How Donald Trump will pay for the wall

President Donald Trump announced yesterday that he is going forward with constructing a wall between the United States and Mexico. Considering that the promise of building a wall on our southern border was one of the cornerstones of his campaign, it really shouldn’t be a surprise.

Something I noticed yesterday was that a lot of people were saying Trump hasn’t explained how he would pay for the wall. That’s not true. He has stated repeatedly that Mexico will pay for the wall. Furthermore, he has explained how he is going to force Mexico to pay for the wall.

From the Trump campaign website:

On day 2 Mexico will immediately protest. They receive approximately $24 billion a year in remittances from Mexican nationals working in the United States. The majority of that amount comes from illegal aliens. It serves as de facto welfare for poor families in Mexico. There is no significant social safety net provided by the state in Mexico.

Today is day 2 and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto is protesting the news by canceling a planned visit to the United States. Is $24 billion a year sent to Mexico from Mexican nationals working here in the United States?

If that number is anywhere close to being correct, then that gives the Trump administration huge leverage over Mexico when it comes time to negotiate the cost of the wall.

Peña Nieto said the following about the idea of the wall:

Mexico does not believe in walls. I’ve said time again; Mexico will not pay for any wall.

Mexico does not believe in walls? That’s news. Azteca Stadium in Mexico City, where the Mexican national soccer team hosts games against other countries, has a barbed wire fence surrounding the playing field. It also has a dry moat.

How Donald Trump will pay for the wall - Bent Corner

Peña Nieto should demonstrate just how much he doesn’t believe in walls by having the barbed wire fence removed and the dry moat filled in at Azteca Stadium.

I don’t support Donald Trump. I don’t like Donald Trump. I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I reluctantly voted for Hillary Clinton. Is Donald Trump my president? According to the U.S. Constitution, yes he is. 

2016 feels like the worst year ever

Planet Earth has finished yet another full lap around the Sun. It’s now the year 2017. The chronological tank of unprocessed sewage known as 2016 is finally over. When people say 2016 was the worst year ever, they’re opening the proverbial bomb bay doors and dropping a 50 megaton truth bomb. I feel like 2016 was the worst year ever. Personally speaking, I was ready to drown 2016 in a bathtub after only a few months.

Historically speaking, I know 2016 was far from the worst year ever, but emotionally speaking, it sure seemed that way.

Presidential election

The 2016 presidential election, both the run-up and the aftermath, had a lot to do with the perception that 2016 was the worst year ever. I believe Donald J. Trump will go down in history as the worst president ever, and that’s saying a lot. Then again, if Hillary Clinton would have won, I believe she too would have gone down as the worst president ever. I think that’s what made the 2016 presidential election such a massive kick to the reproductive organs: both choices were terrible.

I’d be genuinely surprised if Trump finished out a four-year term. If I was a betting man, and I’m not, I’d wager that Trump will quickly grow bored and resign. Being president isn’t the same thing as running for president.

Islamic terror attack at the Pulse nightclub

In June of 2016, Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old US citizen born to Afghani parents, went into a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida with a SIG MCX assault rifle and killed 49 people and wounded 53. Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS and on a 911 call said the attack was “triggered” by a recent airstrike in Iraq that killed an ISIS commander.  Thankfully, police killed Mateen in the nightclub. Mateen’s family buried his body at the Hialeah Gardens graveyard, the only Muslim cemetery in all of South Florida.

This attack bothered me on many levels. It made me very mad. First of all, I’m tired of gay people being picked on. For too long gay people have been singled out for discrimination and prejudice. I felt like things were finally getting better for gay folks when the Supreme Court ruled that same-sex couples cannot be denied the right to marry. It made me feel proud to be an American. Then, an Islamic terrorist goes into a gay nightclub and slaughters 49 people.

Secondly, it turned out that Omar Mateen had been on a terrorist watch list two different times. We’ve been at war with Islamists since 2000 when the USS Cole was attacked by Al-Qaeda while docked in Yemen. The attack killed 17 sailors and injured another 39. We’ve been at war with these assholes for 16 years, and it doesn’t seem like we’re getting any better at it. The only thing stopping people like Omar Mateen from doing something similar is a lack of will on the part of the terrorist.

And finally, it makes me angry that Mateen was buried on American soil. Once again, an Islamic terrorist who carried out an attack on Americans is laid to rest in a Muslim cemetery in the United States. That shouldn’t happen. If you commit a terrorist attack on Americans, your remains should be handled like the remains of Osama bin Laden, dumped at sea in international waters.

A lot of good people died

It seemed like 2016 was a popular year for good people to die. The people we lost this past year, but not limited to, include:

  • David Bowie
  • Alan Rickman
  • Abe Vigoda
  • Garry Shandling
  • Prince
  • Anton Yelchin
  • Pat Summitt
  • Kenny Baker
  • Gene Wilder
  • Steve Dillon
  • Gwen Ifill
  • Ron Glass
  • John Glenn
  • Alan Thicke
  • Craig Sager
  • George Michael
  • Carrie Fisher

Some of these people passed away after living a long, full life. Others died way too young. The one commonality the people listed above all share is that their passing made me feel sad. That’s a lot of people to feel sad about in one year.

Russia hacked our election? I don’t think so

There’s been a lot of news lately about how Russia supposedly hacked our presidential election to ensure Donald Trump would be the next president. As much as I dislike the former Soviet Union and Donald Trump, I’m having a hard time believing this story is true. I don’t think Russia hacked the Clinton campaign’s email.

On March 19, 2016, someone sent Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta a fake email from Gmail telling him he needed to change his password. A Clinton campaign staffer told Podesta that the email looked legit, but he should not click on the link in the email. Instead, he should log into his Google account directly and change it there.

John Podesta didn’t do that. He clicked on the link in the fake email. He then entered his email address and password into a fake Google site and went through the motions of changing his password. In reality, he didn’t change anything. The person or persons who sent him the fake email then had his Google password. With that, they had full access to all his emails.

In what world is that considered hacking? What it was was a successful phishing attempt made possible by the stupidity of John Podesta.

Like most people living in the 21st century, I routinely get similar emails telling me I need to update my PayPal or Google password. Like most people living in the 21st century, I know better than to click on any of the links contained in these emails. I look for the typos, chuckle to myself, and then delete them.

This whole scenario seems ridiculous. Why was the Clinton campaign using Gmail for their email? At the very least, they should have had a private email server for campaign communications. Certainly, Hillary Clinton is no stranger to the idea of private email servers. The campaign should have had an email administrator, a person, who made certain campaign communications were secure. Evidently, they didn’t do any of that. A competent email admin would have ensured emails like the phishing email Podesta clicked on never would have made it to him to click on.

I just don’t see how this is necessarily connected to the former Soviet Union. Did Sarah Palin see it take place from her house? It doesn’t take a crack team of state-sponsored cyber hackers to send out a phishing email.

Over the weekend, I read over and over how the CIA confirmed that this “hack” was perpetrated by the former Soviet Union because Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted Donald Trump, not Hillary Clinton for president.

The problem with these news stories is they are all attributed to “multiple sources” within the CIA. None of the sources have gone on the record. I wouldn’t expect them to be since leaking the contents of a classified CIA report is a crime. Considering that, how trustworthy should these multiple sources be?

If Putin, in fact, favored one candidate over another in our presidential election, I fail to see how this is even newsworthy. Perhaps he saw in Trump a man cut from the same cloth as himself. Since Putin and Trump both seem like egomaniacal douche bags, so that makes sense.

The biggest problem I have with accepting this whole Russian hacking scandal is that even if you can connect it to the Russians, the emails leaked to Wikileaks were emails from people in the Clinton campaign. Nothing was concocted to make Hillary or her people look bad. Their actual words are what cast them in such a poor light.

Even if you were to hold another election, something some idiot on CNN actually suggested, everyone knows the content of the emails. By referring to this scandal as a cyber hack by the Russians, it seems the content of the emails is fake.

That’s not the case.

Like it or not, we elected Donald Trump as our next president. Personally, I don’t like it, but I’m not ready to blame the Russians for it. I blame the Democratic Party. It went to great lengths to make sure Hillary Clinton was its candidate, even though she was a severely flawed nominee. If the primary process had been more democratic, I believe a more electable candidate would have been chosen. From reading the leaked emails from the Democratic National Committee, it was clear the deck was stacked for Hillary Clinton. I think Donald Trump won the election because he was able to run against Hillary Clinton. If there was anyone else representing the Democratic party, I believe Trump would have lost.

Donald Trump will be president because of who he was able to run against. Russia had nothing to do with that.

Mark Waid sounds absolutely insane

Comic book writer Mark Waid wrote a long post on Facebook sharing is his feelings on the 2016 presidential election. Spoiler alert, he’s not too happy about how the whole thing turned out.

Donald Trump won and Hillary Clinton lost. Like Mark Waid, I’m not happy with Trump being our president. Even though I voted for her, I wouldn’t have been happy if Hillary Clinton won either. That’s one of the things that made this election such a giant, Costco-sized bucket of suck. No matter who won, the result was going to be pretty awful.

Mark Waid began his post by stating that his therapist told him that he’s in the grieving stage with the outcome of the election. The post pretty much goes downhill from there.

He then talked about appearing at comic book conventions in red states. Some comic book professionals have vowed not to attend comic book conventions in states that voted for Donald Trump. Mark will not do that. He’ll attend conventions in red states. The difference is, he’ll use his straight white male privilege to create safe spaces at these conventions.

From Mark Waid’s Facebook account:

As a straight white male, I carry with me a certain amount of privilege. That doesn’t mean I’m diving through a money bin. Privilege doesn’t mean I snap my fingers and women come running. What it means is that I was born with a pigment and a nationality that makes me safe from hate crimes, from bigotry, from the kind of fearmongering our President-elect spewed in all fifty states these last 16 months.

So I’ve decided to use that privilege on the convention trail. I respect and agree with my friend Humberto’s decision, but I’m in a different place, and after talking to my friends who are Not Like Me, I think it’s a better use of my privilege to go to shows everywhere and help create safe spaces, as many of you already do (and thank you). It is pretty literally the least I can do.

I’m not hard to find at shows. If you’re a fan or creator and are ever, ever made to feel uncomfortable on a convention floor, come find me. If it’s a fleeting thing, just come hang out. If, on the other hand, you can point out the aggressors, I will rain HELLFIRE on your behalf, I PROMISE you. Ask anyone. They’ll tell you that I’ll flip tables on bullies and creeps, and I’ll have your back. And while I’ve never had to use it, I’ve got enough clout to have hatemongers flat-out thrown out of shows, and I am not above those sorts of nuclear options.

I’ve never seen Mark Waid in person, at least I don’t think I have. Judging by his photos, he doesn’t strike me as a very intimidating person. I don’t think he’d ever be mistaken for a Dothraki Bloodrider.

Not Mark Waid.

I haven’t felt the need to attend a comic book convention in quite some time. It just never seems worth it. Panels are now usually posted to YouTube. You can buy anything sold at a comic book convention online, usually for a lot less than what it can be purchased for at the convention. Not that you would necessarily even want to buy anything sold at a comic book convention, unless of course it has nothing to do with comic books.

Now that Mark is offering to use his straight white male privilege for anyone who asks, it might be fun to go to a comic book convention again.

The next time Mark attends a convention in the neighboring red state of Pennsylvania, I may have to go. I want to see him rain Hellfire and flip tables. I don’t even know what Hellfire is. Something tells me it’s not nice. Hellfire sounds dangerous, especially if used indoors and without proper ventilation.

Now that I think of it, the last time I went to the Baltimore Comic Con, the fire alarm went off. Everyone had to exit the building. Could Mark Waid raining Hellfire on someone have caused the fire alarm to go off? This was before his promise on Facebook, but who knows if Mark Waid follows liner time. If he’s powerful enough to rain Hellfire, maybe he’s powerful enough to manipulate time and space.

I annoy my wife all the time

If it takes too long to see Mark Wade do his thing, I could have my wife go to Mark’s table to have him autograph my copy of Kingdom Come #3. She could then just casually mention to Mark that I annoy her.

It wouldn’t even be a lie. I annoy her all the time. She’ll ask me to do something and I then forget to do it. That’s got to be very annoying.

Once Mark hears that I’ve annoyed my wife, that I annoy her all the time, he’s obligated to rain forth his Hellfire upon me. He’s also obligated to flip my table. Considering that I wouldn’t have a table, that might be hard for him to do. He promised to do these things on Facebook, so by law, he has to do them.

That sounds like a lot of fun.

Donald Trump will be our next president

People were in shock yesterday to learn that Donald J. Trump defeated Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States of America.

It seemed even Trump and his people were caught off guard by the news. For a long time now, all the polls pointed to Clinton winning. Then on November 8, the only poll that matters took place and the voters chose Trump over Clinton. Trump garnered 290 electoral votes compared to Clinton’s 232 electoral votes.

A candidate needs 270 electoral votes to become president.

A lot of people seem to be genuinely upset about this. The Twitter hashtag #NotMyPresident almost immediately began trending. The same thing happened eight years ago when Barack Obama won. I don’t remember if there was a Twitter hashtag dedicated to the feeling, but I know a lot of people were saying it. They were wrong back then, and the people expressing it now are wrong too.

Donald Trump will be everyone’s president.

If he turns out to be a terrible president, then historically speaking, he’ll be in good company. Two of the four presidents depicted on Mount Rushmore thought it was morally acceptable to own other people.

Most of the presidents in my lifetime have been bad. I’m old enough to remember Richard M. Nixon and the crap he put our country through. If we can get through the Nixon years, we can surely get through the Trump years.

Contrary to what anyone says, we don’t know what a Trump presidency will look or feel like. We know he campaigned on things like building a wall on the southern border and deporting over 11 million people who are here illegally. We’ve been told this makes Trump a racist.

Under the Obama administration, over 2.5 million people have been deported. Does this make Obama a racist too?  His administration was enforcing existing federal law, just like the Trump administration would be doing if they deported everyone who is here illegally.

When Trump was running for the Republican nominee for president, his campaign released the following statement after the San Bernardino attack:

Donald J. Trump is calling for a total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.

Many people reacted negatively to this statement. For years now we’ve clung to the narrative that Islam is a religion of peace and the people who practice the faith, Muslims, are just like everyone else.

The problem with that narrative is that it seems to fly in the face of reality. The perpetrators of the San Bernardino attack, Rizwan Farook, and Tashfeen Malik, attended two mosques in southern California, the Islamic Center of Riverside and the Dar-Al-Uloom Al-Islamia mosque located outside San Bernardino. Both of these mosques are descent and respectable places of worship, not radical hotbeds of hate.

After Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik murdered 14 people and injured another 24, they were killed by the police.  When authorities released their bodies, they received a traditional Islamic burial at the Wal-Hamdu-Lillah cemetery located in Rosamond, California.

The cemetery is owned by the American Islamic Institute of Antelope Valley, a mosque located in Palmdale. This mosque is also a decent and respectable place of worship.

How is it that these two murderous terrorists could attend normal, regular American mosques and then receive traditional Islamic burials at a Muslim cemetery operated by a mosque that neither one of the dead terrorists had ever even attended?

Either Rizwan Farook and Tashfeen Malik were Muslims in good standing, or they were not true representatives of the Islamic faith. The fact they received traditional Islamic burials by a mosque they had never attended would seem to indicate that they were thought to be good Muslims.

These are the type of problems we face while fighting a war against Islamic terrorists. Even though we’ve been fighting this war since 2000 when the U.S.S. Cole was attacked, killing 17 American soldiers and injuring another 39, we don’t seem to be any better at differentiating the “good” Muslims from the “bad.” Not because of any prejudices we have, but because the “good” Muslims seem more than willing to embrace the “bad,” both before and after a terror attack. It’s one of the many reasons this war has been going on for so long.

Something has to change. 17 years is far too long to be fighting a war. You may not agree with Trump’s idea of banning Muslims from entering the country until we can figure out what’s going on, but at least he tried to find an answer to the problem. Hillary Clinton, the candidate I voted for both in the primary and in the general election, seemed to have difficulty even saying the words “Islam” and “terror” in the same sentence.

Donald Trump will be our next president - Bent CornerContrary to what you might read on Reddit or The Huffington Post, nobody really knows what type of president Trump will turn out to be. The same people who say Trump is just like Hitler were the same people who said Hillary Clinton was going to be our next president. They were wrong about that. Who knows, maybe they’re wrong about Trump too.

I prefer to take a wait and see attitude when it comes to Donald Trump as president. He wasn’t my choice, but he will be my president.

 

If only we treated voting like we do allergy medication

On Thursday, November 3, I went to Target to pick up some non-drowsy 24-hour allergy medication. Even though it was over the counter medication, I had to give the pharmacist my drivers license. She then scanned it into a computer so that it could be entered into a national database.

The drug contains pseudoephedrine, one of the main ingredients of crystal meth. Meth is both addictive and illegal. This makes the manufacturing of crystal meth highly profitable. When you buy any medicine with pseudoephedrine in it, your information gets scanned into a national database.

I purchased a box of 15 extended release tablets. That means I will not be allowed to buy any other medication containing pseudoephedrine for 15 days.

Later that same day, I went to the early voting center and voted. Before the poll worker gave me my ballot, I had to tell her my name, address, and the day and month of my birthday. She then compared my information to the contents of a giant book that looked like is was made from a computer printout. I don’t know when someone printed the information out. I don’t know how up-to-date the information was that was in this giant book.

I didn’t have to provide the poll worker my driver’s license so she could scan it into a national database. I was able to vote without even proving who I was.

If voting is important, then why don’t we treat it with the same level of security that we use for buying pseudoephedrine?
voting-allergy

I think it’s insane that we don’t have to show an ID to vote. If we treated voting as important, at the very least we should have to show our ID before getting a ballot. It would make it easier for poll workers if they could look at our name and address on our driver’s license before consulting their giant book. Because we insist on using the honor system when voting, you have to spell your name for the poll worker.

It’s not a very efficient way of doing things.

States have been trying to pass voter ID laws so that people will have to prove their identity before casting a ballot. Democrats have been fighting against these statutes saying that it would disenfranchise some people, that these laws are racist. I don’t get that. Who doesn’t have ID? Democrats also point to the lack of actual voter fraud as a reason not to have these laws.

Is it racist to make someone show ID when buying allergy medication? Then why would it be any different when voting?

Before we can say that we don’t have a voter fraud problem in this country, we would need first to find out who is voting. In reality, we have no idea how much voter fraud is currently taking place because we don’t verify that people are who they say they are when casting a ballot.

Our voting system is a faith-based system. We just trust people to tell the truth when they identify themselves when it comes to voting. We have faith that people are voting for themselves and not other registered voters. If there’s one thing we know at this point in human history, people don’t always tell the truth. People lie all the time.

If voting is important, we sure don’t act like it.