The Baffled States of America

I try to be respectful towards the Office of the President.  The next four years will be an endurance test, one unlike any that I’ve ever embarked upon in my time alive.  Let me set the record straight first and foremost.  I have no personal animosity towards President Trump.  None at all.  That said, let’s get started.

First, he’s not a politician.  That’s why many voted for him.  That was the “appeal” that many Americans saw.  He wasn’t an insider in Washington, and he said all the right things in front of the right crowds*.  People seriously thought that he was listening to what they wanted and needed from the head of the Executive Branch of our government and have not been getting for decades.  He’s the one who will fix everything as he claimed that he would do, right?

Well, I can say that I have not been dazzled by his brilliance thus far, even though it’s only been a month.  Actually, not even a full month yet.  It hasn’t been a full four weeks at this point, and we already seem to be witnessing a 2mph train wreck happening during the evening rush hour.

We got warned about this long ago, but we didn’t heed the advice.  Dr. Seuss showed us how to avoid being taken for everything by a con man, a bullshit artist.  Trump is that, and then some.  Look at his history if you don’t want to take my word for it.  He has a record of stiffing businesses out of money on already agreed to contracts.  He’s avoided paying taxes for decades by assuming liability for an absurd amount of debt.  He reminds me of the guy on the street corner taking people for their money playing three card monte.  The problem is that he doesn’t know when to turn the bs off and has no idea of how to not bs people.  If there’s any one job in this country that should not be filled by a bs artist, it’s the job of being president.

We’ve been witness to this through the outright lies and doublespeak coming from people within the administration.  The apparently thin-skinned POTUS has attacked people personally or through spokespeople from everything from the size of the inauguration crowd to the portrayal of him on Saturday Night Live.  This has also been evident from the attacks on the media, the intelligence community, and pretty much everyone around the world except for Russia and Putin.  As things are beginning to show, we’re getting a good education on why he hasn’t attacked Russia or Putin.  The problem with the “breaking news” stuff about Gen. Flynn is that the only thing that’s new about the reporting is that we now have actual names of people with government positions who were communicating with Russia.

There were early reports about Paul Manafort and a server in Trump Towers that was communicating with a server in Russia.  There have also been rumors and such of other people involved with his campaign that had ties to Russia.  The Secretary of State is well-known to have strong business ties to Russia and Putin.  Individually, the rumors and innuendo don’t amount to anything that points to outright malfeasance.  At the same time, you can create an avalanche when you get enough things piled on top of each other.

At this point, there is permanent damage that has been done to the credibility of people in Washington.  It’s not like there was a vast amount of credibility to begin with, but I don’t recall any administration in my lifetime having a beginning like this.  It hasn’t been a full four weeks yet, and there’s enough stuff floating around to do about 8 years worth of Congressional investigations.  I don’t expect to see Republicans do anything at this point, as they’re likely going to try to wait things out.  It appears that Trump tried to wait things out on Flynn, and look at what it got him.

It’s not wise to try to pick a fight with the intelligence community that has taken an oath to protect the Constitution of the United States.  Especially when the intelligence community is full of people who take their oath seriously.  In case people forget, foreign enemies are not the only ones listed in that oath:

I, [name], do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.

5 U.S.C. §3331

Those who focus more on the leaks than the information leaked should stop long enough to consider that oath.  If the federal employee thinks the actions rise high enough to be considered as an enemy act, they have a responsibility to take actions to defend the Constitution.  I’m not saying that leaking information is always a good thing to do, but we do have some whistleblower protections for a reason.  It’s dumb to think that you could communicate with foreign adversaries and our intelligence community wouldn’t pick up on those communications.  I also saw that some of our allies also picked up communications on their own, and they have their own concerns about American leadership as a result.

If Hillary Clinton’s email investigation was so important that we had to have a press conference by the FBI about it, why wasn’t the American public told about the communications between Trump’s campaign and Russia?  Remember, Democrats left a classified briefing on Russian hacking and were furious with Director Comey.  Middle, rural America elected trump because he said that he would bring jobs back to their communities.  If they’re farmers, they will have enough manure over the next four years to keep fertilizing crops for generations.  If they’re not farmers, there’s always a need for someone to shovel the bs.  If the first four weeks are any indication, we’re in for record amounts of bs in short order.

Welcome to the Baffled States of America.  This is what some of  you voted for, and this is what we’re all going to get as a result.

*I think it’s entirely possible to say the right things to the right people.  That still doesn’t mean that you’re correct in what you’re saying, or that the people who believe you are also right. 

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America: A nation with exceptional idiots

There were a few things I read about over the weekend that left me scratching my head a bit.  I wanted to vent yesterday, but I decided to wait out of respect for the victims of the shooting in our nation’s capital.  Well, today, it’s time to let loose with pent-up frustration.

Last week, when Vladimir Putin released his Op-Ed in the New York Times, there were quite a few people who vented anger at his poke at America Exceptionalism.  America may be exceptional at different things and history may indeed show that.  One thing we do have is exceptional idiots.  These examples show how our exceptional idiots are able to put their “American Exceptionalism” on full display for all to see.

On Sunday, Nina Davuluri was crowned Miss America 2014.  Ms. Davuluri is an American of Indian descent.  She was born in Syracuse, New York according to her Wikipedia page.  That fact seemed to fly right over the head of America’s exceptional idiots, bigots, and racists though as twitter went into Grand Mal mode after she was crowned.  Nevermind the fact that Ms. Davuluri is quite a beautiful young lady and her family epitomizes the ideal of capturing “The American Dream”, it seems as though some people can not accept the idea of a Miss America that is not blonde haired and blue-eyed.  Public Shaming has captured expressions of American Exceptionalism on Twitter here, here, and here that shows off the cognitive skills of some of our exceptional idiots, bigots, and racists.

It seems that many Americans don’t have a clue about Islam, Hinduism, or basic geography.  Ms. Davuluri was called Muslim by many when Hinduism is the major religion of India.  They still fail to connect that Ms. Davuluri was born in A-M-E-R-I-C-A and not India.  She was called a terrorist by many when they have no proof that she has an extremist cell in her body.  I could go on and on, but it’s obvious that when you give an idiot a microphone, they will make an ass of themselves without help from anybody else, but yeah, America is an “exceptional” country.

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In Harris County, Texas, Nikki Araguz was denied a marriage license because she is a transgender female.  Texas considers her to be a male because she was born male even though she is now female.  She even had her California birth certificate changed to show she’s female now.  Texas is one of those places with the Constitutional Amendment that says marriage is “one man and one woman”.  Even though she’s a woman, she can’t marry a man however, she could legally marry another woman in a same-sex marriage because she was originally born a man.

So, Texas is against same-sex marriages yet make it perfectly legal for a same-sex couple to marry while denying a man and woman the right to get married.  If I were an activist and intent on causing disruption, I would find every transgender person who would be willing to do so, and I would storm Texas with thousands upon thousands of applications for same-sex marriages just to see how they handled them.  Obviously, the exceptional idiots in the Texas Legislature did not consider the long-term implications of their short-term thinking.

Ms. Araguz is not unfamiliar with Texas law as she was sued by her late husband’s family after she was named a beneficiary on some of his forms.  Her spouse, a firefighter in Wharton, Texas, died in the line of duty while fighting a fire.  As I said earlier, America has its own class of exceptional idiots, bigots, and racists.

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Finally, if you’ve never heard of “Re-Homing”, welcome to my world.  Reuters posted an investigative series on the underground market for adopted kids in America.  If you haven’t read it, I would highly suggest it as a read.  It exposes some of the things done to kids here in this country and the lack of laws protecting these kids.  People got all up in arms over Russia denying Americans the opportunity to adopt kids from there.  After reading this series, I think Russia had a point in stopping those adoptions.  I didn’t understand why they stopped them, but based on the stories told, I would have stopped them had I known those things were going on.

People were exchanging kids through a Yahoo user group and other internet exchanges.  They basically treated kids as though they were some toy or object and not even human.  From what I read, there were not even checks done to ensure they were not turning kids over to pedophiles or other criminals.  One girl in the story even stated that she had to dig her own grave.  How would an exceptional country allow kids to be treated in this manner?

We may have some exceptional people living here, we may even have exceptional characteristics as a country, but this country is far from being exceptional just because it’s America.  When looking at us without bias, we are no different from any other country when it comes to how we treat each other.  The sooner we realize this, the better we’ll be for it.