Monday, February 26, 2018

A MESSAGE FROM GOD--I Hear You, But....

A Message from God:

Children, I have been deluged with your prayers for help with the mass murders in your country.  I hear you!  I want to save you, but you are unwilling.  I gave you a brain to reason, but you are unwilling to take action.  My number one rule is, “Thou shall not kill.”  That includes being complicit with those that are accomplices in killing.  You plead in your prayers to me, “Do something!”  I say to you, I have given you free will, so YOU must be the one to do something.

THROUGH OUT modern times, as guns have become more popular, I have sent you many signs.  There have been murders at shopping malls, spas, supermarkets, factories, churches, movie theaters, military bases, elementary schools, universities, and high schools.  I heard your prayers but I saw no action taken to prevent this from happening again.

IN 1981, I sent you the attempted assassination of President Reagan.  I sent you James Brady, Reagan’s press secretary. He was shot, suffered brain damage, and was permanently disabled.  Thereafter, James Brady was a man with a purpose.  He worked tirelessly for gun control and for a ban on assault weapons.  He advocated for a law, called the Brady Bill, that banned the sale of assault weapons and mandated national background checks.  The Bill also contained a 5-day waiting period to take possession of the purchased gun.  However, this was dropped to pacify the powerful National Rifle Association (NRA).  The Law had a ten-year expiration and was not renewed due to the pressure on legislators by the NRA.  Mass shootings were greatly reduced.  Assault rifles have flourished since, and so have mass murders.  Incidentally, the reason given was that statistics showed few crimes were committed with assault rifles.  Well, duh!  They were banned for the past ten years!  Sometimes I think when I was handing out “brains,” some people thought I said, “rain” and ran away.” 

I GAVE YOU the Columbine High School shooting in 1999.  I thought this would wake everyone up to the gun problem.  Instead, there was lots of debate and everyone played the “blame game.”  Nothing was done except to ask me to do something.  I heard you, but please!  No more prayers asking me to protect your second amendment rights. 

IN 2007, I gave you the Virginia Tech shooting.  32 dead!  The only result was less gun control.  Many states voted to allow open carry of weapons on campuses.

SO, I GAVE you Representative Gabby Giffords, in 2011.  She was wounded and six were killed.  She has dedicated the rest of her life to anti-gun violence causes, especially against high capacity magazines.   While her efforts and those that support her have been noble, she has been out-spent by the NRA, 7-1.  Well done, Gabby, my child.

THEN THERE was Sandy Hook Elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in 2012.  20 elementary students and 6 teachers were killed.  Yet, you were not phased.  Talk, talk, is all you did. These were kindergartners!  OMS (Oh my self!)

 MEANWHILE, the NRA flourished and bought more and more elected officials. I lost count of all the prayers I got.  In 2015, in Charleston, SC, I gave you the shooting at the historic Black church.  9 were killed.  The President cried.  Again, nothing was done. 

IN 2016, 49 were killed and 53 injured at the LBGQT Pulse Night Club in Orlando.  YOU did nothing—less than nothing. I wasn’t even over-whelmed with prayers.   Las Vegas outdoor concert, 58 killed and 500 injured.  Legislation was introduced to ban bump stocks that turn semiautomatic rifles into automatic.  When talk died down, so did the legislation. 

NOW WE have Mary Stoneman Douglas High School.  17 killed!  These students are the hope of your nation.  They don’t care what political party you are in—they just want meaningful, sensible gun control.  They have a purpose! They can’t be bought. They understand the root cause of the problem and will demand action.  Your President and the NRA want to arm school teachers as a “fix” for these killings.  Take it from the ONE who knows, that is a lame-brain idea!

Love one another,


Monday, February 19, 2018

The NRA or Your Vote--Make Congress Choose

Twenty-Seven years ago, when my son was 16 years old, he was in our front yard, loading up his lawn mower for his summer job.  He was approached by two boys, one he recognized, and one was a complete stranger.  My son and the boy he recognized had previously had a spat over something that had happened with their two little brothers.  As the stranger walked into our yard and got closer and closer, my son prepared himself for a fist fight.  That’s when the stranger pulled a 38-police special and shot my son at point-blank range in the chest.   It was a “hit” of sorts, over a kid’s squabble. 

HIGHLY UNUSUAL for me, I took a two-hour lunch.  When I arrived back at the office, everyone was standing outside the office waiting for me.  This was before cell phones.  As they descended on my car, I heard the words, “Your son has been shot and we have to get you to the hospital.”  My whole world seemed to fall apart in that moment.  They had no answers to any of my questions.  It took us 30 minutes to get to the hospital and that was the single most agonizing 30 minutes of my life.  I prayed, I cried, my life flashed before my eyes, and one thing I knew for sure, if my son was dead, I could not go on. I knew his father could not go on, or his Grandmother.  I saw no life without him. 

WHEN I finally arrived at the emergency room, it was the most surreal moment of my life.  The lobby was packed with all his friends and classmates.  You see, the teenagers had beepers and they had their own 911 messaging system.  I was met by a doctor who said beautiful words, “He’s going to be okay.  He’s a very lucky young man; the bullet missed his heart by a fraction of an inch.”  With relief I went in to see my son.  I will never forget the words he said, “Mama, am I going to die?”  I assured him he was not.  Days later, I asked him, “When did you know you weren’t going to die?”  He said, “When you told me, Mama.”  My heart broke at that moment because I realized my son had thought he was going to die for over two hours!

MY STORY has a happy ending.  I have seen my son grow up, marry a wonderful woman, and give me wonderful grand-kids.  But it stays with me.  I only got a small taste of what it would be like to lose a child.  But I know enough to know parents whose children have been gunned down will never feel joy again. 

I HAVE seldom told this story because it’s too painful to relive.  I’m telling it now in hopes you will feel so much empathy for the families that it will propel you into action to change the gun culture in our country.  I know you’re thinking I’m telling this story because I am a “liberal queen” that wants to take your guns away.  Not the case.  I want sensible gun control measures and you all know what that entails. When this happened to my son, I could have easily turned against guns and black people because the kid that shot my son was black.  I never thought of doing either.  I think guns are a necessity for a person to protect their homes and property and to hunt.  Other than that, I see no reason for a person to amass an arsenal of military style guns like an AR-15.  That’s not what our Founding Fathers had in mind. 

BUT THERE is something I want to take away, the National Rifle Association (NRA)!   The obsession with gun ownership in this country is due to the culture the NRA created.  It’s “cool” to have these weapons created to kill “masses of people” only.  While the boy that shot my son had a powerful weapon, my son still had a chance.  If he had shot him with an AR-15, my story would be quite different.  The blood of all these dead children are on the hands of the NRA and all the Republicans who have been bought and paid for by the NRA to block any type of sensible gun control.

“IT’S NOT a gun issue, the man is mentally sick,” said the President who over-turned Obama’s executive order that made it harder for people adjudicated as mentally ill to buy a gun.  Coincidently, this is the man that received $30 million from the NRA during his presidential campaign.  “I think we need to pray, now is not the time to have a knee jerk reaction,” said Speaker Paul Ryan who has blocked sensible gun control for years and a beneficiary of NRA contributions.  “Sending prayers” is all we got out of all the elected lackeys of the NRA.   We didn’t hear a peep out of our junior Senator from Georgia, David Perdue, not even a prayer.  He’s laying low.  I have one question for him.  What did the NRA get in return for the $2.5 million they gave to his Senate campaign?  His phone number is 202-224-3521.

THE NRA spent $55 million last year to buy the Republican legislators.  The NRA has 5 million members.  Perhaps if they had only 500 members, we could change our gun culture and our children would be safer.   At least you won’t have their blood on your hands, too.  Also, give your elected officials a choice—the NRA, or your vote.



Monday, February 12, 2018

White House Playing Loosey Goosey With Security Clearances

In my column a few weeks ago, I wrote about Trump’s love of chaos.  Nothing exemplifies “chaos” better than staff turn-over.  For those of you who have ever worked in an office, you know the chaos, disruption, and morale problems caused by just one firing.  Imagine 39 in one year! In any work environment, staff chaos rests squarely on the shoulders of the leader and speaks volumes about his leadership ability.  

I’M SPEAKING about the incompetency of Donald Trump to run the Oval Office and his administration.  Last week, the number of those fired, forced out, or just couldn’t take it anymore, rose to a whopping 39!  And those are just the super grades.  There’s no telling how many peons lost their positions. You will remember Trump’s words to us during the campaign, “I know the best people.  I will hire the best people.”  Based on my knowledge of the quality people hired by past presidents, those words were comforting to me, until I realized that Trump’s definition of “best people” and my definition of “best people” were worlds apart. 

A LEADER is only as good as the people he surrounds himself with. Few of his Cabinet appointees held the qualifications to serve in the position to which they were appointed.  In one year, we have seen two of his best people indicted with more indictments surely to come.  We have seen Russian sympathizers fired.  We have seen a Cabinet official forced out for taking expensive charter flights on the tax payer’s dime.  Three agency directors were fired after their public racist comments were revealed.  A goof ball fired before he even reported to work.  These people all had the same thing in common—the President’s support until the hue and cry from the American people became too loud to ignore and he had no choice but take action.  Obviously, Trump only likes saying “you’re fired” when it is his idea.  

JUST FOR the record, I celebrated when many of those people were fired.  They were NOT the best people.  I am saying that if Trump was a good leader, he would have recognized the “best” people from the git go and avoided this chaos. 

THIS PAST week, we learned that the Staff Secretary, Rob Porter, had beat both of his ex-wives.  That in itself was not that surprising with this Administration. What was shocking, was the fact that this information was discovered by the FBI in his background investigation for his Top-Secret security clearance last year.  Rob Porter was privy to the same sensitive information as the President and had direct control over disseminating that information to the President.  Rob Porter personally told White House Counsel Don McGahn in January, 2017, that there was a problem with his security clearance.

SOMEBODY NEEDS to go to jail for mishandling classified information.  It is not clear what Trump knew and when he knew it.  However, his boss John Kelly, and White House Counsel Don McGahn, knew that Rob Porter would never be granted a Top-Secret security clearance.  They opted to let him continue to handle Top-Secret information even though he could not meet the criteria for a security clearance and hoped he wouldn’t get caught.  That is a criminal offense!  It is clearly stated in U.S. Code, Title 18, that “anyone who knowingly and willfully communicates, furnishes, transmits, or otherwise makes available to an unauthorized person classified information,” shall be prosecuted.  Simply, that means anyone who allowed Porter access to State secrets should be prosecuted!  And, the same should apply to Jared Kushner.  We know that he does not have a security clearance, yet is privy to that level of intelligence every day.  Another wife beater resigned in the wake of the Rob Porter scandal—Speech Writer David Sorenson.  Little has been said of his circumstances thus far but it will come out eventually.

AS A FORMER employee of the National Security Agency, I know first-hand that you never play loosie-goosy with security clearances.  All personnel must wear their badges at all times.  These badges are color-coded for your type of security clearance.  As an employee, you would never hand a document to a person unless they were cleared to receive the classification of the document. An Interim clearance does not qualify you to handle Top Secret documents.  I know.  I had one for many months waiting on my special background investigation (SBI). Your badge is checked at the gate.  If you forgot your badge, you are sent home.  If you are caught at work with your badge off, you will be reprimanded.  If you are caught wearing your badge outside of the work environment, you could face termination.  There should be a Twitter tag for the oval office staff, “#letmeseeyourbadge.”

MEANWHILE, Trump is crying a river over the loss of this “good man.”  Trump calls every man he fires, a “good man.”  Trump said for the record, “He says he’s innocent.  You have to remember that.  Is there still due process?”  You, Mr. Trump, are the last person who should say the words “due process,” but you’ll find out soon enough if it still exists.