Archive for the ‘Political’ Category

Two hundred years ago, a great jurist of our Court established that no citizen, not even the President, is categorically above the common duty to produce evidence when called upon in a criminal proceeding. We reaffirm that principle today and hold that the President is neither absolutely immune from state criminal subpoenas seeking his private papers nor entitled to a heightened standard of need.

— Chief Justice Roberts – July 9, 2020

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Just what planet is Darrell Issa living on?

Historic Presidency?

Trump leading America to a strong recovery from COVID?

What is Antifa anway?

Strongest economic recovery in history?

Seriously? Now I definitely know who not to vote for.

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I noticed something familiar when I saw these T-Shirts.

Four pictures speak a thousand words:




For comparison, for anyone who would argue that an eagle is a general symbol and used as our own seal. This is what the United States Seal looks like, and it’s not even close to the America First logo.

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It will come early: ‘Fox News is now projecting Joseph R. Biden is the President-Elect of the United States’ The American people are going to throw you out of office. You will be repudiated and disgraced. You’ll leave nothing behind but the stench of epic failure. No American has ever failed this country worse than you. None. Your incompetence, ignorance, ineptitude, and old fashioned stupidity have caused the economic collapse and made the U.S. the epicenter of coronavirus death and suffering. You have shattered American alliances and weakened our military. You are a disgrace. Your name will be a synonym for losing, failure, and weakness. Biden is crushing you, and you want to know why? It’s because he is a good man and you are a bad one. He cares about the American people and you do not. He is respected on the world stage and you are laughed at like some type of grotesque and buffoonish clown. He is capable and you are not. You attack because you are scared. Take a minute to look at the picture of Fred Trump on your desk. Do you think he would be surprised by your failures? He would not. He bailed you out over and over again. He bailed you out because you couldn’t cut it as anything other than a con man. There will be no monuments and no encomiums for you. The whole country has watched you fail. The whole country is watching your increasingly feeble state. The whole country is watching you lose. We will all watch you return to your golf clubs as the biggest loser the American presidency has ever produced.”

– Steve Schmidt: former Republican strategist

Steve Schmidt is one of my favorite Republicans, albeit a “former” one now.

There is only one extremely important bad decision that Steve made back in 2008 that had profound impact on the American political system and truly shaped the world we live in. Remember he was McCain’s campaign manager.

He helped pick (and consented to choosing) Sarah Palin as John McCain’s running mate.

If he had not picked Palin, I believe McCain would have won the 2008 election. I would have voted for him, and so would have many others. McCain would have been president, presumably for two terms. We would have had eight years of solid conservative leadership under McCain and dignity in the office of the presidency. Obama, still very young at the time, would have risen, and been elected in 2016. We’d now be in the first Obama term. He would be running for reelection right now. The “tea party” movement of 2009 would not have happened. Trump and all that he stands for would never have risen.

Our world now is a truly different world from that, fashioned by Steve Schmidt’s direct contribution.

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Recently a friend shared a post on Facebook:

James Fallows, an American writer, notes that on February 20 neither South Korea nor the U.S. had any deaths from the coronavirus; on March 20 S. Korea had 100, the U.S. had 150; on April 20 S. Korea had 236 deaths while the U.S. surpassed 40,000. S. Korea followed WHOs guidelines and suggestions from mid-January – the U.S. did not.

This friend is on the liberal side of the spectrum.

A friend of his on the conservative side then responded to the effect that he needed to “stop the hatred” and that he had “reached a low point in his life as a Christian.”

There is no hatred that I can see in the quote above, which wasn’t even his own, it was a shared post.

Obviously, this person on the right side interpreted the ongoing political criticism of the right by my friend as hatred.

Being critical, and having different opinions, is central to the concept of democracy. If we oppose somebody’s view, and publicize that, we’re not hating. We’re simply propagating our own viewpoint. If our arguments are powerful, we’ll convince more people to come around to our side, and eventually change the course of a country, or a world.

He also referred to the Christianity of my friend. He must be inferring that being critical of conservative political views somehow affects a person’s Christian credibility.

I don’t watch sports. I don’t watch football. A long time ago, in a casual social conversation, a friend of mine made the statement that “I know you hate football….” which offended me a bit. I choose not to watch football. It does not do anything for me and I’d rather spend my time otherwise. That does not mean I hate football. It does not mean I don’t understand other people’s fascination with the game. I am just not interested.

I am not religious. That does not mean I hate Christians. I have many Christian friends, and I respect them. Their religion does not affect my assessment of them. I am just not interested.

I am actually fairly conservative in my political thinking, but I haven’t voted for any American Republican in a few decades. I am registered as an independent. But I don’t hate the American political right. I speak out against it because I think it’s misguided and it’s terrible for our current world situation and our country and its future.  I will do what I can with sound, logical, scientific arguments, within my limited abilities and reach, to try to persuade people to lean in my direction. That’s democracy at work.

That is not hatred.

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One of my friends and readers likes to call me out for applying Godwin’s Law when I talk about Hitler’s deeds and compare them to the goings on of today. She just did that yesterday after a comment I made in this post.

In short, Godwin’s Law states:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Hitler approaches 1, that is, if an online discussion (regardless of topic or scope) goes on long enough, sooner or later someone will compare someone or something to Adolf Hitler or his deeds.

If you’d like to learn more about it, I wrote a post about it here.

Then, today, I stumbled upon this picture posted in an article about a rally in support of our government:

You tell me how I relate this to Godwin’s Law. Is it the inverse of it?

I wonder how Pence feels about all this?

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As of this moment, 641,919 people are confirmed infected with COVID-19 in the United States, and 28,399 have died from the disease. Our government does not act like that is a huge deal. So far, the death toll has been like eight 9/11 catastrophes in a row, or over ten Pearl Harbors. I have not yet heard Trump utter any type of sorrow, remorse or empathy with the victims. Tens of thousands of Americans dying on his watch does not seem to faze him very much, other than it’s inconvenient, since the crash of the economy may affect his re-election.

28,399 dead people, so far, is a pretty big deal to me.

Remember when Benghazi happened? For a year after that, night after night, Hannity was droning on about “4 Americans dead, and Hillary Clinton is responsible!” Hannity got a lot of mileage out of the “4 Americans dead” phrase, and the “Lock Her Up” chant came out of that propaganda.

Our Pro-Life government seems to have a lot of interest in protecting unborn life, but once the life walks the streets of American cities, it does not seem so important to them anymore. And once the life is old enough to be in nursing homes, they seem to opt to not even count them amongst the dead anymore. I hear more and more talk about “they would have died soon anyway….” Remember the outrage we had about the “Obama death sentences for grandma?”

Pro-Life? Call me confused.

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More than ever now, when I watch Trump, he looks completely clueless. I watch him stand next to people at the microphone, eyes shifting back and forth, empty of empathy, bereft of any visible emotion, other than “what do I look like”? When he talks, he says nothing. Gibberish. No encouragement, no consolation, no trace of any plan, no utterance of compassion. He now counts the dead.

It’s a celebration of ignorance.

In 1995, Carl Sagan published The Demon-Haunted World. What a visionary he was. Here is an excerpt:

I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time – when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the key manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agenda or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness. The dumbing down of America is most evident in the slow decay of substantive content in the enormously influential media, the 30-second sound bites (now down to 10 seconds or less), lowest common denominator programming, credulous presentations on pseudoscience and superstition, but especially a kind of celebration of ignorance.

— Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

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Biden announced today that his candidate for vice president will be a woman.

Given that I expect that Biden will win the nomination, and given that I expect he will win the general election against Trump, this is pretty significant.

Biden, who will be the 46th president of the United States, is pretty much handpicking the woman who will be the 47th and the first female president.

Since Biden will be 78 years old when he takes office, there is a high likelihood that the person he picks for vice president will be president, either due to his death, or due to his abdication for age, as he will be the very oldest president ever.

As fate would have it, I would never have thought that that would be Biden’s eventual legacy.

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I support Bernie Sanders, because I think his heart is in the right place. However, I have issues with many of his policies or attitudes. Here is a tweet he posted today:

First of all, I don’t think anyone is saying she is committing a crime by being in debt. Her debt is not punishment.

She is now a medical doctor. In that profession, she is at the very top of the income scale, both for entry-level positions, as well as for long-term employment opportunities. We are short of medical professionals in this country, which means she is not likely to ever be unemployed. Her job won’t ever be outsourced and it won’t very soon be taken over by automation. In addition, her profession is highly esteemed by the public and she will enjoy the prestige that comes with it.

When she entered medical school, she knew exactly what was going to happen. Eight to ten years of college, during which he had to live, eat, pay rent, buy books, and – yes – pay tuition. She knew it was going to take many years and she was going to take on much debt to finance that investment in her future.

She didn’t all of a sudden fall prey to a loan shark who gave her $300,000 at high interest rate. She had to apply and qualify for those student loans over and over again, every semester anew. She picked up $15,000 to $20,000 every semester at a reasonably low interest rate, interest deferred, one grab at a time. Nobody forced her, nobody twisted her arm, nobody made her do that. She didn’t make an impulse buy of a medical degree. She worked at it for a decade, and she took loans out to finance her life for that decade.

She also didn’t decide for a lower-cost option. For instance, she could have joined the United States Marines via the ROTC program. She would have been a cadet in the undergraduate years and drawn a salary. She would have been a commissioned officer during her medical studies, and the military would have paid for all her education. She would now be debt-free, she would be a captain in the Marines, and she would be a medical doctor. The only thing the country would now ask of her is to serve as a medical officer for six years or so. She didn’t choose that option.

She chose to finance her education and be saddled with $300,000 of debt when she got out.

We, the country, owe her nothing. We don’t think she committed any crime, we don’t think she is being punished by her debt, and we don’t think her indebtedness is a horror.

Let’s compare this to a young family who bought their first house in California in 2005, right about the same time our young doctor finished her high school. 2005 was at a peak in the housing market. They found a nice place for $330,000. They had saved $30,000 for a down payment and took on a mortgage of $300,000. However, when the housing crisis hit in 2007, the value of the property they paid $330,000 for dropped to $140,000. They were hugely upside down. It would take more than 12 years before the value came back up to a reasonable level. They were saddled with punishing debt and there was no way they could sell their house.

Should the tax payer now bail out that family that made a perfectly reasonable decision in 2005 to buy their first house? Of course not! They had bad luck with timing of their real estate deal. Millions of Americans, tens of millions actually, experienced exactly that. We don’t think we should bail them out. They took risks, there were potential gains, but they ended up with severe losses.

The tax payer is not responsible for that young family’s mortgage.

The tax payer is not responsible for the medical doctor’s student loans.

Bernie Sanders is flat out wrong when he tries to pin student debt on the public. I know many bright young people who chose not to get a medical degree because they didn’t want to be burdened with crushing debt when they were done.

If the young doctor is not happy with her investment today, she needs to deal with it.

And that’s why I think Bernie will have trouble. Some of his ideas don’t even make sense to his own supporters – like me.


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Go, Bernie, Go!

Here is some text a Republican posted which I lifted from a Reddit post about Bernie. 

I sent another $27.

Sanders needs to stop talking like an extremist and become the centrist he needs to be. That should not be so hard. He needs to ease off, relax, and start talking like a person who governs, not one who protests.

If the Democratic Party had not sabotaged Sanders in 2016, he would have won the election that year and we’d be looking at a different world now.

Go, Bernie, Go!


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Back on July 18, 1963, as the AFS [see below] students who had spent their high school year in the United States, were preparing to go back to their countries, they got to visit the White House. JFK talked to them.

It would be another 11 years before I had the privilege to be chosen as an AFS student. I arrived in the United States two weeks after Nixon’s resignation on August 20, 1974. Our group did not get to visit the White House when we went home in July of 1975.

All my life I have been proud to have been an AFS student and to carry the mission forward of spreading peace in the world, one person at a time.

It’s gotten a little more difficult in recent years.

[AFS stands for American Field Service, today the largest and most famed high school student exchange program in the world]

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Larry David and Bernie Sanders appeared on the Steven Colbert show consecutively. Larry David joked about having a 4-year job appearing on Saturday Night Live impersonating Bernie Sanders. Bernie Sanders, in turn, told Colbert that Larry David had better get used to it.

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