The sheriff writes a letter

Dear people of the county:

I am your sheriff.

My job here in Massachusetts is to run the county jail and make sure inmates are transported to and from court. If inmates are found guilty I transport them to the assigned prison, but if they are acquitted, I let them go. More than half the people in my jail at any given time usually fall into that last category, while many inmates, although charged with minor arrest worthy offenses, are in my jail because they could not pay a fine or raise bail.

Out West, in those big states with lots of land but few towns and people, the sheriff gets to be more than a glorified jail keeper. In those states towns are small and spread far apart so the local police aren’t able to cover all that space between towns or the large expanses of land that belong to the county but are not incorporated into any towns. Those places are outside town police jurisdictions, so someone needs to be the lawman that can arrest people on county owned land regardless where their alleged crime took place.

Now that is what I want to do, but it’s not my job.

I really, really want to bolster my self-esteem, and to do that, I want to be like those rootin-tootin sheriffs like they have in those big western states. The closest I can come to that is to pretend, and to convince you my job is greater than it is so people will think I am more important than I am.

Here in Massachusetts towns are close, cities large, and there is no “no man’s land”, so I have decided to act like my job is more than it is and convince you that is what I need to do.

That is why I keep telling you that my job is to keep you safe. It isn’t, actually. My job is to run the jail, but you are buying that.

I keep making general statements while refusing to produce any evidence that backs what I claim, and ignoring evidence that contradicts me.

I like to tell you that immigrants are rapists, murderers, and capital criminals, but I base that on nothing but my need to say that. I ignore the studies and reports, even those of the federal government, that show that because they do not want to bring attention to themselves people who are here without the proper papers keep their noses clean since committing crimes would make them stand out. But I tell you that where there are “those people” crime goes up.

I like to claim they bring wages down, even though, again, reports say the opposite, and I warn you that they are taking your jobs even though they do the type of work you wouldn’t do even if the job was offered. Do you really want to work in a sweat shop or out in a field picking lettuce in the blazing sun with no shade?

I will tell you they are taking your jobs and then turn around and tell you they are stealing your tax dollars by relying on welfare. It can’t be both, but if you believe it, that’s all I need.

I am like the parent who keeps the kid in bed at night by warning about the monster under the bed, and will always appear the hero because I will bravely walked into the room to get something in spite of the monster being there.

Since it works, I warn you about a vague “them”, always making sure to give enough details to let you think of someone you are not, but not enough to give the “them” any substance.

No one describes the bogey man, but he sure is scary.

If you ask me for proof that what I say is true, I will just tell you that it is common sense and, not wanting to have anyone think you don’t have any,  you will drop your demand for proof.

My emperor has no clothes, but you will compliment his wardrobe.

And this in spite of my demanding you accept my common sense even though my wearing my gun on my hip while I stand in a crowd of thousands sipping on a glass of wine at a huge community festival should be the obvious sign that my common sense is questionable.

I like to tell you that my jail is filled with the worst of the worst even though many if not most of the people there have driving violations, missed a fine payment, got drunk like I could have at that festival, or committed some minor infraction.

But, if you haven’t been in one, jails are scary places populated by rapists and killers. If you have ever been in one, you know many in there are just like you, someone who made a mistake and is scared.

Your naïveté works for me. I feed on it,

When you call 911, I don’t show up, neither do my deputies. They are busy running the jail while I am running around giving speeches that are based on my scare tactics. You get the local police. They are the ones who are really keeping you safe. But you forget that and think I am the hero who is keeping you safe.

I am not.

But how can you doubt or question your hero?

And, so, I claim to do things I really don’t.

I tell you I am protecting you from an enemy that doesn’t exist and you show me such gratitude.

I don’t give you any real verifiable details about the people you should fear so you can use your imagination to imagine the worst and will turn on your neighbors if they fit your image.

All this time I can get paid for not doing my real job, spend your money on wasteful things like a boat to patrol the harbor which is the coast guard and harbor patrol’s job, and on defending me in lawsuits that result from things I do to look tough, but are illegal.

And you love me.

And like a guard dog who is distracted when it sees a squirrel, I can get you to look away from my negligence of duty and abuse of the taxpayers by telling you I am protecting you from the monster under the bed.

I love you for that.

Sincerely,

Tom

 

 

It’s a party

Having obtained control of the White House and both houses of congress, the Republican Party threw off the mantel of the party of fiscal responsibility to begin spending money like a drunk, except a drunk stops spending money when it runs out.

The new GOP tax plan could cost $2.2 trillion over the next 10 years as the $20 trillion federal debt that Trump condemned when he ran for president is projected to balloon to $30 trillion a decade from now.

 

Short list of examples

When Trump shared a series of unverified videos allegedly portraying Muslims beating and harassing non-Muslim individuals that turned out to be fake, Sarah Huckabee Sanders had to defend him.

“Whether it’s a real video, the threat is real,” Sanders told reporters. “[Trump’s] goal is to promote strong border security and strong national security.”

“I’m not talking about the nature of the video. I think you’re focusing on the wrong thing. The threat is real, and that’s what the president is talking about.”

In a speech to law-enforcement officers at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood, Long Island, Trump said,

“Like when you guys put somebody in the car and you’re protecting their head, you know, the way you put their hand over? Like, don’t hit their head and they’ve just killed somebody—don’t hit their head. I said, you can take the hand away, O.K.?”

He was “joking”. Sarah Huckabee Sanders dismissed it as a joke.

When he told boy scouts at their jamboree about wild yacht parties, he was being humorous.

After suggesting to a rally audience of people who loved the Second Amendment that since Hillary was against guns, they knew how to deal with her,

“By the way, and if she gets to pick– if she gets to pick her judges, nothing you can do, folks. Although the Second Amendment people — maybe there is, I don’t know”,

even Paul Ryan was disturbed enough to say,

“I heard about this Second Amendment quote. It sounds like just a joke gone bad. I hope he clears it up very quickly. You should never joke about something like that.”

And yep, Trump claimed he was joking.

After saying that he would throw Hillary Clinton in jail if he were elected president, ignoring due process, his people had to explain that it was just a joke.

“That was a quip” according to Kellyanne Conway.

When he accused President Barack Obama of being the founder of ISIS, he doubled down the next day in an interview,

“I meant he’s the founder of ISIS. I do. He was the most valuable player. I give him the most valuable player award. I give her, too, by the way, Hillary Clinton.”

But one day later, Trump tweeted

“Ratings challenged CNN reports so seriously that I call President Obama and Clinton “the founder” of ISIS, & MVP, THEY DON’T GET SARCASM?”

Then there was that moment of irony when he apparently invited Russian hackers to dig up thousands of deleted emails from Hillary Clinton’s private email server.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing.”

Then his advisers had to clarify that by claiming the remark was tongue-in-cheek, and Trump eventually claimed he was being sarcastic.

Following Trump’s comment on the criminal justice system,

“We have to come up with punishment that is far quicker and far greater than these animals are getting right now. We need quick justice and strong justice, much quicker and stronger than we have now. What we have right now is a joke, and it’s a laughing stock. No wonder so much of this stuff takes place”,

Sanders insisted Trump did not say the country’s criminal justice system is a “joke” and “laughing stock”, but, rather, has only “voiced his frustration” with the process.

Following two tweets that came after the truck attack in Manhattan, both of which referred to Senator Schumer,

“The terrorist came into our country through what is called the “Diversity Visa Lottery Program,” a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based”

And

“Senator Chuck Schumer helping to import Europes problems” said Col.Tony Shaffer. We will stop this craziness!”,

Sanders again had to do some clean up, albeit a poor job of it, by claiming that Trump was not pointing the finger at Schumer for paving the way for the attack.

With Trump’s referring to African countries as “shitholes”, poor Sarah had to dance fast. First she praised the president’s humanity and populist appeal.

 “No one here is going to pretend like the president is always politically correct. He isn’t. I think that’s one of the reasons the American people love him. One of the reasons that he won and is sitting in the Oval Office today is because he isn’t a scripted robot. He’s somebody who tells things like they are sometimes, and sometimes he does use tough language.”

But then to cover all the bases, she threw in,

 “I’ve never heard him say anything like that.”

After the negative reaction  to Trump’s tweet about Senator Kirsten Gillibtand’s calling for the president’s resignation in response to renewed sexual misconduct allegations against him,

“Lightweight Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a total flunky for Chuck Schumer and someone who would come to my office “begging” for campaign contributions not so long ago (and would do anything for them), is now in the ring fighting against Trump. Very disloyal to Bill & Crooked-USED!”,

because it had the ring of sexism to it, specifically the “and would do anything for them”, Sanders had to, again, modify the sentiment.

“He’s not alleging anything. There’s no way that this is sexist at all.”

“I think only if your mind was in the gutter would you have read it that way, so no, [he won’t apologize]. He’s obviously talking about the political partisan games that people often play and the broken system that he’s talked about repeatedly.”

When speaking to a crowd in Ohio about the lack of Democrats’ not clapping for him during his State of the Union address, Trump whined.

“They were like death and un-American. Un-American. Somebody said ‘treasonous.’ I mean, yeah, I guess, why not? Can we call that treason? Why not? I mean, they certainly didn’t seem to love our country very much.”

And Miss Sarah went right back to the standard dismissal of her bosses remarks,

“The president was clearly joking with his comments. But what isn’t a joke is that Democrats refuse to celebrate the accomplishments of last year that has helped all Americans.”

I agree with Senator jeff Flake.

“I have seen the president’s most ardent defenders use the now-weary argument that the president’s comments were meant as a joke, just sarcasm, only tongue-in-cheek. But treason is not a punchline.”

No, they’re not

 

There’s something a little disconcerting to hear people from the Southern Red States decrying those from foreign countries who are coming here, taking their jobs, and relying on  public assistance to live here without having to work.

First they cannot be taking jobs if they are on public assistance, and secondly, they, besides not qualifying for public assistance, would be idiots if they were here illegally and then report to a government office to get free money.

Southern Red States have been effectively fooled into accepting a false history for the benefit of those who continue to play them for fools.

They decry people from other countries coming to take their jobs and demonstrate their displeasure at this by waving confederate flags and celebrating their heritage, even though that heritage is not the romantic heritage they have been fooled into accepting.

In the antebellum agrarian south, the upperclass made its wealth by importing slaves from foreign countries who were forced to work for free in order to avoid having to pay “Native” southerners who had to survive on subsistence farming. The jobs that could have earned them a wage were given to those brought here to do it for free, and then they were fooled into fighting a war to keep this system going.

Their southern heritage is being forced into a never ending cycle of poverty as the Southern Red States are now dependent on federal money and are the highest users of welfare, food stamps, and federal programs. Southern Red States get more back for each dollar paid into the federal coffers while Blue States get less and are subsidizing the Southern ones.

Even to this day, Southerners are kept from having jobs that could earn them wages because, even as the 13th Amendment abolished slavery, it contains a convenient loophole that has been used to keep people working for no wages while those who could use the wages are left out.

“Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”

Create laws that create criminals, apply those laws selectively, mete out long prison sentences, convince the general population that one segment of society has a natural propensity to commit crimes which calls for protecting the general population, and people will be glad others are locked up and will fail to see they are working at jobs the members of the general population should have, a population that does not recognize they are further being used because they are paying tax money to support for profit prisons so the companies for which prisoners work increase their profits by not having to pay any income out into wages and the owners of the for profit prisons, who by contract must be supplied a required amount of prisoners or the counties and states will be monetarily penalized, that penalty being paid by the taxpayers who are, again, locked out of the salaried jobs.

One of the reasons corporations speak against Unions is because of them workers cannot be under or insultingly paid, and working conditions must be humane. Unions also led the fight against using prisoner labor in lieu of the non-prisoner work force. As in other areas where they sided against their own best interests, Southern worker were convince Unions were bad things that kept them from being able to find work.

So Southern Red States, blind to their own reality, have been convinced that immigrants are the ones keeping them from their jobs while the system they love has been doing that since Jamestown, and having been convinced that others have been taking their jobs they count on messiahs to end that not realizing their messiahs have been playing them and benefiting.

Immigrants aren’t taking your jobs.

The “job creators” aren’t offering them to you.

He takes no responsibility

You have to wonder about Mike Pence, I mean his mental acuity and grasp of reality.

During the opening ceremonies of the Olympics, while many countries see the United States as a bit arrogant, Pence and “Mother” sat as the athletes of each country entered while everyone else was on their feet cheering. He only stood when the United States Olympians marched in.

Pence wanted to “remind the world that everything the North Koreans do at the Olympics is a charade to cover up the fact that they are the most tyrannical and oppressive regime on the planet”, according to a source.

So he took a seat in protest.

The source also said,

“At every opportunity, the V.P. will point out the reality of the oppression in North Korea by a regime that has enslaved its people”. And will “not allow North Korea’s propaganda to hijack the messaging of the Olympics.”

Back in October Pence left a football game in Indiana when players from the San Francisco 49ers knelt during the national anthem.

“President Trump and I will not dignify any event that disrespects our soldiers, our Flag, or our National Anthem. While everyone is entitled to their own opinion, I don’t think it’s too much to ask NFL players to respect the flag and our national anthem.”

In this case, while he will not allow North Korea’s propaganda to hijack the messaging of the Olympics, he and Trump have hijacked the meaning of the NFL protest and portray it as being against the flag, the troops, and the country, not the brutality and inequity.

He accompanied a tweet of a picture of he and “mother” standing with “We were proud to stand – with all our colts- for our soldiers, our flag, and our National Anthem.”

The true reason for the protest was, and continues to be ignored for political points while the real issues continue to be ignored.

And speaking of the Olympics.

U.S. figure skater Adam Rippon, who is openly gay, declined an invitation to meet with Pence before the Winter Olympics in South Korea.

Pence was selected for the ceremonial role of leading the U.S. delegation to the Olympic opening ceremony and Rippon wasn’t happy about that.

“You mean Mike Pence, the same Mike Pence that funded Gay conversion therapy?”

He said as a Gay person he would not feel welcome at this White House.

Pence’s response through his press secretary was.

“The vice president is proud to lead the U.S. delegation to the Olympics and support America’s incredible athletes. This accusation is totally false and has no basis in fact. Despite these misinformed claims, the vice president will be enthusiastically supporting all the U.S. athletes competing next month in Pyeongchang.”

In spite of his 2000 campaign page saying “resources should be directed toward those institutions which provide assistance to those seeking to change their sexual behavior“, the claim is that pence never supported that.

Pence himself tweeted

“I want you to know we are FOR YOU. Don’t let the fake news distract you.”

Another Olympian, skier Gus Kenworth, supported Rippon’s objection to Pence.

“To have somebody leading the delegation that’s directly attacked the LGBTQ community, and a Cabinet in general that just sort of stands against us and has tried to do things to set us back, it just seems like a bad fit.”

Pence’s downplaying his own verifiable actions is an attempt to “Starightsplain” to a Gay person that what he has experienced really wasn’t what it was.

And what Gay person hasn’t had to deal with that?

Pence has been actively against GLBT rights over the years, including signing a law that would have legalized anti-GLBT discrimination as Indiana’s governor.

So, you see, anything Pence actually did to strip American Gay people of the rights with which they have been endowed by their creator, leaving them to deal with discrimination in employment, housing, treatment etc. didn’t really happen because Pence says he didn’t do what he actually did.

He

  • ran a conservative think tank that published anti-Gay articles,
  • wanted to use HIV/AIDS money to fund conversion therapy,
  • protected “religious freedom” at the expense of GLBT rights, and then signed an anti-Gay “Religious Freedom Bill” in a private ceremony surrounded by anti-Gay activists,
  • spoke against what he called “mainstreaming Homosexuality” into the military,
  • and pushed state lawmakers to send a Gay marriage ban for a vote of the people of Indiana because nothing supports inalienable rights bestowed by a creator than voting on whether that creator was correct.

But, hey, the straight man has told the Gay one it wasn’t all that bad, so it couldn’t have been. And who should know the Gay experience better than a straight guy.

And besides, “I want you to know we are FOR YOU” and now it’s all better.

And the third example of his disconnect was when Pence criticized North Korea for having a large military parade the day before the Olympic games opened, calling it “an ongoing provocation” seeming to forget, or choosing to ignore, that Trump. who invoked such fire and fury as the world has never seen and bragging about the size of his nuclear button while taunting North Korea’s leader  with middle school level nicknames, has asked for the a large military parade just like it in the U.S. and the Department of Defense is “putting together some options” for such a military parade.

How insulting to the people of this country that those in leadership positions think we are incapable of remembering things or of even looking them up.

So let me add a fourth offensive disconnect.

Mike Pence thinks of us as and treats us like we are morons.

 

 

 

 

The Social Security scam

How do you cover the loss of a huge tax cut when it obviously means the government will have less money coming in as the amount going out increases?

Simple.

Embezzle all surplus Social Security revenue generated by the 1983 payroll tax hike.

Now you can support wars and other government programs while the money that belongs to the workers of the country will not be invested as it should be so any interest that could have been earned isn’t.

The way the system works, any funds over the amount needed each year to cover the checks of those receiving benefits is considered surplus. Rather than allow it to accrue interest, the government has used the surplus on other things, like unfunded wars, with the federal government issuing IOUs which can only be redeemed by raising taxes, cutting spending elsewhere, or borrowing.

The government owes Social Security $2.7 trillion, but the government is both unable and unwilling to repay the stolen money.

The government should enact legislation requiring the repayment of the stolen money, perhaps in installments over the next 30 years, and Social Security’s short-term problems would be fixed.

Ronald Reagan said,

“Social Security has nothing to do with the deficit. Social Security is totally funded by the payroll tax levied on employer and employee. If you reduce the outgo of Social Security, that money would not go into the general fund to reduce the deficit. It would go into the Social Security Trust Fund. So Social Security has nothing to do with balancing a budget or erasing or growing the deficit.”

Except when raiding the funds was a quick fix to cover the losses that resulted from Reagan’s tax breaks for the rich, which created a gigantic deficit, and instituting a Social Security tax increase which was promoted at the time as a way to strengthen Social Security and allow it to continue into the future.

In reality, rather than the government paying back our money that was taken, we were being made to cover that loss ourselves.

Reagan “borrowed” our money and then had us pay back that loan.

Avoiding having to pay back the government’s $2.5 trillion debt to Social Security is why so many politicians want to cut benefits.

A simple solution would be to give those who have been making more money on their ever repeating tax cuts, while those who pay into Social Security have had to pay more into it to cover the loss, a slight tax increase to pay us back, not be given more tax cuts to enjoy our money while we cover the debt.

Although the GOP likes to call the money we  will be receiving after having paid into Social Security “entitlements” to make it sound as if we are getting some sort of gift and should be grateful, not demanding, about that, the real entitled are those who have been benefiting from tax cuts while we, the workers, have been covering their share of the national debt.

We pay in, but they withdraw.

So when Paul Ryan, who had voted in December for a trillion-dollar, deficit-funded tax cut, says we’ve got fiscal problems because of the “entitlements”, he is blaming the growth of Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security for the deficit so that he can play around with our money, not the government’s, in order to make up for the debt caused and cover the money the 1% will, again, not be paying in to help.

I know all of the best people

When it comes to immigration, Trump is demanding extreme vetting, “extreme, extreme vetting.”

Regular vetting, even as strict as it is now, is just not enough.

Extreme vetting is designed to keep out anyone who does not share “American values” or is not prepared to “embrace a tolerant American society.”

Saying what you want and what it is may be one thing, but to be the example, the model of it is another.

Now Trump may know how it should be done, but he doesn’t seem to have mastered the art of vetting himself.

It would be surprising that the extreme vetter had chosen a man, Rob Porter, to be on the White House staff even though his two ex-wives had accused him of abuse while they were married to him with his first wife accusing him of having been “verbally, emotionally and physically abusive “, and his second wife saying he physically assaulted her during their marriage and she was constantly scared of his anger.

Certainly something like this would have come up during the vetting for a White House position in the administration that said it would clean the swamp.

I suppose, considering the number of people that needed to be hired, one questionable person might have slipped in by mistake especially since Trump bragged during the campaign that he knew all of the best people, but:

  • Michael Flynn, Trump’s national security adviser resigned after it was found he had discussed U.S. sanctions on Russia with the Russian ambassador to the United States before Trump took office and misled Vice President Mike Pence about the conversations.
  • Philip Bilden withdrew from consideration in February because of government conflict-of-interest rules after Trump had picked him for secretary of the Navy.
  • Caroline Wiles, another Trump pick for his director of scheduling, resigned after failing a background check.
  • Gerrit Lansing,White House chief digital officer, stepped down after failing an FBI background check.
  • Tom Price, Health and Human Services Secretary, resigned after using taxpayer money for expensive private charter planes for personal business even though the trips were approved by the Trump administration.
  • The Mooch, Anthony Scaramucci the White House communications director, had to go because he made after profanity-laced comments to The New Yorker magazine.

All of these seemed to have backgrounds and character that should have kept them from even being considered.

Add to these the ones that had to be let go:

  • Stephen Bannon, Reince Priebus, Omarosa, and James Comey,

people who backed away from a appointment prior to being vetted:

  • Mark Green, Trump’s nominee for Army secretary,.
  • Jason Miller, Trump’s early choice for White House communications director,
  • James Donovan, a Goldman Sachs Group Inc banker who was nominated for deputy Treasury secretary,
  • Todd Ricketts, Trump’s choice for deputy secretary of commerce, and
  • Vincent Viola, nominated by Trump to be secretary of the Army,

And those who resigned for a variety of reasons:

  • Michael Dubke, White House communications,
  • Walter Shaub, head of the U.S. Office of Government Ethics,
  • Michael Short, senior White House assistant press secretary,
  • Sean Spicer, White House press secretary in July,

and those who didn’t make the cut:

  • Robin Townley, aide to national security adviser Flynn who was denied security clearance to serve on the U.S. National Security Council,

Trump isn’t too good at picking people.

Yet, he is the champion of vetting.

Someone who is that bad at picking people who he thinks are up to the job he wants to give them, and had given them, does not speak well of his ability in that area.

This is not US

Move over China, Russia, and North Korea, there’s a new military parade in town.

Talk about distracting overcompensation.

Or is it guilt that someone else got killed or maimed in Viet Nam because he had to take the place of “Cadet Bone Spurs”?

Public displays of force with military officers showing-off weapons is the habit of fascist states.

In spite of Sarah Huckabee Sanders attempting to present the idea of a traditionally Communist and Fascist military parade as a mere suggestion of a way to celebrate the troops, on February 6,Trump gave orders to the Department of Defense to prepare for a military parade.

Obviously, Trump has found a new use for the troops. Beyond the photo ops and claiming that anyone who does not agree with him, takes a knee at a football game, or doesn’t clap at his State of the Union, he found a new way to prop up his fragile self-image.

The countries he wants to emulate were created by military coups, and they are military countries.

The United States is a civilian country that has a permanent military to protect it.

James Madison, one of those pesky Founding Fathers who, like Bible verses, are quoted or ignored according to the needs of the speaker, said:

“In time of actual war, great discretionary powers are constantly given to the Executive Magistrate. Constant apprehension of  War, has the same tendency to render the head too large for the body. A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people.”

“Of all the enemies to public liberty war is, perhaps, the most to be dreaded, because it comprises and develops the germ of every other. War is the parent of armies; from these proceed debts and taxes; and armies, and debts, and taxes are the known instruments for bringing the many under the domination of the few. In war, too, the discretionary power of the Executive is extended; its influence in dealing out offices, honors, and emoluments is multiplied: and all the means of seducing the minds, are added to those of subduing the force, of the people. The same malignant aspect in republicanism may be traced in the inequality of fortunes, and the opportunities of fraud, growing out of a state of war, and in the degeneracy of manners and of morals, engendered by both. No nation could preserve its freedom in the midst of continual warfare.”

Elbridge Gerry, a delegate to the American Constitutional Convention, wrote that

“Standing armies in time of peace are inconsistent with the principles of republican Governments, dangerous to the liberties of a free people, and generally converted into destructive engines for establishing despotism.”

Samuel Adams wrote in 1768,

 “Even when there is a necessity of the military power, within a land, a wise and prudent people will always have a watchful and jealous eye over it.”

The importance of having a civilian as the Commander in Chief of the military should not be ignored. That job is to remind and guarantee that we stay a civilian country and that the military is a part of it, but not the most important part.

This is not the case with fascist states with leaders who are authoritarian.

What message is Trump hoping to send to the world and the citizens of the United States?

With this parade we will be becoming one of those states we have long opposed, and rather than a sign of respect to those in service, it will be abandoning those who in service defended us and continue to defend us against such states.

Ah, privilege

After the Super Bowl, emergency responders had a hard time keeping up with Philadelphia Eagles fans who were celebrating the team’s victory by marching through Philadelphia streets ripping down light posts, jumping off The Ritz Carlton awning, setting small fires, and damaging vehicles and store buildings. Windows of the Center City Macy’s were smashed, PATCO trains were delayed, and buses had to be rerouted.

What fun.

Reports of the fans’ actions characterized the crowd as getting rowdy and the celebration as one that had been decades in the making.

The fans were considered understandably jubilant, so the destruction of property was acceptable as officials were slow to condemn the destruction, even though a radio call on the police scanner noted,

“a guy in a four-wheeler just ran over a cop.”

Although during the understandable and acceptable destruction Philadelphia Police Sergeant Brian Geer tweeted,

“Still going strong. But, if everyone could go home that would be great. We have to get some rest to start planning a parade in the morning”.

That was at 9:30 p.m., but the crowd was allowed to continue its celebration and destruction until the police began to move the crowd at 1:30 a.m.

These were fans celebrating a sporting event, and, well, celebrating a football game is important.

In 2015 in Baltimore, Freddie Gray, a25-year-old Black man died sustaining injuries to his neck and spine while being transported in a police vehicle after being arrested.

During the resulting protests of what seemed to be another in a series of unnecessary deaths of Black men, some rioters smashed storefronts and damaged a number of police vehicles. 34 people were reportedly arrested.

Black Lives Matter works to raise awareness around racial inequality and police brutality, and is usually condemned for any destruction to property committed by anyone, even if they are not part of that organization, and they are roundly condemned and countered with more civil slogans like Blue Lives Matter and All Lives Matter to misrepresent their objective and create an artificial us and them divide.

Their getting rowdy is condemned, as is any property damage that can be connected to them, and they are protesting racial inequality and injustice.

Such protests had been decades in the making.

Sports fans destroying property is excused as exuberance.

But, hey, the Eagles won a football game.