Problem with The Wall.

 

The flood waters in the Eastern part of Texas can run off into the Gulf of Mexico.

What happens further West if a wall is built, a big, beautiful solid wall, and there is a huge flooding situation.

Where will that water go?

We can’t have culverts to get water to the Rio Grand, or people will sneak through.

We can’t build the wall on the Southern side of the Rio Grande so water goes into it because the wall will be an attack on Mexico’s sovereignty as the United States will be building on Mexico’s land.

The desert ground is not porous enough to absorb the water quickly.

Perhaps after Harvey, people will rethink the wall, rethink the need for regulations like zoning that could prevent a repeat, and President Trump will reinstate the flood programs he removed only because President Obama put them in place.

 

 

Is this why God did it?

As Katrina was pummeling New Orleans, certain religious leaders and right wing politicians were declaring it was God’s punishing the city because of Gay people. They pointed specifically to Southern Decadence, a Mardi Gras type annual Carnivale event attended by both Gay and Straight people, but, at the same time, omitting to mention that the most recent event that had happened there just before the hurricane struck was a convention of Southern Baptist pastors.

Was this God’s not being a good event scheduler, or an actual instance of cause and effect that was being conveniently overlooked?

There had been a previous prediction during a hurricane season in the 1990s when religious leaders claimed at least one hurricane was going to destroy central Florida, specifically Disney World because it kept allowing Gay tourists.

There was silence when the biggest hurricane changed course, tracked further North, and struck the very city where Pat Robertson has his kingdom.

None of the hurricanes hit the Magic Kingdom.

Now Texas, a bastion of judgmental religiosity is being hit hard by a hurricane, but it is merely a natural disaster.

It doesn’t seem to be punishment for a moral decay that is encouraging God to exercise His wrath.

But is it?

This is my theory, and it is just as legitimate as the Gays-Cause-God’s-Wrath-to-Produce-Natural-Disaster reasoning of the religious and political right.

If they have been correct, so am I now.

If, truly, God has a plan for everything and everybody, and His ways are mysterious but a wonder to behold, perhaps He has finally reached His limit with people questioning His creation of Transgender people.

And since Texas is the present epicenter of hatred of Transgender people in His name, is Harvey the focal point of His wrath against their presumption?

After a student wrestler, who was transitioning to his real gender, male, won a wrestling tournament, Texas lawmakers began discussing SB 2095 which would keep transgender students out of high school sports.

The student who was transitioning to male, but who a listed as female on his birth certificate, was allowed to compete only against girls. He resisted this, but was ignored, and now the complaint is that his hormone therapy gave him an unfair advantage over the girls he wrestled, an alleged advantage he would not have had had he been allowed to wrestle other males.

They ignored reality, so the lawmakers began an attempt to lay blame for the lack of judgment on something other than a lack of knowledge and a desire not to obtain it that had a boy wrestling girls..

Then the Texas legislature started discussing Senate Bill 6 that would have required all Texans to use the bathroom that corresponds to the sex on their birth certificates in public schools and in government-funded buildings, and would have overruled any local anti-discrimination laws that allowed Transgender residents to use the bathroom that matches their gender identity. Those laws exist in San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth and Austin.

This would obviously make life difficult for Transgender students and it would go along with Donald Trump’s rescinding of President Obama’s guidelines for schools relating to Transgender students and their safety and well being.

Add to this the bill that would allow adoption agencies to reject potential parents on religious objections, including gays, Transgender people, single people, and anyone of a religion objectionable to the agency.

Then Trump does his thing on Transgender people in the military.

It would appear that if God is flooding a state that boasts of its religiosity and bases laws on one particular religion that favors one sexual orientation, Heterosexuality, He must have his reasons.

A consistent action of the state in recent times is the attempt to reduce its Transgender population to second class citizenry, and to spread lies and attempt to scare people with unsupported claims to do that.

Perhaps what is happening in Texas is the manifestation of God’s wrath for attacking some of His children through deceit.

Now some will say this is too soon. But Gay people were condemned in other natural disaster as they were occurring, and no objection to the timing was made..

Bristol County Sheriff must see hope

The Bristol County Massachusetts sheriff, Thomas Hodgson, must be breathing a huge sigh of relief based on hope.

Unlike other states where the sheriff is a full-fledged law enforcer, the sheriffs in Massachusetts run the jails. They do not patrol streets, they do not make routine arrests, they do not get involved in televised car chases.

They run the jails and make sure inmates get to and from courts.

The Bristol county sheriff, though, wants to be more.

To that end, he is constantly chasing cameras like a bad lawyer chases ambulances, and he brays his theme that everything he does is to keep the people of his county safe.

But to do this according to his personal morphing of his job, he has to neglect his actual job.

He runs to Washington DC to testify about illegal immigrants making claims that are, as he has said himself, not based on actual statistic but, rather, common sense. He is an expert on this subject based solely on his job and his unsupported opinion.

He goes on conservative radio talk shows to pontificate, and the audience loves him, not because he is telling them what they need to know, but repeating what they love to hear.

When Aaron Hernandez was in the Bristol County Jail, the sheriff was a constant figure on local news telling us all about Hernandez and his opinions about him until, because of treatment at the sheriff’s hand, Hernandez’s lawyers got him transferred to another county jail to end the harassment and mistreatment.

Although he may have committed suicide in the second jail, a considerable amount of damage that resulted in that could have been done in the Bristol County Jail judging by how the sheriff acted and runs his jail.

He refuses the necessary mental health support for inmates, and compounds this with arbitrarily placing people in solitary confinement, and, as a result, he has the largest number of suicides of any county jail in the state. When he is asked for relevant data, he refuses to release data, insisting on hiding behind “confidentiality”.

He goes on local and national TV shows because he likes to be seen, and seems eager to get some job higher up on the ladder.

But, to do all that, he has to not do his job.

He buys unnecessary boats to patrol the coastal waters. Not his job; never will be.

He attempts to silence the Corrections Officer Union and costs the county taxpayers millions in law suits.

He triple bunks inmates on make-shift bunk beds.

He denies inmates access to their necessary medications.

He cut off air conditioning in the female wing of the jail while keeping it going in the male section.

He attempted to charge inmates a daily fee during the time of their incarceration, got sued for that, lost, and cost the county millions in fees and court costs.

He ends personal contact visitations in favor of a Skype-like video contact, and then plans to charge the inmates’ families.

He has denied access to religious services.

He attends local events wearing identifiable clothing so people will see him.

He enjoys a nice glass of Madeira wine publicly at a local community fair while wearing his side arm.

He gives patronage jobs to the lawyers who represent him in his multiple losing court cases, and to big campaign donors.

So with Joe Arpaio being pardoned for ignoring court orders, Hodgson must be thrilled he can do as he wants, ignore people’s Constitutional rights, and waste taxpayer money on personal failed projects and patronage, and he could be pardoned for the damage he has done to the people of the county and people’s respect for the law.

Hiding behind his claim that everything he does is to keep the people of the county safe, he promotes himself and his personal agenda.

And it costs money and lives.

Stockholm Syndrome

And there we have it.

Donald Trump, who lives in a better house than we do and has access to the best chocolate cakes in the world, better than we have ever seen, began his presidential campaign by using language to turn people against Mexicans, people who very well might think Taco Bell is real Mexican food.

Then to protect us from his description of Mexicans, he got people all excited about a wall, the best and most beautiful wall, and got them even more excited by pledging that the Mexicans themselves would pay for it.

How’s that for an international “In your face”?

When Mexico said it certainly would not pay for the wall. Trump fired up his base by telling them that, although Mexico might not pay up front before construction would begin, it would probably end up paying through penalties added to trade.

So Mexico made arrangements with other countries to get the goods it used to get from America, and, thus, avoided the penalty pay plan.

Trump turned to Congress to get taxpayer money to pay for the wall, money that Mexico was going to reimburse us.

Now, to get his wall Trump is willing to shut down the government, or so he says.

Although they refuse to accept reality, many of those who voted for Trump to get those nasty Mexicans are dependent on government programs that would not function if the government closed.

Trump has gone from getting people to vote for him by pledging the wall would be paid for by Mexico, to now intending to use those very same voters as hostages.

And, yet, they still love him because he will get them that wall.

 

Whose monuments count?

So it seems to come down to this.

Whether directly, or through what he assumes is guarded language, President Trump sides with those who oppose the removal of monuments erected during the era of Jim Crow and during the days of the Civil Rights Movement that commemorate those who attempted to destroy the United States and defend the subjugation  and oppression of people from another race.

The defenders claim it is a matter of preserving their heritage, and Donald Trump has spoken of the need to preserve our heritage and culture.

With his father having been arrested at a KKK rally, I can see why he would find Confederate monuments and battle flags a matter of heritage.

During his totally unhinged speech in Arizona this week he made his stance on preserving monuments for the sake of history and culture very clear.

He also made it clear that as president of the United States he actually supports those who attack it.

He has directed his head of the Department of the Interior to review all the national monuments, the heritage of all Americans, to see which can be dismantled.

Among them are those lands that are part of the history and culture of the Naïve Americans.

If he were consistent, and if his motivations were correct, he would make sure any national monuments, like Bear Ears, would be left alone.

A statue can be moved to a museum, but once a natural wonder is destroyed, they are gone forever.

So, to me, anyway, his inconsistency shows that Trump values the history and culture of one group with which he can identify over that of another with which he cannot.

The man is tone deaf

Having said he had a great plan to take out ISIS and they would be gone in six months once he was inaugurated, and after promising his supporters that he would Make America Great Again and get out of foreign entanglements especially in wars he has condemned all along, President Trump stood before a military and television audience and articulated his detail free plan on Afghanistan.

Basically, we were told America needs to do something and something will be done.

He began his speech attempting to do two things.

He needed to read his sincere thoughts written by someone else about equality in this country from the teleprompter so he couldn’t go off on his own thoughts and screw it up again, which must be driving Sarah Palin nuts since she hates those things and has no respect for anyone who uses them. He also had to praise the military because as their 5 time draft dodging commander in chief he may have to act tough and send them off to be killed not only in Afghanistan, but Pakistan with which he revealed he is none too pleased.

But in the attempt, sincere or otherwise, to be the president of all Americans, he once again came across as tone deaf as many politicians who attempt to do the same thing.

He began with,

“Since the founding of our republic, our country has produced a special class of heroes whose selflessness, courage, and resolve is unmatched in human history.

American patriots from every generation have given their last breath on the battlefield – for our nation and for our freedom. Through their lives, and though their lives were cut short, in their deeds they achieved total immortality. By following the heroic example of those who fought to preserve our republic, we can find the inspiration our country needs to unify, to heal and to remain one nation under God. The men and women of our military operate as one team, with one shared mission and one shared sense of purpose.

They transcend every line of race, ethnicity, creed and color to serve together and sacrifice together in absolutely perfect cohesion. That is because all service members are brothers and sisters. They are all part of the same family. It’s called the American family. They take the same oath, fight for the same flag and live according to the same law.

They are bound together by common purpose, mutual trust and selfless devotion to our nation and to each other. The soldier understands what we as a nation too often forget, that a wound inflicted upon on a single member of our community is a wound inflicted upon us all. When one part of America hurts, we all hurt.

As we send our bravest to defeat our enemies overseas, and we will always win, let us find the courage to heal our divisions within. Let us make a simple promise to the men and women we ask to fight in our name, that when they return home from battle, they will find a country that has renewed the sacred bonds of love and loyalty that unite us together as one.”

But he had previously  tweeted

“The United States Government will not accept or allow…transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the US military. Our military must be focused on decision and overwhelming… victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.” 

After Trump rescinded the Fair Pay and Safe Workplaces order, President Obama’s Executive Order 13673, that required companies wishing to contract with the federal government show that they have complied with various federal laws and other executive orders, which included Order 13672, which prohibited contractors from discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity;

After the Trump administration withdrew Obama-era protections for transgender students in public schools that would let them use bathrooms and facilities corresponding with their gender identity;

And after Sessions’ Department of Justice filed a brief that argued against GLBT protections in the workplace under Title VII which “prohibits employment discrimination based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin” stating, saying,

 “The sole question here is whether, as a matter of law, Title VII reaches sexual orientation discrimination. It does not, as has been settled for decades. Any efforts to amend Title VII’s scope should be directed to Congress rather than the courts”;

Trump went on to say in his speech,

“And when one citizen suffers an injustice, we all suffer together. Loyalty to our nation demands loyalty to one another. Love for America requires love for all of its people. When we open our hearts to patriotism, there is no room for prejudice, no place for bigotry and no tolerance for hate. The young men and women we send to fight our wars abroad deserve to return to a country that is not at war with itself at home. We cannot remain a force for peace in the world if we are not at peace with each other.”

See?

Tone deaf.