The time to start talking about gun violence is now.

I am going to go ahead and politicize this.

Today there was another senseless act of gun violence, where more than 20 people were murdered when an armed man walked into their church and began firing. This being in Texas, you would think there would be a least one good guy with a gun who could had put a stop to it, but no, it just didn’t work out that way…again.

So I am wondering if Trump and his Republican Party, who are so hell bent on keeping Americans safe, can hurry up and get their boatloads of thoughts and prayers out of the way, so we can have a real discussion about our gun problem in America.

Next time this happens, it might be your own family caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. The longer we continue to kick this can down the road, the more of a reality that scenario is going to become for each of us.

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How to stand up to hate.

The first thing decent Americans should do to stand up to hate is; stop normalizing them by giving them a platform on national TV.  Just don’t do it.  These are fringe groups, that do not deserve to be allowed into our homes for any reason.  Merely report on their activities, but do not invite them onto your show to share their thoughts.

There are two ways to approach actual racist individuals.

Try to win them over with kindness.

Show them that the people they hate so much are really not the evil subhumans they envisioned. That they are actually good decent human beings who are not so different from themselves and would be welcoming with open arms and a good friend.
Keep in mind, many people drawn into white supremacist groups were loners as children. They latched onto anyone who showed them a little kindness. These are the kind of people who are ripe for the plucking by white supremacist leaders, who woe them with respect and kindness, and become the only friends this individual ever had. Why would he want to give that up and go back to being a loner with no friends? That is where we have to show him that we will be his friend and he will not be alone, and we will actually be a better, and more positive influence in his life.

Beat them down until they crawl back under the rocks from which they slithered.

Unfortunately, some of these people just can’t be budged. Their hateful bias is so deeply embedded into their brains, that no amount of rationalization or exposure to the beauty of diversity will move them.
These are the leaders of the supremacist groups. They are the ones actively trolling for fresh recruits for whom they can exploit and corrupt.
These are the ones we want to stand up to and loudly oppose at every opportunity. We want to clearly show them how unpopular and disliked their views are, so that their followers and potential recruits can get that message as well.
When we drown them out every time they try to speak, their followers will see that as weakness, and nobody wants to follow weak people. Then the unbudgable leaders of the white supremacist group will have no choice but to retreat back to the confines of their safe echo chamber spaces, where they can continue preaching to the choir, but not actually have the opportunity to spread their hate.

There needs to be a large call to action for social media networks and website hosts to enforce their policies against hate speech, and stop giving these groups a platform on the internet. Google can also be motivated to delist these websites from the search results. These measures will go a long way in forcing these hate groups back underground where they belong.

When i watched the videos and looked at the pictures of the Neo-Nazis marching in Charlottesville, a city I called home for several years, it churned my stomach and broke my heart. Some of the kindest people I know live in that city and I imagine they are heart broken right now by what has happened and is happening. Lets do what we can to make sure nobody else is hurt by these hate groups.

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Thanks to Trump.

It is worth pointing out one beautiful thing that has been happening because of Trump; all the good and decent people of America have been coming together to defy him and do the right thing. Last night, while most of us were sleeping, four massive statues depicting the confederate traitors were removed in Baltimore, Maryland.
I know some will argue that this is an attempt to rewrite history. All I can say is, if you get your history from staring at a statue, you really ought to try cracking a book. It is a whole other experience.

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Trump supporters, white supremacists are part of YOUR club.

I lived and worked in Charlottesville for several years, until 2011. When I learned what happened there yesterday, I was saddened and angry. This is not who the people of Charlottesville are. The Governor is correct in his assertion that these white supremacists are outsiders, who do not reflect the values of the citizens of Charlottesville.

These white supremacists made the trek from other states into Charlottesville for no reason other than to spread bigotry and cause chaos. They waved their stupid confederate flags to highlight their belief that African Americans are inferior. They waved their stupid Nazi flags to highlight their belief that Jews are inferior. They waved their stupid AR-15 rifles to hide the fact that they are insecure with their masculinity, or lack thereof. This is not how men behave, this is how cowards behave.

To anyone who voted for and continues to defend Donald Trump, you should recognize that these stupid, arrogant, hate mongering racists are part of YOUR club, and you are who you surround yourself with. If you don’t like that label, then distance yourself from it by strongly rebuking the one guy who has been emboldening the alt-right since his birther movement.

Don’t give me that nonsense about how you think liberals incited the violence or how liberals are the real racists. You are the one standing up for the people waving the Nazi and confederate flags, some dressed in white sheets and pointy hats. I think you know exactly what those symbols represent. If you continue to defend that side, then you deserve to wear the same label they are wearing….RACIST.

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Do we want a President Pence? Hell no, but….

If Donald Trump is impeached, millions throughout the nation will rejoice.  Finally the orange haired buffoon will be reduced to tweeting from the comfort of his own home and not on the tax payer’s dime.  Finally we can begin to rebuild our image in the eyes of the world after an embarrassing Trump presidency.  But what happens when Vice President Mike Pence succeeds Donald Trump? Would this be good or bad for America?

Trump, as the head of the Republican Party and its standard bearer is effectively dragging the party down with him.  There is so much infighting between republicans on Capitol Hill that they have consistently failed at almost every attempt to pass major legislation, further cementing the belief in the minds of millions that the GOP is ineffective and incapable of making progress for the betterment of the United States of America.  Surely a President Pence will be able to repair that image and pull the GOP out of the gutter to reestablish the Grand Ole Party to a status comparable to its glory days with presidents such as Dwight Eisenhower or Ronald Reagan.

The definition of “Conservatism” is; Resistant to change, or as I prefer to describe it; “Afraid of change”.  When you really think about it, just about everything on the republican platform is about imposing their will on people whom they consider to be wrong, lesser than or different, by way of their sexual orientation, religious beliefs or lack thereof, or even the color of their skin.   Having a President Mike Pence and a drama free White House would be a dream come true for the GOP Congress as they attempt to push through more of their conservative agenda, something liberals had been fighting to prevent for years.

If Donald Trump continues to divide his party with his personal attacks on members of his cabinet or on GOP members of Congress, there is likely to come a point when they realize the only way for them to save face and possibly secure their chances of being reelected is to seek to impeach him themselves and let a President Mike Pence resume the duties of the Commander in Chief.  This scenario seems more likely with every outrageous Trump outburst that GOP Congress men and women are becoming weary of defending.

Many very anti-Trump activists caution against rushing to replace Trump with Pence, as that would mean a much tamer republican, whom GOP members of Congress would have less conflicts, will be sitting in the White House.  It is well known that Vice President Mike Pence harbors many extremist views, mostly based in his evangelical Christian beliefs and given the opportunity there is little doubt that he will focus much of his effort on depriving civil liberties from those U.S. citizens who make him uncomfortable.

So with that perspective in mind, maybe we should stop talking about impeachment altogether.  Maybe we really are better off at the moment with an incompetent president who continues to alienate key members of his own party, rendering the passage of their agenda practically hopeless.  When the midterm elections are over, democrats should have regained control of Congress and everything will be safe and sound then.

However, if Trump is impeached prior to the 2018 midterm elections, by the republican controlled Congress, the already very divided party will be shattered beyond repair.  This would not only save the nation from their backwards agenda, it would also guarantee that most, if not all republican seats will be lost in upcoming elections.  So even if Vice President Mike Pence succeeds ousted Donald Trump in the Oval Office, his hands will be tied from doing anything of significance after 2018, as will the rest of the republican senators and representatives.

For that reason, I feel that the impeachment of Donald Trump would be the best case scenario for the United States in the long run, as it will have long lasting effects in pushing the Republican Party out of our political theater and making way for more progressive forward thinking parties with an eye on the future development of the United States.

 

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U.S. Senate just voted overwhelmingly to limit President Trump’s powers and I am ecstatic.

There was a time when I could disagree with a Republican, but still respect the person. Then along came Donald Trump and exposed the GOP for being a bunch of a spineless cowards, afraid to stand up for what is good and decent.  I could feel that respect eroding more and more.

Finally when Trump was inaugurated as the 45th President the United States, I felt zero respect for any members of the GOP who regularly enable him, and I still struggle to feel any respect for any supporter of their agenda as they try to justify their position with illogical and irrational viewpoints.

However, I just finished reading an article on the Washington Post about how the Republican controlled Senate just voted overwhelmingly (97 – 2) to restrict Donald Trump’s powers to lift the sanctions imposed by Former President Barack Obama on Russia.  Now Trump, whom has been hinting at allowing ousted Russian officials to return to their compounds on U.S. soil after Obama ejected them last December for espionage activities against us, can not make that decision, only Congress can.

I am feeling giddy as the realization sets in that Trump just got majorly burned by his own party.  If this had been a move by a Democratic controlled Senate it would not carry nearly the significance as it carries under these circumstances.

One of the beauties of the American system of government is that when the President is unhinged or incompetent Congress can step up and run the show.  If Republicans keep this up, my giddiness might even turn into respect again.

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The Shooting at Congressional Baseball Practice – It’s time to get real.

This morning a man with a rifle opened fire on several members of Congress as they practiced for an upcoming charity baseball game intended to raise money for local boys and girls clubs throughout the nation.

After overcoming my initial shock and sadness of the incident, I began to ponder who might be behind it.  I felt convinced that it was not an act of international terrorism from the likes of ISIS or Al Qaeda.  I knew it had to be a domestic act, but by who?  I had many theories on who might be behind this event of extremism, but first, like many others, I am guilty of some knee jerk reacting, where I drew some conclusions that turned out to be inaccurate.

In the earliest reports it was revealed that shooter was a white male and that he had been subdued, and that he was in custody.  To me, that sounded as if he had been wrestled to the ground and arrested without further incident, and was escorted in the back of a police cruiser to jail where he would be interrogated.  A feeling of anger began to boil up in me.  My first thoughts were; “Another white man shoots people and is arrested without incident.  If he had been a man of color he would be shot dead immediately.  Maybe they didn’t ‘Fear for their lives?'”.

I am one of those people who has a real problem with hypocrisy and the so called white privilege.  I believe our only chance of ever achieving a peaceful society is if all people are regarded with respect and to stop dividing ourselves by trivial things; such as skin color or religious beliefs. When there has been so many incidents of unarmed black men being gunned down for not “following commands”, I became more than a little teed off at the perception that a white man shot members of  Congress and two capitol police agents, and was taken alive.

However, my initial reaction appears to be out of line, as President Trump announced that the shooter had died of wounds sustained from the return fire by the capitol agents in charge of protecting the higher ranking members of the Senate.  Even though this account of the events has not been confirmed by the police at the time of writing and Trump likely announced it prematurely, it appears to be true.

Now that we have gotten my initial and emotional reaction out of the way, lets go over the theories I had on what may had motivated the shooter and what it turned out to actually be.  Then I would like to go over what I think we should accomplish from here.

SCENARIO 1 – The Shooter is a Trump Supporter.  He sees how the Republicans of Congress are not backing Donald Trump 100%. With the likes of Senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham often challenging the president and criticizing his more controversial behavior, he becomes embroiled and believes it’s his duty as a loyal Trump supporter to set them straight.

SCENARIO 2 – The shooter voted for Trump.  He may or may not had been an actual supporter, but he fell for the rhetoric that Trump would see to it that all the little people in America would be taken care of.  Now with the Senate working on a cold and heartless health care bill,  that the president and members of the House celebrated a month ago, he feels let down and angry.  He decided to express that anger in the most extreme way.

SCENARIO 3 – The shooter is a parent of a victim or a survivor of the many mass shootings of recent years.  He is frustrated by how little regard the Republican Party gives the issue of gun violence.  He decides to take matters into his own hands and show them just how serious an issue it is, daring them to ignore it now.

SCENARIO 4 – The shooter is a Democrat.  He is angry about the loss to Donald Trump in the 2016 General Election, and his anger has been building over the last six months with each insult to our country by Trump. He is possibly embroiled by Bernie Sanders’ recent warning that we are headed towards and autocracy system of government and that the Republicans are enabling it.  He decides he has had enough and takes matters into his own hands.

All the latest reports suggest that it is indeed scenario number 4, as the shooter’s Facebook page indicates that he was a loyal Bernie Sanders’ supporter and even volunteered on the campaign trail.  His Facebook page also contained some strong anti-Trump and Anti-GOP rhetoric.

I would like to point out to anyone who may hail this shooter as a hero that he did not do anyone any favors.  For the last year, rightwingers had been trying to paint liberals as the violent ones with mental problems.  The shooter only gave them more evidence to back up their claims, although ignorant and inaccurate, you can rest assured they will use it.

This incident did nothing to help our efforts in removing the Trump administration or winning the upcoming midterm election.  The shooter’s motive was completely self serving and may be used against liberals.  He only made things 10 times worse.  I condemn him with the strongest words and you should too.  Violence is never the answer.

Since the story broke, Republicans in all branches have come out to express their feelings on the attack. Every one of them has said they are praying for the victims and then praised the heroics of the capital police agents for subduing him before he was able to kill or wound more people.  All of that praise and prayer is fine, but at the end of the day will any one of these Republicans address the problem at hand, that led to this horrific incident, or will they just brush it aside as they so often do and carry on as usual?

My hope is; after they have witnessed it first hand and seen the potentially devastating effects of such an attack to their own friends and colleagues, that they will return to Congress tomorrow to seriously discuss the issue of gun violence that is facing our nation today, and work alongside the Democrats to find a solution to that problem. Never mind the hypocrisy of how they barely acknowledge it when it happens to someone else, the important thing is that they get on the right page now.

We can only hope, but after today, no Republican lawmaker of sound mind can just brush it off as a non-issue.

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Remember when Bill Clinton was impeached for lying while NOT under oath?

Way back in the late 1990’s, a juicy sex scandal involving former President William Jefferson Clinton and his young 22 year old intern Monica Lewinsky was one of the most talked about topics of the decade, coming close second to the infamous O.J. Simpson murder trial. This political soap opera eventually led to the investigation by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr and the U.S. House of Representatives voting to impeach President Clinton.  Luckily for him, the U.S. Senate voted to allow him to finish his term.  Today, we are witnessing another political crisis, where members of current President Donald J. Trump’s campaign and cabinet are being investigated for ties to Russia.

Most of us remember that period of the Monica Lewinsky scandal, even if we were very young at the time.  Many people were appalled by the behavior of the most powerful man in the world, as he took advantage of a young and naive intern, whom must had been just helpless against his charms, right? Even some people who voted for Clinton felt that the morals of the Democratic Party had been forever tarnished and vowed to never vote Democrat again. They flocked to the Republican Party that had claimed the moral high ground, where they remained staunch supporters ever since, consistently voting against their own interests, but at least they were free of the stench that is the Democratic Party.

If you were to ask people today; “Why was President Bill Clinton impeached?”, it is a safe bet that 99% of the time their answer will be; “Because he had an affair with a 22 year old intern”.  Even though he did finally admit during the hearing to having an affair with Monica Lewinsky in the Oval Office, after the evidence he couldn’t possibly deny had been revealed, that is not why he was impeached.

Monica Lewinsky, although very young, was still an adult of sound mind, whom was capable of consenting to sexual activities with the president, and because they were both consenting adults, no crime or impeachable offense had been committed.  Those alt-right trolls who like to call Bill Clinton a rapist or a pedophile against the backlash of Donald Trump’s vagina grabbing admissions have no basis for their argument.

Even though it probably should be, having sexual relations with a young intern while still married, is not listed as an impeachable offense in the U.S. Constitution, nor was it the reason for Former President Bill Clinton’s impeachment.  On January 26th 1998, soon after the controversial tapes secretly recorded by Linda Tripp surfaced, President Bill Clinton faced a swarm of reporters and uttered the words; “I did not have sexual relations with that woman.”.  A short time later, more evidence surfaced that contradicted the president’s statement, which effectively rendered him a liar under these circumstances, and apparently the president lying to the American people, whether under oath or not, is an impeachable offense.  He noticeably did not lie when he was under oath while testifying before a grand jury, as that would had been a criminal offense.

It is well known that our current president; Donald J. Trump has a tendency to lie in almost every speech, tweet or interview he gives.  Many of his lies are harmless, designed to boost his ego and embroil his base, such as his claims that his inauguration had the largest turnout in history, that all negative reports about him are “Fake News”, or that he lost the popular vote because 3 million people voted illegally.  However, many of his other lies are damaging or even dangerous, such as his claims that preceding President Barack Obama had his phones tapped during the campaign, or that the media is the enemy of the United States.  These later types of lies are not only potentially damaging to ones reputation and integrity, these types of lies can also put someone’s life at risk.  Donald Trump has thousands, if not millions of faithful followers who are prepared to act on his word.  If they perceive that the president would like to see members of the media roughed up, for example, you can be sure that some of them will act on that. There has already been evidence of this happening in recent months, with bricks being thrown through the windows of media headquarters and racist graffiti and symbols appearing in various locations throughout the United States.

Donald Trump lies often, and has been caught many times.  If he was a Democrat, it would be a guarantee that impeachment proceedings would be moving forward in the Republican controlled House of Representatives, but because he ran on the Republican ticket, expecting his fellow Republicans to call for impeachment for lying while not under oath is a long shot.  However, on June 9th 2017, one day after ousted FBI Director James Comey gave his detailed testimony on how the president pressured him to drop the investigation on Michael Flynn’s ties to Russia, Donald Trump told the nation that he is “100% willing to testify under oath”.

There is much doubt that President Trump will follow through with his promise, after all he promised many things while on the campaign trail that never materialized, such as his promise to release his tax returns. Counselor to the President; Kellyanne Conway revealed soon after Trump’s inauguration, that the president has no intentions of ever releasing his taxes to the public, setting himself apart from every past president of the last several decades, who had willingly released their tax statements.  However, if by some fluke, President Trump does end up testifying, as he promised, we can expect that he will not only lie, as history has shown is his habit, but will lie often, and he will most likely be caught in these lies, because as usual, contradicting evidence will be abundant.

The Republican controlled congress may be able to overlook President Trump’s habit of lying while not under oath, but once under oath the president will cross into a whole other domain, where being caught in a lie is not only an impeachable offense, but a criminal offense called “perjury” that can be punishable by years in prison, and you can rest assured that even the Republicans will not be able to ignore this.

Offering to testify while under oath is officially the most self-destructive comment President Trump has made to date.  If his mindset is that the rules do not apply to him and he will walk away from any controversy unscathed, I hope that he will follow through with his promise to testify and learn a much needed lesson, not only for himself, but for other potential autocrats who may be considering running for any office.  The People of the United States of America will not stand for this!

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The benefit of trump

Mike Pence may have his own brand of evilness, but unlike trump, he will not make a joke out of the United States. He is well behaved and calculated. I also believe that even though he may disagree with some aspects due to personal views, Mike Pence will follow the Constitution and the rulings of the Supreme Court.

trump needs to be removed from office as means of showing the world that this is not who we are and that he does not represent the values of most Americans. Then we can begin the process of rebuilding the relationships he has damaged.

It is clear to me that trump is here to create chaos and division, then sit back and watch it all unfold for his own amusement. His only agenda is to undo any progress we have made in the last decade or more. Even Mike Pence wouldn’t had pulled out of the Paris Accord, insulted NATO Leaders or praised the dictators of the world while condemning our allies.

Now all that aside, I happen to think trump is the best thing to happen to this country. Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can bounce up. Thanks to trump we are now hitting rock bottom. If trump is impeached by his own party, imagine how disastrous that will be to the GOP, that is already showing signs of breaking down since the election. The GOP will take decades to recover from an impeachment, if they ever recover at all, which in turn will hamper their efforts to push their backwards agenda through.

And even if he is not impeached, he is effectively taking the GOP down with him. Just look at the turnouts at the town halls over the Obama Care repeal, and that is happening in RED states. The Midterms are looking good for us. Many people who normally vote religiously, sat this election out. They took for granted that someone like trump would never win. I have faith that mistake won’t happen again. Also the DNC made the mistake of choosing a flawed candidate, whom was already disliked by much of the country. I have faith that mistake won’t be repeated either. If trump isn’t impeached by his own party, he will most likely be impeached in 2019.

Many people are calling for trump to delete his twitter account. Why? Every time he tweets, that hole he is digging himself into gets a little deeper. By all means donny, keep tweeting, you are making it that much easier to get rid of you, and thank you for making America Great Again. Without you, all the good tolerant people of America wouldn’t be standing together to protect our country, that we love, from a demented child throwing a tantrum.

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Eric Trump says Russian investigation is baseless.

Click CC to turn on subtitles.

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