the attendant goes to the seat assigned to Suzy, checks that her bracelet matches the information provided, and confirms Suzy’s location all while still on the phone with wherever Mom is.] “The attendant has confirmed her location. They should arrive in San Diego at 8pm their time. Would you like to speak to Suzy? You have 5 minutes.”

It’s not freaking rocket science! The technology exists and has proven itself as nearly flawless time and time and time ad nauseum. On the rare occasions when the technology fails (yes, mis-identifications do happen at the hospital) it is always the result of human error: a simple typo, outright negligence, etc. This is why there are backup procedures in place: they ask your name and date of birth despite it seeming redundant; the surgeon writes on your skin while talking to you about the procedure so that you are able to correct him. I always double check with whomever is doing a procedure that we’re there for the same thing if they don’t volunteer that information themselves or use unfamiliar jargon (sigh).

Even in the case of the deported parents, the bracelet system would work. Their file (which would remain open so long as other family members are still in the system) would be updated to show that they were deported and include an address, phone number, email address, whatever where the parent can be contacted. At the very least, the parent will have an incredibly easy way to locate their children once they do find a stable place to stay; just walk in with the bracelet and have the bar code be scanned (or hell, type in an ID number!). That would still show where the child has been placed.

These bracelets can be equipped with a photo of the individual printed directly on it and are essentially photo IDs.

A (slightly) more expensive bracelet exists which can activate a security system.

We still rely on dog tags to quickly identify service members and access their records.

While I can kind of understand the use of DNA testing when there are definite suspicions that an adult is claiming to the the parent of a child that doesn’t act like most children do with their parents, but having to do a DNA test on every single parent and child is insane. BUT, that would mean that trained individuals would have to witness these regular everyday parent-child interactions which can’t be done if the child is in San Diego while the parents are in Houston.

In other words, in addition to not having a way to quickly find the records of the entire family group, ICE created the problem where they couldn’t monitor the parent-child interactions and determine unscientifically that the children are with their parents.

I’ll leave discussion of the harm caused by the psychological trauma of these separations  to the experts. For anyone trying to blame the parents for knowingly “giving” their children away/putting their children at risk of separation simply for crossing the border, I’ll suggest you read The Cut Out Girl.

Trump Supporter

Quote from “Mistletoe Murder (A Lucy Stone Mystery Series Book 1)” by Leslie Meier –

“This evil person” —and here the minister paused before hissing—“this sinner, must have come from outside our town. 

“Every night the evening news tells us of the violence that pervades the cities of our country, of international syndicates dealing in drugs and death, and of political terrorism. 

“This is the lesson of Sam Miller’s death. We must fight the evil that is overtaking so much of the world, and we must keep our town as a good place to let our love for each other shine as a beacon of light in an ever-darkening world. Amen.”

This was the end of the Eulogy given by the pastor.

The brother looked disgusted. The wife was wearing a veil so we couldn’t see her face.

Lucy pretty much shrugged and said “could be” after bringing up the idea that the brother is the killer and having it be shot down because he’s a good guy. And making fun of the wife’s preference for less than sensible shoes and clothes. 

By the way, I’d totally wear a veil! I wouldn’t want people looking at me.

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Klansville U.S.A. | American Experience | Official Site | PBS

It’s way too easy to draw connections to what was going on in 1960s North Carolina and 2017 in Charlottesville and other places where the Alt-Right has been causing trouble.

Gluttony: The Acceptable Sin – The Transformed Wife–A Rebuttal

By why is your condemnation of gluttony limited only to the consumption of food?!?

Do you see Christmas decorations in the stores you shop in now? This is the most visible form of American gluttony.  The “gimmie, gimmie, gimmie” mentality.

The man who was elected president in 2016 is a glutton. Not satisfied by his first wife, he replaced her.  Not satisfied again, he replaced her, too. He bought an airline and had the planes repainted again because the T wasn’t big enough! Also with this airline, he ignored customer surveys that wanted  their flights to be on time, and instead invested in ultra plush carpet (telling flight attendants to push harder) and gold plated sinks.

Not satisfied with owning one nice casino in Atlantic City, he had to have 3, which in competition with each other, led to all of them losing money and ultimately all 3 closing their doors.

Trump doesn’t just want to have more, he wants the MOST. Trump doesn’t just want better, he wants the BEST. He claims that he’s trying to get the most and the best for everyone, but that is logically impossible. Besides, everything he and Republicans have done so far take things away from others, which is the exact opposite of giving everyone the best!


A Week Without Trump

I just came up with the ULTIMATE April Fool’s Day prank from America to Donald Trump!

Since Trump loves being the center of attention, wouldn’t it  really piss him off if the media refrained from using his name and photo/video for the week leading up to April Fool’s Day. Feel free to use the generic “the president” as necesary. By March 28th, he’ll probably be sweating bullets wondering what happened.

But, here’s the best part: on April 2nd, everything goes back to normal and nobody tells Trump what happened.

When the President acts like a middle schooler, you treat gum like a middle schooler.

So spread the word folks! Let’s do this!

If nothing else, it will give us all a much needed break.

John Kelly calls Robert E. Lee an ‘honorable man’ and says ‘lack of compromise’ caused the Civil War – The Washington Post

“Lack of compromise”… Hmm.

The country elected a Republican, a party recently established with abolitionist roots. Shortly after Lincoln’s election (by December) South Carolina seceded the Union and joined the newly established Confederacy (in February) since other Southern states had followed S. Carolina’s lead. VA didn’t secede until April, with ladies fainting in Portsmouth as they were certain Fort Monroe would turn it’s guns against them.

So, “lack of compromise”? Yep! S. Carolina and the rest of the southern states that seceded didn’t even give Lincoln a chance to limit the expansion of slavery (which was the actual bullet point of the Republican Party Platform).

After the states started seceding, what was the Union supposed to do? Let it happen?!?!

Actually, based on my own research for my bachelor’s thesis in history (I believe it still exists as a “note/blog post” on my Facebook page), what was passed in Congress during the Civil War WERE the compromises. While most citizens were hearing the most extremist views, the bills actually being signed by Lincoln were very moderate.

Take the Emancipation Proclamation, famous for not actually freeing anyone! It only freed slaves in states that were actively rebelling (so it couldn’t be enforced), not slaves still in the Union.

For a modern perspective, take Obamacare, which still guaranteed health insurance companies their profits in order to make the program work (that was the compromise). Every problem associated with Obamacare can be directly related to the promise that insurance companies get their profit as opposed to just breaking even or mandating that they reinvest any profits back into the system to lower costs.

To look at 2017, Trump keeps running his mouth about all the “great stuff” he’s going to do (would LOVE to have a more specific list to offer as example, but Trump refuses to be less vague), but Congress keeps thwarting him. It may not be a huge part of Congress that is keeping “his agenda” (actually, it’s those members of Congress willing to write and stump for their legislation’s agenda) from passing, but it is enough to ensure that the bills that land on Trump’s desk don’t do too much harm. Of course, there are his Executive Orders to contend with, but the Courts seem to be doing a pretty good job declaring them unconstitutional.

It wasn’t until 1892 that the Pledge of Allegiance was adopted, but it has “indivisible” as an important clause. For perspective, “the United States of America” wasn’t added until 1923 and “under God” wasn’t added until 1954.

The government of Spain is currently facing the same dilemma as the Lincoln Administration: whether to let Catalonia go or force it to stay. Despite my deep abhorrence of the nature of the Confederacy and conviction that it does NOT deserve reverence because it existed for the sole purpose of perpetuating slavery, truthfully, I believe that secession should have been allowed. I think that the Confederacy would have suffered severely economically IF the US had placed a trade embargo on it as deeply as we have done for other countries, if the Union was so against slavery as Southerners continue to teach. However, this extreme option would have probably hit the pocketbooks of Unionists hard, too.

Slave labor still exists, perpetuated by the need for cheap goods. I suspect that despite extremist rhetoric in 1860, if the Confederacy had been allowed to secede, slavery would have continued there until….ERM…huh. It took 100 years after the formal end of slavery for the country to come together and more or less decide that people should be treated equally despite the color of their skin. We’re still working on that in practice. On it’s own, without outside intervention, the South would probably still own slaves.

So, let me clarify one thing from earlier: I said that I support secession. This is true! BUT I DO NOT SUPPORT SLAVERY! A war was necessary, I agree! But the war that should have been fought was to end slavery, NOT to preserve the Union. Despite modern interpretation of the “War of Northern Aggression”, ending slavery was not at the top of the agenda, which is horrible! 

Everything about Reconstruction was about making secessionists feel welcome again. There were no jail sentences. There were no fines. Property was not seized. Well, slaves were officially freed, given citizenship, and the right to vote, so I guess some property was “seized”, but Southern plantation owners seemed more than capable of coming out on top of a sharecropping contract until the Agrarian Model was completely overthrown by Industrialization. Jim Crow very capably kept “colored folks” in their place. For awhile at least.

Lee claimed that he was against slavery, but believed that it should be allowed to run it’s own course, even if that meant another 1000 years. Considering that the slave trade still exists it would seem that there are a lot of people who still think that slavery is a “necessary evil” (and please do not be deluded into thinking that “modern slavery” is fundamentally different from 1850s slavery, it’s not (though 1850s slavery WAS different from it’s predecessors)). Vulnerable people are taken and held captive, abused, while the owner tries to convince the captive that they are better off in captivity than free (Stockholm Syndrome) while the rest of the world turns a blind eye, or otherwise thinks it’s okay (“at least they have a job and get paid $1/day; who cares about working conditions”).

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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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.