Seventy Five Years Ago Today…

At dawn on December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor In Hawaii.

Anxious to maintain their military and economic power in the region the Japanese planned to cripple the U.S. fleet which would then allow them to attack the Philippines and Indo-China without opposition and acquire the raw materials they needed to maintain their position.

Several ships were sunk or damaged, the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized, and the U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed. More than 2,300 Americans died in the attack.

The next day President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress, which declared war against Japan, and the United States officially entered World War II. The Japanese had no idea they were awakening a sleeping giant. December 7th, 1941 truly was a date which would live in infamy.

James Bradley, whose father was one of those who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, has studied the war and the reason Japan attacked us in the first place.

In a secret presidential cable to Tokyo, in July 1905, Roosevelt approved the Japanese annexation of Korea and agreed to an “understanding or alliance” among Japan, the United States and Britain “as if the United States were under treaty obligations.” The “as if” was key: Congress was much less interested in North Asia than Roosevelt was, so he came to his agreement with Japan in secret, an unconstitutional act.

Bradley’s op-ed in the New York Times is an excellent read for anyone who wants to know the real reason that Japan decided to attack us the way they did.

Take a moment today to remember all of those who died on that December morning in 1941.

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Wise Up People!

Are you fed up with the choices you have this year as we ready ourselves to see who becomes our next President of the United States? The whole “two-party” system is a farce, and if you do not believe me, listen to the experienced words of our first President, George Washington:

I have already intimated to you the danger of parties in the State, with particular reference to the founding of them on geographical discriminations. Let me now take a more comprehensive view, and warn you in the most solemn manner against the baneful effects of the spirit of party generally.

This spirit, unfortunately, is inseparable from our nature, having its root in the strongest passions of the human mind. It exists under different shapes in all governments, more or less stifled, controlled, or repressed; but, in those of the popular form, it is seen in its greatest rankness, and is truly their worst enemy.

The alternate domination of one faction over another, sharpened by the spirit of revenge, natural to party dissension, which in different ages and countries has perpetrated the most horrid enormities, is itself a frightful despotism. But this leads at length to a more formal and permanent despotism. The disorders and miseries which result gradually incline the minds of men to seek security and repose in the absolute power of an individual; and sooner or later the chief of some prevailing faction, more able or more fortunate than his competitors, turns this disposition to the purposes of his own elevation, on the ruins of public liberty.

Without looking forward to an extremity of this kind (which nevertheless ought not to be entirely out of sight), the common and continual mischiefs of the spirit of party are sufficient to make it the interest and duty of a wise people to discourage and restrain it.

It serves always to distract the public councils and enfeeble the public administration. It agitates the community with ill-founded jealousies and false alarms, kindles the animosity of one part against another, foments occasionally riot and insurrection. It opens the door to foreign influence and corruption, which finds a facilitated access to the government itself through the channels of party passions. Thus the policy and the will of one country are subjected to the policy and will of another.

There is an opinion that parties in free countries are useful checks upon the administration of the government and serve to keep alive the spirit of liberty. This within certain limits is probably true; and in governments of a monarchical cast, patriotism may look with indulgence, if not with favor, upon the spirit of party. But in those of the popular character, in governments purely elective, it is a spirit not to be encouraged. From their natural tendency, it is certain there will always be enough of that spirit for every salutary purpose. And there being constant danger of excess, the effort ought to be by force of public opinion, to mitigate and assuage it. A fire not to be quenched, it demands a uniform vigilance to prevent its bursting into a flame, lest, instead of warming, it should consume.

In order for things to change, we have to be that change. Elections will not get better unless we step up and insist on making things better. One way to do that is to increase voting for third (and fourth and fifth) party candidates, so we balance the field and eliminate the power and corruption of the two main parties that take power and control for granted because they do not think we will ever rise up. It’s time people. Wise up, and rise up!

You can read more of George Washington’s Farewell Address from 1796 at the Avalon Project.

We Are Expected To Do Better!

People are touting Donald Trump for President by linking to a blog written by Joseph Botts. The title of the blog entry is “Honestly, Why Would Anyone Vote For Trump”. The author lists 10 reasons why he is voting for Trump (Botts, 2016), so I thought I would take a look at those reasons to see how my own opinion measures up.

The first reason is Trump’s resume, where Botts says, “Of everyone running for president, Trump is the only one who has ever employed anyone”. Well, that is not true. Gary Johnson started a handyman business in his junior year of college and built it into a 1,000 employee construction firm (Stein, 2012). Sure, that business was not on the “scale” of Donald Trump, but Johnson never filed bankruptcy once, let alone four times like Trump (Carroll, 2015), to save his business.

The second reason listed is Donald Trump’s character. Say what? Have people forgotten the way he treated Megyn Kelly (Thompson, 2016), let alone the comments he made about nearly all of his opponents during the primary? Yeah, I will agree here, Donald Trump is definitely a character, so much so that he would have been the guy my parents told me to avoid because he would be a bad influence on my own character.

Reason #3, is his success. Honestly, I will give him this one. Donald Trump is better than President Obama and Hillary Clinton on re-writing history, just search YouTube for all of the comments he made on air during the primary, if you can still find them.

The fourth reason is that he is a great negotiator. I will give him this one too. It is no secret that Trump is great at negotiations. Four bankruptcies (Carroll, 2015) and his inane ability to convince the media to play lap dog should have you convinced of his ability to negotiate! But I digress…

Reason #5, is that Trump is a nationalist, not a globalist. The author goes on to state that Trump believes that our country comes first. Sorry, I do not care which side of the aisle you find yourself, but EVERY candidate would make this same claim. They may not approach it the same way, ie: building a wall across our entire southern border and alienating other countries while touting “nationalist” ideas. Fidel Castro, Augusto Pinochet, Slobodan Milosevic, Francisco Franco, Benito Mussolini, Chiang Kai-shek, and Ho Chi Minh were all nationalists too (Wikipedia, 2016), and don’t forget that famous guy from Germany during World War II who shall not be named because referencing him is just too blasé. Thank you, but no thank you, I do not think being a nationalist is a plus that should be used to garner my support for a candidate.

The sixth reason lists Trumps great insincts. The author lists his prediction of the rise of Osama bin Laden and his opposition to the war in Iraq. Oh, and he mentions that Trump “got out of the gaming industry before it crashed”. Well, that may be true but not before some trial and error since three of the four bankruptcies included The Taj Mahal Casino in 1991, Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts in 2004, and Trump Entertainment Resorts (formerly Trump Hotels and Casinos Resorts) in 2009 (Carroll, 2015). Apparently Donald Trump’s instincts only kick in after he has had several warnings, and real life experiences, that provide the information he needs before those darned instincts begin to kick in.

Number seven makes me laugh. “He is a natural leader”. “He is respected internationally as well as in our nation”. “He oozes leadership”. Really? French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said that Trump stokes hatred. London Mayor Boris Johnson says, “Donald Trump’s ill-informed comments are complete and utter nonsense”. Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the President of Turkey, said that Trump would have difficulty cultivating successful relationships with other countries because of his rhetoric. Former British Prime Minister David Cameron critized Trump for his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States saying his remarks were divisive, stupid, and wrong. Even Pope Francis said, “A person who thinks only about building walls, wherever they may be, and not building bridges, is not Christian” (Bukszpan, 2016). These comments are from some of our strongest allies, just imagine how other international leaders would show him their respect! How in the world will The Donald ooze leadership and earn respect from abroad if he is already offending our closest allies?

The eighth reason is Trump’s ability to be a persuader and a great communicator. The author states that Trump completely understands the media and “built the most successful reality show in the history of television”. Apparently the author of this blog has not heard of Survivor, The Real World, American Idol, The Bachelor, Project Runway, The Amazing Race, Real Housewives, Jersey Shore, The Biggest Loser, Hell’s Kitchen, or Top Chef. Most “top reality show” sources list The Real World, Survivor, Big Brother, American Idol and The Amazing Race in their top spots, but ironically, The Apprentice (you know, the most successful reality show in the history of television) is 84th on IMDB’s list of the most popular reality television shows (IMDB, 2016) and 34th at Complex (Gruttadaro, Reese, Barone, Aquino, & Sheldon, 2014), The Celebrity Apprentice is ranked 96th at tv.com (TV.COM, 2016). If being #34, #84, or #96 are “successful” rankings then Donald Trump must truly be a great persuader because the author of the blog is convinced that The Apprentice was the most successful reality show ever.

The author lists his ninth reason for supporting Donald Trump as “I have studied him”. Well, so have I, but I chose not to wear the rose-colored glasses when I was looking at Trumps past, his record, his own words, and more importantly, his own actions. The author says Trump is “the real deal”. Many people thought the same thing about President Obama. Years ago I wrote extensively about Mr. Obama’s forked tongue and the words I wrote about Mr. Obama before he became President are still true today. It seems that Mr. Trump comes from the same lineage of forked-tongue human beings that honestly believe their own words no matter how many times they have contradicted themselves.

Finally, number ten. What motivates Donald Trump? His ego. I agree with the author when he states that Trump’s legacy is important to him, but I disagree with him when he says Trump is not motivated by power. Donald Trump is a megalomaniac. He is obsessed with his own power. Trump quickly dismisses anyone who disagrees with him by exerting a false sense of authority and then quickly listing reason after reason for his expertise on any given subject being discussed. Trump claims to have information, usually from unknown sources, which he then spouts as undeniable fact with absolutely no evidence (Norcross, 2016). If someone disagrees with him he insults them and uses his “instincts” to make some wild accusation while attacking their character. If you do not believe me, just look for some of those videos on YouTube where he insulted Megyn Kelly, Carly Fiorina, Marco Rubio, and many, many, more.

Donald Trump’s ego, and his own words and actions, are the top reasons why I am not voting for him. I have checked his record. I have listened to his words. I have watched his actions. Donald Trump is no more a conservative than Joe Biden, Rahm Emanuel, Hillary Clinton, John Kerry, or Ted Kennedy, all of whom he has donated money. In fact, in 2007 he said, “I’m very much independent… I go for the person, not necessarily the party. I mean, I vote for Republicans and I vote for Democrats.” (Norcross, 2016).

For my conservative friends who claim that Donald Trump is the savior of the United States of America, I simply ask you to wake up. The choices are not necessarily (R) or (D). Principles, morals, and character should be defining factors that shape each individual, especially those running for public office. Choosing the lesser of two evils is killing our great nation.

As citizens we deserve better. As voters we are expected to do better.

References

Botts, J. (2016). Honestly, Why Would Anyone Vote For Trump? Retrieved from https://josephbotts.com/2016/05/24/honestly-why-would-anyone-vote-for-trump/

Bukszpan, D. (2016), Here’s What World Leaders Say About Donald Trump. Retrieved from http://fortune.com/2016/02/24/donald-trump-nevada-critics/

Carroll, L. (2015). Fact-checking claims about Donald Trump’s four bankruptcies. Retrieved from http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2015/sep/21/carly-fiorina/trumps-four-bankruptcies/

Gruttadaro, A., Reese, N., Barone, M., Aquino, T., & Sheldon, R. (2014).The 50 Best Reality TV Shows of All Time. Retrieved from http://www.complex.com/pop-culture/2014/11/best-reality-tv-shows-all-time-1/

IMDB. (2016). Most Popular Reality-TV Series. Retrieved from http://www.imdb.com/search/title?title_type=tv_series&genres=reality_tv

Norcross, J. (2016). Donald Trump: A Fascinating and Terrifying Study in Megalomania and Irrationality. Retrieved from http://jonathonnorcross.com/post/5024418661/donald-trump-a-fascinating-and-terrifying-study

Norcross, J. (2016). Vile Propagandist Donald Trump Spews More Obama Conspiracy Theories. Retrieved from http://jonathonnorcross.com/post/4672753650/vile-propagandist-donald-trump-spews-more-obama

Stein, J. (2012). Who Is Gary Johnson? And Why Is the GOP So Mad at Him? Retrieved from http://swampland.time.com/2012/11/01/who-is-gary-johnson-and-why-is-the-gop-so-mad-at-him/

Thompson, K. (2016). Megyn Kelly on Donald Trump: ‘I have done my level best to not make this story about me.’ Retrieved from https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/megyn-kelly-preps-for-her-trump-interview-a-chance-to-go-to-a-different-place/2016/05/16/15e46206-187a-11e6-9e16-2e5a123aac62_story.html

TV.COM. (2016). Reality Shows. Retrieved from http://www.tv.com/shows/category/reality/

Wikipedia. (2016). List of figures in nationalism. Retrieved from https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_figures_in_nationalism

Seventy-Four Years Ago…

At dawn on December 7, 1941, Japanese planes attacked the United States Pacific Fleet at Pearl Harbor In Hawaii.

Anxious to maintain their military and economic power in the region the Japanese planned to cripple the U.S. fleet which would then allow them to attack the Philippines and Indo-China without opposition and acquire the raw materials they needed to maintain their position.

Several ships were sunk or damaged, the U.S.S. Oklahoma capsized, and the U.S.S. Arizona was completely destroyed. More than 2,300 Americans died in the attack.

The next day President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed a joint session of Congress, which declared war against Japan, and the United States officially entered World War II. The Japanese had no idea they were awakening a sleeping giant. December 7th, 1941 truly was a date which would live in infamy.

James Bradley, whose father was one of those who raised the flag on Iwo Jima, has studied the war and the reason Japan attacked us in the first place.

In a secret presidential cable to Tokyo, in July 1905, Roosevelt approved the Japanese annexation of Korea and agreed to an “understanding or alliance” among Japan, the United States and Britain “as if the United States were under treaty obligations.” The “as if” was key: Congress was much less interested in North Asia than Roosevelt was, so he came to his agreement with Japan in secret, an unconstitutional act.

Bradley’s op-ed in the New York Times is an excellent read for anyone who wants to know the real reason that Japan decided to attack us the way they did.

Take a moment today to remember all of those who died on that December morning in 1941.

Continue reading

Let’s Talk About Immigration

Many say we are long overdue for “Immigration Reform”. With “sanctuary cities” and reports of violent immigrants in the news every day, it is not to difficult to “take sides” when discussing immigration in our country. Recently, a woman was killed in San Francisco by an illegal immigrant with a felony record, and this has brought immigration reform to the forefront once again. Archbishop Cordileone of San Francisco released a statement saying, ““While it is important that we learn from this incident and work to prevent it from happening again, it is also important that we recognize that the vast majority of immigrants — both those with and without papers — are not a violent threat to society and so should not be subject to guilt by association” (EWTN News, 2015). He is right and this is not the first time immigrants have been stereotyped and portrayed as some evil scourge that will destroy our country. In fact, there have been many different examples of immigration propaganda throughout our history. If any one of these “immigration reforms” had worked in the past, many of you would not be reading this post today.

immigrationwallFor example, in 1882 the hostility toward Catholic immigrants and the policies in place to discriminate against them were so vile, that Father Michael J. McGivney founded the Knights of Columbus in an effort to show that allegiance to our country did not conflict with our faith and to to unite men of Catholic faith in order to help provide for those less fortunate and the families of deceased members (Knights of Columbus, 2015). Also in 1882 Congress passed, and President Chester A. Arthur signed into law, the Chinese Exclusion Act. The Chinese Exclusion Act prevented any Chinese immigrants from entering our country for ten years, thereby creating government policy to exlude entry to our country by a specific ethnic group (Harvard College, 2015). This act was the first major law restricting immigration to the United States, but it was also the beginning of a long history of governmentally authorized prejudicial and discriminating views about those who wished to seek a better life in America. By 1896, journalists were labeling immigrants “a hopeless burden” that would breakdown and destroy the very fabric of our nation (The Atlantic, 2015).

The Immigration Act of 1903 prevented people with epilepsy and beggars from entering our borders, while the Immigration Acts of 1906, 1907, 1917, and 1918 further tightened restrictions by focusing on disabled people, undesirables (aka Catholics, Irish, etc), and those who could not speak English. The Immigration Acts of 1921 and 1924 introduced the idea of immigration quotas, thereby restricting or even freezing all immigration from any particular country based on the ethnic disctribution of that population within the United States at the time (U.S. State Department, n.d.). Since 1903, there have been more than 23 pieces of legislation designed to limit, restrict, control, or even completely stop immigration to our nation. Most of these laws were created out of indifference, hatred, discrimination, fear, and loathing of a particular ethnic group.

As you can see, our current situation with the need for “immigration reform” is not a new one. In fact, we have been instructed how to handle immigration for a very long time. The greatest commandments instruct us to love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, with all our soul and with all our mind, and to love our neighbor as ourself (Matthew 22: 37-39), and God promises judgment against those who swear falsely, those who oppress the widow and the fatherless, those who cheat the wage earner, and those who deny justice to the foreignor (Malachi 3:5). Archbishop Cordileone concluded his statements by saying, “Such reform, long overdue, should preserve family unity, ensure the due process of law, protect those fleeing persecution and ensure the integrity of our nation’s borders” (EWTN News, 2015). We still have a lot of work to do when it comes to immigration reform, and maybe it should begin with a reform of our own hearts.

References

EWTN News. (2015). Archbishop Cordileone to Congress: Immigrants Are Not All Guilty by Association. Retrieved from http://www.ncregister.com/daily-news/archbishop-cordileone-to-congress-immigrants-are-not-all-guilty-by-ass/#ixzz3gjF9hftx.

Harvard College. (2015). Chinese Exclusion Act (1882). Retrieved from http://ocp.hul.harvard.edu/immigration/exclusion.html.

Knights of Columbus. (2015). History: 1882-1899: The Founding. Retrieved from http://www.kofc.org/un/en/about/history/.

The Atlantic. (2015). Racist Anti-Immigrant Cartoons From the Turn of the 20th Century. Retrieved from http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2011/11/racist-anti-immigrant-cartoons-from-the-turn-of-the-20th-century/383248/.

U.S. State Department. (n.d.) Milestones. Office of the Historian. Retrieved from https://history.state.gov/milestones.