Truth.

A friend from high school posted this on Facebook. People need to read this:

Okay, I have resisted fb for weeks, but I just need to state some truth that many of you are not aware of.

1) Our Big (her husband –J.P.) is a federal attorney, not an immigration attorney, but someone who knows his way around federal court. He is trying to reunite children with their parent, and we are in TX. Children have been moved all over the country without any records being kept. There is a federal court order to reunite these children with their parents, but the administration is unable to find these children.

2) Under international and federal law, any human that sets a foot on USA soil is entitled to due process. For you morons who do not understand what that is, look it up. Google is your friend.

3) 90 percent of these parents were seeking asylum. For you morons stating seek it from your home country, one cannot seek it from one’s home country. Political and religious asylum must be pursued from inside the United States. That is the law. A woman and her five year old son were seperated AFTER once she crossed the border, she flagged down border patrol and asked for asylum. Not someone looking to buck the system. But someone looking for a better life. That is what America is. Why would people flag down Customs and Border Patrol if they were not trying to do the right thing?

4) 99 percent of people let out of custody, follow through with their court appointments. If they are not granted asylum, they are deported.

5) yes there were children detained under the Obama, Bush and Clinton administrations. They were UNACCOMPANIED MINORS. Also, children that were with adults who may not have been actual cbildren of the adults crossing the border….meaning sex trafficking or kidnapping. They were detained as well.

6) Whatever you think is okay, think if your child was taken from your arms. Think about it. Think long and hard. Think about being in a situation that was so desperate, that you decided to travel 3000 miles with nothing but the clothes on your back and a couple of bucks in your pocket. I am a mother. I would never move my children unless their lives were in danger. These mothers are heros.

7) Before you complain, UNDERSTAND THE FUCKING LAW. AND UNDERSTAND HOW THE PRESENT ADMINISTRATION IS BREAKING IT

8. ) If you are a mother, and accept this, shut the fuck up. You have no right to speak. Any mother that accepts this is despicable.

Defriend me, hate me, whatever you want to do but you are dead wrong.

9) It is easy to be white in this country. So many of you are so afraid. White people not understanding white privilege is like a pretty girl saying, “Why is everyone so nice to me??”

10) I can always understand conservative viewpoints. I get it. But this broke me. Kidnapping children for political gain is not only disgusting, but evil, and people will pay.

11) The real haters will never get this far. The people who accept this despicable, hateful treatment of children will never read this. Why didnt they? They are cowards, and do not care about the lives of BABIES. Cowards.

Think, Part 2.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m a big fan of “Madam Secretary”. The show is in its fourth season, and is on CBS on Sunday evenings. The show hit its stride early in its run and is continuing to offer up compelling storylines. This past Sunday featured the episode “Sound and Fury”.

I’m not going to get too far into spoilers of this episode, but they may be sprinkled here and there in the rest of this blog entry, so let’s say you’ve been warned.

Yes, you’ve been warned about potential spoilers.

This particular episode of Madam Secretary should be required viewing for high school civics classes. It examines how the 25th Amendment works, why it would be considered and what is really involved with invoking the 25th Amendment of the Constitution. A temporary medical issue comes into play here, but the result of the medical concern feels very familiar if you’ve been paying attention to the news at all since the latest administration took office. Phrases like “overwhelming force and ferocity” are bandied about without consideration. Diplomacy is set aside in favor of ‘tough guy’ displays of strength. On the show this is very uncharacteristic for fictional President Dalton. I wish the same could be said about the man in the Oval Office today.

The scenes around debating invoking the 25th Amendment are very honest. It all felt very believable. If anything, it made me think of how that debate would carry out in the real world today. Are there meetings taking place in D.C. to discuss this exact thing?

I’m inclined to think so.

The are two lines in particular that struck me rather hard (and I’m paraphrasing): 1. “We have the greatest system of government the world has ever known, but it’s only as strong as its people” and 2. “We took an oath to uphold the Constitution, not our political party”.

If only the folks in Washington would get on the script.

The tribalism, and the divisiveness behind the tribalism, is what’s deeply hurting our country, and I fully believe the news media continues to pour gasoline on this raging dumpster fire. Tribes saw one candidate as a movie villain and reacted as if they were watching a WWE tournament. The tribe continues to do this today. Trump purposely stirs up the tribe to keep a “villain” in the news. And the news outlets eat it up. It’s the tribalism that is killing objectivity. A good number of elected officials are putting party over country. I have little faith in most of our elected officials; the charade of “serving the people” died years ago.

If you haven’t had the chance to see Madam Secretary or if you don’t even have the interest to follow the show, I still recommend that you watch the episode “Sound and Fury”. It works pretty well as a standalone episode and I think the mechanics are sound to help one understand how the 25th Amendment works.

And how officials should always honor their oath to uphold the Constitution.

Comparison.

I just tweeted that one of the most frustrating things about 2017 is knowing Republicans that are much better people than those that are controlling things in Washington, D.C. today. The Republicans I know, friends from all facets of my life, family members, etc., are good people. What we see today from our leaders is not compassion. It’s not about doing what one believes is right for the country, it’s about winning. And not just winning, it’s about annihilation. Win at all costs. Party over country.

I’ve struggled with blogging in 2017. There’s so much I want to say, so much I want to share, but the fact of the matter is, the state of our country has consumed way too much of my life in 2017. What I have to say seems so insignificant to the constant struggle, turmoil, and chaos that we are fed via every possible avenue. Social media, the news, conversation with friends, overheard discussions in a restaurant, people screaming at each other on the road, the chaos has consumed us and this frustrates me. And part of that frustration is the anger and sadness I feel when I see how much a reality show television host has influenced my existence. I venture to say that I have cared too much for the welfare of the United States. I want to see people thrive, all people thrive. The wrong people are making sure the wrong people get ahead. It’s frustrating to see so many people blind to that fact. The tribes of the political parties are killing our country.

Long ago I gave up trying to change people’s minds about politics. Heck, given another GOP candidate on that ballot back in November 2016, I could have easily voted for a person that showed at least a little bit of compassion. I believe in many of the GOP ideals my father’s GOP believed in. And honestly, I will be the first to admit that I’m a pretty selfish person, but I don’t believe in taking things away from other people. Everyone should give more than they take from their community, their city, their country, but we shouldn’t make it impossible for folks to find their way through life. Everyone deserves a chance.

Everyone deserves a _fair_ chance.

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Abysmal.

My brain continues to hurt from the rampant stupidity in our country. I’ve been desperately trying to avoid politics for the past week and the truth of the matter is you just can’t escape it. If you sit down to watch a football game, the vice president is staging a political stunt about players kneeling during the National Anthem. If you turn on any given sitcom, there’s jokes about the idiocy of Trump. If you mute his name on Twitter, he still creeps into your timeline under a wide variety of alternative names. Luckily, my timeline is skewed enough to keep the alternative names from being in any way flattering.

This country is in a state of constant chaos that just can’t be escaped. Stupidity is en vogue. Ignorance is celebrated. You can’t trust the news. You can’t trust what you read on the Internet. People are purposely spending false, damaging information to feed this state of chaos. It’s a fire that continues to rage, slowing consuming everything.

My original 30 day challenge for the month of October was to blog at least once a day about something other than politics. I wanted to spread a little bit of light out into the world. A light that would somehow consume even the smallest spark from this raging dumpster fire. But then the Las Vegas shooting happened and my attempt at blogging felt futile. How can I talk about a grand life in Chicago when there is so much strife going on?

The Trump Administration is trying to destroy the United States of America and rebuild it into a white male dominated domain. If you’re not a straight, white man you’re considered a “less than”. The number of people that continue to support this man astounds me. I can not and will not forgive anyone that cast a vote in his direction. I won’t try to understand and I’m certainly not going to tolerate it. The man is an idiot, a moron, a charlatan. And his supporters are just as stupid.

The “greatest country on Earth”. Yeah, right.

Compassion.

Cross-posted from my Facebook account. Yes, I still use Facebook and I have no idea why I do.

I’ve been trying not to make political posts on FB because honestly I’m not going to change anyone’s mind about anything, especially in this “warring factions” mentality we have in our society. But I have to say this: there are a lot of good people that have lived long, productive lives contributing to society. Teachers, counselors, clergy, firefighters, soldiers, people from all walks of life. As they age their bodies start deteriorating in ways that they can not control. In their quest to live as long as they can (just like we all do), they require more and more medical care. That medical care can be expensive. Should these people be denied medical care because they can’t afford insurance? A spokesperson from the Trump administration states that Medicaid recipients should go out and get jobs. Medical insurance should be a reward for working hard at your job. I don’t know too many 80 year old Alzheimer’s patients that could handle that sort of challenge. Is a person battling cancer suppose to work at McDonalds in between radiation treatments? Where would you like a developmentally disabled child to work? Making headlamps at an auto factory?

The Affordable Care Act was not perfect. But repealing it and replacing it later (which is the latest dialog coming out of the White House since they can’t agree on the meanness level of TrumpCare now) is not the answer. A sane person does not plan to replace a refrigerator by burning down the house and then sleeping in the elements for months before starting to build a new house with a new refrigerator in it.

I know it’s ‘fun’ to scream about how awful Hillary was and to throw rocks at people that are different than you and to hoard all your money so you can watch people that are ‘less than you’ suffer on the street. We all get our kicks in our own way. But, c’mon, can we start searching for a common compassion for one another, set aside our differences for just a moment and admit that we are a stronger society, stronger nation when we were together and find a common ground?

Hillary.

I watched this interview with Hillary Clinton at Codecon live this afternoon. It was refreshing to hear someone with a presidential presence speak articulately and candidly. I’m still with her.

Please set aside an hour or so and watch this interview.

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Anger.


A popular meme on the Internet these days goes something like this: “Sally voted for Hillary. Bob voted for Trump. They realize the election is over now and even though they have disagreements when it comes to politics, Sally and Bob agree to be friends. Be like Sally and Bob.” Several of my friends and relatives have shared this meme and I have to say it just makes me angry.

Then, when I go to Facebook (which I still do when I know that I absolutely shouldn’t be there), I see all sorts of whining and complaining about all the political posts that are flying by on the feeds of folks that I’m friends with. They complain that they go to Facebook to see recipes and happy pictures of people and they wish that everyone would stop talking about politics all the time.

I don’t know if anyone’s noticed, but the Trump Administration has pretty much been a god damn dumpster fire since his mediocre inauguration. We have Executive Orders coming from the White House like they’re freaking decrees. Rights are being stripped away from Americans left and right. Some friends from high school say it’s the whole “one bad kid ruined it for the whole class” mentality but I don’t know if anyone’s noticed or not but the vast majority of Americans are not in high school. I do not need to be treated like some wainked out teenager who gets spanked because everyone in the room is getting spanked. I am an American and a god damn patriotic American at that. I was fairly attentive in my social studies classes when I was a kid. I read. I research. I watch the news. I even listen to folks that have a different political viewpoint from mine if they are able to support their beliefs, just like I support mine. But anyone that rolls over and puts up with the horse crap that is coming out of Washington D.C. should be ashamed of themselves.

My beliefs of what this country should be are very simple. The populace should be working hard, contributing more to society than it takes, leaving the world better than we found it and doing good things for themselves and other people regardless of skin color, race, nationality, sexual orientation, gender identity or whatever other label you want to slap on someone. I don’t have to pray to your God and you don’t have to pray to mine because quite frankly, as an American it’s none of my business whom you pray to. If you want me to read your Bible, don’t start out by beating me over the head with it every chance you get. Just because I believe that a woman has the right to do as she wishes with her own body doesn’t mean that I want women getting abortions at Wal*mart (Always White Trash, Always). I happen to believe that abortion is the wrong answer to the question 99.5% of the time but you know what, I don’t have a vagina, I don’t plan on getting a vagina and therefore I should have absolutely NO say as to what a woman can or can’t do with her body. If we want to outlaw something let’s start with face or neck tattoos or something, but that’s a rant for another day.

I’m not only angry about people telling me that I shouldn’t discuss politics, I’m angry that people are telling me to get over it. I’m not getting over it. Ever. I’ve had to listen to that cantankerous old stupid man Mitch McConnell contort politics six ways from Sunday to do everything he can to make President Obama’s term as short and miserable as possible and now I’m suppose to be happy that a man with fake hair, a fake tan and completely without a clue is sitting in the big chair in D.C. Give me a break. When we have a failed reality star who has done everything he can to make himself important in Hollywood since he was big enough to throw his junk around women become president it’s obvious that this country is a raging dumpster fire that’s about one and a half steps away from a completely meltdown to an “Idiocracy” scenario.

And don’t even get me started about any relatives who voted for Trump thinking that I’m going to be happy and cordial at the next family reunion. “But I didn’t agree with Hillary!”  Wonderful. I’m happy that you’re offended by pant suits and that you made the bold choice to vote for a man who was supported by the KKK, is intent on taking away any right I have as a gay man away from me as quickly as possible and has loaded up his Administration with every white, rich, swamp dweller one can name. Draining the swamp? Get the hell away from me with that BS. The swamp is overflowing with raw sewage but Benghazi and an email server. Shall we discuss all the Administration officials using a private email server? No, because they’re not Hillary. Hillary stood by her man. Any woman that voted against Hillary because she supported Bill during the Monica scandal is a woman that would rather have a man make decisions for her. 

On Tuesday night we had some sort of public spectacle to announce Trump’s pick for the vacant Supreme Court position. The position has been open for a year but because Obama was black he wasn’t allowed to get any traction with his nomination because, well, you know, these things take time. So instead we were stuck with an American Idol-type fiasco from the Orange Cheeto making grand gestures to tell us that he’s nominating a man that started a “Fascism Forever Club” in high school. That should be a hoot and half. 

Crimminy.

Look it, I’m an American. I am a 48 year old, married, white, gay American male. I take my hat off when I hear the Star Spangled Banner. I like to believe that the United States of America is land of the free and the home of the brave, but if we continue to be completely stupid and make stupid choices and bury our head in the sand, there ain’t gonna be a country to be proud of for much longer.

Get your heads out of your ass, America, stop telling me to be all Pollyanna over something that is nothing more than a travesty waiting to go nuclear and for the love of God, get a friggin’ clue.

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Multipass.

So who wants to wager how long it will be before the Trump Administration starts pushing for a national “Multipass” type credential card for every citizen of the United States? I’ll admit that I have a tin foil hat in my closet that seems to not be gathering dust lately, but if you take a step back from the insanity spewing from the White House, you can see the signs where such a scenario is quite plausible. A National registration card using the latest technology for this sort of thing would be a wet dream for Trump and his efforts.

  1. Trump wants to deport illegal immigrants. No Multipass? Out you go.
  2. Trump is still carrying on about alleged election fraud, despite the fact that there is no evidence that massive election fraud took place during last November’s election. No Multipass? No vote.
  3. Trump wants to take our border security to the next level. No Multipass? You’re not getting back in the U.S.

And this is just the tip of the iceberg. How long would it be before you had flash your Multipass to get into a sporting event or a concert or the mall? With embedded RFID technology in the Multipass, every citizen of the United States could be tracked at any given time. Why go through the hassle of bugging the telecoms or tech companies for access to smartphones and other devices when you can just track the Multipass? You wouldn’t even know when your Multipass is being scanned. Have a scanner in the mall and Johnny is at Destiny USA. Bomb goes off at Destiny USA, let’s round up everyone that was in the area where the bomb went off.

Craziness, right? Don’t be so quick to dismiss.

Now, I would use every ounce of voice that I have to dismiss such an act. One of the many perks of being an American is the fact that we can move freely about the country without constantly being tracked. But if there’s enough hysteria, enough lies and enough spin, I could totally see Trump supporters backing such legislation. And we know that Trump is really good at lies and his folks are really good at spin.

And his supporters think nothing of denying the truth of their own senses if they feel it’s in the best interest of their chosen political party.

Scary times, people. Scary times. I feel like I should start practicing, “J.P. Wing Multipass”.