Sunday, October 1, 2017

Protest and the 1st Amendment

The "Take a Knee" protest was started in 2106 by Colin Kaepernick as a statement against police violence against minorities. He originally sat during the pre-game National Anthem but, at the suggestion of Green Beret Nate Boyer, changed to kneeling on one knee to continue the protest while still showing respect for the Anthem and the flag.

Here is Kaepernick's statement about his protest:

I am not going to stand up to show pride in a flag for a country that oppresses black people and people of color. To me, this is bigger than football, and it would be selfish on my part to look the other way. There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder.

In September, 2017, at a rally to promote his ill-fated choice in an Alabama special primary, Donald Trump, while ignoring a horrific humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico but then eventually tweeting something about "massive debt" that "must be dealt with", said, in words beneath the office he so often embarrasses, that the NFL should fire any player not standing for the Anthem . He took an oath to protect and serve the Constitution of the United States, yet seems completely ignorant of the very first amendment to the document that guarantees our right of free speech, which has been determined by the U.S. Supreme Court to also include actions. Every war fought for our country has been fought to preserve these rights, and in this situation those rights include the right to stand, or to not stand. We have the right to peacefully protest and it is supposed to be guaranteed by the 1st Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America.

The United States, as a country, was started as a protest against a tyrannical king. "Take a Knee" started as a protest against police violence on minorities but has since evolved into a protest against a president who thinks he is a king -- a king who demands loyalty to Trump but refuses to honor our most sacred document that guarantees everyone the right to protest when a right has not only not been given, but has been and is still being torn away from anyone who doesn't look like the king.You have the right to disagree with the kneeling protesters. The kneeling protesters also have the right to their form of protest. Donald Trump does not have the right to criticize any form of peaceful protest. Yet he does so in a blatant violation of a document the he has sworn to honor and to protect. The outrage should be at our president for desecrating the meaning of the flag and the Anthem.


Sunday, July 2, 2017

The Lies of Donald Trump Since Inauguration to July 17, 2017

Donald Trump's lies since he took office, as compiled by the New York Times:

JAN. 21 “I wasn't a fan of Iraq. I didn't want to go into Iraq.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)

JAN. 21 “A reporter for Time magazine — and I have been on their cover 14 or 15 times. I think we have the all-time record in the history of Time magazine.” (Trump was on the cover 11 times and Nixon appeared 55 times.)

JAN. 23 “Between 3 million and 5 million illegal votes caused me to lose the popular vote.” (There's no evidence of illegal voting.)

JAN. 25 “Now, the audience was the biggest ever. But this crowd was massive. Look how far back it goes. This crowd was massive.” (Official aerial photos show Obama's 2009 inauguration was much more heavily attended.)

JAN. 25 “Take a look at the Pew reports (which show voter fraud.)” (The report never mentioned voter fraud.)

JAN. 25 “You had millions of people that now aren't insured anymore.” (The real number is less than 1 million, according to the Urban Institute.)

JAN. 25 “So, look, when President Obama was there two weeks ago making a speech, very nice speech. Two people were shot and killed during his speech. You can't have that.” (There were no gun homicide victims in Chicago that day.)

JAN. 26 “We've taken in tens of thousands of people. We know nothing about them. They can say they vet them. They didn't vet them. They have no papers. How can you vet somebody when you don't know anything about them and you have no papers? How do you vet them? You can't.” (Vetting lasts up to two years.)

JAN. 26 “I cut off hundreds of millions of dollars off one particular plane, hundreds of millions of dollars in a short period of time. It wasn't like I spent, like, weeks, hours, less than hours, and many, many hundreds of millions of dollars. And the plane's going to be better.” (Most of the cuts were already planned.)

JAN. 28 “Thr coverage about me in the @nytimes and the @washingtonpost gas been so false and angry that the times actually apologized to its dwindling subscribers and readers.” (It never apologized.)

JAN. 29 “The Cuban-Americans, I got 84 percent of that vote.” (There is no support for this.)

JAN. 30 “Only 109 people out of 325,000 were detained and held for questioning. Big problems at airports were caused by Delta computer outage” (At least 746 people were detained and processed, and the Delta outage happened two days.)

FEB. 3 “Professional anarchists, thugs and paid protesters are proving the point of the millions of people who voted to MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN!” (There is no evidence of paid protesters.)

FEB. 4 “After being forced to apologize for its bad and inaccurate coverage of me after winning the election, the FAKE NEWS @nytimes is still lost!” (It never apologized.)

FEB. 5 “We had 109 people out of hundreds of thousands of travelers and all we did was vet those people very, very carefully.” (About 60,000 people were affected.)

FEB. 6 “I have already saved more than $700 million when I got involved in the negotiation on the F-35.”(Much of the price drop was projected before Trump took office.)

FEB. 6 “It's gotten to a point where it is not even being reported. And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it.” (Terrorism has been reported on, often in detail.)

FEB. 6 “The failing @nytimes was forced to apologize to its subscribers for the poor reporting it did on my election win. Now they are worse!” (It didn't apologize.)

FEB. 6 “And the previous administration allowed it to happen because we shouldn't have been in Iraq, but we shouldn't have gotten out the way we got out. It created a vacuum, ISIS was formed.” (ISIS has existed since 2004.)

FEB. 7 “And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years.” (It was higher in the 1980s and '90s.)

FEB. 7 “I saved more than $600 million. I got involved in negotiation on a fighter jet, the F-35.” (The Defense Department projected this price drop before Trump took office.)

FEB. 9 “Chris Cuomo, in his interview with Sen. Blumenthal, never asked him about his long-term lie about his brave ‘service’ in Vietnam. FAKE NEWS!” (It was part of Cuomo's first question.)

FEB. 9 Sen. Richard Blumenthal “now misrepresents what Judge Gorsuch told him?” (The Gorsuch comments were later corroborated.)

FEB. 10 “I don’t know about it. I haven’t seen it. What report is that?” (Trump knew about Flynn's actions for weeks.)

FEB. 12 “Just leaving Florida. Big crowds of enthusiastic supporters lining the road that the FAKE NEWS media refuses to mention. Very dishonest!” (The media did cover it.)

FEB. 16 “We got 306 because people came out and voted like they've never seen before so that's the way it goes. I guess it was the biggest Electoral College win since Ronald Reagan.” (George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama all won bigger margins in the Electoral College.)

FEB. 16 “That’s the other thing that was wrong with the travel ban. You had Delta with a massive problem with their computer system at the airports.” (Delta's problems happened two days later.)

FEB. 16 “Walmart announced it will create 10,000 jobs in the United States just this year because of our various plans and initiatives.” (The jobs are a result of its investment plans announced in October 2016.)

FEB. 16 “When WikiLeaks, which I had nothing to do with, comes out and happens to give, they’re not giving classified information.” (Not always. They have released classified information in the past.)

FEB. 16 “We had a very smooth rollout of the travel ban. But we had a bad court. Got a bad decision.” (The rollout was chaotic.)

FEB. 16 “They’re giving stuff — what was said at an office about Hillary cheating on the debates. Which, by the way, nobody mentions. Nobody mentions that Hillary received the questions to the debates.” (It was widely covered.)

FEB. 18 “And there was no way to vet those people. There was no documentation. There was no nothing.” (Refugees receive multiple background checks, taking up to two years.)

FEB. 18 “You look at what's happening in Germany, you look at what's happening last night in Sweden. Sweden, who would believe this?” (Trump implied there was a terror attack in Sweden, but there was no such attack.)

FEB. 24 “By the way, you folks are in here — this place is packed, there are lines that go back six blocks.” (There was no evidence of long lines.)

FEB. 24 “ICE came and endorsed me.” (Only its union did.)

FEB. 24 “Obamacare covers very few people — and remember, deduct from the number all of the people that had great health care that they loved that was taken away from them — it was taken away from them.” (Obamacare increased coverage by a net of about 20 million.)

FEB. 27 “Since Obamacare went into effect, nearly half of the insurers are stopped and have stopped from participating in the Obamacare exchanges.” (Many fewer pulled out.)

FEB. 27 “On one plane, on a small order of one plane, I saved $725 million. And I would say I devoted about, if I added it up, all those calls, probably about an hour. So I think that might be my highest and best use.” (Much of the price cut was already projected.)

FEB. 28 “And now, based on our very strong and frank discussions, they are beginning to do just that.” (NATO countries agreed to meet defense spending requirements in 2014.)

FEB. 28 “The E.P.A.’s regulators were putting people out of jobs by the hundreds of thousands.”(There's no evidence that the Waters of the United States rule caused severe job losses.)

FEB. 28 “We have begun to drain the swamp of government corruption by imposing a five-year ban on lobbying by executive branch officials.” (They can't lobby their former agency but can still become lobbyists.)

MARCH 3 “It is so pathetic that the Dems have still not approved my full Cabinet.” (Paperwork for the last two candidates was still not submitted to the Senate.)

MARCH 4 “Terrible! Just found out that Obama had my ‘wires tapped’ in Trump Tower just before the victory. Nothing found. This is McCarthyism!” (There's no evidence of a wiretap.)

MARCH 4 “How low has President Obama gone to tapp my phones during the very sacred election process. This is Nixon/Watergate. Bad (or sick) guy!” (There's no evidence of a wiretap.)

MARCH 7 “122 vicious prisoners, released by the Obama Administration from Gitmo, have returned to the battlefield. Just another terrible decision!” (113 of them were released by President George W. Bush.)

MARCH 13 “I saved a lot of money on those jets, didn't I? Did I do a good job? More than $725 million on them.”(Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)

MARCH 13 “First of all, it covers very few people.” (About 20 million people gained insurance under Obamacare.)

MARCH 15 “On the airplanes, I saved $725 million. Probably took me a half an hour if you added up all of the times.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)

MARCH 17 “I was in Tennessee — I was just telling the folks — and half of the state has no insurance company, and the other half is going to lose the insurance company.” (There's at least one insurer in every Tennessee county.)

MARCH 20 “With just one negotiation on one set of airplanes, I saved the taxpayers of our country over $700 million.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)

MARCH 21 “To save taxpayer dollars, I’ve already begun negotiating better contracts for the federal government — saving over $700 million on just one set of airplanes of which there are many sets.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)

MARCH 22 “I make the statement, everyone goes crazy. The next day they have a massive riot, and death, and problems.” (Riots in Sweden broke out two days later and there were no deaths.)

MARCH 22 “NATO, obsolete, because it doesn’t cover terrorism. They fixed that.” (It has fought terrorism since the 1980s.)

MARCH 22 “Well, now, if you take a look at the votes, when I say that, I mean mostly they register wrong — in other words, for the votes, they register incorrectly and/or illegally. And they then vote. You have tremendous numbers of people.” (There's no evidence of widespread voter fraud.)

MARCH 29 “Remember when the failing @nytimes apologized to its subscribers, right after the election, because their coverage was so wrong. Now worse!” (It didn't apologize.)

MARCH 31 “We have a lot of plants going up now in Michigan that were never going to be there if I — if I didn’t win this election, those plants would never even think about going back. They were gone.” (These investments were already planned.)

APRIL 2 “And I was totally opposed to the war in the Middle East which I think finally has been proven, people tried very hard to say I wasn’t but you’ve seen that it is now improving.” (He was for an invasion before he was against it.)

APRIL 2 “Now, my last tweet — you know, the one that you are talking about, perhaps — was the one about being, in quotes, wiretapped, meaning surveilled. Guess what, it is turning out to be true.” (There is still no evidence.)

APRIL 5 “You have many states coming up where they’re going to have no insurance company. O.K.? It’s already happened in Tennessee. It’s happening in Kentucky. Tennessee only has half coverage. Half the state is gone. They left.” (Every marketplace region in Tennessee had at least one insurer.)

APRIL 6 “If you look at the kind of cost-cutting we’ve been able to achieve with the military and at the same time ordering vast amounts of equipment — saved hundreds of millions of dollars on airplanes, and really billions, because if you take that out over a period of years it’s many billions of dollars — I think we’ve had a tremendous success.” (Much of the price cuts were already projected.)

APRIL 11 “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late. I had already beaten all the senators and all the governors, and I didn’t know Steve.” (He knew Steve Bannon since 2011.)

APRIL 12 “You can't do it faster, because they're obstructing. They're obstructionists. So I have people — hundreds of people that we're trying to get through. I mean you have — you see the backlog. We can't get them through.” (At this point, he had not nominated anyone for hundreds of positions.)

APRIL 12 “The New York Times said the word wiretapped in the headline of the first edition. Then they took it out of there fast when they realized.” (There were two headlines, but neither were altered.)

APRIL 12 “The secretary general and I had a productive discussion about what more NATO can do in the fight against terrorism. I complained about that a long time ago and they made a change, and now they do fight terrorism.” (NATO has been engaged in counterterrorism efforts since the 1980s.)

APRIL 12 “Mosul was supposed to last for a week and now they’ve been fighting it for many months and so many more people died.” (The campaign was expected to take months.)

APRIL 16 “Someone should look into who paid for the small organized rallies yesterday. The election is over!” (There's no evidence of paid protesters.)

APRIL 18 “The fake media goes, ‘Donald Trump changed his stance on China.’ I haven’t changed my stance.”(He did.)

APRIL 21 “On 90 planes I saved $725 million. It's actually a little bit more than that, but it's $725 million.” (Much of the price cuts were already projected.)

APRIL 21 “When WikiLeaks came out … never heard of WikiLeaks, never heard of it.” (He criticized it as early as 2010.)

APRIL 27 “I want to help our miners while the Democrats are blocking their healthcare.” (The bill to extend health benefits for certain coal miners was introduced by a Democrat and was co-sponsored by mostly Democrats.)

APRIL 28 “The trade deficit with Mexico is close to $70 billion, even with Canada it’s $17 billion trade deficit with Canada.” (The U.S. had an $8.1 billion trade surplus, not deficit, with Canada in 2016.)

APRIL 28 “She's running against someone who's going to raise your taxes to the sky, destroy your health care, and he's for open borders — lots of crime.” (Those are not Jon Ossoff's positions.)

APRIL 28 “The F-35 fighter jet program — it was way over budget. I’ve saved $725 million plus, just by getting involved in the negotiation.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)

APRIL 29 “They're incompetent, dishonest people who after an election had to apologize because they covered it, us, me, but all of us, they covered it so badly that they felt they were forced to apologize because their predictions were so bad.” (The Times did not apologize.)

APRIL 29 “As you know, I've been a big critic of China, and I've been talking about currency manipulation for a long time. But I have to tell you that during the election, number one, they stopped.” (China stopped years ago.)

APRIL 29 “I've already saved more than $725 million on a simple order of F-35 planes. I got involved in the negotiation.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)

APRIL 29 “We're also getting NATO countries to finally step up and contribute their fair share. They've begun to increase their contributions by billions of dollars, but we are not going to be satisfied until everyone pays what they owe.” (The deal was struck in 2014.)

APRIL 29 “When they talk about currency manipulation, and I did say I would call China, if they were, a currency manipulator, early in my tenure. And then I get there. Number one, they — as soon as I got elected, they stopped.” (China stopped in 2014.)

APRIL 29 “I was negotiating to reduce the price of the big fighter jet contract, the F-35, which was totally out of control. I will save billions and billions and billions of dollars.” (Most of the cuts were planned before Trump.)

APRIL 29 “I think our side's been proven very strongly. And everybody's talking about it.” (There's still no evidence Trump's phones were tapped.)

MAY 1 “Well, we are protecting pre-existing conditions. And it'll be every good — bit as good on pre-existing conditions as Obamacare.” (The bill weakens protections for people with pre-existing conditions.)

MAY 1 “The F-35 fighter jet — I saved — I got involved in the negotiation. It's 2,500 jets. I negotiated for 90 planes, lot 10. I got $725 million off the price.” (Much of the price cuts were planned before Trump.)

MAY 1 “First of all, since I started running, they haven't increased their — you know, they have not manipulated their currency. I think that was out of respect to me and the campaign.” (China stopped years ago.)

MAY 2 “I love buying those planes at a reduced price. I have been really — I have cut billions — I have to tell you this, and they can check, right, Martha? I have cut billions and billions of dollars off plane contracts sitting here.” (Much of the cost cuts were planned before Trump.)

MAY 4 “Number two, they’re actually not a currency [manipulator]. You know, since I’ve been talking about currency manipulation with respect to them and other countries, they stopped.” (China stopped years ago.)

MAY 4 “We’re the highest-taxed nation in the world.” (We're not.)

MAY 4 “Nobody cares about my tax return except for the reporters.” (Polls show most Americans do care.)

MAY 8 “You know we’ve gotten billions of dollars more in NATO than we’re getting. All because of me.” (The deal was struck in 2014.)

MAY 8 “But when I did his show, which by the way was very highly rated. It was high — highest rating. The highest rating he’s ever had.” (Colbert's “Late Show” debut had nearly two million more viewers.)

MAY 8 “Director Clapper reiterated what everybody, including the fake media already knows- there is ‘no evidence’ of collusion w/ Russia and Trump.” (Clapper only said he wasn't aware of an investigation.)

MAY 12 “Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election.” (The F.B.I. was investigating before the election.)

MAY 12 “When James Clapper himself, and virtually everyone else with knowledge of the witch hunt, says there is no collusion, when does it end?” (Clapper said he wouldn't have been told of an investigation into collusion.)

MAY 13 “I'm cutting the price of airplanes with Lockheed.” (The cost cuts were planned before he became president.)

MAY 26 “Just arrived in Italy for the G7. Trip has been very successful. We made and saved the USA many billions of dollars and millions of jobs.” (He's referencing an arms deal that's not enacted and other apparent deals that weren't announced on the trip.)

JUNE 1 “China will be allowed to build hundreds of additional coal plants. So, we can’t build the plants, but they can, according to this agreement. India will be allowed to double its coal production by 2020.” (The agreement doesn’t allow or disallow building coal plants.)

JUNE 1 “I’ve just returned from a trip overseas where we concluded nearly $350 billion of military and economic development for the United States, creating hundreds of thousands of jobs.” (Trump’s figures are inflated and premature.)

JUNE 4 “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’” (The mayor was specifically talking about the enlarged police presence on the streets.)

JUNE 5 “The Justice Dept. should have stayed with the original Travel Ban, not the watered down, politically correct version they submitted to S.C.” (Trump signed this version of the travel ban, not the Justice Department.)

JUNE 21 “They all say it's 'nonbinding.' Like hell it's nonbinding.” (The Paris climate agreement is nonbinding — and Trump said so in his speech announcing the withdrawal.)

JUNE 21 “Right now, we are one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.” (We're not.)

JUNE 21 “You have a gang called MS-13. ... We are moving them out of the country by the thousands, by the thousands.” (The real number of deportations is smaller.) 

JUNE 21 “Your insurance companies have all fled the state of Iowa.” (They haven't.) 

JUNE 21 “If [farmers] have a puddle in the middle of their field ... it's considered a lake and you can't touch it. ... We got rid of that one, too, OK?” (The Obama environmental rule to limit pollution in the country’s waters explicitly excludes puddles.) 

JUNE 21 “Gary Cohn just paid $200 million in tax in order to take this job, by the way.” (Cohn sold Goldman Sachs stock worth $220 million.)

JUNE 21 “We’re 5 and 0.” (Republicans have won four special elections this year, while a Democrat won one.) 

JUNE 22 “Former Homeland Security Advisor Jeh Johnson is latest top intelligence official to state there was no grand scheme between Trump & Russia.” (Johnson, who had a different title, didn't say that.) 

JUNE 23 “We are 5 and 0 ... in these special elections.” (Republicans have won four special elections this year, while a Democrat won one.)

JUNE 27 “Ratings way down!” (CNN's ratings were at a five-year high at the time.)

JUNE 28 “Democrats purposely misstated Medicaid under new Senate bill — actually goes up.” (Senate bill would have cut the program deeply.) 

JUNE 29 “General Kelly and his whole group — they’ve gotten rid of 6,000 so far.” (The real number of gang members deported is smaller.)

JULY 6 “As a result of this insistence, billions of dollars more have begun to pour into NATO.” (NATO countries agreed to meet defense spending requirements in 2014.)

JULY 17 “We’ve signed more bills — and I’m talking about through the legislature — than any president, ever.” (Clinton, Carter, Truman and F.D.R. had signed more at the same point.)

The list has been verified. Donald Trump has a serious problem with the truth.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Protect Your Grandchild's Mother Against Donald Trump

Some Republican contributors have finally realized that Donald Trump is unfit for any public office and are cutting their losses.

- David Humphreys, after donating $2.5 million since 2012, said, "At some point, you have to look in the mirror and recognize that you cannot possibly justify support for Trump to your children — especially your daughters.”

- Bruce Kovner donated $2.7 million since 2012 wrote of Trump, "He is a dangerous demagogue completely unsuited to the responsibilities of a United States president.... Even for loyalists, there is a line beyond which the obvious moral failings of a candidate are impossible to disregard.... That line has been clearly breached.”

- William Oberndorf donated more than $3 million since 2102 said, "The R.N.C. long ago should have cut ties with Donald Trump.... Reince should be fired and replaced with someone who has the competence and leadership skills to rebuild the R.N.C.”

- Al Hoffman, a former RNC finance chairman and donor said, "We’re headed for destruction.... I just hope we can find a group of conservatives and moderates who are rational thinkers to re-establish the party."

- Mark DeMoss, a fundraiser for Mitt Romney, said about Trump's campaign, "I’m very distraught about it.... I just think it’s the most shallow, petty, immature presidential race of my lifetime. I’m 54… I’m not sure how we got here and I’m not sure where we go from here, either.... But I wouldn’t give a dollar to the RNC if it was a joint funding project with the Trump campaign."

Newspapers that have typically endorsed Republican candidates have strongly endorsed Clinton and denounced Trump as unfit. Two notable papers are the Arizona Republic and a member of the Wall Street Journal's editorial board.

To Trump supporters, I can only say this. Your candidate is insane, and I mean no disrespect to people suffering from mental illnesses. He regularly incites violence, has admitted to sexually assaulting women, lies incessantly, and is now making excuses because of his own incompetencies for his inevitable defeat on November 8th .

My recommendations are simple. Stop watching Fox "News", and if you feel that you must vote for Trump, start making excuses now for how you will answer your grandchildren when they ask why you supported someone you wouldn't trust with their mother.

John L. Ferri

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

A summary of the every presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Sept. 26, 2016:

John L. Ferri
Towanda, PA

Trump and the GOP - reply to Bruce L. Fowler

Bruce Fowler's letter (Review, Sept. 23) is full of misconceptions, diversions, and deceptions from lies spread by the GOP, Fox "News" and Donald Trump. Without other sources, Mr. Fowler doesn't have a chance to come to valid conclusions on any of the issues he presented. His letter is vaguely written to define "deplorables" and to avoid any direct accusations, but his intent is to confuse and obfuscate, like any true Trump follower.

(My numbering corresponds to Fowler's list.)

1. He alludes to the Benghazi attack and implies Hillary Clinton is to blame. Apparently, he missed the years of GOP investigations that wasted $7 million and found that there was no evidence of wrongdoing by either Hillary Clinton or Obama. However, the GOP was responsible for cutting funding that would have further secured foreign installations, including the Benghazi compound.

2. He mentions lying under oath without specifics but probably refers to the FBI investigation into Clinton's email usage while she was Secretary of State. During the GOP House investigation, FBI director James Comey, when asked by the committee if Clinton broke any laws, answered, "My judgement is that she did not." He also said, "We have no basis to conclude she lied to the FBI."

3. He alludes to the tarmac meeting by Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Bill Clinton. Accidental or not, Lynch went with the recommendation of the FBI Director Comey who concluded that no charges be brought against Clinton because no laws were broken.

4. Fowler hints that the Clinton Foundation is crooked. Records show that the Clinton Foundation never used $20,000 to buy a six foot painting of Trump for Trump, nor has it spent $258,000 to cover expenses from legal challenges against Trump. The Clinton Foundation also didn't spend $12,000 to buy an autographed Tim Tebow helmet for Trump. But records show that the Trump Foundation did.

5. Fowler mentions something about someone jeopardizing national security, but I can only come up with Donald Trump publicly inviting the Russians to hack into U.S. government computers.

6. Fowler backhandedly criticizes Colin Kaepernick for sitting or kneeling during the pregame National Anthem to protest "a country that oppresses black people and people of color."  Kaepernick also said, "There are bodies in the street and people getting paid leave and getting away with murder." Fowler doesn't like silent protests by black people and probably doesn't like public protests by black people either. He probably is just fine with white armed "sovereign citizen" crazies illegally occupying a national wildlife sanctuary though.

7. Fowler alludes to his dislike about prayer being banned in school and public places. It is not. Anyone can pray silently anywhere they please. The Bible also commands that prayer be kept private. What Fowler really wants is for the prayers of his religion to be forced on others, and the prayers of other religions to be kept silent or out of the country.

He says our country is in bad shape because Trump and the GOP says it is. The GOP and Trump want you to be afraid and they want you to believe that they are the only ones that can save us. So they fabricate non-existent dangers. Voter fraud (doesn't exist), terrorism (9/11 happened during the Bush years), immigration (our vetting process is long and detailed), the economy (it improved under Obama), unemployment (it went down under Obama.) Democratic policies that have worked for Obama will continue to work for Clinton even with continued GOP obstruction. Trump's policies are irrational, dangerous, and change from day to day.

For the country in general, the murder rate is down. Our cities are as safe as they have ever been. We're becoming less racist, less sexist, and more tolerant of diversity. And this drives Republicans crazy because it destroys their reason for existing. Hence, they lie about it to rally their base. 

Fowler's definitions of deplorable are accurate and describe Trump and his followers perfectly. And Mr. Fowler doesn't have to worry. I would never defile liberals by calling him one.

John L. Ferri
Towanda, PA

Sunday, September 25, 2016

GOP and Trump - Another Reply to John Fedorchak

One tactic used by the GOP is the straw man fallacy whereby one misrepresents another's position, then argues against the misrepresented position. An old example is when the GOP claimed that Al Gore said that he invented the internet. Gore was instrumental in the legislation that allowed the creation of the internet, but he never claimed to have invented it. 

John Fedorchak used the straw man fallacy against Gore (why always Gore?) in his Review letter of Sept. 21 where he misrepresented the claims made in Gore's 2006 documentary about global warming, An Inconvenient Truth.  Most of Gore's predictions were accurate, a few probably premature (Kilimanjaro ice cover), but overall the average global temperature has and will continue to rise, sea levels have risen and will continue to rise, and the ice minimum at the north pole has shrunk and will continue to shrink. The south pole is gaining less ice each year and will lose ice in the future. Republicans and Trump deny global warming because they are being funded to deny it by fossil fuel producers. John Fedorchak denies it because he blindly swallows anything the GOP, Trump, or Fox "News" puts forth.

Another tactic used by the GOP is transference of blame. Here, a racist Trump claims that Hillary Clinton is a racist, or Trump claiming that Obama created ISIS when ISIS was actually created by the void left in Iraq by Bush's war of choice. John uses the blame transference tactic by spewing a series of locations about which the GOP has tried to create conspiracies over several decades but has failed. The only conspiracies are in the minds of the GOP and Trump, and they waste taxpayer money trying to prove them. John then attempts to pass his inability to provide specific evidence against my arguments as questionable arguments on my part.

The GOP and Trump are fond of the ad hominem fallacy whereby one attacks the person rather than the argument. When it was rumoured that George H.W. Bush would be voting for Hillary Clinton, the Trump campaign attributed it to his age, implying mental deficiency. To list Trump's use of ad hominem attacks would require several volumes as would those of Fox "News." John's childish use of "a battle of wits with an unarmed person" is so clichéd that trying to find the first use of the phrase brought up Shakespeare among many others. I've read some Shakespeare, and, John, you're no Shakespeare.

To divert attention from why Trump won't release his taxes or his medical records, the GOP went ballistic over Hillary's health and fabricated a major email scandal even though investigations have found nothing. When Trump bribed an attorney general, or misused his family foundation for personal gain, the GOP said, as John would say, "look, there's a squirrel."

John's citations to disprove global warming are weak at best. Larry Bell is a professor of architecture who has never published a climate-related article in a peer-reviewed climate journal. Dr. Roy Spencer is a PhD meteorologist who publishes climate related papers mainly for Fox "News", the WSJ, Congressional staffers, and blogs. When confronted by NASA climatologist Gavin Schmidt about one of his papers, Spencer agreed that his work could not disprove anthropogenic global warming. Climate scientists don't take Spencer seriously because "he's been wrong too many times."

John references El Niño, which is a periodic warming of the surface of the eastern Pacific Ocean. Consensus among climate scientists is that warmer oceans strengthen an El Niño event which then may exacerbate global warming during the event, which then may exacerbate the next El Niño. Rinse and repeat. Overall, the Earth's average temperature rises because of the release of carbon dioxide from fossil fuel use through human activity.

John concludes with, "Do not blindly accept global warming as fact." I agree. Don't accept anything blindly. Get the facts from reliable sources. Don't believe anything on Fox "News" and ignore anything Donald Trump says.

An assessment of Donald Trump was written in the New York Observer, whose owner and publisher is Jared Kushner, who is married to Ivanka Trump, the daughter of Donald Trump and his first wife, Ivana. A few excerpts follow: Donald Trump is a liar.... He has no relationship to the truth.... Each and every one of Trump’s surrogates are liars—morally vapid validators, town criers doing the dirty work of the village idiot.... This campaign is a human stain.... His is a cruel and despicable view of American life.

John L. Ferri

Thursday, September 22, 2016

GOP and Trump - Response to Warren Roberts

My recommendation to Warren Roberts (Review, Sept. 20) is the same as I gave to John Fedorchak - stop watching Fox "News". Polls have shown that Fox "News" viewers are more uninformed than people who don't watch any news. As shown recently by the ouster of Roger Ailes because of decades of disgusting behavior toward women, and Fox's apology and $20 million payment to Gretchen Carlson, the network shouldn't be viewed by decent people interested in civil behavior toward women and unbiased reporting.

Another recommendation to Roberts is to learn how amendments to our Constitution are added or removed. Briefly, each house of Congress must pass the proposed amendment by 2/3 vote. Then 3/4 of all state legislatures must approve the amendment. Neither president nor the U.S. Supreme Court are involved.

Robert's mentions Christian bashing by progressives. He should be more concerned about Muslim and minority bashing by conservatives.

He mentions the economics of another Clinton presidency. Bill Clinton's presidency was an overwhelming economic success. He left a budget surplus that George Bush blew on tax cuts for the rich and a devastating war-of-choice that resulted in over 4000 dead and countless wounded American soldiers.

Trump or any Republican president still chant the mantra of trickle-down economics that hasn't worked - ever. Tax cuts for the rich don't create jobs. When the masses have well paying jobs, they spend and buy stuff. This increases demand and creates new demands, giving the rich the opportunity to fulfill the demand by building and selling products. Henry Ford realized this when he produced cars. He realized that his workers are also potential customers. This, somehow, escapes modern Republicans.

Voter fraud is a Republican myth that the GOP keeps repeating and repeating. GOP politicians have been documented saying that there is essentially no voter fraud, and their goal is to use the false claims to suppress votes for non-GOP voting poor and minorities. The GOP can't win a fair and open contest. They need to cheat to win.

Roberts also wrote that a "Gallup poll reveals that 70 percent of the population believe that households are more safe with a firearm that without." He may be correct about what these people believe, but what they believe is wrong. Recent studies show that increased gun ownership results is increased gun violence, not less.

Stop watching Fox "News" and get your head out of the GOP bubble. Learn the facts.

John L. Ferri
Towanda, PA