Loving Darkness

Courtesy of Stockvault.net

Even though I long ago stopped believing in the fairy tales that define Christianity, there are a few lines from the “The Book” that have stuck with me over the years.

One in particular has repeatedly come to mind as I read and listen to all the events, circumstances, actions, etc. surrounding the current POTUS …

Men love darkness rather than light
because their deeds are evil

(For veracity’s sake, the actual scripture (John 3:19, KJV) is as follows: And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.)

Naturally believers will insist this scripture be read in context and will adamantly point out that John was talking about Salvation (printed in red for obvious reasons) through J.C.

However, I think most would agree that believers have been known to “cherry-pick” scriptures now and again to support their cause.

I’m just doing the same. 😎

But back to the saying.

Anyone following the Twitter King is continuously and diarrhetically reminded by him that every and all claims of malfeasance on his part are LIES, LIES, LIES!! (All generated by the Democrats, of course). Yet any requests for him to provide documentation, witnesses, phone records, TAX records, etc. to support and validate his position are immediately (and vehemently) DENIED. In fact, he has even attempted to utilize “the law” to protect his (many) secrets.

Now why do you think that is? Why do you think it’s so important for Donald J. Trump to keep some things in the dark??

Hmmm.

We The People

In a recent post, Robert Vella talked about “Donald Trump’s Authoritarian attacks on American democracy and its constitutional system based on the rule of law.” Then, in response to a question from me related to a seeming increase in the conservative movement around the globe, he responded …

It is political extremism which is widening both on the right and left. Recently, the socialists won in Spain. Who’s losing? The centrist, neoliberal establishment is losing virtually everywhere. Anti-democratic authoritarians are on the rise, and there are more right-wing fascist types around today than left-wing communists.

This phenomenon is eerily similar to what happened in Europe between WWI and WWII, and that’s why we should all be very worried.

As I’m not much of a history buff, I decided to do a bit of research related to the period he referenced and came across the following on Wikipedia:

Fascist parties sprang up, attuned to local right-wing traditions, but also possessing common features that typically included extreme militaristic nationalism, a desire for economic self-containment, threats and aggression toward neighbouring countries, oppression of minorities, a ridicule of democracy while using its techniques to mobilise an angry middle-class base, and a disgust with cultural liberalism.

I don’t know about you, but I found this extremely disturbing as it’s much, much too close to what is happening in these United States.

Then today, The Guardian posted this article: “No holds barred: Trump and his troops push for imperial presidency.”

It seems to me there’s only one solution: We Must Get Trump Out Of Office! For sure in the 2020 elections, but sooner if at all possible because things are getting downright scary.

 

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Image by Lynn Melchiori from Pixabay

A View of the U.S. From Across the Pond

One of my blogging friends (Filasofa) recently asked her followers who live outside of the U.S. to offer their insights on the myriad events occurring in our nation today. So far, she’s had three individuals respond to her request. In my opinion, the following one from Gary Metcalfe deserves a wider audience so I’m sharing it here as well.

Many of you may be followers of Jill’s blog and have already read Gary’s submittal. If not, I urge you to spend a few moments and read what he has to say. He shares what his country is dealing with and then goes on to compare it with what America is up against.

IMO, he paints a very accurate picture of our nation and its current “problems.”


IS YORKSHIRE CLOSER TO WASHINGTON OR PARIS

Geography doesn’t really come easily to a simple Yorkshire chap like myself. I’m lucky to find my way round the house never mind circumnavigate the globe.  But distance wise I am pretty sure we are closer to France than America. It has always puzzled me if I should call America – America or is it the USA? Let’s go for America. So, although we are physically closer to France, in terms of relationships are we closer to Washington or Paris?

This is such a difficult question given the fact that my own country has clearly gone barking mad. So badly divided over Brexit. Increasingly violent and seeing the worrying rise of extremism. Less tolerant. Without any effective leadership. Obsessed with the cult of personality over substance. A country with ever widening inequalities. Happy to criticise others yet reluctant to cooperate or make any meaningful international contribution.  Occasionally sending a few war planes into the Middle East does not really count as a constructive policy.

To be fair if Washington and Paris had any sense they would distance themselves from the UK. I suspect the leaders in Europe secretly can’t wait to get rid of us. When I worked for the NHS I went to a conference and the Secretary of State for Health started slagging off our European partners. He held up a European Competition Framework and complained that it was 300 pages long and was a clear sign of European bureaucracy gone mad. Unfortunately, he failed to mention that the vast majority of the bureaucracy in that document had been inserted at the request of the U.K. to protect our own interests. That document will be much slimmer when we have left.

Although we talk as if we are European we have historically seen our closest ally as America. America is often portrayed as vibrant, modern, yes a bit brash but also so very inclusive. Yes, we have seen things which make us shake our heads. The obsession with guns … what is all that about. Wouldn’t an obsession with something like Tea or Old Car Restoration be an awful lot safer for your kids. But still we could trust America. Then Obama came along and suddenly our closest ally became a real beacon of hope.

In 2011 the American President said a few simple words that resonated (he had a brilliant talent for that):

“We should do everything we can to ensure this country lives up to our children’s expectations”

 The words came at such a tragic time for the American People, but Obama was the leader we all wished we had. Intelligent, caring, passionate and someone who understood he had obligations to the upcoming generations. That’s a great look for country and certainly a friend we can work with.  Then the hope appeared to fade, stagnated by a divided country. Principles had to be compromised.  But still America was a trusted partner. Someone we could turn to when we fell out with Europe.

 Then we all got trumped.

 When Trump received his nomination it never really sunk in. We knew of him. A billionaire, a golfer, luxury hotel owner, someone who appeared in Home Alone 2 and the winner of the WWE Battle of the Billionaires with Vince McMahon – didn’t get his head shaved. That was it.

We didn’t focus on him too much as obviously Hillary would win, as obviously the UK would vote to stay in Europe. Then even after he won he wasn’t taken that seriously. He won’t last long, people started placing bets on how long he would be President. Most people seemed to think anywhere between 6 months to 1 week. But he stayed.

For the first period of his presidency it appeared from the U.K. that if you just ignored his frequent twitter rants then things would be ok. He hadn’t blown anything up. Apart from the noise nothing seemed to be happening. Yes, the revolving door approach to presidential appointments seemed vaguely amusing. Moving the White House engine room to a golf course (as clearly a golf course is where a President can do his best work) was not really a surprise. In fact, all we really heard was how much time he spent playing golf.  But slowly the news of the what trumping really meant started to filter across the pond.

  • Apparently dangerous links with Russia and certain Middle East tyrannies existed. But we couldn’t lecture on this as we have equally close links with Saudi Arabia.
  • The Paul Manafort saga (too confusing to really follow as we only heard about snippets of the story) but it clearly implied incompetence or something more sinister. Whatever the underlying cause it’s not a great example to the world of American Ethics.
  • The handling of the Puerto Rico natural disaster was just really insensitive, self-centered and despicable.
  • The apparent haste to fall out with your historic partners like Canada, France and Germany. But you have found a new buddy in North Korea.
  • He bizarrely started to openly condemn his own Intelligence Agencies and the FBI. Yet he didn’t seem as willing to condemn the Extreme Right operating in his own country.
  • The Complete disregard for international climate change commitments. It really felt like he was saying ‘stuff you’ to the world and future generations. Maybe he thinks it’s not my problem as I will be gone by the time the world burns. Contrast that with Obama’s approach. Monumentally stupid or colossally selfish.
  • Favouring the interest of the NRA over child safety. Seriously arming teachers….
  • Attacks on the Free Press and attempts to stifle debate. These are particularly worrying as some of our politicians are clearly starting to copy Trumps strategy. What happened to the Leader of the Free World role.
  • That Wall. That Magic Wall which will solve all of America’s problems. The Wall which is so precious that it’s worth freezing Government for. That must be some Wall. But the sight of a modern Leader seemingly taking personal delight at the shutdown. Probably thinks it makes him look like a big man. We are talking about people’s lives here being sacrificed for a few bricks.  Kids are dying on the border. Oh, I forgot they are just migrants. Are the golf courses still open?

To the vast majority in our country your President appears to be at best a misguided clown at worst a dangerously unbalanced self-obsessed bully. Either are not a good look for a leader and certainly not as a leader who we are trying to forge a partnership with. Many in our country feel that Trump has gone too far. That we should be distancing ourselves from him. But our PM is desperate, she sees an American trade deal (regardless of how bad it is) as a way of saving her job. So, unless we get a new government it’s going to happen.

Where does that leave us across the pond. Rapidly burning our bridges with Europe. Yet looking on at America with increasing consternation and alarm. At a time when we should be embracing closer links with Washington we see a dangerous superpower. Potentially a threat. Yes, a threat. And yet. And yet. As our country careens out of control into a world with few friends, our government views Trump as someone we might be able to quickly do business with. He clearly hates Europe as much as our Brexiteers. But at what cost. Is an unbalanced trade deal really worth further opening up our beloved National Health Service to Trump’s golfing buddies. Are we really that tainted as a country that we are prepared to sacrifice our moral principles for the price of a document which Trump could declare void at any stage.

So back to the big question. Are we closer to Washington or Paris? The answer is sadly neither.


What are your thoughts? Has he presented an accurate portrayal of our nation from “across the pond?”

Message to Trump Supporters

Courtesy of gq.com

First off, I’m going to assume you are an intelligent and well-read individual. I admit there are times this assumption goes awry as I read about your support for some of Trump’s actions, but that’s neither here nor there.

What concerns me are things like the obvious …

Trump came into the office of POTUS as a millionaire. Although it’s debatable how many millions, there’s little doubt he has a few bucks to his name. Many of you who went to the voting booths in November 2016 felt this made him a prime candidate for the office, believing he had “proven himself” as a successful businessman and would, therefore, have the “smarts” to run this country.

However, what you failed to realize is that most millionaires care little about the folks who are striving to pay the water and electricity bills and put food on the table. Their primary goal is to make MORE millions (along with helping their millionaire friends to do the same) … and they will do just about anything to accomplish this, legal or otherwise. (They long ago learned how to use the “otherwise” to their advantage.) Simply because Trump, as one of those millionaires, sits in the Oval Office does not change his outlook on accumulating wealth. He simply has to be a bit more discreet in his actions.

(Sidenote: Can anyone validate that he has kept his promise to give his salary to charitable causes?)

Further, many wealth-holders believe they are “above” people like you who are struggling to make ends meet. They tend to believe their bank accounts give them the privilege to do and say things that are often offensive, distasteful, derogatory, even abusive to and about people they don’t like. Trump has this particular trait honed to perfection. And what is sad is that you, as a supporter, tend to be swept up by this distasteful behavior and even join him as he castigates those he believes have spoken or acted against him — whether valid or not.

Being charged with an offense of any kind is unsettling to all of us, but it is especially unsettling when we know we are innocent. At first, we naturally object (sometimes vociferously), but eventually we recognize the end result will be to our favor so we allow events to play out. However, if we are guilty, we seem to feel the need to repeatedly “tell the world” we have done nothing wrong. It’s as though the proclamation of our self-imposed innocence will alter the end result. Your leader, Donald Trump, may or may not be guilty of working with the Russians to influence the 2016 election, but based on the preceding, one would think he would simply let things play out since he would know in his heart he is truly innocent. Yet it is more than obvious this is not what has taken place.

There are leaders of other countries that do not like the United States. While they may figuratively smile and nod at our Leader and/or his representatives, behind the scenes they are doing whatever is required to “take us down.” Yet your elected President seems oblivious to this and instead, praises and supports these adversaries and frequently takes their word against those within the administration who have served this country for far more years than he has and have considerably more in-depth knowledge. Do you honestly feel Donald Trump, with no more experience than building the “Trump Empire,” truly knows his opponents as well as he would like you to think?

Donald Trump once criticized his predecessor for playing too much golf. Are you aware of the number of weekends your chosen leader has spent on the golf course? Are you at all concerned with the COST of these leisurely trips? More importantly, do you recognize it is YOU that is footing the bill?

Obviously you were caught up in Trump’s campaign slogan and truly believed he would “Make America Great Again.” You do realize, don’t you, that YOU are part of the America he talked about. So the question becomes: Can you honestly say your life has improved over the last two years?

Donald Trump’s past is crammed full of unsavory deals and immoral actions, which causes me ask — what makes you think he’s changed? Perhaps his dalliances with other females has slowed down due to his age, but how do you know what is going on “behind the scenes” through his outside business dealings? He may say things are being run by his sons, but do you truly think he isn’t benefiting from their actions and decisions? And can you honestly believe he doesn’t know some of his current actions will bring a return when he leaves office?

I admit I have had trouble seeing Donald Trump as a man who truly cares about this country. For me, his actions have shown time and again that he is more concerned about himself than he is in AMERICA. Yes, most of my opinions of him are influenced by the news reports I tend to read. However, this does not mean I have ignored the sources that support the actions of this president, albeit it is difficult to accept their viewpoint when I can read the “tweets” of Trump himself that often contradict what they say.

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I am hereby inviting any Trump supporter to offer your opposing viewpoint. If you can state the reasons why you feel this man has this country’s welfare above and beyond his own personal agenda, I sincerely would like to hear from you.

However, let me be clear — I will delete any “rebuttal” comments that are derogatory and/or insulting.

Another “Donation” to the NRA

As many of you know, I occasionally come across articles, comments, news items, etc. in my daily readings that prompt me to write a post. The following Letter to the Editor was published in our local newspaper and most definitely fits the parameters. It’s in response to the most recent school shooting in Texas.

Do you think the parents of the dead Santa Fe children are proud to have donated their kid’s lives for the good of the NRA? Will they get a medal or a plaque to commemorate their child’s service? Will they stand proud with their hands over their hearts knowing that their child died so that Dana Loesch [spokesperson for the National Rifle Association] can go pump bullets through an AR-15 any darn time she feels like it?

If all congress members and Donald were required to walk through schools where mass shootings have just taken place, to see first hand the carnage and bullet riddled bodies, would they say that this was an acceptable amount of human sacrifice on the shrine of NRA privilege?

Too bad Donald didn’t “do everything in (his) power” before they got dead. Too bad his speech is all just words and he still won’t do a single thing in his power, even as he steps over their blood-spattered bodies on the way to his next campaign rally.