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.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Leading Us In Hate

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Five years ago, African American male Eric Garner shouted, “I can’t breathe,” as a Caucasian New York police officer choked the life out of him with an illegal hold.  Although the incident was filmed via cellophane, no charges were brought against the officer for lack of evidence. 

In 2009, an African American Harvard professor, Henry Louis Gates Jr., was arrested for attempted burglary outside his own home by a white police Sargent.

Racism is nothing new.  President Donald J. Trump didn’t invent it.  However, his leadership has legitimized racism, bringing it from the shadows into the light.  What was once something to be hidden and ashamed of has become an undeniable official policy. 

Publicly Traded MEME
In a speech regarding the riots in Charlottesville Trump said there were, “very fine people on both sides.”  One of those sides was a group of Nazis chanting, “Jews will not replace us.”  Americans don’t agree on much, but can we at least agree that NAZIS ARE THE BAD GUYS!?!?  Can we make that leap together?  By linking both sides morally, Trump legitimized the Nazi’s racist point of view. 

From seeds such as the above statement, a truly frightening forest has enveloped the country. Our government is imprisoning thousands off immigrant men, women, and children who’s only crime was seeking asylum from oppression and violence.

According to The Atlantic, one camp in El Paso, Texas, designed to house 125 people, is housing 900 freedom seekers in standing room only conditions.  Among the inhumane conditions being reported are;

  • extreme cold temperatures
  • lights on 24 hours a day
  • no adequate access to medical care
  • no access to showers or soap for basic sanitation
  • dark foul-smelling water
  • and inadequate food.
Meanwhile, our president, via Twitter, sent an invitation to four Democratic congresswomen of color to just "go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came."  Three of the congresswomen were born in the United States of America.

Like I said, Donald Trump didn’t invent racism.  He didn’t import it from somewhere else.  The embers have always sizzled on our shores.  President Trump has merely breathed upon those embers and ignited a blaze of hate across our country. 

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Constitution Under Attack

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“We the people are the rightful masters of both Congress and the courts, not to overthrow the Constitution but to overthrow the men who pervert the Constitution.” ~ Abraham Lincoln

Our constitution is under attack.  No bullets have been fired.  No bombs have been detonated.  No soldiers have landed on our shores.  The assault on our values and freedoms has come from our own leaders.

Over the past few years, 14 states (Alabama, Arizona, Indiana, Kansas, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Hampshire, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin) have passed laws to make it more difficult for minorities to vote.   

This month laws will go into effect in Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Ohio, South Dakota, and Tennessee which will severely curtail, if not eliminate, a woman’s ability to obtain a safe legal abortion.


King Trump| Publicly traded MEME|
As I write this, President Trump is trying to find ways to circumvent a ruling by the Supreme Court’s ruling, regarding a citizenship question on the census, because he doesn't like their decision.

The constitution was intended to be a collection of principals which would define us as a nation.  Instead, it’s become something our morally bankrupt leaders try to work around, if not outright ignore.  Constitution aside, the rule of law itself is treated as a minor inconvenience by this White House, which routinely ignores subpoenas and pressures would-be congressional witnesses not to rat.

Our country was meant to be a nation free from monarchical rule, governed by principals rather than personalities.  Yet, when those sworn to uphold the law and constitution act contrary to those very precepts, the foundational document of the United States of America is reduced to a meaningless collection of words on a page.