Thursday, May 4, 2017

THIS & THAT #23

WHAT’S WHITE AND WHITE?
WITH NO COLOR IN SIGHT?
If you watched the self-congratulatory ceremony in the White House Rose Garden today after the GOP narrowly passed their version of a health care reform bill, you may have noticed that many of those applauding themselves were white-skinned, white-haired males, and few were wearing visible female attire.

That’s not to say that some of the male majority attending weren’t wearing fishnet stockings or garter belts beneath their manly attire. All politicians know that it’s best to project a front that their constituents will feel good about. All the GOP representatives who were there, clapping, singing and taking selfies, had best enjoy the moment.

A SEVEN-YEAR ITCH
It took the GOP only seven years to pass their flawed health care bill, and when the voters in their districts read the fine print and discover that Trump-care or Ryan-care, is nothing to brag about, they might think a bit longer and stronger as to whom to vote for in 2018. That’s when 435 congressional seats are up for election, and Republicans currently occupy 246 of those seats.

MAKE AMERICA GRATEFUL, AGAIN
The GOP should be grateful that they would once again be dealing with an equally inept Democratic National Committee at election time, just as they had to do during the last self-imposed failure in 2016. Look at THIS & THAT #22 for more insight on that subject.

It should be noted that only seven of the 216 GOP representatives who voted for the new health plan, had enough guts to hold town hall meetings in the immediate future. The rest will wisely rest.


WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT ELECTED OFFICIALS RUNNING YOUR COUNTRY?
Fifty-one percent of the U.S. population is female, and 19.4% of the 114th House of Representatives are women, which include 21 Republicans and 62 Democrats. The Senate’s 100 seats have 21 women, with 16 being Democrats and five are Republicans.

The Junior Senator from Illinois, Democrat Tammy Duckworth is an Iraqi War Veteran, who served as an Army helicopter pilot, and lost both of her legs and damaged her right arm in combat. She retired as a Lieutenant Colonel in 2014.

State of the Senate Quiz:
What three states are each represented by two women in the U.S. Senate? In one state, the Senators last names are Hassan and Shaheen. In another state, the Senators first names are Maria and Patty, and they are not members of either the Andrew Sisters or the Osmond family. The third state is California, where Zora dislikes the elder Senator who has been in office since 1992.


Wednesday, May 3, 2017

THIS & THAT #22


WHOM DO YOU TRUST?

Hillary and Elizabeth are not on my “Yes I Really Trust” list; in fact there are only two women I do completely trust.

One is my wife and the other is my daughter. There are only two men on that list including the man who should have been president — Bernie — and our local supervisor, John Leopold.

A FREUD IN NEED
I have been told unconditionally to never contact one of my former far-right friends of some sixty-seven years, who believes that the current President is the greatest thing that happened to American Jews since Kraft began making low-fat Kosher Crème Cheese.

Our country is divided into many areas including by race, wealth, politics, religion, country-of-origin, sexual orientation, and sex. It is in the latter category that today I have been pestered by letters and news coverage from and about female want-to-be leaders, (or wanted-to-be leaders), who are neither my wife nor my daughter.

In today’s news, Hillary is placing most of the blame for her loss on either Putin’s people or on Comey’s belated pre-election pronouncements. There’s little reference to the inept DNC, Debby’s improper and biased actions, and Clinton’s advisors convoluted and misguided pre-election campaign activities.

ALPHABET SOUP
Yesterday’s mail brought in a financial request allegedly from the DSCC, but only after carefully examining the four-page pitch, was I able to discover that those initials represented the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. The letter described the group as a “grassroots network of fired-up progressives just like you,” which is an interesting assumption and presumption, since I never signed an oath to be one of them.

THE LIZ BIZ
In reality, the DSCC seems to be an organization primarily for and about Elizabeth. The addressee on the envelope is Elizabeth, ELIZABETH WARREN, DSCC. The letterhead reads “FROM THE DESK OF ELIZABETH WARREN,” and it is signed by Elizabeth, above the words “Senator Elizabeth Warren.” The enclosed pledge card has a photograph of a smiling Liz, with her arm raised in an acceptable winner’s pose, in front of a banner with a field of stars.

Come on Liz, you are campaigning for President, so why not be honest and say so?

TWO OUT OF THREE
Full Disclosure: I have overtly supported three candidates whom I once believed in: Eugene McCarthy in 1968, Bernie Sanders in 2016, and was totally misguided in 2008   when I sent moneys to support a dishonest John Edwards.

It is from what I learned in that latter experience, Liz, that you are not going to entrap me into supporting you or your DSCC, so please remove my name from your mailing list.

You have inspired me to send a check to John Leopold, and to finally sit in the sun and begin reading Bernie’s book, Our Revolution.

A SCARY DUO: SPRINGER AND SPICER
Where we are at today is personified by what is on television at this very moment. On one channel is the Jerry Springer Show, featuring three women who were convinced to see what they could do together in a bubble bath. The parallel is on another channel where Sean Spicer is bending the truth about three other entities; Donald, Chuck and the Democrats, and Mitch and the GOP. Perhaps those three would be able to make America Great Again, while sitting together in an oversized bathtub. They had better do so sooner than later, before Liz demands to be squeezed in.


Tuesday, March 7, 2017

THIS & THAT  #21

THE DONALD IS IN THE MIDST
OF ON-THE-JOB TRAINING

Unfortunately, it appears that most of his people are on a
similar learning curve. It seems too steep for some of them to
understand and follow with a degree of professionalism.

Donald is learning what it means, and takes, to be the President. His foray into on-the-job training, has been a confusing array of “What do I do next?” actions.

He shoots from the hip, but unlike gunslingers of the Old 
West, who first loaded their weapons with the right ammo, Donald just sets his sight on his enemy of the moment, and lets loose with a barrage of questionable shots.

His specious savants heavily involved in media relations,
then attempt to explain his actions in a way that might be understood solely by a decreasing number of the 62, 979, 636 Americans who voted for “The Boss.” Sorry, Bruce, but Donald has taken that title away from you both with his actions, and inactions.

On a personal note, a retired man living in the State of Washington, who worked hard to get Donald elected, gave up on him within three weeks of DJ becoming President. There’s a good chance that there may be others who became similarly disillusioned with his actions.

TRUMP APPOINTEES ALSO
GET ON-THE-JOB TRAINING
The blind are leading the blind, as witnessed by his media relations entourage, who are keen to follow their leader on blaming the media, for all of the mess his administration is in.

Today, Benjamin Solomon Carson, Sr., the current U. S. Secretary Of Housing and Urban Development, described slaves as immigrants. The man lacks the intelligence (seykhl or common sense) and diplomacy of Benjamin (Franklin),
and the wisdom of Solomon, but after the media quoted him directly from a video, he had the audacity to say, “It’s really kind of sad what the media has degenerated into.”

When confronted by the enemy — the media — he released a statement defending his earlier words, and expressed pride in the courage and perseverance of African Americans.

What’s truly sad is what this administration and its appointees have degenerated into, and give them credit, they did it in less than the First One Hundred Days in office.


Saturday, February 18, 2017

THIS & THAT #20

EXECUTIVE ORDERS
NOW AND THEN

Donald J. Trump signed Executive Order 13769 on January 27, 2017, and it was entitled “Protecting the Nation from Foreign Terrorist entry into the United States.” This hastily written, ill-conceived fiat was intended to limit the entry of refugees from certain nations into the United States. Before it was derailed in the courts, it caused undue and unnecessary consternation among immigrants, civil rights advocates, and a multitude of ordinary Americans who believed that our government was a fair and just one.

SEVENTY-FIFTH
ANNIVERSARY
Less than eleven weeks after the Imperial Nation of Japan deliberately attacked the naval base at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, then President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s issued Executive Order 9066 on February 19, 1942, ‘Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas.”

The Order’s alleged purpose was to protect the nation against attack from within by Japanese Americans living in the West. In order to do so, it sought to place 120,000 Japanese Americans in ten camps in isolated and desolated areas in seven Western states. Like Trump’s misguided and misdirected effort, that, too, was a questionable Executive Order since 62 percent of all Japanese Americans were citizens of the USA. After the war ended, there was no evidence that any of them had committed a crime against their country.

Trump’s action was an endeavor to please his base by fulfilling a campaign promise to protect Americans from ”them.” FDR attempted to appease citizens who disliked and were fearful of “outsiders,” and wanted to protect citizens from their enemy. He, like Trump today with his “every-Muslim-is-a-threat” warning, did not outwardly discern the difference to naïve Americans between a Japanese American citizen, and the Japanese Imperial enemy.

THE POWER IS
IN YOUR HANDS
Are our citizens better informed now than then, or are too many still susceptible to whatever they are told by those in power to support their prejudices and misguided beliefs? 

In 1942, with the start of World War II, a fearful US citizenry wanted reassurance that their country would be protected, and very few stood up against FDR’s benign racial proclamation. As such, the isolation and imprisonment of Japanese Americans was too readily accepted as a rational and essential action. Even many Japanese who read the declarations and posters proclaiming the necessity of removing their people away from the West Coast, too readily accepted the illegal order.


Dissidents and “troublemakers” who protested too much and too loudly, ended being incarcerated in separate camps, such as Tule Lake War Relocation Center in Northern California.  Jimi Yamaichi spent time there during the war, and has helped lead some of the twelve pilgrimages that have taken place there since 1995. It is a way to educate the younger generations, and remind the older ones of what took place.

Jimi is one of many Japanese Americans that stay active in speaking to outside groups, against hatred of anyone different including Muslims, and in working at the Japanese American Museum in San Jose.

WHAT OTHERS
HAVE ENDURED
When I taught a class at San Jose State on the American media coverage of the Internment and the Holocaust during World War II, Jimi was one of my regular, classroom speakers, as was Katsumi Hikido. Kats is a young ninety-two-year-old, who fought and was seriously wounded in Italy as a member of a segregated Japanese-American fighting unit during the Second World War. His wife Alice, was taken with her family from their homes and businesses in Juneau, Alaska, and incarcerated in the Minidoka Relocation Center in an isolated section of Southwest Idaho. Jimi’s wife Eiko, now in her nineties, was also imprisoned at three different camps.

Both couples are dear friends, and we recently celebrated life and birthdays with lunch in San Jose’s Japan Town. Kats and I were born on the same day, but years and experiences apart.

ACTIONS SPEAK
In these uneven and uncertain times, we need to be acutely aware of injustices perpetrated against any individual or group. Then we should take meaningful action to reduce or eliminate the injustice, while we still have the opportunity to do so.