Bannon Banished? Not Really.

Good Sunday morning, WaPo!

Bannon banished?  Nah.  I doubt it.  This is all for public consumption.  I seriously question this is the end of the Trump / Bannon bromance.  Bannon is Trump’s brain just as Rove was Bush II’s.  I have every good suspicion there will be late-night phone calls between T & B.  Bannon has created the Trump narrative.  Trump is consumed with far too much hate and hubris to let that go out the door.

Best regards,

About Hate

Good Sunday morning, Mr. McCoy/WaPo!

The six (6) men interviewed for your column on hate represent the underbelly of American society and culture.  They are the worst among us; certainly not even so much as the slightly good among us.

They live in a monolithic bubble where only whites (white trash, as I see it) should thrive.  Add to that the concept of “Faux” Christian, and they have their anti-Jew, anti-Black and Brown, anti-gay/lesbian and anti-Women’s rights all wrapped up.  Let’s mosey on down to the local liquor store, get some Skoal and a case of Bud and share our remorseful outlook for a world that is not white enough.  What a pathetic bunch of sub-humans!

I met my first black friend while stationed in Germany as a young Airman.  That was 1964.  I recall his first name, Eddie.  I do not recall his last name.  One day coming back from the chow hall at lunchtime, Eddie spun me around and asked, “Hey, Turner!  Do you like me because you like me; or because it’s cool for white guys to have black friends these days?”  Obviously, that question still resonates within me these 50-odd years later.  I responded, “Eddie, I do not need notches in my belt or trophies on my wall.”  We walked on.  My first supervisor in Germany was a black Sergeant, one of the nicest men ever to hold conversation with.

Hate is an easy emotion, actually.  It really takes little thought.  Hate exhibits the emotion of “push away”.  Fueled by intolerance, ignorance and fear hate becomes a toxin, a cancer that festers throughout society.  Hate allows one to shut down and out from the world around them, isolating their ideologies in a cocoon-like mental mud hut.

I was ordained in a parish pastored by a black man who is a close colleague from seminary.  Over the years, we have engaged in many a discussion about race and hate.  In the eyes of some (hopefully, not many) blacks I represent the consummate white male:  Blue eyes, white and silver beard, graying hair that once was auburn.

White haters like your William Fears feed into the toxic narrative that has been fueled by the likes of Donald J. Trump and Steve Bannon.  Trump most assuredly loves the racist and Neo-Nazi ideology that is feeding this current moment in history.  Trump’s father was a member of the KKK.  His grandfather was driven out of the German village where grandfather Drumpf lived because grand-pappy held Nazi views.  As the saying goes, “The apple falls not far from the tree.”

The William Fears, the Parrotts, the Perrins and the others you interviewed for your piece are the enemies of the Republic.  I regard them as under-evolved sub-humans whose only recourse to something different is violence.  “Kill it!”  Quoting Fears from your column, “I’d like there not to be violence . . . but it might be inevitable:.”  In other words, this “dude from Texas” wants a fight.  He is looking for a fight.  My solution, “Lock him up!”  He is a loose cannon looking to kill someone.  Fears’ psychopathology is “in your face”.  Again, he and his hate-filled buddies represent the very worst in America.  The William Fears of our world cannot embrace the idea of “shared Earth”.  They want it solely for themselves and only as they see it; no variations. These marauders are the godless among us, exercising certain tyranny against a freer state all the while encouraged by that Satanic Shill who has taken up residence in the White House.

Best regards,

The Charlottesville Massacre

Sunday, August 6th, 2017

Governor Terry McAuliffe

Dear Governor McAuliffe:

It has been many years since I last wrote to you.  I was living in Boston at that time, and you were Chair of the Democratic National Party.  That letter was highly critical of the Democratic Party.  In fact, you provided the courtesy of phoning me to discuss my letter.  You urged a more affirming perspective.

That has not happened.  If anything, the Democratic leadership, such as it is, has worsened.  Schumer and Pelosi should be tossed into the annals of history like yesterday’s toast.  The Democrats lack spine, courage, direction and unity.  Schumer actually remarked some months back that he can “negotiate” with Trump.  Wow!  Yet, Schumer also was seen recently cavorting with the Kushners at a Jewish bash on Long Island.  I find it curious that both Schumer and Wasserman-Schultz express so much fealty for Israel, compelling one to question their loyalties to the United States.  One cannot serve two masters.

First, a snapshot of me:  I am a United States Air Force veteran who served in highly classified Intel during the initial stages of Vietnam.  I was assigned to two different sites, one remote, in Europe and in South Asia.  I was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant before age twenty-one.  Then, I was made Controller, Ops Intel for my Section.  I exited USAF with three written commendations, honorable discharge and outstanding unit award.  For the record, my family has served this nation since The American Revolutionary War where my distant paternal grandfather fought with the Virginia 9th Line at Brandywine and Germantown.  (As did Senator Jim Webb’s grandfather.)

After my Military service, I put myself through the University of Maryland working full time and applying the benefits of the GI Bill.  I have built a successful career in property management real estate, development and construction.  During a later in life journey into theology, I was conferred my Master’s and later ordained.  So.  There you have me in a nutshell.

The preceding has been provided to set the stage for today’s letter.  The purpose of my letter today is to express my distress and dismay over the tyranny and treason against our nation that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia yesterday.  The behavior of supremacists, Neo-Nazis and white xenophobes was horrific to watch as the networks telegraphed images of the event across their networks.  But, sadly, Governor, I for one am not surprised by this barbarism.  Donald Trump is the master orchestrator of such heinous and hideous misbehavior.

A PROUD U.S. AIR FORCE VETERAN

“Every Man of Courage is a Man of His Word.”

MEMBER, NATIONAL SOCIETY OF THE SONS OF THE AMERICAN REVOLUTION

Page Two, Turner to McAuliffe, 06 August 2017

Governor, I will not mince words (I seldom do!).  I have begun to refer to Donald Joseph Trump is our in-residence softcore terrorist in an ill-fitting suit with a terribly garish tie.  Trump is the consummate carnival barker, the snake oil salesman of the century.

His recent John Wayne style of threatening North Korea underscores how ill-equipped Trump is to lead anything.  Yet, Trump is emblematic of a far greater national problem to which the Democrats have contributed substantially.  (Footnote:  I am an Independent, for the record.)

My successes in life have not removed me from my childhood reality of a farm lad growing up in rural Howard County, Maryland.  My dad was an engineer; my mother a secretary.  Even “way back then” two parents often worked.  Although we were not poor, things were “tight”.  Being of Scottish and Scots-Irish ancestry, work was the operative word.  (My dad was a Calvinist without even knowing it!)  We expected fair reward for deeds well done.

That takes me to the greatest failure of Democrats and Hillary Clinton during this last national election cycle.  The dismayed, disenfranchised and disengaged were totally ignored by Clinton.  The very people suffering the worst were blown off by, as they see it, East Coast and West Coast elites and intellectuals.  The “rust belt” and “dust belt” were fully ignored. Disgraceful!

So, in walks Donald Joseph Trump, the puppet of Putin.  Trump knows precisely how to get to the very nub of one’s distressed psyche.  Like some grand patriarch, he trumpets out, “I feel your pain and I will cure it.  We will make America great again!”  Wow!  Charlatans abound.

Our nation has been kidnapped, becoming hostage of the Monster Trump and his legions.  Percentage wise they may not be in the majority.  But, this last weekend tells us they are demons filled with zeal, propelled by the tyranny of Donald J. Trump, the great igniter.

Trump loves chaos.  His psychopathology thrives on it.  Chaos, by the way, is the work of The Demon.  Trump lacks humanity, dignity, decency, diplomacy and mental normalcy.  One must worry that, unless properly restrained and contained, Trump will ignite WWIII.  His psyche feeds off the prospect of the “next great war”.  There is every reason to believe that inwardly Trump aspires to be another Hitler; a Stalin; or, a Mussolini.  His role models are unfit for our Republic; Trump is unfit for our Republic.

Governor, my heart goes out to you and all Virginians.  (A century or two ago, my ancestors traveled through and settled in Virginia on their way to Kentucky and Lower Indiana.)  Charlottesville is seen as quiet; a pristine all but idyllic environment for the peaceful minded and those seeking higher education.  The hooligans of yesterday have blunted Charlottesville’s image and our nation’s image severely; a tragedy broadcast across the globe.  Yesterday’s homegrown terrorists have darkened the spirit of America, albeit only briefly.

In the meantime the not-so-presidential Trump says there was blame all around.  Sure, Donnie!  To soothe his crocodile wounds, he telephones you.  That, too, Governor, was all Trumpian stagecraft.  He likes what took place yesterday in Charlottesville.  It plays right into his white supremacy, anti-Islamic, anti-Hispanic, anti-gay narrative.  If his son-in-law were not a Jew, one can readily surmise Trump would be an anti-Semite.  (Internally, he likely is.)  Beware the crocodile tears, Governor!  They are clever diversions and distractions marching forward to fascism.

With best regards,

The Reverend M. Vincent Turner

 

Communicating effectively

May 2017

Words matter.  We humans communicate orally and in writing.  The hearing impaired use sign language to communicate, even when they learned how to speak before becoming deaf.  The blind communicate orally; read and write in braille.

The mantra, “Say what you mean.  Mean what you say” has its own sense of importance.  I still hear my beloved mother’s caution, “Put your brain in gear before you put your mouth in motion.”  Being the spontaneous-response type, those cautionary words have been a throttle throughout much of my life.

Communicating is not one-directional.  While the communicator is speaking or writing, his or her audience is listening or reading.  The effective oral communicator must have an audience.  Otherwise, he or she is speaking solely to themselves.  Written communication, logically, takes on a different dynamic.  The writer can share his or her works immediately; or, at some point in the future.  The oral communicator is heard immediately, even if listened to by way of a tape recording or videotape; radio or television.

The critical aspect of communicating effectively is this:  What exactly do you want to say or are you trying to say?  A level clarity is more available in written format than in oral dialog unless the words spoken are carefully crafted.  “Once out of the barn,” as the saying goes.  We humans listen through “filters”, often hearing what we want to hear rather than listening to what is in fact being said.

Several years ago I attended a retreat where various workshops were offered.  One workshop in particular stands out.  Couples were invited up onto the stage in front of us.  The moderator would ask one partner to say something to the other partner.  It was unscripted, so that neither partner could come prepared.  The fascinating aspect of this entire exchange was when the listener was asked to repeat what they had just heard.  They were not to repeat the words of the speaker.  Rather, to say what they as the listener had heard.  Amazing!  At times the hearer responded with feedback that seemed nearly foreign to what had been said by the speaker.

The purpose of the exercise was to seek clarity in and of communication.  Whether this takes place in a personal relationship or within a group setting such as a seminar, school or college class, or a meeting at work, it is beneficial to seek feedback from the listener(s).  What did I just say?  What did you just hear?

I recall while living in Boston how a woman stopped to ask directions to an address downtown.  I gave her carefully scripted directions, attempting not to interject extraneous information that could create confusion.  When I had finished, I looked smiling and said, “Now, repeat to me what I just said to you.”  “Oh!  You are good,” the lady exclaimed.

We humans are both blessed and cursed with words.  Once spoken, words cannot be taken back.  Once written and communicated, written words cannot be taken back.  Try as we may, back pedaling after those words are “out there”, they are out there; period.  I am often amused, not in a funny way, how politicians and celebrities try to clarify “what they really meant”.  Often, the stew gets frothier the more they attempt to “explain” and retract.

Words matter.  We communicate our feelings and emotions.  We communicate to inform and educate.  We communicate to lift up; and, to beat down.  While most of us do not calculate our words in casual settings, it is often wise to use verbal calculus when teaching, preaching, lecturing and, yes, leading.  “Choose your words wisely and carefully” carries more weight and gravitas than many might realize.  In this age of twitter, tweet storms and rapid-fire communication, it becomes all the more critical to measure one’s words before they are spoken.

But, in closing let me add one very critical aspect of communicating:  For some men, our word is our bond.  We do not “sell out”, undermine or even dare to think about being disloyal or unjust.  Honesty, integrity and truth uncompromised are our three-point guidepost.  We are the ones, who when asked, will tell you what we actually think; not want you want to hear.

Trump Biblical? Not likely.

Dear Senator Flake:
I laughed aloud when I read your remark about Trump and the Biblical Ark.

As both a seasoned business executive of many years and an ordained Christian theologian (I actually STUDIED the topic at seminary) I can assure you that Trump is anything but Biblical, even in the most evil of Biblical contexts.

I am a Veteran whose family has served our country since my distant paternal grandfather fought at Brandywine and Germantown as a Private with the Virginia 9th Line, American Revolutionary War. We have served ever since.

I have voted consistently from conscience, not party.

My ancestors were farming folk in Lower Indiana and Kentucky.. We moved East in ’48, the year I turned 4. I grew up on a small farmer in Maryland countryside, working the large farms during my sophomore and senior summers.

In ’62 I joined the United States Air Force, right out of high school. I was assigned to highly classified Intel overseas. I was promoted to the rank of Staff Sergeant before I as 21; made controller of my Intel Ops section at age 21. I left USAF with an Honorable Discharge, Outstanding Unit Aware ribbon and three letters of commendation.

I put myself through college working full time and using the benefit of the GI Bill. I became a successful senior manager in the private business sector.

Why am I sharing this? First, I am a Patriot; not a nationalist the likes of Trump. I believe Donald J. Trump is the antithesis of everything I was taught, learned and told. I LOVE my country. But, I have become increasingly ashamed of her. Anyone who watches Trump’s antics even from a distance will easily conclude the man is mentally unstable. The very last thing our great nation needs is a president who is fully unhinged. The psychopathology of Trump’s behavior should have all of us “on notice”.

Thank you for speaking out. This matter is about a nation; not a president. We deserve better, no matter what party someone feels affiliated with. (For the record, I am in Independent.)

Sincere regards,
Vincent Turner