Garden of Memories

Mad Hatter: “In the gardens of memory, in the palace of dreams, that is where you and I will meet.”

Alice: “But a dream isn’t reality.”

Mad Hatter: “Who’s to say which is which?”

Alice Through the Looking Glass

“We meet everyday in the gardens of my memories.”

“I enjoy our time together among the sunflowers.”

“I watched a documentary the other night. I felt as if I was watching our, your, story.”

“Will you share?”

“Of course, but first remember your words, ‘It’s like everyone is seeing how I’ve been feeling this entire time on the inside of my body cause now its affecting the outside of my body. I’ve been falling to pieces for years inside and now everyone can see what I’ve always been feeling. It sucks.’ Remember?”

“I do.”

“In this documentary, a man was describing his story of childhood trauma and finally getting the help he needed. He finally found a doctor who stopped labeling him. The doctor told him, “You are this way because of something that happened to you. You have a story that’s not been diagnosed.” He was told the labels didn’t make sense, trauma victims blame themselves, and the arch enemy, the fiend is the truth, but your reality is not allowed to be seen and to be known, and that is the true trauma. I cried because he was describing you. So many memories flooded back. Memories of desperately searching for someone, anyone, who would stop labeling you, who would see you, listen to you, help you heal. Then the words that it’s not mental illness but mental injury…”

“You okay?”

“No, not really. I thought there was time, I thought we’d have time…”

“It’s okay now, momma.”

“Yes and no. A friend said to me, “God answered your prayer to heal her, just not in the way you wanted.” A hug, your hug… just one hug… you always said I gave the best hugs, but really it was you who gave the best hugs. I miss your hugs most of all because they were so complete, so full of unconditional love.”

“We shall hug again…”

“I know, my precious daughter. You weren’t mentally ill, your were mentally injured. Doctors who prescribed drugs only hurt you more because those drugs didn’t help you, they hurt you more by altering your mind. I wish I could go back… I would tell that first doctor to go to hell. I’m sorry I trusted him, a doctor who didn’t care about you in a system that cared even less. I’m so sorry.”

“Momma…”

“I know, how could I know? It doesn’t really help though when I’m trapped in the garden of memories.”

“Momma?”

“Yes?”

“Remember?”

“Remember??”

“I sent you a picture with the words, “God is restoring everything the enemy has stolen!” I wrote, “You know those days where you think God forgot you and you can feel the pain crushing you and then something catches your eye cause it’s not in the ordinary of your things? I read this the other day during one of those moments and I think it’s great. 🙂 I hope it helps you too.” God has restored to me everything the enemy stole because I’m whole now. It’s His promise to you as well. I love you momma.”

“I love you to the moon and back, to infinity and beyond.”

“I love you more.”

“I love you the most.”

“I loved you first.”

“You are missed, my darling. You were never a burden, by the way. A thousand bad days with you are better than a perfect day without you.”

“I’m still with you…”

Stronghold…

“How did you know?”

“Know?”

“That I’d be here.”

“It’s where you always come when you want to be alone.”

Draping the air as fog on an early summer morning, the silence clung to the particles of the atmosphere, cloaking its visitors.

“Are you okay?”

“Now… I am now.”

“What changed?”

“Me.”

“How so?”

“Before I can tell you, there’s a more pressing thought?”

“Will you share?”

“It’s not comfortable.”

“That’s okay. I prefer you share to comfort.” 

“Comfort… it’s comfortable to observe the world while keeping it as arm’s length bay.”

“What is it you observe?” 

“Stronghold towers.”

Fog… silence…waiting…

“People create stronghold towers… they live in them… they stay in the stronghold of their constructed walls so they can feel comfortable. They are afraid of what’s outside, but really what they fear lurks inside.”

“I’m not sure I understand.”   

“It’s okay, I’m not sure I understand myself… it’s just an observation.”

Stillness… “It’s okay, you can explain, you are safe here,” whispers the voice.

“Remember the Allegory of the Caves?”

“Vaguely…”

“The cave… all the trapped souls within, but they don’t believe themselves trapped. They believe they are safe in the darkness of the cave. Yet one day… one man gathers the courage to leave. The light hurts his eyes and he must move slowly to allow his orbs times to adjust, but when he finally emerges, he realizes the cave is not a stronghold tower but rather a prison and the freedom awaits outside.”

“What does he do?”

“He returns to tell the others about the freedom awaiting them…”

Silence…

“And?”

“They laugh at him, mock him, tell him he’s crazy… demand he stay with them in the darkness. This saddens him because he finally sees the truth, but they refuse to believe him. “We’ve always lived here,” they say, “We trust this cave because it’s what we know.” 

“What does he do?”

“He leaves… he breaks free of the stronghold of the false tower and when he emerges for the last time, he shudders… casting off the darkness, leaving it behind because he knows that even if alone, he’d rather be alone and free than surrounded by a thousand imprisoned in the stronghold of a belief drapes their minds and souls, anchoring them to the darkness.”

Moving the air particles, hands join forming a circle of love.

“Going back to the beginning… I’ve changed. The darkness has been caste off and I am now free because I walk toward the son.”

 I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness.” John 12:46

 

 

All the Pretty People

Public Service Announcement: brought to you courtesy of the pretty people living in their pretty homes with the best of the best available to them. Need food? They have an assistant for that. Need home cleaned? They have an undocumented worker for that. Need medical help? They have a private doctor for that. Need mental health? They have the best on speed dial.

“NBCUniversal on Friday launched a new “The More You Know” public service ad campaign aimed at informing people about how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis and reduce their risk of catching and spreading the virus… The campaign is being supported by many of NBCU’s advertisers and ad-tech providers including Acxiom; Cadent; Canoe; Crossix; Epsilon; Experian; Facebook; Panera Bread; ShareThis; Snap Inc; The Trade Desk; T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods; and Vizio-Inscape. The have donated commercial airtime, service fees, data and/or distribution on their own platforms to run the NBCUniversal-created Ad Council PSAs. ” https://www.broadcastingcable.com/news/nbcu-launches-more-you-know-covid-19-psas

The government – local, state, federal – has been warning us of the dangers of social interaction, thereby instilling a fear of fellow mankind. Adding to that are all the shaming posts and memes on social media… you know the ones, the declarations that it’s the stupid people’s fault who are going to the store, or leaving their house as the reason for the continued shutdown of life. “It’s because of people like you that we have to continue isolation,” or some variation thereof. We have to isolate ourselves in order to avoid causing the death of one person, or many deaths. (Translation: if you go out, it’s your fault if a person dies because you didn’t listen.) Everything and everyone is a potential carrier or transporter of the virus and the only “cure” for this virus is to imprison ourselves in our homes. Of course it is only temporary until a vaccine is found, but a vaccine doesn’t “cure” the virus, it just minimizes one’s chance of getting the virus by injecting the virus… or something along those lines.

Cue the pretty people: Victoria Arlen, María Celeste Arrarás, Brie Bella & Nikki Bella, Stephen “tWitch” Boss, Gizelle Bryant, Andrés Cantor, Kelly Clarkson, Andy Cohen, Cris Collinsworth, Terry Crews, Ted Danson & Mary Steenburgen, Kate del Castillo, José Díaz-Balart, Reza Farahan, Ben Feldman, Erika Girardi, Melissa Gorga, Savannah Guthrie, Zuri Hall, Bob Harper, Lester Holt, Matt Iseman, Nick Jonas, Hoda Kotb, Marcus Lemonis, Erin Lim, Mario Lopez, Jane Lynch, Rachel Maddow, Dorinda Medley, Craig Melvin, Chrissy Metz, Becky Quick, Carl Quintanilla, Retta, Kyle Richards, Al Roker, Stephanie Ruhle, Tom Schwartz & Katie Maloney-Schwartz, Savannah Sellers, Christian Slater, Chris Sullivan, Michele Tafoya, Mike Tirico, Carmen Villalobos, Melissa Villaseñor, Brian Williams, and Captain Sandy Yawn.

Pretty people in their pretty homes informing the public that although we are isolated, it’s important to take care of our mental health and there is help available, just a text away to an unknown source. Wow! There it is, the cure for mental illness. All it took was government-imposed isolation to discover there is such an easy fix to mental illness. I’m so glad the sponsors donated money/time to inform us of this… I feel so much better now… guess I can sleep well tonight.

Except – yep there is an except – one question? How does this infomercial – sorry, public service announcement – truly help one person with a mental illness. These pretty people who live in a segment of society that the average American will never even drive by are suddenly telling you – the average American – that it’s important to maintain mental health by finishing that project, staying in touch with family (thought we were suppose to not interact with anyone, including family), calling a friend, “reminding ourselves to stay in tuned and connected as we experience these changes…” “it might be one of the most helpful things we can do…” And if that’s not enough to help you, well there’s always the know-all, cheerful bartender from the friendly neighborhood pub to tell us, “If you need help, it’s just a text away.” (Ted Danson, Cheers)

BAM! There it is, just a text away, all the help a person needs. Phew, I’m so glad because that was a close one.

I am raising the elephant dung flag. Let’s just break this down a bit, shall we? A person lives with a mental illness every second of every day. Depression, anxiety, PTSD, schizophrenia, OCD, suicidal… Even in the best of times, waking up, getting dressed, venturing into the world in which they live is a feat and testament to their courage to just get through the day without ending up in the mental ward or morgue. Yet now, every fear they have is being voiced by government officials, “friends” on social media and any other number of people declaring we have to avoid each other, and only essentials shall be purchased, and only essential employees can work… examine that last one: only essential employees. Imagine, you already struggle with self worth, and that job you had was the only thing that gave you a reason to get out of bed. It wasn’t the world’s best job, just a waitress, but it gave you purpose and an income. Now, everyone has told you this job is not essential, therefore, you are not essential. Add to that the reality that now you can’t pay your rent, or your phone bill. What reason is there now to get out of bed, to live through another second of another day in a world that just confirmed every fear you have?

Add to that the places that you previously went to for peace, grounding, or a simple reminder that beauty does exist are now closed: the beaches, the trails, the parks…

Cue the pretty people: help is just a text away!

The real shame here is the “cure” will prove to be worse than the virus (disease), and the number of suicides will increase especially for those individuals who live with mental illness. But not to worry, suicide and the right-help for mental illness wasn’t a high priority of the pretty people or government officials before the virus, I doubt it will suddenly become a priority when we are told we can go back to normal (new normal).

For those of you who know a person who lives with a mental illness, defy the government orders and social shaming… visit – no phone calls or texts are not enough – actually take the time to go visit that person on a regular basis. You don’t have to offer some sage wisdom, just be there so that person knows they are not alone, and are still valuable. No, it’s not a cure-all, but it’s a start.

 

 

Open Letter to Black Female Airman

Open Letter to Airman who sat During Colors and Raised Her Fist:

This is a letter to the young black American woman who video-taped herself sitting during colors and then raised her fist at Naval Air Station, Pensacola: the Cradle of Naval Aviation. Her statement that bodies are lining the street and she’ll stand when America has her back followed her stance.

This letter is to her. As a young black American woman, she erroneously feels America owes her something, that America should have her back. Not only is her position steeped with lies, her position shows an utter lack of knowledge of history.

When a person, of any color, male or female, voluntarily – of their own accord – joins the United States military, they take an oath to uphold the Constitution and to defend America against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Nowhere in that oath are the words, “… only if America has my back.” The United States Navy is there to have America’s back, not the other way around.

She also stated, “I don’t not respect the men and women who serve — who I serve alongside.” My message to her is her respect – or lack of respect by her actions – is irrelevant because she was afforded respect long before she was borne.

Bigger than her egocentric ignorance is, regardless of the oath she took, this young woman – when she sat there and raised her fist – spat in my face and all the hundreds – thousands – of women – of all color – who served before her. Women who served in a time when women faced real discrimination, not perceived discrimination. Those women made it possible for me to serve, and as such for her to serve.

I served during a time of few women in a male dominated rate. During my first “A” school, I marched to class with the “I wish all the ladies… (repeated by the all) were pies on a shelf… (repeated by all) and I was a baker… (repeated by all) I’d eat’em all myself…” With other cadence lines of similar nature following.

During this same period, I was told by my first class instructor that if I didn’t sleep with him, he’d make my life hell. And hell he made my life because I did not sleep with him.

At one command, my LPO called me in his office and told me he wanted me to live with him and watch his daughter. I refused, and life was not easy at work.

At each command, I had to prove myself as a woman – not a sailor – but as a woman. Each command I was greeted with the mentality that I was like the “other” women, and if they happened to be the kind of sailor who whined or couldn’t pull their load, I was determined to be as such. I had to prove two things: that as a woman, I could work just as hard as the men, and that as a sailor, I was just as worthy to wear the uniform because I could – and did – carry my weight, and toolbox.

At my first command, I had the misfortune – and stupidity – of dating an abusive sailor. When I ended up at medical with a bruised face, I was asked what happened… I told the doctor what happened. The next day, I sat in front of my (female) Division Officer (LT) who said to me, “Well, you deserved what you got.” No action was taken against this sailor.

Yet through it all, I never thought America was bad or that I was owed anything. I succeeded, I worked hard, I did what I had to do… and I followed the UCMJ.

This is the history this young woman is missing. So when she sat there, videotaping herself sitting during morning colors, raising her fist – and then posting it online – she spat on my service, because it was my service and the women who served before and after me who made her service possible. I served before this young woman was even born.

The (female) Chief, who served as my Company Commander in boot camp, served well before this young woman’s parents even met. To have been a female United States Navy Chief in 1988 would have been no small feat, yet because of her, I could serve. Because I served, others could serve and as the years went by, the path became less filled with grenades, thorns and holes… for what? So this young woman could sit on a bench during colors with fist raised on a Naval Air Station in 2016.

Discrimination: she doesn’t have a clue.

As far as the bodies lining the streets: the majority of the bodies are put there by other people of like color, not the police. Oppression: she can’t begin to know the meaning of the word.

And the saddest part of all is the United States Navy has become so politically correct, this sailor will not be held accountable for her actions as she will be allowed to transfer to her next command… according to the PAO, they are more concerned with educating sailors about the perils of social media, not the UCMJ, and it will continue until the U.S. Navy gets tested and fails… and ships sunk… and lives – of all color – are killed because of the lack of leadership and accountability the U.S. Navy now holds as the standard.

Freedom: a Messy Thing (Pt 1)

Freedom: The state of being free, exemption from the power and control of another; liberty; independence. (Webster Dictionary, 1875)

The U.S Constitution was ratified in 1789, two years after the summer of 1787 that produced the Constitution after nearly two months of debates in a sweltering room in Philadelphia. At the conclusion of the convention, it was left to the men of the time to debate the merits of the Constitution. The most comprehensive review of the Constitution and its purpose is found in the Federalist Papers penned by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay, and published under the name Publius.

Within the 85 published papers, all items found within the U.S. Constitution are discussed at length.

Federalist No. 1, published October 27, 1787 begins with, “After a full experience in the insufficiency of the existing federal government, you are invited to deliberate upon a new Constitution for the United States of America. The subject speaks its own importance; comprehending in its consequences nothing less than the existence of the UNION, the safety and welfare of the parts of which it is composed, the fate of an empire in many respects the most interesting in the world.

The last one, Federalist No. 85, published August 13 and 16, 1788 begins with, “According to the formal division of the subject of these papers, announced in my first number, there would appear still to remain for discussion two points: “the analogy of the proposed government to your own State constitution,” and “the additional security which its adoption will afford to republican government.

The U.S. Constitution begins with the Preamble written by Gouverneur Morris: “We, the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquillity, provide for the common Defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this CONSTITUTION for the United States of America.

And there it is, the purpose of of the U.S. Constitution.

Many leaders of the day would not support ratifying the U.S. Constitution unless it included a Bill of Rights. There were 12 amendments proposed, with only ten being ratified on December 15, 1791.

Alexander Hamilton argued against including a Bill of Rights in Federalist No. 84. His argument was that a Bill of Rights was wholly unnecessary and would be dangerous. “They would contain various exceptions to powers not granted; and, on this very account, would afford a colorable pretext to claim more than were granted. For why declare that things shall not be done which there is no power to do? Why, for instance, should it be said that the liberty of the press shall not be restrained, when no power is given by which restrictions may be imposed?

He continued to make the point that declaring a Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution would allow men predisposed to usurping power a plausible pretense to claim such power, because if it is in the U.S. Constitution as a “right,” it is therefore plausible that the U.S. Federal government has the authority to regulate such rights, to the point of entirely removing them from the people.

He, along with the other participants in the writing of the Constitution, stated that the U.S. Constitution’s was to limit the power of government, not the power of the people; which is why the U.S. Constitution begins with “We, the People.

However, for other men such as Thomas Jefferson, there would be no support for its ratification unless a Bill of Rights was added during the First Congress. Jefferson wanted to ensure the government in no way could restrict or deny certain basic rights.

These early men were students of history and philos0phy and many of them believed in John Locke’s theory of natural rights that declared men are not borne to be subject to a king but are borne with certain inalienable rights that chief among them are life, liberty and property. In other words, men were borne with rights granted to them by their creator.  Locke, also a student of history and an observer of his time, knew that when government in any form has the power to grant rights, it has the power to remove rights, leaving the people subjects of the government, and not free to live their lives as they deem best.

In the end, the likes of Jefferson and his peers ruled the day because the promise was made that a Bill of Rights would be added to the U.S. Constitution through the amendment process. It is important to stress here that the Bill of Rights restricts the government, not the people. These amendments are:

I. Freedom of press, religion, assembly and speech.

II. The right of the people to keep and bare arms.

III. The right of the people to not have troops quartered in their homes.

IV. The right to be protected from unreasonable searches and seizures of property (privacy).

V. The right to due process.

VI. The right to a speedy and fair trial.

VII. The right to a trial by jury.

VIII. The right against excessive bail or fines, and cruel and unusual punishment.

IX. The rights listed in the Constitution shall not be construed to deny or disparage other rights retained by the people.

X. The right of the states and people, respectively, to retain all powers not delegated to the United Stated by the Constitution.

Key words that need to be highlighted is that each amendment states that the noted “right” in each cannot be denied by the U.S. government. Amendment X clearly states that all power not delegated to the U.S. government are retained by the states and people.

The structure of power begins at the bottom, with the people. Think of a pyramid. The biggest part of a pyramid is the bottom, and that is where all the power is to rest. The people then decide which power to delegate to the states. This would be the middle part of the pyramid. The top of pyramid and the smallest part is the U.S. government and it contains the powers delegated to it by the states.

The way it is now is more like an inverted pyramid with the biggest part at the top, or the U.S. government. The states and the people have, unfortunately, ceded much of their power to the U.S. government and as such, have very little. And the saddest part is many Americans would willingly give up their rights as to not offend or to have a bit of temporary safety.

Now that the foundation has been laid, please continue to Part II.

A Constitution of Government once changed from Freedom, can never be restored. Liberty once lost, is lost forever.” John Adams, July 7, 1775

 

Yes, We’re Going!

On Wednesday, the 13th, Donald Trump will be in Pensacola, Florida… and yes, I’m going. Not only am I going, but I am taking my 15-year-old son, much to his chagrin.

I will not vote for Donald Trump in the Florida Primary. I have listened to interviews and the debates and he’s an interesting man. There are many things I like about him. I like that he hasn’t allowed the media to control the narrative when it comes to him. I like that he calls out Hillary Clinton for the hypocrite she is. I like that he isn’t politically correct; he speaks plainly, even if it takes him a full circle to come back around to his point.

I don’t like that he has not yet talked about the boundaries of the Executive Branch as stipulated in Article II of the Constitution. I don’t like that he’s egocentric. I don’t like that he’s bombastic. Sometimes being grandiloquent works, but as President, do I really want that characteristic in the man who occupies the White House? Not so much.

But the important part of all this is that I think this is such a wonderful opportunity to hear an entire speech by him, without commentary, from the talking heads on “news” channels. I also want my son to hear what he has to say and take part in this Republic process.

When I printed the tickets, my son expressed his dismay in the most vocal manner.

“Why do I have to go? I don’t care about government? I won’t hear most of what he says. Why do I have to go? I don’t want to go!!”

I let him have his moments of vocal despair and then quietly began to speak.

“You are 15 now, will be 16 in March,” I began. “When you turn 18, whoever is elected now will be president and that means they will be the Commander in Chief. When you are 18, you have to sign up for the Selective Service. That means if there is ever a war and the U.S. military has run out of bodies, they begin the draft. That is when you are told you must serve. You must go to whatever foreign shore the President has decided needs “democracy.”

But more than that, government, from the federal to the state to local, affects every aspect of your life. The roads you drive on, the drivers license you hold, the taxes we pay for those roads… The schools and the taxes we pay for those… The sales tax you pay: when you have $10 and the shirt is $9.99, you know you don’t have enough because of that sales tax. The water you drink is clean because of laws that state it must be clean. All of it: you do “government” even if you don’t like government.

And the right to vote… (this is where I began to choke up) the right to vote, that was won by men you will never know. Men, who signed their names on a piece of paper that declared independence because there was no representation. Remember, the colonists were British subjects. When Britain needed money after a war, the King and Parliament looked across the great expanse called the Atlantic Ocean and decided to tax the colonists. The British government dissolved several of the colonial governments, imposed taxes and other rules. The colonist, fed up with no representation, committed an act of treason by declaring their independence. The men who penned their names knew what they were doing. Many of them lost their homes, their families and were imprisoned; they lost everything. They did that so we could have a Representative Republic. A government where we, the people, elect who will make those decisions on our behalf.

And other men… your great-uncle, buried in a foreign land after dying fighting because he cherished those rights. A man you will never know.

And for me as a woman… It took decades of perseverance and many of the women who started the Suffrage Movement were dead when the 19th Amendment was ratified in 1920, 96 years ago. Women not only had to fight for this basic right, they had to go up against a president who didn’t want them to have the right to vote. They were imprisoned for merely walking on a street, protesting.

So I take this process seriously and so too, should you. Because it’s important. It’s vital that we, as Americans, take part in this process. And Donald Trump is a candidate unlike any other. He’s bombastic. He’s caustic. He’s defying the establishment. He’s funding his own campaign. He’s holding a free event that allows people like you and me to go and hear him speak. You may only hear a small part of what he says, but it’s important to hear him. And then decide for yourself what you think. Because when you turn 18 you will be able to vote and it is important to listen, learn and decide who will best make decisions on your behalf.”

Sitting, looking at me, he was quiet for a moment. Finally he said, “Okay.” And that was that.

So yes, On Wednesday, we will be going…

The “Mall Gift” Who Wants to be President

Marco Rubio, the freshman Senator from Florida, now wants to be president. He touts his foreign policy experience, his experience in the Senate and his experience in the Florida House.

Let’s anatomize his experience.

In 2010, Marco Rubio was voted to represent Florida as one of the state’s two senators. Article I of the U.S. Constitution, which he took an oath to uphold, begins with Section 1: “All Legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.”

In order for a bill to become law, it has to pass both chambers of Congress. All appropriation bills must originate in the House of Representatives with the Senate approving all appropriation bills. This is the job of a Senator: to vote on bills, to include appropriation bills, that then go to the President for approval or veto. In order to represent Florida and the people of Florida, he has to be there to vote.

And his record… in 2015, he missed keys votes on legislation, even legislation he originally co-sponsored. Here’s a brief breakdown:

  • January 6: Co-sponsors S1 Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline
  • January 29: Did not vote on the Bill to Approve the Keystone XL Pipeline (that he co-sponsored)
  • May 12: Did not vote on HR1314 Bipartisan Budget Act 2015
  • June 2: Voted against* HR2048 Uniting and Strengthening America by Fulfilling Rights and Ensuring Effective Discipline Over Monitoring (USA Freedom) Act of 2015: this act prohibits the bulk collection of data and requires the FBI to show reasonable cause to a judge for approval to collect information on specific individuals. (*Yes he showed up to vote, but not on the principles he now espouses.)
  • September 30: Did not vote on HR719 Continuing Appropriations Act 2016
  • October 1: Did not vote on HR2029 Military Construction and Veteran Affairs and Related Agencies Appropriations Act 2016
  • October 7: Did not vote on HR1735 National Defense Authorization Act for FY2016
  • October 22: Did not vote on S. Amendment 2564 Prohibits Liability Immunity for Corporations that Break User Agreements
  • October 26: Co-sponsors S.J. Res24 A Joint Resolution Providing for Congressional Disapproval under Chapter 8 of Title 5, Unites States Code, of a Rule Submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency Relating to “Carbon Pollution.”
  • October 26: Co-Sponsors S.J. Res23 A Joint Resolution Providing for Congressional Disapproval Under Chapter 8 of Title 5, United States Code, of a Rule Submitted by the Environmental Protection Agency Relating to “Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions from New, Modified and Reconstructed Stationary Source: Electric Utility Generating Units”
  • November 17: Does not vote on the two aforementioned Resolutions he co-sponsored.
  • October 27: Does not vote on S754 Cybersecurity Information Sharing Act (CISA) of 2015
  • November 5: Does not vote on HR2685 Department of Defense Appropriations Act of 2016

This is just in the last year, 2015. His statement to Iowa voters that he has a 90% attendance record is pure elephant dung as reflected by his voting record just in 2015. But hey, why let the facts get in the way of a good tale; after all, most voters don’t bother to check facts. They see a some-what good looking young man who speaks well and seems likable, so he must be telling the truth, right? Does this seem just a little bit familiar (think 2008)?

In an October 25 CNN interview, he was asked about his voting record, or lack thereof, and his response was one of arrogance.

“A lot of these votes don’t mean anything because the president will veto it,” he answered.

Really, that’s his answer. The president will veto the bills; therefore, why show up?

During the December CNN debate, he attacked Ted Cruz for voting against the National Defense Re-authorization Act – a bill that funds the troops, according to Rubio – because it contained a provision that would allow the federal government to indefinitely detain any American without due process.

– Yet, wait for it… Rubio did not even bother showing up to vote this past year for the NDRA.

Rubio’s response was at the debate, “If you are an American citizen and you decide to join up with ISIS we are not going to read you your Miranda rights…” is another pile of elephant dung and a red herring because all that’s required is for the federal government to deem an American citizen a “terrorist” without proof and then to hold that American indefinitely without due process.

And he fancies himself a Constitutional Conservative – he must be reading Cuba’s Constitution because he surely isn’t reading the U.S. Constitution.

Back to the CNN interview, his justification for missing so many votes is that “Voting is not the only part of the Senate job. I mean, the most important thing a senator does is constituent service. We’re still involved in looking out for Florida’s issues.”

Again, for a man who touts the Constitution, it seems he is in need of a refresher course because as a U.S. Senator, his job is to represent Florida’s interests by showing up to vote on proposed legislation. However, he claims that he’s fully briefed and therefore, it’s all okay.

“I was just there this Tuesday. I got fully briefed and caught up on everything that’s happening in the world. I’m fully aware…. (I have a) staffer assigned to intelligence,” he said in the interview.

Only an elected official can one get away with not showing up to do his job or showing up once a week to get briefed and still have a job. But I digress.

Taking his position to its logical conclusion, if he thinks it’s wasteful to cast a vote because the president will veto it anyway, what will he do should Democrats regain control of the House and Senate and he’s president? Not show up for work because it would be a waste since Congress wouldn’t pass anything he supports?

Moving on to his touted foreign policy experience.

The Conservative Solutions PAC is running an ad that states, “FACT: Marco Rubio’s attended more classified national security briefings this year than any other candidate. TRUTH: (Marco Rubio’s a) recognized foreign policy expert who will keep America safe.”

In other words, because Rubio has attended intelligence briefings, meetings which require no action, he is a foreign policy expert. Ignoring the fact that the ad doesn’t say who considers Rubio a foreign expert – maybe his staffer assigned to intelligence –  just that he is considered a foreign expert Well, let’s consider the claim of his expertise because he’s attended briefings…

Making that claim – that Rubio is a foreign policy expert because he’s attended briefings – is like saying I’m an ace pilot because I attend flight briefings.

Again, all this seems just too familiar.

Now for his record in the Florida House.

He blocked bills that made it out of committees with strong bi-partisan support such as a bill that would have allowed the deportation of up to 5,000 illegal immigrants in prison after they served half their sentence. He also blocked enforcement proposals such as a bill requiring employers to check workers’ status; a bill mandating increased cooperation between local law enforcement and federal agencies; bills that would have penalized farmers and government contractors discovered hiring illegal immigrants; and proposals requiring local police to notify federal authorities after arresting illegal immigrants, and stricter regulations on public benefits for illegal immigrants.

But hey, he played football as a youngster and that taught him a good many things… as he said in an interview in his hometown last year.

His experience is more along the lines of dishing out elephant dung with the hope that voters will accept it by the shovels, and to date, he’s been right.

As voters, it is important to look beyond the fancy rhetoric that rolls off his slick tongue and look at the record upon which he stands, not the record (and principles) he claims to stand upon, because his record clearly indicates that the only principle he subscribes to is the one that gets him elected.

This nation elected another Senator eight years ago with a similar background, who also spoke well and appealed to people’s emotions – let’s not make the same mistake again. Or as the title of this musing states, we don’t need another “mall gift” occupying the White House: pretty on the outside, but empty on the inside.

“The reading in the first stage, where they will receive their whole education, is proposed, as has been said, to be chiefly historical. History by appraising them of the past will enable them to judge of the future; it will avail them of the experiences of other times and other nations; it will qualify them as judges of the actions and designs of men; it will enable them to know ambition under every disguise it may assume; and knowing it, to defeat its views. Thomas Jefferson – Notes on the State of Virginia 1781-1785

 

Cup of Joe

My day begins early and always with a cup of coffee, usually accompanied with the news. I know, the latter is not always (or usually) the best way to start the day because sometimes the news is so distressing, it’s enough to spark the desire to start the day with a glass of wine instead of coffee… and of course, that’s never a good thing.

Which brings me to this morning… and Joe Scarborough. Good ole Joe used to be a U.S. Representative for Northwest Florida and now has his own morning show… praise be, there’s life after politics after all. Why news channels continually flock to has-been politicians to lead “news” shows is an idea I will never understand, but alas, here we are… news anchors replaced with personalities, which brings me to this morning… again.

Sitting in my Northwest Florida home with my cup of coffee, watching Joe interview Mike Huckabee, a Republican presidential candidate. After a somewhat coherent interview, Joe asks Mike Huckabee the following, verbatim:

“Can you do me a favor right now? Cause I’m a Republican and I like to win elections and you win elections by getting people to vote for your party. Can you do something right now, and, and say something nice about Muslim-Americans right now, ah, who are pursuing the American Dream that are law abiding and let them know you want them in our Republican Party, ah, every bit as much as you want Southern Baptist from Northwest Florida in the Republican Party?”

What?! I almost snorted coffee through my nose at the question, but it wasn’t over. Huckabee begins an answer, “Absolutely. Look…” was all he got before Joe cut in with, “Cause I’m so worried that I hear some of the other Republican candidates saying things, acting as it Muslim-Americans are others, are not of one us. They are our brothers and sisters, are they not?”

So now my coffee is through my nose and on my shirt.

Ah, no they are not our brother and sisters. First, let’s just get rid of this whole hyphenated American crap. Either one is an American or they are not… period. There are no hyphenated Americans.

Second, why is the onus on a presidential candidate to say something nice about Muslims? Why is not the onus put on Muslims, American or otherwise, to say something nice about America. The country that affords them to practice the religion of their choice?

Third, why is the implication that non-Muslim Americans have a problem with Muslim Americans. I am not Muslim and I do not have a problem with Muslims, but apparently, there are many Muslims who have a problem with me. I don’t dress, speak or act in accordance with the Koran, and that, to them, is a huge problem. Yes, yes, many Muslims are “peaceful” but until I see the masses of “peaceful” Muslims rise up in opposition to the “radical” or “extremist” Muslims who, according to many, twist the religion, I do not really want to be lectured to about saying something nice about Muslim-Americans.

Now of course, Joe wasn’t directing the question to me personally, but he might as well have been because that’s the implication from him and all his fellow-talking heads, as well as the President and his administration. They all seem to fall over themselves, clamoring to say how much we need to respect Islam and its “peaceful” tenants, while watching Christians’ heads rolling off their shoulders in the Middle East or Americans gunned downed in America. Really? This is the priority?

Seventy four years ago today, we were attacked. President Roosevelt didn’t mince words. The media didn’t mince words. We were attacked and we responded in full force. It may have taken a few months, but on April 18, 1942, Tokyo felt the full wrath of America. Sixteen B-25 bombers took off from the USS Hornet with the mission to drop bombs on Tokyo and other Japan assets. While it didn’t stop the war, it sent a message to Japan that they were not untouchable and we would respond in full force; civilians, military, industry, no one was out of reach of the American military when provoked.

And so today, as I watched and listened to Joe ask such an absurd question, and then listened to the President’s address from the night before, I realized we are doomed to lose this war because we have an administration and media that are more concerned with how Muslims feel than responding in full force to eviscerate the enemy. An enemy who has proclaimed they will see their flag fly over the White House.