Tuesday, August 15, 2017
Back to school is around the corner and as a teacher, I am getting the usual pangs of anticipation and hope as a new year approaches. One thing we are not hearing a lot about during our current political reality, is how all of the dysfunction and meanness pervading our country right now, should be handled in the classrooms. I, quite frankly, am a bit worried about how to teach students the difference between good and evil without entering the arena of their own family dynamic and political perspective. After all, I actually work with teachers and other educators who support President Trump and it takes a lot for me to restrain myself and say to them how unbelievably inappropriate and ignorant their viewpoints are but I refrain. I have always made it a habit to teach students how to make decisions rather than make the decisions for them. It is hard, but it is right in my judgement. They may be able as they get older to guess that I am a left of center Democrat believing in compromise but they wont hear me define myself as such in the classroom. I never, however, refrain from modeling for them or teaching them about good character, respect for others and the avoidance of apathy. In the movie, "American President" Michael Douglas plays President Andrew Shepard who is dropping in the polls nearing re election. He finally decides to speak out against his fear mongering opponent Bob Rumson played by Richard Dreyfuss. In a famous line from his speech Shepard says "Being President is entirely about character". The teaching strategy that this example provides us as teachers is therefore the one I will use, without condemning party political affiliation or calling out the President by name. Instead I will teach students that we must fight against symbols of hate such as swastikas and KKK robes. We must respect each other and not use vulgar terms and expressions of disrespect toward women. I will teach that lying is bad and avoiding responsibility by blaming others is inappropriate. I will reinforce the importance of stopping bullies and speaking out forcefully against bigotry and hate. I will remind students that how they behave as young adults will shape who they become as adults, and I wont even have to mention Donald Trump, the most despicable human being, the most incredibly hateful and disingenuous thug, the most lacking in character of anyone to assume the office of the Presidency in a long long time. Maybe even forever. I will not squander this teachable moment. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?
Wednesday, July 19, 2017
Article 2 section 3 of the Constitution says that the President "shall take care that the Laws be faithfully executed". It doesn't ask for his opinion of the law or suggest he even have one. The President as any citizen, has the right to speak and share his thoughts, but he must enforce the laws that have been passed by Congress and signed by a President. We have today, a President who is boastfully, systematically and aggressively hoping that a law, "The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act" signed into law in 2010, fails. In fact, he is encouraging and helping it to fail. He is hoping it fails. He is willfully and systematically not enforcing this law. I personally believe that this rises to a high crime or misdemeanor, but that is just my opinion. Until such time as something changes with the laws that impact healthcare, it is his duty to do what he can to insure that this law is faithfully executed. If everything spoken about, written about and observed about Donald Trump is put aside, the one thing we should be most concerned about is his desire to hurt our citizens. He wants to do it deliberately to score some political points. In their worst days, no previous President would call for failure. Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth?
Wednesday, July 12, 2017
There is no time for I told you so. The man has always been a liar, a cheat and a very bad human being. He holds the office of President for now. But what about the country? We still have McConnell trying to push through a deathcare bill. We still have a Speaker who is too petulant and phony to stop supporting the President in the name of party. We still have many Republican leaders going with the usual approach of partisanship and resistance to compromise. The scandal that is unfolding in the White House which I would like to refer to as TrussiaGate, has a long way to go. It will eventually play itself out, but in the mean time, who is running the country? Who is protecting us from a terrorist attack? Who is coordinating the agencies of government? Who is getting out the message that things will be just fine? No one. We have a President so unhinged, so concerned with his ego and cable news and tweets, that he has no business being in charge. Yet he is. If this persists, the dangers will be worse than we even imagine. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?
Sunday, May 21, 2017
There is a Seinfeld episode where Jerry decides to return a blazer for spite. It fit, there was nothing wrong with it but he just wanted to spite the salesperson. The manager said "you cant return it for spite". This was a funny episode but our President rules over our land with spite. Without thought and without any knowledge about policy or impact, if it is related to Barack Obama, it goes. Why? Spite. Trump is threatening not to pay insurance companies the money due them for providing care for those in need of financial subsidies. This is bad policy, bad humanity and solely due to spiteful, hateful ignorance. Can he get worse? Yes. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?
Wednesday, May 17, 2017
We had an election. Trump won. Republicans are scared to do anything because they feel the will of the people will be breached. Well yes, for 35 percent of us. But 35 percent of us would vote for a Nazi sympathizing racist criminal who supports cannibalism. We have a certain group of people like that and they do not represent the will of the people, but they do represent votes, votes these Repubs don't want to lose. They wont. Repubs will always own the crazies. So here is a lesson about the will of the people. It fluctuates like the wind. Remember Obama? Won big in 2008. Amazingly popular and loved. He had the will of the people behind him. And then? 2 years later we were impatient, he was too slow to deliver, he must be punished. He was. Lost the House. Dems got crushed. A new will of the people. We are an impatient and often ungrateful lot, we Americans. We want change but don't like it. We want tax cuts but want our medicare. We want food stamps but mock the poor. We want, we want, we want but we hate government except when it benefits us. We are human and being human involves a bit of selfishness. We are, however largely moral. We know right from wrong and after we make petulant, often stupid decisions, we rethink. We shift. Right now we have a President who tried to stop an investigation and probably gave intel. to Russia that while not illegal, may have been strategically dangerous. And that was this week. What I am trying to say is that Republicans shouldn't worry that we picked Trump on November 8th. That's a lifetime ago. Remember that the will of the people picked Obama twice but the Republicans said it was the will of the people to wait to pick a justice with a new President. We can spin this will any way we want. What is more important than our will, often based on who we are angry at today, and not the best barometer for doing what is safe and what is right, is our Democracy. Right always prevails, our will shall follow. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?
Thursday, April 13, 2017
Remember during the campaign, Donald Trump at his rallies invoked "Believe Me" wherever he went. Never any substance, just a promise that for a vote, you can count on him to do what he says. After all, "Believe Me" is powerful medicine to the ill informed. So by the millions, three million less than his opponent, (unless you don't count the millions who voted illegally,another total lie) people did believe him. He promised that he would direct his Treasury Secretary to declare China a currency manipulator, oh wait, he just said they aren't. He said we must stay out of Syria, oh wait, didn't he just bomb them? He said there were no ties to Russia, oh wait, didn't we just find out one of his key foreign policy aids might actually be a spy for Russia? He said we would have great healthcare, oh wait, didn't his efforts fail thus far?. He said that we need to get Wall street to curb their greed and help the middle class, oh wait, didn't he appoint 5 cabinet members all with ties to JP Morgan, the very corporation he condemned Hillary for making speeches to? He condemned Obama for golfing or taking vacations or being away from the WH, oh wait, Trump has just spent more in 85 days on travel than O did all 8 years. He said Planned Parenthood does good things. Oh wait, today he signed an order making it OK for states to deny them funds. That will result, knowingly, in the death of many who rely on their health services. He also said yesterday, that he may stop giving the subsidies to the Insurance companies under the ACA because he didn't win and now wants to punish Democrats. Oh wait, wasn't it Republicans who got cold feet and don't these subsidies save lives? I remember when Trump said that he could stand on 5th avenue, shoot people and not lose support. Well, by his own deeds so far, he is killing people by polluting the world, denying health services and being just plain out of control and unhinged. To the Trump voter, you really are screwed. And you screwed the rest of us "Believe Me". Where are you Americans for Reason and Truth.
Thursday, March 9, 2017
The Donald has been President now for about two months. It isn't just that he lies in a pathological and hateful way, it isn't just that he is incapacitated by the truth, it isn't just that he really has no clue about how the government works, or what the Constitution says, it's that he has no regard for the millions he insults, hurts or worse, whose lives he will destroy. The irony is that those who will hurt the most, are those who supported his candidacy with great fervor. The uneducated white man, in his forties, living in places like West Virginia, Michigan and Ohio, not too educated, out of work manufacturing workers, angry at everyone, blaming Government for their failures while accepting unemployment, medicaid, food stamps and other programs that they demonize with no desire to retrain, retool, take some responsibility for their ignorance and re enter the collective called the United States. It is this group, passionate for the misogynist in chief who will find that his lies and distortions will only make matters worse for them. But you know what? It wont matter. They just don't get it. Enjoy your new healthcare. Enjoy your new minimum wage factory job and enjoy the great American dream of Donald Trump. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?
Sunday, January 22, 2017
I have not been able to post since election day. I have been frightened, amazed, angry, disappointed and totally disgusted with my fellow citizens. I am not angry at the stupid ones, who do not understand, who listen to demagogues and liars because they are too dumb to know any better. I am angry at those who either do not think there is a difference or who are smart, but so focused on one selfish interest or issue, that they set aside all the other realities and amazingly think "oh, it wont be that bad. It really doesn't matter much" I am angry at those who stayed home and didn't think exercising their right to vote, something to be cherished not squandered, was important. And so it goes. The same drumbeat of apathy, cynicism and ignorance. Already, only two days in to his Presidency, the man has sent his Press Secretary out to lie for five minutes about the size of an inaugural crowd. He has professed love for the very agency, only a week ago he assigned Nazi like tactics to. His speech, was dark, divisive and not reflective of this great country. So now what? We watch him destroy himself, little by little, each day, showing even his supporters how totally wrong they were. I only hope he doesn't destroy We the people, before he destroys himself. Resistance is at the heart of American patriotism and we need organized, consistent resistance every single day that we have a Monster in Chief in office. Thank you ladies for getting us off to a good start. Where are you Americans for reason and truth?