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Day 377 – You Know Nothing About the Immigrants in Our Country, Mr. President. Nothing.

Day 377 – You Know Nothing About the Immigrants in Our Country, Mr. President. Nothing.

Image from the Southern Poverty Law Center

Mr. President,

I forced myself to listen to your speech last night while running on a treadmill in the gym. I had no other choice, every screen in that gym had your face on it. In attempts to make it more palatable, I simultaneously read #SOTU hashtagged tweets on It was scary, sad, but also hopeful and reassuring to see the reactions of individuals from all over the world furiously popping up on my iPad screen. I was severely disappointed, yet not at all surprised, to hear your typical approach of fear-mongering, especially around the issue of immigration.

The issue of immigration is a topic I hold dear to my heart. My mother and father came to the United States from South America by plane. This happened many years before I was born, some 44 plus years ago. I am not sure about my dad, for I did not grow up with him long after my parents’ divorce, but my mom overstayed her visa and lived as an undocumented citizen in the U.S. for many years. Finally, in the early 90’s, after years and years of what seemed like never ending paperwork, she finally became a U.S. citizen. The issue of immigration is also dear to my heart for I grew up in a Latino neighborhood in Jamaica, Queens in New York City. Living in Queens, I knew, loved and was friends with many people who lived, worked and paid taxes to the U.S., while all along being undocumented. None of these people were rapists, murderers or gang members. None of these people had any other intention besides the single finite goal of helping out their families, whether they were here or abroad. One thing I know for sure they were is “hard working.” When one comes to America with a dream of “making it,” one comes emotionally armed to work harder than anyone or ever before in order to realize that dream; it is an unrelentingly brutal path for all who come, but a path one consciously chooses with resolve and determination. From experience, I know very well that oftentimes “working hard” required working while ill, working long dreary hours, or even working in physically unsafe situations and of course, doing all of it for very, very little pay. To this day, I don’t recall my mother ever taking a vacation; it was just not part of her world, not part of the life she set out to live for herself. First generation immigrants like her just cannot afford to be replaced at their jobs, so work is all they know.

Last night, at your State of The Union address, you deliberately chose to show the face of immigration as a bunch of murderers, rapists or gang members. While my heart cried and prayed for the poor parents of the girls, Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens, savagely murdered by six members of the MS13 gang (of whom you spoke about in your speech), these evil murderers are by no means a representative sample of the immigrants that live in America today. Of course, I agree, no family should ever have to lose a loved one in such an evil, senseless way and I hope the two families find peace, if not justice, in this lifetime. Yet, the undocumented immigrants I grew up around were not murderers, rapists or gang members. Devastatingly, murders do happen every day but lots more of these murders are actually committed by United States citizens, Mr. President. A tweet from @tcurrais last night best describes this stating that, “Las Vegas shooter: Not an immigrant. Sandy Hook Shooter: Not an immigrant, Charleston Church Shooter: Not an immigrant. Aurora Movie Theatre Shooter: Not an immigrant. Texas Church Shooter: Not an immigrant. Columbine Shooter. Not an immigrant.” To be fair, Mr. President, shouldn’t you have also mentioned the larger threat of domestic terror or perhaps any of the many other numerous threats to our safety, from domestic abuse to police brutality, or maybe even lack of health insurance, poverty….and on and on?

Mr. President, your sinister not-so-subtle attempts at brainwashing the citizenry and villainizing all immigrants with this one horrific double murder of these young lives is manipulative and plain evil. With your use of just this one example I am more than ever convinced you have no interest in closing the great divide that now plagues our country. Instead, you are attempting to capitalize on our emotional reactions to your carefully chosen examples in order to create an even wider separation among us. I just hope most of us are aware enough to see through your tactic.


Hopeful in Springfield, Va. and Letters2Trump

Day 376 – Do The British Love You, Mr. President? Or Are They Just Thankful You Aren’t Their Embarrassment?

Day 376 – Do The British Love You, Mr. President? Or Are They Just Thankful You Aren’t Their Embarrassment?

Image from Metro UK

Mr. President,

Your interview with “journalist” Piers Morgan certainly made some headlines, and perhaps raised a few eyebrows. But actually there wasn’t much new there, but the same old, same old.

I find it striking that you THINK you have such a fan base in the United Kingdom. “I think I’m very popular in your country,” you said. “I get so much fan mail from people in your country. They love my sense of security – they love what I’m saying about many things.”

What they love are your inappropriate comments, your ridiculous view of the world (including their country), and the randomness of your speech. If they love you, it’s because you are NOT their leader, and they cannot believe you are the leader of one of the most powerful countries in the world. They think you are a buffoon – and the British have a great appreciation of humor. However, I’m sure they would find you not nearly as humorous if you were actually their prime minister.

Some people in Britain might love you because you are racist – there are a few of those like-minded people there as well as here. Or perhaps because Britain is also a nation that has taken in many immigrants, and some people don’t like that. Just like there are people in the United States who think we have too many immigrants from “sh..hole countries”. But I hope the vast majority of British citizens do not feel that way, and are, in fact, appalled by your racist remarks and slurs against immigrants. Most were entirely offended by your ignorant retweeting of the anti-Muslim videos from Britain First.

And then there is global warming. You talk with Piers Morgan as if it’s true the ice caps are building up, and you expect us to believe it because you said it. “There is a cooling and there’s a heating. I mean, look, it used to not be climate change, it used to be global warming. That wasn’t working too well because it was getting too cold all over the place.” A very famous Brit once said, “A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” Global Warming or Climate Change, whatever is happening, it is changing our planet, and not for the better. We need to be back in the Paris accord, and not just because of Emmanuel Macron, “I like him. He’s a great guy. His wife is fantastic.” We need to take measures to save our planet because the climate is changing, and the earth is warming – no matter what you say. You sound like a twit – and the British love a good joke and a bumbling fool. That must be why you think they like you.

Piers Morgan let you off easy, never pressing you on issues that matter. Who cares when you tweet or what you eat. We care about important things, like peace, respect for all people, respect for our global neighbors, the environment, families, health care and equal opportunities for all. The British don’t have to listen to you every single day or feel such embarrassment that the leader of our nation says such asinine things. They can stand on the sidelines and laugh – until your visit in October.




Day 375: A Letter in Two Parts On The State of the Union Address For Those Against Him And Those With Him.

Day 375: A Letter in Two Parts On The State of the Union Address For Those Against Him And Those With Him.

Image from Eurasia Group

To the 56.3% of you who are ready for 2020,

Tomorrow night is the first state of the union address by our “winning” president.

Don’t watch.

We are engaged in an intractable conflict in this country. Such conflicts are “intense, deadlocked, and resistant to de-escalation or resolution. They tend to persist over time, with alternating periods of greater and lesser intensity. Intractable conflicts come to focus on needs or values that are of fundamental importance to the parties.” This is not like normal conflict, where two sides can engage in dialogue and resolve their differences.  Rather, this conflict goes to the heart of who we are as a country.  What we believe, what we value, what we want our future to look like.  Walls & Guns?  Or Diversity & Health Care?

We see this exemplified in congress every day, where our “leaders” are shunned if they so much as think about working with a politician across the aisle.  Even bi-partisan has become no partisan, as no member would dare give a concession to the other party, even if they want it as well.  Worst congress ever?  I don’t know.  But I do know that I’m sick of it, and of the nimrod golfing at the very top. So tomorrow night I will be forgoing this circus of an event.  I will be spending time with my family, perhaps playing a game or reading a book.  I will be teaching my kids about tolerance, acceptance, and humility.

I encourage you to do the same.  Avoid the anger, the bigotry, the hatred, and engage in something that brings you meaning and joy.  Realize that no future action will erase the atrocities of the past year, and instead look to your own future and the future of those you love.  Strengthen those bonds, as in doing so you will be working to fight the hate that has become so deeply rooted in our country.

To the 38.8% of you who still support the “stable genius” in chief: 

Your vision of this country is not the same as mine.

You don’t want immigrants from “shithole” countries.  I do.

You are scared of diversity.  I embrace it.

You want tax cuts for the rich.  I don’t.

You are fine with misogynistic behavior from our senior leaders.  I am not.

You fight against efforts to help those with less than you.  I want to fight for them.

You want to isolate America from the rest of the world. I want to integrate America with the rest of the world.

You think we are stronger with more guns pointed at our enemies.  I think we are stronger with fewer guns pointed at our enemies.

Given you are still supporting the president after this past year, I’m sure your support is rock solid.  I, therefore, make no plea for you not to watch the State of the Union, let alone to change your beliefs.

Rather, I ask that, when your kids or perhaps your grandkids grow up and leave you to move to the city, you keep an open mind about why they’ve chosen the path they have.  And try not to hate them as much as you hate the Democrats.








Day 374 – Letter to the Democratic Party: The Wall = A Carrot for President Tiny Hands.

Day 374 – Letter to the Democratic Party: The Wall = A Carrot for President Tiny Hands.

Image from the Courier Journal

Dear Democratic Party,

I’m liberal. I always have been. And like many liberals, I’m stubborn about taking the moral high ground. But recently, I’ve had a change of heart regarding Trump’s number one campaign promise, and I’m writing to you to in hopes of changing your minds and coming on board with me.

     THE WALL  

I think we should go ahead and give the egomaniac his wall. Yes, I realize that it will be a colossal waste of tax payer money. It will not help secure our borders—the drug dealers it’s meant to keep out prefer tunnels. And it will very likely cause irreparable damage to the ecological balance of the Sonoran Desert.

However, it will also create some short-term jobs. People will earn money. That has to be good for the country, right? And the $18 billion price tag won’t be paid on the first day, so really, the money won’t be going anywhere.

Oh, you just noted that I qualified “jobs” as being “short-term.” Well, duh. Every intelligent person knows that it will be years, YEARS, before any real construction can begin.

There are 1,900 miles to cover, people. Somewhere around 700 miles already have some sort of barrier in place—this began in 2006 with the Secure Fence Act. At the same time, Trump was hoping for the real estate market to crash and announced, big surprise, that he likes nepotism. However, much of the remaining 1,200 miles cuts through privately owned property. Texan property. Eminent domain aside, the Trump Administration should prepare for a battle. Remember the Alamo?

So, yes, years and years before the wall can be built. In the meantime, surveyors, assayers, transportation specialists—you can’t just drive anywhere in the Sonoran Desert—guides, and a slew of both technical and non-technical workers will be hired. And the logistics: hotels, restaurants, service providers—I see no end to the possibilities.

But most importantly, dear Democratic Party, think what giving the wall to Trump will do for you. DACA, for one. I would caution to not cede to Trump the entire wall in one fell swoop, give him just enough until we need something else from him. Keep it dangling under his nose like a carrot.

And while he’s bragging about how big his wall is with his tiny, tiny hands, maybe he’ll be distracted and not do anymore damage to the country. Even if his term lasts a full four years, he will never see the wall’s completion because, as soon as we retake our government, we can begin the dismantling of his policies and his wall.




Day 373 – Letter to America: America, May I Have A Word About Taxes?

Day 373 – Letter to America: America, May I Have A Word About Taxes?

Image from Pinterest

America, May I Have a Word About Taxes?

I’m taxed by the topic of taxes and folks

acting like it’s the axis on which all talk

must spin, but spin is the key word because

rhetoric rules the day and I rue the rhetoric

used to sway every Tom, Dick, and Harry’s hot

take on taxes because even the “leftist” media uses

words like “tax relief” and “tax cuts” that

leave the masses spun into thinking that

taxes are evil, that we as a nation need saving

from our national savings but that doesn’t

make any sense because without cents we

can’t fix the infrastructure that’s stricken

and ruptured, broken by decades of disinvestment

and resentment directed toward some

imaginary citizens of otherness when our

grandpas said they were all brothers in

arms back when we agreed that Nazis

were punching bags with simpletons’

xenophobias. (Live & let live, leave me alone, yes?)

What we need is relief from

the cuts, squeezing blood from a stone is nuts

in the wealthiest country in the entire

history of the human species—America

leaves me speechless, more worried

about its tax returns than practicing

what it preaches—we are a country with

separation of church and state,

but so often we insist its Christian

while also soliciting to get ours, asserting that

Christ rules everything around me while

we & Wu know what the C in CREAM really stands

for, and people, Christ was poor—he kicked over

the money changers’ tables not because the

money itself was evil but because

greed only sees its navel—the sea that

Jesus walked on was raising all boats

not just the captain’s yacht, it’s rotten

to think one boat is superior when

they all float, how you get across the river is up to you,

I mean, congratulations on your kingly golden

dinghy but the janitor’s raft is full of singing

and you can take only one of those with you

after crossing the River Styx.

Taxes are not your burden to bear. With only

a modicum of awareness you have to admit

that taxes are fair. You couldn’t “get yours” without

me and the masses—we’re in this together, you flatulent

asses. There’s no way for you to exist as an island. John

Donne nailed that 394 years ago. No man can do

any of it alone. Our taxes can help both

you & me. We’re in this together, persisting & free.





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