Archive for February, 2017

Blue skies, smilin’ at me,
Nothin’ but blue skies
Do I see!

Man, this is February, and we have every single window in the house wide open. What is going on here? The West Coast is getting hammered with rain such as they haven’t seen in over ten years. One of their artificial, man-made lakes looks like somebody pulled the plug in the giant bathtub, and what had been a pipe for skateboard dudes now looks more like a surfer’s paradise. The temperature here in the east has been in the 60s the past couple of days and may remain darn near that high through the weekend. However, I want you to know that there is no such thing as climate change…oh, really?

Chunks of glaciers the size of the state of Rhode Island are breaking off. The polar bears are struggling to find food because there are no ice floes on which they can walk. The number of penguins in the Antarctic has shrunk from twelve thousand to five thousand, but word out of Washington is “Climate change is a hoax.” Oh, and, according to a highly placed Washington source, all of the people who are speaking up at these Republican Congressmen’s Town Hall Meetings are paid, professional agitators who are just trying to cause trouble. What I’m waiting for right now is for Mr. Trump to tweet that he is responsible for the wonderful weather we’re experiencing on the East Coast and that Hillary and the DNC are responsible for the downpours and the snowstorms on the West Coast. Can’t you just hear him speaking publicly…”Yes, we worked very, very hard to make up for Mike Flynn’s terrible mistakes by bringing good weather to the East. We wanted very, very badly to bring good weather to the entire country, but professional agitators, led by Crooked Hillary and the Democratic Party snuck in to the West Coast before we could get there. I’ve sent my very, very best man – he’s very, very intelligent and hard working – he’s Scott Pruitt, the head of the environment protection agency, and he’s going to stop in South Dakota to shoot a few ‘injuns’ (Oh, I’m not supposed to say that?) before he swings over to speak with Jerry Brown my good, good friend and the governor of California, and together they’re going to straighten this rain and snow thing out.”

It seems rather strange to me that Trump would nominate for the position of EPA head, a man who, as Attorney General for the State of Oklahoma, repeatedly sued the EPA in an attempt to block the previous administration’s rules intended to protect the nation’s air and water. According to a couple of sources, “In all but one of these 14 cases, regulated industry players also were parties. And these companies or trade associations in 13 of these cases were also financial contributors to Mr. Pruitt’s political causes.” As an example, Pruitt sued to block a standard that limits emissions of mercury from power plants, which the EPA has estimated will prevent as many as 11,00o premature deaths per year. Oh, did I forget to mention that he also received campaign contributions from the co-petitioners in this lawsuit? In fact, it appears that all of the Pruitt lawsuits were connected in some way to his campaign contributors. I don’t know about you, but I cannot imagine putting someone as anti-EPA in charge of that particular organization…can you say, “Let’s allow the fox to guard the henhouse?”

It doesn’t matter. What will be will be. Who really cares if we have a Secretary of State who has no diplomatic training of any kind? Who gives a damn that the United States Attorney General is a racist? Does it really matter that our Secretary of Education has no background in public school education? No, none of these things matter, because in four years, we’ll probably all be dead because our head of the Environmental Protection Agency will have poisoned our air and water by rolling back all of the rules and restrictions that have been keeping us reasonably safe since its founding on December 2, 1970.

In the meantime, I fully intend to enjoy the beautiful warm days of February. I’ll go to the beach and get my tan, although the 36 degree water may be a little too cool for my liking. I will not put away my winter coats because I figure I may need them come July. Wonder what the next chapter will bring?

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Is this a great country or what? We’ve got a national security adviser who can’t be trusted to advise the President, a nominee for the position of Secretary of Labor who withdraws his name before the Congress even has a chance to lay into him, and a Secretary of Education who can’t even spell at a third grade level. And don’t forget anorexic Kellyanne Conway, that paragon of ‘alternative facts’ who is totally clueless about what actually goes on in the West Wing. Hey, we’re on the road to making America great once more! I’m not allowed to say ‘again,’ because that would be pilfering someone else’s line, and I wouldn’t want to do that. Then we show a picture of the first daughter sitting at the boss’s desk in the Oval Office – looking, incidentally, much more presidential than dear old dad. It appeared that she was about to sign her first executive order that any store not carrying her clothing line would no longer be allowed to do business in her country…oops!

One of the things that I fully understand is the national intelligence agencies’ fear of giving classified briefings to Mr. Trump. While he has a tendency to blame his mistakes on everyone and anyone else, it has become patently obvious that he is the principal leak in the White House. On General Flynn’s resignation, Trump immediately blamed the intelligence community and the media for revealing the telephone calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador. Certainly, the agencies wouldn’t leak it because they understand what the word “classified” actually means, and I have serious doubts about most media outlets reporting it unless they have a minimum of three unimpeachable resources. In this regard, it’s more than apparent that Mr. Trump doesn’t understand how either the intelligence community or the media actually work.

Even some of the most diehard Republicans on the hill are going “WTF!” You have to figure that when Jason Chaffetz and Elijah Cummings are smiling at each other, the US of A has some serious problems. It was my understanding that one of the principal jobs of an incoming president was to unite the country, not send it into paroxysm of laughter on the late shows or anti-anti demonstrations in town hall meetings and outside in city and town streets.

I have returned to this essay after watching several minutes – it was all I could take – of Mr. Trump’s press conference. My epiphany came while he was speaking. I now know how to tell when he is telling the truth and when he is lying. While listening to a question from the reporter, he is in a moment of truth, but the minute he speaks, whatever he says, it is a lie. This leads me to believe that Mr. Trump cannot tell when he is lying. It’s the fabric of his life. Lying, to him, is like breathing to the rest of us. In the brief time I listened, he told three different stories about why his national security adviser, Michael Flynn, was asked for his resignation. He went on to lay blame for Russian election hacking on Hillary and the Democrats. He talked about “fake news” in the Washington Post, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, three of the most respected newspapers in this country. Why he charged a black reporter with the task of setting up a meeting with himself and the Congressional Black Caucus was beyond my comprehension, but it was certainly an opportunity for Trump to denigrate both Congressman Elijah Cummings as well as Representative Charles Schumer of New York.

There will, no doubt, be those who find my condemnation of Mr. Trump’s actions over the first few weeks of his presidency much too harsh. That is their prerogative. However, it has become apparent to me that the Republican Party has made a tragic error in allowing this man to become a candidate unfit for the office to which he aspired and, even more tragically, to allow him to usurp the office of President of the United States. Would Mrs. Clinton have been a better choice? Not in this writer’s opinion, and that is the single most important question for America to answer…where is our next true leader? Where is the next Dwight David Eisenhower? Where is the next William Jefferson Clinton? Where is the next Ronald Reagan or Jack Kennedy? He…or She is out there somewhere, and somehow, he or she must be located and convinced to dedicate him/herself to a nation that is in dire need of leadership. It does not lie within the mind or the soul of Donald J. Trump, if, indeed, a soul he possesses.

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Using a bit of common sense

Dams have spillways. These are the emergency overflow valves, if you will, to keep water from overflowing the dam. Recently, the Oroville dam’s main spillway suffered a hole because of erosion. If you’ve been reading about the rains in California, the mud slides and the messes that have been created, you can understand why these spillways are being taxed. Anyway, the people of Oroville, which is south of the dam, were told to evacuate. As part of the evacuation order, they had to be told, “Do not drive north toward the dam.” Now I don’t know about you, but if I was told to evacuate – no argument about it – because the spillway had a hole in it and pieces of concrete, as well as water, were coming south, about the last thing I’d do is drive north. You don’t have to tell me not to drive north. I mean, people, c’mon, common sense dictates that you drive east, west, or south. If you drive west, you have 150 miles before you hit the Pacific Ocean. Drive east, and you’re just getting’ to hell out of the way. Drive south and you’re avoiding potential disaster, but all it takes is a bit of common sense.

In New England, February has come in with a blizzard followed by a snowstorm. Many roads are slick and dangerous. Mayors, governors, highway safety officials, and plow drivers are telling people to stay off the roads because they are dangerous. What happens? A’s and I’s hop in their cars to drive to the store for whatever, to work because they’re so indispensable, or to somewhere else, “…because I’m a New England and I know how to drive in snow.” Then, they wonder what the hell happened when they wind up crashing into the rear end of a snow plow or ass-end upward on a snowbank by the side of the road, or, as one teenager did, slam through a guard rail and wind downside up crashing through a frozen brook. This is what is known as a lack of common sense.

Yes, I know, it was Voltaire who said, “Common sense isn’t all that common.” You and I see it every day. People die in fires because someone didn’t put out their cigarette properly. Cars smash because someone thought they were smarter than others and could text and drive. Folks in a hurry to catch the subway, tripping and falling onto the tracks, never to catch a subway again. Carbon monoxide deaths because buying a new toy was more important than buying a CO detector. The list goes on and on with death or serious injury being the result of not using common sense.

Arguments will be presented, such as, “We ran out of formula for the baby,” or ”We didn’t know how low we were on milk,” or “I’m needed at my workplace.” That last one is a pisser, particularly if the boss should call in and tell someone who is essential that he or she is going to work from home today. News alert…none of us is indispensable; we can all be replaced…”Oh, too bad about Charlie. He got killed trying to get to work in the blizzard. Somebody in HR will have to post a job opening.” That’s right, “a job opening.” Sorry, Charlie, you tried and died. In a couple of years, no one will even remember your name, but you just had to get to work. Are there people who have to get to work? Sure, doctors, nurses, fire and police officers, television reporters, and a number of others. Fortunately, most of these folks are blessed with common sense. They either find a place close to their jobs to stay over until they can walk to work or sleep over on site. For the rest of us, it’s just a situation where we use our heads for something other than a hat rack.

I happen to be a fan of Thomas Paine, the author of Common Sense, a pamphlet published in February, 1776. This plain language piece was instrumental in convincing the people of the 13 colonies to fight for their independence against unfair and unjust ways and the tyranny of a king and the British Parliament. Think about it for a moment…Here we were, a group of 2.5 million people as opposed to England’s nearly 7.5 million, and we were willing to fight for our independence. As Paine puts it, “The sun never shined on a cause of greater worth. ‘Tis not the affair of a city, a country, a province, or a kingdom, but of a continent of at least one eighth part of the habitable globe.“ I won’t kid you, Common Sense is not the easiest reading you’ll ever do. In places it rambles a bit, but it certainly explains why Americans went to war to defend their rights.

I find it unfortunate that the common sense of which Paine speaks is so sadly lacking in today’s America. It has nothing to do with going to war and everything to do with just using common sense in all that we do. Going to bed and believing that the hot ashes in the fire place will go out by themselves is really not too bright. Driving down the road while texting or trying to read a newspaper is just asking for an early trip to the funeral parlor. Attempting to clear a clogged snowblower without turning the machine off is actually an invitation to being called “Lefty” for the rest of one’s life. Swimming with the seals in Chatham is akin to inviting a great white shark to lunch…with you as an appetizer. The examples are endless when it comes to the lack of common sense we exercise. As for me, aw shucks, I’m certain there are times when I’m just as dumb as the next person…common sense wise, that is!

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I dunno, I sort of got pissed off at Bill Shields yesterday. Bill is a reporter for Channel 4 television – a division of CBS – well, shit, that’s what they always say, so why shouldn’t I? Anyway, Bill was out in the ‘first blizzard since 2015’ – BFD – and he said that he felt he was slowly losing his mind. Now, I like Bill. He’s a damned good reporter, sort of the modern day Shelby Scott, for those of you who can remember back that far, but his comment was bothersome. Bill has beaten cancer, but his comment about slowly losing his mind was rather deleterious to those of us who are actually going through the process of doing just that. I don’t need any public broadcast of what I’m going to become.

Let me start at the very beginning – according to Julie Andrews, a very good place to start. Last year, at my annual “turn your head and cough” visit to the doctor, I experienced a spate of dizziness while getting dressed…no, he wasn’t smiling and smoking a cigarette. He helped me retain my balance, but suggested I see a neurologist whose office was one floor below where I was. Sure enough, down I went and talked to the good doctor. He told me that he’d like to schedule some tests, and we did. A few months later, I was sitting with electrodes attached to my head as images were shown, and all sorts of other, little testy things were done. Following the tests, I met with the neurologist. “Everything okay?” I asked. His well yes and no answer temporarily made me forget that I was in a neurologist’s office and not sitting with a shrink. It seems that the tests indicated that while my body is a temple, my mind is becoming akin to the privy behind. It also appears that while I do not now have dementia, there are some signs that say I’m a pretty good candidate.

“I want you to begin using a cane,” he told me. When I asked, “Why?” he indicated that my episodes of dizziness or losing my balance could be aided by the use of a cane…I haven’t bumped into a wall since I began using the damned thing, something I would occasionally do when walking down the hallway of our house…aha, the light dawns on Marble-head. Here I thought that I was just being clumsy. It was good to learn that it was something a bit more than me being me.

I guess I shouldn’t be taking it out on Bill Shields, but like most humans, I’m just looking for a scapegoat. The thing that is most bothersome about this whole diagnosis is that it isn’t actually a diagnosis. There are signs. Well, what does that mean? According to a picture of my brain, there are three little white spots that indicate my propensity toward some form of dementia. I watched my mother-in-law slowly die of Alzheimer’s disease. It wasn’t a pretty picture. I have a dear friend whose husband has frontal lobe dementia. It’s very unsettling to see him, and I don’t know how the hell she manages it. I have another friend who has become forgetful and is in the early stages of I’m not even certain what to call it. Am I going to be joining these people? I don’t know, but it’s a bit wearying to consider. Perhaps the most irritating thing about it is the idea that I wouldn’t be able to continue writing this blog. As I’ve said on many occasions, writing brings me tremendous joy…yeah, and I’ve got over 1,100 essays on this sucker to prove it! I love the idea of reading about or seeing some topic on which I can do Internet searches, to learn about someone or something, to be intrigued by some mystery or other, and then to gather information and present it to you, the one or two of you who actually read the blog…it’s just a hell of a lot of fun, and to be deprived of that is to take away a big part of my reason for being. Heck, I’m no threat to real writers, but I sure do have some fun.

Stay tuned for updates as the old man gets older and, with any luck, loses some white spots!

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Think for yourself

“Any negative polls are fake news, just like the CNN, ABC, NBC polls in the election.”

“The failing @nytimes has become a newspaper of fiction. Their stories about me always quote non-existent unnamed sources. Very dishonest!”

“The failing @nytimes talks about anonymous sources and meetings that never happened. Their reporting is fiction. The media protects Hillary!”

”The failing @nytimes, which never spoke to me, keeps saying that I am saying to advisers that I will change. False, I am who I am-never said”

“If the disgusting and corrupt media covered me honestly and didn’t put false meaning into the words I say, I would be beating Hillary by 20%”

“My rallies are not covered properly by the media. They never discuss the real message and never show crowd size or enthusiasm.”

Paranoid? Yes, I would say that the above quotes accurately portray a paranoid personality. It appears that the 45th President has no trouble with 140 characters in his tweets, but I cannot help but wonder why he doesn’t use some other, lengthier mode of communication. Why, for example, does he believe that The New York Times is a failing newspaper of fiction? Is he referring to the writer several years back – a writer – who was fired for writing some fictional accounts of incidents? Why does he believe that the media is “disgusting and corrupt?” Could it be that he reads only stories about some of his business interests?

Today, an Emerson College poll revealed that more Americans trust the Trump administration’s reports than those of the news media. Granted, there are print media that reflect Democratic views, and, yes, there are print media that are openly Republican-oriented. The same is true of broadcast media. It is up to the individual consumer, watcher, reader, or listener to determine which outlets are telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. When the Chicago Daily Tribune erroneously printed “Dewey Defeats Truman” as a headline in 1948, it was (a) a flat out lie, (b) a joke that amused Harry Truman no untold end, and (c) a journalistic faux pax that, for several years, tarred every newspaper with the same brush. Are there journalists who slant political stories? Of course there are, and they work for news outlets that are also leaning to the left or the right. However, to accuse all media that are critical of him shows a very dark, frightening, and dangerous side of Mr. Trump.

There was a time when the most trusted person in the United States was Walter Cronkite, an NBC journalist. He had been preceded by Edward R. Murrow as a trusted reporter. Today, the closest thing we have to objectivity is probably Charlie Rose of CBS, although I’m certain there are people who will say that he is too conservative or too liberal. As Lincoln said, “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.” It appears to me that Mr. Trump is attempting to set himself up as the only truth speaker on the planet. Should the media, federal judges, appellate courts, or whoever-should-disagree-with-him, they are either “corrupt and disgusting, so-called, or endangering the safety of the nation,” at least according to the sole truth teller in the nation, one Donald J. Trump.

We, as human beings, are flawed and have biases, but they are our flaws and our biases. Not one of us is perfect. What we should be, what we must be, is discerning and inquisitive. It is our right, as Americans more than anything else, to question what is being said either by someone or about someone. If we feel that a media outlet is being unfair about some issue, speak out, write a letter-to-the-editor. If you feel that the White House is being untruthful or not answering the questions being asked by the press corps, do the same thing. You may not get an answer from Sean Spicer, but you could always write, e-mail, or tweet the reporter, and ask why he or she accepted the non-answer to his or her question.

We are not a nation of fools. We have battled for our freedoms for over 240 years. We do not condone tyranny nor fiefdoms. Our founding fathers, our great-great-great grandparents, our sons and daughters, our husbands and wives, our sisters and our brothers have bled for those freedoms. We do not need some arrogant, ill-advised, narcissist to tell us that his truth is the only truth or that his word supersedes the Constitution of the United States of America.

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Just do your job

“Just do your job!” It was the rallying cry of the Super Bowl LI New England Patriots…and they did. Each and every man had a role to play. They could not all be a quarterback, running back, or receiver. However, they knew how to block so that Tom Brady wouldn’t spend every Sunday afternoon on his back, or so that James White, Deon Lewis, or LeGarrette Blount wouldn’t hit a stone wall of opposing linemen whenever they carried the ball. They knew how to evade offensive linemen and how to tackle ball carriers on the other side of the line. Each and every man knew his job and did it. The result, as anyone from New England knows, is that another NFL Championship banner will be raised at Gillette Stadium next fall. Football season is over for another year, and now we must look to other avenues for our amusement and enjoyment. Fortunately, we don’t have far to peek.

It’s possible that you can look at your own situation, your own company, corporation, or institution, and ask, “Is everyone doing his or her job?” You don’t have to be the president, CEO, COO, CFO, or any other bunch of letters you may care to conjure up, because you already know. If you have any kind of a vested interest in your own organization, you can probably answer the question, and, depending on how far up or down the ladder you are, that answer may well be “No,” everyone is not doing his/her job. The larger the organization, the better the chances that some folks are coasting, doing the minimum, hunkering down, or performing at a level that’s below your own standards…and chances are pretty good that you can’t do a damn thing about it. To be fair, the actual Patriots team consists of 69 people, 53 players and 16 coaches. If you wish to throw in the Kraft family and Nick Caserio, the Director of Player Personnel, I guess you could call it a team of 72, a combatively small company, but boy, can they do their jobs!

America is a huge company. Think about it. The Executive Branch of the federal government employs more than four million people, from the President of the United States to the lowliest dog soldier pounding sand in the deserts of Iraq or Syria. Now, while he may be Commander-in-Chief of the armed forces, you can bet your boots that the President can’t watch over every member of the armed forces, thus the delegation of power to others. According to the official government page, “The President is responsible for implementing and enforcing the laws written by Congress and, to that end, appoints the heads of the federal agencies, including the Cabinet.” That seems pretty clear to me.

In Article II of the US Constitution, there is “a grant of executive power” which allows the President to issue those controversial ‘executive orders.’ Over 13,000 of them have been written since 1789, so don’t think that Obama and Trump are the only two to abuse the privilege. The primary job of the President, however, is to enforce the legislation that has been passed by Congress. The founding fathers weren’t taking any chances of having a tyrant in office over here after they had just escaped a tyrant in England.

It appears that Mr. Trump feels it’s enough to sign an executive order in order for it to become the law of the land. He has defied the Constitution by trying to ban a single religious sect from entering the country. Amendment I of that document states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances,” and Congress hasn’t. Mr. Trump tried to do it, and a federal judge told him he could not. Instead of admitting his ignorance of the Constitution, Trump turned around and first insulted the federal appointee by calling him a “so-called judge,” and further lambasted this man by telling America to blame him if there were any terrorist attacks. Time and time and time again, Trump has turned his lies and misstatements against others. That is not doing your job. “Mexico will pay for that wall,” and when they said, “Uh-huh, sorry, Bub, we’re not gonna give you a single peso,” he was like the little kid who got pissed, grabbed his bat and ball and went home crying. Now who’s going to pay for the wall? Anyone who wants to buy a product coming from Mexico, because Trump now wants to tax everything coming our way from south of the border. Who’s to blame? Why the Mexican government, of course, because they refused to pay to build Trump’s wall. “We’re going to replace Obamacare in the first week!” Excuse me but almost two weeks have passed. It appears that some Republican Congressmen and women have finally gotten around to reading the Affordable Care Act because now they’re talking about not replacing but just rewriting certain segments.

Perhaps the biggest mistake that the Trump administration has made to date concerns unification. Never, never in the history of this country has there been such a divisive attitude. It extends from the White House to the halls of Congress to the streets of every city, town, and village in the United States. Never has a President’s Cabinet taken this long to be confirmed, indicating to me that Mr. Trump does not know how to select people who are acceptable to everyone, ergo, he does not know how to do his job. America cannot afford four years of a man who not only is ignorant of his job requirements, but who doesn’t do his job…even when one or more of his lackeys tells him what it’s supposed to be.

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America the threatened

Don’t you think it’s great that Mr. Trump wants to protect us by keeping bad guys out of the country? You know, like the baby that needed emergency surgery, or the scientist who’s actually been living and working here for years but now is separated from his family…that lives here? I’m sorry but this whole travel ban idea was poorly thought out, poorly written, and poorly instituted. Once more, Trump and his clan of idiots has shown that their political naiveté is extreme, and that some adult should step into the room and slap some sense into all of them. When the President – or King as I understand he prefers to be called – has a ratings approval worse than any of America’s former leaders, it’s time to step back and take a hard look at the way in which he’s trying to run the country…he just might want to educate himself before making a fool of himself…again…Donny and company.

Those seven countries, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and Sudan, might have many, many bad guys who would like to kick the crap out of the evil Satan, however, they are not alone. Maybe I’m missing something, but weren’t 15 of the 19 hijackers in the 911 attack from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Egypt, and Lebanon? Not one American President over the past several decades has had the courage to stand up to the oil sheikhs, and now Mr. Trump has joined that group. Of course, the fact that he has a number of businesses in Saudi Arabia may explain why that particular country didn’t make the list of those being banned. It would appear the Trump, rather than divesting his Middle Eastern interests, has skirted the law and the Constitution by transferring some ownership to his daughter, Ivanka.

I would offer this advice to our newly elected leader: Rather than banning everyone from these seven countries for 90 days, think about the international repercussions you have created. Allow TSA and Homeland Security employees to use their own common sense and discretion on who should be let in or back in immediately, and further question people about whom they may have suspicions. Oh, don’t trust your TSA and Homeland Security folks? Well, then, I guess it’s time to do some additional vetting of them before they are allowed to hold positions of such responsibility.

Perhaps one of the first Executive Orders that should have been made would be the one that excludes gangs from operating on US soil. Local police, the FBI, the National Gang Intelligence Center, and other federal, state, and local agencies know exactly who these gangs are and from what countries they originate. There are approximately 33,000 violent street gangs, motorcycle gangs, and prison gangs in this country. While membership numbers ebb and flow, the boldness with which these gangs operate has increased over the past several years. Rather than asking for $13 trillion to improve our infrastructure, let’s first get rid of one of this nation’s biggest problems. MS-13, the Latin Kings, and the 18th Street gang are among the ten leading gangs in America. They are vicious and brutal, so why are they allowed to operate? There are well over one million gang members in the United States. They belong to more than 33,000 gangs. That is about as frightening a number as one can imagine. If our new President wants a challenge, perhaps he should first look at the internal challenges we face.

Has my own life ever been impacted by gang activity? The answer is “No,” not to the best of my knowledge. Back in the sixties, when the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) was in operation, one of them put a shotgun to my head and threatened to “blow your fucking head off.” Obviously he didn’t, and I really didn’t consider the faction where I was working to even be a gang…more like a group of fools who wouldn’t know democracy if it came up and bit them in the you-know-where.

Is the USA hated abroad? Of course we are. Ours is a society that has advanced itself and left other nations in the dust in terms of achievement. There is and always has been groups of people who dislike seeing others get ahead. Nowhere has the division of wealth been more restrictive than in many of the Muslim nations. Certainly, we have our wealthy and mighty. We call them the one percent, however, our poverty pales in comparison to that of people in other countries. Donald Trump is correct when he says that radical Muslim extremists are a threat to our country, but home-grown extremists, Muslims and others, are also a threat. There is as great a threat internally as there is from external forces. Face it, Mr. Trump, and attack it with all of the resources at your command.

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