I know that for many Christmas is a Christian religious holiday. But it is also a time that has important meaning to non-Christians. It is a time for family, for love, a time for remembrance, a time for joy, and a time to renew one’s commitment to helping make a better and more peaceful world. So, whatever Christmas means to you, to all a Merry Christmas and a joyous Season’s Greeting from the Chapman family.
The right-wing of the GOP is all over investigating Hunter Biden because he served on the board of directors of a Ukrainian company. They question his qualifications and imply he could have only gotten such a position if his daddy pulled some strings while completely ignoring how Eric, Don Jr., Ivanka, or Jared got their jobs high up in the Trump White House.
It’s the season to be generous, but if you follow the news you are aware that Donald J. Trump just had to pay $2,000,000 to charities his charitable foundation had ripped off. Also, he had to admit his misdeeds in court and his foundation has had its doors slammed shut for the long term.
There’s nothing new about charities not being charitable. Years ago I stopped giving to the Red Cross after learning that a huge portion of its income went to pay for fundraising and administrative cost. There were some big paychecks being handed out at the top.
One of the great things about the Internet is how quickly the satirists rally when someone screws up. Nobody has made themself a bigger target than Donald J. Trump. This latest Sharpie Gate thing could have been totally avoided if only he had some degree of being able to cop to an error and correcting it.
Just for the hell of it, I took a couple of minutes this morning to collect a bunch of memes based on Trump’s using a Sharpie to alter a weather map to try and cover his ass rather than just letting a simple human error roll off his shoulders.
This is what arrogance and a yuge ego will get you!
In case you’ve never heard of six degrees of separation here a working definition:
Six degrees of separation is the theory that any person on the planet can be connected to any other person on the planet through a chain of acquaintances that has no more than five intermediaries.
Over a recent weekend at a blues festival in Wheeling, WV I experienced a version of it on two occasions. When we first arrived my son, Mike, said to the couple in front of us, “Can we be your neighbors?” The man said certainly and introduced himself as Walt. I asked where he was from and the answer was Pittsburg. I told him I was from near Hillsboro and he immediately responded that he was very familiar with this area. Walt had been in the linoleum and flooring business and his customers included several Mennonite builders in this area. He rattled off a couple of names that I wasn’t familiar with and one of them had the surname of Weaver. I said I know a Weaver that owned a produce market and he said, “Oh yeah, Fred and Velma outside Rainsboro, I know them well.” Damn, how many degrees was that?
Trump said yesterday that since he received millions of votes he shouldn’t be investigated by anyone who is not elected. Well, I think this needs some considerations.
Since the entire federal judicial system, from the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court on down to lowest paid employee of the Department of Justice, isn’t elected, does that mean those politicians who are elected are above the law?
There doesn’t need to be a second consideration. All we Americans need to do is honestly answer how we feel about giving politicians a blank check to cover everything they may want to engage in.
A week or so ago I published a photo of Donald Trump on which someone had Photo-shopped a set of male testicles to replace his chin. It was obviously gross and offensive and I’m sure the artist meant it to be. When I chose if from other such photos I meant it to be offensive, for the simple reason that most everything Trump has or does is offensive. He is a person who thrives on being offensive.
A Facebook friend challenged the photo as being totally disrespectful and I replied that, yes it was and rightfully so. I argued that respect is something earned and never owed. She countered that she was brought up as a small town country girl and taught to respect her elders. Well most of us were brought up to respect our elders and to respect authority. In teaching government I was always instructed to respect the office if not the person in the office. Throughout my career, I both followed that tenet and preached it to my students. Over twenty years into retirement and faced with a breed of politician atypical to America, I’ve changed my views about dispensing respect like it was trick or treat candy. You just can’t threaten a trick anymore, you actually have to roll over, bark twice, sniff my ass, and hold out your paw to earn a dab of respect.
A fellow I know solicited input on Facebook about area builders who do pole barns. Several suggested contractors were named and I suggested a local Amish contractor who I know to be hardworking, honest, and dependable.
The very next response was from a person claiming that, “the amish [sic] charge double of what anyone else would. And the money you pay them doesnt [sic] go back into our infrustructure [sic]. So keep that in mind when you hit a pothole on your way to work.” The next post after that was, “…sometimes they are cheaper because alot [sic] of them have 10-12 year old working and they don’t pay workers comp insurance or into social security. And they fill up the waiting rooms everywhere they are offering free health services eye exams or dental care.”
Several things immediately came to mind. First, neither have mastered basic punctuation, spelling, and the rules for capitalization. Secondly, both are obviously prejudiced and biased against the Amish and I’ll assume the Mennonites as well. And lastly, they are both just plain ignorant of reality. Continue reading Amish Reality; There’s Just No Shortage of Ignorance→
I followed a Facebook thread today begun by a former student who was reacting to the unfolding college admittance scandal. She was relating how hard she worked to get into college and to pay her own way without help from others, including her mother. There is nothing unique about this woman, she did it the way most of us did it, on our own merits and our own labors. She wasn’t whining or bitching but instead, just expressing the disappointment she felt that American higher education is so difficult for the most while others can evade the hurdles with little more than monetary bribes from their parents.
On January 7, 2019, a Michigan family, returning from a Florida vacation, was struck by a drunk driver, driving in the wrong direction on I-75 in Kentucky. The parents and their three children were killed in a fiery head-on collision.
I first became aware of this tragedy while watching the NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt. What caught my attention was at the end of the story Holt identified the victims as a Muslim family from Michigan. I had to ask, why was their religion important or germane to the story? He would have never said five Catholics or five Methodists died in the wreck. Why mention that these people were Muslim and what does it say?
This is January 1, 2019, and so far it’s not been much different than yesterday, December 31, 2018. Two major differences are, there are far more hangovers being cared for today and there are tens of thousands of people not waiting ten to fifteen hours in the rains of New York’s Times Square for a crystal ball to be lowered at midnight. If there’s anything I can’t imagine it’s me standing in the rain with 100,000 others waiting to watch a shiny thing descend upon the earth.
When it comes to New Year Eve stories, however, those ball watchers will have a story that will far exceed anything I’ve done on New Year’s Eve. Neither Janet or I have been much for leaving the house on these occasions. In 2000 we did attend a community millennium celebration and maybe a couple of years afterward we went to a nearby neighbor’s and played Trivial Pursuit with some friends. Increasingly we don’t even bother staying up to watch the ball drop, which was the case last night. By eleven o’clock I was asleep and having dreams about when my first piss call would take place. In case you’re into these things, it was 1:22 am.
Regarding Trump’s view of those wanting to come to America he seems to put them all into one big bowl and then plaster that bowl with a variety of labels. He likes calling them rapists, criminals, drug dealers, violent gang members, terrorists, animals, infestations of vermin or whatever demeaning term that should slither out of his forked tongue. . He does however, have a number of labels he likes to use. To Trump they are either rapists, criminals, drug dealers, terrorists, animals, or whatever demeaning label that falls off his slithering forked tongue. There does seem and exception. Trump likes very white people, preferably those from the nation of Norway. He much prefers Norwegians over people from “shit hole” countries.
I recently posted a Facebook criticism of the Trump administration’s zero tolerance policy and how it was separating children from their parents as leverage to force congress into building his fecking wall.
As of this writing the number of incarcerated immigrant children is approaching 3,000 and whatever federal agencies have a hand in this none seem to prepared to handle the numbers, offer appropriate housing, medical care, psychological counseling, or have any system to prevent parents from losing track of their children
This zero toleration policy and the separation of so many innocent children is almost without parallel in American History. It is the creation of extreme political ideology and supported by xenophobia and the inherent racism of too many Americans. To justify the separating of parents and children the administration has even resorted to inaccurately citing cherry picked passages from the Bible.
Sarah Sanders repeatedly lied in a recent news briefing that the Trump administration was simply enforcing existing (ten-year old) laws that require separation of parents and children at the border. I just did some fact checking on that and she is not telling the truth. There are laws about retaining people illegally entering the US but the separation of families and incarceration of children is a policy ordered by Trump and carried out by Attorney General Jeff Sessions.
It is a heinous policy that violates the core of both morality and America’s historical claim of supporting human rights. Even when the US immorally incarcerated Japanese citizens during World War Two we at least had the decency to keep families united.
In her press briefing Sanders was called out about the administration’s lying about the separation policies. Both she and Jeff Sessions are being challenged and both have resorted to every argument in the book to support their behaviors. Most recently they both have turned to the Bible. Citing Romans 13 they claim that the law is the law and it is God’s will that the law be obeyed.
My brother owned a custom home building business in Raleigh, NC. He had his own crew for certain jobs but for most he relied on subcontractors. As the years passed the subs began hiring more and more immigrants because they couldn’t find enough willing, reliable, and skilled Americans. The next thing that happened was the immigrants figured out what the sub business was all about and started their own subcontractor businesses. Because they couldn’t find Americans to do the work they too turned to relying on immigrants. It’s like I said, we’ve always needed immigrants. We needed the Irish and Chinese to build our railroads. We needed Italians to mine our coal. We needed Poles to make our steel and other East Europeans to butcher our beef. And we needed Mexicans to harvest our fields and orchards. Most of these people assimilated, gained citizenship, and eventually prospered and added to the diversity and strength of America. Just think what life would be without the gastronomic influences of the Mexicans and Italians. No tacos or pizza. Just go ahead and kill me!