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Friday, January 20, 2017

Escape with "Firefly"


If you are in serious need of some diversions from the fiasco known as Trump World, here's an escapist suggestion for what you might consider watching.

I like sci fi and westerns, even when you combine them. But as I mentioned in an earlier post, the latest TV combination of sci fi and western-themed series, WestWorld, is too vile and inhuman to be an appealing diversion.  Much like real-life Trump World.

If you are looking for sci-fi with a western feel a better choice than WestWorld is the 2002 TV series Firefly. Or the subsequent movie, Serenity, that wrapped up loose ends left by Firefly’s cancellation.

 If you haven’t seen either series or movie, in a nutshell, five hundred years in the future, the Captain, Mal, (Nathan Fillion) of the Firefly spaceship is sort of Hans Solo-ish before he met Luke Skywalker or Princess Leia. And he has never heard of The Force.


Firefly also is absent most of the high-techy stuff and CGI so at times when the crew lands on a backwards planet, the show has the feel of an old western series. 

In concept, though, this is a space ship of the future. The usual assumptions on people's professions and status are sometimes turned on their heads from what we expect in current times. The first mate is a Black woman warrior, the only other survivor of the Captain's command from the Battle of Serenity. Her husband is a funny guy who cherishes his strong wife, plays with action figures and quite capably pilots the ship. 

A slightly built woman is the skilled mechanic. She harbors a crush on the ship's doctor, a formerly wealthy and well-connected member of the elite. He joined the ship as a passenger under false pretenses because he is on the run. He rescued, and then smuggled onto Firefly, his younger sister, a savant who was kidnapped and experimented upon by the government. 

The highest-status person on Firefly is a prostitute. In the future times of Firefly, high-tone prostitutes are known as Registered Companions and are reminiscent of geisha in that they are trained in certain fine arts. 

These Companions are like ambassadors who can go wherever they wish, choose whom they wish to see and provide respectability, cover, and entrĂ©e for the ship and its crew. 

Nonetheless, Captain Mal, either from jealousy or some vestigial sense of a centuries-old morality, is galled by the professional activities of Morena Baccarin's Companion Inara. The viewer is left wondering if the beautiful Companion Inara will ever leave her profession and she and Mal will end up a futuristic "item". 

 Many episodes involve horses, trains, miners covered in mud; under-handed bad guys often engage in bar brawls with the diverse and engaging crew. as double-crosses, hijinks and encounters or escapes from the Reavers, space-bogeymen who are cannibals and responsible for all manner of not-quite-human cruelty.  

Unfortunately, Firefly lasted less than one season. But fortunately, it’s available on DVD, Amazon Video or Netflix.


Mal, the Captain, who claims to now be apolitical, fought unsuccessfully against the Alliance but named his ship, Serenity, after the bloodiest and last battle of the lost war. The overriding theme of both Firefly and Serenity is that Mal, though a thief and crook at times, in the end demonstrates leadership and a strong sense of loyalty to his crew as well as basic humanity and an overriding concern for those who are suffering. 

If only that were the reality of our leadership in 2017 Trump World. 


Sunday, January 8, 2017

West Wing or WestWorld


No one would blame you if you are binge-watching fantasy worlds.  I admit I am.

 

We’ve found ourselves alternating between the past and the future. On some nights, we binge-watch West Wing, Aaron Sorkin’s creation of a principled, intelligent President, Jeb Bartlett, portrayed by Martin Sheen.

 

West Wing may be every liberal’s dream of how a good, intelligent man struggles to rationally resolve the problems faced in the Oval Office. Something we most likely will not see for at least four years except on TV.

 

On other nights, we watch science fiction. WestWorld also is escapism with a nod to both those good old days in the wild west and a futuristic world where androids have been created to suffer the havoc man inflicts on other men and women in a place where there are no societal rules. I’ll leave it to you whether we will see more of that in real life.

 

The TV series, WestWorld is based on a 1970s Michael Crichton film of the same name. It brings to mind other Crichton creations, such as Jurassic Park. In both cases, man’s hubris in scientific explorations and development is his downfall because he failed to give adequate consideration to the consequences.

 

Crichton’s vision of an android-populated amusement park where men can kill or inflict harm on human-looking creations for no reason other than their own enjoyment, is a good tool for asking why. It’s just not very much fun to watch.

 

I hoped WestWorld would provide some diversion. Instead, it’s only taken a few WestWorld episodes for me to dread seeing men blithely kill and rape others, even knowing the others are androids.

 

We could easily analyze and discuss in detail how both West Wing and WestWorld provide valuable insight into America’s current situation. Without writing a college essay I’ll only mention a few points.

 

For example, how little we’ve considered the consequences of our actions. Have we let our media and unfettered technology run riot on our sacred political system, now tainted beyond recognition, by fake news and Russian hacking? How much has our media been complicit in this debacle because Trump gives good ratings?

 

We are days away from installing a dangerous, former reality show host who is so narcissistic he apparently doesn’t care about the fake news or the Russian influence of our political system, because they benefited him in the election. Who also claims, without explanation, to know more about the hacking than anyone else. Perhaps he does.

 

How this type of illegitimate election can be allowed to stand is beyond belief, as it will result in the installation of a scoundrel and know-nothing as the most powerful man in the free world.

 

But enough about the real world.

 

One series I’m looking forward to in the new season is The Americans. This award-winning series brings to life Russian spies embedded in American society passing as ordinary Americans. I’ve heard tell the 2017 series will open in current time with a Russian plant passing as an anything but an ordinary American. Hold your breath for his next tweet.

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Deck the Halls or Not a creature is stirring…ooh…a dead mouse

Well it’s that happiest time of year. When we go all out: Christmas shopping, baking holiday goodies, and decorating everything.

Just yesterday I was at physical therapy. They were hanging blinking lights on the equipment, wreaths on the doors, and warned they’d cover me with tinsel if I didn’t move a little faster.

Luckily, it was about time to head home to do a little decorating of our own. We are in a new—to us—house. Our new home has the same number of bedrooms and baths as the old but is a single story with very tall, cathedral ceilings.

It’s been an interesting project figuring what fits where. You do know, interesting, is the all-purpose word when you don’t want to resort to a curse word.

Some decorations, though perhaps “dated” as the stylists like to say, or even a bit ragged from many years of usage, still carry memories of Christmas past and work just fine, at least in our opinion. But then some other decorations don’t. And there are some total gaps.

For example, we now have a very tall, white brick fireplace that cries out for some type of decoration. We don’t own any decorations large enough for the scale of the fireplace. So, we came up with a plan: buy some new decoration and hang it from the one large nail the previous owners had placed high up on the bricks of the fireplace.

With some perusing online I found and ordered a very large, pre-lit, battery-operated wreath with a timer. Our plan was once we got this sucker up we wouldn’t have to mess with it again until it was time to take it down. A very good plan. Execution was another matter.

The wreath arrived on our doorstep without incident.  My husband dragged out the extension ladder and, together, though not without struggle, we got the batteries in the wreath, a bow attached, and the wreath way up high.

Stepping back, with our heads titled all the way back, we soon realized the wreath was WAY too high for the room. Anyone would get a crick in their neck looking at it. Did I mention I’ve been going to physical therapy for persistent neck, back and shoulder pain? This wreath was not going to help. But maybe moving it wouldn’t either. In any event, the wreath came down.

My husband then fashioned a clever hanger from an ordinary white metal clothes hanger. And the wreath was now at about the right height.

Feeling smug at our accomplishment, though my husband was muttering something about how he hoped the hanger, wreath and all didn’t fall, he then attempted to replace two of the floodlights in the very tall ceiling. He was using a pole gizmo with attachments he’d ordered online and was standing near the top of the extension ladder.

All went well with one light, but the other refused to budge from the socket and instead retreated as if it were a sunken eye of Blue Beard the Pirate. There was no way we could reach the dead bulb now. Well, maybe instead of Christmas decorations we should be using a pirate party theme?

I should mention, in all the “deck the hall’ing” and changing light bulbs, a lamp was broken and wreath debris had somehow gotten everywhere. We were a bit bloodied but not quite ready to give up on decorating. Since we’d have to clean up anyway, and the ladder and the tubs of Christmas decorations were still out we thought we’d at least spread some of the old, pre-lit garland on top of our new, very tall, white bookcases on either side of the chimney. We thought that would be a nice, relatively easy, decorating touch.

After putting batteries in the garland, positioning the ladder, and taking some deep breaths, my husband climbed up on the ladder again as I handed up the garland. He promptly handed the garland back, now covered with dust and cobwebs. And he asked if I could bring him an old, plastic container (about the size of a mouse) and a trash bag. A dead mouse had been sprawled on top of the tall bookcase.

Suffice it to say, we got the lighted garland up eventually and the mouse properly disposed of. The house now is even tidied a bit from the wreck we’d made of it.

And we have to admit our house is starting to look a bit more Christmas-y. But the Christmas tree is still not yet up. In a year of optimism, we had bought a pre-lit, simple, three-part construction Christmas tree that every year creates havoc because it never quite reassembles the way the directions claim and some of the lights refuse to come on.


The tree will be a project for next week. I suppose I should sign up for a double dose of physical therapy.  I just hope the therapists have finished their decorating. We’ve had enough fun for now.

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Trump World--Can we please go back to a different future?

I’m trying to move past hysteria, depression and anger over the election. Focus on Thanksgiving, I tell myself. Focus on the turkey. Or write about concerts, shopping, other topics. After all, I said this blog was to be about the amusing things of life with only an occasional burst of seriosity. But I’m having trouble finding the usual things amusing.

Why this sense of doom? After all, our nation has survived many things: terrorist attacks, ill-thought-out wars, outrageous wrong-doings by our chief executive, assassinations, and dangerously ill-informed Presidents. No doubt some previous Presidents were narcissists and money-grubbing.

But this is somehow different. Never before have we teetered into banana-republic, alternate time-line reality. Biff Tannen has been elected President in “Back to the Future 4.0”. Trump is just as grabby, greedy, and dangerous as Biff only somehow this is real life.

The broken promises to Trump supporters are almost too numerous to name. Trump acknowledges there is a connection between human activity and climate change. Bringing back coal, torture of suspects or lost American manufacturing jobs are all pretty much the things dreams (or in some cases, nightmares) and campaign promises are made of. So why am I not reassured?

And as for all those chants of “lock her up”? Those were reality TV theater. Trump commonly called Hillary crooked. But he now admits he has no plans to prosecute Hillary. I should be satisfied.

But there never were any grounds to lock up Hillary. She has been investigated as extensively as any public figure and no criminal acts were ever found.  So, the dropping of that campaign promise is surprising only in its rapidity. The real reason the “lock her up” promise has been dropped like a hot potato is Hillary’s alleged wrongdoing is so miniscule compared to the crookedness of all things Trump.

Not just America but the whole world is up for grabs as Trump begins to stamp his giant Trump logo everywhere.

The campaign promises have fallen with record-breaking speed by the way side. But what is really scary is that Trump’s world view and policy positions are as thin as his skin. Whatever he has heard most recently is what he’s planning to do next. Whomever he’s speaking to now is whom he agrees with. If he’s at the NY Times, they are a jewel of a newspaper. Well that’s just fine. Until he goes back and talks to the racist, anti-Semitic, anti-Muslim, anti-gay and otherwise hate-filled advisers he’s selected.

Trump is not yet President and already we have a daily competition to see what is the worst to spew from the Trump carnival.

The Trumpster has an amazing ability. He creates so many controversies that the talking heads and pundits are issuing statements about how many positions Trump has flipped on in the last twenty-four hours. Which of the disasters are real (the conflicts of interest) and which are just sleight of hand and a distraction (twitter battles with the cast of “Hamilton” and the New York Times).

Meanwhile Trump brags the value of his brand has greatly increased since the election. The Trump “charity” admits to the IRS its self-dealing and violations. Trump easily makes time while selecting a Cabinet to meet with foreign dignitaries and ask for special deals for his investments.

Trump has no fears. He will be President so no one can do anything about his conflicts of interest. In fact, he declares, much like Nixon, that as President he cannot break the law or have conflicts. That is what one would expect from Biff. Or the “President” of a banana republic.

You wanted our infrastructure rebuilt? That is one of the main functions of government. The Republicans refused to fund it under Obama. Under Trump get ready for infrastructure re-building. That is, if you want to privatize that infrastructure and slap tolls on America so Trump’s family and cronies can start collecting double-digit returns on investment at our expense.


I just can’t stomach the idea of our roads, bridges and airports bearing a big Trump logo as we pay our tolls to the Trump Enterprise to enter public spaces. Can you?

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

As Thanksgiving approaches I am sharing an excerpt from an essay I wrote on a Thanksgiving some years ago. 

The Thanksgiving holiday is all about the turkey.  Perhaps a football game or two and a little holiday shopping.  Well, actually, for some people the shopping is more of a competitive sport than the all-day football games on TV. 

But here it is Thanksgiving and my turkey is in another town.  No, I am not stranded at the airport due to weather or holiday crowds.  Rather, we were going to drive to my Mom’s house for our turkey dinner and instead have found ourselves quarantined at home, 290 miles from our turkey dinner.

To fully understand the situation I must digress a bit. Actually, all the way back to our childhoods. My husband is an only child and I am an only daughter.  Neither of us learned to cook with a lot of other people “helping” in the kitchen, so we seldom cook meals together.  But on Thanksgiving, after 30 plus years of marriage, my spouse and I have finally reached a truce and choreographed the holiday meal to an art form.  Early in the day, I get the turkey ready, stuffed, and in the oven. 

Early afternoon, my husband begins his elaborate preparations of  side dishes that bake for at least an hour, most courtesy of Shaker recipes or Jeff Smith’s Frugal Gourmet: corn pudding, sweet potatoes baked in maple syrup, and baked apples.  After he has lovingly nestled his gourmet creations in the oven, I then prepare broccoli casserole (also courtesy of a “Shaker” recipe, though I am jarred by the image of the Shakers driving in horse-drawn carriages to market for Velveeta cheese food and Ritz crackers), potatoes, and gravy. 

This year, though, there is no turkey, not a small roasting chicken, or even a Cornish hen in our house.  Since we were not planning on being home for Thanksgiving.  Instead we had planned on driving on Thanksgiving Day to Mom’s home some four and a half hours away.  As a result of those travel plans and Mom’s ill health, for the first time, instead of our usual holiday cooking routine, somewhat reluctantly I had ordered a turkey dinner already fully prepared.  This is likely to be Mom’s last Thanksgiving, so I went a bit overboard and ordered an elaborate, take-out feast which Mom’s care-giver has picked up and planned to heat and serve today.

Mom has had little appetite after completing five weeks of radiation for a tumor discovered several months ago.  Even though Mom is not likely to eat much of the turkey dinner, I had hoped that she would at least enjoy the sight of a plump, baked bird on her dining room table, and that feast, shared by family, would lift her spirits.

Unfortunately, my husband and I aren’t able to be at that table today.  He came down with the old-fashioned stomach flu on Thanksgiving Eve.  A result of a virus, no doubt, but one that seems almost unpatriotic in its timing at the start of shopping and gluttony season.  I, on the other hand, though not (yet) affected by the stomach bug, instead am suffering from a longer term, gastro-intestinal ailment that appears to be tracking Mom’s decline in health.

Thus, the absence of a turkey at our house this year is not a loss we particularly miss except, perhaps, in the abstract. Furthermore, according to the morning newspaper, most Americans gain five pounds over the holiday season.  The risks of over-eating, even in a single meal were laid out like the proverbial buffet: heart attack, stroke, gall stone attacks, not to mention old-fashioned heartburn and gastric distress.  We will count ourselves lucky to be sidestepping these risks as, we pick sedately at scrambled eggs, no toast for me on the chance my tummy upset is gluten sensitivity activated by stress. 

As it turned out that was my Mom’s last Thanksgiving.  She never rebounded after the radiation, but instead lingered for many months as her life spirit and her strength receded.  My brother and I spent much of that time with her.  Only belatedly did we think to play for her some of the music she had so enjoyed.  Nevertheless, I like to think that even in her coma-like state she heard and enjoyed some of the old Nat King Cole songs she had played on the piano in her younger days. 


During my Mother’s final months I developed celiac, a disease associated with a severe reaction to wheat and gluten. Celiac occurs as a result of a genetic predisposition, and can be activated by physical or mental stress.  Luckily, our son’s in-laws assure me they are happy to serve a gluten- free turkey dinner.  

It has taken me awhile to realize Thanksgiving is not at all about the turkey.  Or even the football and shopping.  Rather, it’s about family, however you might define them, and good friends.  And it’s for giving thanks for them, however far flung or distant they might now be.



Wednesday, November 9, 2016

Welcome to Trump World

You were tired of business as usual. You wanted someone who could blow up Washington. An outsider who didn’t know anything about government or politics. Who couldn’t pass a fifth-grade civics test. So, you voted for Trump. Overnight, the markets have crashed. Not just the U.S. stock markets but around the world. Welcome to Trump World.

 You were tired of political correctness. You wanted someone who said what you sometimes think about people who are different than you. The President-Elect, as a reality TV show host and self-proclaimed billionaire, is a man who has bragged about being able to assault women with impunity, who has incited violence at his rallies, mocked a disabled reporter, said he will bar whole groups of people because of their religions and is embraced by racists (who prefer the politically correct title alt-right) as one of their own. Do you think you will be able to let your children or grandchildren watch the TV news without their minds being polluted by the evil and hatred you have let loose? Welcome to Trump World.

You hoped that Trump would bring his gold-plated business magic to government and your lives? A man who stiffed his contractors. Declared bankruptcy in his business dealings so many times we’ve lost count. A man who cheated so big on his taxes that he ignored his own lawyers’ advice and took a tax write off for almost a billion dollars—of other people’s money—to avoid paying taxes for a couple of decades. Do you think he will fix the problems in this country? With the stock market dropping to historic lows just at the news of his election. Welcome to Trump World.

You liked Trump’s brash “tell it like it is”, take no prisoners, me-first approach to life and business. Marry foreign supermodels. When the first one gets to be a little old—35 is The Donald’s age cut off for wives—cheat on her and then import another. Shall we all try his approach--think about ourselves first and only—not pay our bills until we are sued and then try to whittle down the debts to cents on the dollar? Treat women as disposable. Everyone else is just a thing, not a real person. It worked for The Donald, why not me? I guess that’s the new business and personal standard. Welcome to Trump World.

You couldn’t vote for Hillary because you’ve heard she is corrupt. Trump said she is a criminal. So, it must be true. It doesn’t matter that she has been investigated more than any other politician and cleared of wrong doing. Trump is a man who is involved in more than 4,000 lawsuits in the last three decades, more than anyone who has ever run for President. He goes to trial this month on fraud charges related to Trump University. He’s been accused by multiple women of sexual assault as well as the rape of a 13-year-old. He’s admitted, in appalling language, recorded on tape, to thinking he can get away scot free with assaulting women. His Presidency could be totally consumed with his private lawsuits. That’s not even considering his conflicts of interest which he has refused to disclose or divest himself of in a blind trust. Trump doesn’t even seem to know what a blind trust is. He says he’ll let his children handle his interests. Let’s talk about real corruption. Welcome to Trump World.

You didn’t think Hillary Clinton, a woman who has worked for other people’s welfare for most of her life, was quite likable enough to get your vote. So, you voted for the guy who trash talked minorities, Muslims, foreigners, and women at his rallies, menaced and threatened to throw his opponent in jail at his Presidential debates. Who incited his followers to violence. If that’s your idea of niceness, welcome to Trump World.


You don’t like to think about climate change. You’d rather vote for The Donald and keep your heads in the sand. Trump says climate change is a hoax constructed by the Chinese. The Donald will get us out of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. Well, I hope you pull your head out of the sand long enough to learn to tread water or run for higher ground as the oceans continue their dramatic rise because of melting ice caps. Just because The Donald says there’s no climate change doesn’t mean Trump World won’t flood.

I’m angry and I’m sad. You, America, have elected the most vile, most unprepared, most deplorable con man in the history of our nation to our highest office. And you’ve given him a majority in both houses of Congress. Welcome to Trump World, indeed.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

TrumpWorld

Headlines scream: “Trump Wall Built: Total Success.” “Muslims Have Been Rounded Up.” “Dissenting Journalists Disappear.” And one of my favorites: “All the World Marvels at American Greatness.”

It’s day 200 of Trump’s first term. The talking heads said look at the first 100 days.  But that went by in a streak of TV, cable news channels, and news articles covering nothing but Trump doings. Trump appointed Donald Trump, Jr. to the U.S. Supreme Court vacancy while Congress was in recess. Trump banned overweight women from appearing in public without full body coverings.

Trump started his own reality and news TV channel. The ratings are out the roof. Citizens competed to be on the show to win a lifetime pardon for any crime they might commit. The first winner was Trump’s son-in-law. Chris Christie, now Secretary of State, also competed but didn’t win. Just goes to show you the program isn’t rigged.

Trump awarded himself a lifetime exemption from paying any taxes and also 20% of all revenues derived from federally owned properties. Crowds wearing caps that say: “Ain’t America Great!” cheered.

And then came the loyalty oaths. Anyone who wanted to work for or stay employed by the federal government, work as a government contractor, or receive any government entitlement, such as Social Security, Veterans benefits, or government pension had to sign.

Soon all large employers and most state and local governments were following suit and also were requiring their employees and retirees to sign the oath. The State of West Virginia and the City of Austin had refused to require a loyalty oath of their employees and contractors. All their federal funds were shut off. Soon they were back in line. It’s good to know everyone is loyal, isn’t it?

There were rumors some left-wing Hollywood types had tried to put up a fuss about signing. They claimed it was a Joe McCarthy-type communist witch hunt. But most of them signed. There was talk of independents who were holding out. That in some secret locations there was renegade news, films or shows with actors or writers who hadn’t signed the loyalty oath.

But very few average citizens were brave enough to try to see such showings. Rumor had it the renegade news and films showings were just to ferret out the un-Trumps. Armed crowds of Trump supporters somehow always found those secret locations and clubbed, shot, or pepper sprayed anyone not wearing the “Keep America Great Caps” who happened to be in the area.

All the while Team Trump turned a nice profit on the caps bearing the different “Great America” logos, as they are known. Everyone bought at least one. It isn’t safe to go out without a Great America cap. You have to hand it to Trump—he’s a great businessman.

Some professional athletes thought they could avoid signing the oath. But if they didn’t sign, they didn’t play. And that was the last anyone heard of them. In fact, most people claimed all professional athletes signed the pledge and there had never been any disloyal players. I thought I remembered a football player, some player whose name ended in “nick”, hadn’t signed.

Don’t you like the way everybody is ok now if you identify people by their race, religion or nationality? But anyway, my friends tell me this half Polock, half Black football player exists only in my mind. And that I’ve got short term memory loss. If everybody says it, it must be so.

U. S and Russia have never been better friends. Putin praised all Americans for finally electing a great leader. Kim Jong-un even jumped on the Trump bandwagon. It’s a good thing we have alliances with those good friends. Because some disloyal countries considered attacking us. Emperor Trump (oh, did I mention, that’s his new title?) quickly forced them to back down. He’s so tough!

The news channels all reported our success in immediately defeating our enemies. But sometimes I wonder why the mandatory draft of all citizens between the ages of 18 and 35 is needed. Of course, men and women are segregated. For the protection of the women. Trump really looks out for the soft womenfolk. But sometimes I wonder where have all the young people gone? And why?

I’ve tried to stop all this wondering. Trump TV tells me it’s better to enjoy the show than it is to ask a lot of questions. Questions just lead to unhealthy thinking. And Trump is the healthiest thinker our country, even our world, has ever known.

There was a time, back just in 2016, when I thought we weren’t the greatest nation. I wasn’t sure about Trump as President. And I thought a woman President wouldn’t be all that strong. Women tend to get whiny or shrill. I was tired of seeing Hillary in pantsuits and I was so tired of hearing about her emails.

I knew Trump could do better. I wasn’t sure I understood his positions on everything or how he would make his promises come true. But I really thought he would make our country great again. And he believed in what I believed in. Sometimes I wasn’t sure just what that was but I’ve always been sure he would fix everything.

And he has. Now I have a job. I work in the coal mine again. I don’t make much money. But I don’t need much. And I don’t have any time to spend money anyway since I work a 60-hour week. But Trump works three times as hard and as long as most people, a 180-hour week. The news reported that. So I really can’t complain.

Rumor has it the coal we mine is dipped in gold and then shipped to Florida for the latest Trump mansion. It looks amazing on TV. It’s an honor to have a part in building such a mansion for our leader.

I sort of wish I had health care again. I also wish I could afford to pay for public school for my kids. But as Trump says, “We all have to tighten our belts and make sacrifices if we are going to stay the greatest nation.”


And Trump says some kids can do better without going to school. My little Johnny will have the honor of starting work in the mines next year. Child labor laws have been abolished. Since we stopped immigrants from coming to this country we really have been able to put all Americans to work.