retirelazyandhappy

There are lots of things to think about.


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Resist Trumpism, Part 2

There was a lot of reaction to Buzzfeed’s release of the dossier of the possible connections between Trump’s people and Putin’s operatives. Evidently, the information had not been confirmed by the United States Intelligence agencies so far.

But if we look at the information that we already know about Trump from his own behavior and performance we know:

We know that Trump is salacious.

We know that Trump encouraged Russian interference in our election.

We know that Trump likes his roughneck image.

Why do we cover or dispute what we already know? Why do we even pay much attention to the validity of the dossier?

We know that Trump will favor billionaires, especially himself and his businesses.

We know that Trump will reduce environmental protection.

We know that Trump will reduce safety regulations.

We know that Trump will pretend to be religious.

We know that Trump will reduce voter rights.

We know that Trump will restrict women’s rights.

We know that Trump will be demeaning to anyone who is not like him.

Soooo

Why do we cover this performance?

Suppose after his next press conference only the dry facts (there wouldn’t be very many of them) were reported? Suppose his tweets were given no coverage? Suppose the press reported that as usual Trump said nothing remarkable?

Suppose instead the press did the real work of finding out and reporting on the real problems in the United States? The real difficulties with climate change? The real dangers of poor enforcement of safety regulations because the agencies that enforce these regulations are seriously underfunded? Suppose instead of fussing about who is at fault for the Russian interference in our election the press focussed on the serious underfunding of the technology in the United States government?

We might have change. We might be able to hold Trump to account.


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Does President Elect Trump have to disclose financial Information?

On Donald Trump’s Transition Team website the following is posted:

“A full FBI background check in which an applicants history of employment, personal, travel, medical, financial, legal, military and education background will likely take.”
“Consideration is taken for possible conflicts of interest. Financial holdings and sources of income must be disclosed.Any conflicts must be remedied by divestiture, the creation of special trusts, and other actions.”
“Many appointees’ dealings with the Federal government both during and for a period of time after their service will be significantly restricted to prevent possible conflicts of interest.”

Does this include his own finances?  What about his children’s finances, since his children will be managing his business?

What about foreign involvements?  What about conflicts of interest?

Donald Trump also posted a letter with a headline about a “full readout” of his call from Putin.  There was nothing in it except the congratulations and sharing inerests.  As usual, no information.

This may be the beginning of the most corrupt administration in the country’s history.

 

 

 

 


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Respond to Trump’s Election

Has the country been destroyed?  No, but there are things that we need to do to combat the poison of a Trump presidency.

Where is the consolation?

I can now wish Hillary Clinton a good peaceful retirement, hopefully where Trump cannot reach her. Secondly I hope she will find some enjoyment, and I hope she will have time now to love up her grandchildren, and find a way to enjoy her free time and her money. Believe me, she has earned both.

Now we have to be unremitting in our criticism of Trump and his beliefs and his policies. First of all we need to protect the environment. That is the first order of business.

Second we have to respect the immigrants and the contributions that they have made and that they continue to make.

Next we have to push for better wages and fairer taxation policies. The wealthy get more benefits from the government, they should be asked to pay more as well.

We need to push for affordable post high school education. This can take many forms from free state colleges and universities, to affordable and available community college and lifetime training, to apprenticeships for people starting or changing careers.

As a woman I am offended by the treatment of women in Trump’s campaign. All of the women in his family have been models, and/or promoting fancy clothing. While we like clothing, it is hardly putting forward our best selves when what American women stand for is arm candy, sexual toys, or servants. Women want and have earned the right to be in power. We will make America great again. Right now it is not.

America is first in the military, in spite of what Trump has said, and unfortunately that is the one thing that he will build up. We are not first in education, we are not first in health care, and we are not first in the ability to make choices and move up in the world. We have a lot to learn. Donald Trump will not help us learn from the rest of the world.

But we have to keep trying to be better people, to be a better country. This will take some hard work and study.

Now it is time to get started. Sometimes the worst thing that happens can be the best thing in the long run, because if forces change.


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Enough of Trump

Note to news shows:  Focus on real issues!

Why do we have to talk about Trump?

I watch the newscasters every night discussing the latest, or replaying Donald Trump’s statement from last week, last month, last whenever. Then they ask why everybody talks about Trump!!

Here are some suggestions:

When Trump says “I will be wonderful to women” try some research on this. How well does he pay and promote women? What happens in the Trump organization when there is sexual harassment? (Even when it is from the top.)

For all of the candidates, from both parties:

What do you think should be done about the increasing income inequality in this country?

What do you think should be done about the cost of education?

What do you think should be done about the numbers of undocumented workers in our country?

What do you think the United States should do about the many refugees in the world from war, crime, poverty, terrorism, and persecution?

There are many other questions that could be asked, and the answers could get some followup research.

It would be a welcome break from shows in which a candidate appears, only to be asked about what he thinks about Donald Trump!


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Taxes? Yes!!

Check out Nicholas Christof’s article in the New York Times Opinion page in today’s paper. (July 3, 2014, online edition.)

Good description of the problems with America’s recent refusal to pay adequate taxes.  Billions go for the costs of war, and very little goes to the well being of Americans.  The result is poor roads, unsafe bridges, failing schools that need updating, limited broadband, poor airports, and limited and certainly inadequate public transportation.  How are we going to be leaders of the world when we refuse to care for America the country, and Americans, the people?

Other statements: Paul Krugman points out in the same issue (Paul Krugman Blog, July 3, 2014 Opinion Pages, New York Times) that real public spending on construction has fallen drastically since 2009.  This follows from the refusal to spend money on people, while the very wealthy get subsidies and support.

On a happier note Minnesota has finally stopped raining!  At least for a day I hope.  It is cool, but not cold.  We expect warm weather and sun for the Fourth of July.  Bring on the fireworks.  We will figure out some fun ways to enjoy each others company.

Today I am off to the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts where I volunteer at the Information desk.  Come and see the Sacred exhibit if you haven’t already.  Large and beautiful, it will be closing soon.  It is an examination of what sacred means to different places, different cultures.

For something else beautiful and new see the Finland exhibit.

There is more and more….

Have a great Fourth!!

 

 

 


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Why Nigeria?

I think I am starting to feel and sound like a curmudgeon but some of the stuff I hear on the news makes me crazy!!

Hundreds of school girls get kidnapped, the reaction of the Nigerian government is “ho-hum, what’s new? Whatever.” and there is no consequence.  The statesmen of the world, the representatives of the world’s big businesses will all meet in Nigeria this year, instead of in Davos Switzerland.  They want to celebrate the wonderful growth of business in Nigeria.  This meeting will crown Nigeria as a new “successful” nation.

OIL? Corruption?

Nigeria has been described as so rich in oil that it will drip oil if it is poked.  In addition it has a diversified economy.

On the other hand, the infrastructure is inadequate, unless it is serving the oil industry.  The population is “underdeveloped” and I have to admit I don’t know what that means.  It probably includes uneducated.  The government is known to be corrupt. If anybody is wondering why terrorist groups like Boko Haram have a strong following in Nigeria you may have to look no further than the fact that too many people are poorly educated, left behind, and used only to build industry.

When will the world start to care less about the oil industry (which will do fine without so much reverence) and start to pay attention to the well being of people?

 

 

 


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The Government Shutdown

Well, I turned off my TV when I couldn’t stand any more blah blah about the coming government shutdown.  So I will first present my admittedly sourpuss version of what may happen over the next few weeks.

First, the government shuts down.  I am genuinely sorry for those people who work for the government in some capacity and who will be without a paycheck.  Otherwise, I cannot see how we will notice the difference.  The tea party can not be dismissed as fringe.  They are loud, powerful and well funded. and i think the government will shut down.  However, the things that they are against: the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, and Food Stamps, will continue. (That’s the good news!)

The military, which they love, will lose some of their civilian workers.  (Too bad, So Sad!)  No new bills will be voted on.  However, they haven’t passed anything worth while anyway, so I don’t know that we will notice the difference.

I guess what I am saying, is that a section of the government which refuses to do anything won’t be missed when they close up shop.  It’s like a restaurant that was open for a while but didn’t serve any food won’t be missed when they don’t open one day.

The problem is that the Republican party has backed itself into a corner, and I don’t see how the shut down can end once it has started.  So maybe it will just continue.  That will be interesting.

If the crisis is resolved, either before or after the shut down, it won’t matter because we will just hear the same thing about the fiscal cliff.  The same arguments, the same crises.  No difference.  When the House of Representatives refuses to increase the debt the real problems will start.  There is going to be some money in the treasury, so some payments will be made, but not all of them.  So, we may reduce Medicare, Medicaid, relief for the poor, the military, and possibly interest payments.  We will be seen for what we have become.  A nation that has lost its way.

Tomorrow, some thoughts from a non professional about what changes we need to make to have a great America again.