Friday, August 28, 2015

Headlines of the Future? President Trump Tweets German Chancellor Merkel is Smelly "Fat Pig"

by Nomad

Imagine this news story in 2017. 

In his first week at the White House, President Trump created a diplomatic firestorm after tweeting remarks about the Chancellor of Germany, Angela Merkel. 
His tweet, posted at 2 am last Friday, labeled Merkel a "fat pig." A follow-up comment a few minutes later claimed that Merkel "reeks of sauerkraut and bratwurst."

The US ambassador Ben Carson was summoned to the Palais Schaumburg in Bonn for an explanation. An unnamed German official close to Merkel said that the remark was both "disrespectful and highly damaging" to US-German relations. 
When confronted by the press this morning, President Trump was nonchalant about the incident, telling reporters that he was just letting off steam and there was nothing to apologize for
"We have a great working relationship. Merkel loves me. We joke all the time about her body odor problem. And let me say this. You'd never know it by that unhappy face of hers, but Angela actually has a great sense of humor. "
Secretary of State Sarah Palin dismissed the controversy, calling it another "lamestream media conspiracy" to "oblisterate" the "reputation of the leader of the most freest nation in the world."
After only 7 days in office, this incident comes fast on the heels of last Monday's remarks in which he called Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin "a scary peep-squeak" and a "closet fairy."  
In response, Putin has ordered the return of all of its diplomats and the closing of the Russian embassy in Washington until President Trump formally apologizes. 

Thursday, August 27, 2015

The Radical Republican: When the GOP Championed the 14th Amendment

by Nomad

One idea that many people have a hard time wrapping their heads around is how the platforms of the two major political parties in America have dramatically shifted over the last 150 years. 

This historical fact is brought into sharper focus with the recent talk by Republican Donald Trump about the possibility of repealing the 14th Amendment and citizen birth rights provisions.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

With the Party in Disarray and Denial, the GOP has Become America's Zombie Party

by Nomad

After 2012, the Republican National Committee performed an "autopsy" on what went wrong. So many good ideas were suggested. By the looks of things, nothing has changed. Following the skillful autopsy, the GOP patient has become a political zombie. 

In the grim weeks following the Republican disaster in 2012, many in the top echelons of the Republican Party called for a concise heart-searching about what exactly is wrong with the Grand Old Party. 

Priebus' Call for Soul-Searching
The first and the hardest part of any rehabilitation was admitting there was a problem. The time had come to make that initial step. Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus told CNN's "Piers Morgan Tonight" at that time
"In order to get back in the game, you've got to look at and do a full autopsy of what happened."
Not a bad idea. Something had to be done to stop the decline. Denial was no longer an option.

Monday, August 24, 2015

How to Make Sense of a Senseless Act of Violence

by Nomad

Whenever there is a senseless act of violence against the innocent, many of us struggle to find the means to cope, or some kind of an appropriate response. That often seems like an impossible feat.

by Source (WP:NFCC#4).
On February 10, 2015, Deah Shaddy Barakat, 23,  and his wife, Yusor Mohammad Abu-Salha, 21,and her 19-year old sister, Razan Mohammad Abu-Salha were brutally murdered in their Chapel Hill, North Carolina home. 

All three died of gunshot wounds inflicted by their neighbor, Craig Stephen Hicks, a 46-year-old former car parts salesman. (Reportedly the motive for the triple murder was a dispute about a parking space.

Barakat and his wife were both students at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, enrolled in the School for Dentistry. Last Monday Barakat would have begun his third year there and his wife would have followed her husband with her first-year dentistry school. 
A senseless tragedy, there's no doubt about that. The question is: is there ever an appropriate response to such an event? It is too easy to match hate with hate, ignorance with ignorance, or perhaps worse, simply to shake one's head and move on.
How can we not surrender to despair?

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Photo: Presidential Candidate Donald Trump Meets A Fan Close Up

by Nomad

Republican front-runner in the 2016 presidential race, Donald Trump, drew large and enthusiastic crowds at an Alabama rally. At this point, his opponents must be scratching their heads in dismay.

A Triumphant Trump
Last Friday, Republican President Candidate Donald Trump spoke before an impressive crowd at Ladd-Peebles Stadium in Mobile, Alabama. The Trump people said the number at the rally was around 40,000 but others figures suggested about half of that.
Should you have the stomach for it, you can find a video of the full speech at this link.

At one point in his long, free-form and somewhat rambling speech, he suggested that the candidates like JEB would be swayed by their mega-donors and special interests when it came to trade talks. Trump brought the crowd to its collective feet by asking them:
Who would you rather have negotiating with China, Japan Mexico, any of them, Trump or Jeb Bush?"
They roared "Trump! Trump! Trump!" "Trump-ism" seems to be triumphant.. for the moment.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Sleeping on the Streets: DOJ Challenges the Constitutionality of Anti-Homelessness Ordinances

by Nomad

Otherwise ignored by mainstream media, the Washington Post picked up an interesting news article the other day regarding homelessness and a DOJ challenge the local ordinances against vagancy.  

To Be Without a Home, Like a Complete Unknown
Boise, like many US cities, passed an ordinance which banned sleeping or camping in public places. That city is by no means unique.

The usual knee-jerk reaction to a visible and embarrassing problem has been to find a way to make it a criminal offense. The idea is basically if we can't prevent it, we can make it illegal and then we can make it invisible.

According to last year's report from the National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty, a survey of 187 cities found that:
  • 24% of cities impose city-wide bans on begging in public.
  • 76% of cities prohibit begging in particular public places.
  • 33% of cities make it illegal to loiter in public throughout an entire city.
  • 65% of cities prohibit the activity in particular public places.
  • 53% of cities prohibit sitting or lying down in particular public places.
  • 43% of cities prohibit sleeping in vehicles.
  •  9% of cities prohibit sharing of food
A recent study by UC Berkeley School of Law noted that more Californian cities have enacted more anti-vagrancy laws than in any other part of the country. with Los Angeles and San Francisco topping the list.
The laws restrict anything from panhandling to sharing food with a homeless person to sitting in public spaces.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Massacre Classes: Florida Giving Seminars on How to Survive an Active Shooter Event

by Nomad

With all possibility of sensible gun control reform seemingly out of the question, local police departments are providing residents free classes on how to survive an active shooting scenario.

It's a reflection, some would say, on the pathetic state of gun control in the US.
Penny Dickerson of the Daytona Times reports that the local Daytona police department, in conjunction with the Volusia County-Daytona Beach National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) and the Black ClergyAlliance have begun holding free seminars.
The subject: how to increase your chances of survival when faced with an active shooter.

Monday, August 17, 2015

JEB and the Family Legacy: Political Dynasty or Plague on the Nation?

by Nomad

Has JEB given up trying to rebrand the discredited Bush brand? Certain remarks he made last week would suggest he is eager to pick up where his infamous brother left off.

When I consider what kind of president Jeb Bush would make, there are a lot of niggling questions that come to mind. I ask myself:
  • Would you really vote for a person who uses an assumed name? 
A lot of people- including journalists- incorrectly assume Jeb Bush's first name is a shortened form of the Biblical-sounding moniker, some kind of reference to the long suffering Job or Zebulun. Yet the truth is Jeb should be written in capital letter as it is actually the first letters of his real name, John Ellis Bush. If you think about it, it doesn't make sense to call the candidate Jeb Bush at all. It could be simply JEB, like JFK or FDR.
As it stands, it is like saying John Ellis Bush Bush.

Using an alias is hardly a standard practice for a candidate. Ask Rafael Edward (a.k.a "Ted") Cruz. To die-hard conspiracy theorists, it vaguely suggests deceit of some sort. After all, when filling out applications, many criminals use their nicknames or false names in the hope you will not be able to see their criminal history.
Anyway, it's his last name that creates a rotten egg smell for most voters.