For my Cape Cod friends

 

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Memorial Day Weekend has come and gone, so summer on Cape Cod is in full bloom.

That means that instead of the locals  being able to get a number of things done in a day, because of the heavy traffic doing a few errands now takes a number of days if they even attempt to deal with the conga line of cars on Route 28, or the suddenly stopping cars on Rout 6A.

Left turns have become memories for the next three months, and something the locals dream of as possible again in the fall.

Friendly conversations with local merchants have to be clipped into abbreviated grunts and nods as no one has time for shooting the breeze until sometime in mid-October.

Long walks on the beach are on hiatus, and dogs won’t see the surf again until the season is over.

Bears hibernate in the winter. The Cape Cod locals do it in the summer.

But it is the summer season and people adapt.

I wish my friends well as my being on the Cape is now a matter of choice while theirs isn’t, and I remember which weekends only those ending or beginning their time there for a vacation will be on the roads, and the turtles win the races.

 

For the record

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Donald Trump has two major approaches to his campaign strategy, three if you count the approach he uses of not giving any policy details beyond stating the obvious and then saying he will have the best fix for it ever.

The first is to give people nick-names so that what he wants you to think of them is constantly thrown at you like Lying Ted, Crooked Hillary, or Crazy Bernie because he knows those names will stick in the minds of people who won’t research why they have earned them and may not deserve them.

The second is to just say things knowing his supporters will automatically accept what he says because he speaks his mind.

In the past he said if he decided to run for president he knew how to win people over by using their stupidity against them.

When it comes to Elizabeth Warren he claims she has a very bad attendance record in the Senate.

“Elizabeth Warren, she is going out — she is probably the senator that is doing just about the least in the United States senate. She is a total failure”

That would be shown to be provably false to anyone who checked.

But, he knows his supporters won’t.

If they did check they would find that from January 2013 to May 2016, Warren missed only 12 of 1,083 roll call votes, which is only 1.1%, and below the median of 1.6% among the lifetime records of senators currently serving.

He also claimed to the crowd that she has done nothing in spite of her being on 11 committees, and sponsoring bills on Education, Government Operations and Politics, Health, Finance and the Financial Sector, Labor and Employment, Crime and Law Enforcement,  and Sports and Recreation.

Here’s a short list of bills she has sponsored:

  1. S 793: Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act
    Introduced: March 18, 2015
    Referred to Committee: March 18, 2015
  2. S 1109: Truth in Settlements Act of 2015
    Introduced: April 28, 2015
    Passed Senate: September 21, 2015
  3. 2744: Genetic Research Privacy Protection Act
    Introduced: April 5, 2016
    Referred to Committee: April 5, 2016
  4. 1709: 21st Century Glass-Steagall Act of 2015
    Introduced: July 7, 2015
    Referred to Committee: July 7, 2015
  5. 1981: Equal Employment for All Act of 2015
    Introduced: August 5, 2015
    Referred to Committee: August 5, 2015

All of her bills attempt to help Americans, and to protect us from predators, one of whom is Donald Trump, whose goal is and has always been to help Donald Trump.

But these are facts, and names like ‘Good Attendance Warren”, or “Bill Sponsoring Warren” just don’t have the playground ring to them that the other names do.

false support

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Yep.

It’s time again for people to put on their false troop support faces and plaster anything American on homes, cars, and persons, and then attempt to out-do anyone else who might even think about being openly patriotic, as they go to the malls, have B-B-Qs, or curse people out on the roads to get somewhere or who just got the last parking space by the beach.

And then when the weekend is over and they feel good about patriotism and troop support, they will continue to accept platitudes from politicians and be fooled into thinking those politicians actually care about the returning troops, and keep them in office because, well, they did say they supported the troops.

And many, in the name of all that is the United States, will support a multiple draft-dodger for president who said that his Viet Nam was chasing tail during that period and that his days at military school and making money after them were more sacrificial than what the troops have had to endure, something that makes him more knowledgeable about what it is to be deployed than those who have learned from actual experience, and even used the veterans as a publicity stunt and lied to them about the money he said he raise for them.

But, hey, that flat screen TV proves their support of troops.

may-11

No more truth

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So far the presumptive GOP presidential candidate has questioned the facts about President Obama’s birthplace and religion, bashed immigrants as “killers and rapists,” paraded discredited stories to demonize Muslim-Americans, and has link Cruz’s father to the Kennedy assassination.

He has declared Hillary Clinton wants to get rid of the Second Amendment, that she had Vince Foster killed, and, of course, still promotes the idea that President Obama is not really American.

His campaign team is made up of pundits and preachers who push racism, homophobia, sexism, and xenophobia.

He accepted the endorsement of the KKK, David Duke, and white supremacist groups claiming he had known nothing about them until he was questioned.

His big supporters include:

Alex Jones a conspiracy crazed radio host,

Roger Stone, a conservative operative who has advocated the murder of Clinton and Sanders,

Michael Savage another radio talk show host who calls himself  “architect of Trump’s messaging”, and believes that God is lifting Trump to victory, hailing the him as “the Winston Churchill of our time” who will become a dictator who will rules by decree.

Savage is the one who told a Gay caller to his show,

“Oh, you’re one of the sodomites. You should only get AIDS and die, you pig. How’s that? Why don’t you see if you can sue me, you pig. You got nothing better than to put me down, you piece of garbage. You have got nothing to do today — go eat a sausage and choke on it. Get trichinosis.”

Savage has not moderated since then.

He called veterans with PTSD  “a bunch of losers” who “cry like a little baby” and have turned America into “a weak, sick nation.”

Ann Coulter who has claimed credit  for shaping Trump’s extremist stance on immigration.

Ann’s been amazing,” Trump said earlier this year. “I’m a big fan and you know that.”

Interestingly Trump’s extremist plan of mass deportation, constructing a massive border wall, impounding remittances, expelling refugees and curtailing legal immigration are the same one Coulter included in her book seems to resemble the proposals laid out in Coulter’s book, “Adios, America: The Left’s Plan to Turn Our Country into a Third World Hellhole”.

Carl Gallups, a birther conspiracy theorist who also believes that Common Core academic standards will ensure that “our smallest children in pre-school” will learn about “the mechanics of homosexual sex”.

Robert Jeffress a prominent Southern Baptist preacher and Fox News contributor who pushes the idea that there is a “War on Christmas”, told Christians not to vote for Romney because of his Mormon faith, advances the claims that Satan created Roman Catholicism, Jews, Mormons, Muslims and gay people are all destined for hell, and President Obama “is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist”.

James David Manning  who has posted a sign in front of his church saying “Jesus Would Stone Homos”, wants Southern states to reestablish the Confederacy and start a second Civil War in order to oppose marriage equality, wants God to smite Gay people with “plagues like they have never seen before”,  claimed that Starbucks uses male semen in its lattes, and that “Obama has released the homo demons on the Black man”.

He also believes that  sodomy will soon be mandated under the coming Sharia law, called Obama a “pimp”, “house Negro”, and “long legged mach daddy”,  and that he murdered his “love child” outside the U.S. Capitol.

And that list barely scratches the surface of the many absurd and offensive things that Manning has actually said.

And the Republicans are backing Trump in spite of this.

On top of this circus roster there is Trey Gowdy altering documents to make it look like Hillary Clinton is somehow a criminal when it comes to Benghazi, and the GOP’s misrepresenting the findings on the report about emails so she looks guilty of breaking laws.

In spite of the GOP spending a total, so far, of $100 million and finding nothing, the party is constantly claiming that Clinton is guilty of something.

When the truth does not serve you well, surround yourself with people who will say anything no matter how outlandish so people’s prejudice get some degree of validation, and then keep repeating debunked claims against someone being careful to avoid letting people know they are debunked.

When truth fails you, just lie.

Just how is the system rigged?

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Sad isn’t it that when the men do what they do in order to get positions of power like the presidency,  just look at Trump, they are considered politically astute, know how to play the game, and get what they get because they are strong and savvy.

But, when a woman, like Hillary, does it, her success only happens  through deception, and selling out. She didn’t work for it, and she is therefore unworthy of any achievement.

She isn’t earning her success; she is stealing it.

Meanwhile anyone else who is progressing toward nomination and potentially the presidency, is being a politician.

 

Texans are tough

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The state that talks the loudest, most blustery, and the toughest is usually Texas.

They are strongly anti-government and are always talking about taking up arms against anything they perceive as the government’s attempt to invade the state.

They opposed Ebola, apparently a government plan to subdue Texas through disease.

They just knew that Jade Helm, the military‘s use of desert environments to train troops for deployment in desert wars, was an excuse to take over the state and declare martial law.

They just knew empty Walmarts were going to be used as staging areas to send Texans to FEMA camps in train cars that were actually intended and have been used to move automobiles by rail, and not people.

And they are constantly talking about seceding from the Union because the United States doesn’t treat the state in such a way as to show its respect for and fear of its might.

And they so love to express their love of the military and appearing to be the well spring of military people even though most of the service members stationed in Texas are from the other states they want to secede from.

People like this just have to be mean, lean fighting machines.

But then comes this.

A study has found that too many Texas youth are too fat and too frail to come to our nation’s defense if needed.

A group of retired military leaders called “Mission: Readiness” recently issued a report titled, “Too Fat, Frail, and Out of Breath to Fight”.

According to their report, which was completed in the fall of 2015, 73% of young adults in Texas cannot serve in the military because they are overweight and generally unhealthy.

The national average is 71%.

“In the event of a national emergency, if we have to mobilize millions of young people today, we would have a crisis on our hands because a lot of those young people are not fit to join the military service. Each year, it seems to get worse and worse in terms of overall readiness and fitness of our young people.

In World War II when the Japanese bombed Pearl Harbor, we mobilized literally millions of young people to join the military. We needed to rapidly mobilize and grow our military and prepare them for war. If we had to do that today, we would find it much more difficult to find that population of young people who are physically fit to join.”

So said retired Army Brig. Gen. Joe E. Ramirez Jr., commandant of Texas A&M University’s Corps of Cadets and a member of Mission: Readiness.

Asthma among youth renders nearly 7% of young Texans ineligible for military service, and obesity and lack of exercise can contribute to asthma.

“A young person who grows up overweight or obese with unhealthy eating habits is subject to all kinds of ailments like asthma or diabetes and they injure much easier than others,” Ramirez said. “Those are the types of things that disqualify them from entering military service.”

Ramirez said the four military branches have different minimum physical requirements.

“There are subtle nuances,” he said. “For example, the Army will have a two-mile run for time but the Marine Corps has a three-mile run while the Air Force and the Navy have mile-and-a-half runs for time. What’s important is, every service has a minimal physical fitness requirement to join that service.”

Recruits who want to make it through boot camp and infantry training must also survive increasingly tough physical-fitness challenges.

Mission: Readiness has more than 550 retired generals, admirals and other senior retired leaders.

They suggest Texas cities and school districts build neighborhoods that encourage physical activity by including walking and biking trails, prioritize physical education in schools, and continue with healthier school meals.

But since these things have been part of Michelle Obama’s healthy living initiatives, this could be a hard sell to a place like Texas.

“We are advocating on a statewide level, on a legislative level, for better PE programs and healthy meals at schools, which was put in at a federal level in 2012, so 100 percent of Texas schools are serving healthy meals,” said Joseph McMahan, the Texas state director of Mission: Readiness. “We also advocate for safer roads and routes to encourage kids to walk and bike more.”

Only 13% of students were found to walk or bike to school, and only 30% of Texas teens get the recommended hour of daily physical activity.

“It’s a huge obstacle, not just in Texas but in other states as well,” McMahan said. “If you’re not an athlete and you’re not involved in sports, by the time you’re in seventh and eighth grade, you’re kind of done.”

McMahan also said,

“It took people many, many years to realize how terrible smoking is and that’s where we are with the subject of obesity. More people are familiar with it now. Luckily, sodas and other sugar drinks are out of the schools, but it also starts at home and getting the parents to realize that it has to start there. We are making headway, but it’s slow.”

“This is my fourth year here,” said 27-year Navy veteran Michael Morales, a senior Naval Science instructor at Socorro High School in El Paso.  And as far as the physical training that the  Navy Junior Reserve Officers Training Corp  would do amounted to meeting with the gym classes and “they either sat in the bleachers or they played basketball or football. There was no cardiovascular, no 20-minute heart-rate-up workouts, or any of that stuff.”

Morales tries to convince  his classes of the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.

“I told them that we have to do what I was taught to do in the Navy because although we are not recruiting for the military — and I don’t care if they join the military or not — I just want them to be healthy. I want them to see their grandkids one day. The problem is their iPhones, their iPads and TV. It’s all the games they play that takes them away from physical activity.”

The report concludes that Texas must provide children with healthy school meals and more opportunities for physical activity.

If you mess with Texas, that wheezing you hear approaching from behind may be the Alamo wannabes comin’ atcha.

 

How Trump supports the troops

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Yep, just another example of “support the troops” that is showy but empty.

Trump had boasted that his fundraiser in Iowa for veterans’ groups he held rather than attend a GOP debate had netted $6 million, but only $3.1 million in donations has been accounted for.

To counter those who have been talking about that, Trump’s campaign manager, Corey Lewandowski, said the fundraiser actually netted about $4.5 million, or 75%  of that total, which is still not what Trump has claimed.

The smaller amount is blamed on those who had pledged money, many allegedly Trump’s wealthy friends, who just did not follow through.

The result is even Trump’s people aren’t sure what amount was really raised, but that $6 million figure did make Trump look good.

Although Lewandowski said,

“The money is fully spent. Mr. Trump’s money is fully spent”,

when it comes to where the money went an hat amount that as he also said,

“He’s not going to share that information.”

Right now, only half of the reported fundraising total has been given to veterans’ groups.

And in his defense, Trump offered,

“Why should I give you records? I don’t have to give you records.”

But if he boasted about the amount he had raised, you would think he would prove it to those to whom he presented himself as such a great guy.

Paul Rieckhoff, founder of Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, thinks the whole thing could have been orchestrated just just to have Trump look good:

 “That’s just shady. Right? No matter how you cut it, that’s just shady. If he was going to make it right, a couple of weeks before Memorial Day would be a good time to do it. It behooves him, not just politically but ethically, to come forward and account for this money.”

To compound things, after the fundraiser, veterans’ groups around the country had no way to apply for the money.

“We haven’t heard anything,” said Judy Schaffer of Heroes to Heroes, a New Jersey-based group that sends veterans  on nondenominational trips to Israel to prevent suicide and promote “spiritual healing.”

“We have a waiting list of over 200 veterans. Many of them have already attempted suicide,” Schaffer has said, “And it keeps me up at night, not being able to send more people.”

If everything is on the up-and-up, why won’t Trump just show where the money is and where it went?

But, hey, he supports the troops.

Just ask him.