Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “alternative facts” and that tie…

It is no surprise that Trump is having a tantrum over the fact that it was noted that the audience for his inauguration was quite a bit smaller than other inaugurations. He was so taken aback that the truth was told that he dishonored men and women who have died in service to this country when he gave a speech at the CIA by whining about this fact.

Then we get his mouthpiece, Kellyanne Conway, insisting on “alternative facts”. Sounds quite Orwellian, doesn’t it? The White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, went in front of the cameras and claims that “this was the largest audience to ever witness an inauguration, period”. This is of course a bald faced lie and we have lovely photographic evidence to show this wasn’t the case at all.

Photo by Reuters and Pool Camera

Photo by Reuters and Pool Camera

When confronted with this lie, Ms. Conway said “”You’re saying it’s a falsehood. And they’re giving — Sean Spicer, our press secretary — gave alternative facts,”. This amazingly pathetic response was given to Chuck Todd, the moderator on NBC’s Meet the Press. When asked again why she was trying to spread nonsense, she responded “”Your job is not to call things ridiculous that are said by our press secretary and our president. That’s not your job.”

AKA How dare you say that the Emperor has no clothes! Ms. Conway seems to think that Trump and his coterie have the right to lie to others and take away their ability to make informed choices. Calling the things she and Trump et al say ridiculous, lies, false, etc is exactly the job all of us have now, and if the press doesn’t lead the charge, we all do.

Only a free and unrestrained press can effectively expose deception in government. And paramount among the responsibilities of a free press is the duty to prevent any part of the government from deceiving the people and sending them off to distant lands to die of foreign fevers and foreign shot and shell. Hugo L. Black, associate justice US Supreme Court (New York Times Company v. United States, 1971).

To preserve the freedom of the human mind then and freedom of the press, every spirit should be ready to devote itself to martyrdom; for as long as we may think as we will, and speak as we think, the condition of man will proceed in improvement. –Thomas Jefferson, letter to William Green Mumford (18 June 1799).

And then there is the tie. The really really long red one that Trump wore the inauguration. The one that was held together by tape. Ties are generally made with a loop in the back where the narrow end is tucked to keep it in place. This always works if the tie is knotted correctly. And this isn’t a hard thing to do. Millions can do it (my spouse suggests bringing the wide end down to the crotch and then tying it because it will then be at the beltline after the knot is made). But evidently not Trump.  Tie tacks and tie bars are also evidently beyond him.

It may seem petty to pick on the man’s tie but it reveals two possibilities, neither of which are reassuring: this man has no friends that will keep him from looking like a buffoon or that he has no one he will listen to. Not one of his family members, not one of his staff said “Don, let me take care of your tie for you.” or he was stupid enough to ignore them. I’ve had no problem telling my boss that she has snot hanging from her nose from a less than successful blow. If no one can do that for you, it’s just sad.

Stephen Colbert does a great monologue on the inauguration and that tie

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – the lying lips of a prince

Photo by Reuters and Pool Camera

Photo by Reuters and Pool Camera

We’re deep in it now. The sad little orange man has been inaugurated thanks to the ignorant and fearful and greedy who have sold their honor and responsibility for false promises.  Update:  The women’s march is doing quite well. Poor Donnie, he doesn’t react well to reality. What will TwitterFuhrer do?

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/21/us/womens-march.htm  ( I don’t know if you will be able to see it. I have a subscription)

http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/2017/01/21/chicago-womens-rally-massive-march-canceled/96882902/

http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/womens-march-heads-washington-day-trumps-inauguration/story?id=44936042

and this interesting bit: http://nymag.com/thecut/2017/01/womens-march-canadian-protesters-denied-u-s-entry.html  and here: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/20/womens-march-canada-protesters-denied-entry-us

Donald J. Trump, still is trying to spread those lies and spread that fear. Fear and greed is what fascism and totalitarianism grows in. Willful ignorance is what fertilizes it. Trump’s inaugural speech was nothing but lies, intended to spread fear. He claims that the US is in shambles, that “carnage” reigns in our streets and that simply isn’t true. He need people to believe though, because he can’t get his way if people stand strong and say “no”.

The US does have its problems, like any other country. However, we’ve always gone forward and have shed the shackles of our ignorance and fear, albeit slower than I would wish. Now we have to stand up against men and women who would wish to return us to the bad old days. They intentionally lie to us, trying to take away our right to make informed decisions on our own. They want obedience and no one to speak against them. They want the truth hidden, so people will believe them without question.

They can’t stand the truth, so they try to punish those who speak it. A National Park Service employee retweeted true tweets that showed how small the crowd was for the inauguration and this was termed not sympathetic to the president. It was also noted that the new administration stripped the White House website of any LGBT, climate change and health care webpages (snopes has the lowdown here. And it again shows that the transition team for Trump is utterly incompetent since they had nothing to put up). This was also declared not sympathetic to the president. The account was shut down with claims of urgency.

It has been reopened with the understanding that everything depends on the confirmation of Trump’s nominee, Rep. Ryan Zinke, who is of course supports mining, oil, loggin, trophy hunting, etc on public lands, and wants to transfer public lands to states, so the federal laws concerning wildlife, clean water and clean air don’t apply: anything but what his supposed hero, Teddy Roosevelt would have approved of.

The truth doesn’t have to be sympathetic, it is what it is. And it is in everyone’s interest to constantly point out the false claims and lies told by anyone, but especially when its someone in power.

Trump and his team were wrong when they claimed that millions would attend his inauguration (and more shots of the emptiness, and a great timelapse video of the Mall being occupied – scroll down on that link). Trump and his team were wrong when they claimed that there were no more fancy dresses in DC. Trump and his team were wrong when they claimed that hotels were sold out. They lied that he won the popular vote and they lied when they said it was a landslide and that Trump has a “mandate”.  This is only a few false claims about petty little things. It’s a problem when the lies keep coming about important things that will affect everyone.

“It is the eternal struggle between these two principles — right and wrong — throughout the world. They are the two principles that have stood face to face from the beginning of time, and will ever continue to struggle. The one is the common right of humanity and the other the divine right of kings. — Abraham Lincoln, October 15, 1858 Debate at Alton, Illinois

Excellent speech becometh not a fool: much less do lying lips a prince.” – Proverbs 17 (KJV)

One might think that some of those Christians who voted for Trump might consider one of the few admirable things about their bible.

And just because I like them:

nazis

 

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – screw your courage to the sticking place!

The goats won, barely.   And it is a reason to be angry.  However, it is also reason to be resolved, because it won’t last long.   In six months, half of those who voted for Trump will have buyer’s remorse; indeed Trump will have it himself when he realizes that being president isn’t being dictator. He isn’t the CEO of a company anymore, he is the employee now.   He may try to be the dictator, but history has indeed taught us how to handle those people.   You can depend on people to forget history, hopefully they won’t have time to forget it again when Trump implodes.

And heck, it gives me even more evidence that religion isn’t quite what it’s cracked up to be.  So much for objective morality, eh?

Obama said that this election was judgment on his legacy. That legacy will be burnished to a new shine in 4 years, when it will be demonstrated that all of the magic prizes and ponies promised by his successor were simply lies told to be elected.

There are still humane people in the world.   We will still do the right thing, despite the attempts of others to hold us back, to return to ignorance and fear.  Shake them off and move ahead.  There is plenty of space to move in that direction.  Screw your courage to the sticking place!

But just in case I’m wrong about humanity, and I often am, anyone of my overseas friends have a room for me in a few years?

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – they’ll still be here, and that’s fine – now we remember

The fellow is Ted Nugent, who once had a mildly popular rock song. He was sure that he was on some hit lit by Obama et al. His prediction failed too. Now emblematic of many Trump supporters.

The fellow is Ted Nugent, who once had a mildly popular rock song. He was sure that he was on some hit lit by Obama et al. His prediction failed too. Now emblematic of many Trump supporters.

Even though I have known that the US had people who were ignorant and hateful, they were always in the background. In my lifetime, which consists of the late 60s and onward, we kept moving forward, incrementally sure, but we did move. The David Dukes, the vast majority of both my spouse’s and my rural white ill-educated families, the fearful and ignorant conservatives I overhear at work, they were always there, but I was sure that they’d always be a minor thing, some humans will always be dumb. This is a post about what’s going on in the US politically, in case you didn’t guess.

Then came the wannabee despot, and all of these people were more than happy to follow him, a pied piper calling the rats out of the sewers. They want to think themselves something special but they aren’t; we’ve seen them waving flags on newsreel tapes from Nuremberg, from Red Square in Moscow, etc.   There are a certain fraction of people who want to be led, to be told that they are special and that they deserve better. That will believe claims that the demagogue of the day will grant “every dream you ever dreamed”.   You’d think humans would get it by now.

But oh no.

We have Republicans who are horrified that they are associated with this wannabee despot. S.E. Cupp, a commentator who has been on CNN and I think on MSNBC is upset that Republican women get it from “both sides”. Ms. Cupp, if you are getting abuse from Republicans, then you might want to consider why? Is it that the party is not friendly to women?   Your complaints are about as interesting as a homosexual person who is Republican who complains that the party doesn’t support them either. I’ve never been able to figure out the Log Cabin Republicans. Who is using who?

Oh and I’d consider being called a loser by an idiot like Trump a badge of honor. I have no idea why you would care or would complain about being called such a thing by such a twit. (and yes, Ms. Cupp is one big ol’ hypocrite as she has been for as long as I’ve been aware of her. She is an atheist but says she “really aspires to be a person of faith some day”. When she invents her own god that she can be proud of?).

Of course, we do have Republicans, who in theory should know better, but have no problem in following Trump and espousing his nonsense, which would indicate that no, they didn’t know better and were for this crap all along. We have more lies by a Christian, Newt Gingrich, that lovely fellow that ignores Christianity when convenient, that as soon as Democrats get into power, that somehow magically Ms. Clinton will remove “our father” from the Lord’s Prayer. This was in a speech to the Association of Mature American Citizens, a particularly fearful selection of senior citizens who evidently are sure that there was a magical golden age when they were young, forgetting the hatred given to people of different ethnicities, women, LGBTQ, etc. Ah, but these folks who so hate government (horrors if anyone gets healthcare through the Affordable Care Act) are really really concerned that this government that they are sure shouldn’t exist might not give them their Social Security payments and Medicare. Yep, these are the greedy twits that are your ignorant uncle at the table. I do have to wonder if the whole thing is a scam because it’s such a stereotype of your average Baby Boomer. Hmm, Newt and now Donny, both who have done many things against what are supposedly conservative Christian morals. Now, why would such people support those that make a mockery of their religion? Could it be that they are more interested in power than their supposed savior? Continue reading

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – “I’m shocked, shocked…..”

(addendum: unsurprisingly, we have some of those “shocked” people now insisting that Trump is perfectly fine now, including a number of pastors.  Thanks folks, nothing like showing the religious right is simply cowards and hypocrites)

“I’m shocked, shocked that gambling is going on in here.”

“Your winnings, sir.”

Just finished watching CBS Sunday Morning, where it had Ben Stein being just as sincere as Captain Renault in his indignation about how bad Donald Trump is. Ben Stein, as a lot of you know, is the same fellow who was involved with the nonsense “Expelled” about creationism in schools.

He’s just the latest in a long line of Republicans who are now condemning Trump, despite having no problem with Trump saying things about women, immigrants, Mexicans, veterans, etc, all disgusting and all lies. We have two choices in what they say here: it’s just hypocrisy, or it is people who made a terrible choice and now have finally come to their senses, and it took Trump touting how great sexual assault is to do it. Neither conclusion reflects well on these people, but if it is the second, at least they did come to their senses, like Captain Renault does in Casablanca.

Of course we still have Republicans who are saying that what Trump says is just fine, including people who self-describe as conservative Christians. They say that their god is using Trump. Well, if this god can’t come up with a better tool than Trump, then it isn’t much of a god, is it?

Trump apologized for something 11 years ago. And never once changed his actions or his words in those intervening 11 years right up to now, consistently treating women, and everyone else, like the bully he is. There is no reason to accept the crocodile’s tears.

Not So Polite Dinner Conversation – and one more instance of Christians telling just a little lie, Franklin Graham

Franklin Graham,  the son of Billy Graham, famous American Christian evangelist, was in Harrisburg today.   It was part of his tour insisting that one needs to pray for America.  He didn’t endorse a candidate, but it’s not hard to know who he wants to win, mostly because he has said it himself despites the claims to the contrary “Asked whether Mr Trump might be his preferred candidate, Rev Graham told ABC’s “This Week” program: “Sure, yes.”

“When I first saw that he was getting in, I thought, well, this has got to be a joke,” Rev Graham said. “But the more you listen to him, the more you say to yourself, you know, maybe this guy’s right.”

The same kind of person like himself, who makes false claims about how horrible things are in the US,  about the president of the US, and who is sure that making the US a Christian theocracy is just a peachy idea.

Graham, true to form, was ginning up more fear.

“If we’re not careful, we’re going to lose our religious freedom anyway, so we might as well go ahead and get people out there and vote and get them to vote by the busloads,” he said. “Make sure people are registered in their churches, and I’m talking about registered. Get your grandparents, your children, grandchildren; just don’t go to the graveyard and start digging up your ancestors. Don’t do that. People have done that. That’s not right. Anybody of legal age, get them out there to vote.”

Because, you know,  being persecuted for being Christian and losing your religious freedom looks exactly like this. Hundreds, if not thousands of Christians standing in a state owned park created to honor military personnel,  right across from the state capitol building, in an area that has ten pages of churches in its yellow pages, in a country that has hundreds of media outlets devoted to Christianity.

photo from ABC27

photo from ABC27