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Sunday, July 31, 2016

A Lowlife

My mother, Lord rest her soul, used the word lowlife to describe certain types of people. The dictionary defines it as "someone who engages in disreputable and often criminal behaviors." With my mom, it was less subtle. A lowlife was the person who had a cart full of groceries while you only had one item, but refused to let you check out first. A lowlife was the person who refused to open the door to the building while your hands were filled because it would mess up their manicure. A lowlife was the parent that didn't discipline their child for being mean, or the bus driver who wouldn't wait an extra second for a senior citizen moving slowly toward the bus stop and a lowlife was the person who deliberately lied to avoid taking responsibility. For my mother, it was easy to define a lowlife. If she were alive today, she would be describing the candidate running for President from the Republican party as a LOWLIFE. The list that she would use is too long, but having grown up in Queens, the Trump name represented shady deals. I am in no position to judge the validity of such reporting then and now but as has been reported, there were lawsuits regarding discrimination against blacks, complaints about violation of tenants' rights and descriptions of sleazy real estate deals, but for those who want details, do some homework. It would also take too much time to list the more modern examples of why he is a lowlife such as mocking the disabled etc. I will let the opposition run ads and try and give America these examples through the rest of the campaign. I think the most recent, {only Friday to be aired on TV today} example, challenging the truthfulness of the Muslim parents who lost their son to war, assigning Hillary with the responsibility for writing the words of his speech, insinuating the mother's silence should be attributed to subservience and Trump offering examples of his personal sacrifices in his life of avoiding and dodging his military responsibilities, as "working hard and creating jobs" both questionable, do your homework, may have reached new lows. Since when is creating jobs a sacrifice? We cannot forget during such tirades of vengeance and hate, that he is best known for "You're Fired". Needless to say, Hillary is not a perfect candidate. As a lawyer, she has learned how to be ambiguous and as a politician she stretches the truth, how unusual is that? As a public servant for 30 plus years, her political enemies have had her onstage to boo and hoot and probe and mock for a very long time, thus successfully creating a narrative of unlikeability. By her own words on Thursday, she has always stressed the service aspect of her work rather than the public, thus being aloof at best and a "bitchy woman" at worst, but she is no lowlife. She has worked for children, the disabled, New York's first and second responders and if you do your homework, you can find out more about her efforts. She is a moderate Democrat, with left of center leanings and so am I, but aspects of character have become so crystal clear this election that there is no other choice no matter your views on Government. True Republicans must realize that it is better to compromise with a moderate Democrat for the good of the country. They must realize that working with someone who is competent and capable and genuinely interested in the job is the better choice. We do not need and cannot afford a Lowlife in Chief. Make my mother proud. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Homework

By every measure of research, students who do their homework, tend to perform better in school. Homework, if given strategically by a teacher, can help to reinforce knowledge, improve research and study skills and help students to explore information and determine its accuracy. As a teacher myself, I do not make it a daily ritual but whenever I give it, it usually is to force students to find information that is accurate, truthful and reinforces the concepts we are learning together in class. Here is some homework. If you do it, you will perform better as a citizen, if you do not do it, as often is the case, you will continue to be less prepared and perform less well than others. I would never say to students "Believe Me" just because I am the teacher and I know myself to be right. I do tell students when they suggest or believe things that are not true, to reconsider their viewpoints by doing some homework. I then proceed to give them valid and credible sources of information to help them perhaps alter their incorrectness. To those who support Donald Trump because you "Believe" him, your homework is to find out what specific plan he has in place to defeat ISIS. So far he has said he will destroy them and we should believe him. He ignores the hundreds of thousands of acres of lost land by them due to current government efforts against the extremists as well as a built coalition of dozens of nations assisting in their destruction, but whatever. The second part of your homework is to find out what Donald Trump's policy for Middle East peace is. So far he has said America will not butt in and that Israel and Palestine will have to work out their own problems. He also conveniently forgets that his love of Russia and Putin demonstrates a complete ignorance on his part related to Israel's security. Russia's history of anti semitism runs deep, to this day. Putin supports the very nations that have vowed the destruction of Israel such as Syria and Iran, but you do some research and find out the truth. Dont believe me. Part three of your homework is to find out what Donald Trump's plan for job creation is. So far he has said we will have so many new jobs, believe him. In fact, the job creation over the last 7 years has reached historic levels and his own company outsources jobs to produce the merchandise he sells. But dont believe me, do the homework. Your fourth and final part of the homework is to find out why Mr. Trump refuses to release his taxes. Now this one will be harder to do. He has said he is being audited and wont release them but the IRS has said an audit is irrelevant to their release. Trump also promised to do so after the audit but now has refused. You should find out the past practice of other candidates as it relates to their taxes and research why he is being allowed a different standard. He said there is nothing in them to be concerned about, believe him, but your homework is to dig a little deeper. On matters of national importance and fitness for office, other than screaming for us to trust and believe him, I have not been able to find any answers to the homework questions I have given to you. Perhaps you will do better than I? Or, dont do the homework. Choose to perform less well as a citizen and join the club of many others whose failure to do the work, left them with a failing grade. Or, just, believe him. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?

Monday, July 18, 2016

#BoycottClevelandConvention

There are many good Republicans. Decent and caring men and women who debate the size of government, the burdens of taxation, deficit spending, the efficacy of government run programs and fiscal austerity. They care about their fellow man, have no racism or hate in their hearts and love America. These are not the people who are representing themselves in Cleveland this week at the GOP nominating convention. This event will be an all caucasian slugfest of anger, bigotry, symbols of fear and blame. It will be spearheaded by a man whose name I cannot speak. He is a reality TV clown, a liar, and a self absorbed egotist whose sole game is to win at all costs, destroy others and pretend to care about a group when he is in front of them, but never when they are in the background. He has challenged the birthplace of our President, has made fun of the disabled, advertised with symbols of hatred, tells everyone how great he is and how bad America is and the only person he cares about in this world is himself. He shows an absence of knowledge of world affairs and the Constitution that is frightening but he does do one thing well, capture the laziness of a restive electorate that is unwilling to research fact and who listens to bluster and fear mongering. This is a solid 35 percent of America who is so unmovable and so ignorant as to fact, that efforting to change them is a waste of time and energy. Let them be. Let them have their hatefest. It is striking how many decent and caring Republicans will not be in attendance and instead of really saying why, they give the politically acceptable excuses, but two living past Republican Presidents and two living past Republican nominees wont be there. Whereas I disagree vehemently with their ideas on the nation, they are four decent men, men who understand that running for President is serious business and what they see in their party's nominee is a man who is just not up to the job. They are not joining the apologists who pretend the candidate is actually not what we know to be true. They say he will learn, or he will adapt, or that he is going to grow into the job. Folks, this is just not going to happen. To see a man whose life has been to entertain and to be so self absorbed and morally bankrupt, change over four days, is like waiting for the bus that had its route canceled. Don't watch, don't hope for an impossible metamorphosis. Don't be deluded into thinking that this guy is anything other than a despicable, arrogant, misogynistic, dishonest and reprehensible man. Boycott this Convention. It will only make you sadder if you tune it. Just go out and vote either for his opponent, a third party candidate or not at all. This would be the only time I would ever suggest a citizen not exercise such an important civic responsibility but with this guy, not worth your effort. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?