One small step

Because I believe our current president has a tenuous, hit-and-miss relationship (at best) with truth, I tend to just shake my head when he opens his piehole or his Tweeting machine: there’s no reason to think any of it is accurate or honest, and it shouldn’t be taken seriously (or literally)…by anyone.  But his current delusional outburst about the Philadelphia Eagles’ visit to the White House should not go unrefuted; one of the best responses I’ve seen was Eagles player Malcolm Jenkins today on Twitter.

De8Zs7_UYAAMD5AMaintaining a functioning civil society takes work from all of us, starting with just calling bullshit when appropriate.  It really is the least we can do.  (And never let it be said that I didn’t do the least I could do ~~ Hawkeye Pierce)

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A “growing crisis of ethics and integrity”

Regular readers won’t be surprised when I say I can get behind this:

If our leaders seek to conceal the truth, or we as people become accepting of alternative realities that are no long grounded in facts, then we as American citizens are on a pathway to relinquishing our freedom. This is the life of non-democratic societies…

A responsibility of every American citizen to each other is to preserve and protect our freedom by recognizing what truth is and is not, what a fact is and is not, and begin by holding ourselves accountable to truthfulness and demand our pursuit of America’s future be fact-based––not based on wishful thinking, not hoped-for outcomes made in shallow promises––but with a clear-eyed view of the facts as they are, and guided by the truth that will set us free to seek solutions to our most daunting challenges

…and I don’t even mind a bit that it was a former Trump cabinet secretary who said it; thank you, Rex Tillerson!  (Wonder if someone will think to read this to the president, who wished Tillerson nothing but success in all his future endeavors…)

Holding ourselves accountable to truthfulness…hmmm, I like the sound of that.  It’s crazy enough that it just might work!

 

The most clear-eyed social critic and political analyst in America

Noodling around in my email files looking for something to write about, but nothing stood out or snagged my interest.  You say I should improve the stuff I keep in my files?  I say, apparently you are correct.  It’s not to say that there’s nothing going on in the world—fercryin’outloud, the president just pushed the White House merry-go-round again by firing the head of the Veterans Administration Affairs and giving the job to a doctor with no experience running anything like the second biggest department the U.S. government; a porn star and her lawyer are running rings around the big bad businessman and his lawyer, while 61% of Republicans surveyed think Donald Trump is a good role model for their children—but today I just don’t have the spark to go into that again.

Turns out I don’t have to, because there’s somebody much better at it who’s rarin’ to go:

“[Trump] brings out the dark side of human beings for his own purpose, which is himself. And if it’s not pointed out and people don’t stand up and point it out, it will become commonplace, and it’s not the world that I want to live in.”

Ladies and gentlemen, my nominee for the straightest-talking social commentator and political analyst on two feet, Gregg Popovich, the head coach of the NBA’s San Antonio Spurs.

Before facing the Washington Wizards on Tuesday night, Popovich, who has shared sharp criticism of Trump, was asked more questions about societal issues than basketball during his nearly 11-minute media availability. Popovich explained in detail why he continues to speak out.

“It becomes a priority of what’s more important. I think we have a situation where we’re going backwards, at least as far as race is concerned and it has to be pointed out,” Popovich said. “Our current president hopes to bore us to death with all these new issues day after day after day that keep him in the news. You can talk about one comment or scandal after another and it becomes commonplace, forgotten about and we don’t even know what’s going on behind the scenes, like what’s happening to our environment and health and all this sort of thing. All the laws that are kind of sliding and all the people who are being removed and being replaced. Like scientists being replaced by politicians.

“We take our eye off the ball, and he’s great at it,” Popovich continued. “He brings out the dark side of human beings for his own purpose, which is himself. And if it’s not pointed out and people don’t stand up and point it out, it will become commonplace, and it’s not the world that I want to live in.”

Also, Popovich said the youth who participated in the “March for Our Lives” rally on last Saturday was encouraging: “They give me hope that I’m actually living in the country I thought I was living in.”

Don’t fall for the argument that Popovich is just a dumb jock or another East Coast liberal who never did anything for his country: he’s from Chicago, graduated from the Air Force Academy with a degree in Soviet Studies, underwent intelligence gathering and processing training, served served five years on active duty.  He’s a guy who knows what he’s talking about, isn’t afraid to say what’s on his mind, and says it in a memorable and entertaining way.  Can’t ask much more than that from your commentators…or your basketball coaches.

I’ve never been prouder

It should be exquisitely clear to all of us by now that our president will never understand.  He thinks he was elected king of America, and that we owe him fealty.  We do not.  We owe respect to the office and to the person who holds it, when that person’s actions show he or she is deserving of that respect (just ask any of the Obama haters!), but we are allowed to disagree with the opinions and positions held or expressed by that person without fear of government retribution.  In fact, as free people we have a duty and responsibility to stand up for our rights, and for what’s right.

Most people understand that the athletes who have knelt or otherwise protested during the national anthem at their games have NOT been protesting the national anthem; they have chosen a high-visibility opportunity to express their opinion on other issues, and done so with the understanding that they could suffer adverse opinion of some of their fellow citizens, which many have.  But that’s the deal: the First Amendment gives each of us the right to speak our minds, and to react and respond to the opinions of others as we choose.  The government doesn’t have to like what we say, but it cannot take action to stop us from speaking our piece.

Most people understand this…not all.

So, from this…fertilizer…spread by the president this weekend–

…arose these blooms, among many:

https://twitter.com/Robert_K_Kraft/status/911940868944343040

Thank you, my fellow Americans, for speaking up.

Goodbye, President Bannon

There’s precious little to laugh about when considering the current occupant of the  White House, but today I found two things I want to share.  First, he just fired Steve Bannon!

After all we’ve witnessed in the week since Nazis and white supremacists marched in Charlottesville, Virginia, and left counter-protesters dead and injured, and the hole the president dug for himself when he couldn’t not share his shining insights on the matter with us, now he’s (finally) cut loose his senior advisor in charge of pandering to the ignorant as if that’s going to make everything all better.

And second, Tina Fey went on TV on topic!