Duplicity and depravity

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IT SEEMS OBVIOUS TO ME that we’re locked in combat between the colossal ego of the presidential poseur in the White House and a would-be inclusive society struggling to maintain ethnic, judicial and financial equality. And Donald’s self-serving floundering is dragging us back to the days when signs proclaimed “whites only” or “help wanted—Irish need not apply.”

During my life I’ve watched our society slowly divest itself of the attitudes that flourished during the Hoover administration and clung to life through the Great Depression, World War II and decades that followed. Just over two years ago our social conscience had matured to the point where our country was being led by the compassionate son of an African American father and an Irish mother. The speed at which virtue has been losing ground to evil since then is rather frightening. It happens not only in major headline-grabbing ways, but also in a myriad of small ways behind closed doors and in the shadows of the headlines.

DO WE REALLY NEED TANKS any more? Especially $714,000,000 worth? Donald visited the Army Tank Plant in Lima, Ohio, on March 20, 2019, where he gave a speech affirming his commitment to keeping the plant up and running. The Army announced early this year that it would spend $714 million to upgrade the M1A1 Abrams tank at the plant. This is a government-owned, contractor-operated facility currently operated by General Dynamics Land Systems. A fine example of a military-industrial complex in full bloom.

As I understand it, the U.S. has no ongoing personal need for this weapon designed for a somewhat outmoded feature of land warfare—but sells the tanks to other nations, such as Israel, which can buy them with money also originating in the U.S. Witness this “Jewish News Syndicate” item from Feb. 13, 2018: “The annual funding Israel receives from the United States may be increased by $200 million in 2019, according to President Donald Trump’s fiscal year budget request. Israel is expected to receive $3.3 billion in 2019. The requested funds are the result of a $38 billion 10-year memorandum of understanding signed between Israel and the United States at the end of President Barack Obama’s term in office. The additional proposed funds are being apportioned to provide “assistance to bolster Israel’s capacity to defend itself and maintain its qualitative military edge.”

I’d like to see that $714 million spent elsewhere—say to bolster programs dealing with housing, food, education, mental health, etc. I think our society would be more secure with a roof over people’s heads and dinner on their tables—than with the knowledge that we have battle tanks standing at the ready somewhere in Africa.

Donald’s alternative might be more like deploying a few tanks in San Diego and El Paso to frighten away refugee women and children—rather than spending vehicle production costs on housing and food for asylum seekers. He’s certainly not averse to utilizing fear as a weapon on both sides of his ridiculous fence.

A perspective here that I find particularly offensive is that while U. S. taxpayers will be sending billions in military aid to Israel, Donald has pointedly cut off the millions in humanitarian aid and continued to otherwise degrade Palestine at every opportunity. He made a special splash in September of slashing away the $25 million budgeted to cover cancer treatments and other critical care for Palestinians at Jerusalem hospitals, six of them, some church-operated. In past years, U. S. funding covered medical costs for Palestinians to go to these hospitals for treatment unavailable in the West Bank and Gaza—from cardiac and eye surgeries to neonatal intensive care and children’s dialysis, according to the World Health Organization.

Just another example of how uncaring Donald can muck things up when he decides who should deprived of health-care coverage at home and abroad—to financially facilitate military and industrial splurging. This is an example that goes beyond mere nationalism.

ANOTHER FEATURE OF DONALD’S VISIT to the Lima plant was his speech, which wandered into still another posthumous assault on the late GOP Senator John McCain, who prior to his death crossed party lines to cast a decisive “no” voter on Trump’s attempt to abolish Obamacare medical coverage. This loathsome habit of his may well come back to haunt Donald if McCain’s home state of Arizona becomes a swing state in 2020.

CHEATING EVEN AT GOLF—Looking for a gift for a golfer friend? This probably skipped right past everyone who doesn’t read the inside pages of the daily paper’s sports section.

Former Sports Illustrated columnist Rick Reilly has written a new book: “Commander in Cheat. How Golf Explains Trump.” He doc-

uments numerous examples of underhanded golf behavior by Donald.

One instance cited was a 2017 round played with Tiger Woods and another golf great. Trump’s foursome partner later noted that Donald’s offenses included putting down a score that didn’t include his hitting two balls into the water on one hole. Others, including Donald’s caddie and Secret Service agents have confessed to moving his ball out of difficult lies. Reilly also deals with Trump’s repeated claim of having won 18 club championships, not a single one of which could be corroborated. Donald’s tally included one where he never even played on the course that day and another in which he counted a round at a yet-to-be-opened golf club.

MY FAVORITE STORY BY FAR, in recent general news, was in the April 8 issue of the Seattle Times. It affirmed my opinion that there’s more justice in an African jungle than emanates in Washington, D.C. from the ‘gator-infested swamp that is the White House.

Five South African poachers snuck into a national park to kill rhinoceros. They were spotted by an elephant who apparently knew what they were about, what with history rife with records of elephant deaths at the hands of poachers—and elephants’ legendary memory.

The elephant killed one of the poachers, whose remains later were devoured (save for his skull and his pants) by lions, themselves continuing to some extent to be hunted for sport.

It’s great to see Mother Nature win a round now and then.

For photos of Donald Trump’s sons Donald and Eric posed joyfully with various magnificent animals shot for “sport” rather than meat, see: https://www.bing.com/images/search?q=trump+sons+as+hunters&id=8ED45962184B8417BD8897F608155F747E704A4A&FORM=IQFRBA

What does one do with a dead elephant or rhinoceros?


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Justin Hale

No Tom "we're" not locked in combat, it's only the losers who wanted Crooked Hillary to be POTUS and can't accept the fact that Donald Trump was duly elected President who are in constant combat mode, as illustrated in your weekly blogs, so they resort to name calling and referring to him as a poseur.

I agree with you about our bloated Military spending and foreign aid, I'd like to see the blogs where you castigated the former Presidents for doing the exact same thing as Trump is doing, I'm betting they don't exist.

"Donald Trump’s sons Donald and Eric posed joyfully with various magnificent animals shot for “sport” rather than meat."

Once again Tom tells half the story, the half that dumps on Trumps.

"I can assure you it was not wasteful the villagers were so happy for the meat which they don’t often get to eat. Very grateful" — Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 12, 2012

The US government will not allow the importation of any meat or fruit from Africa into the USA.

Just curious, where do you stand on the Makah's whale hunting?

Tuesday, April 16, 2019
Marge Samuelson

I am one of the "Losers" that wanted Hillary Clinton to become president of the United States. She received more popular votes than Trump, you will concede that won't you? As to Donald & Eric Trump, they are not hunters, but, trophy hunters. They don't need to kill animals to survive. Even though their father & mother have said they don't approve of hunting, their Dad said he is very proud of them. Neither ever served in the Military.

President Obama signed legislature banning trophy hunters from bringing body parts back to this country in 2014. Trump repealed that law. What former presidents did or did not do, it's too late to change that. But, we can learn from it. Evidently, Mr. Trump has not.

The Makah Whale hunt is their business. They actually eat the food they kill.

I have been thinking a lot about what is missing from Mr. Trump, and it is empathy, "the ability to understand and share the feelings of another."

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Justin Hale

Yes, I remember you stating once "not my President". Since nearly all of the states refused to release their information to the Commission on Election Integrity we really don't know how many of the votes for Hillary were legal do we. The fact is that Trump was sworn in as the POTUS.

Yes, the Makah whale hunt is their business, just as the Trump Brothers hunting big game in Africa is their business. Personally, I think both are wrong.

Regarding Trump and empathy, perhaps you've already read this article


Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Tom Camfield

As usual, my blog had a number of issues that could have been discussed but somehow comment sidetracked to whaling by the Makah tribe of Native American’s at Neah Bay. The Makah have hunted whales for more than 2,000 years, and their right to continue doing so was specifically guaranteed under the 1855 treaty with the U. S. government, which was ceded most of the tribe’s traditional lands. The tribe always had gotten much of its sustenance from the sea.

The tribe voluntarily suspended whaling in the 1920s after hunting by Europeans and other non-Indians put the mammals at risk of extinction. Whaling now is governed by tribal, federal and international law. The International Whaling Commission set a quota of five gray whales a year, totaling no more than 20 over five years, for Makah sustenance hunting. There are numerous other restrictions. Gray whales were removed from the endangered species list in 1994. In 1999, the Makah hunted their first whale in 70 years.

Indian treaty rights around the country have been gradually eroded since being originally granted in the 1800s, and the Makah are no exception. They now need an exception from the U.S. Marine Mammal Protection Act in order to whale legally.

It was reported just this month (April 4, 2019) that federal officials are supporting a decade-long request by the Makah to resume the only authorized whale hunts in the mainland U.S. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration announced its proposal to allow the Makah tribe to hunt one to three Eastern North Pacific gray whales annually over a 10-year period off the Washington coast.

Tribes in Alaska and other parts of the world legally hunt whales, which they rely on for food.

Makah Tribal Councilman Patrick DePoe said the vast majority of the 2,800 members — including 1,100 who still live in the area — want to return to their native diet by reintroducing whale meat and blubber.

Deer hunters eat their kill. Salmon and trout fishermen eat their catch. Makah eat a whale on rare occasions that they can actually harvest one.

It’s not exactly the same as traveling to Africa to kill a lion or a rhinoceros.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Justin Hale

I asked for your opinion on the Makah's hunting whales and you give me a treatise on the History of Makah whale hunting. Just wondering if you are consistent in your concern over the needless slaughter of animals.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Marge Samuelson

Perhaps the Makah Tribe should get into Whale Watching. The boats doing this seem to be making a lot of money off of tourists. They say it doesn't impact the whales but it is not a tradition for people to disturb whales habitat. What really takes a toll on whales is all the garbage we throw into our waters. Photos of tons of plastic being taken from a whale that died recently makes me really stop and think about what I buy. Remember the "Tidy Bowl" the reason I liked it was it showed us all the garbage we throw into the seas. Not what the artists had in mind but it was a visual reminder of our impact on the creatures of the sea.

Wednesday, April 17, 2019
Tom Camfield

Hardly a "treatise," Justin. Just a little factual perspective to your attempt to group all killings into a "useless slaughter of animals" category. The Makahs' harvesting of a whale every 10 or 20 years for sustenance, sort of like my father butchering a veal calf or a hog back in the Depression, I do not consider "useless slaughter of animals." When someone travels to Africa to kill for sport—lions, elepants, rhinoceros, a staay giraffe or passing wildebeest—I call that "useless slaughter of animals."

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Justin Hale

Tom, do the Makahs need that whale meat to survive?, No. Both the Makahs and the Trumps killings were egocentrically motivated and unnecessary in my opinion.

Thursday, April 18, 2019
Tom Camfield

'Not having lived on the reservation or actually walked a mile in Makah shoes, my opinion can only go where the evidence takes me. I lean a lot on history and the fact that Makah tradition, many centuries older than the white man's greedy invasiveness, still is held in high regard among them. They continue to live closer to nature than the rest of us and have in no way, via their existence, depleted the animal kingdom or polluted the oceans, rivers and air we breathe.

No way can I liken the character of a young Makah to that of some spoiled rich kid whose father owns and lives in Trump Tower and Mar-a-Lago. We non-indigenous ones have stolen the greater part of Makah lands and robbed them largely of their chosen way of life. And yet there are many among us bad-mouthing them for killing and eating a whale perhaps once, possibly twice. during a generation. I think it all involves residual white supremacy, envy, and the male danglers of the proverbial brass monkey.

Friday, April 19, 2019
Justin Hale

Once again the artful dodger avoids the question. The Makah do not need to kill a whale for subsistence any more than two rich white boys need meat from a Cape Buffalo or a Spotted Leopard. I don't think the needless killing of a Whale makes the Makah any nobler than a Trump killing a Cape Buffalo. Actually if you take a objective analysis of both killings the Trumps actually benefited the country they hunted in, they paid thousands of dollars for licenses and tags and they gave the meat to the local villagers. The Makahs pay nothing to go hunt a whale and who knows where that meat goes.

But asking you to be objective when it comes to your hatred for our President is a lost cause. And speaking of character I have to wonder about someone who alters and slurs the character of our First President by attaching the digit impudicus just to dump on Trump.

Friday, April 19, 2019
Tom Camfield

Nothing like a good debate. I know where the whale meat goes; the Makahs eat it. No use getting all snarky out of lacking some of the basic facts. They actually are prevented by law from selling it commercially. And the money spent by the Trumps is insignificant; more significant perhaps is where they got it. In any case, it's pocket change to a Trump. Laughable indeed would be charging Makahs some outrageous comparable fee for a whale-hunting license. Tribes to the north of them, for instance in the state of Alaska, have wider freedom in hunting whales, which I also consider unfair to our Washington natives.

So take your Don Jr. and Eric Trump, strutting about in relative comfort, little real effort or danger involved, firing a bullet into the head of a spotted leopard then tossing it to the nearby residents to eat. Somehow, I see no altruism involved there. They did not get all duded up and armed to the teeth to head off to Africa to put cat meat on the table of local residents in what their father refers to as a "S-hole" country.

When the more manly Makahs take to the ocean in a canoe, armed with a harpoon, and luck into bringing back a gray whale (non-mother or calf), they will be eating it themselves and sharing it with their community. And I imagine they have frozen food lockers of some sort similar to what we used in the Depression (up at Verrier's grocery) when we came into a large amount of meat.

The Trumps are a lazy, hedonistic, self-serving, overbearing family and should in no way be defended for what Donald is doing to human kind. As for George Washington (who, legend has it, "never told a lie"), I imagine he just couldn't take it any more. Whatever Donald's spouting off about in the photo, he's lying in some way or other.

Friday, April 19, 2019