Friday, August 18, 2017

North Korea, Manufacturing Council, Confederate Monuments

The Associated Press reports, "With corporate chieftains fleeing, President Donald Trump abruptly abolished their White House business councils on Wednesday — the latest fallout from his combative comments on racially charged violence in Charlottesville, Virginia."

"Combative Comments"? I didn't see his comments as combative at all, except when he addressed the media as "Fake News" -- which, in this case, fits.

After eight CEO's used Charlottesville as an excuse to resign the Manufacturing Council, Trump decided to just disband the whole thing. What I'd like to know is what does Charlottesville have to do with national manufacturing? Perhaps Trump needs to vet his choices before he makes them when it comes to placing them in elite key positions of influence. Personally, I don't think they got anything done by resigning.

North Korea has eased off on its Missile testing after Trump threatened them with "fire and fury". Steve Bannon claims he shouldn't make such threats since there is no military means of backing up his words. However, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Defense Secretary Jim Mattis insist that should it come to a show of military strength, the U.S. is ready.

Just because Bob Corker chose to call President Trump "incompetant", the main stream news media is now saying that a bunch of lawmakers are saying he is incompetent and they are worried. They cited the words he said and micro-analyzed it to death, as usual. It is my belief that just because a person doesn't have the vocabulary that most politicians have doesn't make him incompetent. If anything, it makes him human. His humanity towards what he is working for is why Americans elected him.

Trump said, in his press conference that allowing Confederate monuments to be removed will lead to the destruction of our national monuments such as Lincoln and the Washington Memorial, and the statue of Jackson. True to his prediction:

Five Texas Democrat lawmakers are pressuring the Dallas mayor to remove Confederate monuments near City Hall and in Oaklawn.

A plaque commemorating Jefferson Davis at a state highway just west of Phoenix was tarred and covered in feathers

Colorado had a constructive way of dealing with their monument controversy.

Mayor Catherine Pugh of Baltimore, Maryland decided Tuesday to take their monuments down.

Government leaders in Kentucky's second-largest city took a decisive stand Thursday night in favor of moving two Confederate statues from their prominent places outside a former courthouse being converted into a visitors center.

In Richmond, Virginia Confederate leaders' descendants want monuments pulled down.

In Madison, Wisconsin, the mayor has ordered all the Confederate monuments removed from the cemetery.

That's just a few of the towns and cities contemplating removing these historical monuments. If they all succeed, soon we will have nothing to remind us of our grisley past. Then, we'll be right back where we started, and our children will be in danger of making the same mistakes over again.

What is going to be done with all these monuments? The Jefferson Davis estate offered to take them all. I think that's a great idea! I hope that each city considers it a viable option.

How to deal with the aftermath...

by Shonda Ponder, editor of The Ponder News

The mainstream news channels have been going non-stop on the ISIS car attacks in Barcelona. Here at The Ponder, we are not going to be covering the Barcelona attacks, except to say that the CIA warned them two months ago what was about to happen and they neglected to prepare for it. Let someone warn us here in the U.S. and watch how fast we prepare for it, whether we believe them or not. Therefore, it's as much the government's fault there as it is the criminal's for doing it, in my opinion.

I'm not trying to sound insensitive to the pain that has been inflicted on the city of Barcelona and its people. My thoughts and heartfelt prayers go up for them; but, we have problems here at home, and there is a lot that isn't being reported because the media's focus is not where it should be.

Someone last night asked me, "Why are they reporting on something that is half a world away? I want to know what is going on HERE!"

I answered him with, "Because, after Charlottesville, the media got caught with their pants down, so they are trying to distract us from that." He nodded and smiled as if to agree.

I wonder how many people are actually buying it.

Having said all that...

I was impressed by the words of Senator Orrin G. Hatch (R - UT) as I read these words from a press release he sent out:

"I was just eight years old when my older brother Jesse was killed in World War II. As I said on Saturday, Jesse didn't give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. I will never hesitate to speak out against hate--whenever and wherever I see it.

In the wake of this weekend's violence, our nation has some soul-searching to do. It is not a time to say "What about" but to seriously ask ourselves "What now?

The choice before us is stark: Either we succumb to the bigotry and tribalism which threaten to tear us apart--or we condemn evil in all its forms and determine to come together as one nation, one people, united under God.

I believe in the infinity capacity of the American people. And I believe that the unbreakable bonds of affection, which for so long have held us together as a nation, are stronger than the forces which seek to divide us.

Above all, I believe in the virtue of civility. While I have strived to demonstrate compassion, comity, and respect throughout my public service, I have, at various times, fallen short of the ideal. But today, I am recommitting myself to civility--and I hope you will join me in doing the same.

Civility requires that we approach debate and discourse with sound logic and new ideas, not with cardboard shields and tiki torches. It asks that we bear our beliefs proudly and in the open, not behind the cowardly anonymity of social media accounts.

The tragedy in Charlottesville calls for a moment of national renewal. Let us all resolve to change. Let us all commit to fighting hatred in our communities with love, empathy, and understanding."

Evil in all its forms. Civility. A call for ALL to resolve to change.

I can go with that, as long as that doesn't mean I have to shut up and that my point of view should be stifled and displaced just because you don't like me. Debate means being willing to listen to the other side, even though you already know you disagree, and addressing the words that come out of their mouth with respect, not insults.

I've learned a lot through my years of debating on the internet.

Senators Mazie K. Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Maria Cantwell (D-Wash.) wrote to Attorney General Jeff Sessions urging him to create an interagency task force to address the tragic increase in hate crimes that has stricken the United States. The recent outburst of violent racism and domestic terrorist activity by white supremacist organizations and individuals in Charlottesville, Virginia, has made the senators’ call for action more forceful.

“President Trump’s reluctance to quickly and directly condemn the hate, bigotry, and racism of the white supremacists and members of the Ku Klux Klan that gathered in Charlottesville was deeply alarming to us and to millions of Americans,” wrote the Senators. “In light of the horrific attack and hatred demonstrated this weekend in Charlottesville, we urge you to act quickly to address the alarming rise of hate in our country.”

That right there is lack of sufficient information, which leads me to believe that the senators in question did not listen to the press conference I heard. Instead, they heard what CNN and the Main Stream Media had to say. There should be a law against our leaders in office listening to the news on television. Instead, they should be required to converse and read what their constituents are saying.

In April, Senator Hirono joined a similar group of her colleagues to send a letter to President Trump asking for the task force; to this day, the letter has yet to be directly answered by the Administration. Although the Department of Justice has created a subcommittee focused on hate crimes, the subcommittee lacks sufficient power to effectively address the rise of hate crimes as its scope has never been defined. It's scope? You mean, should the BLM and ANTIFA groups be included in any investigations?

The letter notes that hate crime incidents have increased from 5,479 in 2014 to 5,850 in 2015, a rise of seven percent, and expresses concerns about the Administration’s recent actions to decrease funding for efforts to stop white extremism and eliminate funding for efforts dedicated to de-radicalizing neo-Nazis. The Southern Poverty Law Center found that the number of hate groups operating in the U.S. rose to 917 in 2016, an increase of 25 from 2015. In particular, anti-Muslim hate groups almost tripled in 2016.

Well, considering that the SPLC doesn't have correct information on who is a white supremacist and who isn't, I wouldn't be depending on their information in order to secure funding for anything...and if white supremacy is going to be addressed, shouldn't also black supremacy? This is the one-sided madness that needs to be stopped. This is what is causing the racial rift in our nation today. It ALL needs to stop.

In addition to the formation of the task force, the Senators’ letter urged the Attorney General to devote more resources from his department to supporting states and local communities in addressing the root causes of hate through education, community development, and cross-cultural exchanges. I'm all for that.

House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-TX) released a letter in response to Ranking Member Bennie Thompson (D-MS) and the Democrat Members’ call for a hearing on the threat of domestic terrorism. In the letter he said:

"On September 12th, we will hold a full committee hearing and have invited the leaders of the Department of Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the National Counterterrorism Center to discuss the most serious threats America faces. I strongly encourage Members of both parties to engage the witnesses on the dangers posed by domestic terrorists and other extremist groups."

This should be interesting to watch.