Death, Life, Mourning and Dancing

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It’s been a month and I’ve just gotten to where I can talk about it.  Yes, Clara was a dog, but there are some dogs who are more than dogs. Even now, just remembering her big, soft ears and deep brown eyes, and the way she would lean on me so hard she almost knocked me down at times, brings me to tears.  I know that the love of dogs has a price- their lives are far too short.

Everything I had learned of the Malinois breed indicated they are noted for health and longevity. Most of the 12 years she lived in our home she was happy, healthy and robust.  In spite of Clara’s difficult start as a rescued dog with a laundry list of physical and emotional issues, she healed and blossomed with us.  She mentored our other dogs.  She visited the nursing home when my Grandma was there, and offered comfort to many of the residents. Clara was a gentle, intuitive dog, who even took care to mentor Brutus, her final protégé, who she had a month to teach, until she got ill.  He has many of the same beautiful, intuitive traits Clara had.  His gentleness reminds me of her.

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I am thankful her final illness was brief.  It took only a week from the time I noticed she was getting a bit melancholy and slow, then she stopped eating, and by then she was displaying all the classic signs of congestive heart failure.  We took her, and for the first and only time, I had to lift her in and out of the truck- to our long time family vet.  I hoped the vet would have a different answer than what I knew to be inevitable.

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Our vet knew the labored breathing and heavy plodding of a dying dog all too well though. One look at a dog who used to be vibrant and alert and active, but now was struggling just to breathe and move a few steps, was enough for the vet to conclude that given her age, and the signs of heart and probably multiple organ failure, that Clara was, indeed, dying. We agreed that letting Clara go in peace without pain would be far more humane than heroics that may or may not buy a week or two. I held her in my arms as she passed, so she would know how much she was loved. We buried her near the gate she used to guard.

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Clara was 14.  I was blessed to have her for a little more than 12 of those years.

Unfortunately there is more impending death around me, and it will cut even deeper than losing Clara.  Jerry is getting more and more ill from the pulmonary fibrosis.  He keeps getting put on more meds. He tires easily and is spending more and more time on the oxygen box.  The only hope for him to improve- and hopefully not die right away- is to get him on track for a lung transplant.  He will have to go on disability to do that, which will be at most optimistic, the very least a month or two away.

To add more to the chaos in my life, we will be moving as we are buying my grandmother’s old house.  Dad is selling it to us, and I am glad to get the strangers he’s been renting it to gone. They are supposed to be out tomorrow, then I can assess what needs to be done before we can move in.  I will have a lot longer drive to work for me, but it will get him into a quiet neighborhood out of the city.  The house is small but the yard is huge and there will (soon) be a large fence so the dogs can go out safely.

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Talk about the psychological maelstrom that I am trying to navigate.  I want Jerry to stay healthy enough for a lung transplant but the reality is that I may lose him too.  Yes, he is difficult and high maintenance, and he takes out his frustration on his health issues on me, but contrary to logic and reason, I am in this regardless.  Death, life, mourning or dancing- it’s all part of the drama of life.

I am looking forward to moving if only because it feels like I’m going home.  I will finally be able to be in a home I will own, that nobody can arbitrarily throw me out of, and my grandparents’ house will stay in the family. I’ll also be closer to my parents, my son and my granddaughter.

 

I Refuse to Stay Behind With the Rest of the Class, and More Passive-Aggressive Revenge

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The dirty birds of political correctness and feel-good leftism have come home to roost, and the results are grim as well as predictable.

I was fortunate enough in some ways to grow up in a sort of cultural backwater.  In the 1970s and 1980s the leftist devolution of American society hadn’t really taken hold in the tiny towns.  It was still OK to pray in school.  The whole town was scandalized when it became permissible for girls to wear pants to school if they chose (this was the late 1970s.)

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Given the dreadful thick, itchy, badly patterned, hot polyester that was popular in the 1970s, it was almost better to wear a dress, but then you had to wear tights, which were almost as bad as these pants- they were hot, itchy, and didn’t stay up, so the crotch would be at your knees by the end of the day no matter what you did to try to keep them up.

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When I was in elementary school, kids were expected to say the Pledge in the morning, unless their parents sent them a note excusing them from it.  I remember one poor Jehovah’s Witness kid who had to sit out the Pledge in the hall, which made no sense because the principal always had a student of the day read it over the PA system for the whole school, including the halls, to hear. I don’t think he understood his parents’ objection to the Pledge any more than he enjoyed being teased for having to sit it out.

Now the kids in public schools have to endure the dreadful Common Core curriculum that teaches to standardized tests (forget about critical or analytical thinking, learning at one’s own pace, or learning subject matter that isn’t included in the pre-fabbed one-size-fits-none test box) and to the religion (and yes, it is a religion of sorts) of secular humanism.

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Even atheism, in its tenacious and oft irrational hanging onto a belief that there can be no God, is its own religion. Living under the assertion that there is no God may be a poor belief system, but it’s a belief system nonetheless.

I remember in third grade I was told to “stay behind with the rest of the class,” and I resent that directive to this day.  I absolutely hated it when the teacher would have the kids read a paragraph at a time out loud in class.  I’m hyperlexic, which means (among other things) that I speed read.  Constantly. Compulsively.  It is very difficult for me to stay awake– forget staying focused- when other people are reading aloud, painfully slowly, in a monotone voice.  By the time my turn would roll around I was usually three or four chapters ahead.

Usually I was a good enough multitasker to flip right back to the paragraph the class was currently reading in time to read my assigned lines without being noticed, but this particular day I was more scattered than normal, and the kids reading before me were even more tedious and hesitating and monotone than normal.  It took me a few seconds to scan back to the paragraph the teacher expected me to read, which didn’t sit well with her.

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I think elementary school teachers really hated me for a number of reasons.  I didn’t fit into the box.  I didn’t adhere to the normal template of child development that they learned in college.  I freaked them out with my vocabulary. I alienated them with my avoidance of eye contact and repulsed them with my intense reactions to fear- but more than that, I simply didn’t follow the paradigm.  I couldn’t identify the paradigm, let alone follow it, and even at 47 I struggle with keeping up the semblance of “normal.”

When you’re a kid, autism kind of sucks- because you haven’t had a chance to learn the scripts that can help you navigate through the world  of “normal.”  Those scripts come naturally for most, but people like me have to learn and memorize and practice those social scripts until they become habit.  You know you’re different, they know you’re different, and until you learn how to play the social game to your advantage, you pay (dearly) for that nonconformity.

Of course at first, doing things differently than other people wasn’t a conscious choice.  I speed read. I have my own road map.  I am extremely pragmatic and rational in the way I approach life. There’s nothing I can (or want to) do about the way I’m wired, and I have come to the conclusion that staying behind is just not a viable option for me.

What is disturbing to me about collective education is that teaching to a group discourages individual excellence.  I understand that teaching to a norm is going to reach the greatest percentage of kids, but what about those that deviate from the mean?  Much has been done- in fact too much- to address those who can’t or won’t meet the basic standards.  Lowering the standard is not a good answer, although for funding and other reasons, lower standards seem to make politicians happier.

The kids who are capable of excellence generally do what I did.  I coasted.  I partied, though very clandestinely.  I multitasked, and I read a lot of Mad magazines as well as Stephen King novels, history and scientific non-fiction, and not a few books that would have been porn had they been illustrated.  I read a lot of extra curricular material in study halls as well as in class.  I was quiet and did well on tests, so I was pretty much left alone, even though some days- I admit it, I was stoned or hung over or both.  By that time the teachers had better things to worry about than the weird loner in the corner who aces tests but doesn’t talk much.

Even with my somewhat laissez-faire approach in high school, I graduated with a 4.1 average, thanks to taking some weighted courses to offset my rather average mathematical aptitude.  For the life of me, higher math, or at least the way it was taught, simply didn’t make much sense.

 

 

 

 

 

Now Is Not the Time for “Civility,” and the Eloquence of Stating the Obvious

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It’s sad that in this politically correct world, that young adults are encouraged to cling neurotically to “safe spaces” where they won’t be hurt by cruel (though often true) words.  It’s bad enough that these poor kids grew up believing that everyone gets a trophy, but to believe that everything is OK just because you can’t or won’t face reality is simply cowardice and stupidity.

Ignoring the present Muslim invasion is ignoring history.  Of course, history isn’t taught as it should be, for if it were, the Western world would  not have forgotten the lessons of the past.  One would think that the relatively recent rise and fall of Nazism and the end of Soviet Communism would serve as stout warnings against totalitarian and/or collectivist movements, but apparently stupidity dies hard.  Islam, in spite of being a false and counterfeit religion, has been around much longer than either Nazism or Communism.  It’s been in the death and deceit business a very long time.

Radical Islam vs_ the west

 

As the world has witnessed over the past few decades of so-called Arab liberation, Islam is anything but peaceful. Islam does not seek to co-exist with other value systems, nor does it seek for its adherents to hold hands and sing about living in harmony with everyone.   It is more of a brutal and archaic socioeconomic system than it is a religion, even though in its barbarity it hides behind the worship of an ancient Arabic moon-god idol.  Islam deifies a false god that is most certainly NOT the One True God that Jews and Christians worship.  At best, Islam should be considered a nihilistic death cult that should be shunned and condemned by the civilized world.  Until just the past few decades, this was the position of the Western world.  Why we have felt the need to defend or protect those who belong to value systems that want anyone outside of that value system dead is beyond me.

I never want any female relative or descendant of mine to have to be enslaved by Islam- hidden behind a burqa, and beholden to the whims of “men” who think it perfectly acceptable to behead anyone they disagree with, and to fornicate with anything that has a hole in it.  Unless perhaps that something is a pig or a dog?  In a way I find it interesting that Islamic law considers dogs unclean.  There’s something about calling something good evil that smacks of irony here.

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Clara is actually very clean for a dog.  And she doesn’t wipe her ass with her bare hand.

I can’t help but see a very clear lesson from the past.  Neville Chamberlain thought that if he appeased Hitler that appeasement would bring peace.  Nothing could have been further from the truth.  Ann Coulter has her usual catty and spot on insight on this here.

Obama (and with far less noble aims than Chamberlain) either thinks that he can buy peace from radical Islam by allowing their invaders to settle here freely, or he knows full well that he is opening the door to a foreign and hostile army by settling “refugees” in this country.  Considering Obama’s actions and affiliations in the past, he is most likely aiding and abetting Islamic terror with full purpose and intent.  Either of those above choices is a bad choice, because there is no brokering peace with an ideology hell bent upon war.  Inviting them in only makes the war all the more inevitable.  One does not appease alligators by feeding them.  Feeding alligators only makes them stronger and hungrier, as we should have learned from Hitler.

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This is not the time for civility.  It is the time for blunt honesty no matter who gets butt hurt about it.  There are people who follow an ideology- Islam-  that calls for the death of everyone outside of that system.  Even though this ideology hides behind the façade of religion, in truth, we ignore the evil of radical Islam to our peril.

 

 

The Death of Common Sense, Stand Your Ground, A Time for All Things Under Heaven

 

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One switch to turn it on.  One switch to turn it off.  If only life were that cut and dry, it would be so much easier.

So who is naïve enough to believe that with the push of a switch the civilized world could turn back time and heed the warnings from the past?  I hate to be someone who says, “I told you so,” but, I told you so, and I take no comfort nor smug consolation in that statement.   The engine of human avarice will stop, but not of its own volition, not any time soon, and not before irreparable mistakes are made, and irreplaceable treasures are lost.

The seeds of destruction were sown long before my lifetime.  In fact if one is to be completely accurate about the eventual demise of humanity, it began with the Fall and the devolution simply continues.  I’m not being negative, I’m being pragmatic.  Facts are facts.  For those who doubt this assertion, look up the word entropy.  Given enough time, everything turns to shit.

At the current time the most nefarious and pernicious danger facing the free world is not “climate change.”  Climate change is happening, but it has always been happening, and always will happen no matter what humans do.  George Carlin had the best take on the folly of human-engineered climate change of anyone I have heard.

carlin on governmentThere is a certain irony that a comedian who has been dead for eight years makes more sense than policymakers. I find that fascinating, though sad.  I’ve also noticed that the more that people oppose the truth, the more that they make a mockery of themselves trying to defend a lie.  I don’t get how the fervor spent in defense of a lie somehow makes it true.

While Europe burns- largely due to their own blindness to the wolves they have ignorantly allowed on their soil- Obama, the naked wannabe emperor he is, is yukking it up with Communists and taking in a little Cuban b-ball. While America would likely be better off if Obama stays in Cuba, posing with a likeness of Che  Guevara, (how special) and displaying to the world just how big of an asshat he is, it is still regretful and embarrassing that he has so thoroughly disgraced the office he stole.

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If anything his dreadful precedents should prove that voting is important, and that it’s about time the people voted for someone worth a damn- and that fraud is taken seriously for a change.

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Then we have John Kasich.  At one time he came across as a half way decent guy, at least not as bat shit crazy as Ted Strickland- Ohio’s last governor who is unfortunately running for the US Senate.  Kasich is an embarrassment at best, and delusional is more like it.  The thing is, Ohio doesn’t want him back, especially after it came to light that he is behind the influx of Somalian welfare bums- some 40,000 of them-all potential Muslim terrorists, into central Ohio.

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Charity is one thing, but when there are veterans in Ohio who are homeless or without proper health care, then I don’t give a fart in a high wind about foreign Muslim “refugees” who come here to suck up welfare, riot because they don’t like their free housing, and drive up the crime rate.  I sure hope Kasich thought the federal subsidy money for bringing in these people who are a drain on the economy and a significant terror risk was worth it.

Wonder if, while on his  Commie Paradise Vacation Tour, Obama remembers to buy his favorite RINO governor a Che Guevara t-shirt?

 

 

Whatever I Fear, the List is Long

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I do believe in a literal hell, even though this rendering sort of reminds me of a mosh pit backlit with a red light.  Jesus talked about hell frequently in the Bible, and I don’t think He was being allegorical.  This being said, thankfully, I have neither the authority nor the desire to consign anyone to that realm.  There are enough horrors right here on this earth to convince me that I don’t want to see such things escalate or continue.

I’m sure that the way I’m wired has something to do with the fact that I tend toward fear most of the time.  Now that I’m older and have the life experience and scripts to be bit more rational about my fears, I don’t always appear to be a deer in the headlights, but those fears are far closer to the surface than I would like to acknowledge.

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I’m not necessarily talking about dreams one has while sleeping.  I almost never have the vivid and terrifying dreams I had as a child, but neither do I have the wonderful, majestic visions in “good” dreams I once enjoyed either.  If I remember my dreams at all, they are usually rather banal and bland.   Whether the neutralization of my dreams is a side effect of the medications I take, or this numbing occurs because I seldom sleep soundly, or this graying effect can be attributed to the cumulative grimy jadedness of age, I don’t know.  I am thankful for the dearth of terrifying nightmares, but I could use a really good fantasy or two to savor these days.

full mourningWhy does Victorian mourning garb remind me of burqas?

I am terrified of the prospect that some day my granddaughter could be forced to wear a burqa and be subjugated to the barbaric laws of Islam. Maybe I am over reacting to what I see and read, but history has much to teach us about Islam and what happens when radical Islamists find their ways into civilization.

burqa-banNot here.  Not unless it is a personal choice and 100% voluntary. And who would voluntarily choose this?

I remember as a child being afraid (and this was during the Cold War) that the Soviet Union would randomly nuclear bomb the entire world into kingdom come. Of course my childhood was filled with fear around-the-clock,  fear of pretty much everything apart from dogs and books.

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Historically speaking it takes pretty dire situations to wake up the American people.  We like to stay quiet and peaceful and complacently bucolic.  For the most part that is not a bad thing, except when change is necessary or a great adversity needs to be overcome.

We have dealt with an ever increasing degree of corruption, graft and cronyism in our government at all levels.  Obama is arguably the very worst and most corrupt president this country has ever seen, so much so that his very ineptitude and disdain for this country and disregard for the people is waking people up. We are pissed. We are afraid for our future, and we are realizing the need to do something about it.

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The Reality of Canine Longevity, Denial, and a Catahoula Cur

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Brutus, my 1 year old male Catahoula Cur

I might as well begin with the Catahoula Cur.  I had been half-heartedly looking for a dog for Miss Clara to mentor for awhile before her time with me is through.  We got Clara as a two year old- when our Kayla was 14.  It was a great arrangement in that Kayla had some time to work with Clara, who was a rescue with a laundry list of issues. Now she is well-adjusted, a fine protection dog, and has had many good years of happiness and health.

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Clara (left- 2 years old) Kayla (right- 14 years old)

I admit I am still in denial that now Clara is 14 years old, and she is slowly fading. I know, and lament, the limited lifespan of dogs, especially when I consider Clara, who is very precious to me.  Lilo is 13. She is also dear to my heart, and a good protection dog as well. Lilo has been Clara’s shadow since she came to us, and will probably not outlive Clara by long.  They are only eight months apart in age.

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Lilo (left- 2 years old) Clara (right- 3 years old)

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Lilo- 3 years old

Even though my mind understands the limitations of canine longevity, in my denial I wasn’t looking very hard to find Clara a protégé.  I was thinking either I would save up some money and try to get either a GSD pup from someone reputable, or that the Hand of Fate would somehow place another Malinois in my path.

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Lucy – 1 year old, being good, but only because she was sleeping.

For me the thought of living without at least one protection dog is not a pleasant one.  Lucy (the Bulldog X Beagle) is only three years old, but at only 40# and with dim wits (love the dog, she’s very sweet, but she’s as thick as a post) she’s not a protection dog.  So I faced the prospect of not having a protection dog at all, and then trying to educate a green dog without the help of a seasoned dog.  Lucy is not a role model.  If anything, as far as canine behavior goes, she serves as a primer on how not to act.

clarawindow1Clara used to get up in the window to watch the world go ’round, but not much any more.

Oddly enough, Providence doesn’t necessarily share my aesthetic, my timing, or my professed desires.  Let’s just say that instead of a young female Malinois or GSD… I ended up with a young male Catahoula Cur.

One of my son’s friends had come back to Ohio from Texas (don’t know all the background info, don’t really need to) and couldn’t keep his dog.  My son- and only male children have a surprising amount of sway on their old decrepit mothers- implored me to come meet this dog before he was consigned to the dog pound, which, given his looks, could lead to a probable nasty fate at the hands of local dog fighters.  So, even though he is not a GSD or Malinois, I agreed to meet the dog.  And I fell in love. Let’s just say I’ve gotten Mr. Brutus his rabies tag and dog license, and he’s loving having a three-girl-dog harem.

Brutus LucyBrutus and Lucy

I’d never even heard of a Catahoula Cur (or more properly, Louisiana Catahoula Leopard Dog) before last week, and I am pretty aware of dog breeds.  I thought he was a very large (1 year old and 65#) and strangely marked Pit Bull.  But Catahoulas are not Pit Bulls.  Their bodies are longer and a bit leaner, their feet are larger, and the webbing on their feet goes all the way out to the ends of the toes.  They are larger (males are 65-95#) than Pit Bulls, and are known for the leopard patterns in their coats. Many, like Brutus, have blue eyes.

Catahoulas are used to hunt wild boar in Louisiana and Texas, and they likely have Pit Bull in their lineage, along with Mastiff, and various sight hounds.  Even though Brutus and Clara look nothing alike, they have eerily similar mentalities.  Both dogs are infinitely aware of their surroundings, and both are intuitive.  He will learn well, and it is good to have a young protection dog again.

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Clara, age 14

I know that I will grieve down to my very soul when Clara and Lilo pass.  They have been most excellent dogs,  but that is the condition of loving a dog- that their life spans are quite finite and all we can do is love them well in the time we have.

I could talk about and dote upon my dogs forever, and that’s a great thing because they are positive.  Not everything in life is so good.  Jerry is failing at an even faster rate than Miss Clara, and that is not a good thing.  He has gotten the oxygen concentrators he needs to help him breathe.  Life is finite.  Do what you can with what you have.

The Times, They are Weird, and Payback, the Ineffable Bitch

Conservatives Gather Near Washington DC for CPAC 2015  (February 27, 2015)

Donald Trump speaks at the 2015 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center at National Harbor MD on February 27, 2015. (Photo by Jeff Malet)

 

Ok, I will say it.  I’ve not been as wound up about a presidential election since I was an 11 year old kid passing out flyers and knocking on doors for the Reagan campaign in 1980. The last two election cycles (really, the last four, if you count G.W. Bush) I’ve sort of held my nose and voted for the Republican front runner not necessarily because he was the best choice there could possibly be, but because the Democrat running against him was a certifiable nut job or a flat out socialist/communist/leftist kook.   I’ll take a Mitt Romney- a moderate at best- over Barack Obama (in fact, I’d take my dead Husky -Sheena, as she had more sense and would do less damage in her current state of decomposition) any day of the week, but Romney was certainly no Ronald Reagan.

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At first I saw and heard Donald Trump and thought, “Ross Perot 2.0,” but I’m not thinking that so much anymore.  The Donald gets things done.  Better yet, he makes sense. This could get interesting.  I might actually enjoy voting for this guy. I might actually be downright gleeful to see him win.

There are some good arguments against Trump.  He is vulgar.  He is brash. He has been on both sides of the political fence over the years.  He is in your face.  He is NOT the epitome of diplomacy and graciousness that was Ronald Reagan.  But these aren’t Reagan’s times.  We as a country, and a society have devolved much since then. If nothing else, Trump speaks to What’s Happening Now, and like sane and rightfully pissed off Americans everywhere, just having someone address what’s wrong and how it can be right again, is a breath of fresh air.

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Establishment suits like Cruz (who has the same nebulous eligibility issues as good old Barry O) or Rubio are just Democrat (socialist) lite and will continue on treading the “hold your nose,” lukewarm waters of appeasement like the entire GOP has during the entire illegitimate Obama presidency.  I, for one, want the anti-Obama. Someone who won’t be lukewarm, and who refuses to feed alligators.

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Trump’s vulgarity is mild compared to the greater vulgarity to which he stands in opposition. He’s voicing all those politically correct truths that nobody dares bring up- the issue of immigration from terrorist harboring countries, illegal immigration, welfare dependency, the unfair taxation of working people to subsidize programs and people who taxpayers strongly oppose, and the unholy disaster that is Obamacare. Trump not only identifies the elephants in the room, he exposes the “Emperor” wannabe’s total lack of clothing, substance and morals.  I am thoroughly enjoying that.

All of the things I listed above are far more vulgar than Trump calling Obama a pussy, or Trump referring to Hillary Clinton as evil. Obama is a pussy, and Hillary most certainly is evil, but that’s beside the point.  I don’t like to engage in ad hom attacks, but I agree Obama is a pussy (and if you’re telling the truth, and backing it up with facts, then it ceases to be an ad hom attack) because he is not man enough to flat out tell the truth and tell the world he is a globalist, communist MUSLIM who is perpetrating jihad right along with his terrorist buddies. Hillary is evil because she is behind the very things that Obama also supports, which is especially heinous.  A woman being a cheerleader for the legality of late term abortions up until the due date of the child, (?) which to me says she is right up there on the evil scale with the biblical account of pagans sacrificing their offspring to good ol’ Molech.  Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose- the more things change, the more they stay the same. Baby killing is nothing new, but it’s still evil no matter how you try to rationalize it.

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I dare to hope that the abomination of Obama will end some day. Maybe Hillary will go to jail for her treachery and fraud as well.

And I haven’t even started on the mysterious (yet oddly convenient for Obama and evil crew) death of a Supreme Court justice…