American Dreams, Dreamers & Democrats 

American exceptionalism is a worldwide reputation that anyone can make it here. The movies and TV shows we export around the world transmit an air of freedom and wealth attracts others, yet we are disturbed by young kids and mothers attempting to cross the US-Mexico border seeking asylum from violence, drug cartels and shoddy police protection. Must we deny them their dream?

We cannot continue to brag about how great America is and then disregard the desire of others to come to our great place. Thousands of people fly into this country every month and simply stay. US Customs should know the figure. The FAA claims that 16.4 million flights land in the US each year. According to preliminary data filed with the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, the twenty airlines that carry more than 90% of passengers had 68% fewer international travelers to the US in January 2021 compared to January 2020, but we never suspended 100% of travel from any country, even in the thick of the pandemic.

Donald Trump made a huge deal about Mexicans, calling them rapists and murderers and going on and on about building a wall, which threw focus onto the families from Mexico and Central America who desire to migrate here. How can we stop people from walking to our southern border and asking for asylum? There may never be an answer that pleases everyone.

We cannot figure out what to do with the 3.6 million “Dreamers” residing in the United States, many of whom never applied for DACA or aged out the program. Approximately 653,000 Dreamers are currently protected under DACA, which is a minority of the total Dreamer population. Consider the name Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, we’re only “deferring action” not presenting a solution to the problem. We probably should introduce a fair citizenship program for the one million or so kids and adults who know no other country. They are already here, working, going to school and paying taxes. Why leave them in limbo? Imagine how you would feel if you weren’t an “official” American.

Why can’t our judges understand the depth of fear and despair of asylum seekers? What happens if we send them back to the violence, extortion and gangs ruling their homelands? If we think these folks are telling lies to get into the US, how are we supposed to feel when we learn that we sent them back to be executed by drug cartels. Do we just say shit happens? These are human beings.

It wasn’t surprising when the Biden administration closed our southern border. The idea of the President saying don’t come right now we aren’t ready, reminds me of what happened to me at McDonalds the other night. I was told they were having a problem serving food and they asked me to come back in twenty minutes, I didn’t. I just went away hungry. Some might say Biden’s “good guy” image is bringing more people to the border, but we certainly shouldn’t nail Uncle Joe to a cross because of it. No president, leader, king or even deity has been able to control the patterns of migrants.

We used to see massive bands of Africans walking thousands of miles each year to find water, food and safety for their families. We saw millions of people leave the Middle East because of ISIS and civil war in Syria. The thousands of people who sailed from Northern Africa to Italy and Greece in small boats led to deaths and draconian reactions in those countries. What should happen when a nation cannot take in more people without disadvantaging its own citizens? No one seems to have a solution other than suggesting the homelands of migrants need to be improved.

The Syrian refugee problem cannot be solved without change at the top to put in place an open, free government. Bashar al-Assad is a murdering dictator and will never step down. Mexico produces, ships and distributes illegal drugs into the US and that problem hasn’t been solved. Even taking El Chapo off the streets hasn’t brought change to Mexico and Central and South America. Without a purge of the brutal underworld surrounding illegal substances, people will continue to flee their countries.

The wall that Trump said would be the ultimate solution for the illegal immigration “problem” was merely a meritless pipe dream. This past weekend we saw young men going over that wall using wooden ladders and nylon rope. Stable genius Trump is an idiot. A wall is not impenetrable. How could anyone possibly think a wall would work? If people can’t go through it, they will go over it or under it. Why would any reasonable person believe that a man-made structure is going to keep people from their dream?

I just have to laugh when all those fake do-gooders in the Republican party say that Democrats caused the problem at the southern border. The policies of the last administration were designed to buy time. Telling people they had to wait in some other country before coming here to apply for asylum was a lie. Trump and his minions had no desire to help them, so they swept the problem under the carpeting.

Imagine that we were having an immigration problem at the northern border and white Canadian citizens were seeking asylum. Would we tell them to go to Greenland or Russia and wait for us to allow them in? No, I’m sure we would set up a program to handle the influx. People in Texas don’t want more Mexicans, which is why their governor spends tons on television advertising saying how bad things are at the border. Texas Governor Greg Abbot has never offered or even suggested a solution for his state’s problem. Some leader, huh?

There are many things we must solve in America right now. First and foremost, we must beat the Covid-19 virus and get our economy back up and running at full speed. Of course, that will make our country more attractive to those seeking a better life. We need to find a way to take in more immigrants. Let’s focus on that prize and leave the political hype and diversionary tactics in the dust. SOLVE THE PROBLEM instead of complaining about it.

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Gold, God, Guns & Goofballs: If you only read one chapter of this book, try “Take a Knee for America” and think about our never-ending conflicts between minorities and the police. I’m not asking you to take a stand but having a deep and honest conversation about why some people think the way they do would be productive. This is a book for the moment which seeks to start a conversation about peace. And if you are worried about social media, you really should check out the chapter called “Social Media Menace.”

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The Truth About Far-Right & Far-Left Movements

Tomorrow is a sacred date in American history, and I hesitate to write this piece, but I feel compelled to connect some dots, dates and delusions. Can there be any doubt that Donald Trump is promoting and motivating the far-right to rally behind him with their pickup trucks, Trump flags and automatic weapons? If the President of the United States honestly believes that encouraging militias and their half-baked wannabe mercenaries into the streets to mess with protesters and far-left groups is a positive effort, then he’s not only an idiot but unfit for the presidency.

I can’t help seeing Trump’s young male supporters in trucks with their flags and guns and comparing them to troops from other places. Don’t we see the same picture with Taliban and ISIS groups patrolling the towns and territories of Iraq and Afghanistan? Or how about the new pro-Trump, anti-mask militias in places like Washington state, Wisconsin and Oregon? Those troops are not sanctioned to do this work. The have not be deputized and they should not be in our streets with guns because they make things worse, not better.

Trump thinks of these clowns as his army. I remember the remarkable NFL success of the Steelers in my hometown of Pittsburgh. One of the stars of that legendary team was fullback Franco Harris. During World War II, Franco’s father fought in Italy where he met his future wife, an Italian, thus the name Franco. That history produced the lore and fan base known as “Franco’s Italian Army,” whose wild fans wore army helmets displaying his number. It was playful and fun, and no guns were involved.

I believe that Trump visualizes losing the election but calling on these goons to take control of the country so he can stay in office. Donald would resist even if his golfing buddy Lindsey Graham were to visit the White House and cajole his departure. This is not a game, people. This is real. It’s plain that Donald Trump’s ego is tempting him to do dreadful things.

Just like the Taliban and ISIS, Trump’s “LIBERATION” groups are being motivated by dark and unamerican ideals. Yes, the concept of militias is supported by the Second Amendment but only if “well regulated.” It is disheartening to see local police and federal agents lending support and encouragement to these guerrillas. We must stop their lawless, murderous entries into cities, even if it’s their own city. Trump’s not-so-subtle call to action of these thugs can be adjudicated after he leaves office as a blatant form of obstruction of justice overflowing to voter intimidation. If I were a Grand Jury member, I would vote to indict this cretin.

Our society has a problem with how we apply justice. Do you remember when the Ohio National Guard killed four students on the campus of Kent State in 1970? Well, no one was ever charged in that action. There is a thin line between peaceful protesting and crime, and I wonder why members of some far-right groups can roam our streets dressed in camo uniforms, carrying long guns and waving Trump flags and be treated with respect and kid gloves, while peaceful protesters against racial grievances are beaten, pepper sprayed and pushed back.

Real Black Panthers

In 1966, it was legal to openly carry a loaded firearm in California. When the radical Black Panthers figured this out, they marched in the streets with rifles. They even entered San Francisco City Hall while armed, which inspired the state to change the law. You see, there are two standards. Most states with open carry laws do not discriminate against people of color, but their reaction to someone of color holding a gun is vastly more extreme. Black kids with guns get shot by police.

I don’t think those with flags and signs displaying their love for Donald Trump should be arrested. The moment they display a firearm however, they should be seen as a potential problem and dealt with differently than they are now. They are currently intimidating peaceful citizens with their guns.

Most legal experts will tell you not to pull a gun unless you are threatened. If you are not being in danger, raising a weapon is called brandishing. In essentially every US state there is a sharp legal distinction between a person pulling a gun for self-defense or doing so for another purpose. Even under a murky circumstance, all one has to say is that they felt threatened, and judging by the latest events it would be fair to say that either or both sides could feel in danger.

Leadership flows from the top, but our feeble President has placed himself in the middle. He’s rooting for the militias, while the real military is becoming less and less impressed with Trump’s actions and words. Donald John Trump is uncomfortable with the military and oblivious about how the Pentagon works. Military soldiers don’t like militias; they never have. Any notion that citizen groups must take up arms to protect the police and the country is stupid and ill-advised. Local, state and federal police don’t need any help to do their jobs and, contrary to what Trump has said, they are not wanting to go to war and spend lots of money.

The irony of Trump claiming that certain people in the Pentagon are spending money in corrupt ways did not sit well with Central Command. The President’s suggestion that they want to go to war and spend enormous amounts of cash is paradoxical, coming from the guy who brags about how well he funded them. According to Department of Defense records, on February 10, 2020, President Donald J. Trump sent Congress a proposed Fiscal Year 2021 budget request of $740.5 billion for national security, $705.4 billion of which is slated for the Department of Defense (DoD). Why would the Donald say anything about how the DoD spends its money? He’s an ignoramus.

One could argue that people riding around in pickup trucks draped in Trump election gear makes them guilty of voter intimidation. Our President is breaking his pledge to uphold the laws and protect the Constitution. We have a criminal in the Oval Office and gangs in the streets. Every action of Donald Trump only makes matters worse.

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Macron’s Statesmanship vs. Trump’s Incoherence

The President of France, Emmanuel Macron, is the son of a physician and a professor of neurology. Macron was an assistant to a famous philosopher in his early years and he was an editor for a literary magazine. One of Macron master’s theses was on Machiavelli and Hegel, and he has a master’s degree in “Public Guidance and Economy.” But what propelled Macron to the top job in France was his expertise as an investment banker. While working his way through the banking system he amassed power and influence. To be succinct, he’s an extremely intelligent man of letters and degrees. Imagine what is going through his mind when he sits down with imbecile Trump.

During the North Atlantic Treaty Organization Summit being held in the UK this week, Trump decided to attack President Macron. When asked about Macron’s comment last month that American indifference to the alliance is leading to the “brain death of NATO,” the Donald barked that those comments were “very insulting” and “nasty.” Trump took the bait hook, line and sinker and was forced to defend NATO, something that is totally out of character for him.

Emmanuel Macron won this battle. He was saying that Trump is brain dead and our great white leader totally missed the point, the joke. When Trump asked Macron if he would like to take some ISIS fighters, Macron rebuked the 45th President with the retort, “Let’s be serious, here!” Trump believes that he is funny, but it’s dangerous to attempt comedy when trying to achieve diplomatic goals. Aside from the language barrier, there are times when you must not attempt to joke a problem away.

If the leader of America is to fulfil the desires of those who elected him to office, you would think he would be aware of how most people in the country think about issues like climate change. According to the Washington Post, “8 in 10 — say that human activity is fueling climate change, and roughly half believe action is urgently needed within the next decade if humanity is to avert its worst effects. Nearly 4 in 10 now say climate change is a ‘crisis,’ up from less than a quarter five years ago.” Why would the United States be the only major country in the world to officially ignore this research?

Macron doesn’t blur his disdain for Trump’s decision to pull out of the Paris Accord which created substantial goals to reduce emissions and pollution in the world. The reason Trump continually gives for pulling out of the deal makes no sense. The agreement wasn’t as binding as any trade agreement we have signed, so what is the real reason?

Something Trump said on the campaign trail plainly displays his idiocy and lack of knowledge. It was a climate change joke about China creating a hoax to gain economic advantage over America. His base responded with cheers and applause and later Trump baked his ignorance into US policy. People must wear masks just to go outside in Beijing. China is moving ahead of us by producing more solar panels and they have more people working on climate change initiatives there than the number of folks in this administration saying climate change doesn’t exist. Trump doesn’t take climate issues seriously. He never talks about them.

This is not merely a story about France and Trump. It’s a sad portrayal about how we have lost our position in global affairs. Trump has given Russia, North Korea and even China, a free hand to take power and exploit influence to higher levels. Don’t focus on Trump walking in front of the cameras at NATO; listen to the other guys. In them you witness well-crafted answers, statesmanship and intelligence, while Trump comes off as a total bullshit artist.

It’s refreshing hearing other leaders using the words “we” and “us,” rather than “me” and “I,” which dominate Trump’s speech. He cares not what his country is doing, it’s only about what he wants, does, thinks and decides. And when his clown car crashes into a wall, he never blames himself or apologizes for the mistakes he’s made. Therein exists his greatest lie. He sees himself as a perfect man with a “perfect call” and he truly believes he’s infallible. In reality, he embarrasses our country while on the international stage.

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The book that tells it like it is…

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