Off Topic: Happy Chanukah 


Tonight is the first night of Chanukah.

This is a joyful holiday where we celebrate by eating food cooked in oil and playing with a dreidel.

Happy holidays!

With blessings,

Carol and family

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The Nation We’ve Become

From a 1945 Encyclopedia Britannica presentation on the essential elements of a healthy Democracy. (1) Respect for differences of opinion and in people. (2) Shared Power by voting. (3) A large educated middle class and (4) an enlightened and educated public with access to fully funded public schools and universities.

The “backbone of the Democratic Party” is a “typical fat, implacable welfare recipient.”
Ann Coulter,  October 10/29/99

“…He (Donald Trump) represents the country we have become. ZERO experience … flaunting a ticket of unbridled bigotry, sexism, racism and everything that is wrong with America.” Bishop Corletta Vaughn, senior pastor of The Holy Ghost Cathedral in Detroit

I love the challenge of a different opinion.

I listen to an opposing point of view; then I ask myself what I think.

Why would I hide my mind behind a wall of lies and half truths.

If I’m wrong about the facts, I’m wrong.

No fabrication or smear will change a fact.

When I listen to a different opinion I also listen for respect, consistency, a sense of fairness, and a willingness to be wrong.

An intelligent mind is a mind that knows and accepts its flaws.

One of the worst problems in the States is that so many people cling to opinions and lies when facts prove them wrong.

It’s as if we are pawns in a sleazy game in which everyone cheats and lies; a game without honor.

Carly Fiorina clings to the lie that she saw a scene in a video that no one else can find. Not only is she lying, the video is a fabrication that was designed for no other purpose than poisoning a reasoned debate about a woman’s right to choose what she does with her body.

If the facts are on your side, why lie?

All We Want Are the Facts Ma'am
                           All We Want Are the Facts Ma’am

Fact: The video Carly Fiorina describes is a video of a miscarriage, the proposed harvest of organs is a now a well known lie.

Carly Fiorina Is Lying, And Everyone Knows It. Even Fox News.

David Daleiden, the project lead at Center for Medical Progress’ anti-Planned Parenthood campaign, admits the ‘fetus on the table’ was a miscarriage, not abortion. CNN, UK Guardian.

Not only is the video completely debunked, the woman who had the miscarriage is profiled by the Washington Post. The baby’s name is Walter. His Mother’s name is Lexi Oliver Fretz:

“She (Lexi Oliver Fretz) was in Indiana for a wedding when the bleeding started. She landed in the emergency room, then the maternity ward, writhing in pain. Walter arrived with tiny fingers and toes. Her husband rushed to grab the camera….

“…In the 10-minute segment, a woman who says she previously worked at a California company that supplies human tissue to researchers talks about seeing an aborted fetus with a beating heart in a pathology lab at a Planned Parenthood clinic. “I remember holding that fetus in my hand when everybody else was busy,” Holly O’Donnell says, “and I started crying, and opened the lid, and put it back in.”

As O’Donnell speaks, an image appears on the screen: (The stillborn baby) Walter, in his mother’s hands.” The Washington Post

Fact: The video is a lie. All of it.

So why is Carly Fiorina lying?

This woman wants to be President?

If you have to knowingly lie to win your case then something is wrong with your case.

More to the point, why do Carly Fiorina and other anti-choice activists think it’s ok to lie the nation into supporting legislation that is potentially lethal to the lives of so many women.

If no man has the right to take another man’s wages or to take another man’s weapons then no man or woman has the right to force a woman to have a child she doesn’t want.

Wages and guns are sacred but wombs are public property?

Carly Fiorina is very rich and the very rich will always get what they can afford.

Regardless of U.S. law a woman who can travel can have an abortion in Canada, Sweden, Germany, Spain, France, Mexico, and the UK. The Independent

Limiting abortion is in essence a limit on the lives and futures of women and children who are poor.

From a 1945 Encyclopedia Britannica presentation on the essential elements of a healthy Democracy. Respect for different opinions and people is crucial to a healthy democracy.

Donald Trump clings to the lie that he saw thousands of Muslims in Jersey City, New Jersey, cheering the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, even though the claim is unfounded. Reuters

Fact: The City of New Jersey is home to 15,000 Muslims.

According to Fox News none of them cheered en mass on 9/11. Fox News, The Washington Post, USA Today, US News and World Report

These are the biggest lies, what about the smaller half-truths and appeals to resentment that make us so heartless as a nation that we begrudge food to children?

How is starving a class of children good for our democracy?

How is the sight of elderly and disabled persons defecating and dying on the streets of our cities an asset to our quality of life as a people?

Homeless san Franciscan

Ben Carson : Welfare Perpetuates Poverty And Dependence, Is Used By Democrats To Buy Votes

“False compassion is patting them on the head and saying, ‘You can’t take care of yourself and I’m going to give you food stamps, a housing subsidy and free health care,’” Carson said according to the Gainesville Times. “And all the things you need so you can stay dependent and vote for me.’”

I was on food stamps for a few months in the late 1980’s. I don’t recall a pat on the head or any indication from the case worker that I should gratefully vote for Democrats. My point is that there is no truth to that comment.

Fact: A 2013 Pew Research study found that significant proportions of Democrats (60%) and Republicans (52%) say they have benefited from a major entitlement program at some point in their lives. So have nearly equal shares of self-identifying conservatives (57%), liberals (53%) and moderates (53%). The programs were Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, welfare, unemployment benefits and food stamps.  Pew

Rep. Louie Gohmert of Texas said he’s heard “so many times” from con­stitu­ents stand­ing in line at the gro­cery store be­hind a shop­per buy­ing king crab legs. “Then he sees the food-stamp card pulled out and provided. He looks at the king crab legs and looks at his ground meat and real­izes be­cause he does pay in­come tax, he doesn’t get more back than he pays in. He is ac­tu­ally help­ing to pay for the king crab legs when he can’t pay for them for him­self.” National Journal

Fact: The regulations that govern welfare in the States are so strict that even people who desperately need help can’t apply for it.

A single person who makes more than $11,770 per year is too rich for most welfare programs in the States.  U.S. Department of Health & Human Services 

The poverty line for a couple is $15,930.

One must be destitute to qualify for public assistance.

The average rent for a one bedroom apartment in San Francisco is $2896.

The median figure for a 2 bedroom apartment is currently $4,900. Curbed

It’s not as easy as packing and moving.

A one bedroom in Miami 1,870, New York, 3,160, Houston, $1,020, Charlotte, NC 980.00, and Jacksonville Fla comes in the cheapest at 870.00 a month.

If you earn over $ 981.00 a month you can’t apply for food stamps. SNAP

The average wait time after one applies for Social Security Disability is two years. US News

The average disability payment is about twelve hundred per month or 14 thousand per year.

The average retirement benefit is thirteen hundred per month or 15 thousand per year. The Department of Social Security

Most Social Security recipients make too much money to qualify for Food Stamps.

What about Section 8 you ask?

HUD has a different poverty level for Section 8 Housing.

The poorest and elderly get first dibs on scarce vouchers.

In San Francisco a HUD voucher goes first to those people who make less than $24,650.00 a year for singles and 28,150.00 a year for couples.

A single woman in San Francisco who makes $29,000 a year and pays an average rent of $2,896.00 a month spends $34.752.00 a year on rent.

I’ll let you do the math.

I bet those Section 8 Vouchers flow like a gushing river into the hands of undeserving Social Security recipients.


The average national wait for a Section 8 Voucher is six to eight years and in many cities the wait list is closed.

This means that the Department of Housing and Urban Development is so unfunded that the Section 8 voucher program exists in name only in some cities.

The wait list in San Francisco is closed, even to the elderly and disabled.

The same for Charleston, S.C.

The same for Jacksonville, Fla as of 2013.

Closed in the State of New York.

And closed in Orange County, NC.

435 cities have open wait lists but the windows of opportunity to apply for a slot on these wait lists are small.

“The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher (HCV) wait list will be open to the public in January 2016. Applicants seeking a voucher must re-apply each year. Your placement on the wait list is determined through a lottery selection system. The Section 8 HCV Wait list will open at 8:00 am on Monday, January 11th, 2016 and close at 5:00 pm on Friday, January 15th, 2016.” Housing Works

For all of their faults, the generation that ratified the success of the New Deal by electing Roosevelt four times understood that the biggest threats to democracy are ignorance and lack of opportunity.

They defined Patriotism as enlightened self-sacrifice and they expected every person from every class to sacrifice in equal measure.

That isn’t socialism.

It’s common sense and fair play.

They understood the difference between making a fair profit and predation.

They also retreated to dogma when they felt threatened; this is human nature.

But they know when to put a check on their version of Donald Trump, Joseph McCarthy.

I’ve witnessed many “Have you no shame?” moments in the past 15 years.

Trump is the one of the worst.

He doesn’t want us to notice what the real source of our sufferings are:

America’s 20 wealthiest people — a group that could fit comfortably in one single Gulf stream G650 luxury jet –­ now own more wealth than the bottom half of the American population combined, a total of 152 million people in 57 million households…”

“…The wealthiest 186 members of the Forbes 400 own as much wealth as the entire Latino population. Just five members of the Forbes 400 are Latino including Jorge Perez, Arturo Moreno, and three members of the Santo Domingo family.”

Billionaire Bonanza: The Forbes 400 and the Rest of Us

“I have to believe that the next task of our movements —not just the movement for black lives but all of our movements — is to put forth a vision of what it means to be an American that’s based on a recognition of our shared humanity.

In the 21st century, we can’t keep living on systems designed for a time before emancipation, electricity, or public education. We have to put forth a vision of what this country and our lives could be like if it actually was designed to work for all its people.” The Nation

Perhaps it’s time for us to check the solutions of earlier generations and change those to suit a different time with different needs. We don’t have to reinvent what we know once worked.

We will always need a government that promotes democracy for as long as we want a true democracy.

What we have now is a government that bends to the demands of an angry minority that censors and demonize differences.

Donald Trump didn’t just happen.

His are the politics that drive the Republican Party.

Trump tells us where he and his party really stands and I’m glad that he is.

If we must have someone like Trump running for President then let it be someone who is openly racist.

Our corporate media tells us that our economic misery is a new normal that we have to accept.


Social systems are plastic and human nature has not changed since Encyclopedia Britannica released Democracy in 1945.

I am not saying that the generation that supported the New Deal always lived up to these principles.

I’m saying that a community that isn’t enlightened enough to curb its fascist impulse is not free.

There is no liberty without respect for differences.

There is no liberty without respect for reason.

And there is no liberty at all when our leaders to tell us what we want to hear without respect for the truth.

Maybe it’s time for this America to listen to an America that survived a great depression and two global wars and went on to create a thriving people who understood that government in a democracy is owned by the people, and that the people have the right to use their government to their benefit.

Facts don’t lie.