Stop the Presses!

A few quotes about the press…

Were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
— Thomas Jefferson

Our first object should therefore be, to leave open all the avenues to truth. The most effectual hitherto found, is the freedom of the press. It is, therefore, the first shut up by those who fear the investigation of their actions.
— Thomas Jefferson

The liberty of the press is essential to the security of freedom in a state: it ought not, therefore, to be restrained.
— John Adams

Freedom of speech is a principal pillar of a free government: When this support is taken away, the constitution of a free society is dissolved, and tyranny is erected on its ruins.
— Benjamin Franklin

A popular Government without popular information, or the means of acquiring it, is but a Prologue to a Farce or a Tragedy, or perhaps both.
— James Madison

Without debate, without criticism, no Administration and no country can succeed , and no republic can survive … and that is why our press was protected by the First Amendment.
— John F Kennedy

Societies that repress journalists ultimately oppress people as well.
— Barack Obama

The FAKE NEWS media (failing @nytimes, @NBCNews, @ABC, @CBS, @CNN) is not my enemy, it is the enemy of the American People!
— Donald Trump

 

 

Locker Room Talk

Donald Trump’s apologists, many of them women, have launched a three-pronged defense of the latest recorded revelations of his true attitudes towards women.  The defense goes something like this…

1. All guys talk like this in private

2. It’s just locker room talk, it doesn’t mean anything

3. Boys will be boys. / Men will be men.

Okay, let’s examine, shall we?


All guys talk like this in private.

No.  They don’t.  Some do, we’ve all heard them, but no, not all.  Not all men. There are actually guys out there that respect women as people, rather than regard them as objects.  There are actually guys out there who do not talk like this.

Personally, I have never bragged about sexually assaulting a woman, and I know other guys who never have either.  And there’s plenty of us guys out there who don’t think it’s cool to talk about fucking another man’s wife.  Frankly, the idea that we’re all alike, that we all talk like some shit-for-brains hormonal middle-school troglodyte, is offensive.  Some of us who take great pride in how we treat the women in our life.

If you are a woman, and the significant men in your life all talk like this, first, I’m sorry.  Second, I would recommend you try associating yourself with a higher class of man.  Your personal experience notwithstanding, not all men are scumbags.


It’s just locker room talk, it doesn’t mean anything

This is probably the most dangerous element of the apology.  Sure, some of it was “just talk”, the usual locker room vulgarity, and right, who cares, but…  Some of it was talk about actions.  Actions.  Actual things he has done.  Part of it was Trump bragging about how he assaulted women, and how it was okay because he was a “star”.

“When you’re a star, they let you do it.  You can do anything, whatever you want.  Grab them by the pussy, you can do anything.”  I wish I were exaggerating, but that is an actual quote.

This isn’t just talk anymore.  This is admitting to sexual assault, and being proud of it.  Let me say that again, so maybe it sinks in a little.  He is proud of having assaulted women.  Proud of it!  At least Monica’s time as a makeshift humidor was consensual.  And at least Bill had just enough common decency left to not be proud of it.

And it is particularly telling, in his apology, while he apologized for what he said, he never once apologized for what he did.  Why would he, in his “good mind” he thinks it’s okay, because he’s the “star”.  He’s only sorry he got caught talking about it.  He has a team of lawyers to take care of the rest.

Again, not all men are like this.  If this is how your man treats you, and other women, get out of that relationship.  Believe it or not, there are men out there who respect women, and treat them as worthy of respect. You deserve better.


Boys will be boys. / Men will be men.

This is the excuse you use when boys get hurt climbing a tree, or men get into a bar fight.  It is not a valid defense for sexual assault.  Remember when Brock Turner, the swimming star for Stanford University, raped an unconscious woman behind a dumpster?  Remember how upset everyone was when the judge basically treated that as a “boys will be boys” incident?  Why, because it simply is not a valid excuse for sexual assault, Brock Turner’s or Donald Trump’s.  End of story.

Do you really want your son growing up to think it’s okay to assault girls, because that’s just what boys do?  Stop it!  If you wouldn’t except this behavior from your son, you certainly shouldn’t condone it in a president.

 

Why did the Arizona Republic switch sides after 120 years?

photo by The Arizona Republic

The Arizona Republic, founded in 1890, is the daily newspaper of Phoenix, and the largest newspaper in Arizona.

The Arizona Republic has never endorsed a Democrat for president.  Ever. They did NOT endorse JFK, Woodrow Wilson, or FDR. (They REALLY didn’t like FDR.) For 120 years, they have exclusively endorsed only Republican candidates for president.

In short, the Arizona Republic is a conservative paper in a conservative state.

This year, for a number of reasons, they are not endorsing Donald Trump.  I would like to invite you to take a close look at the carefully considered reasons for this break from their heritage…

On Temperament…

“The challenges the United States faces domestically and internationally demand a steady hand, a cool head and the ability to think carefully before acting. Hillary Clinton understands this. Donald Trump does not.”

“[Clinton] has withstood decades of scrutiny so intense it would wither most politicians. The vehemence of some of the anti-Clinton attacks strains credulity.Trump hasn’t even let the American people scrutinize his tax returns, which could help the nation judge his claims of business acumen.”

On Clinton’s Flaws…

“She has made serious missteps. Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of State was a mistake. … Donations to the Clinton Foundation while she was secretary of State raise concerns that donors were hoping to buy access.”

“Yet despite her flaws, Clinton is the superior choice. She does not casually say things that embolden our adversaries and frighten our allies. … Clinton retains her composure under pressure. She’s tough. She doesn’t back down.”

“Trump responds to criticism with the petulance of verbal spit wads. That’s beneath our national dignity.  When the president of the United States speaks, the world expects substance. Not a blistering tweet.”

On Foreign Policy…

“[Clinton] is intimately familiar with the challenges we face in our relations with Russia, China, the Middle East, North Korea and elsewhere. She’ll stand by our friends and she’s not afraid to confront our enemies.”

“Contrast Clinton’s tenacity and professionalism with Trump, who began his campaign with gross generalities about Mexico and Mexicans as criminals and rapists. These were careless slaps at a valued trading partner and Arizona’s neighbor. They were thoughtless insults about people whose labor and energy enrich our country.”

On Immigration…

“Arizona went down the hardline immigration road Trump travels. It led our state to SB 1070, the 2010 “show me your papers” law that earned Arizona international condemnation and did nothing to resolve real problems with undocumented immigration. Arizona understands that we don’t need a repeat of that divisive, unproductive fiasco on the national level. … We need a president who can broker solutions.”

On Human Rights…

“As secretary of state, Clinton made gender equality a priority for U.S. foreign policy. This is an extension of Clinton’s bold ‘women’s rights are human rights’ speech in 1995. It reflects an understanding that America’s commitment to human rights is a critically needed beacon in today’s troubled world.”

“Trump’s long history of objectifying women and his demeaning comments about women during the campaign are not just good-old-boy gaffes. They are evidence of deep character flaws. They are part of a pattern.”

“Trump mocked a reporter’s physical handicap. Picked a fight with a Gold Star family. Insulted POWs. Suggested a Latino judge can’t be fair because of his heritage. Proposed banning Muslim immigration. Each of those comments show a stunning lack of human decency, empathy and respect. Taken together they reveal a candidate who doesn’t grasp our national ideals.”

On Supreme Court Nominations…

“Many Republicans … shudder at the thought of Hillary Clinton naming Supreme Court justices. So they stick with Trump. We get that. But we ask them to see Trump for what he is — and what he is not. Trump’s conversion to conservatism is recent and unconvincing. There is no guarantee he will name solid conservatives to the Supreme Court.”

“Hillary Clinton has long been a centrist. Despite her tack left to woo Bernie Sanders supporters, Clinton retains her centrist roots. Her justices might not be in the mold of Antonin Scalia, but they will be accomplished individuals with the experience, education and intelligence to handle the job. They will be competent. Just as she is competent.”

On Trump’s Lack of Control

“Trump’s inability to control himself or be controlled by others represents a real threat to our national security. His recent efforts to stay on script are not reassuring. They are phony. The president commands our nuclear arsenal. Trump can’t command his own rhetoric.”

“Were he to become president, his casual remarks — such as saying he wouldn’t defend NATO partners from invasion — could have devastating consequences.” … Trump suggested Russia engage in espionage against Hillary Clinton — an outrageous statement that he later insisted was meant in jest. Trump said President Obama and Hillary Clinton were ‘co-founders’ of ISIS, then walked that back by saying it was sarcasm. It was reckless. Being the leader of the free world requires a sense of propriety that Trump lacks.”

On Trump’s Appeal…

“We understand that Trump’s candidacy tapped a deep discontent among those who feel left behind by a changed economy and shifting demographics. Their concerns deserve to be discussed with respect. Ironically, Trump hasn’t done that. He has merely pandered. Instead of offering solutions, he hangs scapegoats like piñatas and invites people to take a swing.”

“In a nation with an increasingly diverse population, Trump offers a recipe for permanent civil discord. In a global economy, he offers protectionism and a false promise to bring back jobs that no longer exist.”

“America needs to look ahead and build a new era of prosperity for the working class. This is Hillary Clinton’s opportunity. She can reach out to those who feel left behind. She can make it clear that America sees them and will address their concerns. She can move us beyond rancor and incivility.”

Conclusion

So for the first time, The Arizona Republic is endorsing a Democrat.  For all the reasons above, they are endorsing Hillary Clinton.  Those are just the highlights, you can read the entire endorsement here:

http://www.azcentral.com/story/opinion/editorial/2016/09/27/hillary-clinton-endorsement/91198668/

We should all just respect each other’s opinions

Lately I’ve noticed a number of Trump supporters saying things like, “everyone’s entitled to their opinion”, “you should respect my opinion”, and, “you claim tolerance but you’re being intolerant”.

All valid statements… normally. And I would agree with you… normally.

This is not a normal situation. Normal rules do not apply. What’s different? This….

Donald Trump is the first openly racist presidential candidate we’ve had in over 40 years. Lets let that sink in…. an openly racist candidate… for President of the United States.

Donald Trump is openly racist. Supporting him is itself an openly racist act. You may hold the opinion that his racism is somehow excusable or acceptable. Or that its somehow okay to support a racist, as long as you yourself are not racist. Or that its okay to support a racist, because he’s not Hillary. You are indeed entitled to any of those opinions. You are also wrong. Racism is not okay. Yours is a morally wrong opinion.

I am under no obligation to respect your racist opinion. Your opinion is unworthy of respect. In fact I will go on record right now and say if you support racism, in any form, I will have little or no respect for you.

Being openly racist is unacceptable. It is un-American. It has no place in our society. We should not tolerate it. We should never tolerate it. (If you’re confused, just remember, its okay to be intolerant of intolerance.)

Trump University

If you are going to vote for Trump, you owe it to yourself, and the rest of us, to understand what happened at Trump University. I picked the opinion piece below because it doesn’t use a lot of big words, but feel free to find your own, there are plenty of other articles out there, now that information is being released. Find one and read it, and… if you still think this man represents the kind of ethics and integrity you want in a president, then go ahead and vote for him. And may God have mercy on your soul.

http://www.cnn.com/2016/06/01/opinions/trump-university-revealing-dantonio/index.html

I Know Why Poor Whites Chant Trump, Trump, Trump

http://www.stirjournal.com/2016/04/01/i-know-why-poor-whites-chant-trump-trump-trump/

First – this is NOT an article about Trump. (Even I’m getting tired of those. You can only say the same thing so many times.)

Second – this article is NOT anti-Trump. (Trump may be the inevitable result of this story, but he is not the story.)

THIS story is much older and bigger and wider and deeper than the current Trump phenomenon. This is the history of who we are, and how we got here. Trump is only the latest chapter. This story started hundreds of years ago, generations before we were born, and yet directly impacts us today.

Our world today did not just suddenly spring into existence. It is the direct result of literally everything that came before it. We lose sight of that at our own peril.

The article is long, but not unnecessarily so. It contains great insight and understanding. The tone of the article implies an intent that I don’t think exists, but the facts, the things that happened, regardless of intent, and the results of those actions, are irrefutable. These things happened. God can judge intent. We are left with the results.

It doesn’t hurt that it is well written, and makes for an easy read.

If you don’t want to read the whole thing, you will miss out on a lot of important history, but I think this excerpt sums it up best…

“I’m no one special. I am a poor, uneducated, white woman. I am the white underclass, and I am no one’s enemy. I fight for racial equality because people of color are not my enemy. Gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender people are not my enemy. Immigrants and refugees are not my enemy. Muslims are not my enemy. Native Americans are not my enemy. Single mothers and fathers are not my enemy. People on Medicare, disability, food stamps, and unemployment are not my enemy. The homeless are not my enemy. And it turns out that the people of a small Arkansas town in the middle of the Ozarks are not my enemy.”

“Other poor people are not the enemy, no matter how they look, how they pray, or who they love. They are fighting to be heard. They are people who, like Trump supporters, agree with the statement, ‘People like me don’t have any say about what the government does.'”

Trevor Noah Is Very Angry at the Media for Its Breathless Coverage of Trump

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/2016/03/22/trevor_noah_mocks_the_donald_trump_media_circus_on_the_daily_show_video.html

Follow the money…

Regardless of how you feel about Trump, it’s important to understand what is really happening here. If you’re a media company, there’s good money to be made covering the apocalypse.

“It may not be good for America, but it’s damn good for CBS.”
— Les Moonves (president of CBS)

The rise of American authoritarianism

http://www.vox.com/2016/3/1/11127424/trump-authoritarianism

This post is not an attempt to sway Trump supporters, or even possible Trump supporters, to reconsider their vote, so if that’s you, just move on — there’s nothing to see here. This article uses big words, and even bigger ideas, that are likely to only confuse and frighten you. So seriously, just move on.

No, this post is an attempt for the rest of us. those of us who have retained the power of rational thought, to understand exactly what in the holy hell is actually happening. As a rule, if something is scary, understanding it usually helps assuage that fear, at least a little. Scary things, once we understand them, become a little less scary to us.

Unfortunately, with this, that may not be the case. If these guys are right, the reality might just be even more frightening than we imagined. We may be living in the final days of the republic. Every republic has an end, and somebody has to live through it.

Those of you who know me, know I’m not a “the sky is falling” kind of guy. In fact, I’m usually the one pointing out that the sky is not, in fact, falling. I can’t do that this time. It may actually be falling. I hope not. Believe me, I will be extremely happy to be wrong about that.

Anyhow, short version — please read, at least the large print yellow highlighted parts.

Louis C.K. Rips Donald Trump in Epic Email: ‘The Guy Is Hitler

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/louis-c-k-rips-donald-trump-in-epic-email-the-guy-is-hitler-20160305

Louis C.K. has built his entire career on observing and understanding human behavior. He has been successful because he can turn observation and understanding into the occasional insight. Frequently those insights resonate, because of the truth they contain.

In short, he is very good at what he does.

I say this by way of explaining, this is not just another empty headed celebrity, spewing out their empty headed opinion, to satisfy their empty headed ego. His insights on Trump come from decades of observing and understanding human behavior.

In short, his insights are worth reading…

How America Made Donald Trump Unstoppable

http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/how-america-made-donald-trump-unstoppable-20160224

This is NOT your typical Trump-bashing.

This is an in-depth look, beyond the media circus he’s created, at how he is building popularity by going after the right things, for the right reasons, and for the right people.

There is real substance there, unfortunately it’s hidden by the typical Trump nonsense parade that takes center stage with the media. This is intentional, it is deliberate, and it is working. It will almost inevitably result in a President Trump.

“The problem, of course, is that Trump is crazy…”