Debatable Performance

1stdebate(ATTN)–And so, we’ve learned a few things from the first presidential debate. However, I am certain there are many people who will not accept what their eyes have seen. You know who they are!

For a man with few demonstrable ethics, Donald Trump’s performance tonight was the epitome of crass. It’s difficult to believe his defense of being so misogynistic to women is “she deserved it.”

And it’s beyond belief that no matter how many times the truth is revealed, there is no change whatsoever—check that; no growth whatsoever—in Trump or his views. The vast majority of fact checking paints Trump as devoid of facts and truth some 95% of the time—in everything he says. Now, that’s a huuuge number. And that includes the myriad times he’s caught lying on video! 

Does the U.S.A. totally suck?

“When you look at what’s happening in Mexico… They’re building some of the biggest plants anywhere in the world, some of the most sophisticated, some of the best plants. With the United States… not so much. So Ford is leaving, you see that their small car division, leaving. Thousands of jobs leaving Michigan, leaving Ohio, they’re all leaving.”—Trump, verbatim in the debate

But, he’s wrong about that and so many other things. Ford is sending small car production South but, the workers making those cars now will be making trucks and SUVs i.e., those jobs are not “leaving”—and Ford has addressed Trump’s claims as “nonsense.” 

As for other jobs, the United States’ Bureau of Labor Statistics show the unemployment rate in Michigan at 4.5% and in Ohio, at 4.7%, both below the national average of 4.9% (the latest figures from August)—and that’s after the two increased their jobless rate over the last year, 1.8% and 1.4%, respectively.

I suppose I could sit here and research and document every single lie that comes from Trump’s mouth for you but, that’s not the job of AndThatsTheNews™. You’ll be getting, no doubt, a complete list from other sources, as every news organization on the planet, from Los Angeles to London and from Boston to Beijing are going to be publishing a list of Trump’s factual misstatements tomorrow.

Hillary was obviously ready for Donald.

trumpbabyAnd if the parochial demeanor of Trump wasn’t obvious to you, it’s clear you’ve never had an argument with a teenager! My estimation pegged his debate skills at about age fourteen. And I think I’m being nice about it, as The Donald would say.

From denying what he has said on video to spewing “facts” he doesn’t realize aren’t factual, Hillary in comparison, was schooled and well prepared. But Hillary didn’t take Trump on when he talked about energy policies being a “disaster.”

“Domestic oil and gas production have increased steadily during President Obama’s time in office. The U.S. has been the world’s leading producer of natural gas since 2011 and the top producer of oil since 2013. The Energy Information Administration says gasoline prices averaged $2.17 a gallon last week—about a nickel cheaper than a year ago, and about 30 cents a gallon less than Obama’s first year in office, and about a buck and a half less than during George W. Bush’s last year in office.”—NPR 

There’s something more than unsettling about a candidate for the Oval Office who hasn’t a clue as to where the country is at this very moment. One of them being Trump’s grasp of where the U.S. fares in energy production: the U.S. is now the world leader in natural gas and crude oil production.

So, do we really need to take the oil from other countries? And wouldn’t that require some personnel and security forces on the ground in those countries where he wants to rob their natural resources?

Work it out, Donald!

Hopefully, you’ve read my article on what a President can and cannot do—and you know that NAFTA, the North American Free Trade Agreement, allows commerce to work across borders without restriction in our little corner of the world.

But, Donald doesn’t like it nor does he seem to realize that the treaty was worked out by a Republican President (George H.W. Bush) and only signed into law when the details were finalized by Congress and then presented to the first President Clinton.

crs-logo“The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) entered into force on January 1, 1994. The agreement was signed by President George H. W. Bush on December 17, 1992, and approved by Congress on November 20, 1993.”—Congressional Research Service

No, you’re the liar!

fatfacetrumpsterThere was comedy tonight, my friends. The irony of Donald Trump accusing Hillary Clinton of being a liar I found most amusing! In Trump parlance, it was a perfect example of “No, you are!” and reminiscent of a grade school disagreement that goes nowhere and solves nothing.

Donald Trump says “we are in a big, fat, ugly bubble” but, the only big, fat, ugly bubble I saw tonight was the one sitting on Trump’s shoulders. That, primarily, is because I don’t drink the Republican Kool-Aid that feeds the narrative of the United States not already being a great place! This is the best argument, I think, that says we don’t have to “Make America Great Again.”

The Collection Bureau.

With little specifics on any plan to do anything, Trump tonight came off sounding like a bill collector—promising the audience he would go around the world collecting money from other countries for the security we and NATO provide for their survival, forcing the Federal Reserve to raise their interest rates, adding a Value Added Tax (VAT) and, of course, making them Mexicans pay for his wall—none of which are within a President’s authority (maybe a dictator but, not a President)!

“That makes me smart.”

trumpsnakeThat was Trump’s response to Clinton saying “…when he was trying to get a casino license… he did not pay any federal income tax.” So, tonight we learned Trump doesn’t pay his taxes! He’s found some loopholes, unique to the real estate tax codes, that allow him to avoid taxation. No wonder he won’t release his tax returns. Everyone would know just what kind of American he is! 

“If you have paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets, zero for schools or health.”—Clinton in rebuttal

Prove you were born, Mr. Trump.

That’s right. I want to know if Trump was born or hatched—like a snake. Tonight’s debate highlighted the true stripes of The Donald and proved, beyond any doubts I had, that he isn’t ready for the Big Office. And while his performance tonight was debatable, his true nature is clear.

And that’s the news.

After Charlotte and Tulsa, your city is next!

charlotteonedge(ATTN)–Dare I say, it’s happened again.

Again, the police are out of control. Again, there is a serious concern that racists in police uniforms with a badge and carrying a gun have used it to murder a black man who wasn’t a threat—and get away with it! Again, there are protests and a hard response from military-style authoritarian police lines that force a crowd to react with violence.

tulsahandsintheairAnd again, we have video of what happened in these two cities. In Tulsa, the video shows the victim of police with his hands in the air one moment—and him lying dead in the roadway the next. And in Charlotte, the police are refusing to release the video, because—I am sure—the video will prove the shooting wasn’t justified.

You can’t fool us!

Now, the hayseeds in Tulsa are making a good show of it—and they’ve charged Officer Betty Shelby with first degree manslaughter. But, this wasn’t manslaughter.

fearformylifeThis was outright murder—by a police officer.

Isn’t it odd, then, that she bonded out with only $50,000 bail after just minutes when it takes everyone else at least twelve hours to complete the process.

Immoral and stupid!?

And I’ll bet the Oklahoma farm Officer Betty will beat that ridiculous token charge, just like the Baltimore cops did when they killed Freddie Gray by bouncing him around in the back of a police van—and breaking his neck (he wasn’t wearing a seat belt because the police claimed they weren’t trained in how to use one!).

Only the guilty hide.

romainIn Charlotte, however, the local police Chief has already admitted none of the videos show that victim pointing a gun at anyone (the family says he had a book in his hand). I suppose it’s possible police officers don’t know what a book looks like but, I do find it difficult to believe. Nevertheless, the Chief says he won’t release the videos to the public.

What’s more, Charlotte Public Defender Toussaint Romain told the news cameras that the protests were peaceful until the police lobbed explosives and tear gas into the crowd.

“We don’t need any more people to go to die, no more people to be arrested. We need to take a stand and do it the right way. People are hurting, man. People are upset. People are frustrated. People need leaders. I’m not trying to be that leader. I’m trying to prevent people from being hurt.”—Toussaint, at the protests, live on CNN

Remember Dallas?

Don’t forget Dallas, Texas, where in early July, a former military hero-turned-vigilante decided it was time for the police to pay for their crimes. While I don’t approve of his methods, the police themselves are responsible for this mindset and that was something to be expected from a man who loved and fought for his country—and wanted to do something about this kind of racist abuse from those who are supposed to be protecting us. 

Be afraid.

MicahJohnsonAnd we haven’t seen the last of that kind of patriotism, either. I predicted it was going to happen and yes, I am saying now that it’s going to happen again. And again. Until justice is served and the police are either showing some self-control or are under control.

Interestingly, candidate Hillary Clinton has recently announced that she wants to create federal standards for local police behavior and training. That’s a little late, in my opinion, for this kind of approach to reeling in problem police (I suggested the very same thing on this blog about a year ago). But, now I think it’s a little past that point—with more, drastic measures in order.

Be very afraid.

The people of Ferguson, Cleveland, Chicago, Baltimore, Tulsa and now, Charlotte are beginning to understand, I hope, that without policing the police, it’s only going to get worse. And the “worse” part is, the next city to erupt into madness has a very good chance of being your city.

And that’s the news.

[UPDATED: Added Officer Shelby’s bonding data and photo with victim’s hands in the air.]

[UPDATE: The Charlotte video was released the following weekend after five nights of protests. It showed exactly what we thought it would: not a single frame of a man holding a gun. Mysteriously, though, a gun appears on the pavement in photos taken later, after an officer directs a cohort to “get his tool bag” from the trunk of his patrol car. Cellphone video taken by the wife of the victim shows only a glove on the pavement after the murder. Once police realized they had killed an unarmed man, a weapon had to found—and so, evidence was planted.]

Flying Cars, Picture Phones, Dodos, Ad-Free Cable TV and Donald Trump

trekearth(ATTN)–When I was a kid, they promised me flying cars. Although no one mentioned flux capacitors at the time, my mind was filled with a vision of the future.

It was a heady time; there were threats of nuclear extinction from above and satellite spies from even higher than the sky. They had us diving under our desks with the false promise that American Standard classroom furniture would protect us from a megaton atomic blast!

thunderbirdsaregoThe “space race” had us dreaming about space stations with hotels and building a base on the moon. Star Trek had us dreaming about light speed and molecular transportation.

And British television producers were creating science fiction TV shows with something called Supermarionation—using puppet characters to fight futuristic foes.

Flying cars!

fyingcarAgain, they promised that I would have a flying car! But, the idea of your average housewife or a teenager in command of a flying car was, how should I say this, completely boneheaded! Today, we’re still trying to make cars self driving to make them “safer”—with mixed results.

Imagine even a minor accident at any altitude. We’re talking falling-from-the-sky fatalities. And let’s not forget the people on the ground who would have those infamous flying cars’ pieces-parts falling on their heads!

No. It was never really a good idea. So, no flying cars!

The PicturePhone.

picturephoneAh, the PicturePhone. What a great idea! They promised every home would have one in ten years from now. Except for one thing: women hated it. Extensive consumer focus group research by the Bell System (now AT&T) clearly showed women felt they had to look good before they would let other people see them—or have their picture taken.

Bathrobe and curlers in their hair?

There was no way they were going to answer the PicturePhone! As a result of this research, however, we did get the “answering machine”—which has now been digitally morphed into today’s voicemail.

So, no PicturePhones! 

Ad-Free Cable Television.

futuristictvWhen Cable TV was first being sold to customers—and the city councils that had to approve all of the pole-to-pole wiring in their city—the cable TV companies promised us that a coaxial cable would eliminate television commercials—because you had to pay for Cable TV! And they invented the term “Commercial Free.”

Well, that didn’t happen.

Yes, there are “movie channels” that play movies uninterrupted by commercials but, those channels are extra and can cause your cable bill to be in the hundreds of dollars a month!

And the rest of the channels?

They all still have their eighteen minutes of commercials every hour, as allowed by the Federal Communications Commission—with more per hour in the sixty days before an election. And political campaigns are also given the lowest commercial advertising rates, as mandated by the FCC.

So, no ad-free television! 

Computers make life easier.

1970computerYes, the computer is going to make everyone’s life easier! From now on, they promised us, workers using computers won’t have to deal with “the drudgery of repetitive tasks” and the headache-causing mathematical brain twisters.

And oh, we would no longer have to use paper!

What really happened was, the computer made our lives more complicated—impossible for some to deal with—with a learning curve for just about everything you need to accomplish in your daily life.

Employers quickly realized they could get much more work from their employees, doubling or even tripling the workload—because computers made work faster! Workers were expected to match that speed “because the company spent so much money buying this technology for you.” Ha! Fool me once….

And only Star Trek fans thought the communicator was a good idea. Not so, today! Now, of course, everyone has a communicator in their pocket and we all say “Siri” or “Okay Google” instead of “Computer!” or “Kirk to Enterprise.”

So, no “easy” computerized  everything! 

But, you promised!

dotmatrixAnd paper? If computers were going to eliminate the need for paper, why did they invent the printer!? We still need paper, because paper’s batteries never die, for one thing. What’s more, paper can tear, burn, become waterlogged or faded. And paper can also be lost.

But, paper will never crash

On a side note, even the promoters of “Earth Day” admit they print Earth Day flyers and posters that use over 16 acres of forest every year! Seems a little counter productive to me.

So, no paperless anything! 

Trump promises a lot.

supertrumpEvery friggin’ day, Donald Trump makes a proclamation that isn’t true (many fact checkers have said Trump only speaks the truth some 5-7 percent of the time!). And Trump promises to do something he can’t do. What a Dodo head. Does he think we’re really that stupid to believe his empty promises? Apparently he does think so.

Do you really need examples?

Okay, just a few, then: We already have a lot of “wall” built along our southern border. Is Trump going to tear that down and build another wall, like he has done with buildings? If you’re an American, you should know right now it is not Mexico that’s going to pay for a new wall. It’s you.

Broken promises are Trump’s lifelong history.

Should we expect anything different from a man who has spent his entire adult life defaulting on contracts, not paying vendors and contractors for their products, work and services and failing to perform while blaming everyone else for his failures (or simply deciding later to not pay)? The answer is: of course not! At the very least, Trump is consistent in stiffing the small companies that have done work for him.

But, is he honorable? No.

Only Congress can do that.

USFlagArtsyTrump has promised to change the tax code. Promised to spend more on the military. Promised to change the nation’s immigration policies. Promised to install tariffs. Promised to change treaties with other countries. Promised to rebuild an already rebounding post-recession economy. Promised to create non-government jobs. Promised to desecrate ISIS with his small, bare hands. Promised to stop the news media from reporting the news.

And promised to change the Constitution.

On and on, he goes, making promises he can never fulfill—because just about everything he is promising to do, a President cannot do! The vast majority of his promises must be accomplished by the Congress, not the President—and no one is sure it’s going to remain in the hands of Republicants after November.

Unconstitutional and unAmerican.

The Constitution? That’s a whole ‘nother story. If you’re over 10 years old, you should know by now that Congress drafts an amendment and three-quarters of the States must ratify that amendment before it becomes part of the founding document. And even then, the Supreme Court can declare whatever survives this lengthy process to be unconstitutional.

trumppigI’m fairly certain we won’t be seeing a nation of morons putting Donald Jumbo Trump into the Oval Office (just kidding, his real middle name is Jerk!). That way the “Trump” moniker will go the way of flying cars, PicturePhones and commercial-free cable TV.

So, no truth from Donald Trump! If someone else wins the Presidency, it’s us who will be the winners—and Trump will be the loser. A huge, Dodo bird loser!

And that’s the news.

More than a fathead

(ATTN)–The more of him there is, the more of him there is to love? This questionable excuse that obese people use to defend their size might be something Donald Trump says to himself—his fat self—in the mirror.

But, the truth is, Trump is not only a fathead, he’s fat fat! 

At 236 pounds, he’s about fifty pounds over weight for his height. I’m not sure it’s fat, either. It could easily be pure shit, as in “full of.” And he’s got the gall to fat-shame others, especially women?

The whole Trump family.

IvankaTrump’s whole family is full of it. His daughter has recently tried to convince the country that her company (or his but, the one she allegedly runs) gives its employees paid leave for pregnancy. But, that’s a lie. Just what you would expect—lies—from a former porn model.

trumppigTrump’s son can’t seem to understand that when dad is proven to have had racist policies in his properties, it is relevent and the news media will cover it—and has every right to—before Trump even has the chance to take the oath of office for President of the United States.

And, for that matter, when Trump himself says he would “date my own daughter” if he could, why wouldn’t we expect a little incest between brother and sister? It’s the Trump family way, apparently.

Bloated bastard.

tumpbastardYes, I think he’s fair game in the fat shaming arena because that bloated bastard has been merciless in calling other people fat. It’s his turn, now that we know he’s overweight and bordering obesity (build a border fence around that fat boy!).

And for that matter, he’s such a snake I’d like for him to prove he was born and not hatched! 

From Rosie O’Donnell to Miss Universe, Trump is not only full of shit, he’s loaded with fat. I honestly don’t know if the Presidential limousine would be able to transport him without grounding out.

trumpfatfaceNo wonder he needs a jumbo jet to ferry him around! A smaller aircraft wouldn’t be able to leave the ground with his fat ass—and the rest of him—on board. I’m pretty sure the Trump plane gets some help from all of the hot air it’s carrying, too.

I once suggested his middle name is Jerk because of the “J” but, now I am thinking that “J” stands for Jumbo. As in elephant. Anything else flies against reason. And that reason is Trump’s fathead.

And that’s the news.

Nope. Not over it.

2Towers(ATTN)–That’s right. It’s fifteen years later. And I’m not over it—yet. I’m referring to the September, 2001, attacks by what the BBC calls “islamists” using aircraft as human-guided missiles.

MaskedI’ve written articles about this horrid day before but, on this anniversary of Allah’s message to the west, it seems appropriate to remind ourselves that Islam is still waging war on us and Europe.

By all means, argue with me that Islam is the “religion of peace.” I’ve also addressed that fallacy with years of study and another article on how no one should fall for that marketing slogan.  

Muslims are victims of Islam.

Islam kills followers of Islam far more than the rest of us—because they are easy targets and close by. The vast majority of justification is narrowed down to two reasons: 1) the victims won’t comply with the aggressors’ commands and, 2) the aggressors don’t like the way the other muslims think about Islam. The two main factions? Sunnis and Shia.

Rather than bore you here with what is common knowledge regarding the two, point your browser at this basic explanation, provided by the BBC.

“Members of the two sects have co-existed for centuries and share many fundamental beliefs and practices. But they differ in doctrine, ritual, law, theology and religious organisation.”—BBC

Do something.”

burnett“We’re going to do something,” Tom Burnett told his wife Deena on the phone before he and other passengers that day, aboard the doomed Flight 93 over Pennsylvania, wrestled with muslim hijackers.

Burnett and the others foiled the terrorists’ plans to use the jumbo jet for an aerial attack against the Capitol or the White House. See the story from CNN.

Now, Burnett’s parents want Congress to pass the Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act (JASTA) which would allow, among other things, Americans to sue State sponsors of terror, such as Saudi Arabia.

Ryan is dirty.

RyanWorkoutRepublican House Speaker Paul Ryan is standing in the way (the Senate has already approved the bill, by the way; the vote was unanimous!). So, what the fuck is wrong with you, Ryan? He’s dirty with Saudi money, no doubt.

You’ll read how the 911 Commission found evidence at least one of the Saudi royal family was involved in funding the young muslim males responsible for the worst attack on American soil in my lifetime.

This is one of those times that as many people as possible should take a stand, flood their Representative with demands for the House to vote this through, and do something. I will ask you do it because, I’m not over this. 

And that’s the news.

[UPDATE: The very same day this article was published at midnight, Ryan allowed the JASTA vote and it passed the House. President Obama vetoed the bill saying it would open up a bevvy of lawsuits against the U.S.

Congress overrode the President’s veto for Obama’s first override. But, the very next day, Republican leadership is saying they regret what they have done—because they didn’t understand the ramifications! Those are the same ramifications Obama has been talking about for weeks now.

I think it would be better if everyone was able to pursue damages that are just and fair when they are wronged. 

And Paul Ryan is still a two-faced ass and dirty from Saudi money!]

Dead Republican babies

CDCzika(ATTN)–Oh that Zika virus! It’s a nasty little bug that sticks around in bodily fluids for months and months, causes brain damage in adults, deforms babies and kills children and the elderly!

It’s spreading around the world—and, more concerning to Americans, the southeastern United States. Meanwhile, Congress refuses to pass a funding bill ($1.9 Billion) for mosquito remediation support and the research needed by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to deal with this virulent infection—before it spreads farther and once it is contracted.

“Is this really the new portrait of American exceptionalism? Our elected leaders scheming to use a potentially devastating health crisis to their political benefit?”—John Romano, Tampa Bay Times

Congress is playing with our lives.

I’ll let you decide who is more at fault because House Republicans have loaded the bill with new restrictions for Planned Parenthood and even some confederate flag bullshit—and Senate Democrats won’t have that!

MosquitoBiteFrom my point of view, the Republicans are trying to leverage the safety of everyone so they can make “progress” with their fight against the organization they have villified for years—blaming the “failure” of funding Zika’s control on the Democrats.

“Congress Is Using Zika To Show How Terrible Congress Is”—Huffington Post headline

ZikaBabyThis all started many months ago, when President Obama asked legislators for an emergency bill to deal with a pandemic situation. A Puerto Rican man died from it in April and a Utah woman passed in July. And the horror of microcephaly is almost too much to bear.

I cried while researching this article.

Now, the Utah woman contracted it from outside the U.S. but, the man from Puerto Rico was infected in a U.S. territory. And now, there is confirmation that mosquitoes in Miami, Florida carry the virus and have infected Americans on mainland U. S. soil.

And make no mistake: there will be more

It’s only a game to them!

MicrocephalyThis is a game the Republicans are playing with the lives of everyone in the country. A deadly game they hope voters will blame on the Democrats.

But, Republicans are willing to kill some babies—and older people—to stop Planned Parenthood from offering abortions, only a part of what the organization does as most mothers receive prenatal care to ensure healthy, bouncing baby girls and boys.

The White House has redirected some funding for the development of a Zika vaccine from the fight on Ebola, as if the risks from Ebola are just “gone” as Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan suggested before Congress went on their summer break [Ebola can remain in the body for years and kills most of its victims].

Meanwhile, South Carolina is spraying chemicals in an effort to stop Zika-carrying mosquitoes but has, instead, killed tens of millions of bees.

Like we don’t need bees to pollinate.

Why won’t Republicans just pass a clean bill to fund the science that’s needed? Oh, that’s right; Republicans don’t believe in science! It’s been said before and I’ll say it again: being stupid is not a virtue!

Vote them out in November!

So the big question is, are you going to vote for a Republican Representative or Republican Senator determined to kill some babies to make their point about abortion—which, by the way, is Constitutionally legal in the United States? Talk about immoral

Or are you going to support a different candidate in your state in order to stop these deadly Republican games with the lives of American babies?

There is one thing that I do know: the more Republican babies that die from Zika (or Ebola), the better off the country will be in the future. And that, in no small way, will be good for the children who are born in thirty or forty years from now, provided we’re all still here.

And that’s the news.

C’est la guerre!

Burkini(ATTN)–Ah, the bikini. What word is more attractive to the male, young and old alike? But, there’s a sandstorm brewing in France as some local administrators are trying to outlaw the burkini—an all-body covering that has become popular with muslim women who want to spend some beach time completely covered from head to toe.

More proof muslims are nuts!

I can only imagine how hot someone would be sitting on the sand—not getting a tan—and baking inside a covering that protects them from an appreciative Frenchman’s eyes! Unless, of course, they’re not worth the
glance—fourteen seconds or not!

BikiniBabePinkWe are repeatedly hearing how “we must respect the culture” of muslims. But, where is the reciprocity of muslims for the Western culture?

Sorry but, we wear bathing suits on the beach.

And anyone that wears a mask is up to no good—unless it’s Halloween and you’re trick or treating door to door. That is our culture, and if muslims want to be a part of it, they must respect us!

“In 2010, France became the first European country to ban the full-face veil in public. A 2004, law forbids the wearing of religious emblems in schools and colleges”—BBC News

Wear something else!

The entire purpose of wearing a burkini is to hide the female form from those scoundrels called “men” (Islamic sexism). And the entire purpose of going to the beach is to take in some sun! Once again, muslims are showing their ugly side by creating mountains where there are only a couple of hills!

“The burkini is obviously not a trivial garment: it testifies to a strict interpretation of Islam, specifically a commitment to the idea that the presence of women in public space is subject to an obligation to modesty.”—Slate (FR)

Whoops! Modesty defeated!

Problem is, when the burkini gets wet, it conforms to the body like a second skin. But, muslims want to point their racist finger at the French—who are considerably more, shall we say, “free” on the beach—instead of blending into French société and, instead, creating a stir that tries to give an impression that it’s the fault of everyone else when muslims won’t assimilate!

Can’t adapt? Time to leave!

This is just another veiled ruse meant to cause trouble and, possibly, a precursor to another attack. For, if these women are so truly religious as they claim to be, they would not be at a beach with the menfolk anywhere near them! So, what does that tell you? They are only “religious” when they can cause trouble to someone else!

Read my article on how potential threats from muslims are being minimized. 

Terrorism lite.

The French high court has stayed the new local laws banning the burkini, allowing for now this faux religious practice to dictate to all of France how they run their own affairs. It’s a way for those who don’t have the guts to detonate themselves to intimidate others without dying. It’s terrorism lite.

In France, a country that is historically one of the most secular in the world, this muslim demand should not be tolerated. Not when Islam is at war with everyone who isn’t a muslim!

Read my article on why the “religion of peaceisn’t a religion or peaceful. 

Mon Dieu!

Do you see it? The burkini is a representation of the most fundamentalist Islamic practices, practiced in a public place that allows men! It doesn’t jive with reason and that’s something to be concerned about! 

TerroristWearingBurqaWith all of the attacks there and around le monde by fundamentalist followers of Islam, this kind of behavior might seem trivial in the grand scheme of things but, there is confirmed evidence of women who hide weapons under flowing clothes—and because of the situational atmosphere in France it is most certainly an alarming trend by those who will not respect the French culture.

Merde!

RimaFakihBikiniHere, in the United States, several states have refused to allow head dresses or facial masks to appear on driver’s license photos. In my opinion—and in my culture—that’s a good thing. Only criminals wear masks!

So, c’est la guerre, my French friends. Anything you can do to stop the muslim horde from destroying your culture and attacking your citizens is okay with me!

Here, we have a saying: “driving is a privilege, not a right.” And so be it with using a public beach!

And that’s the news.

[UPDATED: Added links to previous articles. Added French law quotes from BBC.]

We the People…

Constitution(ATTN)–And so begins the United States Constitution with the words, “We the People….”

This document is not up for debate, as it has long ago been ratified by the States and served well as the basis for our Republic. There are people that believe the Constitution is a living document but, in as much as only by Amendment may it change, I do not subscribe to that idea.

Yes, that makes me a “Constitutional Conservative”—despite many who accuse me of being a liberal. To them, I say: I’m not pro-Democrat, I am anti-Republican. For the Republicans are not conservatives and, for that matter, are not loyal to the Constitution. The dictionary definition of “bastards.”

But, I know them better than the liberals—and so I concentrate my focus on Republicans claiming to be the conservatives they dishonor every day with their radical and extremist values and parochial attitudes! They are as bad—if not worse—than any “radical Islamic terrorists” we have come across.

Why Trump cannot be President.

“Before he enter on the Execution of his Office, he shall take the following Oath or Affirmation:—”I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the Office of President of the United States, and will to the best of my Ability, preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.”—Article II, Section I, The U.S. Constitution

This simple oath, taken on January 20th every four years is key to understanding why Donald J. Trump may never be sworn in to hold the Office of the President of the United States of America, no matter how many threats he makes against the process or how many lawsuits he intends to file after losing the upcoming general election.

Already affirmed an enemy: domestic.

Clearly, the promise to “preserve, protect and defend the Constitution of the United States” Trump may not be trusted to believe in, nor would he faithfully execute. “Faithfully” is a paramount term.

On many occasions, Trump has willfully and knowingly proposed abandoning or ignoring the guarantees of our Constitution, witnessed by many in-person and documented by numerous electronic means, i.e. audio and video recordings of magnetic and digital means. And the list is long.

Trump has often attacked the free press and remarked how he would change the First Amendment to stop free speech from being free. Trump has repeatedly questioned the idea of Constitutional freedoms of religion for muslims, freedom to travel unimpeded for Mexicans, freedom from discrimination for blacks, women and the disabled, and the rights of all to peacefully protest.

His penchant for lying is almost an art form. Completely unapologetic for anything he has said, his recent “regrets” speech wasn’t even sincere—you can’t apologize and then qualify what you’ve said as “the truth” in the very same sentence!

See the list of Trump’s “daily vulgarities” Mike Gerra has compiled at theDiagonal.

Contemptible.

No, this man—and I use the word loosely—has shown his contempt for the Constitution just as sure as he’s shown his contempt for a Federal Judge overseeing the case involving the fake Trump “University.”

Trump has already announced his intentions to disregard international treaties (yes, plural), his disrespect for our military veterans and their families, his hatred of women and his total lack of responsibility regarding the use of nuclear weaponry.

A loose canon.

His appreciative attitudes of dictators, strongmen and heads of state who are not allies of the United States are more than worrisome. Trump’s announced intentions to disregard the Constitution borders on the treasonous—and puts him in the category of enemies: domestic. If it wasn’t for the First Amendment and I was in charge, I would have him imprisoned—or shot. That way, he could really appreciate me as ruler of the world!

Whether or not he will make it to the inauguration platform early next year is still up to the voters but, if he does, I will never believe what this pathological liar says—with his hand on the Bible or not. At the age of seventy-something taking office, I am convinced he is, how shall I say this, off his friggin’ rocker.

Trump’s wife is, most certainly, an illegal alien and it’s well-known he has hired many an undocumented worker. These things alone prove he thinks he can get away with anything and escape unscathed just by pointing his finger at someone else. Anyone else, really.

Even high-ranking Republicans call him “dangerous” and I’ll go one step further: he’s fucking nuts. Not only should Trump not have access to the nation’s nuclear codes, I believe he should be immediately relieved of any firearms he currently owns before he can hurt someone else—or even himself.

The document this country holds so dear is only a piece of paper to Trump and its words mean nothing to him. With this being so obvious, it is also the measurement of a man who cannot be trusted to solemnly swear to uphold its tenants and responsibly answer to We the People.

And that’s the news.

Obviously!

KKKTrump(ATTN)–There is a tendency to damn the messenger for bad news. It’s a very old tradition: messengers in ancient times were killed for delivering bad news, ultimatums or threats from their bosses.

And so it remains true today for Emperor wannabes such as Donald Trump, his questionable cadre of campaign managers (he’s had three top management changes in as many months) and his clueless spokeswomen.

It’s the job, man!

Trump has focused his disdain on media that slight him in any way, as he sees it, much like any Republican who think journalists should never question what they’re saying. But, reporting what GOP legislators and a Republican presidential contender are doing and saying is not a slight—it’s the job of the news media. Isn’t that obvious?

TrumpJokerCrying foul on a daily basis, the Republican nominee rarely offers up any answers to the reports of his contradictions and his factual discrepancies—until he is being questioned by multiple sources and criticized publicly by fellow Republicans—relying instead on misdirection aimed at minimizing the attention on what was actually said. That’s an old story, too—we call these deflections of truth “non-denial denials.”

And, contrary to what has became popular belief among the radical right wing nutjobs, a vast majority of news people are dedicated to reporting the truth. That’s the responsibility that comes with the job. That raises the question: what responsibilities are demanded of politicians? Uh huh.

GuardianLogo“The first amendment states that ‘Congress shall make no law … abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press.’ It is a foundation stone of democracy in the United States.”—The Guardian (UK)

I am one of those people that went way out my way to ensure what I was reporting was factual and attributed to reliable sources, where the best source is video or audio recordings of what was said. I simply wouldn’t be able to sleep at night or feel like a professional if I were manufacturing news as the nutjobs claim on a regular basis.

So many facts, so little time.

WaveformThe main reason newsmakers have a habit of talking in sound bytes is because the news media has to rely on short pieces of video and audio to convey the “meat” of the story in a very short time (most television “packages” are less then 1:20 in length; most radio reports are less than :40 in length). I suppose that’s a good argument for making sure we always have newspapers to read!

Arguably, because television employs video, their job is easier than radio reporting that has only seconds more than half a minute to communicate a story. The reality of time constraints requires some skills in “getting it right.” 

JesusOutOfContextBut, this environment also allows the Republicans to constantly charge that the media is “taking it out of context” even when their newsmakers are the ones purposefully delivering those sound bytes to make headlines!

And when they fail to say “what they mean,” it somehow becomes the fault of the media for not being able to read their minds!

On a side note, I have often dreamed of having the luxury that Public Radio and television broadcasters have with their four minute stories! Today, in this “information age,” I think there is a market for this kind of extensive reporting time on commercial television and radio.

EndIsNearThe only problem is, most News Directors today—including a couple network ND’s I have recently talked with—believe the proliferation of Facebook posts and Twitter tweets are an indicator of what the future should be.

They think news should be quick with more limited, short times spent on every story. And these are the people in charge. Ohh, the horror!

Inconceivable.

JustSarcasmAnother “trick” politicians use is spinning the truth after the fact! “Oh, he didn’t really mean that…” Oh, yes he did! “They’re biased against him…” No, we just reported what you said! “It’s obvious to everyone…” NO, it’s not! And, of course, the ever-present “out of context” argument—because being part of a political propaganda machine is disturbing and distasteful—and we don’t buy it!

It is these kinds of excuses that are untrue! And should we refuse to swallow the attempts at manipulating the truth, the media is labeled “the worst people in the world.”

In this age of recorded audio and video, the only way to deny the truth is to outright lie—and that’s what they’re doing—hoping the masses will believe the lie and not the recording!

Who would do that!?

recordingIsn’t it obvious? Anyone who is trying to get away with murder! As an example: the public is only now beginning to understand that a cop’s body camera is showing what really happened.

If they say “there was something else that should be considered” before the recording began, that’s a lie. To use police logic, if they have nothing to hide, why don’t they like to record their work!?

That problem is solved instantly by recording everything (that’s what I used to do!). When we see cops killing unarmed black men without reason or legal cause—or shooting someone in the back—we have to stop believing those dirty cops who claim they “feared for my life” (hey, not everyone is qualified to be a cop!).

And we must stop believing anything the police say is the truth! They have every reason in the book to lie when they screw up—and they screw the pooch more often today because they refuse to police themselves.

Sadly, the truth is out there for cops and politicians. And it’s in high definition.

I have recently watched an interview with a Trump supporter who tried to demean an entire panel for knowing nothing “because they weren’t medical doctors” (of course, neither was she!).

This kind of behavior leads me to think that, before any Republican is allowed to speak, they should submit for all to see the medical proof they aren’t totally batshit crazy! It’s their argument and it is, beyond the shadow of a doubt, obvious!

And that’s the news.

He’s earned it

PurpleHeart(ATTN)–Here’s something I have never done before on AndThatsTheNews™—reprinted an article written by someone else.

But, this particular prose touched me in such a deep way, I just had to.

SeanBarneyIt’s written by a former Marine (if there is such a thing) who is running for Congress in Delaware. Sean Barney (D) is an Iraq war veteran and was seriously wounded there. I hope you can understand why I am posting his commentary, first published on CNN, after you read it.

“(CNN)–Last Tuesday, a veteran supporter handed Donald Trump a Purple Heart medal. Trump’s flippant response: “I always wanted to get the Purple Heart. This was much easier.”

As a veteran, I was quite simply astonished.

I fought for our country in Iraq. I was wounded, and was awarded a Purple Heart. I can tell you, no one should ever “want” to get a Purple Heart.

I enlisted in the Marines after September 11, 2001. I did not want others to be sent to fight in my place in Afghanistan. I am proud of my service, and beyond proud of those I served with, even though I was ultimately sent to fight not in Afghanistan, but in our war in Iraq, a war this country never should have fought.

SeanBarneyFallujahIn May 2006, on a combat patrol in Falluja, I was shot through the neck by an enemy sniper. I survived because I was lucky: The bullet severed my carotid artery but the heat of the round cauterized my artery to my jugular vein. I survived because I served with Marines and a Navy corpsman who are honest-to-God heroes.

As I struggled to remain conscious, they rushed me from a street corner in the center of the city to a surgical center on the outskirts of the city in in 12 minutes flat. The Navy corpsman used his fingers to pinch off bleeding from my jugular vein, refusing to let go until surgeons gave him the signal.

When I regained consciousness at the naval hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, the doctor who greeted me said, “I wouldn’t believe you survived this if I weren’t looking at you with my own two eyes.”

SeanBarneyRecoversI was left partially paralyzed. I underwent multiple surgeries and a year of physical therapy. I received skilled care from dedicated medical professionals, and slowly recovered physically. Still, I struggled with post-traumatic stress. Because of the intense effort it took to remain conscious after I was shot, after returning home I had difficulty relaxing enough to sleep. With treatment, I recovered and began to lead a normal life again.

I am conscious every day of how fortunate I was, to have improbably survived and to have friends and loved ones with me at the ceremony presided over by the Commandant of the Marine Corps at which I was awarded my Purple Heart.

The Purple Heart bears the image of our first commander in chief, George Washington, but Donald Trump, who seeks to be our commander in chief, plainly does not understand what the medal represents.

One of the Marines I served with in Iraq, a Republican, remarked to me after Trump spoke, “Does he understand that many Marines have gotten their Purple Hearts at their funerals? Wonder if he would still want one.”

Disturbingly, Trump’s comments are part of a pattern. Only one day before his Purple Heart comments, he doubled-down on his attacks on Gold Star parents Khizr and Ghazala Khan.

Trump was responding to criticism from the Khans of his proposed “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

ArlingtonNationalKhizr Khan made the point at the Democratic Convention that the Khans, immigrants who would have been denied entry to the United States if a policy like the one Trump proposes had been in place, had sacrificed more for their adopted country than Trump ever has. The Khans lost their son, Capt. Humayun Khan, in 2004 when, acting to protect his fellow soldiers, he was killed by a car bomb in Iraq.

Trump could have ignored the Khans. He could have responded to their criticism with the respect they have earned. But instead — in keeping with what we are learning about his character — he resorted to innuendo, bigotry and bullying.

He accused Khizr Khan of not writing his own speech and insinuated that Ghazala Khan was not allowed to speak because she is a Muslim woman — never mind that just the day before, Ghazala Khan spoke about her son with tears in her eyes.

Meanwhile, Trump’s team launched a racist and xenophobic smear campaign against the Khans. Longtime ally Roger Stone and “veteran co-chair” Al Baldasaro spread baseless articles on Twitter that Khizr Khan is a secret agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.

If there was any question before, there should be no question now: Donald Trump does not have the character or temperament to serve as commander in chief. The first responsibility of the commander in chief is to treat the willingness to sacrifice of those who voluntarily step forward to serve our country with the utmost seriousness.

The President’s power to draw on that willingness to sacrifice and to send young men and women into harm’s way is a sacred trust. Having thick enough skin to receive criticism from military families without lashing out at them is a baseline prerequisite for assuming the responsibility for making decisions that can end up leaving empty seats at family dinner tables.

In the Marine Corps, we say that the title of Marine is “earned, never given.” So, too, with the salute the commander in chief receives. Earned, not given, and Trump has not earned it.”—Sean Barney

Sends a chill down your spine, doesn’t it?

Typically, there’s a line here that media outlets say; something to the effect of “The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.” But, I’m not going to do it—because I wholeheartedly agree with this Marine. There’s no doubt in my mind I would vote for this war hero, if I lived in Delaware. I hope he wins there. He’s earned it. And we’re lucky to have Americans like him.

And that’s the news.