Are We Really Who We Profess To Be?…

Here we are, precisely at the same place we were yesterday, last week, last month, and last year. Trying to determine just exactly how in the hell this nation of immigrants with the best governmental system known to humankind got so goddamned screwed up.

A bunch of educated and liberal individuals, revolutionary actually, decided to revolt against a rather liberal monarchy and in the process built a system that recognized the supremacy of the individual rather than the state. A system built on the rule of law rather than the whim of a particular individual or group of individuals.

Our founders warned against foreign entanglements. Yet over our 240 year history we have managed to regularly become entangled in many foreign adventures, including even saving the world from Fascism and Communist totalitarianism. A admirable thing. Note, Karl Marx was not a fan of totalitarianism, in  fact Marx despised the totalitarian state. Don’t confuse 20’th century communism  with 19’th century Marxism. They are not one in the same.

Back to America. What in the hell is wrong with us? A nation of immigrants with a statue that proclaims liberty and welcomes all with the following.

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
“Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!” cries she
With silent lips. “Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

Yet we  elected a man who campaigned on emotions intended to result n closing the door to the above values. Why? Fear? Bigotry? Racism? Ignorance? What? Do we even question our inner feelings or motives as a nation anymore?

It s hard to know just what freedom and liberty means these days. Is it freedom and liberty as long as it is of the type we approve of while that we disapprove of is considered tyranny? It often seems that way listening to and reading a lot of the political stuff offered as gospel these days.

Freedom. Liberty. Indeed. We all have the right to experience and enjoy the blessing of both. It is our right as individuals and no one has the right to deny or take away our freedom and liberty. But, and this is all important but, freedom and liberty is not free. Freedom and liberty requires and demands that the rights to freedom and liberty of others be respected. With freedom and liberty comes a great responsibility, to respect the freedom ad liberty of others to be free. Een when you disagree with their views.

We must add to the above, just so NO ONE misunderstands, absolutely no one has the right to forcibly infringe on one the rights and freedoms of another, unless it is in an act of self-defense against someone attempting to infringe upon your rights and freedoms.

A final note to the above. The only justification for violence against another human being is in an act of self-defense against a perpetrator of violence against you.

 Simple. Philosophically pure and consistent.  Yet we’ve managed to make our founding ideals complicated so as to fit some ideological perspective.

That’s  our perspective, feel free to leave yours.

 

Marine Corps’ Nude Photo Sharing Scandal…

Proving once again that some males are simply pigs and have no respect for the privacy of others.

The flipside of this is why in the hell would women in the military consent to being photographed naked?

Maybe they didn’t know they were being photographed?

Whatever the case we refer you back to ur first observation.

The scandal that prompted an investigation into hundreds of Marines who are accused of sharing naked photographs of their colleagues in a private Facebook group is much larger than has been reported, Business Insider has learned.

The practice of sharing such photos goes beyond the Marine Corps and one Facebook group. Hundreds of nude photos of female service members from every military branch have been posted to an image-sharing message board that dates back to at least May. A source informed Business Insider of the site’s existence on Tuesday.

The site, called AnonIB, has a dedicated board for military personnel that features dozens of threaded conversations among men, many of whom ask for “wins” — naked photographs — of specific female service members, often identifying the women by name or where they are stationed.

The revelation comes on the heels of an explosive story published earlier this week by the journalist Thomas Brennan. He reported on a Facebook group called Marines United, which was home to approximately 30,000 members who were sharing nude photos of colleagues along with personal information and even encouragement of sexual assault.

The report led the Marine Corps to open an investigation, spurred widespread outrage in the media and in Congress, and prompted sharp condemnation from the Corps’ top leaders. According to the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, investigators are considering felony charges that could carry a maximum penalty of up to seven years in prison.

An official familiar with the matter told Business Insider that the Marine commandant, Gen. Robert Neller, would brief members of the House Armed Services Committee next week on the scandal.

“We’re examining some of our policies to see if we can make them punitive in nature,” the official said, adding that the Corps was taking the issue very seriously.

Read more HERE.

When There Is Smoke It Usually Means Fire…

THE BIG STORY: “Repeal and replace” gave way to “recuse and resign.” “Witch hunt” declared President Trump – a sentiment quickly echoed by, yes, the Russians. The halting, contradictory, often inexplicable handling of Russia revelations by the Trump White House is either making the story more than it needs to be, or elevating it to exactly where it belongs. In either scenario, it won’t disappear with Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ recusal announcement – a recusal from an investigation the White House has declared either non-existent or already concluded. The latest drips come just days after the president established what could have been a new tone for this phase. He’s back on Twitter now, calling Democrats “so pathetic” just this morning. This will be the week remembered for Donald Trump finding his presidential footing – only to lose it pretty quickly again.

Where there is smoke there is usually fire. When an administration and its head reacts like this one is reacting the chances are very good they have a lot to cover up. If they were indeed innocent of allegations they should be welcoming an investigation to prove there was no wrongdoing.

But this the Donald J, Trump administration and as we know anything and everything can happen. And it likely will.

Read the full article BELOW THE FOLD

Just As We Thought, Sessions On he Move… Watch Prison Population Rise…

Red alert. AG Sessions signals return to tougher stance on crime, including federal marijuana laws. Can you see the WOC (war on crime) and the WOD (war on drugs) again rapidly escalating an already ridiculously high prison population?

Must be the good old USA has the highest criminal citizenry in the world. Or, maybe we’re simply the nation who enjoys criminalizing sh*t that really just isn’t criminal?

You be the judge.

Donald Trump’s attorney general said Tuesday the Justice Department will limit its use of a tactic employed aggressively under President Obama — suing police departments for violating the civil rights of minorities.

“We need, so far as we can, to help police departments get better, not diminish their effectiveness. And I’m afraid we’ve done some of that,” said Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

“So we’re going to try to pull back on this,” he told a meeting of the nation’s state attorneys general in Washington.

Sessions said such a move would not be “wrong or insensitive to civil rights or human rights.” Instead, he said people in poor and minority communities must feel free from the threat of violent crime, which will require more effective policing with help from the federal government.

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“We need to return to the ideas that got us here, the ideas that reduce crime and stay on it. Maybe we got a bit overconfident when we’ve seen the crime rate decline so steadily for so long,” he said.

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On Monday, Sessions said he is reviewing the Justice Department’s current policy toward enforcing federal law that prohibits possession of marijuana, but has made no decision about whether to get tougher.

His opposition to legalization is well known, and he emphasized it during an informal gathering of reporters . “I don’t think America will be a better place when more people, especially young people, smoke pot.”

States, he said, can pass their own laws on possession as they choose, “but it remains a violation of federal law.”

Full article BELOW THE FOLD

Jewish Community Centers Being Terrorized By Phone…

With Donald J. Trump’s campaign and rise to power  threats made to Jewish Community Centers have increased as well. 48 JCCs in 27 states and one Canadian province received upwards of 60 bomb threats during January. The majority of the threats were made during three days: January 9, 18 and 31. Several JCCs, including Orlando’s, received multiple threats.

Is this simply coincidental? Or did the tone of the Trump campaign and inauguration, with its obvious appeal to xenophobia and America First nationalism, encourage overt anti-Semitism and anti Muslim  activity? It certainly is plausible that the increase is at least partially the result of the tone set by Trump.

(CNN) Samantha Taylor was at Orlando’s Jewish Community Center for a morning meeting when she heard reports of a bomb threat crackle from the director’s walkie-talkie.

Her daughter attends preschool there; she ran to the classroom and evacuated with the students and teachers.
While police and bomb-sniffing dogs searched the building for several hours, the teachers kept the children calm and happy at a safe spot down the street, Taylor said. No explosives were found.
 
 
On the same day, January 4, an Orlando Chabad center also received a threatening call, marking the first trickle in what would soon swell to waves of calls menacing Jewish institutions across the country.
 
In a statement, the FBI said the bureau and the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division are “investigating possible civil rights violations in connections with threats to Jewish Community Centers across the country.”
 
The JTA, a Jewish news agency, says it has obtained a recording of one of the calls. On it, the caller says a C-4 bomb has been placed in the JCC and that “a large number of Jews are going to be slaughtered.”
 
Several JCC sources said the FBI has told them it is investigating the calls as hate crimes. Online, another term has circulated: “telephone terrorism.”
 
“I’ve been in the business for 20-plus years, and this is unprecedented,” said Paul Goldenberg, national director of the Secure Community Network, which advises Jewish organizations on security. “It’s more methodical than meets the eye.”
No bombs have been found, but Jewish leaders hesitate to label the calls “hoaxes.” The chaos and terror the calls have caused are real, as are more tangible consequences.
 
JCCs across the country are bolstering security and holding town halls to calm frightened parents. Still, several centers have seen students withdraw from their early childhood education programs, typically reliable sources of revenue. As a result, some are slashing budgets, cutting staff and holding emergency fundraisers.
Making America Great Again does not, and should not, include this kind of rising hatred towards certain religious, ethnic, or cultural groups that differs from our own. Our fellow Americans, indeed fellow human beings do not deserve this.
Trump should be speaking out against hate, not turning a blind eye to it or inadvertently and indirectly encouraging it through words and action.