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Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 41,821

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Putting aside what did Trump know and when did he know it, Trump's response shows

that he continues to be OK with Russia making a contract with the Taliban to pay a bounty on every American soldier killed in Afghanistan.

Any other president would be (at least publicly) outraged, have a press conference or a nationally televised speech, and/or go on Twitter. And announce what he knows. And announce new and severe sanctions against Russia. I mean beyond what he's imposing upon China, Iran, and Venezuela put together. Rally 'round the Flag, Boys, etc.

But he's playing golf. Focusing on stone monuments, statues, and the Stars-and-Bars. Distracted. Disinterested that the bounty is still in effect.

It's what he's doing now as well as what he could have done.

Fathers' Day

I'm not celebrating.

It's not because my father passed six years ago.

I wasn't celebrating when he was alive as well.

My father was abusive, toxic, and an authoritarian. I was defiant and stood up to him and paid the price. My sister was 180 degrees and sucked up to him, if only for fear, esp. as she saw the treatment I got. I went to therapy for 3-1/2 years and still had malingering issues concerning him.

I was the one of three children who stayed close to where he lived until the end of his life, if only for the duty to our late mother, to make sure he was okay.

He disinherited all of us at the end. He showed more affection for the neighbor across the street than he did for any of us, including our sister.

The trauma must be equally deep in our sister. In denial. She posted on FB: "Forever loved, not forgotten." I can only endorse the second part.

And they write their Wills . . . . . .

As mentioned earlier, my father disinherited me and my siblings in his final Will. And left $35,000 to the neighbor across the street.

As Dad descended into his extreme narcissism and role as a toxic parent, we found out that he made a new Will every year for a decade, disinheriting us. My sister was originally going to be his Executor, but when she expressed concern about his terrible neglect of a puppy he bought, he deleted her and replaced her with the law firm that drafted the Will.

Matter of fact, most of the $1.5 million estate went to that law firm for drafting and executing the documents, being the Executor of the estate, being the Attorney for the estate, and paying six-plus months of unpaid bills that he refused to acknowledge. (My sister and I offered several times to do it -- for free -- but he refused.

The Old Narcissist essay above fits our father to a T.

None of us cried when he died.

45 years ago, I graduated high school. And there is a story . . . . .

June 19, 1975. HS graduation. For days, our senior class was compelled to rehearse in the Auditorium where there was the worst heat and humidity (no air conditioning). Hour after hour. Practice included watching and listening for cues. First the procession. Then finding your seat. Then standing up TOGETHER IN SYNC. Then walking across the stage to get your diploma and returning to your seat. Should have been simple. Not exactly. As could be expected, we were hot and bored and not listening carefully. I remember Mr. Melville (English teacher, later Vice Principal) called our class "the worst in the school's history." OK, whatever. (Do we still hold that title?)

We were kept longer than we would have preferred because of my row. We were the front row on stage. All we had to do was stand up together when Helene Harvey's name was called. We must have done it more than 20 times and still couldn't get it. The teachers were exasperated. We weren't far behind.

Of course, these rehearsals were in case it rained. We had the bleachers all ready for the expected outside program. Why worry? The weather predicted a clear sky for later that day. Except -- maybe 30 minutes before the beginning of graduation, a sudden convergence of black clouds covered the sky. Winds of biblical proportions whipped up. Rain smashed against the windows. Uh oh . . . . . .

And because we suddenly had to resort to our contingent plan, stuff happened. For one thing, I had to lead my homeroom to the auditorium without guidance, taking us down the wrong hallway, putting us out of order. A veritable transgression with no do-over.

I could hear the strains of the tape of "Pomp and Circumstances" (Elgar) and thought how ironic that I was marching to the stage to the recording that I myself had performed three days prior with the Band. I was starting to enjoy the surreal trappings of the ritual.

The boys had royal blue caps and gowns, and the girls, chastity white.

We somehow managed to get to our designated seats and settled down for the expected speeches and waited for the diplomas to be handed out. (My mother was president of the Board of Education and gave me mine.)

So, biding our time, half-listening to the recitation of names in alphabetical order. Helene Harvey. Our row stood up -- and together for perhaps the first time. We commanded a rousing applause and loud cheers from our classmates for such a feat.

The Auditorium was hotter and more humid than even the rehearsals. The plastic cap and gowns made us feel like we were wrapped in Saran Wrap. Graduation couldn't end soon enough.

I probably still have the diploma still mounted in the case in which it was given.

But it was 45 years ago tonight that the rest of my life began. And it was the last time all of our class was together.

The Unacknowledged Religious War

It became clear to me after Trump posing with a Bible (allegedly) in front of St. John's Church on Monday and the strong pushback from non-evangelical Christian churches: There is a war for dominance (I know, I know) by the Evangelicals for political primacy over the non-evangelical Christians. The latter has enjoyed recognition and non-harassment by the U.S. government for the most part since the founding of this nation and the codification of the Constitution. Evangelicals could have enjoyed the same except it wasn't enough for them. They want to THEIR version of Christianity to become part of federal and state statutes, to become case law in federal and state courts, and of course, to receive federal and state tax dollars in addition to their parishioners' tithings. And to do that, they have to have someone like Trump recognize their views as legitimate and to disenfranchise mainline Christianity when it protests.

There are regular protests by Christian groups like Interfaith Alliance. But no calls to neutralize the raw power grab by Evangelicals. Truth told, I'm uncertain whether mainline Christianity recognizes that it's under attack. Already there is a schism in the Methodist Church, whereby it appears that it is going to split in half over the issue of allowing gay ministers to administer over their churches.

Will non-evangelical Christian churches remain neutral and/or independent if there is a second Trump term?
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