Sunday, July 31, 2016

Saving Speaker Ryan


The plot of "Saving Private Ryan" revolves around the concept of the Gold Star mother. Private Ryan's mother already had three gold stars in her window. She had one son in combat who was still alive. It was the job of Tom Hanks and his men to extricate him from combat and send him home to his mother.

Ghazala Kahn lost her son, Army Captain Humayan Khan, when he died in Iraq while saving other members of his unit from a bomb attack.

She was silent when her husband, Khizr, asked Donald Trump if he had ever read the American Constitution. She later wrote that when she sees a picture of her son it disturbs her so greatly that she can't  speak because she gets so upset. A large photo of her son was displayed in the background at the Democratic National Convention when her husband spoke.

Trump implied she wasn't allowed to speak, which was some kind of  snarky allusion to Muslim women, a group Donald Trump, as in most things, doesn't know shit about.

Khizr Kahn had asked the speaker of the house, Paul Ryan, to make a statement of how wrong Trump's comments were. He also asked for comments from the Senate majority leader.

Paul Ryan is silent. He has allowed his party's candidate to make fun of a Gold Star mother. She, and her son, made the ultimate sacrifice. Trump, who seems to possess no empathy for other human beings, showed himself to be a narcissistic sociopath who only cares for Donald Trump.

In the end, speaker Ryan seems to be a career driven politician with no spine. When someone attacks a Gold Star mother, good people have to stand up and be counted. I'm sure there will never be a movie about Paul Ryan's integrity. His silence guarantees the demise of his treasured career.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Trump is a Traitor


Donald Trump is a traitor. When he called on Russia to hack into the former Secretary of State's emails he finally stepped over the line.

He admires Putin. He recently said that if the Baltic states (Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia) didn't cough up more money he was not going to defend them.

If Trump became president this would be an open invitation for Putin to invade and seize  back the three countries that finally were released from control by Moscow after the Cold War was concluded.

This is heartless. This is cruel. This is the heinous mouth of a traitor to my country.

God bless America.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Jake Tapper, 24/7 news and the end of Democracy


There seems to be a big question whether a democracy can survive multiple 24/7 news channels. I remember when Walter Cronkite had 15 minutes to give us national news. He talked about important things, concepts all citizens needed to know.

Now we have constant crises on television. Many of the issues involved  make us further question our politicians and their plans. Thomas Jefferson once said that if he had to choose between having a government and having newspapers, he would choose newspapers. I'm a big fan of Thomas Jefferson, but that was  bull shit.

For example, having covered presidential candidates for UPI, I think that Jake Tapper is an excellent reporter. He drives my wife crazy. Like many other highly educated women (she has an MD, PhD) she's a Hillary supporter. She can't stand the look on Jake Tapper's face. My theory is that he hasn't smiled since he found out Santa was bogus. Whether he's capable of of smiling, I'm not sure.

But his network, knowing it had bad numbers, let Trump spew lies, accusations and venom without seriously fact checking them. If this is supposed to be the contrast to Fox, I'm not seeing it.

Every moment the 24/7 machine gets fed, making us wonder if we've awakened in a nightmare.

For those who love John Kennedy, how would you have liked to know which woman he was humping on which day? Do you think his presidency could survive that. If you liked Bobby, would you wanted to know all about Marilyn Monroe.

You need to know if a candidate is a traitor, or lies about his real beliefs towards his fellow man. You need to know what his tax returns say. You don't need to know where all her moles are.

The Russians are having great fun releasing emails about the Democratic National Committee. Trump's campaign manager worked for the pro-Russian Ukrainian president who was driven into exile in Russia.

The Russians don't have a free press so they don't have to worry about maintaining a democracy. Putin is an autocrat admired by Trump who says he would not go to the defense of the Baltic states unless they paid more money.

I feel I'm living in a democracy that can't handle all these lies in a nervous electorate hooked on the speed of 24/7. Someday, like the face of big brother, we'll soon see above us the angry visage of Jake Tapper, telling us all what losers we are.

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Pope Francis and Tim Kaine for a Better World


Although I attend a Protestant church, I've stated before that Pope Francis is my shepherd. He represents the best Christian values. He is a man of great integrity who's making a great difference in this world.

Today, I watched as the lay version of Pope Francis was introduced as the presumptive vice presidential candidate for the Democratic Party. There are many who use one word to describe Sen. Tim Kane, and that word is "integrity."

He is clearly someone deeply influenced by attending a Jesuit high school in Kansas City. He took a year off from Harvard Law school to run a technical school founded by Jesuit missionaries in Honduras. He said he saw that the richest people in Honduras had everything while the rest of the citizenry had nothing.

After graduating from law school he worked to protect the civil rights of Americans from all races and backgrounds. His dedication to the disenfranchised and forgotten Americans is exemplary.

He is a strong Catholic who attends a primarily black church in Richmond. His wife is the Secretary of Education for Virginia. He has three children, one of whom is a Marine in active service.

He represents everything I look for in an American. His Christianity and value system is strong and deep. He gets things done, the same way Pope Francis, who once served an inner-city in South America, makes  things happen.

The presence of Donald Trump as a candidate for the presidency had me despairing for my country. Today I feel rejuvenated and ready to help continue in an America that is not the basket case that requires the dictatorship of ill duce Trump.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Compassion for Melania


Over the last couple of years, I've gotten to know a fine family. The attractive daughter was disabled in a car accident. Her parents sit on the chairs outside the pool where we do aquatic physical therapy. The mom's maiden name was Turner, so I always ask them when they're going to take me to the Turner family reunion. When the dad isn't wearing Negro league T-shirts, he wears shirts that say Turner family reunion.

I ran into them yesterday as they were leaving physical therapy and I was on the way in. I asked them if they'd heard the most recent Melania Trump quote? I'd just read it on the internet. It went, "when I was a little Black girl growing up on the South side of Chicago."

First the mother said, "I feel so sorry for that woman." The daughter said, "I feel the same way."

I was humbled by their comments. Trump is a hater, who treats minorities with disdain. He has made it okay for white supremacists to spew their vitriol and support him.

But these wonderful people felt sorry for what happened to his wife. They represent the America I believed in. Their compassion gives me hope.

Saturday, July 16, 2016

On Chinese Televison the Japanese will Always Be the Little Evil Killers


America spent four years fighting in World War II. After the war ended, war movies were big hits in the US. But eventually, just like westerns, they were out of vogue. Douglas MacArthur quickly smoothed over relations with the Japanese because we believed we needed partners in the war against communism. But we weren't crazy. Truman offered Taiwan to Mao if China would stay out of the Korean War.

Because Stalin never sent the supplies he'd promised to the North Koreans, North Korean forces were losing ground every day. When MacArthur thought about crossing the Yalu River, the Chinese, who didn't want a united Korea on its border, crossed the Yalu and invaded North Korea.

China, unlike the US, fought the Japanese from 1931 until 1945. At the end of the war China was a devastated country facing a Civil War.

Perhaps this brings into context a large number of anti-Japanese war movies on Chinese television. These films both show the Japanese as very evil and the government of Chiang Kai-Sheck not far behind in corruption and violence.

In America, if you speak Chinese, you can watch these war television serials from morning to night. As I've said before the most beautiful woman in the show is always the communist spy within the Kuomintang (Chung Kai-Sheck's sleazy organization).

As an American, we find it hard to imagine the anti-Japanese war is still being fought on Chinese television. But then, they fought the Japanese 3 1/2 times longer than we did, and the war was fought in China.

While it's true that Beijing will use anti-Japanese hatred to remove attention from something internal causing problems, the Chinese people love these serials. Until those shows stop appearing on Chinese TV, the Japanese will always be the enemy.

Given the Bataan death March and the brutal Japanese prison camps, I'm always surprised that we have agreed to go to war on behalf of the Japanese. I guess all that matters is they aren't Commies.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Republicans Try To Destroy Our Faith in the FBI


Over the years, the Republican Party has been wrong on everything from the League of Nations to Social Security. They let Joseph R McCarthy lie about communists  in government and led us into war with Iraq.

It seems that all those mistakes weren't enough. Today they tried to destroy the reputation of the FBI.   Its director,  James Comey, said he didn't think Hillary Clinton should be prosecuted, but provided plenty of sound bites that can be used against Hillary in this year's presidential election.

Comey, the highly principled director of the FBI, laid out why Hillary Clinton hadn't done anything that met the standard for prosecution. He then made a lot of comments about the dumb things she did do.

Since he's a lifetime Republican what did the Republicans do today? They attacked him in numerous ways and called into question the confidence we have in the Federal Bureau of of investigation.

This is why Congress has an 11% approval rating.

It seems that Republicans will not be happy until none of us trust our government. What they been working at is insidious and disgusting. I'm proud to be an American. My family has been in this country for 396 years. (Think about what happened in 1620 if this confuses you)

While the spirit behind the Declaration of Independence was that of John Locke, the logic underlying the Constitution was that of Thomas Hobbes. The Constitution was designed with the checks and balances which would make it difficult for any dictator to take over our country.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party is using the Constitution to gridlock the nation, make sure our infrastructure is not repaired and foster distrust in our system of government. Today they turned on James Comey, a man of great integrity and one of their own. It was sickening to watch. Maybe they won't  be content until we all give up on the concept of democracy.