Quotes From Military Leaders – Disdain For Individual Rights

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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From The Atlantic:

Jim Mattis

“I have watched this week’s unfolding events, angry and appalled,” Mattis writes. “The words ‘Equal Justice Under Law’ are carved in the pediment of the United States Supreme Court. This is precisely what protesters are rightly demanding. It is a wholesome and unifying demand—one that all of us should be able to get behind. We must not be distracted by a small number of lawbreakers. The protests are defined by tens of thousands of people of conscience who are insisting that we live up to our values—our values as people and our values as a nation.” He goes on, “We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.”

“Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead, he tries to divide us,” Mattis writes. “We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society. This will not be easy, as the past few days have shown, but we owe it to our fellow citizens; to past generations that bled to defend our promise; and to our children.”

Mike Mullen: I cannot remain silent “Our fellow citizens are not the enemy, and must never become so.”

Whatever Trump’s goal in conducting his visit, he laid bare his disdain for the rights of peaceful protest in this country, gave succor to the leaders of other countries who take comfort in our domestic strife, and risked further politicizing the men and women of our armed forces.

There was little good in the stunt.

While no one should ever condone the violence, vandalism, and looting that has exploded across our city streets, neither should anyone lose sight of the larger and deeper concerns about institutional racism that have ignited this rage.

As a white man, I cannot claim perfect understanding of the fear and anger that African Americans feel today. But as someone who has been around for a while, I know enough—and I’ve seen enough—to understand that those feelings are real and that they are all too painfully founded.


Where Is The Leadership To Save The U.S.?

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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June 2, 2020. Selected quotes from Thomas L. Friedman, Opinion Columnist NYT, America, We Break It, It’s Gone

Three years ago, I might have hoped that Senate Republicans would step in and restrain Trump. But now we all know better. The Senate Republican caucus today is nothing but a political brothel. Mitch McConnell is the madame. And McConnell and his caucus rent themselves out by the night to whoever will energize the Republican base to keep them in power and secure the economic benefits for their wealthiest donors.

How about the social media barons? Will they save us from the toxic waste they now circulate? Certainly not Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, who is clearly the Rupert Murdoch of his generation. He’s always justifying his cowardly choices with vacuous bromides about “free speech,” but he’s obviously just in it for the money — no matter how much his platform is used to destroy our democracy.

So where to look? It is not hopeless.

Interested? Read America, We Break It, It’s Gone


Minneapolis Police Union Leader In Action

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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What the Minneapolis police union leader said at a 2019 Trump rally

Lt. Bob Kroll, president of the Minneapolis Police Union, attacked the Obama administration for “the handcuffing and oppression of the police” and praised President Trump for “letting the cops do their jobs.”

Trump & Congressional Enablers

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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Opinion By George Will, The Washington Post. June 1, 2020: Trump must be removed. So must his congressional enablers.

About The “Riots”

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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From daughter Robyn, May 30, 2020

“And I must say tonight that a riot is the language of the unheard. And what is it America has failed to hear? … It has failed to hear that the promises of freedom and justice have not been met. And it has failed to hear that large segments of white society are more concerned about tranquility and the status quo than about justice and humanity.”

― Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“The Other America”  speech, Grosse Pointe High School, March 14, 1968


If We Had A Real Leader

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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Selected Quotes From The Conservative iIntellectual, David Brooks:

If we had a real leader, he would have realized that tragedies like 100,000 Covid-19 deaths touch something deeper than politics: They touch our shared vulnerability and our profound and natural sympathy for one another.

In such moments, a real leader steps outside of his political role and reveals himself uncloaked and humbled, as someone who can draw on his own pains and simply be present with others as one sufferer among a common sea of sufferers.

If we had a real leader, he would be bracingly honest about how bad things are, like Churchill after the fall of Europe. He would have stored in his upbringing the understanding that hard times are the making of character, a revelation of character and a test of character. He would offer up the reality that to be an American is both a gift and a task.

If we had a real leader, she would remind us of our common covenants and our common purposes. America is a diverse country joined more by a common future than by common pasts. In times of hardships real leaders re-articulate the purpose of America, why we endure these hardships and what good we will make out of them.

  • After the Challenger explosion, Reagan reminded us that we are a nation of explorers and that the explorations at the frontiers of science would go on, thanks in part to those who “slipped the surly bonds of earth to touch the face of God.”
  • At Gettysburg, Lincoln crisply described why the fallen had sacrificed their lives — to show that a nation “dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal” can long endure and also to bring about “a new birth of freedom” for all the world.

Of course, right now we don’t have a real leader. We have Donald Trump, a man who can’t fathom empathy or express empathy, who can’t laugh or cry, love or be loved — a damaged narcissist who is unable to see the true existence of other human beings except insofar as they are good or bad for himself.

But it’s too easy to offload all blame on Trump. Trump’s problem is not only that he’s emotionally damaged; it is that he is unlettered. He has no literary, spiritual or historical resources to draw upon in a crisis.

Right now, science and the humanities should be in lock step: science producing vaccines, with the humanities stocking leaders and citizens with the capacities of resilience, care and collaboration until they come. But, instead, the humanities are in crisis at the exact moment history is revealing how vital moral formation really is.

Mentally Unhinged

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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From Mother Jones:

In the past few days Donald Trump has:

  • Cranked up the volume on his pointless cold wars with China and Iran
  • Turned mask wearing into a culture war campaign issue
  • Accused a TV host of murdering an intern
  • Declared war on voting by mail
  • Insisted that James Comey and a variety of others should be in jail
  • Pushed an absurd “unmasking” non-scandal
  • Insisted that Barack Obama personally led a spying campaign against him
  • Retweeted a video saying “the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat”
  • Retweeted QAnon conspiracy theories

All of this has happened in the midst of an enormous pandemic which should be occupying all his time. Instead he’s virtually ignoring it because he can’t figure out what to do aside from handing it over to his son-in-law and then hauling out his iPhone to tweet about something he heard on Fox & Friends.

Is Trump mentally unstable? I don’t know. But he’s sure not mentally all there, is he? What kind of leader decides he can just shut his eyes to a deadly pandemic and instead spend all his time plotting revenge on enemies both real and imagined? Only a mentally deranged one. When will the Republican Party finally realize just what kind of trouble they’ve gotten us into?

First Responsibility — Keep the Public Safe

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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From The Guardian by Robert Reich – Donald Trump’s four-step plan to reopen the US economy – and why it will be lethal

The first responsibility of a president is to keep the public safe. But Donald Trump couldn’t care less.



Why Was America Unprepared — What Did We Know & When?

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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An 8 minute video CBS News This Week On Sunday Morning, 4/26/2020

A 3 minute Video: Trump Eliminated KeY US Pandemic Response Team in 2018

More Documentation of Trump’s Failure: Trump’s 100 Days of Deadly Denial

Captain of the Titanic

Published / by Stephen Chapel

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From a friend:

If Trump Had Been Captain of the Titanic

“There isn’t any iceberg.  There was an iceberg but it’s in a totally different ocean.  The iceberg is in this ocean but it will melt very soon.  There is an iceberg but we didn’t hit the iceberg.  We hit the iceberg, but the damage will be repaired very shortly.  The iceberg is a Chinese iceberg.   We are taking on water but every passenger who wants a lifeboat can get a lifeboat, and they are beautiful lifeboats.  Look, passengers need to ask nicely for the lifeboats if they want them.  We don’t have any lifeboats, we’re not lifeboat distributors.  Passengers should have planned for icebergs and brought their own lifeboats.   I really don’t think we need that many lifeboats.  We have lifeboats and they’re supposed to be our lifeboats, not the passengers’ lifeboats.  The lifeboats were left on shore by the last captain of this ship.  Nobody could have foreseen the iceberg.”