Controversy Over Comey Dismissal
This week President Donald Trump fired FBI Director James Comey. Democrats who previously had called for Comey's departure denounced the move.
Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn), Vice Chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), contends that "it has thrown the nation into a real constitutional crisis. Here we have a man who should never have been allowed to be president act as if he is the president. Since Hillary Clinton won the popular vote it seems to me that any changes in the personnel in the Executive Branch ought to be approved by her before they are made."
Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif) agreed. "When a person who should not be president usurps the authority of the office that is grounds for impeachment," she argued. "Hillary Clinton should be the one to determine whether Comey deserved to be fired. Considering how he betrayed her during the campaign she would be justified in firing him. I could support that. The Trump Administration's complaint that Comey was doing a terrible job, over-stepping his authority, and impeding the investigation of leaks of classified information are illegitimate because they originate from an illegitimate president."
Waters dismissed evidence that Comey sat on 600 million pages documenting the Obama Administration's massive illegal surveillance operation targeting American citizens as "irrelevant. The fact is that if President Obama approved this surveillance its revelation by a whistle blower is treason, pure and simple. The FBI Director has no obligation not to impede an investigation that would impugn our last legitimate president's actions to protect this country from its domestic enemies."
Following Comey's dismissal the New York Times published leaks from anonymous sources said to be Comey's "associates at the Bureau." The leaks reportedly gave details of a private, in-person, one-on-one conversation between Comey and President Trump. The leakers' allegation that Trump asked for Comey's loyalty is unverified. However, the very existence of this "leak" does seem to validate the premise that despite his denials that he has never leaked anything to the media nor authorized any of his subordinates to do so, Comey either is the source of this leak or that the leak is totally fabricated.
Michelle Obama Assails School Lunch Deregulation
Former First Lady Michelle Obama, the instigator of rules that led to massive trashing of school lunches across America, expressed her dismay at the Trump Administration's decision to allow local school authorities to select their own menus. "What is wrong with these people?" she wanted to know. "The menus crafted under my guidance were carefully balanced for the right combinations of nutritious food."
Trump Administration Secretary of Agriculture Sonny Perdue defended the move, saying that "requiring schools to set out food that students won't eat accomplishes nothing. Rather than force everyone to conform to a standard that leads to waste we are allowing local people who likely have a better idea of what their students will eat the latitude to make their own decisions."
Michelle labeled Perdue's reasoning "ignorant" and "a recipe for sickness and death. It shifts power from the recognized experts to local yahoos too weak to take on the task of altering the food prejudices of the masses. This 'laissez faire' attitude reverses the gains made during my husband's administration. And for what? Is the freedom to poison one's body with an unhealthful diet now some sort of inalienable right? I think most parents and voters will see it as a criminal attack on the health of our young people that clearly fits within the 'high crimes and misdemeanors' grounds for impeachment."
Muslim Persecution in US Worse than ISIS Massacre of Christians
This week, ABC News political analyst Matthew Dowd challenged evangelist Franklin Graham's concerns about the persecution of Christians around the globe, calling it "overblown. A far worse problem is the persecution of Muslims right here in the United States."
While the practice of Christianity is illegal in some Muslim countries and severely hampered in others, Muslims in the US openly attend mosques and pray in public without any officially sanctioned interference and little unofficial notice or impediments. While Muslim fanatics readily heed the Quran's call to slaughter unbelievers who refuse to convert, there is no similar scriptural call for Christians to kill members of other faiths and Muslims are free to move about without being blown apart, shot, or beheaded by Christian zealots.
To Dowd, though, the absence of contemporary atrocities by Christians is "historically myopic. Let's not forget that a thousand years ago popes called upon Christians to take back lands conquered by Muslims in that religion's great era of expansion. As former President Obama pointed out, plenty of Muslims died at the hands of pious Christians during these 'Crusades.'"
"The insidious signs of Muslim persecution in the US are evinced by the disapproving stares of Americans who disrespect their traditional garb, the extra scrutiny they get for merely repeating the words of their holy book, and the suspicion that their beliefs justifying jihad are dangerous and 'unAmerican,'" Dowd maintained. "Being forced to endure an atmosphere of continual dread is crueler than a quick thrust of a beheader's knife. So, yes, the horrors inflicted on Muslims in our country are worse than whatever has happened to Christians intruding on Muslim lands."
Trump Gets Preferential Treatment in White House Dining Room
Appalling repression in the White House dining room came to light when the media exposed the scandalous story of how President Trump gets more and better food than other diners. In a Time magazine article it was revealed that at White House dinners Trump gets Diet Coke (everyone else gets water), Trump gets Thousand Island dressing (everyone else gets vinaigrette), Trump gets two scoops of ice cream (everyone else gets one).
CNN's Jeanne Moos saw this as "unjustifiable discrimination—the kind that makes you wonder whether Trump thinks he's king." In support of this theory, Moos cited the fact that "Vice-President Pence doesn't get any ice cream. He's only allowed a 'fruit plate.' What has he done to get on Trump's bad side?"
Cristeta Comerford, the White House Executive Chef since 2005, denied there was any discrimination: "anyone who asks is given the same option to choose as the President. You want something other than water? Just ask. You want a different salad dressing? We have many from which you can choose. You want two scoops of ice cream, three scoops, whatever? Just ask."
Moos contended that "the chef's response is too convenient to be credible. We need to know who pressured her to come up with this unbelievable alibi. Was she cowed into submission by the very public firing of the FBI Director? Or was her subservient status as a woman of color within a racist administration sufficient to extract the desired cover story? This incident would seem to bolster calls for an independent prosecutor to investigate Trump."
Female Refugees Victims of Sexual Violence in Germany
A study by the news service Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN) found that female refugees living in government shelters are being repeatedly harassed and attacked by male guards and refugees. Sally Abazeed, a 20-year-old refugee from Syria, told of how she had been repeatedly accosted by a guard at the shelter. She also said she was often followed into the toilets at night by one of the guards.
Abazeed escaped from the shelter with the assistance of a fellow Syrian only to be raped by him once outside the compound. She reported the rape to the police, but was told she had insufficient evidence to justify an investigation.
Berlin Police Department spokesman Helmut Banger explained that "our accommodation of sharia law requires that all rape allegations must be supported by either two male eyewitnesses or four female eyewitnesses. Unfortunately, Ms Abazeed could produce no witnesses. We had no alternative. We had to dismiss her case."
More Abortions Needed to Fight Global Warming
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem made an impassioned plea for preserving and extending women's right to abortion, calling it "a powerful and necessary remedy in the fight against sexual injustice and global warming. Nothing is worse for the planet than more people. Interdicting the creation of more people is crucial if we are to avert a holocaust."
As Steinem sees it, men force women into bearing children. "Considering the toll it takes on a woman's body, no woman in her right mind would willingly submit to childbirth," she contended. "Add to this the tremendous sacrifice of free time that must be given up in order to care for children. Agreeing to have a child is akin to selling yourself into slavery. The men who pressure women into this tragic fate must be stopped."
"Essential to stopping this pattern of patriarchal tyranny is abortion," Steinem asserted. "A lot of people don't know this, but the Nazis paid women to have children. Thankfully, we haven't descended to that level of disrespect for humanity because we still allow abortion. As long as women have an unconstrained right to terminate any pregnancy they will hold the key that unlocks their chains. As an added bonus, the removal of millions and potentially billions of unwanted humans using this right is what will save the Earth from environmental catastrophe."
Newspaper Calls for Stricter Censorship
Citing the "need to protect the more sensitive among us from the psychological damage of words that could be construed as offensive," the editors of the Washington Post urged that "we unwed ourselves from the notion that freedom of speech is a vital or even necessary feature of a civilized society."
"The right of freedom of speech does not have a meaningful quantum of value to the average person," the editors wrote. "The average person continually must refrain from saying things that would offend an employer, spouse, or friend in order to interact harmoniously with the people closest to him. Why shouldn't the government step in and enforce this same behavior as a general improvement of society?"
"There's an old saying 'that if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all.'" the editorial continued. "If everyone knew that insensitive utterances could result in substantial financial penalties or even jail time, it stands to reason that conversations would become more pleasant. Fewer feelings would be hurt. Fewer people would have cause to strike out at those who offend them. People would be happier."
In related news, Edgewood Middle School in Trenton, Ohio gave seventh grader Zachary Bowlin a 10 day suspension for "liking" a photo of of an airsoft pellet gun on Instagram. Edgewood Schools Superintendent Russ Fussnecker explained that "we have a 'zero tolerance' of inappropriate behavior by any of our students. The fact that Zachary publicly expressed his like for this dangerous weapon showed a grave insensitivity to his fellow students and manifested an intent to intimidate his classmates. The contention that the weapon is non-lethal, that the offense occurred outside of school grounds and hours does not excuse the behavior. We are going to stamp out incorrigible attitudes with as harsh a punishment as we can impose. Those who refuse to get the message will be crushed."