Is What it is, I Think

I’m not a Trump fan, never have been. I’ve voiced my displeasure more than once. So why have I been bothered by a lot of Comey’s personal comments about Donald Trump? At first, I thought such comments were beyond his dignity, and lowered him to Trumps acidic level of toxicity. That’s probably a part of it, but not the whole reason. I think James Comey understands, unlike many, that to battle a monster, you often have to take the war to the monster, on his own playing field. Calling our President morally unfit to be president is a hard truth that many believe, and resonates to those setting on the fence. No American wants to hear that about our President, but it needed to be said in the venue it was said. I don’t like Trump as a man, I’ve always known that. His morals and ideals don’t even come close to aligning with what I believe, and I’m far from perfect. The thing is, you cannot separate a mans morals from his behavior, they go hand in hand, Trump has proven that. James Comey is simply reiterating that.

Deep State

Americans are embedded with a suspicion of government. It’s who we are, it’s how we’re raised, that suspicious eye being derived from our history, and weaved into our constitution. On one hand we trust our Government, and on the other, we’re deeply aware of how government can fail it’s people, and work to it’s own, ugly agenda. There is no surprise that 75% of Americans believe in a deep state, a cabal of the powerful running the show, behind the scenes.

If you define deep state in the above manner, look around. It’s not so deep, not so secretive, and in fact it’s quite evident. The rich and powerful, be they major corporations or individuals, spend billions of dollars to exert their will, to push their agenda, agendas that often betray the American experience.

If you define deep state as Trump does, as a cabal of Obama, left leaning democrats embedded in key government positions for the sole purpose of dictating policies, and working against his administration, I’d ask to see the evidence. I’d want to know how that works, especially in light of how each incoming president appoints their own cabinet officials to voice their political ideologies and agendas. A newly elected democrat could easily claim the same of the right. He could fire the Director of the FBI, claiming the director was out to get him, wasn’t following his new policies. That’s not evidence of a secretive cabal, that’s a disagreement between a man and his new boss.

I’ve never trusted our government to do the right thing, but not because of secret cabals of men working to their own ends, hidden deep in the offices of Washington, but rather because of money, and power. Of the two, money and power wins every time.

Into the Abyss

of madness we go.

Xi, Erdogan, Un, Putin, all now masters of their universe for life. How? Why?Simple!Because they remove any personal responsibility in your life by creating scapegoats for you to blame for all your misfortunes. The subjects are fine with going to war, corruption, and scandal, as long as they have someone to blame, and the tyrants always offer up someone. Jews, Muslims, anyone that looks different, believes different. I’ve always believed that if a person has steak for dinner and apple pie for desert, the only other thing people need is someone to blame for their personal problems. They ain’t going to be worried about their government. Even if that government is systematically destroying their democracy while they’re feasting.

Are We Stupid, Or What?

I was twenty years old walking through an airport in Germany, and I remember thinking how grateful I was that I lived in a country where there weren’t armed police officers every thousand feet. I couldn’t imagine living under such a presence, of threat and security. Forty years later, here we are, wanting to turn our schools into armed camps.

Is this who we are? Is this the best answer? Where will we be ten years down the road? I don’t have the answers, but I’ve got a few thoughts.

Based upon personal experience, a person suffering from a mental health issue isn’t going to be deterred by the fact that there is, or might be, an armed teacher or officer on site. Jared Loughner wasn’t worried about secret service protection when he shot Gabby Giffords, neither was John Hinckley when he shot Reagan.

Most schools host a wide variety of events after the school day, from basketball games to dance shows to community classes. That means a lot more doors are open to the public. Imagine a thousand people arriving for an event, having to go through security. Who’s going to pay for that? Who would want to attend a basketball game thinking they’d have to go through that? And if there’s no security after school, whats stopping someone from hiding a gun till the next day?

As far as arming certain teachers, is that the best we can come up with? Really? What’s going to happen when a teacher kills an unruly kid because they feel their life is threatened? Or two teachers get in an argument and pull their guns? Teachers are already stressed with large class sizes, insufficient wages, lack of supplies, and behavioral challenges from their students. What right minded person would take a job like that, and be told they now have to carry a weapon?

We’re asking our local schools to carry a financial, ethical and logistical burden that they simply cannot handle, yet they will be held accountable for.

And where will it stop, armed guards at the movie theaters, in our churches, our places of business? Imagine the scene of walking through your local mall, Christmas shopping and there are armed guards with machine guns every thousand feet. That’s where we’ll be in a decade after deciding to arm teachers and having armed guards roaming the halls of our schools. Is that what we want? Is that our future?

One last thing, I don’t believe God woke up one morning and said, ‘Hmmm, people have a right to own guns, and so they shall.’ If you’re thinking God gave you that inalienable right, you might want to try looking for a more peace loving God.

Rob Paxton

It’s an Old Battle

that’s getting old, and worn. Are we a Nation with inalienable rights granted by God? Or are we a Nation of Government, those rights granted by man? One would think the separation of Church and State as a founding ideal answers that question. It does for some, and for others it leads to a quagmire, a moral quest to define the world they live in, where their lives, and ours, are defined by God.

I prefer a Government of men, men you can hold accountable. Men who should hold other men accountable.

The Conservative view that we are a nation under God serves their business practices. That they alone are answerable to God, and not Government. That a Government of men have no right to regulate their business practices, to hold them accountable for fair pay, decent work hours, and safe working conditions.

I don’t necessarily trust in God, that’s not to say I don’t pray, but I’ve learned that answers and action are few and far between, if ever.  Not to mention, individual belief in God differs from person to person, just as it does from religion to religion.

Rob Paxton

The Outside, Looking In.

Most people I know will spout off and snicker that they don’t give a crap what other people think of ’em. Course, it’s not true, cuz we all wanna be liked, and it’s painful when someone comes along and sets us straight to some truths about ourselves we don’t like.

This report is hard to read, in that it’s heartbreaking. There’s good stuff in it as well, but overall it lays bare the problems we face as a Nation. It’s worth reading, worth thinking about, and if it doesn’t piss you off, there’s just no hope.

www.robpaxton.me

I grew up in Liberia.

A small Nation that sets on the western coast of Africa. It’s capital was a thriving, bustling city of energy and diversity struggling toward modernity. There were parts of Monrovia that were comprised of tin shacks, along side concrete buildings. My concrete school sat in a neighborhood, where I would cross the dirt road after school and buy cheese and ground peanuts in a small tin shack of a store. As I grew older, I spent some precious evenings setting around an open fire, drinking beer in the middle of a village comprised of mud huts. Poor, economically depressed, not modern, underdeveloped, use what ever words you want, I will tell you that the people of Liberia gave me something that I cherish. That no matter what your environment is, you can still be a decent human being. You can still have dreams, you can still work toward something different, something better. Of all my time in Liberia, this is what I remember most. For my President to speak as he has, shows a fundamental lack of understanding and respect, and I am deeply offended, and embarrassed. Liberia was, and is, many things but it was never a sh*thole, and for a man that tosses the f-bomb more than most, I actually find it hard to use the presidents words in a sentence.

www.robpaxton.me

Stupid Vulgar People :2

Stupid is Trump paying 130,000 for a Non Disclosure pact without asking if she’s already spoken out about their affair. Vulgar is telling her ‘she reminds him of his daughter’, especially when you’ve already mentioned you’d date your daughter if she wasn’t your daughter.

Now, it isn’t my business to judge what goes on behind closed doors, so if a man cheats on his wife that just had their child, I’m not in a position to judge anyone. That said, if you’re stupid and vulgar about it, you get what’s coming to you.

You’re a class act, Mr. Trump, a real, world class ass.

Trump, Racist?

Adolph Hitler believed in the Master Race, a belief founded in Joseph Arthur De Gobineau’s philosophy that distinct races who mixed, degenerated their cultures. Like Hitler, Donald Trump believes in the superiority of his genes. If environment plays any part in one’s belief, look no further than Donald Trump’s father. While there’s no valid evidence that Fred Trump was an active, and participating member of the Klu Klux Klan, he was arrested during a KKK rally, and Woody Guthrie was specific in his lyrics about old man Trump and his racial prejudice.

If a man’s actions are different than his words, the default is always to look to his actions to define ones’ character. In 1989, when 5 Black and Latino kids were charged with the brutal rape of a white woman, Donald Trump took out full page advertisements in leading New York papers, calling for their execution. Those five young adults were later to be found innocent, and to this day, Trump defends his actions, without apology.

Jumping to the recent past, in June of 2016, Trump claimed Mexico was sending us their ‘rapists’.

At face value, two incidents separated by twenty some years don’t make a person an outright racist. I’ve said, and done stupid things over the course of my lifetime to understand that. I have however, walked stupid actions back, and apologized as needed. I’ve tried to correct my wrongful assumptions.

Adding fuel to Racism charges is the fact that both he and his father were accused of racial discrimination as early as 1973, resulting in a settlement without admission of guilt. To continually make racial statements without apology, such as “they don’t look like Indians to me”, implying an American judge is biased due to his Mexican Heritage, along with attacking a gold star family, is fodder for defining the man’s character.

Trumps character is one based in abuse, of humiliation, divisiveness, and revenge and I can’t help but believe he takes great pride and pleasure in his character. Whether he is humiliating a disabled reporter, abusing a woman for her looks, implying he has the right to grope women, or simply seeking revenge toward one who disagrees with his own thoughts, nothing in his core character is unifying.

Indeed, in the last 24 hours, Trump has attacked the NFL, criticizing its owners for not disciplining their black players who kneel instead of stand during our anthem. It’s his personal opinion, but added to the thread of his character, I’m getting the drift.

Trump came full circle travelling from his Charlottesville comments to his NFL comments, in that his Charlottesville comments essentially claiming some white nationalists were good people and today, calling black NFL protestors sons of bitches.

All of this is just the tip of the proverbial iceberg. Consider when Trump complemented those who assaulted a black protester during a campaign rally in Alabama. Perhaps we should let sink in, Trumps off the cuff remark that ‘Laziness is a trait of black people’, or his failure to outright condemn the white nationalists’ movement.

I watched the movie ‘Mother’ last night, an allegorical script about a mans need for adoration, and Trump came to mind. He’ll burn the world down around him to get that adoration from the few supporters he has left, that’s Trump. Fostering division to the delight of his base, encouraging hate to the gleeful screams of his fans, that’s Trump.

Finally, let’s not forget who Trump surrounded himself with in the early days of his administration. Bannon, Miller, Gorka, white nationalists! You are who you associate with. You are who your behavior dictates. Trump, Racist!

The Hoarding of the American Dream

We hoard people.Closet our elderly in nursing homes, minorities to the other side of the tracks, the working poor to apartment complexes. We box them up nice and pretty and say, this is your place, and if you don’t like it, pull yourself up by your bootstraps and solve your problems, but in the meantime, we’ll embroil and entangle your life in a social welfare system that won’t allow for you to buy the boots.

I am not a rich man, I live paycheck to paycheck, in an older middle class neighbor comprised of repetitive ramblers in a small town along the Mississippi. It’s kind of a bucolic life, peaceful and quiet, lights go out at 10, everyone works for a living. There are no minorities in my neighborhood, they’re relegated to the older homes, the ones with clapboard siding and showing their age. The poor are congregated in conglomerations of apartment complexes where drugs are dealt with occasional gun play. We have several retirement communities, well kept, maintained and full of the elderly who slip, fall, mandating a visit from someone who cares, if they have that someone.

The larger city across the Ol Miss ain’t any different, just on a larger scale.

Twenty some years ago, we lived in an apartment. With 3 little boys! That was a trip. Across the hall, a young banker and his schoolteacher wife. Down the hall, an auto mechanic with his family. All working to climb the ladder known as the American dream. Most of us succeeded for the most part. We still have Apartment complexes like that, and they even have minorities, people of color, living in them. Unfortunately, we also have complexes where drugs rampage through the occupants lives, where police calls are daily occurrences and the truth is, those people will only move from one complex to another. That is their life. There’s way too many of them. They are essentially a prison without escape.

At face value, retirement communities, nursing homes and independent living facilities are good ideas, good ideas where we relegate their care to strangers making minimum wage. The cost is outrageous, and for most, any assets they have are gone in a matter of months. My mothers rent is raised annually, can barely afford the home healthcare she needs, and she’s charged incessant fees for a toilet overflowing, a smoke alarm going off, or losing her keys, or a parking space, or a garage. It’s not that families don’t care, it’s that we don’t really have much of a choice, our hands our tied. We do the best we can.

I don’t have the answers, I don’t know if there are better choices out there. But I do know this, we segregate people in this country. We worry if an African American buys the house next door, the value of my house will go down, if a poor family moves in down the street, the neighborhood will degenerate.  And we don’t have the time, the money, the space, the emotional responsibility to take our elderly parents into our homes.

It just strikes me as wrong.