Blissful Ignorance 

I have always found the stunning and willfull ignorance conservative something so difficult to understand, and to even quantify. So when I stumbled across this post on a liberal site, I felt it was a must share. Stunning, but not surprising when you think about 2016 went. 

Willful Ignorance, or Stupid and Proud of it. American Idiots.

I don’t know why intelligent people believe it politically incorrect to call stupid people ignorant, or even idiotic. It is not an alternative fact, the truth is a majority of Americans are, actually, willfully ignorant of history, culture, and actively anti-intellectual. They appreciate all the benefits of technology and science but still embrace superstition and stubbornly cling to supernatural explanations for life, existence and refuse to accept evolution as evidence based science.

Below are some numbers culled from the last ten or so years.

In a 2008 survey about 20% of American adults know there are 100 Senators, about the same percentage know they have a term of six years.

In a 2014 Gallup survey, 59% of Americans believe in “divinely guided” evolution. The same survey showed about 40% believe in Creationism or Biblical Genesis. Only 8% believe in “evolution” without any heavenly assistance.

The same survey showed that among Americans with less than high school education, 57% of those believe ‘God’ created humans less than 10,000 years ago. Among high school graduates the percentage increased to to only 48%, but 27% of college graduates still held on to the ten thousand year old threshold. Among regular, weekly, church goers, 69% believe their god created the first humans 10,000 years ago.

Only one five Americans can identify or name more than one of the Ten Amendments.

A Gallup Poll in 2005 only 49% of Americans knew that the United States was the first nation to drop atomic bombs.

A 2007 USA Today survey found out that 55% of Americans believe the Constitution established the United States as a Christian nation.

In 2013 in Public Policy Polling, 37% of Americans believe Climate Change is a hoax. Among Republicans 58%are convinced its a hoax, about 61% of Romney voters agreed.

Climate Change is a highly partisan issue, the 2013 PPP survey showed that only 11% of Democrats believe it was fake news, but 77% believed it was real. That was one of the greatest disparities between the two major parties.

14% in the PPP survey believe in Bigfoot, or roughly 43 million American adults think Sasquatch exists. Along with the 21% who believe a flying saucer crashed in Area 51 back in 1947 and not a weather balloon.

65% of American in that 2013 survey cannot name a single Supreme Court justice.

But a CBS poll in 2011, showed that 80% of Americans believe angels are real.

30% of Americans in 2013 couldn’t name the Vice President.

A Politico report in 2015, showed that one third of millenials, Americans between the ages of 18 and 34 could not name either one of the United States Senators. Among Latinos the only one in six could identify a Senator among African Americans, according to the survey only one in ten could name a single Senator.

So, it goes. Americans are the most Christian nation on the planet, the most self righteous and the most ignorant, and proud of it.

Resistance Tips!

There are all sorts of things we can do to bring light and accountability to President Trump. The events of the last 72 hours have been a further example of how ill equipped he is to handle the job of President. It has been reported by both the The New York Times & The Washington Post that in an effort to have the executive order involving the travel ban expiated, it was rushed through and not properly vetted through the government legal offices. Imagine if President Obama had done something that careless or reckless, and something that affected literally thousands of people in a 48 hour time period. 

There are many things we all do to be a part of The Resistance. The following is from Robert Reich. Take a look & decide how you can help!

By now it should be clear that you must be more of a citizen activist than ever. Trump is out to destroy our democracy. Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, on the right or the left, you’re needed. 

Many of you ask me what, specifically, you should do. 

One suggestion: Join with neighbors, friends, and family to form an Indivisible Resistance Group. Meet on a regular basis. Divide up the following tasks:

1. Get the facts. Keep track of the largest and most damaging of Trump’s and his administration’s lies and actions. You need to know the truth, and what’s happening. Check your facts. Circulate what you know to the group and to others. 

2. Organize. Have everyone to contact their members of congress in opposition to Trump policies. Here’s a worthwhile guide: Make calls continuously. Visit your senators’ and congressperson’s local offices on an ongoing basis. Organize petitions and deliver them. 

3. Reach out. If you’re in a “blue” district, connect up with a “purple” district that needs your help, resources, and encouragement. Here’s a useful guide for how: 

4. Connect up with other Indivisible Resistance groups in your congressional district or your county. Meet as a whole. Plan strategy. 

5. Don’t forget local and state politics. Keep track of the big issues coming before your city or state – on the environment, voting rights, providing sanctuary to undocumented immigrants, women’s reproductive rights. Encourage your local and state officials to stand up to Trump.

6. Demonstrate, make a ruckus. Connect up with other groups that are planning demonstrations. Get media attention. Have spokespeople who can talk with local media about why Trump’s actions and policies are dangerous. 

7. Contribute to groups that are on the front line of the resistance – the ACLU, Common Cause, and others. 

8. Do background reading on the rise of fascism. Some suggestions: Sinclair Lewis, “It Can’t Happen Here;” George Orwell “1984;” Philip Roth, “The Plot Against America;” Hannah Arendt, “The Origins of Totalitarianism.”

9. Share useful webpages, articles, guides. 

What else?

Republicans & Newspapers

There are lots of things Trump supporters don’t like about newspapers. One is they generally print facts, no matter what town or city you live in. The other thing they may not like is the collection of big words, but that’s just a snarky observation, with no facts to back it up. The third thing, and the one that is the scariest is their President has an adversarial relationship with the media & many of the larger newspapers, although he reads them everyday.  Trump has gone on record and twitter that be believes that institutions like the New York Times & The Washington Post are “fake news”.  It’s an idiotic tactic, except Trump is speaking to a large group of Americans that fell for real fake news & Russian propaganda last fall. Sadly, now we have millions of Americans that have followed Trump’s lead with the media & newspapers. The silver lining to this story is that 73 million Americans voted against Trump, and won’t be swayed by his whining of the media that covers him, accurately.  I believe what Gore Vidal famously said many many years ago, “half the country doesn’t read newspapers & the other half doesn’t vote, let’s hope they are the same half”.

Trumped By The Ladies!!

In the last 24 hours President Trump has been taught a few things by the opposite sex.  Knowing that Trump is a misogynistic pig, it’s been that much more fun to watch. Last night Ann Donnally, a federal judge appointed by President Obama issued a stay on Trump’s executive order, in essence telling Trump not so fast. Donnally’s order will not be the last word, but it was a great opening salvo to Trump & Steve Bannon. 

Then today in a phone call with the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, it was learned that Merkel had to explain the Geneva Convention to Trump, and each country’s responsibility regarding taking in refugees from war torn countries.  The last 24 hours is just another bright shining example of how Trump is woefully unprepared for the rigors and task of the job. 

Standing Alone…

There hasn’t been too many times in this great nations history that we have instituted a policy so bad that literally none of our Allies agree with. However, that’s exactly what President Trump has done with his over reaching executive order banning Muslims from 7 different countries & all Syrians. Many of our friendly countries have taken the unusual steps of condemning Trumps actions. Including long time ally Great Britain & Prime Minister Theresa May, whom had just met with Trump earlier in the week.  

From the New York Times & Robert Reich here are statements and reactions from leader all over the world. 

Trump’s vicious xenophobia – his ban on Syrian refugees, his temporary ban on entry to the U.S. by people from 7 predominantly Muslim countries, his wall with Mexico – is reverberating around the world, even among America’s oldest allies and friends. For example: 

1. A spokesman for Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany today said there was no justification for Trump’s ban on all refugees and the citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries entering the United States. Yesterday, during their phone conversation, Merkel reminded Trump that the Geneva Convention on refugees obliges all member states to take in those fleeing war. (Germany has taken in more than 1 million asylum seekers, many of them Muslims, since 2015. The United States had taken in 14,333 before Trump’s ban.) 

2 Prime Minister Paolo Gentiloni of Italy said Trump’s approach ran counter to basic European principles. He tweeted this morning that “Italy is anchored in its values. Open society, pluralism, no discrimination. They are the pillars of Europe.” (Italy has taken in 800,000.)

3. Prime Minister Theresa May of Britain, at first reluctant to criticize Trump, said today through a spokesman that the British government did “not agree with this kind of approach and it is not one we will be taking.” British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson wrote this morning that it is “Divisive and wrong to stigmatize because of nationality.” (Britain is aiming to take in 20,000 Syrian refugees.)

4. President François Hollande of France said he had reminded Mr. Trump of his “conviction that the ongoing fight to defend our democracy will be effective only if we sign up to respect to the founding principles and, in particular, the welcoming of refugees.”

5. A few days ago Michael Müller, the Mayor of Berlin, said in response to Trump’s Mexican wall: “Berlin, the city of Europe’s division, the city of Europe’s freedom, cannot silently look on as a country sets about building a new wall. We Berliners know better than most the pain caused when a whole continent is split by barbed wire and walls. Our division destroyed the prospects of millions. But ultimately, we, the people, overcame it.”

Trump is shaming America in the eyes of the world. He is rejecting the basic human rights that have given our nation its moral authority. 

What do you think?

Conflicting Ban…

It’s been very obvious from the start, Donald Trump wasn’t going to be subtle with his conflicts or the levels of his hypocrisy. The main reason he doesn’t have to be is the IQ & acumen level of his supporters. So it’s comes as very little surprise that many don’t know that Trump has vast business interests in the heavily Muslim populated countries of Egypt, Turkey & Saudia Arabia. If you recall, the majority of the 9/11 terrorist were Saudi nationals. Yet know ban on the country’s & no explanation from the Trump Administration on why those countries were excluded. 

Great source article from Bloomberg about Trump’s Business interest in those countries.

Has Any President Ever Been as Despised in his Hometown as Donald Trump?

They say the people that know you best, vote accordingly, right?  If that holds true, Donald Trump a life long New Yorker & Manhattan resident lost both the city & state that he lives in by extremely wide margins. To be fair though, Trump did lose the popular vote by over 3 million votes as well.  It’s not that Trump lost the city & state he resides in, it’s how loathed is there. In New York City, a city Trump has lived & worked in for over 40 years, he got just 10% of the vote. Staggering for a city that’s the largest in the country. It’s also equally telling as well. It once again underscores just how utterly ignorant the Trump voters are. Hard core republicans will say that many democrats are just costal elites, that are out of touch. I ask you this, what more out of touch than a billionaire living in 50 story building in New York City, with his name on it. In town where is despised by almost all. 

Great article from Newsweek & Zack Schonfeld.

One Week Down…

Well, one week down & 207 to go with President Trump. That is if fate doesn’t intervene, and Trump isn’t impeached first. It was a flurry of the typical tweet-storms, 10 executive orders & one terrifying interview with Sean Hannity. For those who had said that Trump would be less of crazy lunatic after he ascended the presidency, look almost as foolish as he does. Instead of focusing on what he called the “American Carnage” in his inauguration address, Trump focused on his mediocre ratings and turn out at his inauguration & chasing the unicorn that is voter fraud. Incidentally, one day after he tweeted about massive voter fraud, it was found that many in Trump’s inner circles were in violation of voter laws.  That list included his daughter Tiffany, son in law & advisor Jared Kushner, Steve Bannon & Steve Mnucin. 

From The Resistance report from Robert Reich, here is the flurry of Trump’s week. 

Week 1

* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered all regulatory powers of all federal agencies frozen.

* On January 20th, 2017, DT ordered the National Parks Service to stop using social media after reweeting factual, side-by-side photos of the crowds for the 2009 and 2017 inaugurations.

* On January 21st, 2017, DT brought a group of 40 staffers and followers to a meeting with the CIA to cheer for him during a speech that consisted almost entirely of framing himself as the victim of dishonest press.

* On January 21, 2017, DT personally phoned National Park Service director Michael T. Reynolds and ordered him to produce additional photographs of the previous day’s crowds on the Mall, in order to show that the media had lied in reporting attendance had been no better than average. 

* On January 21st, 2017, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer held a press conference largely to attack the press for accurately reporting the size of attendance at the inaugural festivities, saying that the inauguration had the largest audience of any in history, “period.”

* On January 22nd, 2017, White House advisor Kellyann Conway defended Spicer’s lies as “alternative facts” on national television news.

* On January 22nd, 2017, DT appeared to blow a kiss to director James Comey during a meeting with the FBI, and then opened his arms in a gesture of strange, paternal affection, before hugging him with a pat on the back.

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT reinstated the global gag order, which defunds international organizations that even mention abortion as a medical option.

* On January 23rd, 2017, Spicer said that the US will not tolerate China’s expansion onto islands in the South China Sea, essentially threatening war with China.

* On January 23rd, 2017, DT repeated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing him the popular vote.

* On January 24th, 2017, Spicer reiterated the lie that 3-5 million people voted “illegally” thus costing DT the popular vote.

* On January 24th, 2017, DT tweeted a picture from his personal Twitter account of a photo he said depicts the crowd at his inauguration and will hang in the White House press room. The photo is curiously dated January 21st, 2017, the day after the inauguration and the day of the Women’s March, the largest inauguration related protest in history.

* On January 24th, 2017, the EPA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to freeze all grants and contracts. EPA scientists were ordered to stop publishing their data unless cleared with DT transition personnel. 

* On January 24th, 2017, the USDA was ordered to stop communicating with the public through social media or the press and to stop publishing any papers or research. All communication with the press would also have to be authorized and vetted by the White House.

* On January 24th, 2017, HR7, a bill that would prohibit federal funding not only to abortion service providers, but to any insurance coverage, including Medicaid, that provides abortion coverage, went to the floor of the House for a vote.

* On January 24th, 2017, Director of the Department of Health and Human Service nominee Tom Price characterized federal guidelines on transgender equality as “absurd.”

* On January 24th, 2017, DT ordered the resumption of construction on the Dakota Access Pipeline, while the North Dakota state congress considers a bill that would legalize hitting and killing protestors with cars if they are on roadways.

* On January 24, 2017, DT’s director of strategy, Steven Bannon, said “the media should be embarrassed and humiliated and keep its mouth shut and just listen for a while. The media here is the opposition party. They don’t understand this country.”

* On January 25, 2017, DT signed an executive order to begin building a wall along the U.S.-Mexican border that would cost an estimated $20 billion to $35 billon, and insisted Mexico would pay for it.

*On January 25, 2017, DT tweeted “If Mexico is unwilling to pay for the badly needed wall, then it would be better to cancel the upcoming meeting” with Mexican president President Peña Nieto.

* On January 25, 2017, Mexican president President Peña Nieto cancelled his meeting with DT.

* On January 25, 2017, DT said he thought torturing terrorism suspects was justified. “Do I feel it works? Absolutely, I feel it works,” he told ABC News.

* On January 25, 2017, the entire senior level of management of the State Department — many of whom had served under previous Republican as well as Democratic administrations – resigned.

*On January 26, 2017, DT’s press secretary said DT will slap a 20 percent tariff on all imports from Mexico in order to finance the wall. 

*On January 26, 2017, DT’s vice president told congressional Republicans that the administration will initiate a “full evaluation of voting rolls in America, the overall integrity of our voting system in the wake of this past election.”

*On January 27, 2017, DT closed the nation’s borders to refugees from around the world, ordering that families fleeing the slaughter in Syria be indefinitely blocked from entering the United States, and temporarily suspending immigration from several predominantly Muslim countries.

* On January 27, 2017, DT established a religious test for refugees from Muslim nations, ordering that Christians and others from minority religions be granted priority over Muslims.

The Q Rating!

More bad news for President Donald Trump.  

Trump — obsessed about his ratings — isn’t doing well. A new Quinnipiac University poll out today put his approval rating among American voters at 36 percent overall, 33 percent among women, 35 percent among Independents. In Quinnipiac’s first poll of Barack Obama’s presidency, Obama was approved by almost 60 percent of American voters. 

New Rules

The Moody Blues famously sang in Knights in White Satin, “red is grey & yellow is white, but we decide which is right & which is an illusion.”  There are no doubts about it, we are living in a new media age, the so called post truth era.  President Trump changed the rules of the game in a way that the media never saw coming. It’s a virtual catch me if you can that Trump and his many surrogates like Kellyanne Conway & Sean Spicer are playing. They play extremely fast and loose with the truth, and it’s virtually impossible to get straight truths from them. Yesterday on Meet The Press was a perfect example. Chuck Todd ask Kellyanne Conway a very simple & easy question to answer. Instead of answering it she went on blathering about nothing remotely close to questions. Todd held Conway accountable to an answer, which she answered badly with the now famous “alternative facts”.  Later in the day though, Conway and company spun this interview as an example of how the media is combative with their administration, though that assertion is far from true. 

I have said it before, but we the people have to have this President held to account, and for the length & breath this country has been a nation, the media has been a partner with the American people in doing so. News outlets have to keep reporting the facts, people are listening.  Trump has so many ongoing issues I think the task may be too much for the media, but they have to up their game, and change the rules back on Trump & company. Hard questions have to asked each and every opportunity presented.  There are questions that need to be investigated & ask, period. The sound & fury method can only hold up for so long now that Trump is the President. He can run only so far, but he can’t hide anymore. There are laws, there are rules, and we the people are the ones that will have the ultimate say on this administration, no matter what Trump says to the contrary.