The Saudis are our friends?

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again – as those tanks left Kuwait in March 2003, they should have headed south instead of north.

The Saudis are NOT our friends.

Let’s just set aside that they killed a journalist in a consulate. We’ll cover that in a minute.

First, let’s not forget that the Saudis are working to make Qatar a pariah in the region, with the Saudis getting allies to cut off all ties with Qatar. Even President Trump supported them on this. The evidence for which the Saudis allege that Qatar should be cut off is flimsy at best and likely fabricated, but it was enough for Trump to jump on the Saudi bandwagon.

You might have heard of Qatar; it’s home to Al Udeid Air Base, home of 11,000 American troops fighting ISIS and trying to maintain stability in the region. You might also want to look up why the troops are there and NOT at Prince Sultan Airbase, where they were located during Desert Shield/Storm, and when that happened.

That’s because the move occurred just after 9/11/2001. And that’s the big one we can’t forget – 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudi. They weren’t Afghani or Iraqi; nope, they were our “friends” the Saudis.

Now, let’s get back to the killing of the journalist. He was a US resident who entered a Saudi consulate and never exited. President Trump would have us believe that “rogue killers” just happened to accidentally kill him in the consulate and the government knew nothing about it. That could be a believable story if it happened at a nightclub; but this was on politically protected soil in a government building owned and operated by the Saudi government!

So what is the life of a journalist worth in President Trump’s eyes? Apparently less than $110 billion. Trump said he doesn’t want to scrap $110 billion of arms sales over this.

For the reasons I laid out above – and the mere fact that any country who is willing to resort to such drastic measures to silence their critics is certainly not our “friend” – perhaps we shouldn’t be doing business with them – and certainly NOT selling them a crap load of hi-tech weapons.

Trump and McCain

In a new low for even him, Trump refused to talk about John McCain, and then in an act of total cowardice, ordered the flag to be returned to full staff in the ultimate middle finger to the departed senator.

I expect that Trump will become even more incensed over the next few days due to one simple fact: No matter what he does, Donald Trump will NEVER be as beloved to the American people as John McCain.

I’ve had my differences with John McCain, particularly in 2008 when he sold his political soul to the conservatives and Evangelicals in his failed bid to win the White House. (Oh, if only the 2000 John McCain could have run in 2008!) He did redeem himself in the end when he finally referred to Obama as a “good man” and didn’t play into the “Obama is a secret Muslim” hype (are you listening President Trump?).

(In fact, as an aside, have you noticed that no one is talking to Sarah Palin about John McCain? Not that I mind – her fifteen minutes was up years ago. Just, sort of interesting.)

John McCain was all about sacrifice and service. These are things that Donald Trump claims to know about, but we all know that while McCain was being brutally tortured in Vietnam, Donny was suffering from bone spurs (funny how that doesn’t seem to affect his golf game). Donald Trump knows nothing about real service and sacrifice. And this was proven again yesterday in his own self-serving acts in raising the flag to full staff instead of leaving it at half staff to respect a veteran and patriot – the same ones he continually praises and invokes at his rallies as he claims to support.

One final thought: When the NFL players take a knee, I know they are protesting what they see as injustice. I know they aren’t protesting the veterans. However, Donald Trump continues to try to stoke that saying the players are “disrespecting veterans,” and his base eats that up.

Yet yesterday, when he raised the flag to full-staff, as a final “eff you” to John McCain – clearly disrespecting a veteran – that same base was noticeably quiet.

John McCain, you were a hero of mine. I wish you were President in 2000. You lost your way for a bit in 2008, but I was glad you found your way back to being the maverick you always were. I hope you inspire a whole new generation of mavericks who know what it means to put country above self, country above politics, and standing up for what you believe rather than what is politically expedient.

Giuliani defends the Russia Investigation

Well, sort of.

Rudy Giuliani, in trying to argue against the Russia investigation, further concreted its necessity with his now infamous quote “Truth isn’t truth.”

It’s just the latest attack in the Trump Administration’s war with the truth.

First came this one from Kellyanne Conway in January 2017: “Sean Spicer, our press secretary, gave alternative facts” when confronted about evidence of Trump’s crowd size.

That was followed up by this Orwellian quote from Trump himself on July 24, 2018: “Stick with us. Don’t believe the crap you see from these people, the fake news. … What you’re seeing and what you’re reading is not what’s happening.”

And then now, on August 19, 2018, we can add to it “Truth isn’t truth.”

I mean, it’s one thing to hear Trump lie – he does it all the time, and of course his political operatives spin it as “He’s exaggerating, don’t you understand sarcasm, it’s just hyperbole…”

But to hear them lying about the TRUTH? That’s just a whole other level of lying.

So what do they really believe?

One of my favorite podcasts is the In the Name of God – The Podcast!. Each week, Matthew the Apostle goes over all of the crimes committed each week by religious leaders. I bring this up, because this week, the Catholic Church was again in the news for covering up the abuse of over 1,000 children by over 300 priests.

This has led me to wonder – what do these people who commit these crimes REALLY believe?

These are the same people who are opposed to gay marriage because the Bible condemns it as a sin, but seem to have no problem with inappropriately touching kids or looking the other way when someone else does.

To which I really want to know: Have they lost their faith and are just putting on an act? That’s the only thing I can come up with for why, with all of their belief in a powerful judgmental God who sees all, hears all, and knows all, they would then go and commit this sin against God and expect Him to not be completely judgmental of them.

I would really love to interview one of these fallen leaders and ask them: do you still really believe in a judgmental God who will send you to eternal damnation, or do you think it’s BS, you can do what you want, and go through the motions for the purposes of appearances?

Either way, take a listen to the podcast. He’s been doing for years, and the news this week from Pennsylvania doesn’t even come close to what these people (from ALL religions) do week after week. And if that gives you pause, consider this – Matthew’s podcasts are only the tip of the iceberg. He only has 30 minutes each week to cover these “crimes for God” and there are many more that he doesn’t even have time to get to.

A new thing I can look forward to

There are some things that I optimistically look forward to with Trump as President.

Remember back in the 2016 debate with Hillary when he brought in all of the women who accused Bill Clinton of inappropriate behavior and had them seated in the front row to rattle Hillary? Well, I can’t wait for the first 2020 debate when Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal are seated up front in the audience. (Oh, and I’m sure there will be others, not to worry.)

Well, that’s the first thing I am looking forward to, but now I have a second thing I am looking forward to.

Trump removed the security clearance of John Brennan this week. He did it because Trump is a petty person with an extremely thin skin, but Trump offered the excuse (after at one point blaming the Russia investigation) that Brennan had “erratic” behavior,“increasingly frenzied commentary,” and used his clearance to “to make a series of unfounded and outrageous allegations.” (Does this sound like any current President we might know?)

In fact, in a “pot calling the kettle black” post, Trump is again continuing this line of thinking:

(Of course this tweet pretty much sums up my thoughts on Trump’s latest tweet:

But I digress.)

So the next thing I can look forward to is this: Since we have now set the precedent that all it takes for a security clearance to be revoked is erratic behavior, frenzied commentary, and unfounded and outrageous allegations, I am looking forward to Wednesday, January 20, 2021 at 9:01 AM when President Trump will lose his security clearance.

And I do find it ironic that had he not been elected President, Trump himself would likely NOT have cleared the background investigation needed for a security clearance. (The foreign contacts, the repeated bankruptcy, hell even all of his marriages and infidelities would have taken years to complete.) Additionally, Jared “Nepotism” Kuschner couldn’t get security clearance for the first year (and likely only got one under direct threat from the evil emperor himself). I find it just simply astonishing that a President who wouldn’t be able to get a clearance himself is now determining who can keep their security clearances.

The world continues to turn upside down.

Spamfight is back – because you asked for it!

Years ago – a LONG time ago, as you will see – we had a member of the site who called himself “Nash Chovek Vladimir” or just “Nash Chovek” as he was known here.

Nash would bait Nigerian spammers and try to see exactly how long he could get them to hang on, desperate for money, and exactly what kind of pranks he could play on them along the way.

What brought Nash to my site was my Nigerian spam contest. My friend Doug and I were talking one day about how we each got about 3 emails that day, with each email promising us about $20 million. We added it up, and we were like “Between us, that’s like $120 million. Does Nigeria even have $120 million?”

It started off as a joke, but it took off. We decided we’d see who could get promised the most money from spammers over a six month period.

People gathered from across the internet, sending me their spam, which I dutifully tallied up. We offered up a $50 Amazon gift card to whoever could amass the most money, and as the contest grew, other prizes were added (including a free medieval weapon to the winner).

Along the way, a professor in Germany contacted me to assist her with her doctoral thesis, as I had amassed quite a collection of spam. The most interesting cultural phenomenon of the Nigerian spam? Spam targeting European addressed played on using the money for the recipient’s charities, while in the US it just played on our greed.

Finally, I was profiled by both the St Paul Pioneer Press and the Wall Street Journal because our winners of the contest – Naira, susu, and numbat – are the first (and possibly only?) people to have ever profitted off of Nigerian scam spam!

When the site came back, my friends over at “In the Name of God – The Podcast!” requested to see Spamfight again and the immortal adventures of Nash Chovek, the notorious Dr. Kaad Zias, and the supporting cast of Nigerian spammers.

Well, without further ado, I present the return of SPAMFIGHT – in all of its original FrontPage97 glory!

Trump doesn’t use the N-word – because he doesn’t have to

A lot was made this week of Omarosa’s claim that she heard President Trump use the N-word. He denies it, just as he denies he’s a racist, but then immediately tweets out that Omarosa is a “crazed, crying lowlife” and “that dog.”

So once again, President Trump is quick to dehumanize someone of color that he doesn’t like, referring to her as a “dog.” Yet, dictators who murder their own people are referred to as “respected.” This comes after he made similar remarks about Lebron James and Don Lemon.

So to me, he’s denying he’s using the N-word, but he has no problem calling a black woman a “lowlife” and “dog.” It’s not the N-word, but it’s still offensive and racist. He doesn’t need to use the N-word to be a racist.

Besides Nixon (who said such stuff in the privacy of the Oval Office), can anyone name another president who used such language and insults publicly about anyone?

What’s even more surprising is that there are people defending the President and his rhetoric. And for them, I have this cautionary tale:

Omarosa was a trusted and loyal advisor to the President. As soon as she was fired, he turned and is now referring to her in such an insulting way.

Of all of you who are loyal to a man undeserving of such loyalty – do NOT be surprised when you fall out of favor and he turns on you.

And in the end, I have to say that the president wants to look macho and tough, but it reflects the most poorly on him: If she was so “crazed,” why would he ever give her a job in the White House? If, for the benefit of the doubt, she was unqualified to begin with, then shame on him for hiring her in the first place.

And yes, this man has his finger on the nuclear button.

The Truth about the “Witch Hunt”

So, Trump keeps claiming that the investigation into Russian interference in the election and his campaign’s possible ties to it is a “witch hunt.”

Here are some facts:

Last week, Michael Cohen claimed that Trump was aware of the meeting that Don Jr held with Russian lawyers in Trump Tower on June 9, 2016.

Then on Monday of this week, Rudy Giuliani said there was a SECOND meeting with Cohen and everyone involved – except Trump – that took place 2 days prior to the June 9th meeting, in which they discussed how they would handle the Russian meeting. This is also the same day in which Trump made a speech in which he promised dirt on Hillary Clinton. Rudy couldn’t remember all the names of the people in the meeting, but he was very adamant that Trump did not know about it.

Then later on Monday, Rudy Giuliani calls into Fox News to then say that the second meeting never happened. The Fox News hosts were confused – as we all were – about Rudy mentioning that there was no second meeting, but that if there *was*, Trump wouldn’t have known anything about it.

And so *this* is the reason why there is a Russia investigation. No one can keep a story straight. Hell, even Rudy Giuliani can’t keep his own stories straight!

Somewhere, there is a truth. This is why Robert Mueller was picked to lead an investigation. Trump can keep calling it a witch hunt, but the fact is that as long as his team keeps telling these inconsistent stories, we’re going to need an investigation into what really happened with his campaign and their ties to Russia.

The more the President calls it a witch hunt – and the more his team keeps bringing up these inconsistent alibis – the more he keeps proving the need for an independent investigation.

We’re back!

So years ago, this was a place where I would come and rant against everything.

Then, my son Alex was born. I changed jobs. I went on a TV game show. Things were going well, and I didn’t feel the need to rant.

Then, in the blink of an eye in November 2016, Donald Trump got elected. People were furious. I was disappointed, as any of you who know me can attest, but I went into it optimistically. I mean, really, just how bad could he be? We survived George W. Bush getting us into a needless war and killing the economy. I mean, Trump couldn’t do any worse, right? Right?

And so my only comment was the day after the election when I said that I wasn’t so sure that Trump was going to make America great again, but he was definitely going to make Trump great again.

But I stayed retired, quietly ranting to close friends and family.

And now, after a year and a half of watching my country – a country I pledged my life to defend – be completely upended, I decided to come out of retirement, dust off the old soapbox, and rant like I never have before.

Welcome back to Rants in Your Pants!