Trump Claps For Himself

Trump steps onto the stage clapping for himself, he is speaking to conservative voters… he likes people who speak well of him.  He is at the Values Voters Summit… I am going to vomit… we are a nation sustained by the values of prayer.  He quotes scripture…’The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it’.  His promise is to never leave the survivors’ side.  Mentioning the fires in California and Puerto Rico he stayed on script… we love those American’s and what they are going through…. it is hard to listen to his ramblings even when he stays on script.  His words are hollow, empty of understanding and true compassion.

He knows his audience.  An ovation for saying ‘We support our American Flag’. He thanks the crowd.  He gives a history lesson saying that our forefathers invoked the name of ‘Our Creator’ in the Declaration of Independence four times… Trump claims Ben Franklin wanted people to bow their heads in prayer, it is interesting to note that Franklin was arguably an atheist.  That will be one for the fact checkers.

His mostly white audience cheered for him being ahead of schedule in coming through on his campaign promises… protecting the unborn, protecting religious organizations, making a day of prayer official, tightening immigration restrictions, promising not to target religious groups, stopping the attacks on Judeo-Christian values… We’re saying Merry Christmas again… the room of Christians cheer.

He is proud of his kept promises: Getting out of the TPP and the Paris Accord, pushing through the Dakota XL Pipeline, our new Supreme Court Justice, and the recent EPA protection cancellations.  This is a list of thoughtless actions that will hurt people, our Earth, and our position of respect in the world… add to that his backing out of the Iran deal and the US just looks less and less reliable as a partner in global concerns.  So glad we can all say Merry Christmas again.

Trump is bringing back religion… and from the cheers of the crowd, they are thrilled to have him as their spokesman.

Trump is arguably the least informed voice in a conversation about anything: politics, race relations, international concerns, scientific findings and religion.  It continues to baffle me that so many are still cheering. At least he is proud of himself… hence the clapping….

 

 

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It’s Not About Him…

Tweet, tweet, tweet… day after day we read absurdly offensive statements from our president.  We asked ourselves why he took so long to tweet about Charlottesville  or any other event… there is only one answer… Charlottesville was not about him, and when things are not about him he doesn’t really care until someone makes him see that those events require a presidential response … what he really cares about is what he tweets about: crowd size, news that makes him look bad, SNL, people who disagree with his handling of an increasing number of incidents at home and around the world. He does not really care to tweet about incidents- just the people who disagree with or criticize him or things that will make him look good to his base.

As we go through these next 3 + years remember that everything that comes out of the white house is meant to make him look good, feel good or fire up his base. His perception of events are not ever objective.  For example, there may have been a commotion when he was tossing paper towels, what he said he heard were cheers, cheers for him.  It was probably shock, confusion, and a bit of outrage, but that is just my spin.

No tweets (that I have seen) about the California fires… he doesn’t really care much for Californians who didn’t vote for him, and sending his thoughts and prayers to that liberal state may upset his base.

If someone makes it about him… we will see some commentary and perhaps action… otherwise he has better things to focus on like his executive order reversing health care subsidies for the most needy Americans.  So glad he is showing America he can keep his promises. I can’t wait for America to be great again.

A Message From God

Have you ever heard that God answers all prayers, sometimes the answer is no and sometimes you just don’t like the answer? Well, America, we have been praying a lot lately.  And if you do believe that God answers all prayers, you have to be wondering.

The list of tragedies in our country is growing rapidly. The media is being stretched thin as they send their reporters to dueling tragedies, both natural and man-made, across our nation…

Perhaps God is angry. Fires, floods, mass shootings. Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Las Vegas, Northern California, Puerto Rico, Oregon… we are being hammered from all sides… Maybe Trump isn’t ‘God’s Man’ after all… maybe God is sending us a message.

But, heck, the stock market is up

His Demands

His Demands… it’s what you might see or say about someone holding a person hostage … his demands.  But those words were spoken about our president in the context of the hundreds of thousands of people effected by DACA.  In essence, he is holding those young people hostage and like a desperate, irrational criminal he has his list of demands to release those hostages.  They are only loosly related to the people whose plight is at the whim of his fragile ego. His demands are about making him look good, seem strong, promises made to his ‘base’ and have nothing to do with making America great.

The top of his list… full funding for the boarder wall.  That demand is followed by as many as 70 demands about immigration like limiting green-cards and stricter regulations for family members.  So much for Trump telling the Dreamers not to worry or that he cares deeply for them… They are hostages of his ego.  And, when you stop to think about it, we all are.

More Good Than Bad

The beauty of humanity is being challenged… over and over.  We are being challenged by self-inflicted violence and by mother nature.  At the epicenter of every event we find the best of us, heroes, risking their own lives, digging out strangers, and offering to help.  Looking at footage of the aftermath of these tragedies you must notice that not one person was checking the political affiliation, religion, sexual orientation, immigration status, or race of the people they were helping.  In a crisis most of us forget to be ‘us and them’ and we remember that we are in this together.

The thing is, right now, we are all in crisis. Our world is in crisis and in this world there is more good than bad.  Some people are being raised to hate, they are part of the self-inflicted violence both here and far away.  It is our job not to destroy the haters but to challenge and change them.

I listened to a wonderful conversation on Story Core the other morning. A former neo-Nazi and the black janitor who worked at his high school were telling about how they first met.  The thing that stuck with me was that this older janitor showed the young man compassion when he didn’t deserve it.  He looked at that hateful 16-year old and asked himself how he would treat him if he were his son. His compassion is ultimately what turned that young man around.    Now, as an adult, the former student  is working to change others who are brought up to hate.

We can’t always make change… Mother Nature has no agenda and we are unfortunately at her whim.  If you look to science for answers you must admit that some of these weather related tragedies may be the result of our actions, but I am not sure how we can reverse the path we are on to effect change in the immediate future.

What we can change is the self-inflicted tragedies caused by our fellow planet-dwellers.  We need to know each other better… never should there be the person who commits a horrid act and those who ‘knew’ him are surprised.  We need to be more connected to each other so that when someone is ‘off’ we are able to recognize it and reach out for help before it is too late.  The good in humanity abounds… let’s take advantage of our best resource against tragedy… us

 

Don’t Make It Easy

If you live in Oregon you know this… we can not buy Sudafed at the pharmacy.  We can’t buy it here in Oregon because some people misuse the ingredients to make meth.  If you have to go to work and you have a cold, Sudafed is the best way to kick it for the day.   We have outlawed a medication because a few people can’t be responsible. We don’t want to make it easy for drug dealers.

Years ago my mother was running late for work.  An animal like sound came from across the street… it became a tortured scream.  The neighbor boy had tried to kill himself with one of their family’s guns.  He was lucky, my mom was there and he lived. Years later, in the early morning my phone rang. I sat in my kitchen as my boss told me that my coworker’s 16-year old son had committed suicide with his father’s gun. Then there was an early morning meeting to tell us that a student had accidentally shot and killed his brother.  Of course there was Columbine, Sandy Hook, UCC and many, many more… but those were the big ones… The small ones are the ones we, as a nation, never hear about.  They are the hunting accidents, the suicides, the accidental shootings, the children picking up guns and the sudden bad decisions made in anger that take only one or two lives.  

As a nation we are willing to do whatever it takes to keep our people safe.  We have laws about wearing helmets, wearing seat belts, using a phone in the car, how much medication a person in pain is allowed to receive at once, where we are allowed to carry our glass of wine or bottle of beer in public, how high we need to make a railing, and the age we are required to send our children to school.  

We may never be able to foresee the acts of a mad man or the lengths he is willing to go to do harm… but we can prevent accidents, curb successful suicides, and stifle something done in the heat of the moment (think road rage), and make it extremely difficult to commit mass murder… either way we don’t have to make it easy to hurt someone.

If you own a gun you and your family are far more likely to be injured by a gun. Period. If you own a gun you have to realize that YOUR gun may be used to commit a crime.  A gun really has one purpose: To kill something. You can say it is for protection, for hunting, for target practice, for sport… but it really is just to kill.  We need to care more about keeping our society safe than about owning guns.  Owning a gun does not make you safe… it makes you part of the problem… I know that is harsh, because no one wants to admit that something they believe is a right may need to be restricted or even eliminated…  Let’s not make hurting each other easier than it has to be.

Quick To Anger

Many of us are jumping up and shouting that ‘those people’ are what is wrong with America.  I would argue that it is not ‘those people’ it is their attitudes.  Our town is very conservative, very Republican, and very Christian.  Our town is making changes, improvements as it were, to roads, bridges, streetlights and our downtown. Our local leaders are trying to revive and improve our little corner of Oregon. We have several Facebook pages where new ideas are shared with the community.  

 

If you have taken a look at any of these public forums you have seen the barrage of ugly comments left by our neighbors. They are comments that are filled with such anger, hatred and vile language that seems so out of proportion to the idea or statement that spurred them on.  If someone said even the more mild of these hate comments out loud, to my face, I would be fearful for my safety.

 

Somewhere along the way we have lost our respect for one another, a filter of decency, and the ability to control what we say and do.  It seems that we are looking for things to be outraged over, reasons to swear at hard working people, and ways we are being wronged by anyone who crosses our path or looks to change the status quo.

 

Our local government has been implementing road improvements for the past couple of years, and the roads and bridge to our downtown have been under construction for that long. Perhaps it has taken 5 minutes to get through that area rather than the one or two it usually takes… on a really busy day it took ten.  There were road workers helping with traffic during this time. I usually smile and wave because…why not? Those road workers received so much verbal abuse from members of our community. It was sad and they couldn’t wait to get out of our town.

 

The improvements are not perfect, they make it more dangerous rather than less dangerous if you are riding a bike across the bridge and into downtown…but I don’t need to yell or get angry about it. I don’t need to call names or send hateful messages to our city planners. I can write an intelligent, helpful letter offering ways to fix the problem and offer suggestions.

 

We need to step back and think before we jump to anger. Our town is a microcosm of what is happening in our country.  We need to seek to understand what is happening and why it is happening. We need to respect each other before we join the conversation. That is what will make America great again… lack of respect ~ that is what is wrong with America. If you don’t have respect for others, you don’t need to get out, you need to open your mind and better understand the situation.