Arming teachers won’t prevent school shooting

President Trump with high school students and teachers at the White House.

In the wake of a gruesome massacre at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School committed by a 19-year-old teenager identified as Nikolas Cruz using a semi-automatic AR-15 assault rifle where 17 lives were lost, a proposal coming from no less than US President Donald Trump sounded so absurd that one can’t believe it came from a leader of the greatest nation on earth.

Or perhaps it sounded so absurd precisely because it came from the stable genius himself, Donald Trump.

As controversial as Trump is already in the manner he is showing his leadership style to the whole world, his proposal to prevent another school shooting will not change the minds of many Americans as to who he really is, but in fact will highlight instead his inadequacies as a leader.

It will even accentuate further Trump’s servility to America’s National Rifle Association (NRA), the most powerful gun-rights organizations in the country, which has been reported to have donated more than $30 million to his presidential campaign in 2016.

What this means is that stiffer gun control, which is what most Americans want now, is not in Trump’s DNA.

While Trump expressed empathy, he clarified that he would not break from his base or the Republican Party’s position on the issue of the Second Amendment which protects the right of the American people to bear arms and such right not to be infringed.

Trump, like many of his Republican allies, believe that making it hard for people to acquire guns by putting up stringent regulations will not prevent similar tragedies from occurring.

And to think that school shootings predominantly occur in the US only. This speaks volume of what kind of gun control America has that even someone sick in the head would be able to buy one easily.

So what is Trump’s gun proposal then to prevent mass shooting in school?

Knowing Trump and his affinity to the NRA, his proposal is to arm school teachers instead! What?

My question is: How safe a gun is in the hands of the teachers now that they are allowed to possess one in school as oppose to not having any as before?

Since gun acquisition continues to be injudiciously unregulated, what then if another mentally unstable person gets inside the school and goes after the teacher first, knowing that the latter has a gun, before going on a shooting orgy again?

Does that solve the problem of school shooting?

Think about it?

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Trump’s idiotic plan for a military parade

 

US President Donald Trump

For a man feeling so superior and so obsessed with macho competition in the context of ‘mine’s-is-bigger-than-yours’, I am not at all surprised at US President Donald Trump’s idiotic plan for a massive military parade.

Remember what the world saw and heard not so long ago when Trump tweeted urging someone from North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un’s “depleted and food starved regime” to inform him that Trump’s “nuclear button” is a much bigger and more powerful than Kim’s and that Trump’s button works, in response to Kim’s declaration that he had a button for nuclear weapons on his table and the entire U.S. mainland was now within strike range?

According to reports Trump has already given the Pentagon its marching orders to plan a major military parade that would display its military might in Washington, D.C., in the same vein as the French Bastille Day military parade from where he got the idiotic vision.

Well, not really in the same vein because for one considered a narcissist his intention is to have the grandiose military parade of them all.

It is not only about surpassing Bastille Day parade every July 14th, but outshining as well the military parade of other nations like Russia’s Great Patriotic War, a celebration commemorating the end of World War II, or China’s display of awesome military power when celebrating events like the foundation of the People’s Republic of China in front of the Tiananmen Gate, or Iran’s military parade commemorating the Iran-Iraq war, and who is more notorious for military parades that North Korea itself.

But one should understand that a military parade that Trump is envisioning to have is really not about the USA, for the whole world knows the might of the military arsenal the greatest and most powerful country on earth possess.

There is nothing to flaunt about as the country’s awesome military capabilities are recognized and acknowledge by friends and foes alike.

So, if the planned military parade is not for the USA, what is it for?

What else but to showcase the stable genius of Trump!

It is Trump’s ego tripping where he wants the whole world to see how his pompous presence and leadership inadequacies that have made him a historically unpopular president presiding over a deeply divided and disquieted country is visibly recognized and acknowledged by a smart salute, which surely he deserves not, as the uniformed military personnel pass him by.

No let-up for 81-year-old Chinese woman

 

Xue Minxiu

This could very well go under the ‘Believe it or not’ publications.

I am not trying to underrate the capabilities of people in their 80’s because I personally know some close to me who are still very lucid. I referring of course to some of my older siblings who, I would say, are in their earlier twilight years now. Am not really that far behind, mind you.

Obviously they are all enjoying their retirement spending most of the time reading, but not forgetting that the body, too, needs to be revved up to keep it moderately functioning, and most of all not to miss taking those prescription pills to help make life sustainable.  To be an octogenarian is paradoxical. It is a challenge reaching and going beyond it, but many consider it also a bonus, thanks to the good genes. Or shall I say the grace of God?

But whether it is the good genes or the grace of God, Xue Minxiu, the 81-year-old Chinese woman that is the subject of this article, can’t seem to slow down even in her advanced age as she was recently reported to have been awarded a bachelor’s degree in e-commerce.

According to reports, what makes Xue’s achievement even more notable is that until just a few years ago, the octogenarian from the north China city of Tianjin had almost no computer skills.

Born in 1936, Xue was quoted as saying that it was her life’s ambition to graduate from university. She was actually offered a place at Northwest University in Xian, capital of northwest China’s Shaanxi province, in the 1950s, but her state-owned employer would not let her go.

The report did not say why she was refused permission, but at that time it was not uncommon for public sector firms to do so. In fact, until a law change in 2001, higher education in China was off limits to anyone who was married or over the age of 25.

But succeeding modern leaders made revision of the rules allowing Xue to fulfill her dreams of obtaining a college degree, no matter how late it may be.

Certainly, Xue did not waste her time as she taught herself to speak English, French, Russian and the dead language, Latin.

While it took several years for Xue to pick up enough computer knowledge to be able to meet the basic entry requirements for her e-commerce course, her tenacity and hard work eventually paid off and in March 2014, she enrolled at Tianjin University’s School of Online Education, but not before making six attempts to pass that element of her degree course.

These days, however, she is like a duck in water when it comes to drawing up Excel spreadsheets or processing images in Photoshop, the report said.

Here is to more life ahead! Xue sure deserves it!

Trump’s ‘shithole’ language

US President Donald Trump

Just to refresh you, the word ‘shithole’, made more infamous by no less than US President Donald Trump, came about during bipartisan talks about immigration reform when he said:  “Why are we having all these people from shithole countries come here?”

By shithole countries Trump was alluding to Haiti, El Salvador, Honduras, and apparently most of Africa.

There is no need to ask what a shithole is. We all know it is a hole where one defecates. And so it is how dirty and how vulgar the word is.

I would not have minded if an ordinary person uses it casually. But, when a person of Trump’s stature uses it in making policy statements, man, it is not only preposterous, but simply revolting and condemnable!

What can be more revolting and condemnable than to suggest later on that America should take more people from “countries like Norway.” This is his remark about African countries and Haiti in reverse, explicitly singling out predominantly white nations as favorable.

Thus, when a nation is characterized as a ‘shithole’, it obscenely implies also that its people are filthy, disgusting and contemptible, and therefore, dysfunctional.

Even if Filipinos are not included in the irresponsible and bigoted language of Trump, still it should create outrage in their hearts for the way this racist/supremacist leader has been harshly treating immigrants of which Filipinos number in the millions. And let us not forget that we are still very much a third world country, a shithole in the parlance of this lout of a leader, but what saved us from Trump’s foulmouthed is because the Philippines is useful to the US militarily.

It is simply ironic, as it is inconceivable, that such use of vulgar language can emanate from a country widely known as the bastion of the core values of liberty, self-government, equality, individualism, diversity and unity.

But then Trump is no ordinary American. He is the typical ugly American.

It is said that Mahatma Gandhi, the leader of the Indian independence movement against British rule, who is revered the world over for his nonviolent philosophy of passive resistance, taught the world that a country’s greatness is measured not by its richest, but by how it treats its most vulnerable members. Obviously, by this measure, the U.S. is a certified shithole. If Africa and other ‘shitholes’ are unstable in Trump’s estimation, sadly, so is America now under his pathetic leadership.

Former Mexico President Vicente Fox Quesada went even further and appropriately at that, when he tweeted: “.@realDonaldTrump, your mouth is the foulest shithole in the world. With what authority do you proclaim who’s welcome in America and who’s not. America’s greatness is built on diversity, or have you forgotten your immigrant background, Donald?”

Indeed, how true!

‘The Lowest White Man’

 

This article caught my attention and decided to reprint it as I am sure you will find it an interesting read, the way I felt about it. It’s about controversial US President Donald Trump.

The author, Charles M. Blow, is a black American journalist, commentator, and current visual op-ed columnist for The New York Times.

Blow’s article comes on the heels of a best seller titled, Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House, written by Michael Wolfe on what is described as Trump’s chaotic first nine months in office.

It is actually a damning book that went as far as questioning Trump’s mental state, which in effect prompted him to respond, tweeting:

I do not know about you, but I find these tweets absurd, if not egomaniacal!

I mean Trump has not even finished his term yet, and even remains to be seen if he can, and he is calling himself ‘a stable genius’ already, whatever that means.

Let history be the judge, I say.

Meanwhile, read the article and learn more about this man called Donald Trump.

‘The Lowest White Man’

I guess Donald Trump was eager to counter the impression in Michael Wolff’s book that he is irascible, mentally small and possibly insane. On Tuesday, he allowed a bipartisan session in the White House about immigration to be televised for nearly an hour.

Surely, he thought that he would be able to demonstrate to the world his lucidity and acumen, his grasp of the issues and his relish for rapprochement with his political adversaries.

But instead what came through was the image of a man who had absolutely no idea what he was talking about; a man who says things that are 180 degrees from the things he has said before; a man who has no clear line of reasoning; a man who is clearly out of his depth and willing to do and say anything to please the people in front of him.

He demonstrated once again that he is a man without principle, interested only in how good he can make himself look and how much money he can make.

Yes, he has an intrinsic hostility to people who are not white, particularly when they challenge him, but as a matter of policy, the whole idea of building a wall for which Mexico would pay was just a cheap campaign stunt to, once again, please the people in front of him.

Trump is not committed to that wall on principle. He is committed only to looking good as a result of whatever comes of it. Mexico is never going to pay for it, and he knows it. He has always known it. That was just another lie. Someone must have stuck the phrases “chain migration” and “diversity lottery” into his brain — easy buzzwords, you see — and he can now rail against those ideas for applause lines.

But he is completely malleable on actual immigration policy. He doesn’t have the stamina for that much reading. Learning about immigration would require reading more words than would fit on a television news chyron.

If Donald Trump follows through with what he said during that meeting, his base will once again be betrayed. He will have proved once again that he was saying anything to keep them angry, even telling lies. He will have demonstrated once again his incompetence and unfitness.

And once again, they won’t care.

That is because Trump is man-as-message, man-as-messiah. Trump support isn’t philosophical but theological.

Trumpism is a religion founded on patriarchy and white supremacy.

It is the belief that even the least qualified man is a better choice than the most qualified woman and a belief that the most vile, anti-intellectual, scandal-plagued simpleton of a white man is sufficient to follow in the presidential footsteps of the best educated, most eloquent, most affable black man.

As President Lyndon B. Johnson said in the 1960s to a young Bill Moyers: “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.”

Trump’s supporters are saying to us, screaming to us, that although he may be the “lowest white man,” he is still better than Barack Obama, the “best colored man.”

In a way, Donald Trump represents white people’s right to be wrong and still be right. He is the embodiment of the unassailability of white power and white privilege.

To abandon him is to give up on the pact that America has made with its white citizens from the beginning: The government will help to underwrite white safety and success, even at the expense of other people in this country, whether they be Native Americans, African-Americans or new immigrants.

But this idea of elevating the lowest white man over those more qualified or deserving didn’t begin with Johnson’s articulation and won’t end with Trump’s manifestation. This is woven into the fabric of the flag.

As I have written here before, when Alabama called a constitutional convention in 1901, Emmet O’Neal, who later became governor, argued that the state should “lay deep and strong and permanent in the fundamental law of the state the foundation of white supremacy forever in Alabama,” and as part of that strategy he argued:

“I don’t believe it is good policy to go up in the hills and tell them that Booker Washington or Councill or anybody else is allowed to vote because they are educated. The minute you do that every white man who is not educated is disfranchised on the same proposition.”

In his essay “Black Reconstruction in America, 1860-1880,” W.E.B. Du Bois discussed why poor whites didn’t make common cause with poor blacks and slaves but instead prized their roles as overseers and slave catchers, eagerly joining the Klan. This fed the white man’s “vanity because it associated him with the masters,” Du Bois wrote.

He continued:

“Slavery bred in the poor white a dislike of Negro toil of all sorts. He never regarded himself as a laborer, or as part of any labor movement. If he had any ambition at all it was to become a planter and to own ‘niggers.’ To these Negroes he transferred all the dislike and hatred which he had for the whole slave system. The result was that the system was held stable and intact by the poor white.”

For white supremacy to be made perfect, the lowest white man must be exalted above those who are black.

No matter how much of an embarrassment and a failure Trump proves to be, his exploits must be judged a success. He must be deemed a correction to Barack Obama and a superior choice to Hillary Clinton. White supremacy demands it. Patriarchy demands it. Trump’s supporters demand it.

 

Gordon’s senate swagger

 

Senator Richard Gordon

I am talking of course about Sen. Richard Gordon, the chair of the blue ribbon committee investigating the controversial Dengvaxia anti-dengue vaccine, and the gripe aired by his peers relative to his performance when he tried to monopolize the hearing proceedings.

But what else is new about Gordon’s swagger especially as head of a committee?

Gordon loves to talk and in so doing he dominates the proceedings, insensibly oblivious that other senators in attendance would like to participate in asking questions or having their opinion heard.

I use the word swagger because whether strutting or sitting what Gordon does is he wants the attention centered at him and almost always he does it typically in a manner considered excessive or inappropriate.

Gordon has even the tendency to bully resource speakers, cutting them off unceremoniously while explaining, as if he alone knows what is going on and assumes to know better than most, and letting them proceed afterwards.

A limelight hog like Gordon does not bode well for the senate, especially if little respect is shown to some resource speakers who are good, honest and decent people in their own right. Being a senator does not make one any better or superior except that one is in an exalted position. A little discretion is always commendable.

If Gordon’s peers felt the thoughtlessness and indifference of not being given the floor, the more that the viewing public noticed and felt Gordon’s insensitivity and disregard of the senate as a collaborating body.

 

Trump’s mental health

 

US President Donald Trump

With what is going on in the U.S.A. with President Donald Trump as its leader and his much-to- be-desired relationship with all the leaders of the world community, more specifically, with Kim Jong Un of North Korea, one can’t help but ask if the Americans were right in installing him on the seat of power of the greatest nation on Earth.

I am an avid follower of American late night talk shows, from Trevor Noah to Seth Meyers to Jimmy Kimmel, etc. and am amazed that not a night passes that the subject is not Trump.

The way I look at it is that it is not about the person, per se, that always makes him the favorite subject or the flavor of the night, if you may, but rather it is the things he does – from his tweets , his choice of words, his facial expression, his body language, his arrogance, his hatred for Obama, his disdain for immigrants, his lack of humility, his indifference, his low regard for women, his pretensions, his fibbing, his abhorrence for mainstream media, his unequivocal support for white supremacist, his uncompromising support for bearing arms, his unabashed admiration of himself, his superiority complex and countless more negatives of his persona and as a leader of the free world, that makes a good fodder for the talk show hosts.

Trump’s negative attributes and inadequacies are the reasons why I am sharing with you this disturbing development about U.S. psychiatrists warning about Trump’s mental state.

Below is letter by a psychiatrist published in the Opinion section of the New York Times, dated, Nov. 30, 2017.

To the Editor:

I am the editor of “The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 27 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.” We represent a much larger number of concerned mental health professionals who have come forward to warn against the president’s psychological instability and the dangers it poses. We now number in the thousands.

We are currently witnessing more than his usual state of instability — in fact, a pattern of decompensation: increasing loss of touch with reality, marked signs of volatility and unpredictable behavior, and an attraction to violence as a means of coping. These characteristics place our country and the world at extreme risk of danger.

Ordinarily, we carry out a routine process for treating people who are dangerous: containment, removal from access to weapons and an urgent evaluation. We have been unable to do so because of Mr. Trump’s status as president. But the power of the presidency and the type of arsenal he has access to should raise greater alarm, not less.

We urge the public and the lawmakers of this country to push for an urgent evaluation of the president, for which we are in the process of developing a separate but independent expert panel, capable of meeting and carrying out all medical standards of care.

BANDY X. LEE, NEW HAVEN

The writer is a forensic psychiatrist at the Yale School of Medicine.

Relative to the above concern of Trump’s mental state, let me share with you the following corroborating video for your information.