September 27, 2017

Wondering on Wednesday (v105)

I wonder: can you tell, just by looking at the average person, dressed and acting in an unremarkable fashion, whether they're religious? Liberal? A Nazi? Trans? Patriotic? Can you see into their heart of hearts just by looking at them?

And I wonder, looking at the average member of the military, can you tell whether they're in the service to defend the flag, or to defend our Constitution, or just because they want to take out a bad guy?

Wondering further, when you hear me talk about "American ideals" are you thinking what I'm thinking? And, wondering most, what exactly is the 'correct' definition of patriot? Of American? And who gets to define that?

Does the president have the right to define it for us? Do you have the right to define it for me? Or me for you? Or is it the most American ideal of all, that we each have the freedom - and the responsibility - to be the best kind of American we can, as we define it?

I wonder, when people watched or heard about what happened at NFL games on Sunday, whether they questioned the motivation of  the players who participated? Are they on board with the real reason for the protest - racism, discrimination, blacks dying at the hands of the police - or are they just pissed that the president called one of them an SOB and so they're all SOBs?  And I wonder, are the people who were booing all upset about the same thing? Can we be sure, without talking to each of them?

Are the owners really standing in unity with the players? And, I wonder if they're united for something, or if they're united against someone? Because there's a real difference there. Shannon Sharpe had some interesting opinions on all of this.

So did the wife of Pat Tillman, the former NFL player killed by friendly fire back in 2004. She found her husband the subject of a meme suggesting that he would have been against those 'anthem protesters' which is not the case.

Speaking of standing united, the president is going to head to Puerto Rico soon, to view the horrific damage from Hurricane Maria. I supposed, if Melania goes with him, we'll have to put up with more questions about her footwear -- and for the record, she wore her heels on the walk from the White House to the helicopter, but she never wore them in Houston. Those who said she did were saying it on purpose.

On Twitter, the Governor of Puerto Rico said he "briefed @POTUS in the Situation Room and thanked him for his leadership, quick response and commitment" which of course both @realDonaldTrump and @POTUS retweeted. But most of the quick response, it seems, came before Maria actually hit. And a pre-landfall emergency declaration, and post storm disaster declarations can only go so far, as Rosello noted in an interview with Bloomberg.
Administration, they've been helpful up until now. But we need more help. We need more help. We need more resources. And at the same time, Congress solidarity and all of the help they've pledged through social media and phone calls with our staff. Now is the time to materialize it.
For his part, Trump noted
We've had tremendous reviews from government officials. This morning the government made incredible statements about how well we're doing.
This, as we watch folks stand in water lines, food lines, gas lines, and gather around random working cell towers trying to reach the outside world. 

But united we stand  - including the five living presidents. As they did for Harvey and Irma victims, they're fundraising for Maria victims.

United we stand, where locally the Boys and Girls Club is collecting donations for Puerto Rico; the same thing is happening across the state of New York, which has long had the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the US (that's now being challenged by Florida), and across the country.

United we stand. And wondering again: when you hear me talk about "American ideals" are you thinking what I'm thinking? And, wondering most, what exactly is the 'correct' definition of patriot? Of American? And who gets to define that?

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