Thursday, December 10, 2015

America, Trumped

Years ago, I listed Donald Trump as one of my likes on Facebook, along with Vlad the Impaler and Caligula.  I thought it was nearly as absurd to admire Trump as it was the others.  Trump had threatened to run for political office for years before that.  I thought it was just another way to promote himself, to massage his ego, to keep his name in the news.

He has been the consistent leader in the national polls for the Republican nomination for a ridiculous length of time, and his popularity goes up every time he makes an outrageously bigoted statement.  I'm not one of those liberals who thinks that all Republicans are idiots or bigots, or that all Democrats are smart or open-minded, but there is something seriously wrong with the GOP when some polls show a man like Trump as the choice of over 40% of Americans who call themselves Republicans.  Ben Carson, who says that no Muslim should be president, has polled above 20%.  Thus, a sizable majority of Republicans would support a candidate who favors egregious discrimination against Muslims.

I wouldn't want to live in Trump's vision of America, where dangers are exaggerated to the point of outright hatred towards a religion that, as of 2010, had 1.6 billion adherents worldwide, all of whom, in Trump's America, would be banned from this nation outright.  Those terrorists who call themselves Muslim do not understand what Islam is.  They benefit from us fearing them.  They want us to hate them.  Groups such as ISIS and al Qaeda have accomplished what they set forth to do.

If there can really be such a thing as a "War on Terror," al Qaeda won their part of it.  Al Qaeda wanted an outright war when they brought down the World Trade Center towers, and we kindly obliged.  Osama bin Laden wasn't dumb.  He knew the U.S. had a vast monetary advantage, more powerful weapons, and better trained warriors than al Qaeda and its allies.  He wanted us to be afraid, and he accomplished that.  He wanted more people in the Muslim world to support his twisted offshoot of Islam, and he was successful, because America reacted the way he wanted us to.  Al Qaeda, in my view, was nothing more than a militant cult.  I use the word "was" because, even though they technically still exist, al Qaeda has lost most of its membership to the even more extreme, more militant group ISIS.  As an example, Boko Haram, the large group in Nigeria that famously kidnapped hundreds of schoolgirls last year, has switched its allegiance from al Qaeda to ISIS.  Boko Haram is now considered ISIS's "West African Province."  We didn't win the "War on Terror," and we never will.  Another terrorist group will rise up once ISIS is broken apart, and, if it history progresses as it has recently, it will probably be even more extreme.

Trump's policy stances are absurd and scary.  I still don't think he can win the GOP nomination, much less the presidency.  If he does win the nomination, it would be catastrophic for the Republican party.  If he doesn't win the nomination, I think his ego would make him run as an independent, which could only benefit the Democratic nominee.  The troubling thing is, his candidacy has proven that bigotry is alive and well in America, to an alarming extent.

If you read this and Trump's position on Muslim immigration and registration don't bother you, can you at least stop and think about the practicality of his policies?  It would cost a ridiculous amount of money to determine who is and who isn't a Muslim.  A terrorist, in Trump's America, isn't going to claim to be Muslim if his intent is to commit terrorism.  It wouldn't be like when we interned Japanese-Americans during World War II; Muslims belong to virtually every ethnic group.  We would have to maintain a database on every Muslim in the world to put Trump's policies into place, which is, of course, impossible.  Say we don't think we can keep track of everybody, but we do think we can keep track of almost everybody.  How much would that cost?  Aren't conservatives supposed to believe in keeping government spending under control?  Aren't they supposed to value human life?  If we really want to save a significant (percentage-wise) number of people's lives, we should commit more to curing cancer and heart disease, or mental health issues that lead to suicide.  Every violent death is tragic, but let's have some perspective here.  Let truth win, not fear.

I think we're better than this.  We can't really control Americans' personal prejudice.  Patrick Henry famously said, "Give me liberty or give me death!"  The risk of you or me being the victim of a terrorist attack is small, too small to justify a policy that will steal the opportunity for liberty from 1.6 billion people.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015


Red is not-red.
Blue is not-blue.
Yellow is not-yellow.
We do not reflect
what we absorb.
If Truth exists,
it’s what's left
when our lies don’t stick.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015


I fear no one
and no thing,
and that's terrifying,
or it should be
to you
and the rest of you
and me,
set in a mold,
waiting to be released
by trembling hands,
understanding I'll lose some of myself
in the process,
for the mold holds
its residue.

Saturday, June 13, 2015


Look at these two pictures.

These are both me.  I have just passed a threshold.  According to the BMI (Body Mass Index), I have crossed over from obesity to overweightitude.  It should be obvious which photo shows the obese me and which shows the overweight me.  The obese me is deeply unattractive, painful to look at, undesirable, insecure, maybe not even human.  The overweight me, on the other hand, is handsome, charming, charismatic, irrestible to the opposite sex.  It's amazing what one lost pound can do.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Psalm #14

I read grand words about who I am.  I'm your child.  I have a purpose.  I should strive for perfection, even knowing it is unobtainable.  How can I, when my basic needs aren't met?  I have enough to eat, if all I need is calories.  I have shelter, but for how long?  I have a gift of caring, with no one to care for.  My mind is unique, but how, towards what purpose, can I use it?  I have to trust, to step blindly, when I haven't trusted wisely, when I've tripped over my own feet.  There is a way, a path, made for me, only me.  Why isn't it lit?

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Things I'd Probably Like More If I Didn't Hate You (Abridged)

  • You
  • People
  • People who kind of look like you
  • White people
  • White people who kind of look like you
  • Democracy
  • Baseball
  • Birthdays
  • Church
  • China
  • Christmas
  • Cats
  • G. Love
  • Money
  • Mangoes
  • Musicals
  • Mango-based musicals
  • Walmart
  • Writing
  • Women’s sports
  • School
  • Sleep
  • Socks
  • Sobriety
  • Socialism
  • Sunshine
  • Offices
  • Orifices
  • America
  • Fresh air
  • Family

Tuesday, April 14, 2015


Are we concentric circles with God as our common focus?
Are we loci in ellipses with a constant motion around the foci of God and the other, with predictable patterns of apodeus and perideus?
Are we squiggles lacking pattern, looking for the point that is God?
Are we parabolas coming from nothingness, approaching God, maybe even touching God, and returning to nothingness?
Are we spirals beginning at the point that is God and slowly and infinitely leaving God's presence?
Are we individual points, infinite and unmoving, with or without a point that is God?
Is God infinite, individual points, with us the points lost among God?
Are we nothingness, with God as the only point?
Are we at right angles to God, connected by a knowable line?
Are we so close that God and we are the same point?
Are there points?