What Is Civility?

On Friday, June 22, 2018, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders tried to dine at a table reserved for 8 reserved in her husband’s name at a Lexington, Virginia restaurant called the Red Hen. When she arrived, restaurant employees called co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson asking what they should do. While she drove to the place, the staff served Sanders and the rest of her party cheese boards and took their orders. But once Wilkinson arrived, the workers took a vote, she asked Sanders to come outside, told her the restaurant has “certain standards” to uphold, “such as honesty, and compassion, and cooperation,” and asked her to leave. Sanders complied along with the rest of her party who didn’t need to. They offered to pay, but Wilkinson told them it was, “on the house.”
Like many incidents these days, this episode found its way on the internet. An end-of-shift note appeared on Twitter with “86 – Sarah Huckabee Sanders” (an 86 meaning in restaurant lingo as someone who isn’t allowed to be served or an item that isn’t on the menu or in stock). A waiter wrote a Facebook post about serving Sanders “a total of 2 minutes” before the owner asked her to leave. On Saturday morning, the press secretary tweeted, “I always do my best to treat people, including those I disagree with, respectfully and will continue to do so.” Wilkinson told the Washington Post that she doesn’t regret her decision asking Sanders to leave, “We just felt there are moments in time when people need to live their convictions. This appeared to be one.”

Nonetheless, the Red Hen incident is the latest in a string of events where Trump administration officials have found themselves unwelcome in their efforts to dine out in peace. Last week, protestors confronted Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen at a Washington D.C. Mexican restaurant over the administration’s family separation policy. White House adviser and Josef Goebbels lookalike Stephen Miller was called a fascist while dining at another D.C. Mexican joint. But when the Red Hen’s owner politely asked Sarah Huckabee Sanders to leave her establishment, it ignited a debate over civility, political protest, and how Trump officials should be treated in public swirled over the weekend and spilled over that Monday. It was a fight pitting self-styled defenders of civility and political norms against angry progressives arguing that the Trump administration should be resisted by any means necessary, including confronting its officials in public. In fact, the Washington Post’s editorial board criticize the decision to refuse Sanders service as signifying the breakdown of civility and basic manners in American culture. They called for Sanders, Nielsen, and Miller to “be allowed to eat dinner in peace,” writing, “Those who are insisting that we are in a special moment justifying incivility should think for a moment how many Americans might find their own special moment in which only the most zealous sign up for public service.” Others, including Democratic California Congresswoman Maxine Waters argued administration officials have forfeited their right in expecting public niceties by aligning themselves with Donald Trump in the first place. As she told MSNBC, “I have no sympathy for these people that are in this administration who know it is wrong what they’re doing.”

At any rate, this public debate around the concept of civility in the political discourse is utterly ridiculous. For one, American politics are uncivil for as long as this country existed with countless incidents of political violence with those pertaining civil and labor rights being among the most contentious. During the Civil Rights Movement, you’ll find plenty of demonstrators jailed, beat up, or killed for peacefully standing up against racial segregation. The notion of a White House press secretary being asked to leave a restaurant as signaling the breakdown in civility and basic manners in American culture is laughable in the trainwreck presidency of Donald Trump, let alone American history in general. Secondly, the incivility is mainly coming from the Trump White House since Trump and his administration have flouted the norms of political discourse far more often than their opponents. Seriously, in the 2016 presidential campaign alone, Trump called Mexicans rapists, mocked a disabled reporter, encouraged his supporters to beat up protestors, attacked a Muslim Gold Star family, attacked John McCain for being a POW, promoting a conspiracy theory alleging Ted Cruz’s father was involved in the JFK assassination, launching deeply personal attacks on Hillary Clinton during the presidential debates, humiliating Clinton by parading her husband’s ex-mistresses at one of them, pathological lying, and so much more. In fact, as far as politicians are concerned, Donald Trump, his administration, and his supporters don’t give a shit about civility. Nor does Sarah Huckabee Sanders since she’s been complicit in all of this. For God’s sake, her job requires providing cover for Trump’s most egregious lies, which undermines a vital part of public discourse in the idea of fair and open public discourse about the truth. So much so that complaining about civility after being kicked out of a restaurant seems just as hypocritical as Count Olaf telling the Baudelaires to get a shower. Third, politely kicking out a White House press secretary from a restaurant without requiring her to pay for appetizers seems rather civil compared to other uncivil acts like a Trump rally. Still, if refusing service to Sanders puts the spotlight on the notion of fair and open public discourse on the truth, it might not harm America’s political civility. Hell, it might even improve it.

According to the great 20th century American philosopher John Rawls, “incivility” in politics in the Trump era isn’t about rude tweets but lies. A major topic in his seminal work Political Liberalism revolves around the problem of disagreement or how it’s possible to have a democracy when people disagree so much among themselves. The crux of Rawls’ answer is that democracy depends on a certain set of principles that almost every reasonable person can accept like “all citizens deserve to be treated equally” and “it’s wrong to imprison people on the basis of faith.” But for the system to work, Rawls argued that public debate must be free and open for people to clearly explain how their policy convictions can be justified according to these shared beliefs at the heart of a democratic society. Rawls called the obligation to adhere to these public discourse rules, “the duty of civility.” However, if citizens in general, especially politicians, hide and confuse their arguments, then people’s ability to give their informed consent to the administration vanishes. In this respect, “civility” as akin to politeness in everyday conversation. It’s about treating those of the opposition like reasonable people. Because it seems more “civil” to honestly state disagreements with individuals, even impolitely, than to try to bamboozle them.

Of course, Rawls never really entertained with the possibility that a democratic government might make dishonesty one of its core political principles. But this is exactly what Donald Trump has done. Since he constantly and completely disregards the truth as a tactic to advance his heartless agenda and keeping his base loyal to him. And the sheer gravity of such assault is monumentally jaw-dropping. According to the Toronto Star’s Trump lies database, he’s made at least 1,726 certifiably false statements since becoming president as of 2018 at an equivalent of 3 lies a day. When the New York Times compared Trump’s lies to Barack Obama’s, they found a huge discrepancy in that in his first 10 months as president, Trump told 6 times as many lies as Obama did during his entire presidency. Maxine Waters also told MSNBC in response to her critics, “As to the Chairman’s comments about civility… let me just say that every reasonable person has concluded that the president of the United States of America has advocated violence, he has been divisive and he has been the one that has caused what we see happening today.” If there is anyone who fails to uphold any rendition of civility in today’s American political landscape, it’s Donald Trump.

Now if Stephanie Wilkinson had kicked out a run of the mill Trump supporter out of her restaurant, any public outcry on civility over the incident might’ve been well-deserved. After all, Wilkinson told the Washington Post that she has regular politically conservative customers all the time and has no problem serving them. She kicked out Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of the Red Hen because she’s a public official working for Donald Trump and playing a critical role in his administration, As White House press secretary, Sanders’ job makes her especially complicit in Trump’s egregious agenda. Because her boss constantly lies, a major part of her job is defending those lies whether covering for them, deflecting them, or lying herself to cover them. Because of Trump’s uniquely hostile approach to telling the truth, just doing her job makes Sanders uncivil according to Rawls’s terms. As the Trump administration attacks the very heart of the US democratic political system, Sanders’ repeating and defending her boss’s lies is a vital part of this scheme.

As voters, we have a responsibility to confront incivility that threatens democracy rather than prioritize letting senior government officials dine in peace. When asked why she kicked out Sarah Huckabee Sanders out of her restaurant, Red Hen owner Stephanie Wilkinson meant exactly that when she told the Washington Post, “This feels like the moment in our democracy where people have to make uncomfortable actions and decisions to uphold their morals.” In other words, Wilkinson acted to punish a political official for a specific set of severe wrongs, not to harm an average customer whose political views she happened to disagree with. Wilkinson’s actions at the Red Hen should be seen as a way to hold political elites accountable and force them to answer for their actions. For ordinary citizens rarely have the opportunity to do that. Given that the next elections are months away and the next presidential race is in 2020, Wilkinson doesn’t have much of an opportunity to punish the White House for its egregious behavior going on right now. In addition, Wilkinson had no intention to be a culture warrior and wasn’t looking to divide Americans against one another. In fact, it’s unlikely she didn’t even want this incident to go public or inspire copycats. One of her employees posted about it on Facebook and Sarah Huckabee Sanders brought the matter wider attention on Twitter. If it weren’t for these postings, nobody would’ve known. Kicking Sanders out of the Red Hen would’ve just been a modest act by a private citizen to hold a public official accountable or a way of registering dissent on how the government conducts itself. Kind of like when Rosa Parks refused to move to the back of the bus, which is consistent with Rawls’ view of civility. And it’s exactly the kind of confrontation that Maxine Waters was talking about and encouraging people to do when she said, “If you see anybody from that Cabinet in a restaurant, in a department store, at a gasoline station, you get out and you create a crowd and you push back on them and you tell them they’re not welcome anymore, anywhere.”

Like Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the back of the bus kickstarting the Civil Rights Movement, Stephanie Wilkinson’s refusal of service to Sarah Huckabee Sanders is a political statement that could even be a way to bring about change. In fact, there’s evidence that inflicting personal punishments on political leaders does cause them to grapple with their actions and even change their behavior. Though I think it might be unlikely in Sanders’ case. One looked at fines for skipping important committee meetings that were imposed on legislators of the French National Assembly. Looking at the fines’ effects as well as the impact of it being widely publicized on a legislator skipping out, the scholars found the fines “strongly increase their committee attendance both after the private experience of sanctions and after their public exposure.” Thus, there’s reason to think that public officials in the private and public eye do mind being sanctioned. And since the United States is in the middle of a particular political emergency with the failure of America civil discourse as a democratic practice, a little impoliteness of the right kind can help restore it. Thus, in this debate over civility, Maxine Waters is correct.

Nonetheless, controversy erupted over the Red Hen incident and Maxine Waters’ comments made critics seize on how they both undermine the idea of civility. In wake of Waters’ comments, House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told Fox News, “The people who claim tolerance seem to be the most intolerant in this process. We need civility in this country, but the idea that you’re asking people to go forward, that becomes very dangerous and it becomes a risk inside our country as well.” House Speaker Paul Ryan asked Waters to apologize, saying that “no place for that in our public discourse,” while neglecting to critique Rep. Steve King for promoting a Neo-Nazi. Donald Trump tweeted, “Congresswoman Maxine Waters, an extraordinarily low IQ person, has become, together with Nancy Pelosi, the Face of the Democrat Party. She has just called for harm to supporters, of which there are many, of the Make America Great Again movement. Be careful what you wish for Max!” House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi also criticized her, tweeting, “Trump’s daily lack of civility has provoked responses that are predictable but unacceptable. As we go forward, we must conduct elections in a way that achieves unity from sea to shining sea.” Former Obama adviser David Axelrod also expressed his disagreement with Waters’s tactics and called people to organize and volunteer to convey their discontent with the Trump administration. Former Obama Secretary of Education Arne Duncan argued that driving people out of different businesses is a tactic echoing historic segregation policies.

However, what Maxine Waters’s critics miss in her remarks could be said best by Congressional Black Caucus Chairman Cedric Richmond, “In exercising her constitutional right to freedom of speech at a recent rally, Congresswoman Waters did not, as she has made clear, encourage violence, like President Trump has been doing since the election. She, instead, encouraged Americans to exercise their constitutional rights to freedom of speech and peaceful assembly by letting President Trump and members of his Administration know that separating young immigrant children from their parents is not who we are as a country.” It’s quite clear that when Waters urged attendees to keep “push[ing] back” she referred to the attention-grabbing incidents where Trump administration officials were subject to public confrontation. At worst, she encouraged people to create a public nuisance heckle and protest Trump officials in public on their off-hours in an effort to hold them accountable. And since Donald Trump has gone all his life without having to grapple with any real consequences whatsoever, we need to hold him and his swamp cronies and enablers accountable in whatever way we can.

Nonetheless, such talk over “civility” among Republicans is just a masked tactic to tell anyone who dare confront, protest, or challenge Donald Trump and his administration to shut up. In other words, I don’t think their beef isn’t that Stephanie Wilkinson and Maxine Waters weren’t being civil in their words and actions, but that they were actively resisting at all. Since I remember when Colin Kaepernick took a knee during the national anthem as a way to peacefully protest police brutality and racism. He was being civil in his grievances but his actions pissed many white football fans decrying he was disrespectful to police, to the troops, and the American flag. But the true reason was that white people had a problem with black people protesting on matters that don’t affect them. Besides, Trump supporters don’t care about civility among their own ranks, since many have been terrorizing people on line and through white supremacist demonstrations like last year’s Charlottesville rally.

White Americans had the same problem with Martin Luther King Jr. in his day for protesting racial segregation since 63% of whites had a negative perception of him back in 1966. And it wasn’t just King as a person, but also his commitment to direct action, many white people frequently described as fundamentally threatening civic norms. One Chicago Tribune anti-King editorial reads, “Families ordinarily would be enjoying the chance to sit on the front porch reading the paper, to sprinkle their lawns and work in their gardens, or to go to the park or beach. Instead, they are confronted by a shuffling procession of strangers carrying signs and posing as martyrs. The spectacle is repulsive to right-thinking people.” In sum you can translate this piece as, “Can’t those rabble-rousers leave Chicagoans alone and enjoy their weekend in peace?” Of course, King understood these calls to civility for what they were as attempts to shut down or at least slow the movement for equal rights. And they served a moral cover for the immoral laws he was protesting as the civility of segregation was upheld by threats of violence. His “Letter from a Birmingham Jail,” to moderate white religious leaders in Alabama who encouraged their congregations to reject King since they saw him as an outsider disturbing the South’s peaceful atmosphere. King’s famous letter spoke directly to these calls for a more “constructive and realistic” response to oppression where he denounced “the white moderate, who is more devoted to ‘order’ than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice.” King knew the status quo was never as peaceful as it appeared to white Americans and existed precisely was because society had created enough legal and social mechanisms to enforce inequality and oppression without obvious acts of state violence and extrajudicial terror. While civility and nonviolent resistance works as a form of protest, but only in combination with the background threat of much less civil tactics. While civility is nice idea, it should be a reward for securing a more just nation. It’s not the surest way to achieve justice and can be a method denying it. Unfortunately, those longing to return to an era of centrism, consensus, and civility usually don’t grapple with the way those ideas have historically worked to protect the powerful and sustain the status quo.

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An Assault on Decency

While I was on my Minnesota vacation, everything in my country seemed like going to shit. Before I left Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending the family separation “zero tolerance” policy. Though tempting to hail such measure as a victory since overwhelming public pressure and outrage forced him to do it. But the notion that Trump has “ended” family separation is a questionable matter of law. Children are still in detention camps with no sign of seeing their parents again who now face criminal charges and deportation for illegal entry. Despite that most of these migrants’ choice to enter the country illegally is more akin to Harry Potter’s choice to cast a patronus against a Dementor attacking his cousin. Most of these families were desperately fleeing violence in Central America and have already gone through the legal channels for seeking asylum. Yet, border patrol agents either turned them away or told them to come another day. Sure, they knew they were breaking the law by crossing the border. But they didn’t have much of choice to do so. And as Harry later found out, these people were essentially tricked into doing so by spiteful authority figures who hated them. There is no established protocol to reunite families and sign that his administration plans to do so. Nor does Trump’s executive order ban the practice. Rather, it merely directs the Department of Homeland Security to detain migrant families together instead of separating them. Such policy also poses legality question as well. Should courts overturn it, it’s entirely possible that family separations can start again.

However, the “backlash works” analysis also skips a more fundamental political question. The disturbing truth is that huge number of mostly Republican Americans were willingly to back such separation policy. In fact, they’re even more excited about the underlying policy of arresting every undocumented immigrant crossing the border a la “zero tolerance” policy giving rise to family separations in the first place. What’s most telling about this dark and cruel incident isn’t Donald Trump stepping back in the face of public outrage. It’s the millions of Republicans willing to support an obviously cruel immigration policy. In turn, points to perhaps the deepest problem in American politics in the Trump era, which is the lethal conjunction of white identity politics and partisanship has made the Republican Party willing to sanction injustices that had previously been unthinkable in modern America. It’s as if politics seems to justify anything at this point for them. As long as they get what they want in the culture wars, they’ll sell their souls to supporting a sociopathic authoritarian demagogue who cares nothing for them regardless of whoever gets hurt, how much he undermines American values, or the damage he’s caused in these United States.

While most Americans strongly oppose Donald Trump’s family separation policy, Republicans generally support it by a significant margin despite there’s a substantial minority who don’t. After all, massive margins of them usually favor Trump. Yet, this still means that millions of Americans back a morally grotesque policy separating children from their parents for an unknown period of time, possibly permanently. The fact most Republicans seem to favor this unconscionable “zero tolerance” policy illustrates the degree to which Trump’s position and partisanship has shaped Republican moral thinking. What’s more depressing is that the debate over family separation policy in its relatively early stages. So there’s a good reason to believe if Trump returns with the idea, Republicans will be more likely to support it, not less. If there is a moral crisis in American politics these days, it’s that a large contingent of Americans are willing to support morally indefensible policies from a sociopathic and unrespectable man for the sake of “law and order” or “national security.” Despite that a moral repugnant “zero-tolerance” policy at the border achieve neither.

Yet, if you doubt such shift in public opinion will happen, consider Republican opinion on the infamous Muslim ban. When Donald Trump first announced his proposal for a “total and complete shutdown” on Muslim immigration in December 2015, scores of prominent Republicans including his future Vice President Mike Pence condemned the idea in roughly the same moral indignation some Republican leaders have used to discuss family separations. A poll by the Wall Street Journal and NBC found GOP primary voters evenly split on the idea. But when it became clear Trump was likely to become the GOP standard bearer in March 2016, things changed. Exit polls from 5 states comprising of Ohio, Florida, North Carolina, Missouri, and Illinois, found that Muslim ban support among 2/3 of Republican voters. When Trump actually implemented a version of the now infamous Muslim “travel” ban in January 2017, Republicans overwhelmingly backed him with 84% support according to a June 2017 poll. Hell, despite court challenges and its flagrant unconstitutionality on grounds of religious discrimination, the US Supreme Court still ruled in favor of it.

So what happened with the Muslim ban? Obviously, the clearer it became that supporting it was a core Trump position, the clearer it became that being a Trump supporter in good standing required backing the travel ban. When Donald Trump became the Republican nominee and later president, Republican partisanship became more about backing this unrespectable man. Of course, such behavior isn’t unprecedented among a president and their supporters. Since the more closely a policy is identified with the president, the more people from the president’s party are willing to support it. As Texas A&M professor George C. Edwards III told Vox, “The president’s association with a policy is an especially powerful signal to those predisposed to support his initiatives. By reinforcing his partisans’ predispositions, presidents can counter opposition party attacks and discourage his supporters from abandoning him. In addition, co-partisans appear to be resilient in returning to support after periods of bad news.” Under a normal presidential administration, this isn’t a huge deal. But when the president is a vile sociopath who only cares about enriching himself and his corporate backers while doing the minimal to convince his base that he’s on their side by enacting cruel policies that really don’t help anybody, you have a national crisis in American moral values on your hands.

Fortunately, the family separation debate didn’t actually go on for very long so far. Thus, public opinion didn’t have time to harden along partisan lines. The Trump administration sent mixed signals about what to think of it. Sometimes they claimed it’s a shame and the Democrats’ fault (despite it really wasn’t). Other times they justified it as necessary to deter more undocumented migration. Under these conditions along with the moral shock from headlines feeling fresh and some prominent Republicans like Laura Bush willing to condemn the policy, it’s easy to see why Republican voters felt comfortable opposing Donald Trump this time.

Yet, despite all that, millions of Republicans still supported this morally egregious policy of ripping children from the families and putting them in cages at a relatively significant margin. However, suppose the Trump administration resume family separations while Donald Trump provides a sustained defense in public appearances and tweets. Chances are that Republicans most likely will rally around him the same way they came to support the equally morally obscene Muslim ban. And what’s truly scary is that if Trump stayed the course on this one and allowed the media and public outrage to dissipate, he might’ve gotten away with it.

Nonetheless, if this was just a matter of partisanship and Trump support, it wouldn’t be the very assault on decency that it is. But it’s not. Rather it’s by going after overwhelmingly Latino immigrants from Central America, Donald Trump is playing on his political home turf like it’s “Mexicans are rapists” all over again. In 2015, two political scientists named Marisa Abrajano and Zoltan Hajnal published a book looking closely at the way mass Latino immigration was shifting American politics. According to Abrajano in the book’s summary, she and Hajnal concluded that the influx of Latino immigration had driven a large number of white voters into the Republican Party. This effect appears to track media coverage. When people in the news talk about the threat posed by Latino immigration such as Donald Trump talking about how Latino migrants are responsible for gang violence, Republicans benefit. Another group of researchers polled white Americans on how their view of diversity affected their likelihood of voting for Trump. They found that when whites were reminded that America was becoming an increasingly black and brown country, they were more likely to support Trump and favor immigration restrictions.

This is the crux of the moral crisis of the Trump era in a nutshell. The most Un-American and morally reprehensible parts of Donald Trump’s presidency such as his crackdown of undocumented immigrants, the Muslim ban, his shocking moral equivalence during the white supremacist rallies in Charlottesville, Virginia tap into the forces that are the most responsible for making him president. While stories of separated families in the media have wracked neutral observers’ hearts, Trump’s most hardcore supporters (like white supremacists and the Alt-Right) may very well have the opposite reaction. This intersects in a particularly dangerous way in partisanship for if Trump can maintain his hardcore base’s support enough to retain majority GOP support, he won’t need to immediately cave. And the longer and harder he fights for a policy, the more support for it will become GOP orthodoxy.

Disturbingly enough, it’s an established fact Donald Trump’s racial politics are genuinely popular with millions of white Americans who have significantly supported such vicious and morally inexcusable policies like the family separations at the border. It’s also a demonstrably and theoretically so that the GOP’s partisanship strength can enable Republican presidents to attract their party base’s support along with its political establishment. Both facts mean that despite the depravity of everything he says and does in the White House, Trump will always get the Republican Party to back his attacks on members of minority groups, given the time and effort. Indeed, ending family separation for now is a good thing and it’s understandable for liberals to pop the cork and call it a win. But the fact the separations happened at all and that millions of Americans were perfectly fine with them should trouble us all. This is especially since many of these children ripped from their parents will have to grapple with the traumatic implications for the rest of their lives.

Not surprisingly, Donald Trump has resorted to his race-baited fearmongering. During an event on Friday, June 22, 2018, he returned to his old argument about undocumented immigrants, highlighting families who lost loved ones to crimes committed by them. While losing a loved one to a crime is tragic, Trump held this emotionally charged event on “permanent separation” certain families have faced to undocumented criminals in an effort to shift the focus of the immigration conversation from family separations at the border. Granted there are undocumented immigrants who commit crimes. But that doesn’t diminish the fact that Trump’s event with these families is just a publicity stunt to capitalize on their tragedy. First of all, undocumented immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than native born Americans and more likely to be crime victims due to their lack of protected status making them unable to call the authorities. But undocumented criminals pose no more a danger to society than their counterparts with legal status. Had many of these families experienced a loved one killed by a legal immigrant or US citizen, Trump wouldn’t be parading them for his own ends to smear an entire group of people as violent criminals to justify his morally inexcusable policies against them. As he said in the event, “We’re gathered today to hear from the American victims of illegal immigration. You know, you hear the other side. You never hear this side. These are the American citizens permanently separated from their loved ones because they were killed by criminal illegal aliens. These are the families the media ignores.” I’m sure anyone who loses their loved ones to undocumented immigrants are featured on the local news and maybe a spot on a Fox News show since they devour stories revolving around nonwhite murderers killing white Americans, undocumented or otherwise. Yet, here Trump seems to paint undocumented criminals as a special kind of evil they’re not which is an effective way to dehumanize a vulnerable population.

Even worse, not only does Donald Trump often blame congressional Democrats for “weak” immigration laws, his hardline stance on immigration makes it practically impossible to even the most bipartisan legislation for comprehensive immigration reform. Hell, he’s even in complete disagreement with members of his own party on how to solve immigration problems that he created. This isn’t an accident. As the crisis at the border puts the Trump administration under fire from humanitarian groups, Democrats, and even many Republicans as the biggest story in the nation, there’s a belief among senior White House officials, including the dead-eyed longtime adviser Stephen Miller, that fostering controversy is a winning strategy for them and that it will galvanize conservatives ahead of the November elections. Trump’s actions regarding ending DACA while sabotaging any chance for Congress to pass a bill protecting Dreamers is a glaring example.

Yet, that’s not the worst of it. In the wake of the family separations outrage, Texas US Senator Ted Cruz introduced legislation that would halt family separations and double the number of immigration judges from 375 to 750 to process detention cases more efficiently as the system has been backlogged for years due to a judge shortage. . In response, Trump extensively and derisively laughed off the idea of expanding the immigration courts as part of a plan to end the crisis, asserting that asylum seekers’ lawyers coach their clients on what to say so they’ll be allowed to stay in the United States. He said, “We have to have a real border, not judges. I don’t want to try people. I don’t want people coming in.” On Sunday, June 24, 2018, he tweeted, “We cannot allow all of these people to invade our Country. When somebody comes in, we must immediately, with no Judges or Court Cases, bring them back from where they came.” Apparently, Trump doesn’t think the immigration backlog is a problem. In fact, he doesn’t believe that undocumented immigrants should have a right to present their cases to immigration judges at all.

Since the Supreme Court has repeatedly maintained the due process requirements of the 5th, 6th, and 14th Amendments apply to everyone regardless of legal status, including undocumented immigrants. Thus, theoretically, if you deny anyone due process, you deny everyone due process. Not to mention, denying due process flies in the face of America’s basic democratic and moral values. At an immigration standpoint, this means we’re all undocumented immigrants because your documents are useless if you can’t show them to a judge while being identified as a suspect is the same as being guilty. For without due process, the government has all the power while the individual, citizen or otherwise has none.

In practice, denying due process to suspected undocumented immigrants would make all Latinos living in the US subject to the kind of hell akin to what those in Maricopa County were subjected in Joe Arpaio’s sheriff days. Except that instead of corrupt sheriff deputies putting them in a horrifying tent city jail with pink underwear, they’d be arrested by ICE and sent up on a one-way ticket to the country they at least allegedly came from. Many US citizens have already been arrested and/or detained under suspicion of undocumented immigration due to racial profiling by law enforcement. Because so many Americans already associate a Latino presence in their communities with undocumented immigration, especially where there aren’t many of them. Despite that a Spanish-sounding name and brown skin mean nothing as far as legal status is concerned. Do away with due process for undocumented immigrants and Latinos caught in ICE’s crosshairs will be unable to prove their legal status to a judge to challenge that claim. Even if they’re in the US legally or are a native-born US citizen who has lived in the country their whole lives. We should also take into account that 90% of those arrested in Arpaio’s deportation raids had legal status. But that didn’t save them for being suspected for illegal entry and having their constitutional rights violated by their local sheriff because they were Latino. But thanks to due process, Arpaio’s victims were able to prove his rampant abuse with racial profiling to get him convicted.

Nonetheless, this debacle over the family separations at the border demonstrates that supporting Donald Trump means leaving your spine and conscience at the door while having the gall to defend the morally indefensible and torching anything remotely relating to decency as “weak” or “reeking with political bias.” Though there is no question that Trump is a divisive figure, I am deeply afraid of the morally reprehensible policies his supporters are willing to tolerate and even agree with. As deeply disturbed I am about their loyalty to a man who will sell them out if he hasn’t already, I really want to believe they have some semblance of a political conscience or at least principles that they’d never be willing to compromise like the basic notion of democracy, equality, liberty, and civil rights. I want to believe that as polarized our country is that I have some common agreement with these people on key American principles. Not because I am a white woman who’s been alienated by her extended family, friends, and community by jumping on the Trump Train which almost cost me my access to Medicaid last year. But because I really find it difficult to believe that millions of Americans would be willing to sell their souls to support a vile and unrespectable man who’d put US Democracy in danger just to enrich himself with the presidency. Nor do I want to believe that the United States is so broken that the very notions of basic human decency become the source of heated political contention. However, I’m not so sure of even that anymore since Trump’s acolytes seem to stand by him despite all the morally egregious things he’s said or done, even if they previously seemed virtually unthinkable. And ideas I’ve long been taught and believe as basic principles of morality and American democracy now seem politically controversial.

There is no question that having Donald Trump as president poses a grave danger to the United States and the world since he’s a narcissistic sociopath with authoritarian ambitions who has no respect for the country he leads, its values, its institutions, or its people. Yet, what I fear most is what his presidency is doing to this country’s soul since a large contingent of Americans have embraced him as their champion because he says whatever inflammatory screeds they want to hear. And no matter what inexcusable thing he says or does as president, they loyally stand by him and enable his destructive behavior and policies against those who stand to suffer the most. But his entire presidency has been an assault on decency since Trump is an unrespectable man who has absolutely none as his moral degenerate words and policies reflect. Yet, the question isn’t whether his actions and rhetoric define who we are which they sort of do and since our country isn’t innocent from human rights violations separating families. But whether he embodies what we Americans want to be as a nation, which I fervently hope isn’t the case. For while Trump projects an image of strength, business know-how, and patriotism to his supporters, I see him as a manipulative swindler, shameless fraud, spineless coward, pathological liar, and an unrepentant bully with self-delusions of grandeur who has to surround himself with sycophants to enhance his gigantic ego and viciously rage on Twitter or settle petty scores when he doesn’t get his way. To me, Trump embodies the worst of America that it’s fair to see him as the current face of evil in the modern American life. As he stages his assault on decency along with the American values we hold dear from the White House, we must resist him at every turn as citizens. We must not normalize or legitimize his presidency. Nor let his destructive words and policies that undermine democracy with each passing day drag us through the mud. Donald Trump may be president, but he must not receive the respect his office entails him. Because he’s not a man deserving of such recognition or worthy of being referred to as “President of the United States.” His morally bankrupt character makes him only worthy of our scathing contempt and criticism that we should make known wherever he goes. And we must shame his followers to remind of our disgust over their support for such an unrespectable man they think is on their side as he stabs them in the back with his empty promises.

The World According to Stock Photography

antonio-guillem-girl-winning-good-news-stock-photography

While much of my blog has been filled with posts teeming with outrage over what my country has become since President Pussy-Grabber was sworn in to encouraging ICE to separate families at the border and putting children in cages, tent cities, and concentration camps, we should try to maintain our sanity with some fun now and then. No matter how hard it might seem to be. Nonetheless, like Lord Hamsterhair Cheetohead lately, stock photography is everywhere since it consists of photographs that can be licensed for public or commercial use. Whether used in marketing, advertising, or design as long as it’s not illegal or harmful, many graphic designers, web designers, and other professionals frequently take advantage of stock images to fill their design needs. Anyway, most often you’ll find stock photos on professional websites and greeting cards. In fact, it’s a whole industry which started in the 1920s as a way for professional photographers to market outtakes from commercial photo shoots. But many pro photographers today take photos exclusively for stock purposes since a large portfolio can earn a considerable amount of money each month from selling their images through a photography website. Even if the photographer doesn’t add new photos on a regular basis. Still, they have a reputation for being notoriously cheesy and generic with bland happy faces in their diverse workplaces of harmony and in their seemingly perfect but bland families. But there are some stock photos that are too ridiculous to explain or don’t seem to have any applicable purpose whatsoever. So for your reading pleasure, I give you an assortment of crazy stock photos. By the way, some of these might not be safe for work.

  1. “Do you know how to work this thing?”

I’m sure these guys have no idea to function as a news crew. Or they’re just goofing off.

2. Anyone can be a princess.

However, this guy seems to be really pushing the envelope. Still, he rocks the red sash.

3. So what do they call if you cross a dog and a frog?

Yes, I know it’s photoshopped. But you have to wonder about the mad scientist who’d create this freak of nature.

4. It’s been said his brains are made of noodles.

Granted, I love pasta and noodles. But this isn’t the kind candlelight dinner I’d want to participate in.

5. Not all snails travel at a snail’s pace.

This one practically gallops. Oh, wait, why does this one have legs?

6. Apparently, The Shape of Water didn’t get a stellar reception on a small budget.

This is why using CGI is important. Because simply kissing a fish is just ridiculous.

7. There are centaurs and there are these.

Somehow a horse head with a human lower body doesn’t look so good. And I think the centaur would agree with me.

8. Some chick just got puffed.

Guess someone decided to get a large blue fro. The other can’t help but stare.

9. Apparently, Swamp Thing decided to leave the swamp and get a regular job.

Though he’s got a tendency to track in leaves now and then. Here you see him fetching a file.

10. When you’ve been in a car wreck but the boss insists you show up for work on Monday.

Yeah, you can’t really do your office job after you’ve been injured in a number of places. But I guess his workplace doesn’t have paid sick leave.

11. When you’re robbing the place and want to show some color.

From Outbound: “A jaunty cravat makes any robbery a special occasion.” And here he’s stealing a hard drive.

12. Bertha always saw herself as a queen.

She’s even wearing a pink dress and a tiara. But she thinks she looks fabulous.

13. This astronaut has a flight to catch in space.

I see he’s got his luggage with him since he can’t do his laundry at the ISS. Still, why is he wearing a space suit?

14. It’s nice that Jerry has decided to make dinner tonight.

Heard his secret sauce is from an old family recipe. It’s said to include a tablespoon of arsenic, a teaspoon of strychnine, and just a pinch of cyanide.

15. This dog breed is known as a Jacques Rousseau Terriere.

He’s easy to distinguish from the Jack Russell with his curly mustache, his taste in French bread and wine, and his penchant for berets, paintings, and arthouse films. And he doesn’t care for pretentious cheap dog food either.

16. Apparently, the mime has just managed to escape from the jaws of death.

And by “jaws” I mean large chomping mouth of teeth you’d find at a dentist’s office. Doesn’t seem thrilling does it?

17. Seems like this chimp is quite the chatterbox.

“And then I told him, ‘Dude, chill down. It’s not worth flinging your poo over.'”

18. Didn’t know you could play frisbee with your pet turtle.

Apparently, they’re really great at playing fetch for some reason. Don’t really see why since they move like, well, turtles.

19. Wonder how many pictures did they take of him?

Even this kid is baffled. And he sat for the other pictures.

20. Her face is a little cracked.

Let’s hope that her delicate eggshell face cracks don’t lead anything to spill over. Because that would really make a mess.

21. Wearing a watermelon helmet changes everything.

This is especially when you’re wearing goggles and stick your tongue out. Wonder if he’s high on life.

22. And now, a stop-motion version of Romeo and Juliet by director Wes Anderson.

Yes, it consists of two people wearing animal masks and dressed in hipster clothing. Don’t think this will go well for Wes. Unless he casts Owen Wilson as Friar Lawrence.

23. With romantic dinners, there are just some foods you shouldn’t make out with.

Sharing a kiss during a romantic dinner a la Lady and the Tramp is romantic. Sharing a kiss during a chicken dinner is just plain disgusting.

24. Crazy Larry will clean your car and keep it nice and polished.

But don’t you leave anything in it. Or else he’ll take it and pawn it off for some extra cash to support his meth habit. He’s also had an infamous reputation with the ladies and a record of sexual misconduct.

25. During desert nights, beware of the fierce and dreaded cattysnake.

Known to hang around pumpkin patches for some reason. But while they may be cuddly, their bites are deadly.

26. “Take that, you pathetic puppy!”

I kind of feel bad for the dog here. I mean how is anyone going to take him seriously after getting the crap beat out of him by a guy in a banana costume?

27. When your baking has caused your stove to burst into flames but you don’t have a care in the world.

The smoke detector is on the fritz like crazy. But instead of getting the fire extinguisher or calling the fire department, he’s watching the stove burn with a glass of wine.

28. Want to eat a slice of bread with nails?

Of course, you want to eat that. Because you’d find swallowing all those nails as painful as hell.

29. You’re never too old to have fun.

Since when do they have rocking horses in adult size? And since when do old men enjoy going on horsey rides?

30. When you just have to get that last selfie while your friend is about to be burned for a human sacrifice.

“I know you’ll be burned to death, Kyle. But for now, let’s remember the good times before I get the hell out of here.”

31. “Greg, I don’t think you get the meaning of ‘Casual Friday.'”

I mean he’s showed up with messy hair and no shirt. And I’m not sure if he’s even wearing pants or shoes.

32. “Ahhh, grass!”

Yes, she enjoys lying in the grass. Then again, she could be murdered in the middle of nowhere.

33. “Wanna see my pineapple dance?”

Funny, how that one pineapple is conveniently placed in her crotch region. Not to mention, she’s wearing a winter hat.

34. When you’re in a tender embrace with your significant other but are considering other options.

Indeed, they’re hugging each other while checking their phones. Guess that’s modern dating nowadays.

35. “Help! I’m trapped in a jar with exclamation points!”

And I guess she’s trying to figure her way out of there. Though she might be running out of ideas.

36. “Answer the question or I’ll shoot!”

Not exactly the best way to deal with the big questions. Shoot first never works well.

37. “It’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s Business Man!”

Flying in the air faster than a speeding printer and more powerful than a server filled with memoranda. Flying through the sea of finance and willing to save the day from a calamitous paper jam.

38. Presented The Bachelor: Equine Edition.

Watch a bunch of mares compete for the heart of this dashing stallion at this lavish stable. Or as it’s better known: Study Duty.

39. Since she was a little girl, this demonic goblin had a dream to dance.

Here she does her Black Swan dance for the Transylvania Ballet Theater. Graceful isn’t she? Wonder if she’d do well with Gollum.

40. Ever heard of Wendy of Wendy’s? Turns out she has a brother named Wendell.

He’s a certified public accountant at some firm in Cedar Rapids. They don’t talk about him much.

41. “If we should go down, we’ll die together.”

For God’s sake, the two have guns pointed at each other? You can guess they’re going to blow each other’s brains out eventually.

42. A well-dressed mouse should always stand for a portrait.

Though why she has human hands, I have no idea. Though she strikes a regal pose.

43. If you can’t get Bill Nye the Science Guy, here’s Lab Guy Larry.

He’s kind of a poor man’s Bill Nye. Except way more careless and prone to bites from skeletons.

44. This nun seeks prayer and meditation under the sea.

Don’t know how she can be underwater without scuba gear. Not to mention, look serene in that heavy habit.

45. This pampered pooch always has to shop till she drops.

Carrie Pawpaws just has to have those designer dog collars. Not to mention, those fine rawhide bones and squeaky toys.

46. After a career terrorizing Gotham City, the Joker decided to work for Wayne Enterprises as an accountant.

Now whenever he wants to terrorize Gotham, he just embezzles money and commits insider trading. Because white-collar criminals seldom get punished.

47. Open wide for this puffer fish.

Uh, those fish are actually poisonous. So trying to eat one like that is a very easy way to die. But this woman doesn’t get the memo.

48. This boxer has become the reigning champion of his sister’s bedroom.

Or he might just have a girly taste in decorating. You never know. But he doesn’t seem bothered by it either way.

49. Some days you just need to relax with some Post-It Notes.

Notice she has nothing written on them. But she doesn’t give a damn since she’s in her happy place.

50. When you find out that your longtime crush is in a relationship on social media.

Indeed, she feels dead inside. But she can’t really look away. I know she’s getting carried away. Yet, get her time.

51. “Thank God, I saved the crucial paperwork!”

Still, when you’re out in the water, saving the paperwork is the least of your worries. For God’s sake, you’re better off trying to find dry land.

52. “Now, class, when I ring the bell, settle down and I’ll give you candy.”

Not sure if employing Pavlov’s techniques will help. This especially goes if they’re in high school.

53. “Sit down, class, let’s get busy on those physics problems.”

If I had a teacher like that in school, I’d suspect I was in a porno. And that one of my classmates was about to fall victim to statutory rape. Then again, it’s best not to judge by appearances. But come on, would any school let a teacher dress like that?

54. “Sit down, kids, it’s time to learn.”

I guess you won’t have a good time in this guy’s class. Behave or he’ll introduce you to his friend, Mr. Longstick.

55. In the future, people will spend hours marveling and contemplating on corn.

Now I know where that family got their idea for their crazy futuristic corn people Christmas card. Didn’t know it was from a stock photo that made no sense.

56. “All right, don’t move! This is a raid!”

Man, armed robbers and murderers really do start young these days. Also, don’t mind the hand above. My guess is that person is dead.

57. You’ll always have a good time in a string quartet.

Yeah, I don’t think it’s like Sex and the City with stringed instruments and old timey costumes. Yeah, I know it’s really crazy.

58. When it rains, she barely touches the chair.

This stock photo was brought to you by the power and imagination that comes with brown acid. Because someone must’ve been tripping balls to come up with this photo idea.

59. “Paint me like one of your French girls.”

Maybe he should take off his clothes first. Then again, it would still be kind of silly. Except if he had rock hard abs. But I can’t imagine that.

60. For some reason those trapped in jars will either panic or try to get out.

The businessman is especially panicky. The construction worker’s just scaling the walls.

61. I’m positive she’s going out with a bang.

Because that’s what happens when you light a dynamite stick with a cigarette. It’s sure to be explosive.

62. “Oh, shit, I’ve burned the chicken!”

Yet, she’s not wearing oven mitts. While smoke is coming out of the oven.

63. Walk on the moon? That’s so 1969.

So this astronaut has decided to bike on the moon. Not sure if the tires will retain air in the vacuum of space.

64. This Christmas Santa is ditching his sleigh and reindeer for a magic jet.

Because he needs a more efficient way to deliver all those presents on one night. Unfortunately, Rudolph and the other reindeer may not see it that way.

65. Is there a fire? Call the fire lizard.

Well, maybe if the fire is confined to a small tree. Comes complete with his red hat and fire extinguisher.

66. Don’t have a defibrillator? A pair of irons will do.

Still, he seems very excited to use them on his patient. Kind has crazy eyes and a weird smile. This doesn’t look good.

67. Introducing Captain Waggles of the U.S.S. Doggypaddle.

Here he is with a lifejacket and fingers up. Wait a minute, dogs don’t have fingers.

68. It’s said those who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.

And that people who work in glass offices with glass dividers shouldn’t have sex on the job. Let’s hope neither are married with families.

69. When you’re a TV, it’s always dinner for one.

And I see she’s looking at a TV screen. Kind of twisted if you ask me.

70. Didn’t know that farts can leave a cloud of gas.

And it’s drifting to the flowers. Well, at least we aren’t around when the cheese was cut.

71. “Hello, darkness, my old friend….”

Yet, he lies in his bed on a sheet cake which will get his face covered in icing. But he’s laying awake in existential dread and loneliness.

72. When you’re in the buff and you need to feed your cat.

Notice how the fridge door is conveniently placed over him. Just so he can give his cat some meat.

73. “Okay, let’s put our helmets together.”

Yet, they’re clad in high heels and dresses. Not exactly what you’d wear on a motorcycle.

74. Chipmunks like to get it on at the copier.

Don’t know about you. But I’ve got a feeling those at the office will be seeing some chipmunk porn sometime in the near future.

75. Today’s Special: Head.

And she’s in a styrofoam tray covered in plastic wrap. Just like meat at the grocery store.

76. Seems like her lower body isn’t attached to the rest of her.

Yet, she seems to awe at that after the magician sawed her in half. Unfortunately, he couldn’t put her back together.

77. “Excuse me, you dirty whore, but that’s my boyfriend you’re fucking.”

The guy’s like, “Honey, you’re early. Nancy and I were just having a discussion on….adoptions.”

78. Sometimes you can type what you want from the screen.

And the cat’s just staring dumbfounded at the screen. Like it must’ve accidentally drank a milk dish with acid.

79. “Wanna share a cold one with me on the road?”

This guy’s getting so busted if police pull him over. Because drunk driving is dangerous and has killed people.

80. If you want to keep your kids safe on the internet.

My mistake. If you see your kid in night-vision goggles and a tinfoil hat, you best send your kid to a therapist. Otherwise, he might grow up into a full-blown conspiracy theorist like Alex Jones.

81. This guy really wants to see what’s in this laptop.

On the bright side, at least he can’t steal your online data. Only commit deliberate physical sabotage.

82. Behind a dumpster in an alley, an astronaut seeks a horse genie.

The genie grants the spaceman 3 wishes in exchange for a lifetime supply of hay and sugar cubes. Also it shits gold.

83. Someone’s in deep denial on their baldness.

Since he’s using a comb that he doesn’t need. Because he already shaves his head.

84. “All right, Eileen, let’s settle this with an umbrella fight on the roof.”

However, they’re attempting a showdown during a thunderstorm. Not the smartest thing to do, especially if lightning strikes one of them.

85. Here’s the new face of Wall Street Finance with an office at Suite 666.

Still, ladies, I’d stay away from that guy if I were you. Since his looks could kill while his demonic eyes show he’s up to no good.

86. “Jason, I didn’t know your dick was that huge!”

Please don’t tell me that guys look at each other’s dicks in the men’s room. Because I don’t know what to make of this photo.

87. You’d almost swear he takes after his father.

The resemblance is so uncanny. Maybe because they photoshopped the dad’s face to the son.

88. This takes getting canned to a whole new level.

Having to work in a trash can must really suck. But this guy’s taking it in stride.

89. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Malware.

Apparently, wizards can now use and repair computers. While Harry’s not hunting dark wizards, he’s working part-time as an IT guy at the Ministry of Magic.

90. When you have to return to work from a business summit at a nudist colony.

Yeah, that has to be embarrassing. And he only has a briefcase to cover his genitals. Too bad everyone else will see his butt.

91. “Come on, y’all! Let’s take the tennis court back from the jocks!”

With a tennis racket in one and an AR-15 in the other, Bridget leads the punk tennis revolution. It was a glorious moment for goths, punks, and emos everywhere.

92. At the office some men may deflate and lose their spines.

And here is a 100% accurate depiction of a Republican Congressman in Trump’s America. If you’re represented by one, it’s time to vote them out of office in November.

93. Ever have to be deep in thought against a toilet in the middle of the desert?

From Bored Panda: “This is the state of mind one enters at 3am after having crawled home from that awesome night out, spent the last half hour hugging the bowl, then suddenly you become the universe, the whole universe and everything in it.”

94. “Help! I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!”

Where’s Life Alert where you need it? Also, Grandma’s not coming to Christmas this year.

95. “Must sniff donut sugar..”

Seems like someone has a problem with white powder donuts. Someone better give her an intervention.

96. Old people enjoy their retirement with a gun over a rabbit that’s cared for life.

It’s only a matter of time until they get the gun back together and shoot the rabbit dead. So run, bunny, run! Or it’s kill the rabbit and rabbit stew.

97. The Lord taketh, the Lord poseth for selfie.

I can’t even list all the things wrong with this. Also, can I see a selfie of Jesus with his disciples at the Last Supper?

98. Now you can surf the net while riding the waves.

Still, I don’t think he’ll fare so well when he has to ride the big wave. But at least he’s sent his 3rd quarter expense reports.

99. “Just one more picture before we shut the trunk for our escape.”

Luckily for Marvin, his kidnappers were dumb enough to post a photo of a him in a trunk and brag about abducting him on social media. So police will find him and bring him home in no time.

100. When you’re baking cookies while trying to survive the fallout from the apocalypse.

Though the cookies might be a bit radioactive. But sometimes that’s a risk you must be willing to take in the bunker.

Do We Have Any Decency?

The more we hear about the Trump administration’s immigration policies of taking children from their parents, arresting their parents, and taking the kids into custody, the more they sound too cruel to be real. And the Associated Press has acquired internal Department of Homeland Security data covering the program from May 5-June 9. During this time, 2,342 children were taken from their immigrant parents on the border. That’s an average of 65 kids per day separated from their families and often sent to foster homes or held in detention centers. This might actually be an undercount since these numbers only reflect families separated when parents were sent to criminal custody for prosecution on illegal entry. Families presenting themselves for asylum by coming to a port of entry before being separated weren’t included.

While the family separation policy may be new, it’s nonetheless building on an existing system that attention to family separation has brought more awareness to the underlying problems within the US immigration system that have been going on for some time. For the past several years, a growing number of Central Americans have been coming into the US without papers who often are families seeking asylum. Asylum seekers and families are both accorded particular protections in US and international law, which make it impossible for the government to simply send them back. They also put strict limits on the length of time, and conditions, in which children can be kept in immigration detention. When the Obama administration attempted to respond to the “crisis” of families and unaccompanied children crossing the border in the summer of 2014, it put hundreds of families in immigration detention, a practice which had basically ended several years before. But federal courts stopped the administration from holding families for months without justifying the decision to keep them in detention. So most families were eventually released while their cases were pending. In some cases, they disappeared into the US rather than showing up for their own court dates.

As we speak, the Trump administration works to detain as many immigrants arriving in the United States without papers as possible. Even if they’re seeking asylum, which they have the legal right to do. But because a decades-long court settlement requires the government to release children from immigration detention “without necessary delay” parents taking care of them would have to be released as well. However, by sending parents into Justice Department custody for criminal prosecution, the Trump administration forces itself to separate parents from their children. Because kids can’t be detained with parents in federal jail, they’re treated as “unaccompanied alien minors” as if they crossed the border alone. Thus, as their parents are languishing in federal prison awaiting trial and sentence, the children are sent into custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in the Department of Health and Human Services. As far as Trump’s cronies are concerned, this is a fitting punishment.

Yet, their logic overlooks the fact that when asylum seekers try to follow the law by presenting themselves at official border crossings to ask for asylum, Border Patrol agents often tell them they can’t come in. This isn’t an accident. For at multiple ports of entry in Texas to California, the Trump administration tells asylum seekers that they don’t have room to process them today which keeps people waiting outside for days on end without any indication as to when they’ll be allowed to seek asylum legally. According to reports, some asylum seekers are being physically blocked from setting foot on US soil, which would give them the legal right to pursue an asylum claim. So what choice would that leave them but to cross the border illegally and present their asylum claim to Border Patrol instead? And even families trying to seek asylum at ports of entry can’t be assured they won’t be separated anyway. While the Trump administration claims that it only separates families entering legally if they’re concerned about the child’s safety or feel there’s insufficient evidence that the adult is their legal guardian. But it’s not clear how they make that determination and there’s no proof they’re abusing that discretion either.

However, family separation is neither sudden nor arbitrary. The Trump administration claims it’s taking extraordinary measures in response to the temporary surge it’s entirely possible that this will become the new normal. From October 2017 to May 2018, it’s reported that at least 2,700 families have been separated at the border thanks to its “zero-tolerance” immigration policy. Though it doesn’t seem like all families apprehended by Border Patrol get separated, the pace might be picking up. The Trump administration has stepped up detention of asylum seekers (and immigrants period). But because there are such strict limits on keeping children in immigration detention, it’s had to release most of the families caught. So their solution has been to prosecute large numbers of immigrants for illegal entry, including in a break from previous administrations, large numbers of asylum seekers. That allows the Trump administration to ship kids off to ORR than keep them in immigration detention.

In theory, unaccompanied immigrant children are sent to ORR within 72 hours of being apprehended. They’re kept in government facilities, or short-term foster care for days or weeks while ORR official try to identify their nearest relative in the US who can take them in while their immigration case is being resolved. But in practice, the system dealing with unaccompanied immigrant children was already overwhelmed, if not outright broken. ORR facilities were already 95% full with 11,000 children held as of June 7. And according to the New York Times, the government, “has reserved an additional 1,218 beds in various places for migrant children, including some at military bases.” In fact, the agency has been overloaded for years since its 2014 backlog precipitated the child migrant, “crisis” when Border Patrol agents had to care for kids for days. An American Civil Liberties Union report released in May documented hundreds of claims of “verbal, physical, and sexual abuse” of unaccompanied children by Border Patrol.

There are also questions about how carefully ORR vets the sponsors to whom it ultimately releases children. A PBS Frontline investigation found cases where the agency released teenagers to labor traffickers. ORR told Congress in April that of 7,000 of children it attempted to contact in fall 2017, 1,475 couldn’t, which led to allegations that the government “lost” children or that they’d been handed over to traffickers. Though for the most part, it’s more probable that the families the ORR wasn’t able to contact deliberately decided to go off the map. Unaccompanied children who came to the US mostly consisted of teenagers with close relatives here to reunite with. According to a 2014-2015 Office of Inspector General report, 60% of unaccompanied kids were sent to their parent and 99% went to close friends or relatives while 1% were put in long-term foster care.

However, this isn’t true of children coming to the US with their parents who don’t have to be old enough to make the journey on their own and are separated from them. For ORR isn’t used to changing diapers. In May, the New York Times wrote that the government put out request proposals for “shelter care providers, including group homes and transitional foster care,” to house children separated from parents. One organization is placing children with Maryland and Michigan foster families and plans to expand to several other states. Some have fostered unaccompanied children but they’re not used to children who’ve just been separated from their parents.

While some families have been reunited, the Trump administration is sending very mixed signals about how families could be reunited and whether it’s even trying to make that happen at all. According to one ACLU lawsuit over family separation and immigration detention, a DOJ official told the judge that, “once a parent is in ICE [Immigration and Customs Enforcement] custody and the child is taken into the Health and Human Services system, the government does not try to reunite them, and instead attempts to place the child with another relative in the United States — if the child has one.” But ICE and DHS claim that once parents finish their criminal sentences for illegal entry or reentry, they can reunite with their children in civil immigration detention while pursuing their asylum case. Nor do they seem to have a system to bring families back together. One flyer in Texas given to parents offered a number to call to locate their children. Yet, the number was wrong and didn’t lead to ORR. In fact, it was an ICE tip line. Even if a parent can call ORR and the agency can identify their child, they may not be able to call the parent back. Since immigrants in detention don’t have phone access (though federal judges urged the government to provide them so they can find their kids). Some parents face deportation without their children while some children are getting sent back without their parents.

In response to the outcry, Donald Trump has responded to criticisms on family separations, by claiming that a “Democratic law” requires him to do it, and that if Congress doesn’t like it, it can change the law. However, that is just Trump’s way to deflect blame and avoid responsibility since that statement is simply not true. Because there’s no law requiring immigrant family separations. The Trump administration had made the decision to charge everyone crossing the border with illegal entry and the one to charge asylum seekers in criminal court rather than waiting to see that they qualify. They’ve been asking Congress to change laws granting extra protections to families, unaccompanied children, and asylum seekers since it came into office. And they’ve blamed them for stopping Trump from securing the border the way he’d like (with a big stupid wall which won’t contribute to anything beneficial whatsoever). Furthermore, these aren’t necessarily “Democratic laws” either with a law addressing unaccompanied children passed overwhelmingly in 2008 that was signed by George W. Bush. While restriction on family detentions is the result of federal litigation. In this context, the law isn’t forcing Trump to separate families but keeping him from doing what he’d really want to do like sending families back or keeping them in detention together. So he’s resorting to Plan B.

Some Trump administration officials say they’re prosecuting immigrants and separating families to stop people from illegally coming to the US between ports of entry. This argument sounds like common sense since it allows the administration to avoid awkward legal or moral questions on trying to keep people out of the country. Yet, there’s no evidence this strategy works. While rolling out the “zero-tolerance” policy in early May, they claimed a pilot program along one border sector reduced crossings by 64% but they haven’t produced the numbers backing it up. Not to mention, as I described earlier, the Trump administration’s sending mixed signals about whether it wants people to use ports of entry to seek asylum legally. Since some asylum seekers have been separated from their kids doing just that while others were encouraged not to. Though they’ve promised to prosecute anyone who submits a “fraudulent” claim, Attorney General Jeff Sessions has made it clear that he suspects many, if not most, asylum claims are fraudulent. The statistics the Trump administration uses to back up that there’s been a “surge” since las year sometimes count both people getting caught by Border Patrol between ports o entry and those presenting themselves without papers at ports of entry for asylum. The implication is that the current crackdown will reduce both. This implies that a point of this policy is to stop families from entering the US seeking asylum, period.

If you want to know how the Trump administration is justifying family separations at a legal standpoint, they simply claim that criminal defendants don’t have a right to have their children with them in jail. But the question is whether they have the legal authority to put asylum-seeking parents in jail awaiting trial to begin with, knowing they’re splitting them from their children. Human rights organizations including the United Nations have argued that prosecuting asylum seekers as criminals violates international law. Yet, no presidential administration has agreed with that interpretation since the Obama administration prosecuted some asylum seekers as well, just not as often or with the Trumpian dedicated zeal. However, federal courts have ruled that it’s illegal to keep an immigrant in detention in hopes to deterring others, instead of making an individual assessment on whether the immigrant needs to be detained. That might pave the way for advocates to fight back against family separation or at least force the government to start helping families get reunited after their parents have been separated. In the ACLU’s lawsuit victory in June, the judge made it clear that he believed that if the allegations against the administration were true, they might very well be unconstitutional on violation of family integrity, which courts have found is implicitly part of the Fifth Amendment’s guarantee of “liberty” without due process of law. Though it has favorable odds, that doesn’t mean the case will succeed. Unless something else happens to change the policy before then, any opinion will be appealed and will likely go to the Supreme Court. Still, even if the ACLU does succeed, it won’t stop family separations at the border. The lawsuit argues that it’s unconstitutional for parents in immigration detention to be separated from their children. But not that it’s unconstitutional to charge parents with illegal entry and take them into a separate criminal court. A victory would merely obligate the federal government to reunite parents with their children once they’ve served their illegal entry sentence. Yet, whether the government can actually do that is another question. And for families, that’s less preferable than not being separated at all.

Though the Trump administration presents its crackdown as a temporary response to a temporary “surge” of illegal border crossers, it’s simply a return to normal levels of the past several years after a brief dip in 2017. To assume that the administration will be satisfied with border apprehension levels in a few months and wind down the aggressive tactics it’s started to use would be foolish. If we had a different president running a different White House, the outrage family separation has generated would result in the policy coming to a quiet end or at least curbed. Since it’s galvanizing not just progressives but also conservatives as well. But Trump’s administration rarely backs down from something because people are mad about it. More often than not, Donald Trump takes it as an indication he’s doing something right, even if he’s not. While Democrats scramble to propose bills limiting prosecution and separation, the issue isn’t inspiring the bipartisan momentum that Trump’s decision to end DACA last fall did. Thus, it’s extremely unlikely that Congress will pass a law stopping family separations at the border. And when it became clear the Trump administration was engaging in widespread family separations, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s vague and inaccurate comments on sending the kids to “foster care or whatever” were especially telling.

It’s possible that the Trump administration simply won’t have the resources to keep this many people in detention for so long or to keep prosecuting more and more people for a crime that’s already overwhelming federal dockets. Since ICE’s detention centers are already running out of space. Indefinite family separations will almost certainly overwhelm the already precarious system dealing with migrant children. Border Patrol and ORR won’t get the resources they need to address the new jobs they’re asked to take on by treating children separated from parents as “unaccompanied” kids. Yet, it’s also possible it’ll simply burn through the money it has and demand Congress for more in the name of protecting the US from an illegality invasion. The Trump administration knows it’s separating families and doesn’t believe it’s their job to reunite them.

Nonetheless, the cruelty of the Trump administration’s policies is almost impossible to imagine. Could you understand the parent separated from their child having no real sense of seeing them again? Could you comprehend the child stuck in a country whose language they don’t speak and in the care of strangers while their parents are gone? Such pain is incredible and traumatizing to experience. One Honduran man killed himself in his detention cell after Border Patrol took his 3-year-old son. CNN reported of Border Patrol agents ripping a breastfeeding woman’s infant daughter from her arms. A New York Times story tells of a boy who wouldn’t shower for 2 days or change his clothes after being separated from his parents and placed into foster care.

Yet, as much as the family separation crisis is about immigration policy and our country’s values, it’s also a health crisis. Separating parents and their children comes with considerable health risks. Every bit of a child’s health depends on a foundational relationship with a caring adult like their parents. When they’re separated, kids’ stress hormones start working overtime and are constantly on red alert. This causes disruption in the way that neural synapses connect with each other in their brain architecture. That can lead to developmental delay. Traumatized children develop speech slower, their motor skills don’t come along as quickly as they should, and they have difficulty creating proper attachments to other human beings. The younger the child is and the longer they’re in this kind of situation, the more difficult it is to reverse it. These experiences can have lifelong consequences like affecting a child’s ability to learn, being more susceptible to drug and alcohol abuse, and possibly could be at a higher risk of heart disease or cancer when they become adults. When a breastfeeding mother is torn from her infant, her breasts can be swollen and painful, which can develop to mastitis where the remaining milk can evolve into breast abscesses that must be removed via surgical drainage. Then there’s the fact that whatever children are telling social workers, doctors, or clinical psychologists at the border can be shared by ORR with DHS and federal immigration authorities. Under any other presidential administration this wouldn’t be a big deal since families were typically reunited during the Obama years. But under Donald Trump, the policy is increasingly used to detain or deport undocumented minors.

Donald Trump has implied that his justification for separating families seeking asylum, and his restrictionist ideology for even legal immigrants, is to prevent the United States from enduring what’s happening in Europe. For he falsely claims, immigrants there have brought with them a wave of violence that’s driving up the crime rate (except it’s not). He’s often referred to such outlandish claim as “politically incorrect” but that’s not it. Since he and key members of his administration are embracing what used to be a fringe theory held by the furthest of the far right. To these white supremacists, they argue that white people are being “systematically” erased by their inferiors, and thus require an influx of white babies and new white immigrants (at the exclusion of nonwhite immigrants) to survive. To some, white Americans and white culture, are threatened by a slow-running “genocide” via demographic replacement. Though this theory is just a bunch of racist bullshit with no historical basis whatsoever, it has adherents in the alt-right (which they evoked in Charlottesville with “You will not replace us”), across conservative media, and even in Congress and the White House. But such ideas are old, rooted in scientific racism and fears of interracial sex and babies once held by Woodrow Wilson and white supremacists alike. But now they play apart in creating government policy.

Donald Trump’s racism may be that of a 72-year-old man who thinks five nonwhite teenage boys should be executed for raping a jogger despite DNA evidence to the contrary. But his external racism is heavily influenced by adherents of an ideology that believes whiteness is the essential character of America (it isn’t), with direct and detrimental impacts on discussions regarding immigration policy. More importantly, Trump’s language and policies echo a worldview holding that whiteness is more valuable to participation in the American experiment than anything else, even a deep and abiding belief in American ideals.

While most of the GOP might not be comfortable using terminology like “white genocide” and “racial realism,” because many conservatives don’t share those views. They may see Donald Trump’s comments as elitist, unkind, divisive, and fly in the face of American values, even if racial issues aren’t on their priority list. But many on the right don’t see it that way as Jeff Sessions implements racist policies in the Department of Justice while Brietbart fans the flames of racial discord with “black crime” article labels and stories about imminent dangers posed by nonwhite immigrants. Nonetheless, Trump’s adoption of these racist views of the alt-right is at the core of the current immigration debate and has a direct impact on his immigration policy. In addition, it’s making the dealmaking process virtually impossible with Democrats and Republicans who desperately want to avoid any arguments racializing immigration policy. They want the debate about immigration to be about border security and genuine threats to American security, since it makes compromise imaginable even possible. But the debate over immigration is actually about a belief that nonwhite immigrants pose an existential danger to America and Americanness as a whole and that “demographics” require nonwhite immigrants to be expelled while white immigrants can be welcomed with open arms. You can’t negotiate with people who believe that an America letting in people from “shithole” countries isn’t the America they know and love. Despite that an America letting in people from “shithole” countries is exactly what America was built on for why else would millions Americans be here?

Keep in mind that Donald Trump’s core argument on his cruel and inhumane immigration policy is that reducing the number of foreign-born people living in the United States will leave native-born people richer and safer. This is full of crap which unfortunately many white people embrace. While Trump delivers concrete and material benefits to wealthy business executives in the form of tax cuts and industry-friendly regulations, what he’s offering to his white working-class backers is that cracking down on foreigners will solve their problems and that his willingness to suffer the condemnation by cosmopolitans is a token of dedication to their interests. In reality, it’s just a way for him to keep his working-class voters supporting him without doing anything to solve their real problems and possibly allowing his corporate allies to screw them over in the end. The kids held hostage are in large part, pawns in a game by which Trump is trying to coerce Democrats into backing sweeping reforms to legal immigration. The core of these reforms is to simultaneously switch the United States to what he calls a “merit-based” system, essentially raising the average educational attainment of legal immigrants while also cutting the overall number of immigrants. Yet, the net impact of this means reducing America’s GDP by about 0.3% in the long run while reducing overall GDP much more than that because the population is lower, meaning a more difficult time supporting the country’s retirement programs. Besides, immigrants contribute a lot to the American economy in way their native-born counterparts take for granted.

Then again, Donald Trump’s core pitch on immigration is always more about fear than economics, but here too, his politics are a disaster. While he often states how immigrants bring crime to this country, study after study shows he’s wrong. Mostly because immigrants legal and otherwise commit far fewer crimes than their native-born counterparts since they have a higher incentive to obey the law. Though gangs like MS-13 do exist, virtually everything Trump has done on immigration is counterproductive to addressing the problem of transnational organized crime. In its final years, the Obama administration ordered immigration services to lay off the vast majority of undocumented immigrants and target their efforts at apprehending violent criminals. Obama’s goal ultimately foiled by the courts and Trump’s election was to give work permits to millions and then have immigration law enforcement on the gangs Trump claims to be fighting. But immigration enforcement didn’t like the idea of being turned into some kind of auxiliary police force. They successfully stymied Obama’s efforts to concentrate on violent criminals, helped get Trump elected, and now we hear things like deporting 62-year-old permanent resident over a 20-year misdemeanor and a Kansas professor who’s lived here for over 30 years over a 2012 traffic violation instead of focusing on gang members. Even worse, by doing things like canceling Temporary Protected Status for hundreds of thousands of long-settled immigrants (like DACA), Trump is expanding the universe of nonviolent undocumented immigrants and making it that much less likely that law enforcement resources will be used against violent criminals.

Obviously, tearing children from their parents’ arms doesn’t poll well. But that doesn’t mean it can’t work for Donald Trump. His white working-class base sees a world where cultural elites have marginalized their concerns in favor of caring a lot more about the problems of immigrants and minorities because they see a zero-sum battle for attention and sympathy in which caring about immigrants’ problems means neglecting their own. Except that’s really not the case at all. Though such voters may not necessarily approve of the cruel treatment of Central American asylum seekers, but at the end of the day, the message that Trump is perhaps excessively cruel to foreigners emphasizes the notion he’s on their side. Except that he’s not because Trump knows how to deliver concrete wins to interest groups he cares about whether that’s letting health insurance companies discriminate against those with preexisting conditions, letting financial advisers deliberately give clients bad advice, letting chemical companies poison children’s brains, or delivering tax cuts that push profits to record levels. By contrast, nothing he’s doing on immigration will help anyone or anything. He’s got no answer to the rise of asylum seekers and is seeking broad policy changes that will lower wages and incomes. Anyone who knows a thing about Trump’s career, knows there’s absolutely nothing to suggest he has an aptitude for or interest in genuine problem solving. He’s a flimflam man who’s had to pay out $21 million for civil fraud in his fake university lawsuit before taking office and is now facing a new fraud lawsuit over his fake charity. This cruelty, too, is just a fraudulent branding scheme meant to make people who resent immigrants think he cares about them when he doesn’t. Immigrant kids will pay the highest price of all this deception. But in reality, nobody is going to gain, except Trump himself.

Yet, while Donald Trump and his administration may be bereft of common decency, ethics, or empathy, that doesn’t mean we have to be. While American history has incidents where non-white families have been forcibly separated, that doesn’t mean we have to put up with it. Nor do we have to tolerate immigration enforcement putting children in tent cities or cages. If we don’t want this family separation policy to define who we are as a nation, then we must speak out on this appalling cruelty and make our voices heard. Otherwise, do we have any decency?

Goal Worthy Soccer Fans from the FIFA World Cup

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Okay, I know the Men’s US Soccer Team won’t be in Russia since they didn’t qualify. But Women’s US Soccer Team will qualify for theirs since they win the World Cup in their tournament almost every time.

This week marked the beginning for the 21st FIFA World Cup hosted by Russia which had rights since 2010 that was way before all the collusion, cheating, and human rights abuses. Since my country the United States didn’t qualify, this isn’t a huge deal outside diehard American soccer fans. But since its founding in 1930, the World Cup has been the most prestigious soccer tournament in the world as well as the most widely viewed and followed sporting event in the world, even exceeding the Olympic Games. So it’s a very huge deal. And since it’s so widely watched around the world as soccer is one of the most popular sports, you’re granted to see plenty of crazy fans since a lot of countries take the sport very seriously like you have no idea. I mean have you ever heard of soccer hooligans? They exist. You also hear all kinds of crazy stories in soccer violence that make you scratch your head. And they thought American football fans were insane. Anyway, while most of my readers are American, there are plenty of viewers from other countries. So any post I do for the World Cup is mostly for them. Now for your reading pleasure, I give you an assortment of crazy soccer fans and their elaborate costumes worth blowing your vuvuzela over. Enjoy.

  1. Don’t worry, Russia’s soccer fans aren’t that crazy.

Well, this guy seems friendly though he might just like large grandiose hats. Hope the other fans are all right.

2. Look out, here comes the Swiss cow brigade.

They have plush cows on their hats. And they’re even wearing shirts for Team Switzerland. Odd since I thought they’re supposed to remain neutral.

3. You can tell this soccer fan is a proud Mexican.

Since he has the image from his national flag. But he’s also showing what his country will do to its rivals in the tournament. Cue the eagle killing a snake.

4. The Russians are up and ready to rumble.

They’re all wearing armor and headdress. Though I highly doubt that the war bonnet is part of their culture. Still, they look pretty awesome.

5. Sometimes you just have to send in the shamans.

This guy is from Ghana, by the way. And I think he might be doing a ritual from his culture though I doubt it. But you never know.

6. These Japanese fans are absolutely psyched for the World Cup.

Here they’re wearing pins of the World Cup trophy. Not sure why Japanese fans would wear these outfits.

7. Ladies, may I give you some delectable soccer fans from Greece.

As you can guess these nice-looking guys are dressed up as their country’s most famous dish. You know, Greek yogurt.

8. Bet you’ve never seen a Swedish woman like her.

Okay, that’s a guy. But he’s nonetheless wearing a horned helmet with braids.

9. It’s time for the Chinese fans to get the large drums out.

Well, they may not be as crazy as the others. But they seem like they’re performing a ritual with these large drums.

10. This Brazilian is all covered in flags.

You’ll see more Brazilian fans in this post. Since soccer is absolutely huge there. And yes, this costume is ridiculous.

11. Can’t cheer for the World Cup without Christ the Redeemer.

Well, the World Cup was held in Brazil that Year. Nonetheless, this guy has a rather interesting hat.

12. You’d almost think this American soccer fan is out of this world.

Too bad he won’t be in Russia. Since the US Men’s team didn’t make it. But he rocks in blue hair.

13. Here comes the Honduran Mayan king and his court.

They all have painted faces. Yet, the guy on the far left has a funky headdress.

14. Never thought I’d see a Colombian elephant before.

Okay, this isn’t the best fan costume I’ve seen. Yet, kind of has a combination of both pathetic and terrifying.

15. If you’re from Pakistan, get a load of this hat.

Yes, he’s wearing his country on his costume. Because he cares so much about his team to look this ridiculous.

16. A Dutchman always dreams of a World Cup win.

For some reason, there are a lot of crazy Dutch fans at international sporting events. And yes, he’s wearing large glasses, a pimp hat, and an orange Hulk hand.

17. In the Netherlands, it’s not over until the fat barmaid sings.

Sure she might seem straight out of Wagner if she wore a horned Viking helmet. But this Dutch lady goes for the orange.

18. The Japanese blue frog salutes the team.

Didn’t know what this guy’s significance is. Still, wouldn’t want to run into whoever they are.

19. Seems like Dutch Air brought in a whole flight crew.

Actually they’re just fans dressed as a flight crew so their team lands on a win. But compared with other outrageous Dutch costumes, this is low key.

20. Apparently, George S. Patton has decided to show up.

God only knows what Patton would say in a World Cup soccer match. Still, you can see where the look came from.

21. Apparently, the French fans decided to dress like Vikings.

I think they’re based on Asterix cartoons, which are reputedly popular there. But don’t ask me.

22. Irish World Cup fans always go for the green.

These guys paint themselves green and wear Irish flag wigs. And yes, they’re ready to rumble.

23. Want to see a couple of Argentinian zebras make out?

I don’t get the zebra thing since Argentina is in South America. But the guy seems a bit taken aback here.

24. This Ivory Coast fan can always make an impression.

You know he’s on stilts since no guy can be that tall. But he knows how to draw a large crowd.

25. Apparently, this Brazilian warlock has decided to take a picture.

Because giving children nightmares should get in the way of enjoying a soccer game. And yes, he’s wearing that outfit for Halloween.

26. These leprechauns are urging Team Ireland make it.

However, while these Irish may dress as leprechauns doesn’t mean Americans should do so. Because they find depictions of leprechauns outside their country very offensive.

27. Seems like this Brazilian has his beard really tied.

Not sure how this guy deals with the discomfort. Then again, he’s only wearing his beard for the tournament.

28. You can’t misidentify these all-American women.

I’ve heard the idea of wrapping oneself in an American flag. But painting akin to one just takes the cake for me.

29. Check out the glasses on this Danish guy.

Yes, he’s wearing soccer glasses. Because he has Danish soccer on his mind. Not sure if he’s eating a Danish.

30. This Dutch bear has high hopes for the World cup.

I’m sure he’s in an orange bear costume with the World Cup trophy. Not sure about the significance of that.

31. You might not want to mess with this masked Japanese fan.

Yes, that mask is creepy. Though I have to admit it goes well with the hat.

32. A Brazilian lady must have a big bow at the World Cup.

And yes, the bow is green with yellow polka dots. She even ahs 2014 glasses, too.

33. Wonder who’s in the Ghana box.

Apparently, a fan who’s just as mystified. Still, I wonder how that person got out of that after the tournament.

34. These Japanese fans are looking quite blue lately.

I mean their faces are painted blue and have blue hair to match. However, they seem quite excited seeing their team play.

35. This Swiss man always loves to blow his horn.

He’s brought his trumpet and funky hat. And yes, it has 2 bright Swiss balloons.

36. An Australian fan can’t go without an antler kangaroo?

Okay, that’s pretty weird. And I see the guy wearing a mask as if he doesn’t want an embarrassment.

37. Sometimes you just have to spread your wings.

There’s one guy from Colombia whose costume is so elaborate, people just have to pose with him. And no, I don’t think he can fly.

38. With these French fans, it’s all for one and one for all.

Since they’re dresses as the Three Musketeers. With feather hats from the 17th century and all.

39. These German women are hopping mad.

What’s the deal with the bunny ears? I don’t understand it since they seem quite ridiculous.

40. This Brazilian soccer fan debuts in his new flag suit.

He even has striped tights, big glasses, and a funky hat to match. Let’s give it for this guy.

41. Best you don’t get this German devil lady angry.

Fortunately for her, the German team won in Brazil in 2014. Yet, she has braids matching the flag colors.

42. A Brazilian woman can’t show up without a tall feather hat.

Well, Brazil is known for its colorful pageantry, especially in Rio. Yet, at least her headdress sparkles.

43. What the hell are those weird Dutch guys in Mohawks doing here?

Don’t ask me. I have no idea why they have these muscled guys here. Must be a Dutch thing.

44. An Aztec Emperor should always wear the most elaborate headdress.

If his team doesn’t do well in the World Cup, then he will have his priests rip the players’ hearts out. Nonetheless, he’s also a fan of tacos.

45. Looks like this Roman soldiers gung ho for Team Italy.

By the way, Italy didn’t make it in this year’s World Cup either. So you won’t see this Roman gladiator anytime soon in Russia.

46. You’ll get a big hand from this Australian.

Helps if he’s wearing a wide hat and a flag cape. But the large hand stands out.

47. You’d be pressed not to be endeared with these Icelandic Vikings.

Indeed, Vikings never wore horned helmets. But that doesn’t stop these guys from cheering and singing.

48. Best you beware of the dreaded Colombian Tiger.

Okay, he’s more like a carefree guy with a flamboyant headdress. Love the feathers.

49. Speaking of headdresses, the Italians get theirs on.

Sure I don’t think they have anyone in the culture wear these outlandish hats. But they’re nonetheless colorful.

50. You can tell these Germans are here for the soccer.

Since they’re wearing soccer ball suits. And I’m sure they’re both filled with a lot of air.

51. Mexico is really on a Chile pickle.

Okay, this fan is wearing a Mexico pickle hat. Still, it’s kind of hilarious no matter how you look at it.

52. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Spanish Zorro.

He’s in one of those body suits with a hat and mask. But he’s all for his Spanish team.

53. This man wears a horned helmet for Team India.

Just when did the Vikings visit India? Because I never heard about that in the history books. Still, he carries the look with dignity.

54. These American guys show up to the World Cup in their star-spangled silk robes.

Well, Americans have always treasured their penchant for comfy clothes. But these guys seem to take this at a whole new level.

55. Perhaps the Dutchman would like to bang the drum.

Yes, I know he’ll probably offend Native Americans looking at this with his feather headdress war bonnet. But at least he’s not in his home country in early December.

56. A World Cup victory can always make anyone feel like a king.

Well, he’s German fan who’s probably overjoyed in Brazil. Still, got to like his royal red robes.

57. Captain America is a man on a mission.

Okay, he’s not the Captain America. But he nonetheless has the iconic shield along with the stars and stripes on his suit.

58. This South Korean likes a good cigar now and then.

Kind of reminds me of an anime character. And chances are, he probably is. Though he’s from South Korea.

59. Only the Dutch would wear wigs of orange foam.

Their funky wigs even have flags of the Netherlands on them. And yes, the Dutch seem to go all out.

60. Sometimes it’s best you don’t mess with Mexicans in elaborate headdresses.

Not sure if he’s Mayan or Aztec. But he won’t be happy if his team loses. Still, his headdress rocks.

61. Darth Vader seems to be on the Argentinian side of the Force.

Since he believes that winning the World Cup is Argentina’s destiny. Else, he’ll force choke them.

62. Didn’t know that Pope Francis was at the World Cup with his fellow Argentinians.

Okay, Pope Francis wasn’t there. It’s just a guy in a mask of him. But I’m sure he’d like the tribute since he’s an avid soccer fan.

63. This Italian warrior is ready for the soccer challenge.

And he’s clad in blue armor to show it. Hope he’s lucky that he’s not the attraction in the gladiatorial games.

64. You don’t know nothing about the elusive Mask.

However, he’s here for Team Brazil. Nonetheless, this is a fitting costume in regards to the color scheme on the Brazilian flag.

65. She’s got two sombreros and not much to cover.

And you can see them conveniently placed over her boobs. Oh, and she has fringes, too.

66. At the World Cup, you can’t beat the zeal of the Orange General.

He’s a Dutch superfan. And yes, he’s clad in orange, a terrible color to wear in combat.

67. Heard of cheeseheads? Well, here are the Swiss cheeseheads.

You can see they got this idea from Green Bay Wisconsin. And they gave the notion a unique touch for the World Cup.

68. I give you Watermelon Man.

Here he is posing for a selfie. Has a quite pleasant face if you ask me.

69. Apparently, Russian fans like seeing their players ride dragons.

One has a hydra. The other has a red dragon. But both look quite formidable and whimsical.

70. This American fan is so badass, he even has his own dinosaur hand.

I’m sure Hollywood is working on a movie based on him as we speak. Because he certainly has the action movie look to him.

71. Without the orange you’d think these two came from Las Vegas.

Well, the Dutch never disappoint with their outrageous fans. Though I like the feather headdress.

72. Even hombres can rock in sombreros and Mexican dresses.

You have to admit these dresses are very colorful. And that these men rock in them.

73. Who’s supposed to be the creepy head among the Argentinians?

Maybe it’s one of the players. But it’s the stuff of nightmares nonetheless.

74. This Colombian fan knows how to impress.

This was all the way from 1990. And he’s dressed like a bird carrying 2 flags.

75. Seems like this lady likes to dress in the Union Jack.

She’s there to support her English soccer team. Also, this is from 1970, by the way.

76. These women from Uruguay have some unique choices in headwear.

It’s to imitate the sun emblazoned on their flag. And yes, they certainly stun.

77. Behold, the majestic feathered eagle warrior.

This fan has his arms outstretched in feathered wings. Like the Aztec warriors of pre-Columbian history.

78. Check out that horned creature all the way from Ecuador.

Sure this guy has his arms outstretched. Yet, you can’t help but keep your eyes on him and his strange head.

79. Apparently, Bert and Ernie are rooting for Team Germany.

Though Bert and Ernie are actually American characters from Sesame Street. Guess they have an international following.

80. Might want to watch out for those clowns from Ecuador.

One of them is the Joker from the Dark Knight. You know what destruction he’s capable of. Why so serious?

81. You can’t see anything more regal than these English lions.

Well, the lion has a special place in English iconography. Though they have crosses on their faces to show.

82. Seems like these Italian pilots have landed.

Each is dressed in a flag color. And they’re wearing old timey pilot hats to match.

83. The Eggman always knows how to make an entrance.

He’s a South African superfan with a huge headdress decked with eggs. Wonder how he manages to keep it on his head.

84. It’s not just humans who get swept up in World Cup excitement.

This basset hound is dressed in Brazil’s colors and wears a fro. And it seems quite attentive to the game in the stands.

85. You don’t want to see this Mexican when he’s angry.

But the Hulk certainly knows how to don a red sombrero. But please, don’t make him mad.

86. This Dutchman comes with his own veggies.

He’s even wearing a hat with carrots and a radish. So he won’t go hungry.

87. A Portuguese superhero must know how to rock a scarf and mustache.

Well, a superhero has to stand tall even at a soccer game. And yes, he has Portuguese flag insignia where the Superman logo would be.

88. Mexican Superman would never miss a soccer match for his country.

But keep in mind his main nemesis is Donald Trump. Because the guy’s a full-blown narcissistic sociopath and white supremacist.

89. Looks like one Mexican came to the World Cup on a donkey.

Don’t worry the donkey is part of the costume. Yet, you wonder how many seats he’ll take up in the stands.

90. During American games, you can never have too many Elvis impersonators.

Indeed, Elvis Presley is an American treasure. That’s why you have these fans in sequins to watch a US soccer match.

91. These English knights are up and ready for battle at the World Cup.

A few of them even have their faces painted. Still, wouldn’t want to wear all that mail in June.

92. These fans from South Africa know how to support their team.

Yes, South African fans can dress in crazy costumes, too. Though the one in the large glasses takes the cake.

93. It’s during the World Cup when some Ecuadorian fans don elaborate masks.

Not sure about the cultural significance of these outfits. Must be a Pre-Columbian thing.

94. You’d almost think these Americans have heads full of corn.

Well, our country grows and consumes a lot of it. So it’s only fair if you ask me.

95. Wonder what’s with the pot on his head.

As you can see, this guy is from Ghana. But his pot seems like it’s filling with smoke.

96. Man, this Brazilian has large, uh, soccer balls.

Yeah, I know what some of you are thinking. Still, Brazil is a big place for soccer as it’s always been.

97. All Mexicans at the World Cup, hail your Emperor Montezuma.

Well, he certainly has the outfit nailed. Still, best not to make him mad or he’ll give you a nice drink of water.

98. This American woman always wraps herself in a flag.

She even has a sign for Hope Solo. Though she’s not exactly America’s sweetheart if you ask me.

99. My fellow Americans, say hello to President Theodore Goalsevelt.

He’s a superfan who’s dressed like Theodore Roosevelt. But he’s more into soccer than big game hunting.

100. A big head of hair always requires a large comb.

And you can see that with this Brazilian fan who seems like a used car salesman from Las Vegas. Still, like his large glasses.

Celebrate the Stars and Stripes Forever with These Star Spangled 4th of July Craft Projects (Third Edition)

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Now we’re on to crafts. You might see with my opening pictures that the 4th of July is often celebrated outdoors with picnics, barbecues, and fireworks. After all, it takes place during the summer. And in some places of America, you’re bound to find towns holding parades and cities staging events like regattas if they’re near a body of water. So it’s only a given you’d see stores across the US brimming with American flag decorations in red, white, and blue galore. Yet, some people might prefer some DIY stuff they can make their own. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of ingenious and fanfare worthy crafts for the 4th of July.

  1. A few flags in your flower patch makes a great centerpiece.

Yet, I’m not sure if the flowers are real or fake. But they go well with the stripes.

2. Don’t want to ruin an American flag? Use a wooden panel instead.

Sure it may not have all the stars and stripes. But our flag is very complicated to replicate.

3. Plant your flowers in these patriotic pots.

Each one has a unique design in red, white, and blue. So feel free to plant your all-American zinnias.

4. Got some cardboard toilet paper and paper towel rolls? Make fireworks out of them.

Make sure they’re all in patriotic red, white, and blue patterns. Also, that they have tops to make them look bursting.

5. Show your love for American with this folksy hanging.

This one has the American flag in the shape of a heart. Ideal for rustic settings.

6. Make your front door star-spangled with this red, white, and blue bauble wreath.

Seems like they have these for every occasion. But this one sure is shiny.

7. Curl up on cool summer nights with this American flag quilt.

Yes, it’s all crumpled up on a couch. But you can see some of the flags and stars on the patchwork.

8. Don your hair with these watermelon clips.

As you see, they’re in red, white, and blue instead of green, pink, and black. Because it’s for a patriotic occasion.

9. This dresser is in the spirit of 1776.

Since it depicts the Betsy Ross flag. Though Betsy Ross didn’t design it since that story was made up by her grandchildren.

10. Red, white, and blue baubles can make any home festive.

These baubles are in glass jars for a display. And yes, they’re quite star-spangled.

11. There’s nothing patriotic on 4th of July like wearing a red, white, and blue tie-dye shirt.

Sure it’s not in a stars or stripes pattern. But it’s quite groovy nonetheless.

12. Show the spirit of 1776 with this American flag tutu.

Of course, this is for a young girl. But it made out of red, white, and blue tulle and ribbons.

13. Grace your front door this 4th of July with this decomesh wreath.

This one has an American flag star and ribbons. So stunning for any door.

14. Feel free to show your love for God and country.

Yes, it’s quite rustic. But at least this one seems to have 50 stars as dots.

15. Dress up your baby this Independence Day in this patriotic onesie.

Yes, the blue in this is a handprint. But it’s quite adorable, don’t you think?

16. Any little all-American girl would love this flag skirt.

Yes, this is from the back with a red bow. But what little girl in the US wouldn’t want this?

17. Rest your head on this American flag pillow.

This one consists of interesting stripes if you ask me. But it makes a great decoration.

18. Nobody can resist these star-spangled centerpieces.

Each of these boxes holds a bouquet of white and blue flowers. And they’re all on red stars.

19. Got empty shotgun shells? Make an American flag out of them.

Perfect if you’re an NRA member and don’t want to give up your AR-15s so kids can go to school without getting shot. But that’s just me.

20. This patriotic cone is filled with all-American goodness.

Consists of a teddy bear and fireworks on the top. Great for any quality all-American home.

21. Kick back and relax in these 4th of July lawn chairs.

These consist of images depicting the Statue of Liberty, fireworks, and a flag. And all in red, white, and blue.

22. For a more festive fanfare, try this American flag rag wreath.

Yes, it kind of looks messy. But it’s rather fit for any homespun American home.

23. Tell time from anywhere in the US with this large American flag clock.

Indeed, this wooden clock is quite huge if you ask me. But you have to admire the craftsmanship. Though you might not want to buy it.

24. A patriotic flower basket should always include a few pinwheels.

As long as they are in American flag patterns, of course. Still, love the red and white flowers.

25. Perhaps an American flag yarn wreath might suit you.

This one has red and white stripes along a blue portion with stars. Perfect for any patriotic front door.

26. Don’t like wreaths? How about a red star in frame?

The frame is laced with American flag patterned ribbon. And yes, it seems easy to make.

27. Let the flag shine bright with these star-spangled jars.

Just put these flags on the jars, use candles, and you’re done. And yes, they do shine quite bright.

28. This American flag panel lets the eagle soar.

Okay, this panel is quite artistically brilliant. Bet it fetches a high price on Etsy.

29. Let freedom shine with this rustic American lantern.

I know it doesn’t have a light inside. But its American flag decor make it worthwhile to put on this post.

30. Perhaps you might prefer a flowery American wreath.

This one consists of red, white, and blue flowers. Includes a red star and ribbons.

31. Got an old window pane? Make an American flag out of it.

Okay, this one uses about 2 panels instead of 6. Yet, you have to admire it in any room.

32. Celebrate the nation with this wooden panel.

Depicts the United States in the American flag. And on a finely varnish wooden board, too.

33. Some may prefer celebrating America in all caps.

Well, bottle caps anyway. Because many of the Stanley Cup winning Washington Capitals are Canadian.

34. Grace your 4th of July table with this flowery wreath.

Yes, some of the flowers may not seem blue. But the wreath appears to make a fine centerpiece.

35. Show your love for America with this wooden patriotic stand.

This one has wooden blocks depicting American sentiments. And each in red, white, or blue.

36. This star-spangled banner is a real patchwork.

This one consists of red, white, and blue squares in different patterns. But it resembles the American flag nonetheless.

37. Make sure you have your stars in a row.

These are decorated in ribbons and other decorations. And yes, they’re in red, white, and blue.

38. A burlap wreath can never have enough American flags.

Indeed, they have to be small. But this goes well on any American front door since it’s quite stunning.

39. Speaking of burlap, some might prefer a patriotic wreath like this.

One side is blue with stars. The other has red and white stripes. And there’s a bow in the middle.

40. Care for a wreath of Dixie cups.

Well, this is a perfect barbecue and picnic decoration. Yet, I wonder how they can find white and blue ones.

41. You can’t celebrate the 4th of July without dear old Uncle Sam.

This one is made of wood with a rag beard. Kind of resembles Santa Claus with a fancy top hat.

42. Hope you don’t light these fireworks.

Because all of these are made out of wood and string. Yet, each one has stars and red ends. Please don’t light them up.

43. Lounge around in your star-spangled lawn chair.

This is painted like the grand old flag. Though it does have a worn out look about it.

44. Feel free to support the USA with this mailbox decoration.

This mostly consist of wooden letters and blue decomesh. Still, how do you manage to decorate a mailbox? Most people don’t bother.

45. Let your patriotic pansies grow in this flower box.

This one just consists of a pallet box painted like an American flag. But it’s perfect for plants.

46. If it’s not Christmas, it’s a patriotic American tree.

Though there are some who do celebrate Christmas in July. Still, this one has all the trimmings and decorations you can think of. Yet, it’s mostly made from cotton balls.

47. Make your 4th of July festive with this star-spangled wreath.

This one seems like an elaborate fireworks show. Yet, I love the large star the best.

48. Make your picnic a blast with these sand filled candle holders.

And yes, they use red, white, and blue sand. So you can make your barbecue all so festive.

49. Ever saw an American flag folded like this?

Okay, I’m don’t think it’s a real American flag. But it sure looks great on the mantle.

50. A star-spangled flower tin can use a few American flags.

After all, this tin has a Betsy Ross design painted on it. So it can use a few flags.

51. Got an old lawn chair? Make an American flag of it.

Though it has to be a certain type of lawn chair. Though this is quite amazing.

52. Make your home stun with this festive 4th of July hanging.

Includes an American flag, ribbons, Uncle Sam hat and other decor. But it’s quite lovely.

53. Ever heard of star trees?

These are red, white, and blue trees with stars all over them. And yes, they’re all in pots.

54. Hope these cloth stars shine bright.

Both of these are made of felt on sticks. Yet, only one is against a doily of lace.

55. This American wreath is all composed of balls.

I’m sure these are mostly either styrofoam and ping pong ones. Yet, I love the stars here.

56. These garden wind decorations blow red, white, and blue.

This one has blue with stars on top and red and white stripes on the bottom. Perfect for a garden tunnel like this.

57. This patriotic wreath is all decked in red, white, and blue.

Consists of baubles, stars, ribbons, and other decorations. Best to use if you plan to shoot fireworks.

58. You can’t go wrong with a wooden Uncle Sam hat.

Has red and white stripes on top. Consists of dotted blue on the brim. And it’s touched with a star and ribbons.

59. With these cans, you can light up the night.

Designs include USA, fireworks, and a star. And all are in red, white. and blue.

60. Show your patriotism with this pin of Old Glory.

This mostly consist of safety pins and beads. So feel free to let the flag fly.

61. Let freedom ring with this 4th of July wreath.

After all, “Freedom Is Not Free” as this wreath says.” Decorated with flags and stars, by the way.

62. You can always light up in this Uncle Sam hat.

Includes some American flags. One of which has a star cut out. Perfect for a table at a barbecue.

63. Make sure the red, white, and blue blocks have stars on them.

And the stars can’t match the blocks in color. Though I like how they used string to tie each one pairing together.

64. A patriotic princess just has to have a billowing red, white, and blue dress.

The dress is mostly made out of tulle with red, white, and blue. But it’s nonetheless adorable.

65. Perhaps this patriotic panel might suit you.

Yes, it’s an interesting piece. Sure it doesn’t resemble the flag. But I don’t mind.

66. Make sure your apothecary jars say, “USA.”

Well, each one has a letter on it with a burlap bow. Perfect for any American home.

67. Sometimes it helps if you wrap a flag around a wreath of straw.

Well, it’s quite a stunning sight to have at one’s front door. Still, love the bow.

68. Then again, your little princess might prefer a striped dress.

The stripes are in zigzag. And the blue consists of dots than stripes.

69. Set your drinks down on this American flag coffee table.

Well, it’s quite rustic looking. But it’s finely varnished with the painted surface. Love it.

70. Rest your ass on this star-spangled bench.

This one consists of red stripes and white stripes along with a blue square. Words inscribed are “My country tis of Thee.”

71. Relax on your deck in these American flag lawn chairs.

By the way, we have a matching pallet set. And yes, they sure do rock.

72. You might like the stars on this wooden flag panel.

Indeed it doesn’t have the stripes and stars as the flag. But the stars are slightly raised for effect.

73. Sometimes you can do with a bit of fencing.

This one has some fence with decorations. Includes an American flag star and blue lantern.

74. Get an Uncle Sam hat bursting with stars.

The stars on these are golden as they sit on similarly golden berries. But it’s a grand patriotic display for a table.

75. Maritime folk might prefer this American flag anchor.

It’s a curl decoration. Yet, you have to love the creative ingenuity on it.

76. Impress your guests with this wood curl American flag wreath.

I know it seems quite feathery. Yet, the wood on this appears quite delicate if you ask me.

77. A 4th of July wreath should brim with flowers.

Though I have a few flower wreaths on this post, they’re not quite vibrant as this. Includes a bow near the bottom.

78. A 4th of July wreath should include a star-spangled star.

Consists of flowers and a large star with stars on it. Also like the American flag ribbon.

79. Make your home more homespun with this American flag milk can and bucket.

Granted these are just for show. But they will certainly go well with the homestead.

80. Keep all your Americana in this Uncle Sam pouch.

Includes an American flag, fireworks, and a bald eagle. Also his hat states “1776.”

81. Stick your American flags in this spindle post.

It’s just a high column painted black. But be free to put as many flags as you want.

82. Grow your flowers in this American flag teacup flower pot.

Yes, it may appear quite small. But these flowers look lovely inside it.

83. Perhaps you might want to drape a flag over an old ladder.

Includes a candle and sunflower, too. Wouldn’t mind having this at my house.

84. Don’t like wreaths? Try a red, white, or blue star.

Each one of these is painted in the colors of Old Glory. Nonetheless, they’re quite beautiful.

85. Feel free to sit on this American flag stool.

Well, it’s a bar stool. Though despite how it’s frowned upon to sit on the flag, this stool was made for sitting.

86. Perhaps you might want 3 stars in one.

They’re all made of sticks and in red, white, and blue. Not sure if I’d want that in my house.

87. Hope you’d like to hang an Old Glory saw on the 4th of July.

It’s painted in red, white, and blue. And it comes with an “Old Glory” bow.

88. If you love majestic mountains, perhaps you’d want this American flag hanging.

Sure it may have a flag in the background. Yet, this woman seems very proud of her creation.

89. Show your love for America with this heart panel.

This one has stars in a near heart shape. Nevertheless, I love this. So pretty.

90. Any American would love this patriotic night stand.

It has a flag on top, a striped drawer, and a blue star on red and white stripes on the bottom. Perfect for any patriotic home.

91. Put your white bread inside this Betsy Ross flag bread box.

The Betsy Ross flag is on the door. And the top is decorated with 3 blue stars.

92. With these blocks are the values our country holds dear.

Well, Americans do value freedom. But some people do have a funny sense of honor.

93. Sit back and relax in this American flag easy chair.

Never thought I’d see a piece of furniture like this before. Yet, I do love the upholstery.

94. You might want to picnic on this Old Glory table.

One plank is red. One plank is blue. The flag is the table.

95. You’ll find plenty of stars on these fireworks.

Well, the stars are yellow for bursts. But the firecrackers are all red, white and blue.

96. There’s nothing more American this 4th of July than a wreath of denim for your door.

This is wrapped by old jeans. Because jeans are an iconic American clothing item.

97. A grand old flower flag makes an ideal 4th of July centerpiece.

Make sure the flowers are fake and in a wooden crate first. So pretty. Love it.

98. Catch the light with this patriotic suncatcher.

This is made of stained glass with a red shield and a blue eagle. Kind of resembles a car logo.

99. If you have small flower pots, use them to make candle holders.

They’re painted in red, white, and blue. And they’re all stacked together. What more can you love?

100. Care for a potted Uncle Sam?

This one has him in striped pants, a blue shirt with stars, and glasses. All in all he’s adorable sitting in a red chair.

Salute the Red, White, and Blue United States of America with These Patriotic 4th of July Treats (Fourth Edition)

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Once again, I prepare for the celebration of America with my annual posts of 4th of July treats and craft decorations. Despite that the presidency of the complete monster Donald Trump has very much ruined it for me since he basically goes against everything that my country stands for. And people think he’s a patriotic American? For God’s sake, he’s a fraud who feels more a home enriching himself on the taxpayer dime, breaking political norms, disrespecting the US Constitution and undermining our image in the world without a care. He’s a narcissistic sociopath who cares about nothing but himself. And people want me to unite behind this man or respect him? Sorry, but I’d rather spit in his eye since he has no respect for the United States, its values, or its people. Anyway, I apologize for my little rant but since that unrespectable man got in the White House, patriotic holidays seem to get me railed up since he’s alienated me. Maybe I’ll just take a knee until that authoritarian demagogue fascist is out of office. At least around this time of year. Yet, 4th of July is supposed to be a time of picnics and barbeques where you’d have hotdogs and hamburgers along with some desserts like pies. So for your reading pleasure, I give you another assortment of star spangled treats for America’s birthday.

  1. An American cake should always have a bald eagle on top.

Though I don’t think the figure is edible. However, this 2-tier cake is partially covered with an American flag.

2. Grace your patriotic dessert platter with this red, white, and blue trifle.

This one contains strawberries, blueberries, and whipped cream. Since you have to have patriotic flair.

3. A 4th of July cake should always be covered with an American flag.

One side has stars. The other has stripes. Sure, it’s professionally made but no matter.

4. Honor our American heroes with this triangle flag cake.

Because when a serviceman dies, this is how the military presents the American flag to their loved ones. And yes, it has to be folded into a triangle.

5. Celebrate the 4th of July at the beach with these cookies.

After all, the 4th of July is a summer holiday. So get your red, white, and blue bikinis and star-spangled flip flops.

6. You can’t celebrate the 4th of July without this spectacularly American flag cake.

One tier has thin red stripes on white. One tier has white stars on blue. And one tier has thick red stripes with white stars on top.

7. Celebrate American with some red, white, and blue nachos in your salsa.

Sure, they’re not arranged like an American flag. Comes with a bowl of salsa and guac.

8. These pancake stacks make a quality 4th of July breakfast.

Yes, they’re considerably smaller than what you’d get at IHOP. But each has strawberries, blueberries, and banana.

9. Grace your 4th of July dessert platter with these star-spangled cookies.

Each of these has a design in stars and stripes. And yes, they’re professionally made.

10. These firework cookies are uniquely explosive.

Because Americans often shoot fireworks on the 4th of July. Except if they live near an area where there’s a high wildfire risk.

11. This mini cupcake flag is especially fruity.

Consists of blueberries, raspberries, and coconut toppings. Yet, they’re all on a tray for good measure.

12. A star cake should have 3 layers.

The layers are in red, white and blue with white icing keeping it together. And it’s covered in a strawberry syrup, I think.

13. If you’re tired or poor, you might enjoy this cake of Lady Liberty.

This especially goes if you live in New York. Since it’s a symbol of NYC. Still, Trump better watch out for her torch.

14. For healthier options, may I suggest an American flag fruit salad?

Consists of blueberries, banana, and watermelon. Yes, it’s similar to other platters but this one is all fruit.

15. Nobody would object to this star-spangled cake.

This one has a star in the American flag. And it’s covered with sprinkles on the edge.

16. Feast your eyes on these fruity red, white, and blue bites.

These consist of strawberries, blueberries, and icing. And you can pop them in your mouth, apparently.

17. These American flag cupcakes make a quality patriotic dessert.

These consist of white icing with a blue star and red stripes. So far, they seem quite doable compared to the other desserts on here.

18. You’ll have an explosive 4th of July with this American flag cake.

Since this one has firework decorations which you can’t eat. But it’s nonetheless festive.

19. For an outdoor picnic, you can’t do without these cake kabobs.

These consist of cakes, fruit, and marshmallows on sticks. Perfect for any 4th of July dessert platter.

20. This sheet cake of the United States is an all-American showstopper.

The US is in the form of an American flag. And it’s surrounded by stars and banners.

21. You’ll get stars with these fruity cheesecakes.

These consist of fruit fillings and cheesecake in jars. At least as far as I can tell.

22. No patriotic American can resist these mini red velvet flag cakes.

Topped with white icing for stripes and blueberries. But be careful as you put them on your plate.

23. You can’t enjoy the 4th of July without a star-spangled pie.

Well, it’s not the first pie flag I’ve had. Yet, it has more blueberries and stars than the others I’ve posted.

24. Nothing makes the 4th of July like an American flag of M&Ms.

The stripes are even separated by paper so they won’t mix together. The blue M&Ms are in a bowl.

25. An American flag cake should wave with fruit.

This one has blueberries on the star section and strawberry slice stripes. Only the icing is white.

26. You’d be bursting for this firework cake.

And the cake is white with red and blue fireworks. Also seems rather easy to make.

27. These pretzel flag bites make a rather patriotic snack.

All you need to make these are waffle pretzels, icing, and M&Ms. Doesn’t seem hard to make, does it?

28. Enjoy your 4th of July party with this Taco salad flag.

Yes, I posted a taco salad flag before. But this one has less stripes and lettuce in the star section. Also, the olives are sliced.

29. Treat yourself to some red, white, and blue jello treats.

These consist of jello on the bottom and fruit on top with whipped cream in between. Red has blueberries. Blue has strawberries.

30. Your beach party can’t be complete without a star-spangled beach ball cake.

Yes, this is professionally made. But it goes nicely with the swimsuit and flip flop cookies.

31. You can’t have a great 4th of July party without a patriotic American slab pie.

This one has strawberry filling in the stripes and 3 rows of stars. And yes, it’s great for any 4th of July picnic.

32. Red, white, and blue frozen bananas are a quality 4th of July treat.

Each one is covered by icing and sprinkles. Some of the sprinkles are even stars.

33. A hotdog cake is perfect for an Independence Day barbecue.

After all, hotdogs and burgers are always classic 4th of July fare. Still, it can’t be as disgusting as real hotdogs.

34. Nothing makes a great 4th of July dinner than an American flag casserole.

This one has a green banner, tomato stripes, and cheese stars. And over a layer of cheese.

35. There’s something flowery about this American flag cake.

Indeed, this is a wedding cake. Consists of buntings and American flags along with a white flower.

36. Perhaps a star American flag cake may interest you.

Yes, I know the flag is in a rectangular shape. But you have to go all yankee doodle dandy on this one.

37. How about a flag draped on a cake?

Sure the flag’s not all on the cake. But it’s draped like you’d lay one on a soldier’s coffin.

38. Any American would be tied for these patriotic cookies.

These are American flag bow cookies. The stripes are on the ends. The stars are on the top.

39. Impress your patriotic guests with this American flag snack tray.

This one has meat and cheese stripes along wit cheesy stars. And all on a wooden platter.

40. Raise a glass to these star-spangled cupcakes.

This one has M&Ms inside a glass with a cupcake on top. And the cupcakes have sprinkles.

41. You can’t go wrong with these spectacular 4th of July cookies.

Includes, flag flip flops, American flags, Statue of Liberty, buntings, and fireworks. Perfect for any picnic and barbecue.

42. With this 4th of July cake, you can support the troops.

Though soldier ribbons are usually yellow. But the flag adds an extra patriotic flair.

43. For your 4th of July lunch, munch on these tortilla stars.

These are covered in cheese and salsa. And seem quite easy to make.

44. If you enjoy beach parties, try these cookies.

Yes, I showed some beach cookies on this post before. But these include starfish and clams.

45. You can’t do wrong with a fruity cake like this.

This one is covered with blueberries and a strawberry star. And yes, it’s rather doable.

46. Care for a flower with stars and stripes?

This one has stars in the blue center and striped petals. Professionally made but creative.

47. Nobody can resist these American flag truffles.

Many of them are made of Oreo cookies. Not to mention, decorated with icing and sprinkles.

48. These red, white, and blue stars are especially cheesy.

After all, they’re cheesecake stars. And each one is decorated with blueberry and strawberry syrup.

49. For outdoor 4th of July parties, top your dessert platter with this gazebo cake.

I’m sure the gazebo isn’t edible. Yet, it’s nonetheless decorated with stars.

50. Feel free to this all-American snack platter.

This one has cheese and cracker stripes, cheese stars, and a pepperoni blue square. Perfect for a barbecue.

51. These Uncle Sam cookies are a patriotic delight.

These consist of a flower beard with hats. Still, at any rate, they’re quite adorable.

52. These treats seem to go out like fireworks.

Because they’re Rice Krispie firecrackers. And each color is separated by marshmallows.

53. Nothing makes a great 4th of a July dessert like a Patriotic Mousse Parfait.

This one has red cakes, whipped cream, blue icing on top, and white chocolate chips. And yes, they sure look tasty.

54. You can’t go wrong with these star-spangled cookies.

These have a blue border and red M&Ms on each point. And I’m sure most won’t have trouble making them.

55. Anyone can enjoy these Oreo pops.

These have red and blue stripes with similar colored stars. Yet, I’m sure anyone would love them.

56. You can let the eagle soar on this patriotic cake.

This one has a bald eagle head on top. The rest is covered with an American flag. Amazing.

57. You’ll find plenty of stars on this cake.

Of course, the stars are around the cake in an American flag fashion. Yet, you have to admire it nonetheless.

58. Anyone can delight in these jello American flags.

Not sure how you get the colors like that. But they’re quite cool to look at.

59. Nothing encapsulates America like a star-spangled baseball cake.

Still, it would’ve been more American to have a football cake. But summer is baseball season. So there.

60. Perhaps a fruity star on a sheet cake may suit you.

This one consists of blueberries and strawberries. Great for any barbecue.

61. How about a 4th of July pizza party?

This one consists of pepperoni and cheese stripes. And I’m sure there are blue chips and cheese for the square.

62. All a cake needs is a star-spangled bow.

This one has a blue bow with stars on top. Yet, most of the cake consists of stripes.

63. These cake squares seem stitched together.

Since it’s supposed to resemble an American quilt. All with stars on blue and stripes.

64. “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

Yes, they have a moon landing cake. And yes, I’m putting it on my post. Because USA! USA!

65. Care for a berry tart on this 4th of July?

This consists of raspberries and blueberries in stripes. More suited for barbecues that don’t have a lot of flags.

66. Serve up some of this fruity American flag pizza.

Consists of blueberries, banana slices, and strawberries. And yes, you have blueberries on the border.

67. You’ll find the US Constitution on this cake.

Though it’s on a scroll. Still, Donald Trump thinks it’s just a piece of paper which he’s clearly not honoring. Since he’s making money on the presidency.

68. You’re bound to love this cake with red, white, and blue stars on top.

The side of it has an American flag heart. So you can show your love to America on its birthday.

69. You’ll find plenty of cheesy stars on this snack platter.

All of the stars are on top of some meat. And they’re all in different sizes and colors.

70. Make your star-spangled party splash with these bunting cookies.

These are decorations you might see on political podiums. Yet, these cookies seem easy to make though have much more polish.

71. Perhaps a patchwork cake may suit you for this 4th of July.

Well, it’s a circular quilt cake. But you have to admire the seams on the stars and stripes.

72. Celebrate your 4th of July with these American flag candy bars.

These seem more like brownies covered with M&Ms. So you can figure that out yourself.

73. Your 4th of July cake should always reach new heights.

This one has several tiers. One perhaps the words to the Declaration of Independence. Or is it the Constitution?

74. A waving American flag cake can always include star cookies.

This the star cookies are in swirls like an explosion. And the flag cake looks very stunning.

75. Wake up this 4th of July to these open face breakfast sandwiches.

Well, I’ve posted one of these before. But these have jelly on them instead of raspberries.

76. Cool yourself off this 4th of July with this patriotic jello treat.

This one has 3 layers of red, white, and blue in a glass. Still, love the glasses.

77. For healthy snacks, try this American flag veggie tray.

Consists of red pepper and cauliflower stripes. The dip is dyed blue, by the way.

78. A 4th of July cake can always use a few flowers.

As long as they’re red, white, and blue flowers of course. Though I don’t think these are edible.

79. Nothing makes people excited like 4th of July Rice Krispie firecracker treats.

These mostly consist of red, white, and blue bars. But they’re quite easy to make though.

80. Celebrate the 4th of July with these pie crust stars on your dessert platter.

Well, they’re all covered in sugar. Whether you use them as a pie or cookies, people will love them.