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And America Continues to Show it's True Colors. . .

MuppetsRule

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So Johnny Depp got in trouble for making a joke about assassinating President Trump.

"When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?" he asked.

After posing the question, Depp added, "I want to clarify. I'm not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it's been a while, and maybe it's time."

Very troubling and ignorant.
 

ConsummateVs

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I want to take the time to share a testimony of mine and show that it's possible for people to change.

Now, this is something I'm not at all proud to admit, but once upon a time, when I was a lot younger, I too was actually something of a homophobe, and while I admit that part of it was due to my religious upbringing, a lot of it was just my own sheer ignorance. I may be young, but I'm old enough to remember that homosexuality, in general, was a very taboo subject: parents would speak of how evil gay people were; if a family-friendly property even remotely suggested tolerance or acceptance towards the LGBT community, they were accused of brainwashing children into a cult; if a celebrity or a public figure came out of the closet, they were accused of trying to shove their lifestyle down everybody else's throats; the military had its infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and if a soldier was found to be gay, that would mean the end of his or her military career. I confess that as an ignorant youngster, I knew I wanted to avoid gay people at all cost, because I didn't know how I would even handle it: the idea of guys being attracted to other guys in a way that most guys would be attracted to girls seemed to weird and crazy to me, not to mention there was a point in time where a number of people were feeling more comfortable with coming out of the closet, that yes, even I felt that the very existence of heterosexuals in the world was being threatened - I do admit that.

But again, I was living during a time where homophobia was a foundation of the American way of life, and as such, I was just completely ignorant to what a bunch of hogwash this all was. As the years went on, and I grew older and wiser, and actually opened my eyes beyond what I knew (or in this case didn't know), I came to realize just how wrong everybody was: LGBT people aren't evil at all; they aren't threatening the existence of heterosexuals; nor are they even trying to take over the world or even indoctronate people into their own lifestyle . . . what seems like them "shoving their lifestyle down everybody's throats" isn't that at all, they're just trying to send a loud and clear message: they're human beings, just like everyone else, and they want to be treated like human beings, just like everyone else; they're not evil people at all, nor do they want to take over the world - they just want to coexist peacefully among everyone else in the world as we all should. So they happen to be attracted to the same sex instead of the opposite sex, so what? Other than that fact, who are they even hurting? With all of the destruction and tragedies happening around our world today, where innocent people are losing their lives at the hands of other lunatics out there who actually do intend to harm people for their own selfish gain, a man loving another man or a woman loving another woman is what bothers you the most? Isn't love supposed to be one of the things that makes our world go 'round?

As I said, I was ignorant about these things until I actually saw that other than their interest in the same sex, LGBT people are otherwise no different than other people out there. Take Jamie for instance: he's an incredible artist - I always look forward to receiving a Christmas card from him every year, and I also appreciate how strong and opinionated he is in advocating equal rights not just for the LGBT community, but for people of all walks of life in general, whether they be conservative or liberal, religious or irreligious, black or white, red or brown, purple or yellow. Slackbot: she's bi, with a stronger preference to women than men, and she happens to be an absolutely fantastic puppet builder, I've even learned a few different tips from the WIPs she shares of whatever projects she's working on, be it original characters, or her Fraggle replicas - she's very much a hard worker. Heck, my mom even has a cousin who's a lesbian, and she had it all at one point: a husband, kids, and a military career to boot . . . but she knew she couldn't live the lie anymore, so she eventually resigned from the military, divorced her husband, and isolated herself from her family to avoid causing them any embarrassment or humiliation . . . now that's real sacrifice.

Now that homophobia is a big thing again, and I see how so many people out there are still just as ignorant as I once was, all I can do is shake my head, and roll my eyes. You would think that in our modern world, we would move beyond things like this, but seeing how quick America was the regress back to such close-mindedness and ignorance makes me feel sorry for everybody involved: I feel sorry for the LGBT community for having to deal with the influx of being treated like they're less than dirt all over again (though I applaud them for making it clear they don't intend to go regress back to letting themselves be treated this way when they worked hard to achieve equal rights for themselves these past several years), and I feel sorry for the homophobes, whose irrational fears are more than likely based in nothing my ignorance like mine once was.

We all have a purpose on this planet - why can't we all just get along and make nice not war?
Well said. It's posts like this that make me wish there was the option to "love" posts.
 

cjd874

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So Johnny Depp got in trouble for making a joke about assassinating President Trump.

"When was the last time an actor assassinated a President?" he asked.

After posing the question, Depp added, "I want to clarify. I'm not an actor. I lie for a living. However, it's been a while, and maybe it's time."

Very troubling and ignorant.
Agreed 100 percent. Johnny Depp's statement was a big mistake. Someone who is as high-profile as him shouldn't be doing this. Even though he has since apologized, this is troubling. These statements are becoming the norm, and I don't think it's okay to wish death on another human being, no matter how awful he or she is.

This kind of stuff happened quite a bit during Obama's terms, but now we're hearing about this stuff ALL THE FREAKING TIME. Madonna mentioned "blowing up the White House" in January and Kathy Griffin took the invective one step further with "the photo" last month. None of that solves the problem, it only escalates it.
 

D'Snowth

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As I said previously, as much as I dislike Trump as a person and in the White House, I wouldn't wish death on the guy.

Now, the Krapdashians on the other hand. . . . :stick_out_tongue:
 

MikaelaMuppet

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As I said previously, as much as I dislike Trump as a person and in the White House, I wouldn't wish death on the guy.

Now, the Krapdashians on the other hand. . . . :stick_out_tongue:
You just don't like Trump, don't you?
 

jvcarroll

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I want to take the time to share a testimony of mine and show that it's possible for people to change.

Now, this is something I'm not at all proud to admit, but once upon a time, when I was a lot younger, I too was actually something of a homophobe, and while I admit that part of it was due to my religious upbringing, a lot of it was just my own sheer ignorance. I may be young, but I'm old enough to remember that homosexuality, in general, was a very taboo subject: parents would speak of how evil gay people were; if a family-friendly property even remotely suggested tolerance or acceptance towards the LGBT community, they were accused of brainwashing children into a cult; if a celebrity or a public figure came out of the closet, they were accused of trying to shove their lifestyle down everybody else's throats; the military had its infamous "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy, and if a soldier was found to be gay, that would mean the end of his or her military career. I confess that as an ignorant youngster, I knew I wanted to avoid gay people at all cost, because I didn't know how I would even handle it: the idea of guys being attracted to other guys in a way that most guys would be attracted to girls seemed to weird and crazy to me, not to mention there was a point in time where a number of people were feeling more comfortable with coming out of the closet, that yes, even I felt that the very existence of heterosexuals in the world was being threatened - I do admit that.

But again, I was living during a time where homophobia was a foundation of the American way of life, and as such, I was just completely ignorant to what a bunch of hogwash this all was. As the years went on, and I grew older and wiser, and actually opened my eyes beyond what I knew (or in this case didn't know), I came to realize just how wrong everybody was: LGBT people aren't evil at all; they aren't threatening the existence of heterosexuals; nor are they even trying to take over the world or even indoctronate people into their own lifestyle . . . what seems like them "shoving their lifestyle down everybody's throats" isn't that at all, they're just trying to send a loud and clear message: they're human beings, just like everyone else, and they want to be treated like human beings, just like everyone else; they're not evil people at all, nor do they want to take over the world - they just want to coexist peacefully among everyone else in the world as we all should. So they happen to be attracted to the same sex instead of the opposite sex, so what? Other than that fact, who are they even hurting? With all of the destruction and tragedies happening around our world today, where innocent people are losing their lives at the hands of other lunatics out there who actually do intend to harm people for their own selfish gain, a man loving another man or a woman loving another woman is what bothers you the most? Isn't love supposed to be one of the things that makes our world go 'round?

As I said, I was ignorant about these things until I actually saw that other than their interest in the same sex, LGBT people are otherwise no different than other people out there. Take Jamie for instance: he's an incredible artist - I always look forward to receiving a Christmas card from him every year, and I also appreciate how strong and opinionated he is in advocating equal rights not just for the LGBT community, but for people of all walks of life in general, whether they be conservative or liberal, religious or irreligious, black or white, red or brown, purple or yellow. Slackbot: she's bi, with a stronger preference to women than men, and she happens to be an absolutely fantastic puppet builder, I've even learned a few different tips from the WIPs she shares of whatever projects she's working on, be it original characters, or her Fraggle replicas - she's very much a hard worker. Heck, my mom even has a cousin who's a lesbian, and she had it all at one point: a husband, kids, and a military career to boot . . . but she knew she couldn't live the lie anymore, so she eventually resigned from the military, divorced her husband, and isolated herself from her family to avoid causing them any embarrassment or humiliation . . . now that's real sacrifice.

Now that homophobia is a big thing again, and I see how so many people out there are still just as ignorant as I once was, all I can do is shake my head, and roll my eyes. You would think that in our modern world, we would move beyond things like this, but seeing how quick America was the regress back to such close-mindedness and ignorance makes me feel sorry for everybody involved: I feel sorry for the LGBT community for having to deal with the influx of being treated like they're less than dirt all over again (though I applaud them for making it clear they don't intend to go regress back to letting themselves be treated this way when they worked hard to achieve equal rights for themselves these past several years), and I feel sorry for the homophobes, whose irrational fears are more than likely based in nothing my ignorance like mine once was.

We all have a purpose on this planet - why can't we all just get along and make nice not war?
A Very Brief Cameo: :embarrassed:

Hey Snowth! It came to my attention that you posted this it really touched my heart, so I'm briefly popping in to reply. It's true that we were both good, but very different, people when we met and dare I say, we're both much better ones now. And friends. I value that much. :smile:

I fear that most of our society isn't maturing that way anymore. That's kind of why I decided to stay off the forum. My presence wasn't helping anything and it didn't make me feel good. I continue to see a lot people on all sides of the issues doing the same thing that I was with the same disappointing results I was getting. Repetition without learning is the very definition of insanity (and I'm crazypants enough as it is).

I have a lot of LGBT buddies who can't stand Christians. Or, at least they think they can't. You can't even say the word Jesus in their presence without them getting all bent out of shape. I understand where that comes from. A lot people's families kicked them out when they were kids and used Jesus as the excuse. That often screws a person up for life! But that's not all Christians. That's not even most of them. And that's not at all what Christianity means. Not one bit! I stand up for my Christian friends like I stand up for everyone else and it doesn't always make me popular. I try to do it with a fun and sweet way that doesn't always work out. Mixed results. It's the effort that counts.

Also, thank you for commenting on my artwork. I've been enjoying the work you've been making recently too. I can't talk about it more than this, but I have some new stuff popping soon and it's not just in the world of action figures. This sabbatical and refocus on my work has served me well. I send out hundreds of the cards you mentioned all around the world every year no matter what holiday people choose to worship. I must admit, I got the idea from Jim Henson's yearly Christmas cards. This includes clients, bosses, friends and sometimes even chance meetings and they are all very important to me. I don't just blow through them. I make a point to neatly address each postcard and think of each person while I do it. It's kind of meditative. It surprises me the lengths that some people will go through to keep up with each other. It taught me the value that even a minuscule bit of kindness really has in the world. We don't need much. We just need to be seen and appreciated. Human connection is everything! It really is. And we're at risk of losing that in this toxic climate.

Pete from the Muppets Take Manhattan had it best when he said, "Peoples is peoples." It sounds like we both take our cue from that. Every one of my values comes from Jim Henson's creations, particularly the Muppets. The most inspiring thing about Jim is something that's seldom noticed. He was raised in a small town in Mississippi; a place known for a long history of entrenched racism. Even so, he seemed to have much love for the place and the people, but never that unkind sentiment. We fans are aware of the little known fact that a Mississippi State Commission initially voted to not air Sesame Street on the grounds that children shouldn't be exposed to an interracial cast. Literally - W . T . F .? When people defend the horrible stuff in this current climate, I think back to how some folk must have defended that bit of brazen bigotry back then. A lot of people felt that way. In fact, it was a popular opinion a few years before I was born (and I was born in Texas, a place not particularly known for its racial harmony either). That definitely creates some perspective. The very birthplace of Jim didn't seem to share his amazingly thoughtful worldview. Due to the nudging of Cooney and Henson, they ended up accepting the program. It is this behavior, not shouting or belittling others, that changes minds. The world of politics could learn a valuable lesson from Jim. We all could. I often forget this one. There are times to raise our voices in disgust, but most of the time it's the gentle nudge that moves mountains.

As for Trump, I have not witnessed a public figure who shared fewer of my values (or values in general) than he. There's no good excuse for it. The ends do not justify the means. I also feel that talking about it too much ends up normalizing it so I decided to pull back on that a bit. He simply throws a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what sticks. He doesn't care what hits or misses or hurts somebody in the process. He only cares that enough mud is thrown to confuse the issue. I've read the support of him and that's really all it is - people muddying the waters and trying to force everyone down to Trump level in order to form a false equivalence. That said, I think the Trump debacle will take care of itself. It's going to take time and some pride swallowing from all political parties to oust the poison from our country's system, but I think it's possible. Maybe things are going to have to get worse before they get better. Gee, I hope not.

I've only been a Democrat since 2008. My first election, I voted for Bush Sr. against Bill Clinton. While I felt conflicted, I'm not the least bit ashamed of that vote. I happen to like conservatives and progressives along with all types of political view points. If we remove one, we remove a fundamental part of our nation and we are worse off for it. It's sometimes hard to say that when Republicans like McConnell run on pro-people platforms, but end up screwing them over in order to stay in Congress and repeat that horrible process of screwing things even further! It's absolutely maddening! I have to remind myself that even though the Republicans are the Big Bad right now, it's not always that way. Anyway, that's the same I feel about people. There's a bigger picture. If we all focused on our friends, our families and humanity instead of our own egos, we could actually make it through this muck. At least, that's America to me. The only thing that has ever made America exceptional is the recognition of people and cultures from all over the world that made us who we are. I believe that putting that first is the only way to authentically put America first.

Peace all!
[Also, here's a pic of me and some California friends last weekend. It's not very good (I'm the doof on the right). I don't post many pics of myself ever because I hate cameras, but I'm posting this because all three of us, while blonde...I just noticed that, are very different people. Like most long friendships, we wouldn't have made it if we fell to the petty squabbling happening in the world. However, we are all such difficult people at times! Truth. In addition, the larger picture of how I truly see the world and out place in it - plus Kermit!]

 
Last edited:

D'Snowth

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A Very Brief Cameo: :embarrassed:

Hey Snowth! It came to my attention that you posted this it really touched my heart, so I'm briefly popping in to reply. It's true that we were both good, but very different, people when we met and dare I say, we're both much better ones now. And friends. I value that much. :smile:
The feeling is mutual Jamie; I'm very proud to call you my friend. I do recall that there were times in the past where we butted heads on occasion, my only defense for that is that clearly, we're both very opinionated people, and at times, our opinions may have clashed, but we were able to move past that, and as you say, we were different then, but we're better for it now. You've played a part in opening my eyes to the LGBT community from the perspective of someone in that community, and as I say, if other people could just simply open their eyes and see that people like you are otherwise hardly different at all from anyone else other than sexual preferences, then the world would possibly be a much more peaceful place.

I fear that most of our society isn't maturing that way anymore.
No, as I said, I really feel as thought it's regressed, at an alarming rate. Did we make progress when Obama was in Office? Yes. Was it a lot? No. But there was still progress - it was gradual, and it took eight years to achieve that progress, but I've seen the shift from the mindset most people had regarding the LGBT community, the black community, so on and so far, and it was noticeably a lot more positive than it was over eight years ago. But again, it was only a matter of months before it all regressed backwards. Back to square one, I guess you could say.
I have a lot of LGBT buddies who can't stand Christians. Or, at least they think they can't. You can't even say the word Jesus in their presence without them getting all bent out of shape. I understand where that comes from. A lot people's families kicked them out when they were kids and used Jesus as the excuse. That often screws a person up for life! But that's not all Christians. That's not even most of them. And that's not at all what Christianity means. Not one bit! I stand up for my Christian friends like I stand up for everyone else and it doesn't always make me popular. I try to do it with a fun and sweet way that doesn't always work out. Mixed results. It's the effort that counts.
Exactly, and as I say, as a Christian myself (albeit a liberal one), I get really put out with others who, as you say, use Jesus as an excuse for their hatred toward certain groups of people, when that's not what Jesus Himself was about. No, not all Christians are like this, but there's enough of them that it's been giving the faith as a whole a bad rep, and then they wonder why more and more people in this day and age turn away from God, turn away from Christ, turn away from Christianity, and even turn away from religion in general: there's a lot of sensible people out there who are saying that they refuse to have any part of this because they don't wish to hate certain groups of people for who they are and what they are, thus taking in a falsified picture of who Jesus is. It's sad, but that's what's happening.
Also, thank you for commenting on my artwork.
I've been enjoying the work you've been making recently too.
I appreciate how supportive you've been over the years - you've shared quite a bit of wisdom with me, but the one thing you've said to me that I always remember with the most fondness is when I was feeling bummed about how little feedback I receive over my work that I don't even know why I bother sharing it with others to see, and you said, "The most selfish thing an artist can do is keep his art to himself." It's a simple, yet powerful message that has stuck in my mind all these years, and you're right.
I can't talk about it more than this, but I have some new stuff popping soon and it's not just in the world of action figures. This sabbatical and refocus on my work has served me well. I send out hundreds of the cards you mentioned all around the world every year no matter what holiday people choose to worship. I must admit, I got the idea from Jim Henson's yearly Christmas cards. This includes clients, bosses, friends and sometimes even chance meetings and they are all very important to me. I don't just blow through them. I make a point to neatly address each postcard and think of each person while I do it. It's kind of meditative. It surprises me the lengths that some people will go through to keep up with each other. It taught me the value that even a minuscule bit of kindness really has in the world. We don't need much. We just need to be seen and appreciated. Human connection is everything! It really is. And we're at risk of losing that in this toxic climate.
That's why I started doing Christmas cards again a few years back as well, and like you say, I too take the time to include something personal and meaningful to each individual person I send them to; in this day and age of social media and such, I think there's still something nice to be had about something that's from the heart and not a computer or phone screen.
Pete from the Muppets Take Manhattan had it best when he said, "Peoples is peoples." It sounds like we both take our cue from that. Every one of my values comes from Jim Henson's creations, particularly the Muppets. The most inspiring thing about Jim is something that's seldom noticed. He was raised in a small town in Mississippi; a place known for a long history of entrenched racism. Even so, he seemed to have much love for the place and the people, but never that unkind sentiment. We fans are aware of the little known fact that a Mississippi State Commission initially voted to not air Sesame Street on the grounds that children shouldn't be exposed to an interracial cast. Literally - W . T . F .? When people defend the horrible stuff in this current climate, I think back to how some folk must have defended that bit of brazen bigotry back then. A lot of people felt that way. In fact, it was a popular opinion a few years before I was born (and I was born in Texas, a place not particularly known for its racial harmony either). That definitely creates some perspective. The very birthplace of Jim didn't seem to share his amazingly thoughtful worldview. Due to the nudging of Cooney and Henson, they ended up accepting the program. It is this behavior, not shouting or belittling others, that changes minds. The world of politics could learn a valuable lesson from Jim. We all could. I often forget this one. There are times to raise our voices in disgust, but most of the time it's the gentle nudge that moves mountains.
Like Jim himself said, he always wanted to be one of those people who left this world a little better place just having been in it, and I think he and his creations did that very well.

As for Trump, I have not witnessed a public figure who shared fewer of my values (or values in general) than he.
There's no good excuse for it. The ends do not justify the means. I also feel that talking about it too much ends up normalizing it so I decided to pull back on that a bit. He simply throws a bunch of stuff against the wall to see what sticks. He doesn't care what hits or misses or hurts somebody in the process. He only cares that enough mud is thrown to confuse the issue.
Like I said in this thread not too long ago - with the exception of these cockamamy Executive Orders he pulled out of hammerspace, I'm really beginning to think Trump, at this point, is all talk and no do. The resurrected healthcare concern aside, I really haven't seen him actually do much of anything, other than play golf and campaign for 2020 . . . he's only recently decided to remind us about that wall that he keeps changing: first it was going to be a full-scale, maximum security border wall made of concrete and steel; then it was going to be a glorified fence; then he said he was going to make Mexico pay for the wall upfront; then he said he was going to make the American taxpayers pay for the wall then Mexico would reimburse us once it's finished . . . now, he's saying it'll be a solar-powered wall, and that Mexico is going to pay for it again, but making it solar-powered will lower the costs for them. Yeah, like I said, at this point in time, I just see him as all-talk and nothing else.

Peace all!
[Also, here's a pic of me and some California friends last weekend. It's not very good (I'm the doof on the right). I don't post many pics of myself ever because I hate cameras, but I'm posting this because all three of us, while blonde...I just noticed that, are very different people. Like most long friendships, we wouldn't have made it if we fell to the petty squabbling happening in the world. However, we are all such difficult people at times! Truth. In addition, the larger picture of how I truly see the world and out place in it - plus Kermit!]

Love 'em! Love 'em!
 

D'Snowth

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Okay, remember what I just said about how it seems like all Trump is at this point is all talk and no do? I take that back, apparently we only have 77 days left before internet privacy and net neutrality is officially killed.
 

MikaelaMuppet

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The feeling is mutual Jamie; I'm very proud to call you my friend. I do recall that there were times in the past where we butted heads on occasion, my only defense for that is that clearly, we're both very opinionated people, and at times, our opinions may have clashed, but we were able to move past that, and as you say, we were different then, but we're better for it now. You've played a part in opening my eyes to the LGBT community from the perspective of someone in that community, and as I say, if other people could just simply open their eyes and see that people like you are otherwise hardly different at all from anyone else other than sexual preferences, then the world would possibly be a much more peaceful place.

No, as I said, I really feel as thought it's regressed, at an alarming rate. Did we make progress when Obama was in Office? Yes. Was it a lot? No. But there was still progress - it was gradual, and it took eight years to achieve that progress, but I've seen the shift from the mindset most people had regarding the LGBT community, the black community, so on and so far, and it was noticeably a lot more positive than it was over eight years ago. But again, it was only a matter of months before it all regressed backwards. Back to square one, I guess you could say.
Exactly, and as I say, as a Christian myself (albeit a liberal one), I get really put out with others who, as you say, use Jesus as an excuse for their hatred toward certain groups of people, when that's not what Jesus Himself was about. No, not all Christians are like this, but there's enough of them that it's been giving the faith as a whole a bad rep, and then they wonder why more and more people in this day and age turn away from God, turn away from Christ, turn away from Christianity, and even turn away from religion in general: there's a lot of sensible people out there who are saying that they refuse to have any part of this because they don't wish to hate certain groups of people for who they are and what they are, thus taking in a falsified picture of who Jesus is. It's sad, but that's what's happening.
I appreciate how supportive you've been over the years - you've shared quite a bit of wisdom with me, but the one thing you've said to me that I always remember with the most fondness is when I was feeling bummed about how little feedback I receive over my work that I don't even know why I bother sharing it with others to see, and you said, "The most selfish thing an artist can do is keep his art to himself." It's a simple, yet powerful message that has stuck in my mind all these years, and you're right.
That's why I started doing Christmas cards again a few years back as well, and like you say, I too take the time to include something personal and meaningful to each individual person I send them to; in this day and age of social media and such, I think there's still something nice to be had about something that's from the heart and not a computer or phone screen.
Like Jim himself said, he always wanted to be one of those people who left this world a little better place just having been in it, and I think he and his creations did that very well.

Like I said in this thread not too long ago - with the exception of these cockamamy Executive Orders he pulled out of hammerspace, I'm really beginning to think Trump, at this point, is all talk and no do. The resurrected healthcare concern aside, I really haven't seen him actually do much of anything, other than play golf and campaign for 2020 . . . he's only recently decided to remind us about that wall that he keeps changing: first it was going to be a full-scale, maximum security border wall made of concrete and steel; then it was going to be a glorified fence; then he said he was going to make Mexico pay for the wall upfront; then he said he was going to make the American taxpayers pay for the wall then Mexico would reimburse us once it's finished . . . now, he's saying it'll be a solar-powered wall, and that Mexico is going to pay for it again, but making it solar-powered will lower the costs for them. Yeah, like I said, at this point in time, I just see him as all-talk and nothing else.


Love 'em! Love 'em!
Very nice! I'm guessing you are the one on the right?
 

D'Snowth

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As Jamie said, he is the one on the right, and other two are friends of his.

So now, apparently Dumb Donald is complaining that Obama did nothing to prevent Russia from hacking and interfering with the election . . . y'know, the same hacking that he's been denying ever happened all these months? The same hacking that swung the election in his favor?
 
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