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Posts Tagged ‘President Trump’

…As I stood on the parade field at Fort Bragg, one retired four-star general, grabbed my arm, shook me and shouted, “I don’t like the Democrats, but Trump is destroying the Republic!”
Those words echoed with me throughout the week.  It is easy to destroy an organization if you have no appreciation for what makes that organization great.  We are not the most powerful nation in the world because of our aircraft carriers, our economy, or our seat at the United Nations Security Council.  We are the most powerful nation in the world because we try to be the good guys.  We are the most powerful nation in the world because our ideals of universal freedom and equality have been backed up by our belief that we were champions of justice, the protectors of the less fortunate.
But, if we don’t care about our values, if we don’t care about duty and honor, if we don’t help the weak and stand up against oppression and injustice — what will happen to the Kurds, the Iraqis, the Afghans, the Syrians, the Rohingyas, the South Sudanese and the millions of people under the boot of tyranny or left abandoned by their failing states?
If our promises are meaningless, how will our allies ever trust us?  If we can’t have faith in our nation’s principles, why would the men and women of this nation join the military?  And if they don’t join, who will protect us?  If we are not the champions of the good and the right, then who will follow us?  And if no one follows us — where will the world end up?
President Trump seems to believe that these qualities are unimportant or show weakness.  He is wrong.  These are the virtues that have sustained this nation for the past 243 years.  If we hope to continue to lead the world and inspire a new generation of young men and women to our cause, then we must embrace these values now more than ever.
And if this president doesn’t understand their importance, if this president doesn’t demonstrate the leadership that America needs, both domestically and abroad, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office — Republican, Democrat or independent — the sooner, the better.  The fate of our Republic depends upon it.
  —  William H. McRaven
Retired Navy Admiral
Former commander of the United States Special Operations Command and former chancellor of the University of Texas system.
Excerpt from his opinion / editorial:  “Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President
Found on the web site for The New York Times:  https://wwww.nytimes.com
The link to the on-line version is:  https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/17/opinion/trump-mcraven-syria-military.html
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2012 Evermore
2011 Unpredictable Opportunity
2010 Giants Fall In Game 2 (1 to 6) – Leave PA With 1-1 Split !!

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What difference if I hail from North or South
Or from the East or West?
My heart is filled with love
For all of these.
I only know I swell with pride
And deep within my breast
I thrill to see Old Glory
Paint the breeze.
With hand upon my heart,
I thank the Lord for this, my native land,
for all I love is here within her gates
My soul is rooted deeply in the soil on which I stand,
for these are mine, my own United States!
This is my country
Land of my birth
This is my country
Grandest on Earth
This is my country!
Land of my choice!
This is my country!
Hear my proud voice!
I pledge thee my allegiance,
America, the bold,
For this is my country!
To have and to hold.
Lyrics by:  Don Raye
Music by:  Al Jacobs
[I am a first generation American.  My father was born in Ireland and came to America as a teen.  My mother was born in Mexico, but came here within a year of birth and was raised here in America.  My parents were divorced and I have no idea if my dad ever became a U.S. citizen or not.  My mother did not.  She is still a Mexican national.  I was born here in the United States, as were my sister and brother.  I volunteered for four years of active duty in the Army near the end of the Vietnam Era.  I also served in the Army Reserves when my active duty was completed.  Including my civilian time as a Federal employee, I have over 26 years in service to my country.
All I can say to President Trump and any other Republican who would claim I’m not a “REAL” American “just” because I was born here is:  “This is MY country!  And I ain’t goin’ anywhere…!!”  —  KMAB]
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On This Day In:
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The effective use of violence implies a preponderance of destructive power at vital places through the entire operation.
   —  Harold Lasswell
[When I first wrote this in my journal I was in the military and “studying” leadership and the art and science of warfare.  Re-reading the quote in modern days, I recognize it applies equally well to President Trump’s attacks on the Department of Justice, the FBI and (repeatedly) on legitimate news organizations (cable / TV and print).  American political norms and our Constitutional form of government are under attack.  It remains to be seen how sturdy our government and the rule of law actually are and whether / if they can survive these attacks from the literal head of our government.   —  KMAB]
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The divisions are now as physical as they are emotional and intellectual: in the 2016 election, of America’s 3,113 counties, just 303 went to either candidate by 10 points or fewer; 1,196 saw landslides of 50 points or more.  We have self-sorted into private pockets of affirmation, and where we live shapes what we believe.  “These days, Democrats and Republicans no longer stop at disagreeing with each other’s ideas,” argues Paul Taylor of the Pew Research Center.  “Many in each party now deny the other’s facts, disapprove of each other’s lifestyles, avoid each other’s neighborhoods, impugn each other’s motives, doubt each other’s patriotism, can’t stomach each other’s news sources and bring different value systems to such core social institutions as religion, marriage and parenthood.  It’s as if they belong not to rival parties but alien tribes.”
During his campaign, Trump engaged and inspired millions of voters who had given up on government and were desperate for a new vision, a new voice.  Their needs are real and urgent, and have been largely ignored as the President reduced the office to a vanity plate.  He has shown how little loyalty he feels to friends and allies who honor some principle higher than his self-interest.  In the aftermath of Charlottesville, we saw the reverse: we saw his reluctance to turn away from people who admire him, claim him, even if they do so in the name of beliefs that Americans have died fighting to defeat.  There will be more marches, more clashes and, if the white supremacist leaders are right, more lives lost before this latest battle for the nation’s soul resolves.  But it is a historic shame and sorrow that so few Americans can come to that struggle with the faith that their President is on their side.
   –  Nancy Gibbs
From her editorial: “Will the Nation Succeed After Charlottesville Where Donald Trump Failed?
Time Magazine, dtd: Aug. 17, 2017
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Dear President Trump,
Representing the United States in the Olympic Games was the greatest honor of my life.  I will never forget walking into Opening Ceremonies behind our American flag that I revere surrounded by my teammates.  Each drawn from different sports, many of different faiths and various ethnicities.  Yet, in that diversity was America itself: united by love for our country.
My story is a quintessential small-town-America story.  In my hometown, Maplewood, New Jersey, the question was always which sport I would play, not whether I would play one.   My point isn’t really about sport, it’s about opportunity — the opportunity to strive for and believe in one’s own destiny.  That is what made America’s story so unique from any that preceded it, and mine and every other American’s as well.
I love America because of the simultaneous idea that we are both exceptional and flawed — as individuals and a nation — and, that it is our collective responsibility as a people to honor each other’s potential.
That is why I am writing you this letter.
I am the picture of the American Dream — a public school kid, with loving parents who told me that with hard work and perseverance, I could be whatever I wanted to be.  By believing in myself and refusing to take no for an answer, I have broken barriers and shattered stereotypes.  I was the first Muslim woman to represent the United States in the Olympic Games wearing hijab.  I was blessed to win an Olympic medal alongside my team at the Rio Games.  I was a black Muslim woman in a little known sport.  And on the world’s biggest stage, I defied labels and showed the world that being Muslim was also being American.
And yet, when I listen to you, I feel that the story you tell paints another picture entirely.  You seem to see refugees fleeing terror as terror’s root, rather than refugees as terror’s victims.  You seem to see our nation’s contributions to refugee resettlement as “bad deals,” rather than as shining examples of what America has always stood for.  You seem to see the hijab I wear as a signal of threat and cause for fear.  You’ve said, “I think Islam hates us.”  That is not only wrong, it provokes fear and hatred, and as we have seen it also provokes violence against Muslims and our places of worship.  Surely that was not your intention — I do not want to believe that.  Yet I feel that you and your administration see me and people like me not as fellow Americans, but as “others.”  Your ban on travelers from Muslim-majority countries and Syrian refugees has implications that are felt far beyond the countries listed.  I am referring to implications not only in the courthouse, but in line at Starbucks.  Not on the nightly news but in the night terrors of children who wonder if their home and parents, are safe.  Is this what you intended when you took your oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States?
The climate of fear and hatred fueled and perpetuated by your campaign is gaining momentum through your actions in office.  Since your election, I have been “profiled” at the airport, accused of looking “suspicious” and, on the streets of New York, I have been told to “go back to my country.”  This isn’t the America that I know and it isn’t the America that the world looks to for inspiration and leadership.
There are 3 million American Muslims.  They teach our children, treat our sick, fight our wars, and despite your attacks, continue to stand proudly on the front lines of keeping all Americans safe.  My faith calls on me to help the less fortunate and speak out against injustice.  President Trump, look at the math: we do not have a refugee terrorist problem.  It simply doesn’t exist.  But, I do fear a not-so-subtle campaign of terror now being waged on our American ideals of justice and equality.
The Olympic Movement chose its symbol of interlocking rings of many different colors to demonstrate humanity’s unity.  Sport has always been an equalizer and a symbol of peace, even in the ancient Games when wars would cease for the competitions.  Indeed, as much pride as I take in being one of America’s firsts, what I most love about my Olympic experience is that my success was born out of my opportunity, freedom and liberty as an American.
Overcoming obstacles was my challenge as an athlete.  It is now my challenge as a citizen.  I once represented you.  Now you represent me.  I urge you to do so with the humility, thoughtfulness and kindness befitting your sacred office.  As an African-American Muslim Woman patriot, my religion commands me to remain hopeful, to believe in our ability to fight bigotry with love and draw our strength from diversity.  That is what makes America great.  Time and again.
Sincerely,
Ibtihaj Muhammad
From her editorial: “I Fear President Trump’s ‘Campaign of Terror’ Against American Ideals
Under: “The View: A Letter to the President
Time Magazine, April 3, 2017
The specific link: http://time.com/4706627/olympic-fencer-ibtihaj-muhammad-donald-trump/
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Perhaps #DumbDonald should learn to read:
Constitution of United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)
1st Amendment
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
And to quote Thomas Jefferson:
The basis of our governments being the opinion of the people, the very first object should be to keep that right; and were it left to me to decide whether we should have a government without newspapers, or newspapers without a government, I should not hesitate a moment to prefer the latter.
President Trump (and his administration) have lied over a thousand times since his inauguration.  It has gotten to the point where until proven otherwise, I just assume EVERYTHING he says is either a partial truth or an outright lie.  Sad…
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A competent leader can get efficient service from poor troops, while on the contrary an incapable leader can demoralize the best of troops.
     —  General John J. Pershing
[I really wish the Draft avoider in the Oval Office would stop defaming the character of a General who (by all accounts) seems to have been a decent man and a good commander.  I do not have a great deal of knowledge about General Pershing because I’ve never studied him or his achievements.  I have recently taken the time to read about President Trump’s “claims” (lies) about the General and the stores of how he supposedly dealt with Islamic fighters while he was commanding in the Philippines.  Trump’s lies were debunked during the 2016 campaign (when he first made them) and they are being exposed again after Trump’s latest tweets on the topic.  Our President doesn’t do our military forces or its historic leaders any honor when he dishonors their achievements with lies in the attempt to make himself out to be a “tough-guy” or strong-man leader.  It just illustrates how small a man he really is.   SAD…   —  KMAB]
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