Category Archives: Writing

Just Some of the Ways Donald Trump has Victimized El Paso


Suspect I refuse to name with what appears to be a WASR-10

As I write this, El Paso, Texas, the 22nd largest city in the United States, is mourning, in shock, and attempting to return to a sense of normalcy. It’s going to be a long haul. Yes, Ursula and I are fine. We were grocery shopping at a westside El Paso Albertson’s when the word spread of this apparent right-wing terrorist attack.

EPPD SWAT responds to Cielo Vista Mall

Well get back to this terrorist attack later, but for now I’d like to list just some of the ways this wonderful city have been victimized since the elevation to the presidency of Donald J. Trump. Let us begin:

Victimization 1:

The ‘alternative fact’ that El Paso was an unsafe city known for rampant crime before a border wall was erected here in 2008-2009

But let’s get something out of the way first. The alternative to a fact is fiction. And a fiction presented as fact is a lie. The crime rate in El Paso peaked in 1993, some sixteen years before a border barrier was completed. The El Paso Times compiled the statistics, and this is a chart derived from those numbers:

Reported violent crimes by year. Source: El Paso Times.

You’ll note that violent crime in El Paso bottomed out in 2006, and actually went up slightly following completion of the wall in mid-2009. So, the president, trying desperately to rationalize a monument to himself along the southern border, chose to disparage El Paso as a den of violent crime, when in fact El Paso is routinely listed as one of the safest cities in the U.S., and has been since the late 1990s.

Victimization 2:

The Trump Campaign stiffs the taxpayers of El Paso for $470,417.05

On February 11 of this year, the Trump Campaign held one of Donald Trump’s notoriously raucous and frequently racist MAGA rallies in El Paso. The itemized bill for the campaign’s expenses for that rally are presented below:

Trump Rally Invoice

Note the invoice date, March 27, and the due date of April 26. In mid May, the city sent the Trump Campaign a dunning letter giving the already delinquent deadbeats thirty days to pay up or suffer the consequences of a 21% collection fee. That collection fee is now in effect, and the total now owed the city of El Paso is an astounding $569,204.63.

City officials still await so much as an acknowledgement that the money is owed.

Victimization 3:

Hundreds of detained migrants released onto the streets of El Paso with zero advanced notice. Two days before Christmas. Another 180 more released on Christmas Day:

On December 23 of last year, with no warning to civic leaders or local charities, 214 asylum seekers were dumped by the Trump Administration onto the streets of El Paso. And while U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) claimed this was but an oversight, we all know better. No such ‘oversight’ would have occurred in, say, a battleground state such as Florida, Nevada, or Arizona. This was a political decision to stick it to a largely Democrat supporting area. Similar releases occurred in the Las Cruces, New Mexico area, in a state that was won by Hillary Clinton with an 8.2% margin. Coincidence? I think not.

Victimization 4:

Inspiring racists, white supremacists, white nationalists, and Neo-Nazis to the point where El Paso has now endured the 8th worst mass shooting attack in U.S. history.

Yesterday, August 2, the Walmart Supercenter located adjacent the Cielo Vista Mall in El Paso came under terrorist attack. The person arrested for the shooting claimed that a Romanian WASR-10 was the weapon he planned to use, and video footage seems to bear out that an AK-47-type weapon, which would include the WASR-10, was indeed used.

Scene outside the Cielo Vista Walmart Supercenter

The suspect appears to have traveled from his residence in Allen, Texas. That’s a 650-mile/1,046-kilometer trip. Think about that for a moment. Why travel 650 miles when Allen is only 25 miles north of target-rich Dallas, a city considerably larger than El Paso, and a metro area many times larger when you take into account Fort Worth and surrounding communities.

Shoppers escorted to safety

When I heard this, I immediately suspected the reason even before we knew much about the suspect. So, what’s the answer? It’s this:
Assuming a populated target matches closely the demographics for El Paso, a random killer spraying bullets indiscriminately into a crowded store will discover that approximately 81% of his victims are Hispanic.

Shoppers escorted to safety

I managed, after some online detective work, to acquire a copy of the suspect’s ‘manifesto’, a hate-filled diatribe of racist views that uses much of the same language as President Donald J. Trump. I’m not going to post images of that screed, just as I’ve refused in this article to mention the name of the suspect lest he get some twisted satisfaction of having his name out there one more time. Instead, I’m going to select from this abhorrent white supremacist, anti-immigrant harangue those words and sentiments identical to those used frequently by President Trump.

Suspect I refuse to name in EPPD custody

Yes, the suspect takes to task both political parties, but his sentiments are almost word-for-word straight out of President Trump’s tweets and rallies. In his racist diatribe, the suspect took the following straight from the Donald J. Trump playbook of racist grievances:

  • I am simply defending my country from cultural and ethnic displacement brought on by an invasion. (How many times as President Trump characterized the southern border situation as an, “Invasion”?)
  • Due to the death of the baby boomers, the increasingly anti-immigrant rhetoric of the right and the ever increasing Hispanic population, America will soon become a one party-state. The Democrat Party will own America and they know it. They have already begun the transition by pandering heavily to the Hispanic voting bloc in the 1st Democratic Debate. They intend to use open borders, free healthcare of illegals, citizenship and more to enact a political coup by importing and then legalizing millions of new voters. (Note the Trumpian words and phrases: ever increasing Hispanic population; open borders; political coup; importing and legalizing millions of new voters)
  • This is an encouraging sign the the Hispanic population is willing to return to their home countries if given the proper incentive. An incentive that myself and many other patriotic Americans will provide. (Another ‘incentive’ would be the Attorney General of the U.S. implementing in April, 2018 a zero-tolerance policy designed to facilitate family separations)
  • Hispanics will take control of the local and state government of my beloved Texas changing policy to better suit their needs. They will turn Texas into the instrument of a political coup, which will hasten the destruction of our country. (The sentiment of the current Republican Party, and the Trump Administration, is to suppress minority voting around the country under the guise of ‘voter security’, even though the only organized, wide-spread election fraud during the last election was perpetrated by Republicans in North Carolina’s 9th Congressional District. Yet, despite that, the rhetoric targeting minorities continues.)
  • Our government has killed a whole lot more people for a whole lot less. (Remember the following rationale for not criticizing the Russian nerve agent attack on U.K. soil? “There are a lot of killers. We’ve got a lot of killers. What do you think, our country’s so innocent?)

Some additional quotes that show the sick mind of the suspect, but which do not directly tie with tweets or statements from President Trump:

  • Even if they are shameless race mixers . . . .
  • I am against race mixing because it destroys genetic diversity and creates identity problems.
  • 2nd and 3rd generation Hispanics form interracial unions at much higher rates than average.

And then, after all the direct evidence to the contrary, much of it presented above, we get this little disclaimer at the end attempting to absolve the president from responsibility:

  • My ideology has not changed for several years (by way of contest, the suspect is 21). My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump (not bloody likely considering the similarities in tone and language; and he would have been in this teens when these views solidified without Trumpian inspiration?). I putting (sic) this here because some people will blame the President or certain presidential candidates for the attack. I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric (so, the suspect readily admits that he is indeed familiar with this rhetoric; it’s simply not rational to believe he wasn’t influenced by it). The media is infamous for fake news (where have we heard that term before?).

My take on all this:

Will this be a massive turning point in President Trump’s support? Not so much. Many still supporting the president do so fully aware that they are supporting someone who actively courts racists, white supremacists, white nationalists, and Neo-Nazis. We see evidence of that courtship on an almost weekly, and sometimes daily, basis. I do believe, however, as more comes out on the human piece of excrement who perpetrated this vicious terrorist attack, that just enough Texans may be swayed to potentially cost President Trump her 38 electoral votes, and with those electoral votes go any chance he may have for reelection. So, ironically, the outcome of this attack in ‘reliably red’ Texas may be 180º out from what the suspect intended. I also believe that, because of his repeated inability to criticize the president, Texas Senator John Cornyn may very well be vulnerable in his reelection bid next year.

Meanwhile, let us watch how exactly President Trump passes out cans of gasoline and books of matches at his MAGA rallies:

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Personally, I’ve had enough of the ACHDTB* Government Shutdown


The ACHDTB* Government Shutdown

As many of you know, I spent over 34 years of my life performing the duties of Air Traffic Control, and I’ve been training air traffic controllers since September, 2011. Also, I’m sure many of you have noticed that I seldom blog anything political. That’s by design. Because of the highly polarized political environment in which we find ourselves today, it just doesn’t pay to get in the crossfire.

But enough is enough. Today, a ground stop was initiated into LaGuardia Airport. Flow control restrictions have been implemented for Philadelphia International and Newark Liberty International. The reason? Not enough controllers showing up because many can no longer afford to go to work for zero pay. Today, by the way, marks the second payday in a row that controllers have received $0.00 on their pay statements. That’s over a month without one dime being paid to them for performing one of the most stressful jobs in existence.

And for what? No, not a wall, if that’s your answer. The wall was a non-issue for the two full years that Donald Trump had majorities in both houses of Congress. At any time Republican senators and congressmen could have inserted wall funding into any one of  dozens of bill reconciliations between the two houses of Congress, and there there would have been nothing Democrats could have done to prevent it. But even Republican senators knew an unguarded wall in a remote area is a waste of money, so they opted otherwise.

Indeed, as recently as December 19, a mere 38 days ago, President Trump was onboard with a short term spending bill passed by the Senate—a spending bill that had no funding for an extension of existing urban wall into remote areas. But a funny thing happened on the way to the House of Representatives. Ann Coulter publicly attacked Donald Trump. By the end of the day, President Trump reversed course, and on December 22 a quarter of the government went unfunded. Ironically, for someone who now claims the wall is essential to national security, the unfunded agencies include Customs and Border Protection, the U.S. Coast Guard, the F.B.I., the U.S. Secret Service, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), and, yes, the Federal Aviation Administration and the air traffic controllers who work for it.

So, here we are some 35 days and two paychecks later. Air terminal passenger inspection stations are closing because TSA agents cannot afford gasoline to get to work. For the first time in history, a uniformed branch of the U.S. military is going unpaid. And, now, airports are experiencing delays, and even ground stops, because controllers are reaching their financial limits. If you think that’s bad, consider this: while controllers are considered essential, and must work even without pay, their support staff are not. Those staff employees are furloughed and sitting at home.

“So what,” you may ask. Well, next week is Super Bowl Sunday. And with Super Bowl Sunday arrive a lot of aircraft. Airliners. General aviation. Corporate aircraft, Air taxis. All streaming into (and later out of) Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. As any controller who has worked aircraft on Super Bowl Sunday (or any major sporting event) can tell you, weeks and weeks of pre-planning and inter-facility coordination goes into handling the massive influx of aircraft that occurs during such an event. But the people who handle that planning and coordination have been furloughed since just before Christmas.

So, even if, by some miracle, staff were recalled tomorrow, the window of opportunity to provide for smooth air traffic operations during Super Bowl Sunday has long passed . . . assuming, of course, there are enough controllers around next week to even keep open Atlanta Int’l Control Tower, Atlanta Terminal Radar Approach Control, and the Atlanta Air Route Traffic Control Center. Without all three of those facilities operating at 100% and in a complete, coordinated harmony, total chaos in the skies within hundreds of miles of Atlanta’s airspace is a certainty.

And it’s going to get worse from here as the ACHDTB* Government Shutdown continues. Several air traffic controllers around the nation have already resigned, three from the Dallas-Fort Worth area today alone. Others, preparing to jump ship, have submitted applications to air traffic service providers operating overseas. One more missed paycheck, two on the outside, and my prediction is that the system collapses, taking with it some 5% of the U.S. economy.

Senator Mitch McConnell has the power to end the ACHDTB* Government Shutdown, but he’s afraid to buck the president. Senator McConnell could, tomorrow, put together a veto-proof majority to pass government funding to end the ACHDTB* Government Shutdown — a shutdown that we now know has nothing to do with a wall and everything to do with Donald Trump being publicly challenged by a woman.

But he won’t. And the *Ann Coulter-has-Donald Trump’sBalls Government Shutdown continues as a direct result. Prepare for the crash.

 

© 2019 R. Doug Wicker
Permission to reprint with
attribution of the author is
granted to all

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Indentured Servitude is STILL alive and well in the U.S.


Back in October of 2013 I posted my most read blog article . . . by far. It garnered an astounding 7,368 views. And now, unfortunately, that article becomes timely once again. Only, this time, substitute President Donald J. Trump for any references that were previously made about Senator Ted Cruz (another absolutely despicable human being). And this time the hissy fit isn’t Obamacare. This time it is over a wall that nearly everyone acknowledges will neither add anything to national security, nor mitigate crossings along our border with Mexico, all at a cost that would eventually exceed $40 billion if completed along our entire southern flank. Besides, the president has had two years now to make Mexico pay for that wall, right?

And here is that reprinted article:

An Airport Traffic Control (ATC) Tower

An Airport Traffic Control Tower (ATCT)

Take it from a former controller who has in his 34 years in the business worked at some pretty busy facilities under less than ideal conditions with obsolete or failing equipment and uncooperative weather:  There are few if any jobs more stressful than air traffic control.  Period.  It’s certainly more stressful than being, say, a congressman or a senator.

Imagine working New York TRACON (Terminal Radar Approach Control) during a busy inbound rush of air carriers, failing equipment, and a line of thunderstorms pushing into the area from the west.  Throw into that mix an inflight emergency or two and perhaps an aircraft with minimum fuel that needs to get on the ground right now.

Then let’s add to all that stress.

Let’s tell those controllers that they have to go to work, but a group of about thirty congressmen and a senator or two who didn’t agree with the results of the last election are going to refuse to allow the United States Congress to pay them.

These already overworked, stressed controllers have mortgages to make, utilities to pay, car payments, grocery bills, kids in college . . . but none of that makes any difference.  They are required by federal law to work.  For free.  Indefinitely.

Think that’s fair?  That’s what’s happening right now, this very second.  In New York.  In Dallas.  In Atlanta.  In Chicago.  In Los Angeles.  In myriad other busy facilities across this great nation.  All because of thirty-some-odd Congressmen and at least one delusional, grand-standing Senator from Texas who has ambitions beyond the senate seat he’s held for less than ten months.

Tomorrow, these controllers will be paid for only 48 of the 80 or more hours they worked — the 48 hours they worked before the shutdown that occurred just thirteen days ago.  Those controllers received that bad news when they got their “pay” statements last Thursday.  Two weeks from tomorrow the amount in their paychecks drops to Z-E-R-O despite working another 80 or more hours during the next pay period.

How long do you think you could financially hold on under such conditions?  How long do you think it’ll be before some of these controllers have to resign to find jobs that pay the bills?  How long do you think it’ll be before retirement-eligible controllers with 20 or 25+ years of badly needed experience and who are currently mentoring an already far-too-young and inexperienced group of new controllers decide that they should go into retirement just to pay the bills?  (Controllers, by the way, are only allowed to work to the last day of the month in which they turn 56 because of the stresses inherent to their jobs, and because before that reduction in the retirement age, very few controllers could make it to mandatory retirement because of failing health and deteriorating abilities and reaction times.  These are the professionals who your congressman is stiffing on pay for work they’ve already done.)

How long before that radar control room guiding your airliner is staffed like this?:

The Control Room of a Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON)

The Control Room of a Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON)

And while these people are working for free, I’d like for you to consider this:  Those congressmen?  The ones who before the last election proclaimed the 2012 elections a “referendum on Obamacare?”  The congressmen who are now having a temper tantrum because, at their core, they apparently only believe in democracy when it suits them?

Those congressmen work on average just two days out of every five-day workweek, earn at a minimum $174,000 a year (Speaker Boehner gets a whopping $223,500 for not doing his job), are vested for retirement benefits after only five years on what I laughingly call “the job,” get federally subsidized healthcare (which those thirty want to deny people who make one tenth as much as they), and they continue to receive those pay and all those benefits while your air traffic controllers are forced to do without.  Those congressmen certainly aren’t hurting financially during this self-induced “crisis,” but your air traffic controllers certainly are.

How dare any elected representative do this to employees who work for them?  How dare any elected representative put employees’ families through this kind of stress and uncertainty?  How dare anyone whose job is given to them by a democratic process repudiate the outcome of a democratic election because they do not agree with the results?

It is way past time to start reducing the stress levels of your already overstressed air traffic controllers, and to start raising the stress levels of your elected representative.  And if you live in the state of Texas, as do I, it’s way past time to tell the wealthy Senator Ted Cruz (55th wealthiest member of the U.S. Senate) that if he doesn’t agree with democracy, then it’s well beyond time to democratically terminate his employment come next election.

These people, quite frankly, disgust this former Republican who, effective October 1 of this year, no longer affiliates himself with what once was truly the Grand Old Party . . . but is no more.

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