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Ethics, Shmethics ...

When a person is in a position of extreme responsibility and trust, and is no longer, due to situations beyond his control, able to perform his duties to the best of his ability, if he is a person of good conscience, he will resign his position.  850 more words

Political Commentary

Mr. Militant Negro reblogged this on The Militant Negro™ and commented:

ETHICS, SHMETHICS …

When a person is in a position of extreme responsibility and trust, and is no longer, due to situations beyond his control, able to perform his duties to the best of his ability, if he is a person of good conscience, he will resign his position.  That is exactly what Walter M. Shaub, Jr., head of the Office of Government Ethics, has done.  Although I am distressed by his resignation, I hail him as a man of honour, and quite honestly I would have done the same.  This move, however, speaks volumes about the lack of honesty and integrity in the White House, and it opens the door wide for even more abuses of power and greed than we have seen in the past six months. shaub-2“It’s hard for the United States to pursue international anticorruption and ethics initiatives when we’re not even keeping our own side of the street clean. It affects our credibility. I think we are pretty close to a laughingstock at this point. There isn’t much more I could accomplish at the Office of Government Ethics, given the current situation. O.G.E.’s recent experiences have made it clear that the ethics program needs to be strengthened.” The Office of Government Ethics (OGE), with a staff of only 70, is an advisory agency only and cannot enforce rules on ethics.  Since the November 2016 election, their advice has been largely disregarded.  For example, rather than divesting himself of his business interests, or placing them in a blind trust, Donald Trump simply transferred them to a trust run by his two oldest sons.  According to Shaub, this “doesn’t meet the standards that the best of his nominees are meeting and that every president in the past four decades has met. OGE is nonpartisan and does its work independently. Our goal—our reason for existing—is to guard the executive branch against conflicts of interest. We can’t risk creating the perception that government leaders would use their official positions for profit. The Office of Government Ethics was created in 1978 by the Ethics in Government Act, as a result of the Nixon Watergate scandal and the Saturday Night Massacre.  OGE is tasked with:
  • Establishing the executive branch standards of conduct;
  • Issuing rules and regulations interpreting the criminal conflict of interest restrictions;
  • Establishing the framework for the public and confidential financial disclosure systems for executive branch employees;
  • Developing training and education programs for use by executive branch ethics officials and employees;
  • Ensuring that individual agency ethics programs are functioning properly by setting the requirements for them, supporting them, and reviewing them.
As it is turning out, the scandals within the Trump administration are many, deep-rooted, wide-spread, and I firmly believe will far exceed those of Watergate.  And yet now the gatekeeper’s slot is empty and it will be up to Trump to appoint a new one.  That reeks of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse. Nixon-notacrook.gif Many these days, myself included, have made the comparison between Nixon and Trump, but Elizabeth Drew, author of the definitive Washington Journal: Reporting Watergate and Richard Nixon’s Downfall, says that comparison is unfair to Nixon.    She cites a number of reasons, starting with the fact that Nixon remained in office for five years, during which he had some major accomplishments, as compared to the chaos-engulfed Trump presidency that has not even been able to staff up, has no significant legislative wins to its name and is already, at just six months in as of this week, the most unpopular in seven decades. Nixon was smarter, she argues. He read books and cared about policy. According to Drew, while Watergate was a “constitutional crisis” that involved “a whole array of abuse of power, where they used the instruments of government against Nixon’s perceived enemies, the Trump investigation could yield even more serious abuse of power or failure to execute the office than the years’ worth of Nixon probes.” In addition, she cites differences in today’s political culture:
  • Politics was not as mean.
  • Congress still had the capacity to do things in a bipartisan fashion.
  • Republican moderates were not an endangered species.
  • Twitter hadn’t corrupted the news cycle of the political class—or the attention span of the president himself.
In just six long months, we have entered a new realm … a realm of alternative facts and alternative language.  It is a world where ‘no’ may mean ‘yes’, where ‘good’ and ‘bad’ are interchangeable, and in this alternative vocabulary, the words ‘ethics’, ‘honesty’, and ‘integrity’ no longer exist.  There is, if Congress and the American public do not wake up and demand action be taken against the destruction of the office of presidency, only one path where this decay, this hedonistic administration can lead us, and it is not the path of a democracy where leaders are held accountable for their actions. Walter Shaub has accepted a position with the Campaign Legal Center, a nonpartisan organization of election-law experts, where he hopes to “have more freedom to push for reform. I’ll also be broadening my focus to include ethics issues at all levels of government.”  I wish Mr. Shaub the very best and hope that he is able to make a difference for our nation, working from the outside, since his hands were tied while working from the inside.shaub-letter  

The Insult Wars

Has anyone else noticed the insult wars going on in the blogosphere as well among those that call themselves Washington insiders?  (that is rhetorical for you would have to be in a coma not to have noticed it) 579 more words

Politics

Mr. Militant Negro reblogged this on The Militant Negro™ and commented:

The Insult Wars

Has anyone else noticed the insult wars going on in the blogosphere as well among those that call themselves Washington insiders?  (that is rhetorical for you would have to be in a coma not to have noticed it) And as we get further and further into a Trump presidency it seems to be getting worse….. The insult wars are making life difficult on so many levels…… An interesting look at this situation on the site of Truthout.org……..
I don’t tweet, but I do have a brief message for our president: Will you please get the hell out of the way for a few minutes? You and your antics are blocking our view of the damn world and it’s a world we should be focusing on! Maybe it was the moment, more than a week ago, when I found myself reading Donald Trump’s double tweet aimed at MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski who, on Morning Joe, had suggested that the president might be “possibly unfit mentally.” “I heard,” the president tweeted, “poorly rated @Morning_Joespeaks badly of me (don’t watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came… to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year’s Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!”
Source: The Insult Wars in Washington: How They Prevent Us From Seeing Our Troubles We insult each other over ever little topic…..and the question can be asked have we gone beyond a point of no return?
Has corporate/billionaire control of our republic reached such a point that it’s no longer reversible? Have we passed the tipping point where democracy dies?

A few years back, on my radio show, President Jimmy Carter said that America, in large part because of Supreme Court decisions like Citizens United, has become “just an oligarchy, with unlimited political bribery.”

He’s right. It’s the elephant in the room that everybody, particularly our corporate media, completely ignores.

Source: Is America Past the Point of No Return? | Alternet

How will all this division turn out?

According to ex-GOP rep, MSNBC’s Scarborough….Trump is destroying the party….

MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough made headlines last week when the former GOP congressman announced he was leaving the Republican party. On Monday, he delivered a scathing op-ed in the Washington Post elaborating on why, with President Trump a prime target. In tandem with Trump, however, are Republican leaders who continue to stand by him as he embraces “autocratic thugs,” denounces the free press in ways that would make Stalin and Mao proud, and questions the bedrock principles of American checks and balances, writes Scarborough. And where is the GOP outrage over his campaign’s dealings with Russia? The party is “dying,” complains Scarborough, and he writes that he can no longer defend it.

“Trump’s Republicans have devolved into a party without a cause, dominated by a leader hopelessly ill-informed about the basics of conservatism, US history, and the Constitution,” he writes. With control of the White House and both houses of Congress, the GOP had a real chance this year to redeem itself, but has failed spectacularly. “The wreckage visited of this man will break the Republican Party into pieces—and lead to the election of independent thinkers no longer tethered to the tired dogmas of the polarized past,” he writes. At that point, “the two-party duopoly that has strangled American politics for almost two centuries will finally come to an end. And Washington just may begin to work again.” Click for his full column.

Can we ever return to what we once called “normal”?

The Insult Wars in Washington: How They Prevent Us From Seeing Our Troubles

Monday, July 10, 2017By Tom EngelhardtTomDispatch | Op-Ed
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I don't tweet, but I do have a brief message for our president: Will you please get the hell out of the way for a few minutes? You and your antics are blocking our view of the damn world and it's a world we should be focusing on! Maybe it was the moment, more than a week ago, when I found myself readingDonald Trump's double tweet aimed at MSNBC's Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski who, on Morning Joe, had suggested that the president might be "possibly unfit mentally." "I heard," the president tweeted, "poorly rated @Morning_Joe speaks badly of me (don't watch anymore). Then how come low I.Q. Crazy Mika, along with Psycho Joe, came... to Mar-a-Lago 3 nights in a row around New Year's Eve, and insisted on joining me. She was bleeding badly from a face-lift. I said no!" In response to Trump's eerie fascination with women's blood, Brzezinski tweeted a shot of the back of a Cheerios box that had the phrase "Made for Little Hands" on it. And so it all began, days of it, including the anti-cyber-bullying First Lady's rush (however indirectly) to her husband's side via her communications director who said, "As the First Lady has stated publicly in the past, when her husband gets attacked, he will punch back 10 times harder." But one tweet truly caught my attention, even if it was at the very beginning of a donnybrook that, with twists and turns, including claims of attempted White House blackmail over a National Enquirer article (and Trumpian rejoinders of every kind), would monopolize the headlines and fill the yak-o-sphere of cable TV for days. That tweet came from conservative idol Bill Kristol, editor at large for the Weekly Standard. It said: "Dear @realDonaldTrump, You are a pig. Sincerely, Bill Kristol." Blinded to Our Planet and Its Troubles Strange but at that moment another moment -- so distant it might as well have been from a different planet or, as indeed was the case, another century -- came to my mind. Donald Trump was still finishing his high school years at a military academyand I was a freshman at Yale. It would have been a weekend in the late spring of 1963. One of my roommates was a working-class kid from Detroit, more of a rarity at that elite all-male school than this New York Jew (in the years when Yale was just removing its Jewish quotas). And here was another rarity: we had a double date with two young women from a local New Haven Catholic college. That night, out of pure ignorance, we violated Yale's parietal hours -- a reality from another century that no one even knows about anymore. Those young women stayed in our rooms beyond the time the school considered... well, in that world of WASPs, kosher might not be the perfect word, but you get what I mean. Let me hasten to add that, in those forbidden minutes, I don't believe I even exchanged a kiss with my date. Note to readers: Be patient. Think of this as my version of a shaggy dog (or perhaps an over-combed Donald) tale. But rest assured that I haven't forgotten our Tweeter-in-Chief, not for a second. How could I? Anyway, the four of us left our room just as a campus cop was letting another student, who had locked himself out, back into his room opposite ours. When he saw us, he promptly demanded our names and recorded them in his notebook for violating parietal hours (which meant we were in genuine trouble). As he walked down the stairs, my roommate, probably a little drunk, leaned over the bannister and began shouting at him. More than half a century later, I have no memory of what exactly he yelled -- with the exception of a single word. As Bill Kristol did the other day with our president, he called that cop a "pig." Now, I wasn't a working-class kid. In the worst of times for my parents, the "golden" 1950s when my father was in debt and often out of work, I was already being groomed to move up the American class ladder. I was in spirit upper middle class in the fashion of that moment. I was polite to a T. I was a genuine good boy of that era. And good boys didn't imagine that, in real life, even with a couple of beers under your belt, anyone would ever call the campus version of a policeman, a "pig." I had never in my life heard such a thing. It simply wasn't the way you talked to the police then, or (until last week) the way you spoke to or of American presidents. Not even Donald Trump. In other words, when Kristol of all people did that, it shocked me. Which means, to my everlasting shame, that I must still be a good boy, even if now of a distinctly antediluvian sort. Mind you, within years of that incident, it had become a commonplace for activists of the left (though, I must admit, never me) to call the police -- the ones out in the streets hassling antiwar protesters, black activists, and others -- "pigs." Or rather "the pigs." So here's a question I'm now asking myself. If Kristol can do it with impunity, then why not Tom Engelhardt, 54 years later? Why not me all these years after American presidents green-lighted secret prisons and torture, invaded and occupied countries around the world; ordered death and mayhem without surcease; sent robotic assassins across the planet to execute, on their say-so alone, those they identified as terrorists or enemies (and anyone else in the vicinity, children included); helped uproot populations in numbers not seen since World War II; oversaw the creation of a global and domestic surveillance state the likes of which would have stunned the totalitarian rulers of the twentieth century; and pumped more money into the US military budget than the next eight major states spent combined, which of course is just to start down a long list? Under the circumstances, why not bring a barnyard animal to bear on the twenty-first-century presidency, the office that in its glory days decades ago used to be referred to as "the imperial presidency"? After all, as I've written before, Donald Trump is no anomaly in the Oval Office, even when, as with Scarborough and Brzezinski, he tweets and rants in a startlingly anomalous fashion for a president. He is instead a bizarre symptom of American decline, of the very thing he staked his presidential run on: the fact that this country is no longer "great." Of course, tactically speaking, engaging in name-calling with Donald Trump is essentially aiding and abetting his presidency (something the media does daily, even hourly). He and his advisers are of a schoolyard sticks-and-stones-will-break-my-bones-but-names-will-never-hurt-me mentality. As the Washington Post reportedrecently, they consider such insult wars a form of "winning" and a way to eternally engage the "fake news media" on grounds they consider advantageous, in a way that will endlessly stoke the president's still loyal base. To my mind, however, that's hardly the most essential problem with such language. I suspect that the tweets and insults -- whether Trump's, Scarborough's, or Kristol's -- act as a kind of smoke screen. In readership and viewership terms, of course, they're manna from heaven for the very "fake news media" Trump loves to hate. They're "wins" for them as well. In the process, however, the blood, the pigs, and all the rest of the package of Washington's insult wars help keep our eyes endlessly glued on the president and on next to nothing else in our world. They blind us to our planet and its troubles. Can there be any question that Donald Trump's greatest talent is his eternal ability to suck the air out of the media room? It was a skill he demonstrated in stunning fashion during the 2016 election campaign, accumulating an unprecedented $5 billion or so in free media coverage on his way to the White House. It's safe to say, I think, that never in history have so many cameras, so many reporters, and so many eyes been focused so never-endingly on one man. He looms larger than life, larger than anything in our screen-rich world. He essentially blocks the view, day and night. In that sense -- in the closest I've probably come to such an insult myself -- I recently labeled him our own "little big man." He's petty, small in so many ways, but he looms so large, tweet by bloody tweet, that it's hard to see the burning forest for the one flaming tree. The Overheated Present and an Overheating Future Take North Korea. On Friday, June 30th, when the Scarborough-Brzezinski brouhaha was going full blast, Trump met with the new South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, and the two of them spoke to the media in the White House Rose Garden, taking no questions. The president's comments on the Korean situation were strikingly grim and blunt. "The era of strategic patience with the North Korean regime," he said, "has failed. Frankly, that patience is over." He then added, "We have many options with respect to North Korea." As it happens, we know (or at least could know) a little about the nature of those "options." Only the day before, Trump's national security adviser, Lieutenant General H.R. McMaster, confirmed reports that a new set of options had indeed been prepared for the president. "What we have to do," he told a Washington think tank, "is prepare all options because the president has made clear to us that he will not accept a nuclear power in North Korea and a threat that can target the United States and target the American population." As McMaster himself made clear, "all options" included new military ones, assumedly for hitting the North and its nuclear program hard. Now keep in mind that, leaving its still modest but threatening nuclear arsenal aside, the conventional firepower the North Koreans have arrayed along their border with South Korea, aimed at that country's capital, Seoul, a city of 25 million only 30 miles away, is believed to be potentially devastating. Add to that the 28,500 US troops stationed in that country, most relatively close to the border, not to speak of 200,000 American civilians living there, and you undoubtedly have one of the most explosive spots on the planet. If hostilities broke out and spiraled out of control, as they might, countless people could die, nuclear weapons could indeed be used for the first time since 1945, and parts of Asia could be ravaged (including possibly areas of Japan). What a second Korean War might mean, in other words, is almost beyond imagining. At the Trump-Moon Rose Garden event, the president also announced sanctions against a Chinese bank linked to North Korea and a $1.4 billion arms sale to Taiwan, both clearly meant as slaps at the Chinese leadership. In other words, when it came to getting China's help on the Korean situation, Trump's strategic patience, ignited in early April at his Mar-a-Lago meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, seems to have worn out, too, in mere months. In this context, if you thought that the Trump-Scarborough-Brzezinski feud was a tinderbox, think again. But tell me, did you even notice the Korean news? If not, I'm hardly surprised. On that Saturday morning, my hometown paper, the New York Times -- you know, the all-the-news-that's-fit-to-print rag of record -- made "The Battle of 'Morning Joe': A Presidential Feud" its front page focal piece (with a carryover full page of coverage inside, including a second piece on the subject and that day's lead editorial, "Mr. Trump, Melting Under Criticism.") As for the Korean story, it made the bottom of page eight ("Trump Adopts a More Aggressive Stance with US Allies and Adversaries in Asia") and didn't even mention the president's "strategic patience" comments until its 16th paragraph. (There was also a page eight story on Trump's Chinese bank sanctions and arms deal with Taiwan.) And the Times was anything but atypical. Under the circumstances, you might be forgiven for thinking that the greatest story in our world (and its greatest danger) now lies in the Tweet-o-sphere. It took the first North Korean test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, carefully scheduled for July 4th, to break that country into the news in a noticeable way and even then Trump's tweets were at the center of the reportage. Similarly, if Trump and his antics didn't take up so much room in our present American world, it might be easier to take in so many other potential dangers on a planet where matches seem in good supply and the kindling prepared for burning. You could look to the Middle East, for example, and the quickly morphing war against ISIS, which could soon become a Trump administration-lit fire involving Turkey, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and even Russia, among other states and groups. Or you could look to the possible future passage of some version of a Republican health care bill and the more than 200,000 preventable deaths that are likely to result from it in the coming decade. Or you could focus on a president who has turned his back on the Paris climate agreement and is now plugging not just North American "energy independence" but full-scale "American energy dominance" on a planet on which he promises a new fossil-fueled "golden age for America." In such an age, with such a president -- if you'll excuse the word -- hogging the limelight, who's even thinking about the estimated 1.4 billion "climate-change refugees" who could be produced by 2060 as the world's lowlands flood? As a comparison, the 2016 figure on "forcibly displaced people" globally that set a post-World War II record, according to the U.N. refugee agency, is 65.6 million, a staggering number that would be but a drop in the bucket in our overheating future if those 2060 figures prove even close to accurate. A World of a Tweeter-in-Chief and "Some Stirred-Up Moslems" Donald Trump's recent tweets do make one thing clear: we've been on quite an American journey over the last four decades, one that in some ways could be thought of as a voyage from Brzezinski (Jimmy Carter's national security adviser, Zbigniew, who just died) to Brzezinski (Mika, his daughter). In a way, you might say that, back in 1979, Brzezinski, the father, first ushered us into a new global age of imperial conflict. He was, after all, significantly responsiblefor ensuring that the US would engage in a war in Afghanistan in order to give the Soviet Union its own Vietnam, or what Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev would later call its "bleeding wound." He launched what would become a giant CIA-organized, Saudi- and Pakistani-backed program for funding, training, and arming the most fundamental of Afghan fundamentalists, and other anti-Soviet jihadists, including a young Saudi by the name of Osama bin Laden. (President Ronald Reagan would later term those Afghan Islamist rebels "the moral equal of our Founding Fathers.") In doing so, Brzezinski set in motion a process that would drive an Islamic wedge deep into the heart of the Soviet Union and, after Soviet intervention in Afghanistan resulted in a disastrous decade-long war, would send the Red Army limping home in defeat, all of which would, in turn, play a role in the implosion of the Soviet Union. On this subject, he would be forever unrepentant. As he said in 1998, "What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the Cold War?" And as for those millions of Afghans who would end up dead, wounded, or uprooted from their homes and lives, well, really, who cared? We are now, of course, fully in that world and, as it happens, the US is still fighting a war in Afghanistan as the new administration gets ready to surge militarily there, perhaps for the fourth or fifth time since October 2001, and who's even paying attention? Who could with the latest presidential tweets headlining the news and all hands on deck in Washington for the insult wars? If, in 1978, you had predicted that, between 1979 and 2017, the US would twice find itself at war (for more than a quarter of a century so far) in, of all places, Afghanistan, and with no end to its Second Afghan War in sight, any American would have laughed you out of the room. And if you had tried to explain that, almost 40 years in the future, a billionaire president, literally a casino capitalist, would be running the White House as an adjunct to his family business and sending out bizarre messages about the daughter of Zbigniew Brzezinski, which would functionally be the news of that moment, you would surely have been institutionalized. A media obsessed with the travails of Zbigniew Brzezinski's daughter Mika at the fervently tweeting hands of President Donald J. Trump? Who woulda thunk it? Make America great again? You must be kidding.

Judge Watson Takes On Da Trumpeter -- Round #2

What constitutes a ‘bona fide’ relationship?  Apparently not a grandparent, at least in the eyes of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions.

On Monday, 26 June, the Supreme Court decided to allow parts of the Trump administration’s revised travel ban to move forward, while also imposing certain limits, as the court prepares to hear arguments in October on the scope of presidential power over border security and immigration. 867 more words

Political Commentary

Mr. Militant Negro reblogged this on The Militant Negro™ and commented:

JUDGE WATSON TAKES ON DA TRUMPETER — ROUND #2

What constitutes a ‘bona fide’ relationship?  Apparently not a grandparent, at least in the eyes of Donald Trump and Jeff Sessions. supreme-court-2017.jpgOn Monday, 26 June, the Supreme Court decided to allow parts of the Trump administration’s revised travel ban to move forward, while also imposing certain limits, as the court prepares to hear arguments in October on the scope of presidential power over border security and immigration. The court said the ban could not be imposed on anyone who had “a credible claim of a bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.” However, the court failed to define ‘bona fide’, leaving the door open for the administration to write its own definition. It did, and on 28 June, the administration issued new guidelines that defined ‘close family’ as a parent (including parent-in-law), spouse, child, adult son or daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sibling, whether whole or half. It excluded “grandparents, grandchildren, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, brothers-in-laws and sisters-in-law, fiancés and any other ‘extended’ family members.” And Donald Trump was happy … very, very happy.
Judge-Watson

Judge Derrick Watson

However, on Thursday, 13 July, federal Judge Derrick Watson in Hawaii ruled that the ban should not prevent grandparents and other close relatives of residents from entering the United States. He further declared that refugees with ties to a resettlement agency that was committed to receiving them had a relationship that made them eligible to enter the country. “Common sense, for instance, dictates that close family members be defined to include grandparents. Indeed, grandparents are the epitome of close family members. The government’s definition excludes them. That simply cannot be.” And as regards refugees working through a resettlement agency … “An assurance from a United States refugee resettlement agency, in fact, meets each of the Supreme Court’s touchstones. It is formal, it is a documented contract, it is binding, it triggers responsibilities and obligations, including compensation, it is issued specific to an individual refugee only when that refugee has been approved for entry by the Department of Homeland Security.” Needless to say, Attorney General Jeff Sessions was not pleased …
sessions

Jeffrey Beauregard Sessions

“Once again, we are faced with a situation in which a single Federal District Court has undertaken by a nationwide injunction to micromanage decisions of the coequal executive branch related to our national security. The Supreme Court has had to correct this lower court once, and we will now reluctantly return directly to the Supreme Court to again vindicate the rule of law and the executive branch’s duty to protect the nation. By this decision, the district court has improperly substituted its policy preferences for the national security judgments of the Executive branch in a time of grave threats, defying both the lawful prerogatives of the Executive Branch and the directive of the Supreme Court.” And he wasted no time.  On Friday evening the Justice Department appealed to the Supreme Court to overturn Judge Watson’s ruling, arguing that Judge Watson’s interpretation “empties the Court’s decision of meaning,” because it includes “not just ‘close’ family members, but virtually all family members.” On Saturday morning, the Supreme Court filed a motion calling for the Hawaii court to respond to the Trump administration’s request by noon on Tuesday. Interestingly, I found not a single tweet from Trump himself this time.  Of course, he was in France on Thursday when the good judge made his ruling, and then when he returned home on Friday he went to the U.S. Women’s Open, so perhaps he is otherwise occupied. It should be noted that Judge Watson is the same judge who went against Trump in mid-March, just hours before the 2nd travel ban was set to begin, by issuing a nationwide temporary block to the revised travel ban.  Judge Watson is a man who stands behind his convictions and does not allow himself to be bullied.  I give him a ‘hats off’ for that!  doffing-hat Sessions and Trump make much of the fact that this ban, which primarily affects Muslims, is necessary to keep the nation safe. The reality is that we do not need to ban refugees from the United States to keep our country safe.  Almost every incident of mass murder, or ‘terrorism’ in the U.S. since 11 September 2001 has been committed by U.S. citizens.  The refugees who enter this country are families … mothers & fathers bringing their children to a country where they hope they can be safe.  Banning them does not keep us safe, and if the administration in Washington is too ignorant to see this, then they need to be replaced with people who have humanitarian values. When the administration sees a terrorist behind every tree, in every grandparent, then they have become paranoid and need to step aside and let some people who listen to facts and make decisions based on those facts and common sense rule the roost. muslim-memeThere is a reason the travel ban has been controversial from the outset.  It discriminates based on religion and it would deny sanctuary to those who are most in need.  The supporters of the ban are of the notion that they wish to “make America white again”, and they have bought into Trump’s rhetoric that Muslims are all evil, all terrorists, all looking for the means to destroy the U.S.  Nothing could be further from the truth.  I imagine the Supreme Court will, by the end of next week, overrule Judge Watson’s ruling, and that is sad, for it is in direct opposition to the very values on which this nation was founded.

Steve Bannon (the real president of the US) and his playbook...

© Chuck Duboff

Tell people the same lie, over and over and over….and rationale thought will go by the way side…the gullible, the uneducated, the closed minded will fall prey to the crazy lies of a President like Donald Trump….thus we see the coming to public life of groups like the KKK and neo-Nazi groups.

Opinion

Perspectives: Cape Cod Times -- Crowd mentality

Robert Reich reacts to a Cape Cod Times editorial expressing shock that four teenagers had sex in the waters off Mayflower Beach, and that a crowd gathered around to cheer them on, chanting “USA, USA,” by relating it to how we normalize behavior through examples not only set via social media but by Donald Trump, the President of the United States. 8 more words

Opinion