Fact and Fiction

My purpose is not to confuse people with facts.  Recall that Congressman Chris Collins has twice told CNN reporters that endorsing Donald Trump for President is “good politics” in his district—you know, the one we in much of Orleans County live in. Those are facts.

The fact is that he flies around in his own jet and helicopter.  It is a fact that the ratings for his pageants and “The Apprentice” were quite good.  The fact that he added Indiana Governor Mike Pence to the ticket may have been persuasive to some. Who knows why some of us view the trappings/wrappings as indicative of the contents?  To me, everything about him has “Slick” written all over it.

In my opinion, Donald Trump is little more than an empty suit.  The considerable class displayed by his family may be the best thing he has going for him. But those, too, are opinions.

What we know about him suggests ignorance, instability, vacillation and opportunism.  One has to wonder whether he believes in anything other than himself.  What does it say about your core beliefs when you change political parties seven times in thirteen years?  How much can we count on someone who changes wives with the frequency that some of us swap out vehicles?  Trump was surprised to learn that New York State had closed primaries.  What do you suppose he will say when he finds out that the Electoral College is basically winner take all by state and the winner of the popular vote nationwide can lose the Presidential Election?

The Clinton campaign has barely scratched the surface when it comes to his moronic statements.  Civility was not part of his course work at The Wharton School. Remember when he looked at Carly Fiorina and proclaimed, “Look at that face.  How could anyone vote for that?”  Marco Rubio was “Little Marco” and his ears were too big in Trump’s opinion. Never mind that Lincoln was the first republican President. Then there was the insinuation that Ted Cruz’s father had something to do with the Kennedy assassination. Those are all facts.

Marriages sometimes fail, but his ex-wives are not the only ones he has betrayed. How many contractors has he left holding the bag once their work has been completed? How many times has he used the bankruptcy laws to stiff creditors?

The Orleans County Republican committee was among the first to endorse this buffoon for President.

Fact: The author of “The Art of the Deal” says that Trump has the attention span of a five year old.

According to Trump the courts cannot be trusted. If something bad happens to you, it must be someone else’s fault. He ridiculed a federal judge for being of Mexican descent.  The media cannot be trusted.  He regularly attempted to bully reporters and denigrate their work during rally after rally.  Any outlet that questions him is a ”failed”  enterprise.  His love affair with “Morning Joe” went south months ago, though Joe Scarborough gave him loads of air time early on.

Though he claims to have opposed the invasion of Iraq before hand, evidence tells a different story.  He nonetheless faults Clinton for supporting the Iraq venture while giving Mike Pence a pass on it.

Those who support him will find it necessary to apply a double standard that faults Clinton for things that they have regularly overlooked in leaders like Reagan and George W. Bush for decades. Each of them was re-elected after moves that caused far more Americans to die than anything Clinton ever did.

That’s all right. Just like Trump, you can deny that you had anything to do with any disastrous outcome—like electing him President in 2016.

Sincerely yours,

Gary Kent
Albion, NY

Pastors and Guns – Are We Replacing Our Faith In God?

Rev. Rob Schenck, chair of the Evangelical Church Alliances Ministers Assoc. was at dinner with several of his fellow pastors. He asked how many of them were “carrying” (sidearms). Rev. Rob was the only one who wasn’t. He asked how they imagined they would use their weapons. One minister replied against people of color. He explained that if they were in his neighborhood “where they didn’t belong, they’d be up to no good.” All of the others nodded in agreement. He was the only person to disagree. (From a recent article in Sojourner magazine.)

Marg and I were at a Cracker Barrel Restaurant in the South. I’d spoken earlier to a giant of a man in a wheelchair. He had a T-shirt marked Coast Guard.

As he and his wife exited the store, on a ramp she lost control of his wheel chair. It tipped and he ended up on his back on the ground. I was one of the first persons to him. He said he was OK, but that his legs were useless. I suggested that we drag over two of their heavy rockers and maybe he could help us pull him up high enough to slide the wheel chair under him.

But then a black man in his late twenties came rushing over. From another direction an athletic looking young woman came as well.

In my mind, an evangelical minister pulled his pistol and shot the black man dead. He was obviously up to no good.

What really happened is the black man, young woman and another 50 year old man pulled him up. They really struggled with the last two inches to get him high enough to slide the chair beneath him, but succeeded.

In Albany, we were to meet grandson Andrew, graduating from Sienna (a Franciscan college) and his parents and other grandparents at VAN, a high-end Vietnamese restaurant in an old section of downtown Albany.

We finally found a parking spot. Unfortunately, we had to use an automatic dispenser to get a parking permit for our car, which was at the opposite end of the lot. We’d driven 250 miles to get there and were quite tired. Well we have to do it. I walked to the permit dispenser. A young woman, in a burka (obviously Muslim) opened her car door and hollered to me. Again, I thought of the minister, pulling out his gun and saving me from a Muslim attack; you know how vicious they are.

However, what really happened, she called to me, “You don’t have to put money in on the weekends.” She not only saved me money, but the many painful steps back to the car.

Who wants to live so afraid that you have to carry a gun. We are big music fans and have often gone into primarily black neighborhoods and the same for ethnic restaurants and have never had a bad experience. Quite the opposite. We’ve gone to New York City a lot, and despite the rumors about the City, people, recognizing our puzzlement as to which way to go, volunteered to help. Many were minorities.

We seem to be losing our faith in God and, in addition, in our fellow man and are replacing that faith in guns. How unChristian, how sad.

Bob Golden, from Holy Family Parish, Albion, is a graduate of Holy Cross (Jesuit), worked in criminal justice for 43 years, Republican, chair of a Pres. Reagan advisory committee, was member of the Bishop Kimiec’s Justice and Peace Commission, served in US Army, gun owner, hunter, who believes in God, his fellow man and rational gun control.