FLOTUS visits stolen kids

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“I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U?”

That about sums it up for the Trump administration.

First Lady Melania Trump left Washington, D.C., for the southen border, wearing a green jacket with the writing “I REALLY DON’T CARE. DO U?” printed in large letters on the back.

I’m not sure for whom the message is intended.

You’ve got to wonder that some handler didn’t say, “oh, no girl, you are not stepping out wearing that!”

She flew down, visited some stolen kids, talked to some people charged with stealing them and keeping a lid on them until they can be shipped off in the middle of the night to some remote place across the country.  Her staff valiantly tried to dismiss questions with “It’s a jacket. There was no hidden message. After today’s important visit to Texas, I hope the media isn’t going to choose to focus on her wardrobe.” Well, they were right about that… the message certainly wasn’t hidden.

I’m a bit surprised a former fashion model would ever wear such a thing, reportedly a $39 Zara jacket from last season. The message must have been powerful for the First Lady.

Anyway, I’m sure those kids felt so much better for the visit. After all, they may never see their parents again, but at least they got a visit from the wife of the man who stole them away out of the deal.

Making America Great Again. (See the Trail of Tears and the Japanese Internment for two former “greats” for reference.)

 

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Donny really doesn’t like Justin

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Donny really doesn’t like Justin.

After being told by the adults in the room at the G7 that his sketchy friend Vladimir was not welcome, Donny has been acting out like a spoiled child.

Donny left the party early, refusing to sign the group card, telling the others they weren’t really his friends. You could almost see a tear in his eye.

In a scene reminiscent of a teenager in full meltdown, Donny grabbed his Twitter machine, and started venting:

Based on Justin’s false statements at his news conference, and the fact that Canada is charging massive Tariffs to our U.S. farmers, workers and companies, I have instructed our U.S. Reps not to endorse the Communique as we look at Tariffs on automobiles flooding the U.S. Market! PM Justin Trudeau of Canada acted so meek and mild during our G7 meetings only to give a news conference after I left saying that, “US Tariffs were kind of insulting” and he “will not be pushed around.” Very dishonest & weak. Our Tariffs are in response to his of 270% on dairy! – Donald J. Trump, Twitter 6-10-2018

Now his minions have been on television bad-mouthing the leader of our closest* ally, accusing him of being weak and dishonest, parroting Donny’s words. Rumblings about tariffs on autos assembled in Canada have been mentioned. The Trump administration doesn’t seem to be aware that US car manufacturers often assemble vehicles in Canada and ship them back into the country. Americans would be paying higher prices for cars manufactured by American car companies. Donny seems to think trade wars are a good thing, especially with his ex-friends.

He’s doing Vladimir’s bidding, tearing apart decades-old associations of western nations, and trying to kow-tow to China, Russia**, and North Korea.

The leaders of the G6 know what it takes to manage the world, and they know Donny is not up to the task. Kim has got to wonder if his new buddy will dump him for the next sweet-talking despot to come along. Hard to see how you build a relationship with someone who is known as a serial cheater.

George Takei posted a great Tweet today: I’ve said it before. The transfer of power in democratic societies is a wondrous and startling thing. One minute, Barack Obama is leader of the free world. The next moment, it’s Angela Merkel.

The question is who will step up to restore the stature and leadership of the United States once we get this juvenile brat out of the White House?

Since Barack can’t return, maybe Michelle?

Perhaps Joe.

Sorry, I don’t think this is one we can turn over to Bernie.

Hurry up, Robert. We know we told you to take as long as you needed on that report, but it would be nice to have it ASAP. We’re practically holding our breath about it.

*Literally

**California has a larger economy than Russia.

Image: Evan Vucci/Associated Press

Nunes votes to de-fund Children’s Health Insurance program

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In another “you have to wonder where his heart is” vote, Devin Nunes joined 209 other Republicans in the House, voting to pass H.R. 3, the euphemistically titled “Spending Cuts to Expired and Unnecessary Programs Act”.  Not a single Democrat voted in favor.

One of the programs to be defunded by this legislation is the Children’s Health Insurance program.

You have to wonder two things:  Who would want to have a vote to throw children off insurance rolls on their record, and who would want to stand and say they supported such a person?

We’ve really got to throw these heartless Republicans out of office in November.

I’m voting for Andrew Janz for CA22.

 

VUSD, I have a bone to pick with you!

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Visalia Unified School District, we need to talk.

Most of my education was in your schools. From seventh grade onward, I attended VUSD schools. Mineral King, Divisidero, and Mt. Whitney (class of 1976 – Go Pioneers!).  On and off before then at Washington, Jefferson, Veva Blunt, and Crestwood, too.

During all those years, I was terribly misinformed. I’m quite sure I remember my civics classes, and never was it explained that a President could do this. Even during the height of the Watergate scandal, happening as I was in high school, nobody mentioned that Nixon had this option.

Now, in the age of the Internet, the President himself tells me this:

PresidentPardonSelf

Really, VUSD, how could you let me graduate with such a complete misunderstanding of the U.S. Constitution, and the operating principles of our government?

Perhaps, in your defense, you didn’t know. Before yesterday, apparently nobody did.

I do know one thing, though. If we’ve decided a President can pardon himself, we’ve basically reverted to the monarchy. In that new reality, I’d prefer Elizabeth over Donald the First.

Oh, and if you’re reading this on June 5, 2018, be sure and vote today.

 

May 22 – Harvey Milk Day, May 26 – Pride Visalia

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“Without hope, not only gays, but those who are blacks, the Asians, the disabled, the seniors, the us’s; without hope the us’s give up. I know that you can’t live on hope alone, but without it, life is not worth living. And you, and you, and you, and you have got to give them hope.” Harvey Milk, 1978

Harvey Milk was the first openly gay man elected to political office in the state of California, in 1977. He and San Francisco Mayor George Moscone were shot and killed in their offices on November 27, 1978, by former Supervisor Dan White. Milk became an iconic figure in LGBT culture, known for his work to further the rights of minority groups of all kinds, and a rallying figure for LGBT visibility and political activism after his assassination.

In 2009, the state of California enacted Harvey Milk Day, to be celebrated on May 22 each year, and the bill was signed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. The day is a “day of special significance for public schools”, who are urged to include information on Milk and his place in California’s history.

Harvey Milk said you have to give them hope. Forty years after his death, much has changed in California, and Visalia.

Last year, I posted this about Harvey Milk Day. In it, I mentioned the first Pride Visalia Festival event (not, however the first Pride celebrations in the area), which turned out to be a spectacular success. Well, it’s happening again!

May 26, 2018, will see the second annual Pride Visalia festival, hosted again at The Old Lumber Yard on Oak Street by the Source LGBT+ Center. This year’s festival promises to be bigger and better than last year’s, with entertainment and fun for the entire family.

Harvey  Milk became the face and voice of hope for people across California and the United States. His call to live our lives as out and proud LGBT citizens led many to do just that, and our society changed in unimaginable ways. The right to serve our country in the armed forces, the right to marry, the right to adopt, the right to be a fully franchised citizen of the United States is now the law of the land.

Much work remains to be done, however. In the past several years, many attempts have been made to roll back the rights so hard won. We must continue to stand for our rights, and for the freedom to live our lives as open and free Americans, fully protected by the Constitution.

Harvey said “you have to give them hope”. Join us at Pride Visalia, and take part in the continuing expression of hope and joy that is the future of this movement.

Pride Visalia

The Source LGBT+ Center  208 W. Main Street, Suite B (downstairs), Visalia

The Source LGBT+ Center Facebook

I am a member of the Advisory Board, former member of the Board of Directors, and community liaison for The Source LGBT+ Center. Image: Harvey Milk 1977 – Associated Press – Daniel Nicoletta

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia

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The International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, held on May 17 every year, is a rallying event offering an opportunity for people to get together and reach out to one another.

What is homophobia?

Any negative attitudes that may lead to the rejection and discrimination, directly or indirectly, of gay, lesbian, and bisexual individuals, or of anyone whose appearance or behavior does not conform to the stereotypes of masculinity or femininity.

What is transphobia?

Any negative attitude or a negative feeling directed at transgender and gender non-conforming individuals.

Homophobia and transphobia may manifest in different forms. It is sometimes conscious, sometimes unconscious, it can even be internalized.

Verbal and physical violence may be the result of such phobias. Social exclusion, peer pressure, and public ridicule, both in person and now in social media, are some expressive forms of these phobias.

What is the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia?

International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia takes place every year on May the 17th. This moment of the year is meant to be a unifying event since a large number of activities and actions take place on this occasion. This day is an opportunity to organize awareness and education activities. Everyone (from individuals to institutions and corporations) are invited to reflect on homophobia and transphobia, and to become aware of their devastating effects.

The Source LGBT+ Center offers resources for individuals dealing with issues related to homo- and trans-phobia.

Contact information:

Facebook: The Source LGBT+ Center

Webpage: http://thesourcelgbt.org

Phone: 559-429-4277

Drop-in Center: Tuesday through Friday, 3pm to 6pm, 208 W. Main St., Suite B (downstairs in the Montgomery Square), Visalia

Some of the above information from homophobiaday.org.

I am a member of the Advisory Board, former member of the Board of Directors, and community liaison for The Source LGBT+ Center. 

Diplomats, Syria, DACA, White House – Trump insanity continues

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The United States has expelled 60 Russian “diplomats” in response to Russia’s poisoning of two people in the United Kingdom. The State Department confirms to Oren Dorell, after Russian sources reported it, that Russia is free to replace those expelled. Net result: Nothing. We just get new spies to replace the old ones. Winning, right? Score one for Putin.

On Syria, President Trump declared “We’ll be coming out of Syria like very soon” at a recent event designed to tout his infrastructure plans. Who wants the US out of Syria (besides Syria)? Putin. Score two. He’s certainly winning with this President. So is ISIS.

On Easter Sunday, he Tweeted: “These big flows of people are all trying to take advantage of DACA. They want in on the act!”

Except, of course, that DACA only applies to people brought here as children and who have been here since 2007. People who enter the United States now are not eligible. You’d think the President would be aware of that fact. Apparently not. More winning?

On Easter he also made comments about the White House. The Hill reports:

President Trump thanked the White House Historical Association and “all of the people who work so hard with Melania, everybody, to keep this incredible house, or building, or whatever you want to call it because there really is no name for it.”

“It is special, and we keep it in tip-top shape,” he said. “We call it sometimes ‘tippy-top’ shape. And it’s a great, great place.”

“House. Building. Whatever you want to call it, because there really is no name for it.” Well, yes, there is a name for it. Several, in fact. It is a building. It’s called “The White House”. It’s also known as the Executive Mansion. Sometimes “The People’s House”. And Melania is keeping it in “tippy-top shape”. Good job, Melania.

Can you imagine the conniption fits there would have been on Fox “News” and the rest of the right-wing echo chamber, if President Obama had made such comments? They went ballistic when, during the campaign in 2008, he said he would consider talking to people like Kim Jong-un. They couldn’t understand how anyone could sit down and talk with a communist dictator. But when Trump recently announced he was meeting with the North Korean leader, they were effusive in their praise for his diplomatic skills… a big “win”. How times change.

Oh, by the way… if you’re looking for work, be sure your resume is updated. There are a lot of high-level jobs available in Washington, D.C. right now. (Don’t worry if you’ve padded it a bit, they don’t really bother to check.) Also, if you’re a lawyer, I hear there are openings at the White House. Be sure you’re about ready to retire, though. It doesn’t seem like a gig there right now translates into a career boost after you leave. And don’t buy a house in the D.C. area. You won’t be there that long.

Image: Associated Press