Như Loan Voted

I don’t pay much attention to Vietnamese celebrities on politics, but I am surprised and impressed with Như Loan’s view on how she voted. She posted on Facebook:

I voted for women to have the right to choose whether or not they should have a baby. Just like everything in life, there will always be exceptionally bad cases where people make poor choices but those should be the choices they get to make. #herbodyherchoice

The entire post personal, honest, and well-reason. I respect that.

A Remarkable Biden Presidency

Bill McKibben, writing at the New Yorker, makes the case for a remarkable presidency if Biden doesn’t care about his reelection in 2024. McKibben argues what Biden can accomplish in four years without looking ahead at his second term:

If Biden’s not guarding his approval ratings for a second run, he could, for instance, demand that his new majority give him a lot of stimulus money to work with, and simply not worry about the G.O.P. and the pundit class as they start warning about deficits. (The fact that the Republicans ballooned the deficit just to give the rich yet more tax breaks takes the sting out of their arguments, anyhow.) At this point, getting rid of the filibuster seems all but certain, but Biden could push to expand and reform the courts. He could embrace the Green New Deal, moving money from the Pentagon to the national-security task of building out solar and wind power and setting irrevocably in motion an industrial transition that would transform our economy over the next generation. He could take millions of undocumented immigrants out of the shadows. He could make sure that we have a commission to examine and recommend reparations for Black and indigenous Americans. And so on. The key things that need to happen if America is ever going to get past its stalemated and sickly status quo are as obvious as they are politically difficult. But, if Biden decided that the next four years were all that mattered to him, he could get to work.

The Case Against Donald Trump

This paragraph from the Atlantic sums up the Trump presidency:

Donald Trump is the worst president this country has seen since Andrew Johnson, or perhaps James Buchanan, or perhaps ever. Trump has brought our country low; he has divided our people; he has pitted race against race; he has corrupted our democracy; he has shown contempt for American ideals; he has made cruelty a sacrament; he has provided comfort to propagators of hate; he has abandoned America’s allies; he has aligned himself with dictators; he has encouraged terrorism and mob violence; he has undermined the agencies and departments of government; he has despoiled the environment; he has opposed free speech; he has lied frenetically and evangelized for conspiracism; he has stolen children from their parents; he has made himself an advocate of a hostile foreign power; and he has failed to protect America from a ravaging virus. Trump is not responsible for all of the 220,000 COVID-19-related deaths in America. But through his avarice and ignorance and negligence and titanic incompetence, he has allowed tens of thousands of Americans to suffer and die, many alone, all needlessly. With each passing day, his presidency reaps more death.

Make America Lead Again

Retired Admiral William McRaven, the Navy SEAL who oversaw the 2011 raid that killed Osama bin Laden, voted for Biden. He writes in the Wall Street Journal:

This week I went to the polls in Texas. Truth be told, I am a pro-life, pro-Second Amendment, small-government, strong-defense and a national-anthem-standing conservative. But, I also believe that black lives matter, that the Dreamers deserve a path to citizenship, that diversity and inclusion are essential to our national success, that education is the great equalizer, that climate change is real and that the First Amendment is the cornerstone of our democracy. Most important, I believe that America must lead in the world with courage, conviction and a sense of honor and humility.

If we remain indifferent to our role in the world, if we retreat from our obligation to our citizens and our allies and if we fail to choose the right leader, then we will pay the highest price for our neglect and shortsightedness.

I voted for Joe Biden.

Well-said!

USA TODAY Endorses Biden

For the first time in USA TODAY’s history, the Editorial Board is endorsing a presidential candidate:

For nearly four decades, the Editorial Board has stood for certain core values: truth, accountability, civility in public discourse, opposition to racism, common-ground solutions to the nation’s problems, and steadfast support for First Amendment rights. These aren’t partisan issues, or at least they shouldn’t be.

Donald Trump has trampled each of these principles, making more than 20,000 false or misleading statements, ducking responsibility for his actions, spewing streams of invective at his critics, trafficking in racial fearmongering, governing more as the leader of the red states than of the United States, and relentlessly attacking the free press.

Everything about Biden’s nearly half-century political career suggests he would do a far better job of respecting these values. “We need to revive the spirit of bipartisanship in this country, the spirit of being able to work with one another,” the Democratic nominee said in a recent speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.

Evangelicals Who Sacrificed Their Faith for Trump

I don’t believe in religions, but I respect people who believe in their religions. I have evangelical family members who I can trust to have deep, honest conversations about faith and politics without resolve to confrontations. I often questioned them on how they have come to accept Jesus. I was not trying to be ignorant, but I couldn’t find their answers convincing. Unlike science, math, or logic, religion makes no sense to me.

Every evangelical family member I have talked to had offered to pray for me after all of my questions. I accepted their prayers out of respect, but I know prayers never worked. Nevertheless, I consider evangelical family members to be grounded with high standards of morality. They are successful and generous. They are happily married and raising their kids well. I look up to them in those regards.

Their support for Trump; however, goes against their faith. Trump mocked evangelicals behind closed doors. “Those fucking evangelicals,” he said, “Can you believe people believe that bullshit?” On the other hand, evangelicals have considered him a “baby Christian” or a “born-again Christian.” Most Vietnamese-American Christians go as far as worshipping him as someone God had chosen to fight against the communists and China. The more I learn about these moral corruptions, the more I question their credibility. The hypocrisy is just too glaring to ignore.

My wife keeps telling me that I am being too harsh on them and that I don’t understand the reason they support Trump. From my conversations with them, I understand their religious view on abortion and Trump can help them with his appointments of conservative justices on the Supreme Court. Just for that issue alone, they are willing to sacrifice all other Christain values. Pro-life is the commitment to the sanctity of human life from the beginning to end. Allowing 220,000 deaths caused by the coronavirus is not pro-life. “It is what it is,” he said. Trump doesn’t care about human lives. He is just hijacking their faith for his own political gains. If people of faith trade moral integrity for political power then I do not want to be a part of it.

Nature Endorses Biden

Another respected scientific journal supports Biden. Nature’s Editorial Board:

No US president in recent history has so relentlessly attacked and undermined so many valuable institutions, from science agencies to the media, the courts, the Department of Justice — and even the electoral system. Trump claims to put ‘America First’. But in his response to the pandemic, Trump has put himself first, not America.

It has always been about Trump first.

Thế hệ mới

Sáng thứ Bảy thức dậy chân trái vẫn đau điếng vì gout nhưng cũng phải ráng lết đưa Đạo và Đán đi hướng đạo ngoài công viên. Thấy mấy ông bố tụ tập bàn tán và trong đó có một ông mặc áo đỏ ngói với chữ Trump nên tôi tìm một băng ghế đá ngồi đọc sách chứ không dám tham gia. Cả tuần nay tôi không viết về chính trị cũng không muốn quan tâm đến nữa sau khi thấy một cái clip cộng đồng Việt tranh cãi nhau dữ dội giữa phe Trump và phe Biden.

Gần đến giờ kết thúc hướng đạo tôi quay lại chỗ tụ tập để đón bọn nhỏ. Người cha bận áo đỏ ra xe lôi ra cây cờ rất lớn với chữ Trump và dựa chiếc cờ vào băng ghế kế một người cha khác đang ngồi. Bỗng nhiên có một cháu gái khoảng 12 tuổi đến kéo bố đi không muốn ông ngồi gần lá cờ. Ổng nói tiếng Anh với đứa con gái rằng, “Ba không ủng hộ ai cả. Ba được quyền tự do ngồi ở đây.” Con bé trả lời lại bằng tiếng Anh, “Nhưng con là người nắm quyền cuộc đời của ba” (“But I control your life.”) Ông bố cũng lắc đầu. Rồi thì có vài bé gái khác khoảng 9 đến 12 tuổi chạy đến giật đi lá cờ rồi cuộn lại không cho cờ phát lên.

Tôi thấy thế nên đến gần hỏi mấy cháu, “Tại sao các cháu không ủng hộ ông Trump?” Một bé đáp rằng, “Vì ông ta là một người bần tiện (meanie).” Còn bé trả lời rằng, “Ông chế nhạo người tàn tật.” Tôi nói, “Các cháu trả lời rất đúng và chú rất hãnh diện về các cháu.” Một cháu trả lời, “Cám ơn chú. Ít ra còn có người lớn biết lẽ phải (common sense).”

Khi tạm biệt ra về, tôi lết đến bãi đậu xe mà lòng mừng thầm và nuôi hy vọng cho thế hệ sau. Các cháu là tương lai của người Mỹ gốc Việt và các cháu đã có thể nhận thức được những điều mà cha mẹ của các cháu không thể nào nhìn ra được.

Dangerously Incompetent

Every word in the editorial piece from the New England Journal of Medicine is worth reading, but here’s the gist of it:

Reasonable people will certainly disagree about the many political positions taken by candidates. But truth is neither liberal nor conservative. When it comes to the response to the largest public health crisis of our time, our current political leaders have demonstrated that they are dangerously incompetent. We should not abet them and enable the deaths of thousands more Americans by allowing them to keep their jobs.

Must read.

The Chosen One?

After reading the first few paragraphs of this article, I can’t help but wonder if some of our Vietnamese Americans have indeed injected themselves with disinfectants. They are spreading the theory that Trump had been chosen by God; therefore, he cannot die from the coronavirus before completing his mission. They pointed out that it is not a coincidence that the word Trump appeared twice in the bible: “Last Trump” and “Trump of God.”

I hate to ruin the party, but Trump’s family surname was not Trump but Drumpf. His grandfather’s original name was Friedrich Drumpf, but anglicized to Frederick Trump. Trump’s Vietnamese-American supporters are so brainwashed that they didn’t even bother to do one simple fact-check. The level of absurdity running in our community is unimaginable. We’re going to have a lot of soul searching to do after this election.

I am not religious, but if I were I would be so disappointed in God if he had chosen Trump. God could have chosen a much better disciple. God could have picked someone who wouldn’t brag about grabbing women by the pussy or someone who wouldn’t have sex with a pornstar while his wife carrying his son. I doubt that God would approve those actions, but what do I know about religion? What I do know is that Trump is the wrong guy for the job unless God’s mission is to destroy humanity.

Word of the Day