Wednesday, November 20, 2019

It Was A Time When Strangers Were Welcome Here


I wasn't going to write a blog today.  In fact, I was preparing to kick back and catch up on the adventurers of Ray Donovan, when I heard a song on the radio.  I’ve never heard it before, but I found myself shouting, “Yes, yes, yes!”  It’s what I’ve been trying to say since Trump started to close the borders.

Rather than droning on about it, I thought I'd simply post the lyrics, play the song, and let y'all soak it in for yourselves.  Keep in mind, this song, "The Immigrant," was sung by Neil Sedaka in 1974, decades before Donald Trump took office.  It just happens to be remarkably applicable now.
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The Immigrant sung by Neil Sedaka
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Harbors open their doors to the young searching foreigner
Come to live in the light of the big L of liberty
Plains and open skies, bill boards would advertise
Was it anything like that when you arrived?
Dream boats carried the future to the heart of America
People were waiting in line for a place by the river

It was a time when strangers were welcome here
Music would play
They tell me the days were sweet and clear
It was a sweeter tune, and there was so much room
That people could come from everywhere

Now he arrives with hopes, and his heart set on miracles
Come to marry his fortune with a hand full of promises
To find they've closed the door, they don't want him anymore
There isn't any more to go around
Turning away, he remembers he once heard a legend
That spoke of a mystical, magical land called America

It was a time when strangers were welcome here
Music would play
They tell me the days were sweet and clear
It was a sweeter tune, and there was so much room
That people could come from everywhere

It was a time when strangers were welcome here
Music would play
They tell me the days were sweet and clear
It was a sweeter tune, and there was so much room
That people could come from everywhere
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Source: LyricFind, Songwriters: Neil Sedaka / Phil Cody
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Trump's immigration policies center around five major areas:
*Completion of the border wall with Mexico.
*Deport immigrants who arrived in the United States as children. They are currently protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.
*Restrict travel and work visas from eight countries.
*Increase screening of refugees while cutting the staff needed to do so.
*Curb legal immigration, but only from "shit hole" (dark skin commonplace) countries.
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Think about it.
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Sunday, November 3, 2019

Quid Pro Quo

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Publicly Traded MEME
I haven't written a political blog since late September. “Why?” you ask. I’m glad you asked. I haven't talked politics for a while simply because I’ve had nothing worthwhile to say.

I know, I know, everyone is all excited about the possibility of impeachment. I don't get worked up over the prospect of impeachment for the same reason I don't cheer for the Washington Generals when they play against the Harlem Globetrotters. The result is a foregone conclusion.

For the boys and girls without score cards, here's what's going to happen. The Democratically controlled House Of Representatives will hold hearings to impeach, making sure every word of the quid pro quo (a favor for a favor) phone call between President Trump and Ukrainian President Zelensky is on the record. Of course, they’ll vote to impeach, for the record. Mitch McConnell won’t put the issue before the Senate, so Trump won’t be removed from office.

At best, the Democrats will have the details of “the call” on the official record just before the general election.

What's interesting isn’t the content of the call, but President Trump’s behavior after the fact. He’s admitted to holding a weapons shipment back from the Ukraine unless the Ukrainian government agreed to investigate Biden’s son. Yet, he also claims he’s done nothing wrong. In this one instance, I don't think he’s lying.

In the world of business, if you have something someone wants you propose a trade for it. It’s how he was raised to think about business and the world. I don't think he's able to separate the world of business from the world of public service in his mind. He did what he’s always done, he proposed a trade. I honestly don’t think he understands that what he did was wrong.

Everyone outside the president’s immediate sphere of influence understands he broke the law, and broke it in a way our founding fathers specifically wanted to prevent. Be that as it may, he’s too well protected to be ousted from office for his crimes.

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Devaluing The Constitution

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We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

| Thomas P. Rossiter's Signing of the Constitution |
| Painted between 1860 & 1870 |
| This work is in the public domain. |
The paragraph above is the preamble to the constitution of the United States of America. The purpose of the document was to establish the United States as a republic based on the rule of law, rather than the whims of those in power at any given moment. It failed.

When I was a child, I was a gung-ho flag waving all American boy. I loved the fact that I lived in the land of the free and the home of the brave. Being an American made me special, and I was proud of that.

As I grew older, and began to understand politics and vote, I didn't always agree with what my government did. Nevertheless, I always felt our leaders were doing what, they believed, was best for the country. I no longer feel that way.

We currently live under a regime which ignores the constitution when it suits them. Article I, Section 9, Clause 8 of the United States Constitution, prohibits the federal government from granting titles of nobility, and restricts members of the government from receiving gifts, emoluments, offices or titles from foreign states and monarchies without the consent of the United States Congress. Yet, on a recent trip to Scotland, Air Force personnel were required to stay at one of Trump’s hotels, even though there were less expensive accommodations, closer to the airport, available.

The White House has ordered employees to ignore Congressional subpoenas with no legal basis to do so. Essentially, the President and his cronies do as they wish with no regard for the constitution.

As I’m writing this, Nancy Pelosi is on the air explaining that President Trump is violating the law by concealing a whistle blower’s report. She’s announced impeachment hearings. Of course, such hearings can only come to a conclusion if subpoenas are honored. Plus, even if the House votes to impeach, Mitch McConnell will never put it before the Senate.

In a day when our leaders do as they wish, with no regard for law or the constitution, America’s founding document has been reduced to just a piece of paper,

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

A Stain on America's Soul

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This entry will appear on my political and Christian blogs.

Publicly Traded MEME
Pundits are trying to hang America’s penchant for hate and killing on one political party or the other. Granted, having our fearless leader joke about shooting Mexicans in the panhandle in front of an eager crowd doesn't set an example of patriotic unity. Nor, does it help to have the same leader stand silent for 13 seconds as hundreds of his supporters chant, “send her back,” as if Minneapolis Representative Ilhan Omar isn’t an American citizen.

Surely, President Trump has contributed to racial tensions across the country. Many progressive thinkers have cited this fact to lay the rash of recent mass shootings at his feet.

Others blame Mitch McConnell and the NRA for preventing the passage of gun regulations.  While universal background checks would probably prevent a few people from buying guns, there's no evidence to suggest that such legislation wouldn't prevented any of the recent massacres.

By my way of thinking, the problem lies with us.  Say what you will about the powers that be, they're only personifications of an America which doesn't value life.  Yes, the president created the zero tolerance policy for our southern border, but it was ICE officers who detained am American teenager for three weeks for the color of his skin.  Trump may have been at the podium, but it was hundreds of “normal citizens” who were chanting for a member of congress to be deported for the color of her skin.

At this point, I know what you’re thinking.  What does the behavior of ICE agents have to do with racism at political rallies and gunmen shooting innocent people at garlic festivals and entertainment districts.  They're all symptoms of the same stain on America's soul.

Put simply, we’ve become a country of people who can view certain portions of society as beings less than human.  Think about it.  People who value people don’t shout, “send her back,” simply because her skin has more pigment than theirs.  People who value people don’t separate families, trying to escape oppression, and confine them to standing-room-only pens of squalor.  People who value people don’t kill random innocents in order to relieve stress or make a point.

People who value people embrace people and accept, even celebrate, their differences.  People who value people welcome asylum seekers with food and blankets instead of guns and handcuffs.  People who value people find a mugging victim along the side the road and pay the innkeeper to see to his/her needs.