Nel's New Day

June 6, 2019

DDT’s Five-Day Invasion on Foreign Soil

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and his entourage—including the whole family whether they’re in government or not—have left Britain, probably with many signs of relief from his hosts. It was preceded by an odd occurrence, even odd for DDT, when he wandered into a Virginia megachurch from the golf course. After praying for DDT, Pastor David Platt wrote a quasi-apology for his actions to church members who were “hurt” by Platt’s decision. He stated that he was not endorsing DDT, his policies, or his party. DDT stood on the stage during the prayer and then walked off without any comment. The day before the service, Franklin Graham, Billy Graham’s son, had called for Sunday to be a “Special Day of Prayer for the President.” The White House issued a statement that DDT had gone to pray for the Virginia Beach shooting victims, but no mention was made of them, and the pastor was asked to pray for DDT. A Christian and former DDT supporter called the appearance a “staged photo-op.”[DDT in full golf regalia including cleats.] 

But back to DDT’s invasion of Britain. A few highlights:

Before Air Force One landed, DDT called London Mayor Sadiq Khan a “stone cold loser.” (The term “loser” could refer to DDT’s 21 percent popularity with Britons.)

Prince Harry didn’t seem very chummy with DDT, perhaps because DDT called his wife, the Duchess of Sussex, “nasty”—and then denied what was obviously on video.

A huge disappointment for DDT in London was the lack of Fox network; the Brits watch CNN. His tweets called for a boycott:

”I believe that if people stoped [sic] using or subscribing to @ATT, they would be forced to make big changes at @CNN, which is dying in the ratings anyway. It is so unfair with such bad, Fake News! Why wouldn’t they act. When the World watches @CNN, it gets a false picture of USA. Sad!”

Historian Jon Meacham described DDT’s “behavior more commonly associated with authoritarian regimes, not democratic ones.”

Buckingham Palace is undergoing renovations so DDT had to stay with the U.S. Ambassador Woody Johnson at Winfield House. (The lavish Belgian Suite at the palace, where Barack and Michelle Obama stayed, wasn’t affected by the renovations.

Prince Charles’ lifelong passion is environmentalism, making on wonder about his conversation with DDT who calls climate change a “hoax.”

DDT commented that Boris Johnson would be an “excellent” replacement for outgoing Prime Minister Theresa May, but Johnson had no time to meet with DDT.

At Westminster Abbey’s Poets’ Corner, revered final resting place and/or memorials for England’s literary legends, DDT looked at a white marble slab and asked what it was made from. He lost interest in the stones after five minutes and left.

“We are your largest partner. You’re our largest partner. A Lot of people don’t know that. A lot of people don’t know that,” DDT told May about trade. “A lot of people don’t know that” because China is the U.S.’ largest trading partner and Germany is the UK’s largest trading partner.

DDT promised that NHS would be on the table in U.S.-UK trade talks but changed his mind when he found out that NHS stands for National Health Services. Many in the UK oppose U.S. health firms coming into the UK with cost-cutting health services and sales of lower standard food such as chlorine-washed chicken. DDT called Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn, a “negative force.”

Although DDT met with Nigel Farage, Fox guest and radical right leader of Brexit, he refused to meet with Corbyn before he accused Corbyn of not meeting with him.

Despite a crowd of 75,000 protesters against DDT in just London on a rainy Tuesday, DDT cried “fake news” about protests because he didn’t see any. He called the crowds “those that gathered in support of the USA and me.” He missed most protesters because he opted for a helicopter to travel the three miles from the palace to Winfield House. The streets where he traveled were mostly deserted.

DDT said that Britain should not pay the Brexit $50 billion bill and walk away from the agreement. (He hopes to get more trade from Britain if their ties to EU fail.)

Why did DDT dodge the draft during the Vietnam War? In an interview with Piers Morgan, he “was never a fan of that war” and because it was a country “nobody heard of” and so far away. He continued by saying that he’s making up for the draft-dodge because he’s making sure that the military has lots of money now. (DDT’s pre-nup agreement with Wife #2 maintained that child support would end before daughter Tiffany turned 21 if she enlisted in the military or the Peace Corps.)  

Asked about why people need AR-15s, he said, “Entertainment.” He followed that up by calling the man who killed 58 people and wounded 489 others in the Las Vegas mass shooting as a “smart guy” and “incredible.” 

In another part of the interview, DDT said that transgender people are banned from the military because they “take massive amounts of drugs” (not true) and falsely claimed that people in the military cannot take prescription drugs. When Morgan pointed out that the U.S. military spends more on Viagra for servicemen than transgender medical bills, DDT said, “Well, it is what it is” and repeated his lies.

Staunch Republican Kathleen Parker summed up DDT’s visit in her column, “Money Can’t Buy You Class.”

“What would one expect when New York’s most famous hillbilly drags his entire entourage to sup at the sumptuous table of the queen of England as though word had leaked of an all-you-can-eat buffet and free booze over at Lizzie’s Eatery? …

“As a descendant of generations of royals, [Elizabeth II] epitomizes the definition of proper behavior, rarely displaying emotion or affection, always stoic in the face of adversity. A far cry is she from the effluvious Donald and his bloviating histrionics. But there she was playing sober hostess to a reality-show president and his carnivalesque courtiers….

“The whole affair felt tawdry and cheap, joyless and stilted beyond the usual norms of pomp and circumstance….

“Money can’t buy you class, but it can sure buy loyalty. Trump’s court at the palace was essentially his family and the few remaining White House staffers still willing to tell the president that, indeed, his exposed derriere is absolutely rocking raiment of finest silk and gold.”

DDT’s three days with the Brits in a fast three minutes, thanks to The Guardian.

Departure from Britain inflicted pain on Ireland as DDT met with its taoiseach, Leo Varadkar, at the Shannon airport because Varadkar refused to act as a shill by meeting DDT at his golf course. DDT displayed great insensitivity about Irish politics when he proposed that Ireland build a Brexit wall with Northern Ireland, just as DDT wants on the U.S. southern border. The Republic of Ireland remains part of the EU no matter what happens with Brexit. Varadkar told the media that he had explained the border’s history and Troubles in his private meeting with DDT. Irish president, Michael D Higgins, also called DDT policy on the climate emergency “regressive and pernicious.”

DDT and his family can hide out at the golf resort before traveling to France for D-Day commemorations—and another round of embarrassments for the people of the United States. Fox’s Laura Ingraham made up for the missing DDT as she and contributor Raymond Arroyo laughed hysterically about Democrats using children as “pathetic political props.” In the seven-minute segment, they sat in front of the Normandy American Cemetery and Memorial, a place where over 9,300 soldiers are used and usually reserved for solemn ceremonies. DDT matched Ingraham’s tone-deaf response to the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy (France) during an interview with Ingraham at the cemetery when he called Robert Mueller a “fool” and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi a “disaster” immediately before the ceremony honoring military veterans and commemorating the 75th anniversary of D-Day in Normandy, France. Mueller is a decorated Marine veteran of the Vietnam War which DDT avoided with “bone spurs.”

Also in Normandy, Pelosi refused to respond to questions. She told CNN’s Jim Acosta that “I don’t talk about the president while I’m out of the country.” she told CNN’s Jim Acosta. “That’s my principle.”

Our former European allies will long remember DDT’s five days of indecency on their soil. 

August 26, 2018

Religious Leadership, Abusive and in Control of the U.S.

The Nuns on the Bus are traveling again in October, this time from Los Angeles through 21 states with 54 events during their 27 days and aimed directly at Mar-a-Lago, where they finish with a “Fiesta for the Common Good.” For the sixth time since Sister Simone Campbell, leader of a Catholic social justice lobby, fired up her followers, the nuns plan to protest, this time the GOP tax plan just in time for people to pick their candidates at the 2018 general election. Critics of the $1.2 trillion tax cut, mostly going to the richest people and biggest corporations, point out that it increases the budget deficit and income inequality. Even worse, Republicans plan to use the tax cut’s deficit from giving money to the wealthiest Republicans to eliminate or at least reduce Social Security and Medicare.

After Pope Francis addressed a letter to the 1.2 billion Catholics in the world, lamenting the horrific sexual abuse by church leaders in Pennsylvania, Sister Simone spoke with Amy Goodman on Democracy Now. The sister called on the pope to go beyond writing a letter and take action.

Goodman pointed out that she and the nuns, who fought for social justice, “were investigated more than any of these priests, who preyed on children and adults, seminarians as well.” “When attacked, let’s deflect it,” Sister Simone said to explain the Catholic approach toward the abuse. “We certainly see that in politics right now in our nation,” she added. Sister Simone called on “serious change” in the leadership in a church that ignores women in leadership positions.

“We have all this pious talk about how men and women are created in complementarity and all that, but then we leave women out entirely….”

Sister Simone and her small network was criticized by the Catholic church for “being a bad influence on Catholic sisters in the United States, because we worked too much on the issues of poverty.” The leadership’s focus on abortion and sexual orientation focuses its perspective on sex, “and they become the righteous judgers. And this is wrong. This is wrong.”

Asked if women should be priests, Sister Simone described the “priestly functions” that she performs and “should be acknowledged.” She also thinks that priests should be able to marry, the way that they could before 1200. At that time, a wife might be able to inherit a cathedral if she were married to a bishop. The solution was mandating celibacy.

Pope Francis’ letter promised that “no effort” will be spared to change a church culture that allows both the abuse and the conspiracy to hide it. In Ireland, where the pope is visiting, he may have trouble convincing people after his recent appointment of Philip Boyce as bishop. With only 160,000 residents, County Donegal has the worst record of sexual abuse in Ireland. Four of the 14 accused priests were convicted, including the Rev. Eugene Greene who was imprisoned for nine years after raping and molesting at least 26 boys between 1965 and 1982. Boyce refused to defrock Green in the late 1990s. Residents said that the pope’s appointment of Boyce belies his words, as Francis continues to shuffle along those who protect abusers.

In another case, Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, who served as apostolic nuncio in Washington, D.C. from 2011 to 2016, wrote that Pope Francis ignored his information about Theodore Carrick by removing sanctions that Pope Benedict XVI placed on McCarrick in 2013. McCarrick, a long-time successful fundraiser for the Vatican, had been aged out of his position of Archbishop of Washington, D.C., and Benedict’s sanctions limited him from leaving his residence at a seminary and performing public Mass. Francis repealed the sanctions and “continued to cover” for McCarrick, making him “his trusted counselor” who advised Francis on several bishop appointments in the United States. The Catholic Church made several settlements to McCarrick’s sexual abuse traced back 47 years, but the Church always covered for his activities until he was blocked from public ministry on June 20, 2018.

Viganò calls for Pope Francis and others involved in the coverup of McCarrick’s abuse to resign, adding that complicity of John Paul II’s and Benedict XVI’s respective Secretary of States, Cardinals Angelo Sodano and Tarcisio Bertone had led to the delay of the sanctions.  Benedict had ignored both of Viganò’s memos about McCarrick from 2006 and 2008 until Richard Sipe, a psychotherapist and specialist in clerical sexual abuse, sent Benedict a statement about McCarrick’s abuse. Viganò also reinforced the record of cover-up in Honduras by Cardinal Rodriguez Maradiaga and his record of cover-up in Honduras, saying the Pope “defends his man” to the “bitter end,” despite the allegations against him.

In the past three decades, the Catholic Church has paid out over $3.6 billion to settle abuse case.

During his visit to Ireland, Pope Francis largely addressed the “family” with no specifics about stopping the sexual abuse within the Catholic Church, and Colm O’Gorman, a clerical abuse survivor, called the pope’s remarks an “extraordinary deflection.” Ireland’s Prime Minister Leo Varadkar spoke about actually doing something rather than merely express regret and sadness. Colm O’Gorman, a clerical abuse survivor and the director of Amnesty International Ireland, called the pope’s remarks on Saturday morning an “extraordinary deflection.” He also said that the pope’s statement that Catholics should share the shame were an “insult to faithful Catholics, who have no reason to feel shame because of the crimes of the Vatican and the institution church.”

Francis received a far more lukewarm greeting than the one for John Paul II in 1979, and thousands of protesters gathered in Dublin.

More deflection came from Cardinal Raymond Burke who blamed homosexuality for the child abuse, ignoring the science that this abuse is a sexual disorder, more common in men,that has nothing to do with sexual orientation. Men have more access to boys than girls, especially in the Catholic Church where women have few leadership responsibilities.

High profile U.S. Catholics such as Cardinals Sean O’Malley of Boston and Donald Wuerl of Washington, canceled their trips to be with Francis in Ireland. O’Malley has been accused of concealing sexual abuse among clerics, including a 2015 report about McCarrick, and Wuerl, bishop of Pittsburgh from 1988 to 2006, granted reassignment and retirement requests to priests accused of sexual abuse without reporting their behavior. Current bishop of Pittsburgh, David Zubik, claims that there are no confidentiality agreements about sexual abuse, but he offered a victim money for his children’s college tuition and some counseling in return for his silence.

A letter calling for the resignation of all U.S. bishops is gaining traction since massive reports of sexual abuse coverup; last May, Chile’s 34 bishops all resigned after a sexual abuse scandal. The letter declares:

“The catastrophic scale and historical magnitude of the abuse makes clear that this is not a case of ‘a few bad apples,’ but rather a radical systemic injustice manifested at every level of the Church. Systemic sin cannot be ended through individual goodwill.”

The Irish Catholic Church has a long history of abusing children and women. In a Catholic program that finally ended in 1996, at least 10,000 unmarried mothers or “morally wayward” women were enslaved against their wishes in Magdalene laundries where they worked for no pay, no pension, and no social protection—sometimes for their entire lives—to wash clothes and linens for major hotel groups and the Irish armed forces. The report begins only in 1922; they may have a much longer history.

Many of the women were sent to these laundries after they gave birth in homes run by nuns, one of the most infamous in the small town of Tuam. An investigation found a number of tiny skeletons on the grounds after an historian raised an alarm, who reported that almost 800 children, mistreated at the home are buried there. Her evidence comes from 800 death certificates found at the home, some of them with malnutrition as the cause, but records of only four burials. Conservative Bill Donohue, president of the Catholic League, ranted against any accusations against Catholic abuse, but Ireland has failed to continue its investigations after discovering the first 35 skeletons. Children who lived were all sent off to foster families.

If Brett Kavanaugh is confirmed as Supreme Court justice, Catholicism will continue to dominate the high court with two-thirds constituency. Meanwhile, DDT is packing the other courts and the government agencies with radical fundamental Christians—almost all male and many of them also abusers. Running the U.S. House are a Catholic and a fundamentalist Christian—both male. Over 45 percent of Congress is Catholic—twice as many as the Catholic percentage in the U.S. Over half the U.S. population is female, but only 20 percent of Congress are women.

Most conservative Catholics and evangelical Christians don’t object to DDT’s sexual misconduct, cruelty, lies, and illegal activity. Until the conservative religious and male control of the United States changes, the nation will continue to be run by people who are obsessed with sex and have no interest in social justice.

June 22, 2016

BRexit Vote Scheduled Tomorrow

BRexit—the vote is tomorrow. Most people in the United States aren’t aware of it, and even more may not care about it. Yet it may be the reason that the stock market is going nowhere and could guide financial markets for the world—including those in the U.S.–as they head down. I pretty much ignored the whole situation until I watched The John Oliver Show last Sunday. Because comedians such as Oliver and Samantha Bee on Full Frontal probably give more information than anyone other than Rachel Maddow on MSNBC, I started searching for more information.

BRexit is short for “Britain Exit,” the question of whether Great Britain will leave the European Union. All British eligible voters can help make this decision, and voting will be done by 2:00 PST tomorrow. Up to 80 percent of the people may vote, and the polls are too close to guess the outcome. As a Britisher, Oliver urged the people of the UK to maintain its EU relationship, but his program won’t be televised in the UK until after the vote. He’s in accord with most experts in saying that the EU can be awful but the ensuing instability would be disastrous if the UK tried to go it on its own.

Many British citizens are suffering from the same opinions as Donald Trump followers—dissatisfaction and distrust of all establishment including the political parties and the media. The “leave” people are also highly conservative, opposed to immigrants, labor, and environmental protection. They think that austerity will save them although it never has in the past. Like Trump, the pro-BRexit people reject any positions of experts—economists, scientists, military commanders, business leaders, etc. It’s the portion of the population who might think that an auto mechanic is a good choice to take out their appendix.

No other country has ever left the EU although Greece considered doing that. If this first-of-its-kind vote succeeds, Britain would spend at least two years to negotiate its departure from the remaining 27 countries which will not give Britain its current privileged access to member countries’ customers or financial markets. More years will be consumed while the UK works to find and negotiate trade deals for other export markets at a time of spreading deflation and rising protectionism throughout the globe. Adding the politics of disengaging British business regulations from those of the EU, and the process might last at least a decade.

Another problem with leaving the EU is the common fisheries policy and agriculture. “Leave” people complain about the fishing quotas set by EU to manage fish stocks and protect marine environments. Voting to leave, however, does not mean that the UK won’t have to deal with the EU. With the separation, the UK couldn’t change EU policy but would still be subject to its restrictions. The UK also receives a larger fishing area than it controls; renegotiating fishing territories gives no guarantee of a better deal for the UK.

EU membership provides some protection against unregulated global markets, and losing that will sacrifice the UK social safety nets in desperate searches for new trade and investment deals to compensate for the loss of markets on the continent. The UK is composed of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. Scotland is pro-EU and may decide to issue a new vote on separating from the UK in order to join the EU. Welsh ministers have also indicated their desire to remain in the EU.

A decision to separate from the EU could be disastrous for the border between Ireland and Northern Ireland, an area of bitter bloodshed since the 1920s. Ireland would still be a part of the EU, and Northern Ireland would be forced out. The resulting dividing line between the two countries could eradicate the uneasy 18-year-long peace that belonging to the EU has assisted since 1998. Customs checks that disappeared in 1993 when EU membership caused free movement of goods and services could return. Cross-border trade in manufactured products on the island was worth an estimated 3 billion euros in 2014.

At this time, Protestants in Northern Ireland want to stay with the UK, and the Catholic minority wants to join Ireland. The UK leaving the EU could end up in an armed conflict between these two factions regarding whether Ireland subsumes Northern Ireland. If both Irelands, Scotland, and Wales stay with the EU, the United Kingdom would revert to being just England–and the only part of the island that isn’t part of the European Union.

Those who want to leave the EU also support the new Deregulation Act, slipped through Parliament last year with little debate and less information to the public. According to the new law, all regulators must now “have regard to the desirability of promoting economic growth.” Any laws dealing with endangered species, speed limits, children’s health, wheelchair ramps, etc. must successfully show how they contribute to the GDP before being passed. As a result, Britain is becoming a place that launders money for drug cartels and terrorists who can keep their money there beyond police and tax inspectors. The “get-rich-quick” philosophy leads to problems that are then blamed on immigrants. Without votes, the prime minister made deals with the EU commission.

The current government has rejected science regarding insecticides, slashed renewable energy, and fights wildlife protection, but it can be worse. The EU has restricted UK policies to some extent. Without the EU, the UK would have carte blanche to destroy the environment. Leaving the EU would dismantle human rights protections, lead to a smaller labor and talent pool with tightening of borders for migrants, and lead to environmentally hazardous activities. The “Leave” backers also want to privatize and dismantle the National Health Service, leaving the country with uninsured people.

Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron, right, listens as current Mayor of London Boris Johnson speaks at a mayoral election campaign rally for Britain's Conservative party candidate for Mayor of London Zac Goldsmith at a school in Ham, a suburb in south west London, Tuesday, May 3, 2016.   The Mayor of London election takes place on Thursday. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

boris johnson 2The face of the “Leave” campaign is former Mayor of London Boris Johnson (above left) who both behaves and looks like Donald Trump. If the UK leaves the EU, Johnson could become a leader in the right-of-center Conservative Party and perhaps even prime minister. Johnson even sounds like Trump, for example saying that this “part-Kenyan” had an “ancestral dislike of the British empire.” Although he’s fairly sure that leaving the EU would not cause problems, he said he would apologize publicly if Brexit caused a recession. [Above: Boris Johnson was invited to take part in a tug of war with the armed forces to launch Poppy Day.]

Clashes between the two sides in BRexit were largely verbal, but pro-EU Jo Cox of the Labor Party was shot and stabbed last Thursday. In the United States, killings with guns are an everyday matter, but this event shocked people on both sides of British politics. The tragedy was the first killing of a sitting British MP since the death of Ian Gow in 1990. The man charged with her murder said, “Death to traitors, freedom for Britain.” He had bought a manual on how to build homemade guns and explosives from the National Alliance, a U.S.-based neo-Nazi group.

Brogan Morris wrote a comparison between the upcoming elections in the US and the UK, between Johnson and Trump. He holds the media largely responsible for allowing these no-nothing hate-mongers to build their popularity. Imagine a world in which Trump is president of the most affluent country in the world and Trump 2—Boris Johnson—is prime minister of one of this nation’s closest allies.

Once again, I highly recommend watching the segment from The John Oliver Show about the negative affect of UK leaving the EU.

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