Posted by: coastcontact | July 16, 2018

Donald Trump’s Disgraceful Summit Press Conference

I can understand Democrats criticising Donald Trump but these are some of the comments made by Republicans after the Trump Putin press conference in Helsinki Finland.  I have selected just a few of the reported comments made by Republican members of congress.

I would say his words of praise of Vladimir Putin and Russia are treasonous.  Congressional Republicans will have to decide whether Donald Trump should be impeached.  I would support that decision. 

Sen. John McCain, an Arizona Republican who has consistently criticized the President, said Trump’s comments were “one of the most disgraceful performances by an American president in memory.”

 

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker said the President “made us look like a pushover” and that Putin was probably eating caviar on the plane home.

 

Senator Ben Sasse, a Republican from Nebraska, “This is bizarre and flat-out wrong. The United States is not to blame. America wants a good relationship with the Russian people but Vladimir Putin and his thugs are responsible for Soviet-style aggression. When the President plays these moral equivalence games, he gives Putin a propaganda win he desperately needs.”

 

Rep. Trey Gowdy, a South Carolina Republican, “I am confident former CIA Director and current Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, DNI Dan Coats, Ambassador Nikki Haley, FBI Director Chris Wray, Attorney General Jeff Sessions and others will be able to communicate to the President it is possible to conclude Russia interfered with our election in 2016 without delegitimizing his electoral success.”

 

Arizona Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who has been constant critic, called the President’s performance “shameful.” “I never thought I would see the day when our American President would stand on the stage with the Russian President and place blame on the United States for Russian aggression. This is shameful,” tweeted Flake, who is not running for re-election.

 

John Brennan, Former CIA Director (2013-17) Tweet, “Donald Trump’s press conference performance in Helsinki rises to & exceeds the threshold of “high crimes & misdemeanors.” It was nothing short of treasonous. Not only were Trump’s comments imbecilic, he is wholly in the pocket of Putin. Republican Patriots: Where are you???”

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Posted by: coastcontact | July 12, 2018

Photographic Error

Even England’s royal family press office can make an error.  It is a lesson for all photographers.

Kate Middleton is not wearing lamp earings Or is she?

Posted by: coastcontact | July 10, 2018

Breaking the Law

Posted by: coastcontact | July 8, 2018

Intrusive Government Regulations

California issues over 130 different licenses for a variety of jobs.  Those licenses are required by law to perform those functions.  The licensing does not actually confirm competency.

Did you know that home improvement sales persons are required to be licensed?

My daughter has a license required for estheticians and her new career, making appointments at a car dealership, she is not a sales person, also required a license. The Department of Consumer Affairs issues or at least monitors all those 130 licenses.  Their licensing does not include licenses for those in the legal profession (i.e. lawyers, legal document assistants, and notaries).

Yes, you need to be licensed to set up appointments at a car dealership.  Her cost to do that was $55.00 for fingerprinting and $50 at the DMV.  No test was required.

How about a cemetery broker or a cemetery sales person? You need a license.

Electronic and appliance repair also requires a license.

There is a State Board of Guide Dogs for the Blind.  That provides “licensed Guide Dog Instructors and Schools.” “Instructors must have knowledge of the special needs of persons who are blind or visually impaired and be able to teach them, be able to train guide dogs such that blind or visually impaired persons would be safe under various traffic conditions, or be employed by a guide dog school certified by the International Guide Dog Federation or successor entity.”

Then there is the California State Athletic Commission whose mission is posted on-line. “The California State Athletic Commission (CSAC) regulates professional and amateur boxing, kickboxing and mixed martial arts throughout the State by licensing all participants and supervising the events. “The Commission is dedicated to the health, safety and welfare of the participants in regulated competitive sporting events, through ethical and professional service. California is the premier model for the safety and fairness of regulated sporting events.”

Of course there are legitimate reasons for licensing such as the practice of law and medicine.  But do court reporters need to be certified?

The licensed contractor who added a room to my house did not pour a flat floor.  I discovered that fact when I sold the house.  That was a contractor who was on the bank’s approved list for home improvement loan contractors.  So what value was his license? 

I view these licensing regulations as an effort to limit private enterprise and an intrusion of government.

Posted by: coastcontact | July 6, 2018

Minorities are Unwelcome in the United States

Beware! If you are not a White European you are not welcome in the United States.  DO NOT believe what is written on the Statue of Liberty if you are not part of that group.

The behavior of the United States today should be a warning to those who are not White Anglo Saxons about their treatment and opportunities if they migrate to this country.

 

More than our mistreatment of African Americans (Blacks) who were held as slaves until the Civil War that ended on May 13, 1865. Other Non-White people have been treated with disrespect, hated and jailed because they are viewed enemies of America.  Look at America’s history as a guide.  The following events are examples of the treatment of Non-White in the United States.  There are many more.

 

I wish it wasn’t so.  

 

From 1778 to 1871, the United States government entered into more than 500 treaties with the Native American tribes; all of these treaties have since been violated in some way or outright broken by the US government, while at least one treaty was violated or broken by Native American tribes.

 

One of the worst and most disgusting things happened in the 1829 decision by the Supreme Court in Johnson v. M’Intosh. The court ruled that the U.S. Government could sell Native American land to non-Native people out from under the tribes. Believe it or not, they were actually trying to do just that. Under President Andrew Jackson Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muskogee, Creek and Seminole people were forced from their lands required to march to Oklahoma. Thousands died in that march.

 

The Chinese Exclusion Act was a United States federal law signed by President Chester A. Arthur on May 6, 1882, prohibiting all immigration of Chinese laborers.  Those Chinese were needed to build the transcontinental railroad but by the 1880s the job was done.

 

After the bombing of Pearl Harbor all people of Japanese descent, even though they were born and raised in the United States were put into internment camps for the duration of World War 2.  Many Americans don’t like calling them concentration camps but that is what they were.

 

The Mexican Repatriation was a mass deportation of Mexicans and Mexican-Americans from the United States between 1929 and 1936. Estimates of how many were repatriated range from 400,000 to 2,000,000. An estimated sixty percent of those deported were birthright citizens of the United States.[2]:330 Because the forced movement was based on race, and ignored citizenship, the process arguably meets modern legal definitions of ethnic cleansing.

 

In 1955 Mexican immigrants were caught in the snare of Operation Wetback, the biggest mass deportation of undocumented workers in United States history. As many as 1.3 million people may have been swept up in the Eisenhower-era campaign with a racist name, which was designed to root out undocumented Mexicans from American society.  The short-lived operation used military-style tactics to remove Mexican immigrants—some of them American citizens—from the United States. Though millions of Mexicans had legally entered the country through joint immigration programs in the first half of the 20th century, Operation Wetback was designed to send them back to Mexico.

 

MS St. Louis was a German ocean liner. In 1939, she set off on a voyage in which her captain, Gustav Schröder, tried to find homes for over 900 Jewish refugees from Germany. Due to countries’ immigration policies based on domestic political realities, rather than humanitarian grounds, they were denied entry to Cuba, the United States, and Canada. The refugees were finally accepted in various European countries, including Belgium, the Netherlands, the UK, and France. Historians have estimated that approximately a quarter of them died in death camps during World War II.

Posted by: coastcontact | July 5, 2018

Great blue heron in Caddo Lake, Texas


One of the largest freshwater lakes in Texas, Caddo Lake is so big it spills over into Louisiana. This 25,400-acre lake was first created by a cataclysmic log jam that formed over centuries, dubbed the Great Raft. We’re visiting the Texas side of Caddo Lake along with our friend here, a great blue heron. Other creatures share this labyrinth of flooded cypress forests, including numerous species of bass (good for fishing); turtles, armadillos, and frogs (good for photographing); and snakes and alligators (good for avoiding).

Posted by: coastcontact | July 4, 2018

Words To Live By

On this fourth of July:

“ASK NOT WHAT YOUR COUNTRY CAN DO FOR YOU – ASK WHAT YOU CAN DO FOR YOUR COUNTRY”

Who said those words?

Most Americans know three of them by heart. Scant phrases which, though spoken in the most ritualistic and formal of settings, commonly define an age, and a speaker. “With malice toward none” Lincoln said in his second inaugural address, and Franklin D. Roosevelt, “Nothing to fear but fear itself” in his first. John F. Kennedy, whose centenary is celebrated this month, uttered the third such phrase at his only inauguration and it is, in popular memory, recalled the most simply: “Ask not.” Of course, that is not the whole of the quotation, or the whole story, which is told here…

The seventeen most inspiring words in 20th century American history were spoken by John F. Kennedy, around mid-day, on January 20, 1961, in Washington, D.C. The occasion was his Presidential Inauguration, and came as he was concluding his Inaugural Address. Kennedy, the first President born in the 20th century, and 27 years younger than his predecessor, Dwight D. Eisenhower, had just declared that the torch had been passed to a new generation of Americans – “born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage” – and pledged to “pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.” Then he spoke the seventeen words –

And so, my fellow Americans: Ask not what your country can do for you – ask what you can do for your country.

Those words, when first heard over a half-century ago, were positively electrifying. No president had ever challenged citizens, in peacetime, to sacrifice or commit to a larger vision. With that single sentence, Kennedy inspired people to new possibilities. He raised their expectations of themselves, and of their nation. In response, some joined the Peace Corps, others the Green Berets; thousands flocked to Washington to be part of the “New Frontier.” Students, thinking ahead to government service, went to law school or into programs with social benefit. All across the country, Kennedy’s words changed lives. “It was a special time,” a Senator remembered years later. “Lord, I’ve never had such a feeling before or since then. It was marvelous; without living it, you can’t express it. It gave the country a lift; it gave the world a lift. People cried in the dusty streets of Africa when he died.” All because of, really, seventeen simple words of inspiration.

My favorite words: “Give me liberty or give me death” and “Don’t tread on me” are my reasons for being an American.

Has Donald Trump or the previous recent presidents lived up to the JFK challenge? Sadly the answer is NO!

Posted by: coastcontact | July 3, 2018

A Whale of a Good Time

It is rare that businesses do something that is really entertaining. This is what I call having fun with a new product.

(CNN) — Airbus is making a splash with the design for the latest version of its Beluga transport airplane.

The brand new BelugaXL (Airbus A330-700L) was unveiled in Toulouse, France, earlier this week with a very special paint job.

Its livery includes a whale-style nose cone, sparkling blue eyes and a smiling mouth.

Airbus tweeted an image of its super-sized transporter jet’s makeover along with the caption, “Whale hello there! Introducing the new BelugaXL dressed up in its livery for the first time”!

The smiling whale design was chosen by Airbus staff following a poll in which 20,000 employees were given six options and asked to choose their favorite. With 40% of the vote, it was the clear winner.

Posted by: coastcontact | June 26, 2018

Is the American Democracy Doomed?

Democracy is under threat globally, a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit warns.

 

Top 10 most democratic countries in the world:

  • 1 Norway
  • 2 Iceland
  • 3 Sweden
  • 4 New Zealand
  • 5 Denmark
  • =6 Canada
  • =6 Ireland
  • 8 Australia 
  • =9 Switzerland
  • =9 Finland

The United States remained in the ‘flawed democracy’ threshold, to which it dropped in 2016 after a serious decline in public trust, the Economist said.

Link to map showing the level of democracy of all countries in the world.

https://www.indy100.com/article/democracy-index-economist-intelligence-unit-map-data-report-norway-democratic-united-states-8191501

Half of Americans think the United States is in “real danger of becoming a nondemocratic, authoritarian country.” A majority, 55 percent, see democracy as “weak” – and 68 percent believe it is “getting weaker.” Eight in 10 Americans say they are either “very” or “somewhat” concerned about the condition of democracy here.  I am one of those people.

 

These are among the sobering results of a major bipartisan poll published Tuesday that was commissioned by the George W. Bush Institute, the University of Pennsylvania’s Biden Center and Freedom House, which tracks the vitality of democracies around the world. The three groups have partnered to create the Democracy Project, with the goal of monitoring the health of the American system.

 

“We hope this work can be a step toward restoring faith in democracy and democratic institutions,” Bush said in a statement.

 

The concern about the condition of democracy inside the United States transcends the tribal divide between Republicans and Democrats, with majorities across races, genders, age groups, levels of education and income brackets expressing fear.

 

Sadly I see current president as the person who could bring an end to this republic.  His constant attacks on the media (the press), the courts, and the Republican Party’s willingness to support everything that Trump says and does should be a signal that our nation is in jeopardy.

 

Are Americans really willing to accept a dictatorship?  If the GOP retains control of the congress after the November election I expect even more attacks on the constitution and the laws that have governed this nation since 1789.

 

I will not live under a dictatorship.  Happily there are still some nations that do honor democratic principals.

Posted by: coastcontact | June 24, 2018

Refugees

REFUGEES

June 21, 2018 503me

 

It’s easy for Americans to blithely say that people should not flee for refuge when in our lives, never has there been a need to flee for refuge. I would like to share the following written by Warsan Shire.

The writer is a British writer, poet, editor and teacher, who was born to Somali parents in Kenya. Her words “No one leaves home unless/home is the mouth of a shark”, from the poem “Conversations about Home (at a deportation center)”, have been called a rallying call for refugees and their advocates.

HOME
no one leaves home unless
home is the mouth of a shark
you only run for the border
when you see the whole city running as well

your neighbors running faster than you
breathe bloody in their throats
the boy you went to school with
who kissed you dizzy behind the old tin factory
is holding a gun bigger than his body
you only leave home
when home won’t let you stay.

no one leaves home unless home chases you
fire under feet
hot blood in your belly
it’s not something you ever thought of doing
until the blade burnt threats into
your neck
and even then you carried the anthem under
your breath
only tearing up your passport in an airport toilets
sobbing as each mouthful of paper
made it clear that you wouldn’t be going back.

you have to understand,
that no one puts their children in a boat
unless the water is safer than the land
no one burns their palms
under trains
beneath carriages
no one spends days and nights in the stomach of a truck
feeding on newspaper unless the miles travelled
means something more than journey.
no one crawls under fences
no one wants to be beaten
pitied

no one chooses refugee camps
or strip searches where your
body is left aching
or prison,
because prison is safer
than a city of fire
and one prison guard
in the night
is better than a truckload
of men who look like your father
no one could take it
no one could stomach it
no one skin would be tough enough

the
go home blacks
refugees
dirty immigrants
asylum seekers
sucking our country dry
niggers with their hands out
they smell strange
savage
messed up their country and now they want
to mess ours up
how do the words
the dirty looks
roll off your backs
maybe because the blow is softer
than a limb torn off

or the words are more tender
than fourteen men between
your legs
or the insults are easier
to swallow
than rubble
than bone
than your child body
in pieces.
I want to go home,
but home is the mouth of a shark
home is the barrel of the gun
and no one would leave home
unless home chased you to the shore
unless home told you
to quicken your legs
leave your clothes behind
crawl through the desert
wade through the oceans
drown
save
be hunger
beg
forget pride
your survival is more important

no one leaves home until home is a sweaty voice in your ear
saying-
leave,
run away from me now
I don’t know what I’ve become
but I know that anywhere
is safer than here.

~ Warsan Shire

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