Answer The Question

“Excuse me, Representative, do you believe it is appropriate for a president, ANY president to withhold foreign aid in exchange for dirt on a political opponent?”

If you have watched any news clip or program or seen anything on line, you are sure to have seen men and women in the halls and streets of Washington, zigging and zagging with their heads down, pretending to be on their phones or simply stone faced. Each one dodging the cameras and reporters refusing to answer this or any question in regard to the illegal activities of the administration. It’s as if they answer the question honestly, or rather, correctly, and say it is not appropriate they may face the Trump-Tweet-Storm and if they answer in support of his actions, they are admitting to their constituents they are willing to break the law.

The few that are speaking, the talking-heads like Representative Jim Jordan (R-Ohio), Kevin McCarthy (R-CA), Devin Nunes (R-CA) won’t answer the question either. Instead they say everything else.

    • There was no quid pro quo.
    • He did nothing wrong.
    • Who is the whistleblower, they need to come forward.
    • Crowd strike and the 2016 democratic server.
    • VP Joe Biden and the removal of the Ukrainian prosecutor.
    • They were talking about rooting out corruption.

I can’t wait for the public hearings begin. I hope there are dozens of witnesses that republicans call that support the law above the party. I hope that people become more informed about the process, the law and the facts. I wish that truth will prevail over partisan politics.

Response to Yad Vashem @yadvashem Twitter response to @AOC calling US boarder “concentration camps”

Wow. This hurts me to the core. I am the child of a German immigrant. She was born in what is now Poland in 1935. She wanted so to become part of the League of German Girls, the branch of the Hitler youth for girls, when she was a child, but was too young to join. You had to be 10 years old, and everyone did. She, like many, especially children, we’re enamored by her leader, by patriotism and nationalism. Even as her own family was torn apart, her siblings in different homes, her father taken prisoner by Polish soilders, she was proud to be German. It wasn’t until she was in her teens that she learned of the horrors that were carried out in the name of her country.

She moved here with her husband, my father, in the 60’s, eventually settling in a suburban neighborhood that had a dense Jewish population. As I was growing up a decade later, I didn’t advertise I was German, I was embarrassed and knew it was an open wound for many in my community. It was one of those things you didn’t speak about in polite conversation. Fortunately most in the community were one generation removed from the direct experience (my mother had me at a relatively late age, whereas most other parents were about ten years younger).

We grew up knowing it was not our fault. It was not my mother’s fault. It was not our grandparents fault. But somewhere, at some point, Germans allowed it to happen.

It wasn’t like on Monday everything was normal and on Friday 6 million Jewish people were dead.

No. History has shown us, it has never happened like that.

Hitler did not have a grand design of cheap war time labor. He had a grand design of targeted genocide. Brushing aside the brutality of history by claiming the concentration camps were created with the intention of cheap labor is spitting on each and every grave.

There may have been people that were sentenced to hard labor that were not Jewish, but the camps were not built for them, they were a handy alternative for dissidents, criminals and people that just pissed off Hitler and his SS boys.

What is happening in this country, at our southern boarder, no, it is not on par with 6 million Jewish people murdered by Hitler. It is on course to be worse. Why?

Because we can see. We can see each and every atrocity carried out. We can see every family ripped apart. We can see what OUR war on drugs has done to their homes in Central America and why they are fleeing for their lives. We can see children without their mother or father. We can see children in cages sleeping on floors. We can see courts with no inturpreturs or attorneys. We can see people’s rights being taken away because they were not born here, regardless of how long they have lived here. We can see.

We can hear. We can hear the vitriol coming from the mouth of trump. We can hear the hate speach chanted at his rallies. We can hear people in stores yelling at people to go back to their country. We can hear the KKK marching in our streets again. We can hear.

Having the Holocaust Center stating “the camps helped” is so beyond disturbing. This is the type of political dog and pony show that is reserved for the bullshit and pandering, not the sacred memory of millions.

There are few left that were actually alive to experience the horror of 1939-1945 in any aspect. So for that, we are now left with records, written history, photos, interviews, memories of stories told. It is up to us, right here, right now, as to whether or not we are willing to allow such a monstrosity of history, or even a shadow of a resemblance of it, be repeated. Do you want your children, your grandchildren to have to answer these questions in 50 years?

We’re All Mad Here

The title is from Carrolls’ ‘Alice In Wonderland’ but it rings true each and every day.  We are not perfect people, everyone has a flaw or many.

Almost 49% of kids 13-18 have or will have a serious mental illness, over 30% drop out of school, 70% of kids in the justice system have some type of mental illness.  Adults, 1 in 5 experience a mental health illness in a given year (NAMI.org).  In a given year.  That includes the mom on your block that went through post-partum depression, or the kid across the street that has ADD, or you after you had a major transistion in your life and was feeling a little anxious, or couldn’t sleep.  1 in 25 adults live with a serious mental illness.  Meaning it is ongoing like schizophrenia, PTSD or autism.  With these numbers, chances are you or someone you know will fall into one or more of these categories.

The issue?  Aside from the obvious lack of care, coverage, availability and ability to seek help is the stigma.

stig-ma, noun; a mark of disgrace associated with a particular circumstance, quality or person.

When someone is having a crisis in this arena, and actually seek help, the wall that is placed in front of them is impenetrable.  First, you are dealing with the fact that you can’t fix you.  You are having to ask someone to help you.  You feel foolish because your problems are small and unimportant in comparison to the rest of the world.  Second is dealing with your insurance and finding a doctor.  By law there are minimum standards across the country called ‘Parity Laws’.  Of course there are exceptions and there are health plans that do not need to follow parity laws.  Once you figure out who your insurance will allow you to see, how often, and many times a higher deductible than regular doctor visits, you need an appointment.  Just like any specialty doctor, getting an appointment with a psychiatrist is defeating in itself.  Many don’t take new patients, most you have to wait three months to get that first appointment.  So, in a crisis, limited choices of doctors, expensive and you have to wait three months, and you better not tell ANYONE.  Because of the stigma.

We have this need to categorize everyone and everything, it just can be.  Yesterday in Florida was tragic, horrific and completely unnecessary.  The media just continued on their need to answer why and who.  Many times the why is never fully discovered because the assailant took their own life or suicide by cop.  We have the occasional time when the perpetrator survives.  Yet regardless of any of that, the initial reports, speculations and interviews will put the mass murderers into one of two categories because it makes them feel better.  They are either terrorists or mentally ill.  This needs to stop.  Sometimes why is never answered.  You can buy 1000 pounds of fertilizer or 10 rifles in this country easier than you can buy a decongestant.  That is your why.

Every time a shooting occurs and it happens to be a white person, it’s the easy answer to say, “They had a history of mental illness”.  What history, what illness?  Did they have ADD?  Anxiety?  Or are you just going to throw that out there so ALL mental illnesses can be put under this violent umbrella?

This is why you don’t tell your friends.  This is why you don’t say anything at work.  This is why people don’t seek help.  This is why suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teens.

The issue with these shootings isn’t the illness, or that we don’t have adequate care or services, or that it’s like a rat maze to get help.  It’s the guns, plain and simple.  Don’t get me wrong, the mental health system in this country needs some serious revamping, it needs to be ok to have a mental illness, it needs to be seen as an illness and not just feelings and hearing voices.  There is brain chemistry going on that is physically not working correctly.  We have veterans from two non-stop wars that are coming home with some serious trauma, physically and mentally.  Instead of just giving them an oxy for their pain and send them on their way, each and every one of them need to have easy and simple access to the help they need.

Mental illness is not an American thing.  We don’t have all of the mad people in this country.  All countries have people that suffer from this illness.  So why don’t they have 17 kids dead today, or 600 wounded in their tourist hot spot, or 18 other school shootings that have already happened this year?  Guns and healthcare.

The second amendment was truly written to allow states to raise an army of untrained citizens to protect that state from a hostile government.  That is what a militia is.  In Texas, two militia were formed in the 1800’s and remain to this day, the National Guard and the Texas Rangers.  To have a gun to protect is one thing, having your own military style stock pile is another.  Every law enforcement organization, combat unit and guard are trained, tested and their guns liscenced.  There is no possible situation that I can imagine that would justify having a rapid fire weapon as a civilian.  There is no reason you can’t register the guns you purchase, that you must get a background check or that you must wait seven days.  No one wants to ‘take your guns’ but we do want to feel safe in our homes, schools and public places.  Your gun rights end when my safety, security and happiness ends.

So I came at this from two sides.  Journalism needs to stop categorizing these acts and just report the actual facts.  Just because someone suffered from depression is not necessarily the reason they decided to pick up a gun and kill his classmates and teachers.  It’s counterproductive in addressing mental illness and will keep the next person from asking for help.  The real issue is access to the guns.  Common sense legislation needs to be passed, the NRA needs to stay off the hill and out of politicians pockets.  After all, only about 5% of gun owners are affiliated with the NRA, which is a rather small portion of the population considering only about 33% of Americans even own a gun.

In Circles

Distraction.  It’s a technique used in multiple applications: animal training, dealing with children, pick pocketing, magic, advertising.  In politics it is even easier to use.  The curtain is dropped, the wool securely over the eyes.  How has this become so easy with a government led by the people, how have we become so easily distracted?

You could blame it on the media, but that is a vicious circle of a feedback relationship.  Money, sure, but we the people allowed our representatives vote on and pass citizens United.  Lobbyists, well anyone can be a lobbyist, just the ones that have the most time and money are more likely to get a meeting.  The number of sources, the number of devices, the lack of time, the lack of interest, the overload of information, so many causes, so many issues, so little empathy, so much passion.  So what to do.

I don’t have an answer, I struggle every day.  Hell, every morning I wake up these days, my first thought is “who did he piss off now, what did the assholes do today?”.  There is almost nothing that surprises me now (i’m still shocked about trumps comments on Monday), I almost anticipate waking up to a missile launch from North Korea.

Bottom line, we already know this guy is a lying, hot headed, ignorant, bigoted, misogynistic, well you know the description list.  We also know the Russian collusion case is only getting more and more evidence and most likely has enough to throw his ass in a Siberian jail.  We know he has pissed off the world.  What should we focus on then?

Doing whatever we can, every day, with any tool you have to remove him from office.  Aside from brinkmanship with North Korea, trying to dissolve NATO, insulting our immediate neighbours, praising dictators, this man has NO business having ANY power because he does NOT represent this country.  A racist in the Whitehouse is not a sentence we should have to say.

Call you senator, regardless if they are an ass (i.e. mine is Ted Cruz), call your representatives, call your governor, call your mayor, call the Whitehouse.  Make these six calls EVERY DAY AND DEMAND HE BE REMOVED NOW FOR MENTAL INCOMPETENCE!

CALL

EVERY DAY

NOW

THIS IS WHAT YOU CAN DO THAT CAN MAKE AN IMPACT!!!!

This Can’t Be Real & Why Is It Still Happening

I am stunned.  I can’t believe this is the world I live in.  What has this country let happen and continue to happen, inflaming every situation and relationship.

I am far from a patriotic, flag waving, country centered American, I’m just one of many who happened to be born here, citizen of the world.  What is transpiring in the United States is in no way American, patriotic, protective, honorable or humane.

THIS IS NOT MY COUNTRY!  THIS IS NOT AMERICAN!  THIS IS NOT PATRIOTIC!  THIS IS NOT HONORABLE!  THIS IS NOT HUMANE!

What will it take to even just remove this man from the Presidency.  I don’t care what your political affiliation is, any person that condones in ANY WAY hate, hate groups, violence and supremacy has no business in charge of this or any country.

I have questioned the legitimacy of this administration the moment it was confirmed that the election was interfered with.  At that moment, all executive and cabinet decisions and actions should have been frozen, regardless of who the interference appears to benefit.  I won’t bullshit, if Hilary or Bernie were in the oval, I probably would not have had it in my mind.  It actually would have just been a continuation of the never ending 30,000 email crap that’s been going on, along with Benghazi, uranium and hell, even Monica.  However, neither would not be condoning racism, white supremacy, neo-nazi groups.  Neither wouldn’t have insulted every ally we have.  They wouldn’t have exited the Paris accord.  They wouldn’t be having a pissing contest with North Korea.  They would have released her taxes.  They wouldn’t be knowingly and intentionally lying.  Daily.

Hillary & Bernie would not be standing in front of the press, yelling at them and anyone listening that it wasn’t the neo-nazis’ fault, but those aggressive, bat-wheelding alt-left protesters (who were there WITHOUT a permit).

For a year now, this country has had to shake its collective head, hope other countries know our outdated election system is in need of an overhaul, that the few do DO NOT represent the many and apologize for how the new “commander” in chief is behaving on the world stage.  However, all of his gaffs, inexperience, rudeness, bullish attitude are all repairable and recoverable once his term is up, but this.  No.

This country, if it does not act appropriately to these actions, actions cumulatively on a path littered with destruction to this apex of arrogance and hate, will destroy itself.  This country is rapidly on a self-destructive course with a mad-man at the helm.  For some reason, those that have the ability to remove this egotistical destroyer of all, have yet to do so, and with each day, the country loses more and more.  Soon, there will be no country, well at least the country that anyone knows.  It will become unfamiliar, foreign, cold, unwelcoming.  What you woke up to today, the beauty of the sky, the opportunities in front of you, the quaint or quirky neighborhood you live it, it will all change.  You won’t wake up to that anymore.

You go ahead and start to compose your own 1984 world, what it will be like for you and better yet, what it will be like for your children.  I’m almost 50.  I have no kids.  I could easily shrug my shoulders and just mind my own business, go about my day.  I’ve lived most of my life, I’ve actually made it longer than I thought, so ‘yeah me!’.  I can’t do that.  I can’t watch as this complete insanity not only continues, but is allowed to run off leash. People are the casualties from the daily barrage of words and actions from this crazy man.  Pick any topic, it has or will be shortly, impacted and chances are almost 100% in a negative way.

This must end.  Even if it means all of us going into the damn white house and carrying his ass out of there.

There’s a sucker with a 10¢ ring

Perspective is everything. Not sure about the top 10, but political position aside, it is idealistic to think we “control” what are representatives do at a national level as a general statement, and that is because of money and the distribution of it.We have allowed it to slowly favor the upper crust, with the middle of the road guy to pay for supporting the masses. From citizens United to a non competitive market for pharmaceuticals, the balance has tipped more and more to one side with a smaller and smaller collection.  

It is a strategic way for fiscal conservatives / republicans to maintain representation in states with liberal major cities (Texas, Arizona, etc). Reminding that small portion of Americans (getting smaller and smaller) that their hard earned money shouldn’t go to government programs, they’re not responsible for the mom with five kids on welfare, my family comes first.  

This is true, this group of Americans are shouldering an unfair percentage of the burden. Because those at the top, the 2 million making over 200k each, the 6 people that make 6 billion combined, are putting on a show. There’s a sucker born every minute, as the saying goes, and they’ve counted in that.  

The top doesn’t want to let a penny go and have made many assurances that they won’t, they tell their voters across the board, ‘you won’t be taxed’ from top to bottom. To do this the “show” is to cut all of these “welfare” programs, the programs they say that aren’t necessary, or why should I pay for them to have this – I worked so my kids could have it, it’s a luxury, if they want it they can pay for it themselves. This is great, voters think, I take care of mine, you take care of yours.  

What the ring master doesn’t tell them is, for all that OTHER pesky stuff, like military, bank bailouts, salaries, programs that appear to benefit them, what the fail to say is all of THAT, gets paid for by them. They are the ones still getting taxed. Not to say all others get off Scott free, everyone will pay more in taxes and penalties. It’s just that middle group, the ones that were sold the 10¢ ring, they get spanked.  

That upper crust never gets touched. The next group of earners, they put in some, but are still part of that elite group that has a low tax rate, takes advantage of tax shelters and off shore accounts. The middle class (100-200k) they are stuck in the crap tax bracket, the ones trying to start/maintain small businesses.  The rest, they just see a chunk of their paycheck is gone no matter how hard they work.  That money could have bought school supplies, paid for after school programs so mom and dad CAN work, it could have bought milk and diapers instead of having to choose.  You tell the “middle class” that they should decide how to spend their money, where to put profits towards of their small startup, and then the worst part.  You convince not only the voters but even you start to believe the lie, that this “middle class” is the average American family.  Once that is burned in your brain, you can sell the crap out of it to the majority of America, those under that 100k threshold with the bulk of those at or just above the poverty line.  Convince them they are the middle class, that the taxes they pay are going to the lazy, the illegals, the freeloaders.  What you don’t say is most of the taxes that don’t end up in military spending are actually going back to their communities, be it SNAP, housing assistance, the arts, health care.  The exact programs that are needed but you will take away because you convince them of lower taxes, those giant government programs are what is eating up that paycheck and “social” spending can be decided at the local level.  Taxes won’t be lowered, if anything more of that paycheck will be taxed.  Spending isn’t being cut, it’s just being reallocated and other than a smaller paycheck, the actual everyday American now won’t see ANY benefit in their daily lives.

Dear Senators (and I’m looking at you Mitch),

‪The #ACA which took 2 years and everyone’s participation works for the majority (u know, us making under 30-50k) too bad yours is not exactly the same as before, you poor federal employee with a net worth on average of 1 million. Your 75 yr old ass and 32 yrs polluting the Senate are ending, you have NO right to be making health care decisions for young women, children in poverty, adults with and on disabilities or anyone for that matter that is not in your immediate family. Which if you so much as have a cough, you would be first in line at the ER, whisked to a private, mahogany paneled, personal chef, 1:1 nursing with a living room room.
The republicans on the hill are the obstructionist. The ACA works and just needs to be built upon, but you people are so invested in destroying ANYTHING Obama touched. You did for eight years. You jerkoffs had 7 years to come up with a comprehensive bill. 7 years. Instead you take 13 white male senators with an average age of 60 years old with 5 past forced retirement age in most companies and go hide in a room to come up with crap that ensure YOU get your federal health care back to what it was before the ACA and more tax breaks for all you wonderful idiots that make more than 200k.
This is not about you. This us not about republicans. This is about Americans and their future. Just because your future is short and your 3 spoiled kids and their rotten crotch fruit have daddy’s money and don’t have to worry, that’s only about 1.5% of the ENTIRE population.
Get off your Republican high horse, take what the ACA has (while assuring the insurance companies of little to no volatility), create real working groups with even numbers of dems and rep. Each group can focus on one aspect of the bill and get it done. 13 old white men will not determine our future.
Oh and by the way, don’t be chicken shits and face your constituents, every last one if you. If you really believed in what you were doing is for the people, you jackasses wouldn’t be afraid to meet with us, take a call, actually write a letter (not those stupid form letters that are cranked out). Not only has Congress had the LOWEST approval rating in modern history, but also the most inaccessible.
You work for us, remember?