Archive | November 2016

Depend on humanity for peace not anyone else

Donald Trump’s ascendency to the White House no doubt stunned not just the USA but the entire world. Do not expect him to lead us to peace. In fact, do not expect any American president to bring about peace. It’s not in our economic interests nor has it ever been. The economic livelihoods for millions of Americans depend on churning out weapons of mass destruction for the mammoth and highly profitable defense industry. Thousands of investors swim in wealth due to the manufacture and sale of lethal weapons like bombs, attack helicopters, guns, planes, tanks, jeeps, etc. We sell our deadly product to just about any country willing to cough up the money to pay, even if it causes national debt or internal problems.

The world is at a crucial tipping point. We’ve destroyed nation after nation only to rebuild again and again. Take Europe as an example. Europeans twice trashed their continent and then rebuilt it. The USA incinerated Japan in 1945 then aided in its rebirth. We did a notable job destroying much of Viet Nam, Laos and Cambodia during the 1960s. The Cambodians, through the Khmer Rouge, decided to wreck their country again in the 1970s. There have been numerous instances in South America, Central America, the Balkans, the Middle East, and Africa of similar destruction and rebuilding. What’s the point of killing and maiming millions of innocent men, women and children not to mention animals and the environment? Haven’t enough people suffered and died as a result of foolishness, some in the most brutal, horrific ways? Man has been at war practically since the beginning of time. Isn’t time we stop? In 1945 the Manhattan Project demonstrated the frightening destructive power of a nuclear weapon with twin bombings on Japanese cities. To think we can win a nuclear war is pure folly. It will be the end of all mankind.

Look around you, wherever you live. The world is a beautiful, magnificent place made up of cascading rivers full of fish, snow-capped mountains jutting into the sky, sandy clean beaches, and clever, creative people who contribute art, science, literature, medicine, sports and so much more to our world. We are blessed with families, friends, and neighbors who we love. There are endless riches around the world. Enough already has been ruined, destroyed, and laid to waste because of hatred, greed, arrogance and refusal to get alone.

God blessed us with a wonderful planet, a fantastic place to live. We can either continue to ruin it or start to save it. While we bicker and battle with one another, Mother Nature showed her anger. She is mad that we have ignored signs of her sickness. For years we polluted her without regard to her fragility. Now, Mother Nature is lashing out with melting polar ice caps, monstrous storms, droughts, wild fires and coastal flooding. She is unhappy with us.

So what can we do? Is there hope? Who will lead us into the future?

Don’t expect much from the top, that’s for sure, of most nations. Humans cause war and humans can end war. Wars are ugly, wars are destructive, and wars kill. Keep hope and faith alive. Put the arms makers out of business. There was a march for unity in Iraq against the violence and destruction caused by the militants. In Israel recently, women marched together for peace, both Israeli and Palestinian. Power to the peaceful I say. There is power in numbers. Show up to save the planet. It’s our home to save or to lose. Keep hope alive. Don’t let war or hatred win. It’s up to us, wherever we live and whoever you are. There is a verse in the Quran, Surah 5, that says God loves those who do good. Let’s start doing good to end hate.

 

 

 

A Thanksgiving Story

Oh so many years ago, I often volunteered for local animal rescue groups/shelters during the annual Christmas pet photo sessions at PetSmart, the national pet food chain. Because sitting comes so easily for me, I wore the Santa Claus outfit, including the scratchy beard and wig. PetSmart provided the film and the frame, splitting the $10.00 cost to the pet owner with each rescue group. Nearly all pet owners showed up with tail wagging dogs, some dressed in bright red and green collars for the holiday season. Occasionally, a cat owner showed up with an anxious feline not so eager to be around dogs. I once posed with a squirming white rat. That was somebody’s pet. One weekend as we sat waiting for customers, a young couple showed up with a turkey in tow. I cocked my head to the side as I glanced down at their pet. A turkey? That was a first. The couple had purchased the bird a week before Thanksgiving for the big dinner. When it came time for the slaughter, the husband backed down saying to his wife, “I don’t have the heart, you kill it.” The wife shrieked and said, “No, don’t make me, I can’t do it either.” So they drove to Costco, bought a frozen bird and aptly named the turkey ‘Tom.’ He became their pet. When the husband noticed a sign in a PetSmart window for the pet photos, they opted for a picture with Tom. Dressed as Santa, I posed with Tom who was quite cooperative. The couple smiled and they left with their pet photo. I hope Tom had a good life after his pardon from ending up on the dinner table. I always enjoyed volunteering for pet photos because as a shelter volunteer, I often witnessed horrific animal cruelty, overcrowded conditions, and indifferent pet owners. At photo sessions, I was surrounded by owners who genuinely cared for their pets, including Tom the turkey. Happy Thanksgiving to all.

The backpedaling of Donald Trump begins

On the long road to the White House, President-elect Donald Trump coughed up dozens of promises to the American people. Today, I will mention just one. The Affordable Health Care Act will be gutted. We don’t need it folks, he said. It was a disaster. That was the first campaign promise it seems he broke. The turn-around was reported today. Now he softened his approach and he may just not push to repeal the Act after all. Why the change? Perhaps Mr. Trump realizes that he alone as president cannot undo an act of Congress that was signed into law. This is government Mr. Trump, not private business. The Founding Fathers wrote a constitution where one branch of government cannot become too powerful. Secondly, if a repeal did eventually happen, what will the Republican party replace the Affordable Care Act with? I haven’t heard any suggestions at all. Millions of Americans would be stranded and left without insurance. Does the GOP even care? They didn’t before so that’s why the Democrats acted and came up with the Affordable Care Act. The act had its flaws but at least it was an attempt to address the fact that millions of working Americans were without health insurance. At one time I was one of the Americans, gainfully employed but without insurance. The job I held at the time did not offer insurance. I searched for an affordable plan but could not find one. I went without and then a car ran me over in 1994. Car insurance eventually paid for the numerous hospital bills because I could not. Mr. Trump reached office by feeding into voter fear, anger and frustration and he blamed everything on Mexicans, Muslims, Blacks, gays, women, etc. He stirred up rage and unleashed a frightening fury that simmers by the day. It is disappointing as well as disheartening that Mr. Trump has remained silent. He has not spoken out against the growing violence in the USA that he caused. What does that say about the president-elect of the USA and the people who elected him?

Donald Trump’s empty promises

Donald Trump campaigned on a number of empty promises and outright lies to win the election. Here’s one of them. On a visit to a border state, Laredo, TX, Trump bragged that he would deport the 30-34 million illegals. When asked where he got those numbers from, he said that’s what he’s been hearing. He heard wrong. It sounds to me like he made up the numbers to appeal to his bigoted base of followers. Noted think tanks that study immigration, such as the Pew Center and the Center for Migration Studies, said there is no way the number can be that high. Trump shrugged off the experts and vowed to round up all the undocumented men, women and children. He would hire busses and deport them. But to where? I laugh at his stupidity as well as arrogance because only half of the unauthorized immigrants living in the USA are from Mexico. In fact, according to migration studies, more Mexicans return home and fewer try to enter the USA. Why? Economic conditions are improving in Mexico. There are stricter controls in place at the border. Employment in the USA requires verifiable documentation. Where do the other unauthorized immigrants come from? They hail from all over the world including Canada. They are from sub-Saharan Africa, Europe, South America, Asia, you name it. There is simply no way to even find all these people. Can you think of a way? I cannot. Trump sold the American people on a lie and a promise he simply cannot fulfill. There are not 30 to 34 million unauthorized immigrants living in the USA. He will not hire thousands of buses to deport them to who knows where. He can prove to be a smart, pragmatic president however, by calling for comprehensive immigration reform, something the USA hasn’t had since the Reagan years of the 1980s. The USA sorely needs immigration reform. If Trump can rally both sides of Congress to pass meaningful immigration reform that will be a huge boost for business, which relies heavily on immigrant labor. Trump himself should know this. His hotels could not survive without immigrant workers who work as porters, cooks and housekeepers. The produce and meat packing industries would grind to a halt without immigrant labor. Americans are simply not interested in picking grapes or working in slaughter houses. There is no reason to ignore comprehensive immigration reform unless prejudice, ignorance or stupidity stand in the way as they have for way too long. Lastly, recall if you will, the USA was built on immigrant labor. The USA was built on slave labor. The USA was built on stolen land taken from the Indians who lived here first. Chill out about immigrants but at least know the truth about them. We were all immigrants once. As for Trump, he can be a leader or he can continue to be a bombastic buffoon. We shall soon see what his presidency will be about. The USA or himself.

Making sense of a Trump win

The pollsters and the political pundits assured us of a Hillary Clinton win right up until Election Day. One headline boldly announced a near certainty of a Clinton win. Feeling energized and pumped up, I felt that we’d see or hear no more from the bombastic, belligerent and buffoon Donald Trump. Wrong. On election night, I sat at the Tempe mosque in shock and disbelief watching the red numbers pile up, state after state. I finally said to my friend let’s go home, I cannot take any more of the bloodbath. That night, sleep barely came. I fretted not just for my country but for the fate of the world. I finally got out of bed around 3 a.m. turned on my computer and wept at the headlines of a Trump win. How could the nation elect a man who is totally unfit to be leader of the free world? My fellow Americans elected a man who promotes hatred, who smiled about groping women, who cheated workers out of rightfully earned money, who insulted the Pope, who wanted Muslims to register, just as Hitler forced Jews to register during WWII times, a man who denigrated Mexicans, a man who bullies people with impunity and a man with the lowest personal values. I am stunned that he will be the 45th president of the USA. Others who follow my Facebook page tell me to grin and bear it, accept it, and get over it. Why should I? Would the American public have tolerated such crude and uncivil behavior from a man of color running for president? Absolutely not. I heard an evangelical pastor on NPR asked why he accepted Donald Trump’s uncivil behavior towards women. The pastor said he was willing to overlook such blunders because he’s a man, men make mistakes. Jesus forgave and so should we. I doubt the good pastor would be so willing to forgive a Black man for the same disgusting behavior. In fact, Congress was unwilling for the past eight years to work with our president, derailing his policies and programs every step of the way. Now the same Congress asks us to work with Donald Trump. Why I ask when they showed no respect for Mr. Obama? Of course it would benefit the American public but why wasn’t it OK when he was president? Why now is it OK? Mr. Obama never ridiculed Muslims, Mexicans, disabled, LGBT, women, or anyone else in the same savage way that Donald Trump has. Is there a bright spot to a Trump presidency? I’m waiting for it but so far I don’t see one. I’ve read through a list of his candidates he proposes for public office and it makes me sick to my stomach. You should be too if you have a conscience and care about the USA.

More to come tomorrow.

 

I weep for America

I weep for America and so should you, wherever you live. Next week’s election results, if Donald Trump should somehow win (dear God in heaven I hope he doesn’t) will impact the entire world, not just the USA. I shed a tear that some my fellow Americans are in favor of a bigot, failed business man, misogynist and an egotistical, self-centered maniac rather a proven candidate with solid credentials. I weep that at least some in America have fallen for his toxic mix of lies, fallacies and worthless junk that he’s fed the nation for the past year. I weep that America is so blinded by bigotry and hatred that they would rather have a sexual pervert who boasts of groping women as the next president than a former senator and secretary of state. I week for America that she cannot lift her head up proudly and shake off this sadistic spell we’ve been under. I weep because some people I know intend to vote for Trump, mistakenly believing he will make America great again. I weep because they are so shallow and mean spirited, refusing to see that America is already great. I weep because with Trump at the helm America will turn into a nation with the cheapest values, a wrecked economy, a bombastic fool representing us, and the end of our current prosperity. I weep because Americans are so incredibly mindless and stupid to vote for Trump. I don’t weep however because I lost some of them as friends. With personal values reflective of Donald Trump, I’m glad you’re no longer in my life.

Vote on Tuesday, November 8th for Hillary Clinton, the only candidate with a chance to beat him.