The Truth

“Poll: 79 Percent of Trump Voters Believe ‘Election Was Stolen’ via @BreitbartNews They are 100% correct, but we are fighting hard. Our big lawsuit, which spells out in great detail all of the ballot fraud and more, will soon be filled. RIGGED ELECTION!” – Trump tweet 11-25-20

I grew-up in Charlotte, NC. For old folk like me, once upon a time your television only got a few local stations and in Charlotte that number was five, the ABC, CBS, NBC and PBS affiliates and one independent station. What I watched most of the time was the independent station. They ran a lot of cartoons and old black and white movies, mostly westerns and reruns like Leave it to Beaver. Silliness like The Munsters was much more entertaining to an 8-year-old than soap operas like As the World Turns over on CBS which was my grandmothers’ favorite show.

The other thing about the independent station was that they had a lot of religious programs. Regional evangelists like Ernest Angley (believe it or not old Earnest is still alive at 99 years old) would buy time on the independent to air their programs. The local independent in Charlotte is also where Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker got their start begging for money.

From 1974-1987, the Bakker’s begged, pleaded, and cried for loyal Christians to send them their hard-earned dollars so that they could spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world. It is estimated, at the peak of their scam, that they were receiving $1 million a week, with proceeds going not to help or serve anyone but to expand their wardrobe, vacation homes, fleet of cars and the theme park Jim dreamed of. When asked about using television to generate millions upon millions of dollars Bakker responded: “I believe that if Jesus were alive today, he would be on TV”.

Most of us know how this ended for Jim, it is how most scams end for grifters and swindlers, hush money payments to women, accounting fraud, tax evasion, felony charges, conviction, and imprisonment. But you can’t hold a “good” man down. Jim’s back on the television today at 80 years old selling end of the world survival kits, and jewelry cause we all need to sparkle and shine when Jesus returns.

I offer this insight about Jim Bakker so that you understand what Trump’s end game is…emptying the wallets of the red cap brigade as quickly as he can. Trump has no proof of fraud. Hell, all his lawyers that stood before a judge in an open court admitted that. If they could have proved “ballot fraud and more” they would have provided the judges with the evidence. But they couldn’t and they wouldn’t because lying to a judge is a much bigger deal than lying to a television camera like Rudy is or tweeting about “ballot fraud and more” everyday like Trump does.

The sad part of all of this is how much chaos, and anxiety Trump is causing. And the really sad part is this sociopath doesn’t give a shit who he hurts. As we have learned over the last four years this is always about Donald J. Trump. He doesn’t care about you, he doesn’t care about me, he doesn’t care about this country. He has spent his entire adult scamming the world and being President of the United States was the ultimate con for him and his children. The only better con would have been if he could have anointed himself King and believe me, he tried.

My children have spent the last four years waiting for Trump to blow-up the world. They have spent the last four years tired, anxious, and unfortunately scared that the America Trump envisioned for himself was the America that they would have to live with. It has been hard on me, as their Dad, to assure them that yes, life would get better and that no Trump was not our future. I told one of them last night who asked “when will this shit end” that it would be over soon. That Trump would go away, and grown-ups would once again occupy the White House. But here was my warning to her, the noise, Trump’s noise could be with us a little longer but rather than it being a threat to our health or well-being it will just be noise, the rantings of a lunatic rather than a lunatic with the nuclear bomb codes.

I can promise you we haven’t seen or heard the last of Donald Trump, but his influence will fade and his army of white, racist, red cap wearing, rednecks will slowly turn to dust. Trump will spend his final days in Florida, maybe prison if we are lucky, reliving his brief four years as the most pathetic, inefficient, and corrupt president this country has ever produced. He will, as he has done since the beginning of his “reign”, attempt to rewrite the history of his “achievements” maybe with a book, maybe in a movie with Randy Quaid in the starring role, but we will know the truth. We know the truth because we lived through the truth and the one certainty we have after four years is the truth never mattered to Donald J. Trump.      

“Trump’s MAGA cult is so utterly brainwashed, they WANT Trump to be a dictator. No dictator has ever seized power alone. Every dictator has millions of groupies. Even Hitler.” – Oliver Markus Malloy

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An open letter to Mr. Biden

Dear Mr. Biden,

I voted for you because you understand hurt, heartache and pain. You experienced the agony of losing many someone’s or somethings in your life. You went through these trials and tribulations and exited not a bitter or hateful man but a warm, compassionate, and empathic human being. Mr. Biden, I supported you and voted for you because after four years of Trump in office half of America, wanted, deserved to have a human being leading our country again.

I have heard you talk about unity. I have heard you talk about being colorblind and not seeing red and blue states and I agree every effort should be made to heal the divides between us. But the only way I see healing this country is eliminating the disease that has fallen upon us and that infection is being caused by Donald J. Trump.

It is my hope that on January 21, 2021 that you will appoint a bi-partisan committee to investigate Donald Trump, and his family. Just as he is preventing the peaceful transfer of power today, he will continue to be a cancer on this great country tomorrow. There can be no path forward to heal until the crimes Trump has committed while in office and before he took office are exposed.

Will all 74,000,000 Americans who voted for and continue to support Trump change their minds about him? No, they won’t. Will they consider it a political hit job? Most definitely because that is what Trump will label it as, a hoax, fake news, angry Democrats. But here is the issue, the best thing we can do for those 74,000,000 Americans is wake half of them up before the next Donald Trump comes along and he is out there, waiting.

This sounds crazy but we were lucky to get this model of Donald Trump to test drive first with training wheels because the next one won’t be an egocentric, bumbling idiot that is more concerned about looking powerful and acting powerful than actually being powerful and dangerous, think Vladimir Putin. Donald Trump proved that not only Americans, but our politicians are willing to listen, disseminate, support, perpetrate, and execute any number of sinister acts against humanity and the constitution and for what to avoid a mean tweet?

Donald Trump needs to be exposed. The politicians that propped him need to be embarrassed and exposed. This is no time to be nice. Lindsey Graham says he is trying to overturn the election to save the country. The question is, save it from what? Will convicting a guilty Trump convert 74,000,000 Americans? No, but hopefully it will help make the majority of them less gullible when Donald Trump 2.0 arrives.

God bless you Mr. Biden and thank you for your willingness to lead our country from the darkness into the light.                          

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Pardon Me

Maybe you remember this tweet from Drump on June 4, 2018: “As has been stated by numerous legal scholars, I have the absolute right to PARDON myself, but why would I do that when I have done nothing wrong? In the meantime, the never ending Witch Hunt, led by 13 very Angry and Conflicted Democrats (& others) continues into the mid-terms!”

As is typical with all the other bullshit Drump spews out of his sour, pursed, orange, thin lips he references “numerous legal scholars” without actually naming any. Why? Because there aren’t any numerous legal scholars, hell there isn’t even one. You see that is the ultimate entitlement of Trumpism, if I say it, if I think it, if I fart it, if I wear on a t-shirt, it’s true. And if we call bullshit, or tell them to show us the proof they quote Hannity, the Bible, Carlson, Falwell, Facebook or Twitter.   

If you have ever watched Drump for any length of time you know that he punctuates his statements with terms like “many people”, or if he thinks a point is very important “many powerful people”. The key here is that he never names who these mysterious “many people” are. Ever wonder why? Yea, me nether.

My favorite though is when Drump is talking about something he thinks he is an expert on like drinking bleach to cure COVID, he will say to those he is addressing “as you know”. It goes something like this, “As you know, many powerful people say that drinking bleach cures COVID.” And what happened after that? Disinfectant poisonings increased by 121%. That really happened. MAGA might be dumb as a bag of rocks but they are devoted. If the man says to drink bleach by god cheers! But can I chase it with a Budweiser?

I have been thinking about this pardon thing, and Drump’s absolute right to pardon himself. I doubt despite what numerous legal scholars think, that he is going to be willing to play chicken with that. To say that pardoning oneself is unprecedented is an understatement. In America’s 200 plus year history no President has ever pardoned themselves. Why do you think that is? Maybe because it won’t stick? Maybe because it isn’t legal? How about because no other seated President has needed too. Jesus could forgive his own sins but I am pretty confident Drump can’t erase his own crimes.

Don’t be fooled, other than being labeled for all eternity as an impeached, one term loser the reason Drump is fighting so hard to overturn the LEGAL election that took place two weeks ago is because he knows he is a criminal. He knows that the road ahead of him is not paved with silver and gold but lawsuits, court dates, fines and potentially prison time.

Many political pundits have predicted that after Drump blankets the Trump crime family with pardons that he will resign and get a pardon from Mike Pence. But think about that for a moment, what does Pence gain from doing that? Put MAGA in his good graces? Those buffoons don’t give a shit about Mike Pence. I would venture to guess most think he is a pussy and would never vote for him anyway. And the other thing that throws a monkey wrench in Pence’s plans is that Drump is thumping his chest and saying he will run again in 2024. I can promise you he will not.

Over the next four years so much shit is going to come out about the Trump Crime Family that even some, not all, of the knuckle dragging MAGAers will disown him. I hopeful that if Drump resigns Pence will grow a pair or maybe Mother gives them back to him for a day or two and he won’t pardon the Mango king. That would assure the world we have seen the last of a Donald J. Rump presidency.

I know most of you are worried about how much chaos, turmoil, and destruction Drump can cause between now and January 20th but think about it like this would you rather have to deal with 60 more days of Drump’s shit or another 1,460 days? Easy answer.                    

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Hold on

“Every time Donald thinks things are not going in his direction, he claims whatever it is rigged against him. The FBI conducted a year-long investigation into my emails. They concluded there was no case. He said the FBI was rigged. He lost the Iowa caucus; he lost the Wisconsin primary. He said the Republican primary was rigged against him.”

“Then Trump University gets sued for fraud and racketeering. He claims the court system and the federal judge is rigged against him. There was even a time when he didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged.” – Hillary Clinton during the 2016 Presidential debate against Trump

I asked a Trump supporter today to name 4 things The Donald had accomplished in his four years. His answers:

  1. Got more conservative judges on the courts.
  2. Protected “Christians” rights.
  3. Cut taxes.
  4. Eliminated government red tape.

I asked him if he wanted to name a fifth and he said no that was enough.

There is no doubt more conservative judges were put on the courts but in reality the only thing Trump contributed to this exercise is having his fat, wide, white, ass in the Presidents chair. Conservatives have Mitch McConnell and The Federalist Society to thank for those appointments. First, Mitch held-up or disregarded all of Obama’s nominations and waited for a comatose GOP president like Trump to be in place to fill those seats he stole. It was a slick and risky move for the turtle, but he won.

I asked Trump supporter if he felt like his “Christians” rights had been infringed upon during the Obama years. Yes, was his answer. I asked how and this was his response; “Trump made it okay to tell people Merry Christmas. Obama made us say Happy Holidays.” Made him say, keep that in mind.

On the tax cut, I asked him if he saw more money in his paycheck. “Well I don’t remember.” What do you mean you don’t remember? “I got laid off in May because of COVID” he replied. Are you working now I asked? “Kinda” he answered. I just let that one go. He would never blame Trump for the Kung Flu or his lost job.

And finally, I asked him to give me a specific example, just one, of how his life had gotten easier because Trump had eliminated government red tape. Trump supporter got quiet. I saw the wheels turning and the smoke coming out of his ears. “Gas Prices!” he exclaimed rather proudly. You think Trump lowered your gas prices cutting red tape? “Yes!” I didn’t have the heart to tell him that King Salman and Vladimir Putin cut his gas prices. The reason they continue to dump gas on the market is to put the United States fracking business in distress, which they have. A business Trump has spent several billions of dollars bailing out over the last two years.  

I knew, we all know, a little exercise like this isn’t going to turn any lightbulbs on for this Trump supporter, or any Trump supporter. As Isaac Asimov noted, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.” And that is where we are in America today, “a cult of ignorance”.

Just for shits and giggles I wanted to remind myself of Trumps top 10 promises, things he was going to deliver during his presidency.

  1. Build a wall and make Mexico pay for it
  2. Temporarily ban Muslims from entering the United States
  3. Bring manufacturing jobs back
  4. Impose tariffs on goods made in China and Mexico
  5. Renegotiate or withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement and Trans-Pacific Partnership
  6. Full repeal of Obamacare and replace it with a market-based alternative
  7. Renegotiate the Iran deal
  8. Leave Social Security as is
  9. Cut taxes
  10. Bomb and/or take the oil from ISIS

I won’t bore you with what he accomplished from that list (mostly nothing) but the one promise he made a very big deal of not on that list, even more so than build a wall and make Mexico pay for it was that he promised he would never take a vacation or play as much golf as Obama did, who actually played very little golf. To date Trump has played golf 310 days out of 1,092 days in office, 28% of his time. And what has that golf cost the America people? Tens of millions of dollars. But here is the sunny side of that picture, golf was a giant pacifier for the man-baby, so it probably saved thousands of lives by keeping us from invading Canada.

In the meantime, while we wait for the arrival of January 20, 2021 Trump has checked-out, not that he was ever checked-in. There is nothing on his calendar except golf and tweeting about the rigged election. I know this isn’t a big surprise but since all of his lawsuits are tanking, he is left to pass along disinformation and lies to his base yearning for some red meat to post on Facebook. Case in point, this is a Rump tweet from yesterday:

The lie: Big victory moments ago in the State of Nevada. The all Democrat County Commissioner race, on same ballot as President, just thrown out because of large scale voter discrepancy. Clark County officials do not have confidence in their own election security. Major impact!” – Trump

The truth: “This isn’t accurate. The @ClarkCountyNV Commission today certified the results in each race except for 1 local race where there was a 10-vote difference & more than 10 discrepancies. The County will hold a special election for that local race alone. Your assertions are not factual” – Erik Pappa, Public Communications Director for Clark County

Now I found the “truth” easily but Trumpers are lazy and in their mind that is the “great” thing about Trumpism, it’s the lazy white man’s ism. You can lie, you can steal, you can hate, you can fornicate, and no one, NO ONE will hold you accountable. And if they do try to all you got to do is scream it’s rigged, deep state, hoax, mommy and that makes everything okay.

I know it’s been a long four years but if Trump will just keep playing golf things will look brighter in the next few months. Yes, we will still have evolutionary stunted, knuckle-dragging primates like Frank Gross on this earth proclaiming their love for Jesus and Trump but that’s okay. Trump may not be going away for his faithful, hell he might be on television 24/7 but for the rest of us, the majority of Americans, his words, and actions will no longer represent us in the eyes of the world.        

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A Long Ten Weeks

So, per Donald Trump the election was stolen from him. Are any of the 147,000,000 voters surprised by this outcome? I can assure you that the 76,000,000 that voted against King Mango knew he would say that and the 71,000,000 that voted for their “Dear Leader” would claim that.

Trump has spent the last six months preparing his defense of a rigged election by dismantling the post offices, casting doubt on mail in ballots, and just generally bad-mouthing black, and brown voters, and Democratic led states. His position was very simple, because his adherents are very simple, the only way he would lose is if the election were stolen from him.

So here we sit, one week after the election with Trump still acclaiming in all caps, WE WILL WIN! So, let me add my own caps to the mix NO YOU WON’T!

Over the last four years I have had to constantly remind myself that Diaper Don is really a 74-year-old “adult”. That is the humorous part of his Presidency. Emotional, socially, the way he thinks, hell even the phrases he uses remind me of a self-absorbed, spoiled 12-year-old with a private school education. A kid that has the greatest and latest toys, designer clothes, and wants for nothing. The only reason anyone hangs out with him is because he has “stuff” and he will share his “stuff” as long as you play by his rules and placate his every demand, need, and want.

That is the funny part, but here is the terrifying part, this man-child for ten more weeks is still the President of the United States. This brat, this bully, this infant can blow-up damn near anything he wants to blow-up both figuratively and literally. He has carte blanche to declassify national security secrets, trade secrets, anything. In ten weeks, he can create any number of domestic and international crises. Hell he just fired the US Defense Secretary, he can start a war on foreign soil or in our own backyards. Yes, he can.  

For four years we have dealt with a 12-year-old that has the keys to the most powerful weapons and largest military force in the world. And today we are dealing with a 12-year-old who was just told by his girlfriend that he is a loser, is ugly, stupid and smells bad and he still has the keys to the most powerful weapons and largest military force in the world. Should we be terrified for the next ten weeks? Yes. The entire world should be petrified.

There are no adults around Trump, no grown-ups that can reason with him. He has isolated himself in his bedroom, a bank of televisions blaring the news, behind the unscalable fence he had erected around the White House to keep the peasants at bay. He is angry and with each passing second getting angrier and crazier. Someone is going to have to pay the price for this slight, sadly many someone’s will have to pay the price.

In Trump’s mind he has been abandoned by people and entities that he alone made successful beginning with a biggie, Fox News. For Trump, there would be no Fox News if it weren’t for him. They owe their existence and success exclusively to him. I can assure you that is a relationship that will not heal in the future. I can also assure you that Trump will do everything in his power to burn that organization to the ground.    

I have heard several journalists talk about Trump’s place in history. Here is the problem, Trump doesn’t give a shit how history will judge him. For Trump it is about right now, this moment. He won’t be here to read the history books, and he hasn’t read any of the previous history books because he doesn’t care, he doesn’t care about the past. In his mind he makes extraordinary history every day. When he wakes-up, when he speaks when he takes a dump, history! What Trump cares about is right now, this moment how he looks, how he sounds, what he thinks and right now, this moment he is pissed and guess what, this time tomorrow he is still going to be pissed.

I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist, but these next ten weeks could be the most dangerous period in our history and that is going back 250 years. I think, generally, we have been lucky these last four years, lucky that Trump was more enamored with the trappings of being “Mr. President” and “Sir” than doing any of the work. Think about it, other than his national debt increasing tax cut what other legislation did he pass? We never saw his “powerful” infrastructure plan or his “beautiful” healthcare plan. What few things that did come out of his administration were handled by others and if they were “bigly” or Twitter worthy he took credit for them.

No, there was a lot of shit this dumbass could have gotten us into. We were just lucky he is a lazy, fat ass homebody that likes to watch television and eat. But in ten weeks he will be kicked out and faces all kinds of challenges both legal and personal. The road ahead of Trump, the lesser Trumps, and Trump, Inc. looks daunting and he knows it. Four more years in the White House would have smoothed some of the edges, not all, but most. Instead he is being kicked to the curb and no one kicks Donald J. Trump to curb without paying dearly for it and guess who is going to pay?               

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What we know

“History, in general, only informs us what bad government is.” – Thomas Jefferson

Today is Thursday, November the 5th and this country is still waiting for an answer to the question who will be the next President of the United States. Sadly, one question has been answered for me, one that I had hoped for a much different outcome, that almost fifty percent of Americans that voted support the most disastrous, and most dangerous president in our history.

There are roughly 240 million American citizens eligible to vote. To date Joe Biden has received 72,187,249 votes and Trump has received 68,691,756 for a total of 140,879,000 votes, roughly sixty percent of those eligible. I would assume sixty percent participation is a pretty good benchmark to hit for a Presidential election. I won’t do the research to confirm but I have heard that more votes were cast in this election than any other which, given what is at stake, is not surprising.

But that there is such a large number of Americans that could possibly want another four years of the current idiot-in-chief not only surprised, but disappointed me. I have operated under the assumption that most Americans were smart enough to see through Trumps bullshit. That his hardcore base could not be more than 35 to 40%, hopefully even less. But I was wrong and honestly, I am sad for this country that I was wrong. I am sad for my children that I was wrong.

I made it too easy to profile a typical Trump voter, white, middle to lower income, middle age to older, thinks they are a good Christian because they go to church each Sunday, maybe racist, or just a race isolationist because they don’t know or want to know any brown or black people, certainly a flag waving nationalist. But that is not all the 69,000,000 million Trump voters. It can’t be. It might be the majority, but it cannot be all of them.

So, what that tells me is my Banker, my Doctor, my Lawyer and my Accountant probably voted for Trump. My neighbors to the left of me and across the street probably voted for Trump. My brother in-law, and my sister in-law probably voted for Trump. These people, many that I pay money too and trust that they will look at out for my best interest, support and want four more years of the train wreck that is the Trump Administration. I simply don’t know how to react to that.  

So right now we don’t know who the next President of the United States will be but here is what we do know, if it is Joe Biden he will have his work cut out for him to try and heal this country. He may be able to make some inroads, but it will be a tough up hill climb. I know he is the right man to attempt it. I know he wants to do it and maybe he will be somewhat successful. The other thing I know is if Trump gets four more years, he will do everything within his power to make the divide wider, deeper, and more contentious. As Trump has demonstrated he is a vindictive, egoistical madman and for those people, states and institutions that are against him he will show charity to none, and malice to all. Reconciliation and renewal are neither in his vocabulary or spirt and 69,000,000 Americans know that and still voted for him because they wanted more. God help us.        

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Dick-tater Trump

On November 9, 2016 the day after Donald Trump was elected president of the United States, I wrote the following:

Last night I was angry. This morning I am no longer angry, just scared, my children are scared. They are scared because they have heard the words Trump has used. Scared because they have seen the actions Trump has encouraged. My job, and a job that I have taken very seriously over the last 26 years is to calm the fears of my children. At this moment and based on recent encounters I have had with Trump supporters I am at a loss of how to do that. I want nothing more than Donald Trump to prove me wrong. I want nothing more for myself, for you, and especially for our children for Donald Trump to make America great again. I will support that ideal anyway I can but never at the expense of others.

So, what can we do? Hope for the best. Hope that the office changes the man. Hope that all the bluster and bullshit was simply an act to get elected. Hope that he can calm the tide of hate and anger he encouraged throughout the election process. Hope that he sees the terror and the fear in the eyes of some of the citizens of this great country and Hope that he doesn’t use it against them. Hope that he surrounds himself with smart and compassionate people who will leave their egos and personal agendas at the door. Hope that he truly heard the stories from the people who elected him. Hope that he realizes that it will take an uncommon man and an uncommon commitment to solve the problems of the common people of this country. Hope.

Now, four years later I can honestly say Trump lived-up to all of my worst expectations and fear. The office didn’t change the man if anything it fed his already enormous ego. The bluster and the bullshit wasn’t act it is who he is, a man without a plan. A man without a morsal of compassion or empathy. He didn’t calm the tide of hate or anger he threw gasoline on it. Trump built his Presidency on fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of a boogeyman, fear of each other and our institutions. He has created so much turmoil and mayhem that tonight he will be barricaded in the White House surrounded by a newly erected fence with the National Guard stationed to “protect him”. If that sounds like a third world dictator trying to prevent a coup that is the kind of atmosphere Trump has created.

Was he able to surround himself with smart people? No, in four years he had the highest cabinet and staff turnover than any other President in modern history. To this day, four years later, the Trump Administration has several hundreds of positions open that have never been filled. Important jobs that help the citizens of this country. Instead, what has happened is career government employees have left in droves, which Trump and MAGA claims is draining the swamp. But like any other business if you don’t have a plan, if your goal is to accomplish nothing in four years other than feed your ego and line your pockets why do you need workers?

No despite what 35 to 40% of the population believes, you know who they are, what color they are, and what their values are, Trumps four years were a failure for the vast majority of Americans, the world, and the planet. I read a quote from a historical scholar recently that said in the future other historical scholars will need to spend less than 10 minutes studying his presidency to determine that Trump was the worst President this country has ever produced, and there have only been 45 in our short 200+ year history.

Why was he elected. Hell, who knows. A guy with absolutely no credentials to run a country other than a television show, being a member of the lucky sperm club, and one failed business after another. But for whatever reason he has convinced some Americans that he is a success, and if we forget he is quick to tell us over and over again how lucky we are to have him. If America really wanted a realty television star, we would have been better off with Maury Povich, or Hulk Hogan, or Dog the Bounty Hunter, or even Rick Harrison from Pawn Stars.

So, will we wake-up in the morning and know for certain that this nightmare is almost over? I hope so. If not four more years of Dick-tater Trump will be catastrophic for this country and possibly the world. If you haven’t voted go now.                        

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Bee’s

A couple of years ago I turned a little area of my yard into a bird, bee, butterfly, and bug paradise. My motivation was twofold, one, I like birds, bees, butterfly’s, and bugs and two, it was less yard I had to mow.

Following the guidelines of the South Carolina Wildlife Federation (www.scwf.org/carolina-fence-gardens) I created an area for our urban wildlife that includes food, water, cover, and places to raise young. I also got a nifty sign designating my little patch of earth a Certified Wildlife Habitat.

I am three years into it now and I have really enjoyed watching some of these marvelous creatures make themselves at home in our backyard. My little plot has transformed from a patch of weeds as my wife first called it, into quite the oasis. But despite all the wonderful wildflowers, and flowering shrubs I planted I noticed that I was missing one creature, honeybees.

In a little town north of us there is a bee supply shop. One Saturday afternoon my wife and I went into the shop and I asked the owner, why don’t I have any honeybees in my yard or garden? His answer was very direct, there are no more wild bees. That really did not make any sense to me. There seems to be plenty of bumblebees, wasp, ladybugs, and mosquitoes so what was the problem with bees? Well at that point I got a lesson in everything honeybees.

I won’t bore you with all the facts I learned but I did find this tidbit interesting, honeybees are not native to North America. They were brought by European immigrants in the 17th century. Who knew? Anyway, Mr. Bee Shop guy said unless someone in my neighborhood had a beehive close by it was highly unlikely that I would see any bees in my yard. So, I decided to change that.

For Christmas, my kids enrolled me in Bee Class, a crash course on how to be a Beekeeper. After the class I read four or five Bee books, subscribed to Bee Newsletters, joined the local Bee Club, and talked to guys I knew that kept bees, two of them tried to talk me out of it. By March I was ready to dive headfirst into the Bee world. I spent $250 on Bee stuff, a hive, protective clothing, tools and another $200 on a box of Bees. Seriously, $200 for 5,000 bees and Queen. Eight months later I now have two hives, probably 50,000-60,000 bees and hours, upon hours of entertainment and the occasional sting or two.

I understand now why two of the guys tried to talk me out of it. Keeping Bees is not a passive hobby. It requires work, thought, planning, and vigilance. For the most part they take care of themselves, but they do need some help from time to time. There are pests, and mites that they need help battling. When food sources are scarce, they need to be feed. If the Queen is not doing her job, which is laying hundreds of eggs a day and having her every need attended too, a change needs to happen. Sometimes the lady’s take care of it themselves other times the beekeeper must open-up his wallet and buy them a new Monarch which I did for the hive I split.

All in all, it has been a very interesting year with my bees. It has given me something to do, something to focus on other than politics and COVID. I also noticed one very remarkable benefit, my vegetable garden was much more prolific this year than in years past, more cucumbers, tomatoes, squash, and beans. Were my bees responsible for this bounty or was it just a coincidence? Hard to know for sure but I do feel better knowing these little ladies are hard at work in my little patch of the world.  

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An open letter to Christians about their support of Trump

Dear American Christians:

On November the 3rd, less than two weeks from today, you have an important decision to make about your eternal life. Do you remember that covenant you hold so near and dear to your heart? It is the pledge that separates you from the rest of us heathens. It is the promise you have based your entire earthly existence on, that because of your relationship with Jesus Christ that you will have an eternal life and will never perish. But on November 3rd if you vote for Donald Trump again, knowing what you know now, I got to believe your trip to eternal life might just be in jeopardy.

I want you to think about this headline from The New York Times today for just a moment: Parents of 545 Children Separated at the Border Cannot Be Found. Now I want you to picture the face of your own child, or your grandchild, or maybe one of your nieces or nephews as one of those 545 children. Can you see them? Can you see their face? Can you feel their anxiety? Can you see them sleeping on a cot in an old Walmart with 100 other children? Think about this, they have been there for two or three years now, waiting, just waiting. Two or three years separated from their mothers, fathers, and grandparents. No one is hugging them. No one is tucking them in at night and giving them a kiss on the forehead. No one is wiping the tears from their face with a gentle hand. They are scared, lonely, and feel abandoned. Can you see them?

“See that you do not despise one of these little ones. For I tell you that their angels in heaven always see the face of my Father in heaven.”

So how have you rationalized this horrific atrocity Trump has committed against other human beings with your faith? Did you buy the line that locking-up parents and separating them from their children prevented rapist, murders, and drug dealers into your neighborhood? Have you slept better at night knowing that thousands of children are crammed into an old K-Mart or Walmart? Did the buffet at the Golden Corral taste better knowing that mothers and fathers were sobbing and begging to be reunited with their children. And when you sat on that hard pew on Sunday with your family, staring up at that empty cross did you remember that Jesus didn’t just die for you but for all of the world’s people?

Trump has plenty of sins I could write about; lust, adultery, greed, pride, ego, dishonesty, vindictiveness, pick your poison, but how he has sacred, and damaged these poor children I believe is a sin beyond forgiveness. So, I ask again, how do rationalize his actions against humanity? How do you allow a crude and crass man like Trump to occupy even 1% of your heart? A heart that you claim is filled with the love, and compassion of Christ.

If you believe a man that has been married three times, that has been accused of rape and abuse by 28 different women, that has paid off porn stars and Playboy Bunnies to keep quiet about their tryst is a Christian or even pro-life then you are not only blind, but a fool.

“Can one blind person lead another? Won’t they both fall into a ditch?

As a Christian you believe there will be a day of reckoning. A day you will be judged on how you have lived your life, the decisions you made, and an examination of how you treated others and Gods creation. I am here to tell you that your judgement will extend beyond your neighborhood, and your Church. It will extend beyond how you treated your family, your friends, and your co-workers. The net will be cast wide and if Donald Trump continues to hold a place in that net, in your life may God have mercy on your soul. You will need all the grace you can get and hopefully more grace than Trump has shown for those poor children and their families.                             

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Vote the loser out

One of my favorite “news” photographs is the picture of former President George W. Bush handing Michelle Obama a piece of candy at John McCain’s memorial service. In the photograph Laura Bush is watching her husband with a smirk, as George slides a mint into Michelle’s hand. Barack Obama has that classic Dad look on his face. That look that says, “Am I going to have to sit between you two?” It is a wonderful photo of a tender moment at a very solemn occasion. But it is also a photograph that shows how two people with very different social and political backgrounds can not only be friends but love and respect each other.  

In an interview with Bush’s daughter, Michelle Obama said this about Jenna Bush Hager’s Dad: “Our values are the same. We disagree on policy but we don’t disagree on humanity. We don’t disagree about love and compassion. I think that’s true for all of us.”

She went on to say about the former President; “He is my partner in crime at every major thing where all the formers gather. So we’re together all the time, and I love him to death. He’s a wonderful man. He’s a funny man.”

At this very moment there are four living “formers”, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama. Each of these four men have, in their own way, continued their service to not only this country but to humanity. Of the four, Jimmy Carter, at 96, has probably had the most impact on the world after his presidency but he has also had the most time. It is hard to imagine but he left office almost 40 years ago.

Bill Clinton has been involved in several projects none more surprising than his efforts to raise money for different causes alongside former President George H. W. Bush, the guy he denied a second term too. Over the years these two men, who were on opposite ends of the political spectrum, became very close friends, some even likened it to a father, son relationship. Bush’s own son George remarked at a dinner in 2005, sharing an update on Clinton’s recent chest surgery, that Bill was recovering from his procedure and “woke up surrounded by his loved ones: Hillary, Chelsea … and my dad.”

George W. Bush’s work has been quieter, less public and has focused on veterans and Obama is just getting started with his Obama Foundation.

Over the last four years there have been several occasions that the “formers” have gathered. When you see them together you get a real sense of the respect, admiration and love they have for each other. It is an exclusive club, not as exclusive as the walking on the moon club, but in 231 years there have only been 45 American Presidents, 45 men who will be remembered for eternity.

And then there was Donald J. Trump.

When Trump loses in November think about the next gathering of the “formers”. Three of the current four, Clinton, Bush and Obama have a close personal bond. Carter, because of his age and health has probably had less interaction with the other three. But all share something in common besides being President. Each has been trashed by Trump on twitter and for Obama it happens daily sometimes hourly.

When John McCain and Barbara Bush died Trump did not attend their funerals. No real surprise. I am sure word filtered down that he would not be welcomed at either and besides, Trump hates any ceremony or gathering where he is not the center of attention. Trump did attend the funeral of George H. W. Bush apparently because, on his death bed, George H. thought extending an invitation was simply the right thing to do but man was it awkward for Trump seating on the same pew with “that Muslim” Obama and “Crooked Hillary”. During the proceedings Trump looked as comfortable as a long-tailed cat in a room full of rocking chairs. But I think that memorial service gave us a little insight into what Trumps life as a “former” will look like, lonely, and isolated from that exclusive club of “formers”.

Trump bought the Mar-a-Lago Country Club because no other “exclusive” clubs wanted him as a member, basically no one wanted to play with him. Despite all the unlikely alliances formed by the other “formers” over the years, I suspect once Trump is fired, he will find himself in the same boat of no one wanting to play with him. Maybe what Trump will do instead is start his own club, a former dictators club making Putin and Kim Jong-un honorary members.   

In 2016, USA Today did something it had never done since its founding in 1982, it weighed in on a Presidential race urging its readers not to vote for Trump because he lacked the “temperament, knowledge, steadiness and honesty that America needs from its presidents.” But what they did not do back in 2016 was endorse Hillary Clinton. The headline today from the USA Today editorial board is very clear: Elect Joe Biden. Reject Donald Trump.

We are two weeks away. Two weeks away from taking America back. Two weeks away from closing a horrible chapter in American history. But remember to reject Donald Trump you must vote. Do not believe for a second that your one vote won’t count or make a difference. It does, and it will. The message we need to send to Trump and his Basket of MAGA, racist Deplorables is simple, a landslide defeat. No questions, no fraud, no hoax. Let the numbers speak for themselves, that the majority of Americans believe that Trump is and has always been a loser. VOTE!    

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