Category Archives: National News

Same Hypocrite, Different Day

One of the jobs of the President of the United States is to be the “consoler in chief” when a national tragedy strikes.

As we all are aware, there were two mass shootings on Saturday. Yesterday, you know who spoke to the country.

He sounded Presidential, but in reality, he was the same hypocrite on a different day.

He talked about ending racism, white supremacy and unifying the country. But his words are sound and fury signifying nothing.

He talked about the mental health of the accused gunmen, which personally offended me. To say that the accused in both shootings are mentally ill, without knowing all of the facts is derogatory to all of us who have the unwanted friend that is mental illness.

He also talked about how violent video games contributed to real life violence. This has been proven wrong time and again. And yet, politicians will use that an excuse for the lack of real reform of gun laws.

Just after the Columbine massacre, some were saying that the music of Marilyn Manson was to blame for the shooting. I wish those in the leadership positions, whether in a religious role or a political role, would put on their big boy/big pants and take a real look at what caused the accused to kill innocent people.

Those of us who are of a certain age and older remember the dark days after 9/11. Then President George W. Bush stood on top of the rubble with his arm around a first responder and addressed the nation. Putting aside partisan politics, he also spoke of unity and coming together. That speech felt authentic. Yesterday’s speech was not.

May the memory of those murdered be a blessing and may we finally enact sensible gun legislation so we never have another weekend like we just had.

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Filed under Mental Health, Music, National News, Politics, Thoughts On....

Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism Book Review

In our politically and socially divided world, the easy thing to do is to do nothing and let someone else step on the soapbox. It is far more difficult to get on that soapbox and do what right, even in the face of massive opposition.

Two years ago, the Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia was the badly needed wake up call that America needed. We may think that racism and prejudice is a thing of the past. But that day proved that it is still alive and well in the United States.

Terry McAuliffe was then Governor of Virginia. In his new book, Beyond Charlottesville: Taking a Stand Against White Nationalism, the former Governor writes about the time before, during and after the rally. He is candid about his frustration with the bureaucracy of the city government, his belief that the rally should not have happened and the steps he took after the rally to prevent another unnecessary loss of life.

I wish there were more politicians like former Governor McAuliffe. He saw the coming storm in the distance and did what he had to do. It was not easy what he did, but did what he could to stand up for democracy and against those who would use hate to further a destructive agenda.

I recommend it.

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RIP Saoirse Kennedy Hill

Depression kills. Like any disease, it has the potential to destroy life. But unlike other diseases, it does not receive the recognition that it should.

Last week, depression took another life. It’s victim was twenty two year old Saoirse Kennedy Hill, whose grandfather was the late Robert F. Kennedy. According reports, depression had been her unwanted friend for years. While in high school, she wrote a column in her school newspaper about her battle with depression.

One of the hardest things about depression is sometimes the simple act of getting up in the morning. It may seem trivial, but getting up in the morning is a sign of life. Depression does not want us to live, it wants us to stay in it’s cold and dark cocoon and eventually die.

I am glad that I woke up this morning. It took a good amount of energy, but I did.

Saoirse Kennedy Hill was young, only twenty two with what was hopefully a full life ahead of her. Unfortunately, depression took that life away before she had the chance to truly live.

Z”L. May her memory be a blessing.

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The Phrase “Crazy Person With a Gun” is at Best Unhelpful and at Worst Distracting

This past week has been one of the deadliest week in the United States. Five mass shootings have resulted in the multiple murders of innocent civilians. The most recent shootings were yesterday in Ohio and Texas.

This morning, you know who’s Chief of Staff, Mick Mulvaney made the rounds on the Sunday morning political talk shows, discussing the latest shootings and defending you know who.

Instead of owing up to that you know who has had a direct effect on encouraging the accused shooters, Mr. Mulvaney stated the following:

“This was a sick person, the person in Dayton was a sick person. No politician is to blame for that. The person who was responsible here are the people who pulled the trigger. We need to figure out how to kind of create less of those kinds of people as a society and not trying to figure out who gets blamed going into the next election.”

In other words, the shooter was a crazy person with a gun. His actions were his own and are wholly unconnected to what you know who has been saying lately.

I have an issue when it comes to the phrase “crazy person with a gun”. At best, it is unhelpful and derogatory towards those who are dealing with mental health issues. I am not an expert on every disease that falls under the label of “mental health”, but I do know those of us suffer are trying to live as best we can. If there are those who are a danger to themselves and others, I would hope that there is intervention before someone is hurt or killed.

At worst, the phrase is distracting from the real issue. Racism, like every ism, does not occur in a bubble. It comes from someone or something. In this case, it is you know who. Granted, his racism did not occur in a bubble either. However, given his platform and his willingness to dog whistle and openly knock individuals or entire groups because of their race, I would not be surprised if there was a connection.

I wish I could say that this weekend is ending on a happy note. But it is not. May the memories of those killed be a blessing and may we once and for all, see one another as human beings.

Happy Sunday.

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I Blame You, Mr. President

When boiled down to a simple job description, the job of the President of the United States is to protect and serve the American people. Their job is not to serve and protect wealth donors/lobbyists or a specific group of citizens.

And yet, this President has done both.

His openly racist comments and double talk about the continuing gun violence has led to an epidemic of massacres in this country. Yesterday, the list of mass shootings in the United States added two more communities to this gruesome and bloody list: Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas.

At this point, I am ready to throw my hands up the air. It is well beyond frustrating that some of our elected politicians (you know who included) continue to look the other way or give lip service to this continuing crisis. Will it get to the point that we will have to go through airport level security every time we leave our homes?

Personally, I blame you know who. The accused gunmen were Caucasian men who used racist rhetoric and beliefs as a reason for their actions. It does not help that you know who has openly expressed racists beliefs without being checked by those who can check him. It also does not help that he has given lip service to those who have experienced gun violence while supporting the NRA.

I don’t want to have to go through airport style security every I have leave my home. But at this point, it feels like that may be the only option. That is, unless some of our elected politicians grow a pair and fight for the citizens who were elected to represent them.

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Daniel Pantaleo Should Be Fired

It’s not exactly a secret that in the United States, citizens of color are stigmatized, forced into an unspoken second class and targeted by the police simply because of their skin color.

Eric Garner is just one of the many African-American and Latino men who have been targeted and killed because of who they are. But his name, along with a few other names, have become synonymous with police brutality.

Earlier today, a judge recommended that Officer Daniel Pantaleo, the police officer accused of putting an illegal choke hold on Mr. Garner, should be fired.

I agree that Officer Pantaleo should be fired. Some may argue that he should not be fired. They will probably state that Mr. Garner already had a record and health issues, which is undisputed fact. However, even with those facts, the response by the officers could have been different. Officer Pantaleo, as I see it, was far too aggressive. Mr. Garner didn’t have to die that day.

Officer Pantaleo’s fate is now in the hands of the police commissioner. Commissioner O’Neill should not only fire Officer Pantaleo, he should use the firing as an example to the rest of the force. This kind of behavior is unacceptable. If a member of the NYPD reacts as Office Pantaleo did, they will be prosecuted.

May Mr. Garner’s memory be a blessing to his family and a reminder that the ideal of true racial equality in this country is still just an ideal.

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Thoughts On Second Night of the Second Round of Democratic Debates

Last night, the second night of the second round of the Democratic nominees aired on CNN. Over the course of three hours, the nominees debated, argued and did their best to prove why they should go against you know who next fall.

I have a few thoughts about last night.

  • Senator Kamala Harris (D-California) is not the golden child that she was after the previous debate. She was and still a strong contender. However, it was clear that the other nominees had her in their cross hairs, especially Representative Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii).
  • Speaking of Representative Gabbard, it felt like she was grasping at straws. While I can’t speak of Senator’s Harris’s record while she was Attorney General in California, I can’t see Representative Gabbard being the Democratic nominee next fall.
  • There were more than enough one liners to go around.
  • The polls may say that for Vice President Joe Biden has the best chance to win the election. However, given that the polls leading up the 2016 elections said that Hillary Clinton was slated to win, I don’t exactly trust the numbers. In regards to last night, Vice President Biden was still not as on top of his game as he could have been. He was evasive at some points and used his former boss, President Obama as a crutch one too many times for my liking.
  • And finally, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio proved once again why he should not be President. Called out for the fallout from the Eric Garner trial and the lead paint poisoning in NYCHA buildings, he was evasive and put his two cents where they were not wanted.

Readers, those are my thoughts. What did you think of last night? Has your opinion changed about any specific candidate or have you already made up your mind as to whom you will be voting for?

 

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When Will We Reach the Breaking Point? Another Mass Shooting in America

As Americans went to bed on Sunday night, we were reminded that gun violence and mass shootings are a plague that has yet to be cured.

Earlier today, a disgruntled employee walked into a Mississippi Walmart and starting shooting. He killed two of his colleagues and injured an officer.

I am so sick and tired of turning on the evening news or picking up a newspaper and learning of another mass shooting. What is the breaking point? How many innocent civilians must die before Washington wakes up?

Wherever you are, hug your loved ones and thank your lucky stars that you lived to see another day. Two people are unable to do neither today because they died of unnecessary gun violence.

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This Weekend, Four More Citizens Died From Mass Shootings

When the weekend comes, we want to relax. We want to enjoy our precious time off and not worry about what is going on in the world. But unfortunately, we have to.

As I see, the issue of the gun laws in this country should be non-existent. We respect the rights of those who are legal gun owners and of sound mind while taking guns out of the hands of criminals.

Unfortunately, the issue is not straight forward. The messiness and arguments have opened the door to too many mass shootings in this country. This weekend, there were two mass shootings.

On Saturday night, the citizens of Brownsville were enjoying a lovely summer evening with their annual “Old Timers” festival. Then shots rang out. By the time it was over, one man was dead and eleven were injured.

In California, it was a beautiful day out. Guests at the Gilroy Garlic Festival were enjoying the day and spending time with their families. Then someone starting shooting. Three people were killed, two of whom were under the age of eighteen. The accused gunman (who shall not be named on this blog) killed his victims with an Ak-47 style rifle. It was purchased in Nevada, where it is legal to purchase this kind of weapon. In California, one may only acquire this type of weapon via illegal means.

Enough is enough. How many citizens must die from mass shooting because Washington does something? California Governor Gavin Newsom blasted Republicans for their inaction and frankly, I couldn’t agree with him more.

It’s time to put the lives of our citizens ahead of our guns or the lobbyists who are directly responsible for preventing real world gun reform. But until certain members of Congress step up to the plate, mass shooting and the unnecessary loss of life will continue.

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Alienating Voters is Not the Way to Win the 2020 Presidential Election

It’s not exactly a secret that we have a Presidential election coming up next fall. There are, as of now, more than twenty Democrats who would like nothing more than to dethrone you know who.

That being said, it would behoove you know who not to alienate voters.

His latest Twitter attack against citizens and politicians of color is against Representative Elijah Cummings (D-Maryland).

Yesterday, he stated the following on Twitter about Representative Cumming’s district: “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess.”

There are some who hesitate to call you know who a racist. If it looks like a racist, swims like a racist, and quacks like a racist, then it probably is a racist. The problem is that there are too many who will either make excuses for his racist comments or brush them off.

I have two major issues with those who either make excuses or brush them off. The first issue is that this man represents America to the rest of the world. It doesn’t matter what the average American believes or does not believe, when one thinks of America, they think of the President. The second issue is that we, as a culture and a country are working to make up for the way we have treated citizens of color in the past. Instead of bringing us into the future, you know who is dragging us back to the past.

If I had one piece of advice for you know who, I would say that it is unwise to alienate voters. We, as voters, have a long memory and do not forget what our political leaders have said and/or done, especially when we walk up to the ballot box.

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